Ordre des sage-femmes du Québec

Definition of a Birth Centre

A birth centre is a location for pregnant women and their families. It is a home at the heart of the community, physical premises different from their own home and the general hospital, and part of the public health network. This facility is designed to welcome a reasonable number of births per year so it can maintain a private, familial and human atmosphere.

A birth centre offers front-line services. The midwives working at the centre ensure global care to women and their family – during pregnancy, labour, birth and six weeks postpartum to the mother and child. The environment and midwife philosophy are conducive to normal birth. It is also a highly suitable location for the development of midwife practice, training and research.

A birth centre meets a community’s needs, developing a social and civic vision of birth. This implies a partnership with families and citizens at all stages of life and the birth centre. Many community activities linked to parenthood and health take place at the centre, resulting in the creation of new solidarities.

Source: Regroupement Les Sages-femmes du Québec.