Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of our clients, the names and identifying details of some individuals may have been changed.

Hello, everyone! We hope you’re having a fantastic day so far, wherever you’re joining us from. Today, we’re back with another birth story at the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Birth Center, SCV’s premier birth center. We’re excited to share the incredible journey of Eve, a first-time mom who chose to give birth at the birth center. Join us as we dive into her experience, the ups and downs, and everything in between.

Using data to choose a birth center

Eve: Hey, everyone! So, let me start by saying that being a first-time mom and choosing an out-of-hospital birth can raise a lot of concerns. Family members worry, and it’s natural. When I transferred to the birth center during my third trimester, my family had some reservations. But luckily, I had a supportive obstetrician (OB) who understood and encouraged my decision. I tried my best to educate my family about the safety and normalcy of midwifery care, sharing statistics from other countries with higher rates of successful births. However, it’s challenging for many people in the United States (US) to accept this perspective since out-of-hospital births account for less than 1% of births here.

In 2020, the maternal mortality rate in the US was 24 deaths per 100,000 live births – that is more than three times the rate in most other high-income countries. Additionally, the US maternal mortality rate is exceptionally high for Black women. It is more than double the average rate and nearly three times higher than the rate for White women. These statistics are alarming for expectant mothers looking for the safest place to deliver their baby. The United States must do better.

Out-of-hospital birth with a licensed midwife is part of the solution.

Sources: Data for all countries except the U.S. from OECD Health Statistics 2022. Data for the US from Donna L. Hoyert, Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020 (National Center for Health Statistics, February 2022).

Renee: Absolutely, Eve! It’s a common experience for many first-time moms exploring out-of-hospital births. Our culture tends to freely share scary birth stories, unlike how we handle wedding anecdotes. But I firmly believe that you have the right to protect yourself and surround yourself with positive birth stories. It’s about mental preparedness and focusing on the potential for a positive experience.

Created to birth

Eve: Exactly! Throughout my pregnancy, I held onto the belief that my body was perfectly capable of giving birth naturally. I internalized successful stories, and I refused to dwell on negative or fearful narratives. I wanted to stay positive and be mentally prepared for this incredible journey. Most importantly though, I believed that God created my body to be able to birth my baby naturally.

Time to give birth

Eve: So, let’s talk about my actual birth experience. It was not a quick and smooth process… It took around 16 hours. When I arrived at the birth center, I was already in labor, but active labor was progressing slowly. I had some moments of doubt and exhaustion, but I trusted my body and surrendered to the process. There was a point where I felt stuck at seven centimeters, and the midwives contemplated transferring me to the hospital. But they gave me some alone time, and I found the patience and acceptance I needed within myself.

Renee: Yes, Eve, it was a pivotal moment. The midwives recognized your need for privacy and solitude. They knew you needed time to process and work through that stage. It was about knowing when to intervene and when to let nature take its course. And in your case, it worked beautifully. Your water broke, progress resumed, and you pushed your baby out in just 25 minutes after that. It was amazing!

Eve: Absolutely! It felt incredible to see my baby come into the world. I couldn’t believe I had done it. The relief and joy were overwhelming. My family, who had initial concerns, were relieved and excited to witness a safe and positive birth experience. They saw firsthand that birthing outside a hospital setting can be normal and empowering. Going home just three hours later, enjoying my own space, and being surrounded by loved ones—it was everything I had hoped for.

Natural birth is normal birth

Renee: That’s the beauty of low-risk births and midwifery care. We know that statistically, out-of-hospital births have the best outcomes for low-risk women. It’s not about taking unnecessary risks – it’s about trusting the process and being closely monitored throughout. We’re always ready to transfer if needed, ensuring the safety of both mom and baby. We prioritize their well-being above all.

Eve: Trust played a significant role in my birth journey—trusting my body, trusting my midwives, and trusting the process. There were moments when fear and doubt crept in, but I reminded myself that my body knew what to do. The midwives were there every step of the way, providing guidance, support, and reassurance. They created a calm and nurturing environment where I felt safe and empowered.

Renee: Absolutely, Eve. Trusting the process is key, and having a strong support system is crucial. Midwives are not only skilled professionals, but also compassionate individuals who believe in a woman’s ability to birth. They understand the physiological and emotional aspects of childbirth and provide personalized care to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Eve: That’s right, Renee. I felt heard and respected throughout my entire pregnancy and birth. The midwives took the time to listen to my concerns, answer my questions, and involve me in decision making. They provided evidence-based guidance and encouraged shared decision making, which made me feel like an active participant in my own birth experience.

Renee: It’s so important for women to have autonomy and control over their birthing experience. Midwifery care embraces a model of shared decision making, where the woman’s preferences and values are respected. This collaborative approach fosters trust and empowers women to make informed choices that align with their unique needs and desires.

Midwifery care: the whole package

Eve: Absolutely, Renee. I also want to mention the postpartum support I received from the midwives. They continued to provide care and guidance during the early weeks after birth. From breastfeeding support to emotional well-being, they were there to address any concerns I had and ensure a smooth transition into motherhood.

Renee: That comprehensive care is one of the hallmarks of midwifery. It’s not just about the birth; it’s about the entire journey. Midwives recognize the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and social well-being and provide holistic care that extends beyond the birthing process.

Eve: Yes, and I’m forever grateful for the positive birth experience I had at the SCV Birth Center. It was a transformative and empowering journey that shaped me as a mother. I hope that sharing my story will inspire other women to explore their birthing options, trust their bodies, and consider the possibility of an out-of-hospital birth with the support of skilled midwives.

Renee: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Eve. It’s truly inspirational, and I believe it will resonate with many women who are seeking a positive and empowering birth experience. Remember, every birth is unique, and what matters most is having a supportive and respectful care team who truly believes in your ability to birth. Trust the journey, trust your body, and know that you have the power to create the birth experience you desire.


As Eve’s birth story comes to a close, we hope her journey has shed light on the beauty and possibilities of out-of-hospital births. Remember, every birth is unique, and it’s essential to explore your options, find a care provider who aligns with your values, and trust in the incredible capabilities of your body. Stay tuned for more inspiring birth stories and empowering discussions right here at the SCV Birth Center, SCV’s premier birth center.

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