Many expecting moms have heard the terms “natural childbirth” or “birth center” thrown around but still aren’t sure what that means. We want to define and breakdown what these terms mean and help every expecting mom explore all their options and ask the right questions.

What is natural childbirth?

Natural childbirth means giving birth to your child with minimal, or no, medical intervention. Birth is a natural process that your body is instinctively ready for. In contrast to complicated hospital policies and procedural requirements, natural birth allows you and your body to respond naturally to the birthing process. Most natural births are performed in a birth center or at home, although there are some hospitals that support natural childbirth.

What is a birth center?

A birth center is a birth place alternative to a hospital. The AABC (American Association of Birth Centers) defines a birth center as “a home-like facility existing within a healthcare system with a program of care designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth.” (1) The SCV Birth Center is the only accredited birth center in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando, and Antelope Valleys. Our facility features two private birth rooms with birth tubs, bathrooms, and comfortable accommodations. Care through the SCV Birth Center includes a personalized birth plan, individualized evidence-based care (including lab work as needed), and continued support post-partum.

What does it mean when a birth center is accredited?

There are multiple associations and accreditations involved in natural childbirth, midwifery, and birth centers. To learn more about these certifications and accreditations, visit our credentials page. If you have further questions, please give us a call at 661-254-3000 – we’re happy to answer your questions!

Wait, I can give birth at home?

Yes, you can give birth in the comfort and peace of your own home. You will receive the same care and support from the licensed midwives as you would at the birth center. Home births include home visits from healthcare professionals, preparatory assistance in readying your environment, and post-partum care.

If you, or someone you know, are expecting, make sure to ask your healthcare professional if natural childbirth is an option for you. 85% of women who give birth in a hospital are considered low-risk, which would make them eligible for a natural birth at a birth center (2). For more information or to ask any (and all) questions you may have, contact us!

(1) AABC, American Association of Birth Centers. What is a Birth Center?
(2) Martina JA, Hamilton BE, Sutton PD. Births: Final data for 2006. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2009;57.