I went to visit a birthing center as an alternative to an OB and was pleasantly surprised. As soon as you walk in, you get a whiff of hospital smell, which as far as hygiene is concerned, its a good sign. I was guided by one of their employees who was very helpful and informative. The highlights of the tour were:
1) The birthing center is set up as a comfortable home; Sitting area or living room. Full kitchen and bedrooms. At home birth is also an option for the same price.
2) The mom in labor is encouraged to eat to keep up her energy level through the process. Family has full use of the kitchen to heat up or cook meals.
3) You get to go home within 3-4 hours of the
baby being born.
4) You get care from the midwives from the beginning of the pregnancy until 6 weeks postpartum. Including monthly check up, blood work, sonograms, and postpartum at home visits. Prenatal vitamins and other supplements are also available.
5) The cost for all this? $5500 to $6500! Amazingly affordable! Here are a few picture of the center, is worth looking into.