For mothers with low-risk pregnancies, birthing/childbirth centers are an alternative to giving birth in a hospital. Birthing/childbirth center services are provided in a department-approved house or building that has a home-like setting. These centers are organized to provide necessary accommodations and staff to support a mother during her birthing process.
These services are limited to mothers-to-be who don't have medical conditions that may complicate the birth. Women who develop complications during the birthing process must be transferred to a hospital to handle the accompanying risks for the mother and the child.
The Department of Health licenses birthing/childbirth centers to ensure care is provided within health and safety standards established by statute and rule. The department enforces the standards by conducting on-site surveys of these centers. The department may also investigate centers in response to complaints alleging violation of standards and potential harm to patients.