Frequently Asked Questions
What amenities are available for laboring clients and families at BBC?
We strive to create a birthing environment that is comfortable for every client and their support team. Our birthing suites are spacious enough to accommodate partners, relatives, doulas, and friends, as permitted. Every birth suite has a birthing tub and a shower in addition to a regular bed and comfortable seating. You will have access to a fridge and microwave, as well as filtered water and ice. We are happy to provide extra blankets, pillows, cups, etc to make you and your loved ones comfortable for the duration of your birth and recovery hours. We offer battery operated candles, an essential oil diffuser and hot packs for your comfort as well as birthing balls and other labor comfort tools.
During Covid-19 we are continually evaluating our guidelines to allow the best experience for families while still following the best known practices to keep everyone safe, including newborns. Currently two support people can attend a birth and they must adhere to the regulations of the birth center for the safety of mom, baby, the support team, other clients and staff.
Is water birth available?
Yes! Many clients find that water promotes relaxation and reduces pain during labor and delivery. Some studies indicate that hydrotherapy (use of water) may also help to lower blood pressure, facilitate labor progress, and reduce the likelihood of perineal tears. Laboring and giving birth in the tub is a safe option for most clients.
How are clients monitored at BBC? What equipment and medications are used?
During labor, we check the client's vital signs routinely. We use a hand-held doppler to monitor the baby's heart rate. This unobtrusive method of fetal monitoring is proven to be effective, and (unlike continuous electronic fetal monitoring in the hospital) does not restrict the laboring client's ability to move freely. We are able to offer intravenous (IV) fluids and some medications if indicated, such as antibiotics and medications to reduce bleeding after birth, as well as state-required medications for baby. Our clients are encouraged to eat and drink during labor.
For pain relief we offer water immersion, massage, support, and positions that facilitate easier birth. We are also pleased to offer nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas or gas and air. Nitrous is a well-studied, safe way to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, that has no effect on the baby and no lingering effects for the person in labor. Nitrous is also effective for procedures such as suturing that may produce anxiety. We would be happy to provide more information on nitrous oxide if you are interested.
We do not offer epidurals or labor augmentation. We do use medications to provide GBS prophylaxis (antibiotics), reduce postpartum bleeding after the baby is born, and suture lacerations under a local anesthetic. We have the required equipment to provide supplemental oxygen and perform suctioning. However, these interventions are used only as needed.
What kind of postpartum care is offered?
At the time of birth, we immediately place newborns skin-to-skin on the client's chest to promote bonding. Clients and newborns usually remain skin-to-skin until the first feeding is complete or as long as desired. All routine procedures (such as monitoring vital signs) are performed without interrupting skin-to-skin contact.
Our midwives will conduct a thorough newborn exam and administer the Vitamin K shot and erythromycin eye ointment (unless declined by parents). The new family rests and recovers at the birth center for 4-6 hours in most cases, during which time we are helping with feeding, and watching mother and baby for normal recovery. During this time, early home care instructions are reviewed, and any questions about the first days at home are answered.
Within 24-48hrs of birth, clients will set up a pediatrician visit or return to the birth center for additional assessments, provide infant feeding support, and complete routine blood tests and a newborn hearing screen. Mothers receive a thorough telemedicine visit if they don't accompany baby to the birth center for that visit. After the initial visit, the midwives remain available 24/7 by phone for any questions or concerns that arise.
All clients are encouraged to see our staff lactation consultants during the postpartum period. All clients are welcome to schedule postpartum office visits on an as-needed basis, and are asked to return for a routine assessment at 5 - 6 weeks postpartum. Our midwives also offer gynecological care and family planning services.
What if a complication emerges during my pregnancy or labor?
Occasionally, our midwives, Midwife Director or consulting physicians determine that a hospital birth would be safer for an individual client or baby. This determination, using shared-decision making between the care team and client, may be made during the course of prenatal care, or while the client is in labor. We assess each client's risk status at regular intervals throughout the pregnancy. If a risk factor is identified, your midwife will talk with you about recommended hospital-based midwifery and physician practices.
Do I need to choose a midwife or OB/GYN?
As a BBC or Jazz client, you may be seen at either of our office locations by a member of the Brooklyn Midwifery Group. Our midwives are able to provide all of the care you need during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, so no additional provider is needed in a normal pregnancy. We will refer for ultrasounds and if any consultations such as hematology are needed. When you go into labor, a team of a senior midwife and fellow midwife will be on call to triage your labor and admit you to the birth center when you are in active labor. A registered nurse or trained birth assistant may also be present.
Is anyone excluded from birthing at the birth center?
An accredited birth center is designed for healthy people having an uncomplicated pregnancy and anticipating a normal birth. Our policies therefore limit the families we serve to those with pregnancies that are considered low risk. This excludes: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), twins, breech births, birth prior to 37 weeks or after 42 weeks. Other conditions such as high blood pressure or uncontrolled gestational diabetes would make a hospital birth necessary. If you have a question about your medical history and want to know if you can give birth at the birth center, feel free to contact us.
Do I need to find a doula? What about a childbirth education class?
You are encouraged to choose a doula (a professional who can support you during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum). Feel free to browse our list of recommended doulas.
Families who attend a childbirth education class are more confident and comfortable during labor, and labor without pain medication in particular benefits from extra information for the expectant family. Therefore, all BBC/Jazz clients are required to attend a childbirth education class. Feel free to browse our list of recommended childbirth education classes.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, we accept most major insurance plans, including Medicaid! Please see the Insurance section of this website for more information.
How can I make an appointment?
If you are interested in having your baby at Brooklyn Birthing Center, please click here to sign up for an orientation.
If you are newly pregnant and have not been seen by a provider, or if you are not pregnant and wish to schedule a GYN visit, please call our office at 718-336-4119.
Confidentiality and Medical Records
All your medical records are considered confidential information. Click here to view our full privacy statement.