What are birthing centers?
Birthing centers in Oahu are a “low-tech birthing option for moms-to-be who desire an unmedicated childbirth experience.” (Whattoexpect.com) They can be stand alone buildings or located inside a hospital. They’re typically run by midwives, not medical OB-GYNs. They tend to be more comfortable and offer pre- and postnatal services for breastfeeding, education and support.
According to the State of Hawaii, a
A “Freestanding birthing facility” means a public or private facility whose only purpose is theSubchatper 2 Freestanding Birthing Facilities
reception of maternity patients and the providing of care during pregnancy, delivery, and the
immediate postpartum period. The service is limited to the low risk maternity mother and her
newborns. It shall not have direct financial or administrative connection with a broad service
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How are birthing centers different from a hospital?
Birthing centers do not require the routine procedures and monitoring like fetal heart rate monitoring, routine IV placement, or inductions. Since the focus is typically on natural and unmedicated deliveries at birthing center, they don’t offer epidurals but offer alternatives like hydrotherapy, breathing and massage.
- Natural pain management
- Midwife-led care
- Home-like environments
- Minimal medical intervention
- Family centered approach
- Stronger emphasis on postpartum care
Hospitals Have Caught on
Many hospitals have caught on to the surge in birthing centers and have rebranded their labor and delivery units as birth centers. That makes it super difficult to discern a true non conventional birthing center and a conventional hospital unit when searching online. Many hospitals have incorporated more non-conventional options like water therapy in their delivery rooms.
Before you make any decisions, visit them in person.
For the purpose of this resource, birthing centers are defined as:
- Led my midwives
- Offer alternative pain management
- May or may not be located in a hospital
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What is NOT a birthing center
When searching on Google, a few popular hits come up that are not birthing centers at all. But they do have quality resources:
BEST Birth Hawaii comes up as a top result on Google for “birthing centers in Oahu.” But it is not a birthing center. They are a pregnancy and breastfeeding center offering doula services, classes and postpartum care. They include:
- Infant sleep coaching
- Postpartum belly binding
- Breastfeeding support
- Placenta encapsulation
- Childbirth classes
- Doula services
- Hospital birth support
The Queen’s Medical Center also comes up in Google searches as a birthing center. However, that is just what they call their maternity services, as noted above. The Queen’s Medical Center does not feature midwives or alternative birthing options. The Queens Medical Center is not a birthing center that focuses on natural alternatives, but a conventional hospital birth option.
Birthing Centers in Oahu, Hawaii
At the time of writing this, there are actually no birthing centers on Oahu as defined in this article. There are several midwives on Oahu that provide a birthing center experience in home or in a hospital.
Full Circle Midwifery
- Offering comprehensive prenatal & postpartum care
- Holistic well-woman care
- As well as circles and ceremonies to mark life’s transitions in womanhood
Conventional Hospitals & Birthing Centers in Oahu, Hawaii
The following units are more conventional hospital settings with a variety of options that closely mimic birthing centers:
Vera Zilber Birth Center
Vera Zilber Birth Center is a conventional labor and delivery unit of a traditional hospital. They do feature non traditional options like birthing tubs, but they are not a birth center as defined for this article – a non traditional, stand alone facility focused on unmedicated births.
Vera Zilber Birth Center is the name of the motherhood unit of Castle Hospital in the Adventist Health system.
- Lactation Services
- Childbirth Education
Email Address: email@example.com
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaiser Permanente Family Birth Center
Similar to the Vera Zilber Birth Center, Kaiser Permanente Family Birth Center is a conventional labor and delivery unit inside a traditional hospital. They might have non-traditional options, but they are not a birth center as defined for this article – a stand alone facility focused on unmedicated births.
- Labor and Delivery
- Lactation Services
- Maternal Fetal Department
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The Queen’s Medical Center
The Queen’s Medical Center is a traditional hospital setting with midwifery services – unlike Kaiser & Castle hospitals! Its still a conventional labor and delivery unit inside a traditional hospital. They might have non-traditional care with midwives, but the Queen’s Medical Center is a birth center as defined for this article – a stand alone facility focused on unmedicated births.
- Private, spacious suites for labor and delivery, and postpartum
- Top ranking patient satisfaction
- Top ranking pain management during labor (OB anesthesiologist available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Midwifery services
- Family-centered care with a personal touch
- Safety for baby with a Pediatric Hospitalist, to provide high-risk newborn care
- Safety for mother with a full-service medical center
- Infant security
- Breastfeeding support
- Virtual childbirth class
- Car seat education and installation by appointment
Email Address: CMC@queens.org
Wrap up: Birthing Centers in Oahu, Hawaii
Unfortunately there are not many options outside of a conventional hospital or your own home for a natural, intervention free delivery. However, many skilled midwives are available for pre and post natal care and home childbirth.
Many of the conventional hospital options offer alternative pain management options would could be a great middle ground.
In the end, do your own research and ask the questions, and visit every option before making a decision that is right for you.
Maternity & Newborn Resources in Oahu
I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!