Birth Options

Women have many choices when it comes to where and how to birth their babies.

Be sure to explore them all and make an educated decision. Read  research and make healthy choices that are right for you and your family.

These choices include:

Hospital Birth

Home Birth




Educating yourself with regard to all the issues involving pregnancy and birth will help you to make responsible decisions that are right for you and your family.  As the authors of A Good Birth, A Safe Birth said, “If you don’t know what your choices are, then you don’t have any!”  There are many different types of childbirth classes, and you need to research to find out which one will fit your needs.  A good book to help in this search is The Birth Book, by Dr. William Sears, and Martha Sears, RN. Educating yourself well will help you to avoid unnecessary health risks common in birth in the United States today. This would include educating yourself as to the necessity of routine testing and procedures during pregnancy.  Before consenting to routine testing or procedures be sure that it is being done for a true medical need or problem. You need to be aware of the risks and benefits of all tests and procedures during pregnancy.  Excellent sources of information on this topic include Henci Goer’s book Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities, and Barbara Katz Rothman’s book The Tentative Pregnancy.

When choosing a Doctor or Midwife to assist at your birth, it is important you choose one who not only matches your birth philosophy, but also respects your right to make choices that are right for you.  Be sure to interview all candidates before choosing.  Think about what kind of a practice you would be comfortable with.  Would you prefer a large practice of doctors or midwives, or a small practice of only one or two careproviders? If you discover along the way that you are no longer comfortable with your original choice, it is important to know that you have the right to change careproviders.  Choosing wisely the first time will create less stress in your life.

[Note: The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently released a statement on patients rights.  You can access a copy here.]

When choosing where to have your baby it is good to know that home births have been shown to be as safe, if not safer, than hospital births.  Think about where you will feel the safest, and most comfortable.  If you feel safest in a hospital setting, then that may be a good choice for you.  This of course, will depend on your health status.  Only low risk women will be accepted for a homebirth.  While it is possible to have a healthy natural birth in a hospital setting, it is certainly more difficult.

For more information on how to stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy, labor and birth see our published information page.

While the Rochester Area does not have a free standing birth center, you can read our statement in support of developing one here.

Birth Center Statement
Read RABN’s statement in support of a free-standing birth center for the Rochester, Western, and Finger Lakes regions of NY.

For more information on Employment protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing (by state) go here: