Having a Baby Here

Having a Baby Here

Who can have a baby here?

Most likely, you can!



Here you'll find answers to the questions parents-to-be might ask when considering a birth center:

  • Am I eligible for maternity care outside of a hospital? Is it safe?
  • What is a birth center birth like?
  • What services are available at the birth center?
  • What does Dar a Luz require from me (commitments, labs, tests, classes)?
  • Who are the providers and what are they able to do for me?
  • How much will it cost?

Am I eligible for care outside of a hospital? Is it safe?

Many women wonder if a birth center would be safe for their pregnancy and birth. Birth centers are extremely safe for "low-risk" women.  Pregnancies and births at a birth center often have outcomes that are at least as good as those in hospitals, and often better.  Studies on birth center safety and efficacy consistently show fewer unnecessary interventions and dramatically lower Cesarean section rates.  We know that supporting normal birth produces better outcomes than medically over-managing it.

Midwives are highly trained in normal pregnancy and birth, and they also know when to transfer care to hospitals and doctors if things have gotten risky.  Pregnancy and birth usually are physiologically normal events in a woman's life.  In fact, the World Health Organization* says more than 85% of pregnancies and births are normal or should be normal.

You might be surprised at how many conditions are safe and compatible with birth center care. The list of conditions that are not eligible is relatively short:

Conditions that ARE NOT SAFE for a birth center birth:

  • Breech (bottom first) baby at time of labor
  • Pregnant with more than one baby
  • Pre-existing diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Heavy cigarette smoker
  • Current drug user
  • Chronic high blood pressure
  • Severe Heart Disease
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorder
  • Hyper-thyroid disease (over-active thyroid) (Note: low or hypothyriod disease that is well managed is acceptable)
  • Vertical cesarean incision (aka "classical" incision)
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pre-pregnant BMI (body mass index) greater than 39.9. Calculate your BMI here.

Some conditions that ARE SAFE for a birth center birth:

  • Advanced maternal age (women 35 and over)
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Previous premature birth
  • Previous over-due birth
  • Previous large baby
  • Previous pregnancy induced high blood pressure
  • Previous postpartum hemorrhage
  • Previous miscarriage
  • Use of fertility measures to achieve pregnancy
  • Diet controlled gestational diabetes
  • Previous birth with forceps or vacuum extractor
  • Mother with genital herpes (no active lesion during birth)
  • Previous cesarean section (must meet specific criteria)

Wondering if your situation will allow you to have your baby at Dar a Luz?  Contact our reception desk and leave a message for the midwives.

* The overall Cesarean section rate in the United States is around 33% of all births and increasing annually. This is more than twice the 15% maximum rate recommended by the World Health Organization. Birth Centers are consistently below a 10% Cesarean section rate.


What is a birth center like?

Seeing is believing! Coming to an orientation is the best way to find out what it's like here.  While you're waiting for the next orientation, check out the gallery on our homepage (scroll or use the icon on the bottom-right side of the page) or visit our Facebook page to see pictures of the birth center and our birthing families.  Read the FAQ to get answers to questions you didn't even know you had yet.  Check out our 'About midwives and birth centers' page to learn what a midwife is, what a birth center is, and what regulatory organizations they report to.


What services are available at the birth center?

We have a page dedicated to this answer here.


What does Dar a Luz require from me (commitments, labs, tests, classes)?

Dar a Luz strives to provide you with the birth experience you desire. Your preferences are as unique as you are and we enjoy customizing your care! There are also some things we require for your and your baby's safety, some things we know are going to help you, and some things we need from you in order to provide the best service to all of our families.

At a minimum we require:

  • $500 registration fee ($300 if you are on Medicaid). This holds your spot on our due date calendar, covers some of our overhead in our very thorough way of starting our relationship with you, and secures your commitment to stay with us until your baby comes. For most clients this fee is due at the first visit but if you need more time, just contact the office manager.
  • A urine sample, your blood pressure and your weight at each visit
  • An ultrasound to confirm the baby's health and the location of your placenta
  • Prenatal labs, including HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Group Beta Strep (GBS -- if positive, treatment is optional but strongly encouraged)
  • A diabetes screening test at about 28 weeks in your pregnancy
  • Certain classes are required. Check out our class descriptions and our calendar of classes:
    • You must attend an Introduction to Birth Center Birth class.
    • You must attend one of our 5-class series birth classes if you are a first-time mom, or a condensed birth class if you have had a baby before. These are included in our fees. You can substitute with classes you've taken elsewhere if necessary. Our continued accreditation requires childbirth education for every mom.
    • You must attend an Interventions and Transfers class before your baby is born. This class will reduce your fears about having to transfer to a hospital, and will make it a more positive experience if it happens.
    • You must attend the Newborn Care, Breastfeeding 101 and Carseat Clinic classes


Who are the providers and what are they able to do for me?

Meet the entire birth center staff on our Staff page.

Read about midwives here, including their training and scope of practice.


How much will it cost?

To find out more about how much it will cost, read our Cost of Care information.  To get an accurate estimate, please come to an orientation and request an estimate by providing your insurance information.  Self-pay plans are also available.  As a community-based non-profit organization we are dedicated to helping every woman who desires a birth center birth.  If you need ideas for making the birth center more affordable, contact our billing specialist.


More questions?  Contact us!