FAQs

Is the Birthing Center connected to an abortion facility?

Yes, Katharine Morrison, MD is one of Western New York’s three abortion providers. She came to her passion for low-intervention birth through her belief in the importance of providing real options for pregnant people.

Sixty percent of people who have abortions are already mothers, and 33 percent of American women will have an abortion by age 45. We support all reproductive decisions at our full-spectrum facility and provide compassionate, client-centered care. If you are uncomfortable being cared for by a physician who also provides abortions, then the Birthing Center might not be the best option for you.

Who can birth at the Birthing Center?

The Birthing Center of Buffalo is a freestanding birth center. It is a facility designed for healthy people with low-risk pregnancies who are prepared for unmedicated labor and birth.

To be eligible for out-of-hospital birth, our clients do not have any serious pregnancy complications; medical or mental health concerns; and do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. We do not offer inductions or pain medication. Instead, our clients are prepared for labor and birth through childbirth education and Centering Prenatal Care that focuses on natural comfort measures and the stages of labor.

How is Birthing Center pregnancy care different?

We offer leisurely, informative prenatal appointments. Our emphasis is on preparation for labor, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting. In this model, there is shared responsibility and decision-making between the client and the provider. You are the person best suited to make the decisions that are right for your family!

How is the birthing experience at a freestanding birth center different than at a hospital?

Freestanding birth centers provide a high level of freedom, compassion, and respect. Our clients are not limited by restrictive hospital protocols, and are supported in their decisions and birth planning.

At our birthing center, clients may:

  • Choose who will be present at the birth
  • Wear their own clothes
  • Eat and drink in labor
  • Labor and birth in whatever position is comfortable
  • Labor and birth in water

In addition, our clients are free from intrusive continuous monitoring and unnecessary interventions designed to “speed things up.” At the Birthing Center, nothing is done to interrupt parent-infant bonding or nursing.

What is Centering Pregnancy Care?

This is a group-based model of prenatal care. Each group is made up of eight to ten people due around the same time and their partners. Meetings are two hours long. Each session includes a brief individual prenatal appointment with the provider, then transitions into a facilitated discussion about topics relevant to pregnancy (i.e. prenatal tests, nutrition, exercise, discomforts of pregnancy, labor and coping methods, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, contraception, immunization decisions, choosing a pediatrician, new parenting, and more).

Centering works because we learn best from each other – it is a truly empowering model of prenatal care! Centering has been shown to improve all pregnancy outcomes including decreasing the risk of preterm birth, lowering cesarean section rates, and increasing breastfeeding. In addition to the Centering sessions, you can set up individual appointments with our providers, if needed.

For more information on Centering Care, please visit http://centeringhealthcare.org.

I am seeing another provider, can he or she attend my birth at the Birthing Center?

Providers credentialed by the Birthing Center can care for patients at this facility. Katharine Morrison, MD and Eileen Stewart, CNM are currently the only credentialed providers. Other providers are encouraged to apply.

I want to have my baby in the hospital, not at the Birthing Center—can I be cared for by Eileen Stewart or Katharine Morrison?

Our mission is to assist prepared patients to have a low-intervention labor and birth experience. Although we focus on out-of-hospital birth, we want to help all pregnant people in our community make the best decisions for their families. We can provide excellent referrals based on your needs and expectations, and occasionally our providers are able to care for clients who require hospital birth for medical reasons.

Can I VBAC at the Birthing Center?

We are passionate about your right to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean section and encourage those who are interested in VBAC to meet with our providers. Whether or not you are able to VBAC at the Birthing Center will depend on how many and what type of C-section(s) you have had. If you are ineligible for a Birthing Center VBAC, our providers may still be able to attend your in-hospital birth.

What happens if my pregnancy becomes complicated?

If you develop a complication that requires hospital care during your labor and birth, you may continue to be attended by our providers at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, where both Katharine Morrison, MD and Eileen Stewart, CNM have admitting privileges.

What happens if I have complications in labor or birth?

 If complications arise, clients will be transferred to Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and continue to be cared for by Katharine Morrison, MD and/or Eileen Stewart, CNM. Women and Children’s Hospital is located just 2.7 miles from our facility – less than a ten minute drive away.

In most cases, hospital transfers are not emergency situations. The emergency transfer rate for birth centers is less than two percent.

How long do I stay at The Birthing Center after I have my baby?

Typically, parents and their babies go home within four hours of delivery. Following discharge, you will have a 24-hour postpartum home visit with our clinical staff and a home visit with our lactation consultant. We are ALWAYS available for questions, concerns, and assistance.

Will my insurance pay for care and birth at The Birthing Center?

Please see our Insurance Fees and Patient Responsibility page.