Can anyone birth in a birth center?

Birth centers are designed to care for pregnancies that are considered low risk. An orientation visit includes a thorough risk evaluation and assessment for appropriateness to birth out of the hospital. If you have multiple babies, hypertension, medicine controlled gestational diabetes, breech presentation or other issues that may cause complications, a birth center may not be the best option for you.

Can I bring a doula?

Yes, doulas are welcomed as members of your support team. Doulas are not included in your prenatal care at the birth center. The birth center works collaboratively with several doula practices in town and referrals are happily given upon request.

Can I bring a photographer?

Yes. Birth photographers are very welcome at the birth center. We understand that the moments of labor, birth and postpartum are among the most tender and beautiful moments in your family’s life.

Can I eat and drink in labor?

We encourage you to prepare yourself nutritionally throughout your pregnancy not only for the work of growing a baby but also for the energy needed to birth your baby. We encourage you to eat and drink in order to keep up your energy. The birth center has a kitchen that is for the use of our birthing and postpartum families. We supply light snacks, juices and foods that you may want to eat in early labor and postpartum. We also encourage you to bring food that is nourishing and appealing to you.

Can I have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) at the birth center?

At this time, we are unable to have VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) births in the Birth Center.  Clients who have had a previous cesarean birth will be cared for by our Certified Nurse Midwives at Baton Rouge General. Please talk to one of our midwives in regards to your own birth history and wishes.

Do you offer pain medicine?

It is our belief that most women can birth her baby without medication. We have seen mom after mom achieve what she thought, at certain points in her labor, was unattainable. Unmedicated birth is an empowering experience. Moms often tell us “after that birth, I feel like I can do anything.” The prenatal period is for preparation. We build on mom’s experiences and tailor a preparation that is right for the family. This includes natural childbirth classes, nutrition and exercise, PT and chiropractic care and support and guidance from the midwives.

At the Birth Center of Baton Rouge, we do not offer any pharmacological pain medicines. We offer hydrotherapy or laboring in the shower and tub, support from a midwife and registered nurse and lots of other nonpharmacologic support for the normal physiologic process of birth.


Do you offer water birth?

Yes, water births are an integral part of our services. Each of our birthing suites has a private birthing tub. Water birth is a great option for the majority of moms. There are some situations in which water birth isn’t the best option for you and your baby. The many benefits to water birth are listed below.

I’m in my 3rd trimester; can I still switch to the birth center?

Yes! It’s not too late to transfer into our care. However, we know that the prenatal period is for preparing yourself and family for the birth and postpartum periods. We will schedule you with a midwife to review your risk status, prior experiences and history, talk about your wishes for the birth and discuss your prior preparation. The midwives will discuss with you if you are a good candidate for transfer.

Is it safe to give birth in a birth center?

Birth centers across the nation and the world have proven to be exceptionally safe places to give birth. Two recent research studies demonstrate excellent outcomes are achieved in the birth center setting

The place in which you birth your baby, and the provider you select are very important choices. The best individual outcomes occur in the place where you feel the safest at every levels.

It is very normal for you, your partner and your family to have questions regarding birthing at a birth center. We will do our best to answer all of your questions and discuss our policies and procedures.

We respect the gravity of birth and understand that even in low risk moms there is a small chance of an emergency. For this reason, we have taken every possible step to assure the safe passage of your baby. Care at the Birth Center of Baton Rouge is delivered according to the most up-to-date national standards, as demonstrated by our accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Birth Centers. Our medical director or another designated OBGYN is always available for consultation or transfer of care if a higher level of care is needed. Our transfer agreements with two local hospitals assured that the process occurs in a streamlined and seamless way.

The Birth Center is fully equipped with emergency medical equipment on hand. Your midwife and nurse are both trained and skilled at neonatal resuscitation techniques. Personal and family centered care can actually decrease the incidence of having untoward outcomes, and thus be a safer outcome for all. Louisiana has the nation’s highest cesarean section rate; our rate is 4%.

As indicated above, The National Birth Center II study was published in 2013 and demonstrated the safety of birth centers. Over 15,000 women were enrolled into the study from birth centers nationwide. The demonstrated the safety of birth centers. We encourage you to read the study.

The study can found here.


What are the benefits of water birth?


  • Helps ease the intensity of labor by soothing, relaxing and releasing endorphins
  • Shortens labor time
  • Increase mom’s energy
  • Allows freedom of movement and position change
  • Creates protected space around birthing mom creating greater sense of privacy
  • Decrease perineal tearing and need for stitches
  • Eases the stress of birth for baby, creating a peaceful transition from out of the womb



What is a freestanding birth center?

A freestanding birth center is a home-like facility in which the midwifery model of care is followed for women’s health throughout their lives. Here, women receive prenatal care, birth their babies and receive their postpartum care. The services may include routine GYN care, annual exams and contraceptive placement and counseling.

Birth centers are staffed by qualified and trained midwives. Policies and procedures assure that stringent guidelines for safety are met and evidence based care is practiced.

Birth centers typically have a defined program of care for prenatal, birth and postpartum care. These include thorough consent and education, 24 hour access to a midwife, risk assessment at each visit, childbirth classes, labor support, intrapartum care with a midwife and RN in attendance, postpartum home visits, and other services as needed in the community served.

Birth centers seek to be integrated and collaborative community resources for women and families. Relationships with providers of complimentary services including breastfeeding support, counseling, physical therapy, and chiropractic care are established. Birth Centers foster alliances of collaborative care. Agreements with local hospitals are made in the event that a higher level of care is needed.

What is a midwife?

A midwife is a trained professional practicing the midwifery model of care. The word midwife literally means “with woman”.

There are several types of midwife licenses accepted in the US, including the nurse midwife and the certified professional midwife. Both types of midwives have stringent standards and certifications in midwifery and the majority of midwives hold masters degrees in midwifery. As evidence continues to prove the safety of midwives, births attended by midwives increase each year. In 2014, nurse midwives attended 8.3% of US births.

What is the midwifery model of care?

The midwifery model of care is evidence-based, midwife led obstetrical and well woman care that addresses the needs of the family from a holistic perspective. Through education and informed consen, the midwife guides the family in making choices throughout the preconception, prenatal and postnatal periods. The model allows for deep and meaningful connections to be made between the woman and her provider. This allows for knowing and trusting on an emotional, medical, spiritual level. It is our belief that respectful family-centered care influences well-being over a lifetime. Midwives are known for promoting patience and the normalcy of the labor process. The outcomes of the midwifery model have been well documented and studied.

Midwifery-led care has been demonstrated to result in:
  • A reduction in the use of epidurals, with fewer episiotomies or births requiring instruments such as forceps
  • Increased chances of having a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • Increased chances of having a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • Decreased risk of losing the baby before 24 weeks' gestation
Midwife-led obstetric care is the norm in many different countries in the world. These countries have lower infant and maternal mortality rates and better obstetric outcomes in general. In England there is a common slogan: “every woman deserves a midwife, some need an obstetrician”.

What is the mission of the Birth Center of Baton Rouge?

Birth Center of Baton Rouge provides a sacred space for women to experience pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and well woman care. We defend the right of families to make informed decisions regarding their care. Our goal is to provide collaborative individualized holistic midwifery services, education, counseling and labor support to facilitate health and well being through out a woman’s life. We believe that compassionate care for women and babies improves birth outcomes, increases maternal satisfaction and strengthens families.

Who can come to my birth?

Throughout your prenatal period, the midwives at the birth center will help guide you to the safest and most fulfilling birth and postpartum experience.

We believe you should invite to your birth whomever will help you achieve your birth goals. We ask that you carefully consider each person who will attend your birth, and they are welcomed and encouraged to come to any prenatal appointments with you.

Why do families choose the Birth Center of Baton Rouge?

We hear from our families that these are the primary reasons they sought out our model of care:

  • Warm, relaxing, comfortable environment
  • Midwifery care that treats pregnancy and childbirth as a mind, body and spiritual event
  • Experienced midwives who understand and trust women to know their own bodies and needs
  • Privacy
  • In-house ultrasonagraphy performed with kindness and compassion
  • Ancillary services such as physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • Freedom to birth like you want
  • No IV unless necessary
  • Informed consent
  • Babies stay with moms
  • A cesarean rate of 4%
  • Great relationship with medical director and transferring hospitals
  • Support during natural birth process
  • Supportive nurses, many who have birthed at the Birth Center
  • Postpartum stay of 6-12 hours
  • History of excellent outcomes
  • Variety of insurance coverages,
  • Far less expernsive than hospital birth
  • Home visits at 24 hours
  • Postpartum support and guidance

Will my partner be involved in the birth?

It is our philosophy that pregnancy and birth should be treated as important milestones in growth of a family. We encourage your partner to be involved in every aspect of your care with us at the birth center. We find the more prepared partners are for the process, the more present and supportive they are able to be with the laboring mom. Presence is the most important aspect of being involved.