What is different in the birth house?

According to WHO (World Health Organization), the midwife is the most appropriate specialist for the care of a normal pregnancy and childbirth. Because of this, many women choose to give birth in a birthing center. The charm of the birthplace lies above all in its intimate, individual equipment, which the women can claim completely and unreservedly for themselves. Often it is particularly self-confident and open women who decide to give birth in the birthplace.

Birth houses and practices are usually run by several midwives, sometimes doctors are also part of the team. In the best case, they are located near the clinic, so that medical technology can largely be dispensed with. The comfortably furnished birthing rooms are equipped with monitors (CTG) and an emergency kit (oxygen) for the baby. Anyone who decides to give birth in a birth center should contact the birth house of his choice no later than two months before the due date. So there is still enough time for parents and midwives to get to know each other in order to make the birth the experience that their parents want.

The self-determined birth

The philosophy of the birthplaces is to enable mothers and families to have their own birth within a self-determined framework. This means: If a water birth is desired, delivery can be made in the water. If the mother prefers to give birth on a birth chair, she is offered this opportunity. Siblings can be brought along but must be accompanied by a caregiver. Whether and what music is played for relaxation, decides the woman giving birth. The charm of the birthplace lies precisely in its intimate, individual equipment that can be claimed completely and unreservedly for itself. In addition, the active involvement of the birth partner - it can also be several - is an integral part of the work of the birth house. The expertise of midwives combined with parents' emotion and self-confidence: that is the essence of the birthplace.

Natural pain relief

During birth, various options for pain relief are offered, which may consist of meditation, breathing techniques, massages or homeopathic remedies. However, epidural anesthesia is not possible in the birth house. If necessary, the mother must be transferred to a clinic. Many midwives are of the opinion that natural cervical tears heal better than episiotomies placed during labor. As a rule, however, the midwife will try to avoid injury to the dam tissue anyway. The dam area is massaged with hazel oil or treated with coffee compresses.

Round-the-clock care

Birth houses can only accept a limited number of births. As a rule, a midwife is there for a pregnant woman. In order to be able to guarantee all-round care, however, work is also carried out in the birth houses on call, which lasts either 12 or 24 hours. For a competent care is always taken care of. Qualified examinations, also from the Federal Association of Midwives, show that deliveries in the birthplace are just as safe as in the clinic. Conversely, it is often self-confident and open women and families who decide to give birth in the birth house. Those who have a high need for security usually choose the hospital.

Apparatus birth or simply natural?

There were times when the different views - hospital here, birthplace there - led to almost ideological-dogmatic arguments that ask the women when asked "How do I give birth properly?" under pressure. There is now a broad consensus that women should decide on their own and where and how they want to give birth. For example, women in high-risk care today give birth in the hospital and those who reject too much "technology" choose their birthplace or other natural alternatives (such as home birth).

Hospital or birth house

There are still differences between obstetric departments in hospitals and birthing centers, although today many hospitals have opened up to self-determined methods of birth (eg, water birth, birthing chair, various birthing, outpatient birth) and are also open to alternative forms of pain control (eg, acupuncture), Clearly responsible are clinics, if it is a risk birth. Because here you can make a cesarean section within minutes. In most cases, large hospitals also have a neonatal intensive care unit, so that the baby can be relocated quickly if necessary. Birthplaces, on the other hand, do not accept high-risk pregnancies such as multiple births, pelvic endings or pregnancies with a complicated course. Therefore, complications during childbirth are usually rare in birth houses. If they still appear, the mother is immediately taken to the nearest hospital for emergency care. As a rule, the midwife accompanies the mother along this path - but medical care is then the responsibility of the clinic.


Although the health insurance companies assume the costs of the delivery, but not the operating costs of the birth house. Therefore, a surcharge must be made, which is between 300 and 600 EUR. Details as well as medical and practical questions should be discussed directly with the respective birth house. By the way: In many cases the midwife cares for the pregnant women from the beginning of the pregnancy. She can perform the necessary check-ups and consultations as well as a gynecologist.

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