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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a freestanding birth center?

A freestanding birth center is a homelike, out-of- hospital facility where a woman's choices in pregnancy and birth are supported and respected. This birth center meets all local, state, and federal health, fire and safety regulations. We are licensed by the Connecticut Department of Health. Women can feel safe and secure in the fact that midwives and consulting physicians work together as part of a unified system of quality healthcare. Most of all a birth center provides a program of care that gives a woman confidence in her ability to give birth. Midwifery care balances her need for human touch and companionship with her potential need for technology and medical intervention.

What is the difference between a freestanding birth center and a hospital birth center?

The major difference between freestanding birth centers and hospital birth centers is that hospitals create policies to care for people who are sick, while freestanding birth centers design programs for healthy pregnant women. Also, freestanding birth centers are based on the midwifery model of care which approaches pregnancy and birth as a normal family event until proven otherwise. Freestanding birth centers offer the personal yet comprehensive care that every expectant mother and her family deserve.

How soon after the birth do the mother and newborn go home?

We prepare mothers to go home within 4 to 6 hours after birth. If there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the birth or postpartum period, we have the ability to allow a family to stay up to 12 hours after delivery.  However this is unusual. There’s no place like home!

What makes us unique?

The Connecticut Childbirth & Women’s Center is one of the nearly 250 accredited birthing centers in the United States and the only one in Connecticut. Here, the able     midwifery staff offer a full scope practice and provide safe, compassionate care to families from Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

Low risk women may opt to birth upstairs in one of the Center’s beautiful, homey rooms, or across the street at Danbury Hospital where the midwifery staff are    credentialed.  More complicated, high-risk pregnancies will have their care co-managed with our physicians and these births are planned at the hospital. If ever there is a need to move from the birth center to the hospital, before, during or after birth, continuity of care with your midwife is maintained.

Our midwifery staff believes there is no one right way to have a baby.   We support the use of complimentary medicine: chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal and homeopathic for those who desire them and yet still provide for those who want more conventional modalities. Our goal is to offer birthing families a full complement of options from natural water birth at the Birth Center, to a more traditional approach in a hospital setting.  In all settings, we believe that pregnancy, childbirth, and early postpartum are events of  life-affirmation -- not only physical, but also social, emotional, and spiritual-- and should be honored as such.

Can I have a water birth?

Waterbirth is a wonderful option in the birth center; helping to ease labor discomfort and providing a natural space in which to birth for those families choosing it. Statistically around 35% of our moms birth in the water and about 80% choosing water for labor comfort.

If I have risk factors, can I still choose to birth at CCWC?

Risk factors rarely risk you out of our midwifery care, but there are some very strict guidelines that risk women out of birthing at our birth center such as: Twins, breech     presentation, labor before 37 weeks gestation, labor after 42 weeks gestation, certain medical conditions including but not limited to insulin dependent diabetes.. These are conditions that are best cared for in the hospital setting, with your midwives working in  collaboration with our physicians.  There are also risk factors that can arise during the labor that would risk you out.  We will discuss this with you personally and in detail at a Meet & Greet visit, and throughout your prenatal course of care.

What if I want my son circumcised?

Circumcision is a personal decision.  This procedure is performed at 6-10 days of age in  the obstetrician’s office.  It will be done by our consulting obstetrician or gynecologist at this time using a local injectable anesthetic. We generally try to schedule it at the time of the one week postpartum visit.

What if I decide that I want to have an epidural?

Some labors prove to be longer or harder than anticipated and you may change your mind about having an epidural.  Some women simply want an epidural for their birth  experience and plan on it from the beginning.  In either event this option is available across the street at Danbury Hospital.  Your midwife will be with you, admit you to     the hospital and order the epidural.  She will then continue to manage your labor and birth.

I have other children at home. Can I bring them to appointments?

This is a family event, and we welcome children at the office, and your prenatal visits. Our waiting room is child friendly, with a selection of toys and books to entertain them.  Children usually enjoy being the midwife’s “helper” during the belly checks in the exam room.

Can I bring them to the birth?

Of course! This is a family affair, and children are always welcome.  You can chat with us throughout the pregnancy about how best to prepare your older children for the     birth, and we do require that an extra support person be available and assigned to the children throughout the labor, birth and your stay at the Center.

How can I find out more about the birth center?

We offer free, thirty minute, individualized tours for families that are considering the center.  This “meet and greet” is a great time to come see the center, speak with a  midwife and get a feel for whether this is a good “fit” for you.  There is never any  pressure during the visit.  We want you to decide for yourselves whether you’d like to receive care here with us.  You may make this appointment for regular office hours by calling us at 203-748-6000 or complete our form here.

Can I come to you if I'm not pregnant?

Absolutely!!  We provide full scope gynecology care for women from their teens through menopause.  We can do your annual exam, perform pap smears, breast exams,  order testing, help you with family planning and birth control plus a whole lot more. Care for you can begin with gynecology care or can be a continuation of your care with us after you deliver.

I have had a previous cesarean birth. Is your practice VBAC friendly?

We are very VBAC friendly and welcome you to come and have a meet and greet with us to discuss your personal history.  Please bring any previous obstetrical records as well as  the operative report from the hospital where you had your cesearan birth.  For women who are having their first VBAC we will deliver at Danbury Hospital.  If you have already  had a successful vaginal delivery you may be a candidate for a birth at the center.

I just found your practice on the Internet… I’m already 36 (or 28 or 38!) weeks pregnant…. can I still come to you?

Many of our patients decide to transfer their care to our practice during the later weeks and months of their pregnancy.  While we always appreciate having many months to get to know you and your family, it is possible to transfer to us late in pregnancy provided you have had regular, routine, prenatal care and are able to supply us with a copy of your complete prenatal records including laboratory work that has been done and any ultrasound reports. We will meet with you and any family members, tour you through the center if that is where you plan to birth, and review your medical records.  Your will not be accepted into the practice until we have     had the time to meet you and review your records.   Also as we have busy months it is possible that we will have “closed” our schedule for the month you are due.  Hence the suggestion to come to us as soon in pregnancy as you can. Book your meet & greet tour now!