All About Birth Centres

A birth centre is a home-like delivery facility with medical professions but has minimum medical interruptions.  Given that about 50% of Kenyan women still deliver at home, these centres may suit a good number of moms in the country.  To help you understand if a birth centre is the right place for you, let’s cover important things about it. 

Why Should I Choose a Birth Centre?

It’s suitable for mums who are not interested in a hospital delivery but want the benefits of professional medical help.  It provides a homelike environment with personalised attention.

Advantages of A Birth Centre

  •  You enjoy more privacy. Birth centres usually have private rooms for labour unlike hospitals.
  • You enjoy more freedom. You’re able to walk around and deliver in any position you feel comfortable. In hospitals seclusion from other units can especially hinder your freedom.
  • You’ll have a shorter stay. Fewer medical interventions enable you to have a shorter recovery than in a hospital. 
  •  Lower risk of caesarean delivery. Research shows that women who deliver in birth centres have fewer pregnancy complications, hence lower chances of having a cesarean birth.
  • You experience greater comfort. Birth centres tend to have non-institutional equipment such as king-sized beds and birthing tubs that offer you more comfort than hospitals.

Disadvantages of A Birth Centre

  • The number of birth centres in Kenya is low. Therefore, their demand may be high, particularly if you live in a small town.
  • Less number of emergency equipment.  In case of birth-related problems, you may need to be transferred to a hospital.
  • Low insurance coverage.  Your insurance company may not cover your delivery at a birthing centre.
  • It requires early reservations. Birth centres are generally small in size, hence can’t handle many deliveries as a hospital would.  If it’s your option, you need to reserve your spot early.

After Your Baby Arrives

 Birth centres usually have a comprehensive postpartum care. Most offer a home visit within 24 hours of your delivery. Most will ensure that they know what you eat, how you feel, and the health of your new-born. You may also engage with the professionals and fellow mothers for support throughout your pregnancy. 


Can a Birth Centre Handle a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, birth centres only deal with low-risk pregnancies. Therefore, if you’ve health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cases of a breech baby, or you’re pregnant with multiples, it may not be the right choice for you. 


Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers. 


Last reviewed January 2019 

Sources: parents, thehealthyhomeeconomist, whattoexpect

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