The Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) provides support, education, and accreditation to developing and established freestanding birth centers and alongside midwifery units in the USA, since 1985.
What is a freestanding birth center?
A freestanding birth center is a health care facility for childbirth where care is provided in the midwifery and wellness model. The birth center is freestanding and not a hospital.
Birth centers are an integrated part of the health care system and are guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention and cost-effectiveness. While the practice of midwifery and the support of physiologic birth and newborn transition may occur in other settings, this is the exclusive model of care in a birth center.
The birth center respects and facilitates a parent’s right to make informed choices about their health care and the baby’s health care based on their values and beliefs. The parent’s family, as they define it, is welcome to participate in the pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
What is an alongside midwifery unit?
An Alongside Midwifery Unit is a midwifery-led, homelike unit that is located within a hospital but is separate from the Labor & Delivery unit. It is designed for use by women who have a low-risk pregnancy and are anticipating a normal labor and birth. Care in an Alongside Midwifery Unit consists of evidence-based practices that support physiologic labor and birth, and optimal breastfeeding and maternal-newborn attachment.
Learn more about these accredited birth centers