Questions about the Birthing Center
What are the reasons to have my baby at a birth center?
The reasons why women and couple choose to deliver their baby in a birth center are multiple and miscellaneous. Often, you might find a desire of intimacy, of calm, of gentleness, the whish to be in charge of your birth, to have only familiar people around, being able to fully share this with your partner and include him during labor and birth, as well as the days after, total freedom of movement without being hampered, the willingness for less medical interventions.
Is it possible to give birth in a birth center for a first child?
Yes, contrary to what you might have heard or read, it is perfectly possible to welcome your first child in a birth center. Criteria to meet are identical : normal pregnancy, a single baby in the womb, head-down position at the moment labor starts.
What are the main differences with a clinic / hospital?
The differences are at three levels: the surroundings, the care given by the personnel and the work philosophy.
Surroundings are similar to home. Indeed, there is no visible medical equipement (it becomes apparent only when needed), the facility does not look like a hospital but rather a vacation home, you are like "at home". Intimacy is totally guaranteed, as only one couple at a time is present in the birth center. The father can stay with his partner and baby, day and night and we encourage him to take a significant position.
Global follow-up being one of our priorities at Dix Lunes, there is no shift change. The same mifwife who accompanied you trough pregnancy will be there for you delivery, and you will only be in contact with people you have an established mutual trust on D-Day. They will allready know your wishes, sensitivities and preferences.
Last but not least, our approach to birth is clearly different : we understand birth as a natural process, of which women are capable. We support and encourage the women by fostering confidence, and intervene only when necessary, favoring gentle methods (warmth, water, acupuncture, phytotherapy, massage, TENS...). We work mainly in prevention in order to enable natural birth, the most gentle and medication-free possible, whilst relying on tailored precise protocols. We follow each woman's and baby's natural rythm.
Can I get an epidural?
There is no anesthesiologist in birth centers. Therefore, an epidural is not available.
If you would feel like you need one, we would organize a transfer to a hospital unit, as an epidural - just like all anesthesia - brings up some risks that need to be medically monitored. However, those cases are rare and we make every effort to relieve you using other methods - because natural childbirth requires you to entirely feel your body with precision. Serene and comforting surroundings, reassuring empathy, gentle and natural methods such as massages, heat or acupuncture are most often adequate and sufficient for women to handle contractions.
How will I manage and handle contractions without an epidural?
Enjoying complete freedom of movement, being surrounded only by familiar people you trust, in an intimate environment; these are conditions which ease pain. Your mindset and the released hormone cocktail (closely linked to the latter) are your most valuable allies when it comes to handling contractions. When you are relaxed, confident in yourself and trustful toward the persons around you, supported and serene, contractions are generally much better tolerated. On the opposite, fear intense intellectual activity instead of instinctive handling, are of negative influencene on the secreted hormones and cause a highly intensified perception of the sensations.
At Dix Lunes, we also have methods and tools at hand to soften and accompagnying pain : acupuncture, massages using specific oils, TENS, and of course our ally the bath tub!
Are you performing episiotomies?
We aim to work towards a natural, physiological birth and therefore, avoid episiotomy as much as possible. If ever this should turn out to be necessary, we are perfectly able to perform the incision and suture it using local anesthesia. However, we are emphasize on the importance of proper preparation during the last month of pregnancy.
Can I bring with me another person than my partner / an additional person / a child?
You can be accompanied by one or several persons. Nevertheless, we advise you - without imposing it - not to bring more than 2 persons in order to preserve a intimate space in which you can evolve and move freely. You need to talk to your midwife if you plan on bringing your child / children with you when giving birth. The birth process requires a high level of self-presence and intense concentration on your body processes at that time. So, think carefully about your motivations.
Are you using forceps or vacuum?
No. If this procedure would become necessary, a transfer to a hospital unit would be organized in due time.
How long can I stay after delivery?
We would like you to stay at least 4 hours after birth. Afterwards, it is up to you to return home or choose a stay of one, two or three days at Dix Lunes.
Transfer from birth center to hospital, is this frequent?
No, those cases are rare and our first intention is always preservation and facilitation of the equilibrium of physiology for a natural birth process. However, we do not take any risk for the mother of her baby. If the situation requires it, we organize a transfer to the hospital. The latter is done without urgency in the majority of situations, using your own personal vehicule, but if required by the situation, we call for an ambulance.
It also happens that the woman changes mind during labor and wishes a transfer - for example for an epidural, for fatigue reasons.
At our center, the transfer rate is about 10 to 15%, varying slightly from year to year. This is equivalent to the average of birthing centers in Switzerland.
Will my OB / gyn still take care of me?
It is preferrable - given the pregnancy is evolving normally - to be exclusively taken care of by your midwife, as an OB / gyn monitoring is not necessary, and therefore your insurance might not agree to reimburse this double follow-up. Nevertheless, he/she remains your reference OB/gyn and your midwive will call him/her if an issue would show up during pregnancy or afterwards. It is important to inform him/her about your choice to have your pregnancy supervised by a midwife and to ask him to hand you out your personal medical record. Midwives are not doing any ultrasound images, those are either done in a spezialised center or by your regular Ob/gynecologist.
What about the birthing center's equipment?
At Dix Lunes, you will find a big living room, a kitchen, a bedroom, a room for the birth tub, a bathroom, a terrace and a garden. For labor, we have at hand a birth ball, a bath tub, various suspended wraps to hold on to, nursing pillows, a birthing stool as well as a queen size bed. In terms of medical equipement, we have all appropriate and required professional material at hand for monitoring birth outside a hospital environment (compliant with the requirements o the Swiss Association of Birthing Center IGGH).
Is it possible to give birth in water?
Yes, waterbirth is perfectly possible.
At how many weeks of pregnancy should start the follow-up by the Birth Center?
We recommend to contact us at your earliest possibility. Given a normal pregnancy, we recomment a first check-up at week 13 of your pregnancy, when the public insurance starts covering the costs. Follow-up's at regular intervals allow to build a trust relationship and a harmonious agreement between you, your partner, and us - which is crucial for your birth project.
What happens right after birth?
We honor the first eye contact with your baby and the emotions that go with this moment. We monitor and accompany the first instants of life with the highest possible level of discretion. Baby will stay with his/her mother, and we give the baby the time needed for the transitional period from the womb to the outside world. We make sure you will be in a tranquil environment in order to enjoy those very first hours with your child.