Birthing Centers In Houston
Having a baby can be both one of the happiest and most stressful days of your life.
Simply visiting a doctor’s office for routine bloodwork is a frightening experience for me (dont judge me) so I can imagine how intimidating a hospital might be for expecting mothers.
Fears like these lead to the creation of something called birthing centers.
In this article I will breakdown the facility known as a birthing center.
You will learn the following in this article:
- What is a Birthing Center?
- Who works at a birthing center?
- Are birthing centers safe?
- Who should consider Birthing Centers?
- Cost of having a child at a Birthing Center vs hospital
- Where you can find Birthing Centers in Houston?
If you’re ready, put on your plastic gloves, surgical mask and continue reading as we learn more about Birthing Centers.
What is a Birthing Center?
A birthing center is a healthcare facility that specializes in childbirth.
Think of a birthing center as a home that can deliver your baby. Birthing centers offer more cozy environment than a hospital labor ward. At birthing center’s mother’s have more options like food, drinks, music, even having family and friends there for support.
Birth centers can also include queen size beds, birthing tubs or showers for water births. At birthing centers mother are encouraged to be themselves by squatting, walking or even shaking their groove thing to “the Wobble” to help the labor process along.
Birthing centers also have shorter stays than hospitals. A mother can deliver her child and both be back home only 6 hours after birth.
Who Works at a Birthing Center?
Birthing centers are typically staffed by nurse-midwives, midwives, doulas and coaches.
The certified nurse-midwive is (CNM) is the head honcho of the group and functions as your primary healthcare provider during childbirth. As long as the pregnancy is not “high risk” the CNM can deliver your baby. Pregnancies that are considered “high risk” must involve a physician and always take place at a hospital.
A midwife also works at a birthing center. There role is to assist in the delivery of your baby. Midwives can deliver babies in high risk situations like breech births, twin births or posterior position. Guys go here to learn what posterior position means.
Note: The difference between a CNM and Midwife is the CNM also has a nursing degree. Some states require birthing centers to have CNMs, Texas is one.
A doula is birth companion or birth coach. A doula is a non-medical position. Their primary role is to provide emotional and physical support to mothers in labor.
Are Birthing Centers Safe?
Birthing Center’s are safe. Infact, childbirth in the United States is safe regardless of where you have your baby at.
That being said a recent study stated that babies born at Birthing Center’s were twice as likely to die as babies born in hospitals. Of every 1000 babies born at birthing centers, 3.9 died. At hospitals 1.8 babies out of every 1000 died.
Overall birthing centers are safe, although they are not mini-hospitals which is why “high risk” pregnancies must be carried out at hospitals.
In the next section we’ll discuss why birthing centers cannot accomodate “high risk” pregnancies.
Who Should Consider Birthing Centers?
Only women who have “low risk” pregnancies should consider birthing centers.
Again these facilities are not hospitals. If you are planning on having a c-section birth a birthing center isn’t for you because they’re not equipped for that procedure.
Birthing centers are equipped with IVs, oxygen, medication and even infant resuscitation equipment. Should there be in complications during labor these pieces of equipment can keep you and your baby safe while you are transported to a hospital for help.
As much comfort as a birthing center provides it should only be an option for you if you have a “low risk” pregnancy.
Cost of a Birthing Center vs a Hospital
Birthing centers are alot less expensive that hospitals.
Here are stats from a report titled The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States:
The average private insurance will pay hospitals $9,759 for a vaginal birth and $17,140 for a cesarean birth. Medicaid pays less at $4,492 per vaginal birth and $7,722 for cesarean births.
Compare those numbers to a price tag of $2,277 for a vaginal birth at a birthing center.
Birthing center are able to charge less for a birth for two reasons; lower hospital fees and limited medical procedures. Birthing centers do charge fees but not nearly at the rate of hospitals. Also remember birthing centers aren’t equipped to perform cesarean births or use anesthesia.
Birthing Centers in Houston
Here is a list of birthing centers in Houston.
There are regular hospitals mixed in with birthing centers. If you only seek birthing centers, look for those words in the title.
Also there are two birthing centers which accept Medicaid. Those locations are North Houston Birth Center and Rite of Passage Birth Center. If you know of any other birth centers who accept Medicaid please list those facilities in the comments section.
- AnyaDoula – Houston area doula with more than 15 years of experience OB/GYN Nursing experience – Phone: 346.708.2444 Email: Anya@AnyaDoula.com
- Bay Area Birth Center – 3210 Strawberry Rd Pasadena, TX 77504 713.472.5525
- The Birthing Place – 2218 Barbee St, Houston, TX 77004 713.643.9433
- Cy-Fair Birth Center – 12850 Jones Road, Suite 105 Houston, TX 77070 281.469.0093
- HomeBirth Experience – 3311 Richmond Ave #214 Houston, TX 77098 281.309.8030
- Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at St John – 18300 St John Dr, Nassau Bay, TX 77058 281.523.2229
- Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land – 16655 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77479 281.274.7080
- Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at West – 18500 Katy Fwy, 4th Floor Houston, TX 77094 832.522.4200
- Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Willowbrook – 18220 TX-249 2nd Floor, Houston, TX 77070 281.737.2500
- Katy Birth Center – 1002 Avenue A, Katy, TX 77493 832.437.5876
- North Houston Birth Center – 7007 North Freeway, Suite 435 Houston, TX 77076 713.699.4211 – Accepts Medicaid
- Reunion Womens Health and Birth Center – 201 Kingwood Medical Dr. Kingwood, TX 77339 281.359.2229
- Rite of Passage Womens Health & Birth Center – 2302 County Rd 124, Pearland, TX 77581 281.993.4028 – Accepts Medicaid
- Texas Childrens Pavilion for Women – 6651 S. Main St, Houston, TX 77030 832.826.3000
- Wellspring Midwifery Care and Birth Center – 794 Russell Palmer Rd, Kingwood, TX 77339 832.777.0291
- West Houston Birth Center – 11321 Richmond Ave, Suite M100 Houston, TX 77082 281.245.0209
- Women’s Center at Childrens Memorial Hermann – 6411 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030 713.704.5437
- Women’s Health and Birth Center – 2401 Rice Blvd Houston, TX 77005 713.529.5131
Having a child can be scary and overwhelming.
Its a life changing event that comes with lots of decisions. Researching and preparing yourself for this experience is the best way to calm yourself. Reach out to family members, ask your doctor questions, even take the birth centers up their tours. No amount of preparation will completely rid you of your anxieties, but the more you’re plan the better you will feel!
Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 10 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans and creating easy to understand community resources on his site HoustonCaseManagers.com. To become a more saucy social worker, hop on his free email list and receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.