Member Spotlight: The Chicago Birth Center

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If you're looking for a natural birth option in town, the Birth Center of Chicago is the place to be. As the first and only freestanding birth center in the City of Chicago, they provide a safe and alternative model of care. Their new space in the former Big Bricks restaurant offers birthing suites, exam rooms, a public restroom, lending library, as well as a community room available for organizations to rent for free. Their website is a wealth of information and tours are available, but here's some of the highlights from our recent visit:

1. Are you licensed?
The birth center is fully licensed by the state of Illinois! We are also accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Birth Centers are statistically safe places to give birth and are perfect for those at low-risk, but if the birth doesn't go as planned we are partnered with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, only two miles from our center by emergency transport. We practice drills and have a dedicated ambulance parking space.

2. How are you different from traditional options?
The biggest difference is that we are midwife-led and provide a space for a non-medicated experience. Not everyone comes from a place that makes home birth a comfortable option, and we are an excellent intermediary space for those with a low-risk pregnancy. In a hospital you'll see your provider again six weeks post-birth, while at the birth center you'll visit us for a check up within 36 hours, three to four days, two weeks, and six weeks. Another difference is that we prioritize having a safe space for labor alongside balancing emotional and mental wellbeing. That means that we currently allow three support people (including siblings) and a doula at your birth. And... we don't restrict your eating or drinking during labor and have a full nutrition station for you during your labor process!
3. What are your main services?
Our services focus on preparing our clients for pregnancy, providing prenatal care, options for natural births, and postpartum and newborn care. We currently have two full birth suites complete with birth balls, Swedish barre, water immersion, a yoga swing, and more. Basically all the good things that will help your baby join the world in a healthy way. We also provide body and pelvic care for anyone with a uterus, ensuring that we put you first and not your chart. Our midwives practice with trauma-informed and gender-expansive care, which includes things like annual exams, contraceptives, and STI testing.
4. What's the Milk Depot + Dispensary?
Through a partnership with the Mother's Milk Bank of Western Great Lakes, we work to serve families looking to donate milk by offering a convenient location for drop off as a Milk Depot. This ensures that their precious ounces are securely and safely delivered to the Milk Bank for processing and redistribution. We also provide milk for sale as a Milk Dispensary to support families needing help through transitions. You don't have to be a client to purchase.
5. How many babies do you expect to deliver in a year?
We were licensed just before Thanksgiving, and as of today we have had two babies born at the Birth Center! We expect to be able to have ten due dates in January, and will scale up as we grow. In two years time we hope to employ six midwives who will assist with 350 births.
6. Who can use the Community Room?
Anyone! The space can fit about ten comfortably and is free to use. In particular, we're looking to build relationships with those that are financial leaders, school system or nanny experts, chiropractors, and pelvic floor therapists.

For more information, visit their website: