How to Make Your Decision
"For a family to make a responsible decision in selecting a birth setting, they will need to get all available information from the birth center," advises Bauer, who recommends that families seek out centers offering free orientations where couples can tour the facilities and learn more about available programs and care.
Stapleton says that couples should seek out a center with accreditation from organizations such as the NACC or from the Commission for Accreditation of Birth Centers. "Accreditation is definitely important, since this shows that the center has been reviewed by outside experts who know birth centers and that it has met a very high standard."
Dove agrees that moms-to-be and their partners should research everything they can get their hands on about birth centers; however, she believes that a certain amount of soul-searching should be done as well. "It is most important to decide from within if this is something that you feel you believe in. Having your baby outside of the hospital requires a person to take a large amount of responsibility for the decisions that they are making in regards to themselves and their baby."