Now that you’re pregnant, you’re probably considering how you want to give birth to your baby and safety is a top concern. Once you start telling people you’re pregnant, you’re met with a plethora of advice and warnings. How do you sort through all of them? More importantly, how do you begin to make decisions that are best for you?

Watch Sarah Lampe’s birth story and hear from our certified nurse-midwives about choosing a birth center.

We are Tampa Bay’s only Nationally Accredited Birth Center

Being nationally-accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) requires Breath of Life to maintain best practices in maternity care and the proper safety training, equipment, policies and procedures, and supplies. 

Since 2012 Breath of Life has successfully been evaluated by CABC consultants in a comprehensive process that reviews every aspect of our birth center.  Meeting the standards of accreditation indicates to our clients, our state agencies, health, and liability insurance companies, consulting providers, and hospitals that our birth center has met a high standard of evidence-based and widely recognized benchmarks for maternity care, neonatal care, business operations, and safety. 

The midwifery model of care is recognized for receiving high marks for safety in multiple national studies*. The most recent study demonstrated that care led by nurse-midwives in a birth center setting had a high level of safety and a low level of obstetric intervention rates, and improved outcomes which is similar to what previous studies have also shown. 

A Birth Center Is Safe for Both Mother and Baby

At Breath of Life, we strive for the entire family to be active participants in the process. We are here to support and guide you through the many options available to you with natural birthing, including waterbirth. You’ll be an active participant through every decision of your labor and birth experience. 

Some benefits of giving birth at Breath of Life include:

Freedom – Not only are you allowed to walk around during labor and eat and drink, we actually encourage it. You can birth your baby in most any position and are never confined to a “birthing bed” or strapped to monitors. You will wear your own clothes, instead of a hospital gown. During labor we monitor mother and baby and the progress of labor in a way that doesn’t interfere with your ability to move around. Studies have clearly shown that labor is shorter and easier if a woman is active and is able to eat and drink. 

Privacy – You and your family will have complete privacy. You will get to know our staff during your pregnancy and by the end we usually all feel like family. You can have as many or as few friends and family members as you like with you to welcome your new baby.

Bonding – Your baby will never leave your side. Your partner will play a pivotal role in assisting you in labor. Your other children can be present for the labor and birth.

Personalized Care – During your pregnancy, we get to know what is important to you and your family, so that we can accommodate your wishes. Would you like your partner to help “catch” the baby? Would you like to be the one to “announce” if your baby is a boy or a girl? All of these and more are routine at the birth center.

Choices – Nurse-midwives believe that optimum health and safety are achieved with joint decision making. We like to say that everything is up for discussion and nothing is routine. We will help you to be informed and educated about your choices, through teaching during prenatal appointments and childbirth classes.

Breastfeeding Support – We will encourage and assist you to nurse your baby soon after birth. We follow up by phone and with a visit with one of our Registered Nurses’ in the first week so that we can help you with any difficulties that arise. We offer specific lactation visits and have referrals for lactation support for home visits if additional support is needed.

Safety – Research has proven* that out-of-hospital birth leads to fewer interventions and complications for both the mother and the baby. The chances of you having a cesarean, for example, are greatly reduced. At Breath of Life we have a low six percent c-section rate for clients who transfer in labor. Your body, your choices, and choices for your baby will be respected.

The American Association of Birth Centers statistics demonstrates that birth centers have very low cesarean rates and infant and maternal death and injury rates. A study comparing out-of-hospital birth to in-hospital birth showed that for first-time mothers, out-of-hospital birth was as safe as in-hospital birth, and for mothers who have already had one baby, out-of-hospital births are actually safer than in-hospital births.

If There Are Complications

Occasionally during pregnancy, a medical condition develops which would require a mother to be transferred to another care provider for a hospital birth.  These conditions may include:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Breech presentation

We help make that transition as easy as possible and can recommend midwives/obstetricians who will also give the medical care required.

We work in collaboration with Morton Plant Hospital’s Labor and Delivery department which is staffed around-the-clock by caring OB hospitalist physicians. 

We’re Here for You

Since 2007, over fifteen hundred Tampa Bay families have chosen Breath of Life Women’s Health and Birth Center for well-woman and prenatal care that is safe, personal, and empowering. Our peaceful waterbirth suites create an intimate experience and the luxurious feel of an upscale hotel. Each suite has a spacious waterbirth tub and access to an outdoor space for fresh air and sunshine. Whether you want your whole family here for the experience or something more private, your birthing experience will be supported with love, kindness, and respect for your decisions.

Please contact us if you have additional questions or want to find out if you qualify for our birth center care

*National Studies that Breath of Life participated in:

The National Birth Center Study II

Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative

Additional Resources: