Holistic Family Doulas has been thrilled to be a part of the new birth centers in the Chicagoland area since their inception. Our team has attended dozens of births both at Burr Ridge Birth Center and The Birth Center of Chicago and have many more on the horizon for 2024! Please enjoy our post of the ins and outs of the beloved birth centers.
The birth center movement in Illinois has provided expectant parents with an alternative option to hospital births, allowing them to embrace natural childbirth in a safe and nurturing environment. In this blog, we’ll explore the creation of birth centers in Illinois, with a special focus on Burr Ridge Birth Center and Birth Center of Chicago, where natural births, including water births, are celebrated.
The Birth of Birth Centers in Illinois
Birth centers are specialized facilities designed to provide comprehensive maternity care in a comfortable, home-like setting. They have been established to meet the growing demand for holistic and family-centered care during childbirth, promoting natural births for low-risk pregnancies. In Illinois, this movement has gained momentum, offering expectant parents a unique and empowering birthing experience.
The Vision of Natural Birth
One of the key objectives of birth centers is to promote natural childbirth. Natural childbirth is a process where expectant parents have the freedom to make choices about their birthing experience and often involves minimal medical interventions. This approach prioritizes the physiological and emotional aspects of childbirth, recognizing that the female body is well-equipped for this incredible journey.
Burr Ridge Birth Center: A Beacon of Natural Birth
Burr Ridge Birth Center, located in the suburbs of Chicago, is an exemplar of the natural birth movement in Illinois. This birth center is a sanctuary where expectant parents can experience a more personalized and natural birthing experience.
- The Midwifery Model of Care: Burr Ridge Birth Center follows the midwifery model of care, which emphasizes the importance of partnership, informed decision-making, and patient-centered care. This approach empowers women to actively participate in their birthing experience.
- Comprehensive Services: The center provides a wide range of services, including prenatal care, labor and delivery support, and postpartum care. This comprehensive approach ensures that expectant parents receive the support they need throughout their birthing journey.
- Comfortable Birthing Suites: The birthing suites at Burr Ridge Birth Center are thoughtfully designed to create a comfortable, homely environment. Each suite is equipped with amenities such as hydrotherapy tubs, cozy furniture, and kitchenettes, providing an ideal space for natural childbirth.
- Safety Protocols: Safety is a top priority at Burr Ridge Birth Center. The team has established protocols for transferring care to a hospital in the event of complications, ensuring the safety of both mother and baby.
Birth Center of Chicago: A Natural Oasis in the City
In the heart of Chicago, another birth center, Birth Center of Chicago, has emerged as a symbol of natural birth and family-centered care.
- The City Experience: Chicago Birth Center caters to expectant parents who desire a natural birthing experience in the city. The center’s urban location provides accessibility and convenience for city dwellers.
- Midwifery Care: The center is staffed by certified nurse-midwives and other healthcare professionals who are dedicated to supporting natural childbirth. They work collaboratively with expectant parents to create a personalized birthing plan.
- Private Birthing Suites: Birth Center of Chicago boasts private birthing suites that are comfortable and inviting. These suites offer a serene and intimate space for labor, delivery, and postpartum care.
- Community and Support: The center promotes a sense of community and offers support through various childbirth education classes and group events. These resources help expectant parents prepare for their natural birth experience and foster a sense of unity with other families.
Holistic Family Doulas has recognized the benefits of these birth centers:
- Personalized Care: Birth centers prioritize individualized and patient-centered care. Expectant parents have a say in their birthing plan, including preferences for labor, birthing positions, and postpartum care. The care is tailored to meet the unique needs and desires of each family.
- Comfortable Environment: Birth centers are designed to create a comfortable and homely atmosphere. Private birthing suites and comfortable amenities make the birthing experience more relaxed and pleasant, reducing stress and anxiety.
- Family-Centered Care: Birth centers encourage the active participation of family members, including partners, children, and other loved ones. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of unity and support during childbirth.
- Lower Rates of Medical Interventions: Research has shown that birth centers are associated with lower rates of medical interventions for low-risk pregnancies. This includes fewer cesarean sections, epidurals, and episiotomies, promoting a more natural and unmedicated birth experience.
- High Maternal Satisfaction: Many women who choose birth centers report high levels of satisfaction with their birthing experience. Feeling in control and supported in their choices can contribute to a positive and empowering experience.
- Natural Birth Options: Birth centers celebrate and support natural childbirth. They offer options for unmedicated births, water births, and other natural techniques to facilitate labor and delivery. Some options of pain support tools include: TENS unit, giant water tub, rebozos, birth balls, relaxing essential oils, dim lighting, homey ambiance
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety: The familiar and comfortable environment of a birth center can significantly reduce stress and anxiety during labor, creating a calmer atmosphere that is conducive to a smooth birth.
- Lower Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections: Hospitals can be breeding grounds for infections, and birth centers reduce the risk of exposure to hospital-acquired infections.
- Educational Support: Birth centers often provide comprehensive childbirth education, helping expectant parents prepare for their birthing experience. These educational resources empower families to make informed decisions about their care.
- Autonomy in Decision-Making: Expectant parents have greater autonomy in making decisions about their birthing experience, including choosing birthing positions, pain management options, and who they want present during the birth.
- Continuity of Care: Midwives and doulas at birth centers provide continuous care throughout the entire birthing process, creating a stronger bond of trust and support between the healthcare provider and the expectant parents.
- Community and Support: Birth centers often offer a sense of community and support through various childbirth education classes and group events. These resources help expectant parents prepare for their natural birth experience and foster a sense of unity with other families.
- Emergency Preparedness: While birth centers prioritize natural childbirth, they are well-prepared for emergencies. They have established protocols for transferring care to a hospital in the event of complications, ensuring the safety of both mother and baby.
Water Birth: A Gentle Choice for Natural Birth
One of the distinctive features of these birth centers is the option for water birth. Water birth involves labor and delivery in a warm birthing pool, offering several benefits:
- Natural Pain Relief: Immersion in warm water provides a natural form of pain relief, promoting relaxation and comfort during labor.
- Buoyancy: The buoyancy of water allows expectant parents to move more freely during labor, reducing the pressure on joints and facilitating changes in position.
- Reduced Stress: The soothing effect of water can help reduce stress and anxiety during labor, creating a calm environment for both mother and baby.
- Enhanced Circulation: Warm water can improve blood circulation, which may aid in the progress of labor.
The birth center movement in Illinois, represented by Burr Ridge Birth Center and Birth Center of Chicago, offers expectant parents the opportunity to experience natural childbirth in a supportive and comfortable environment. These birth centers embrace the midwifery model of care, where expectant parents are partners in their birthing experience, and natural childbirth is celebrated as a profound and transformative journey. Our doulas all have experience in these facilities and are familiar with the transfer procedures, if needed. The doula is your constant in this experience, most often time laboring with you at home before headed to the birth center.
By providing comprehensive services, comfortable birthing suites, and the option for water births, these centers empower expectant parents to make choices that align with their values and preferences. The movement towards natural birth in Illinois is not only reshaping the birthing experience but also fostering a sense of community and support among families who choose this path. In the heart of the city and the suburbs, expectant parents are finding an oasis of natural birth, where their choices and preferences are honored, and the journey to parenthood is celebrated with empowerment and grace.