Tip Tuesday: Hospital Birth or Birth Center?

March 17, 2021 by Jane Chevalier

Hospitals & birth centers: what are the major differences? I personally have experienced both, as I intended on having a birth center birth, but ended up in a hospital. My care was at a birth center until I was 39 weeks when I then had to transfer to an OB due to my baby being breech.

Birth Center:

  • Size – Smaller; fewer rooms & smaller birth teams
  • Atmosphere – “Cozy”; comfy beds in rooms that make you feel like your “home”
  • Amenities – Hot tubs, birth balls, labor chairs, hammocks and more
  • Support – Most moms go home the same day they give birth
  • Staff – Midwives & nurses
  • Extras – Some birth centers have lactation support & limited meals


  • Size – Larger; more rooms & larger teams (most likely will have different nurses throughout)
  • Atmosphere – Sterile; you will definitely feel like you are in a hospital
  • Amenities – Limited; but more and more now have hot tubs, birth balls and more
  • Support – Most moms stay at least 1 night, maybe more depending on health status & birth
  • Staff – Midwives, OB’s, nurses & lactation consultants 
  • Extras – Lactation support, meals, extra support from nurses and pain management

Many Hospitals such as UCHealth and Rose have BOTH – a birth center within the hospital – best of both worlds!

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