What should I think about when choosing where I will give birth?

The following are signs of an excellent choice of birthplace:

  • The place of birth offers care based on the best available research about what is safe and effective.
  • The environment and practices in the birth setting work to support your body’s natural ability to give birth, rather than disrupt it.
  • The staff is committed and able to provide you with lots of support, including comfort and information.
  • The setting offers individualized care based on your health needs, the needs of your baby and your personal preferences and values.

Try to avoid choosing a place of birth solely based on location, insurance coverage, a friend’s recommendation, or because you have used that hospital for other health care needs. While these things may factor into your final decision, you will want to learn about the full range of maternity care services a hospital or birth center offers before deciding whether it is right for you.