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Birthing centers are a good choice for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies, providing them with a relaxed, home-like birthing environment and quick access to a hospital in case of emergency. You are in a private room that looks more like a home than a hospital and is often equipped with a whirlpool tub. Holistic birthing methods are often used. Most birthing centers don't offer anything stronger than an analgesic for pain relief, focusing instead on natural methods of pain relief. If there are no complications, you are usually released from the birthing center soon after the birth, sometimes as early as six hours later. There is no separation of mother and baby - baby rooms with you at all times. You will need to be in a care of a midwife, as most obstetricians only attend a birth in a hospital.

National Association of Childbearing Centers provides you with information about birthing centers, and helps you find one.

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