Birth centers are patient-focused, welcoming environments where women and their families feel cared for and empowered during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. Nearly all birth centers in Massachusetts are located within larger hospitals, but some are freestanding (noted below). Birth centers offer a great alternative to heavy-intervention hospital births for patients who want a more peaceful, low-intervention birth and recovery experience. If you are expecting and looking for a great place to welcome your new little one into the world, be sure to check out these five Boston birthing centers in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
5 Boston Birthing Centers for Exceptional Care & Comfortable Environments
Cambridge Birth Center
10 Camelia Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
First on the list of Boston Birthing Centers, Cambridge Birth Center is located directly across from the hospital. CBC gives patients access to a cozy, home-like setting in which to give birth in comfort with an excellent care team. The birth center provides women with low-risk pregnancies a fantastic team of certified nurse-midwives.
The care team includes Lori Bellwood, Karen Carney, Nichola Douglas, Isabella Dunkel, Phary Her, Rachel Kendall, Cassandra Kugler, Ellen Lapowsky, Colleen Ryfa, Jennifer Trebbin, and Laura Williams. Services at this center include:
- gynecology care from adolescence through menopause
- reproductive health services
- patient-centered pregnancy and maternity care
- women’s healthcare
- midwifery care
Additional amenities at the birth center include jacuzzi tubs, a family room, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and a garden. Patients and families can move around the birth center during labor, allowing for more comfort and freedom for the mother to choose what feels best for her throughout her experience. Patients who give birth at Cambridge Birth Center are cared for by certified midwives who provide warm, patient-centered care throughout the entire labor and delivery process.
Clough Birthing Center
133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner
Concord, MA 01742
Clough Birthing Center at Emerson Hospital in Concord offers family-focused, patient-centered care with the goal of making the birthing experience as empowering and amazing as it should be. Full disclosure: I actually delivered my daughter at Clough, and I wrote a full review about my experience with my providers in this post about All Female Associates if you’re interested in reading about my personal experience. What I loved about Clough Birthing Center is that I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing high-quality medical care for a peaceful, friendly setting—I got both in one package.
Amenities at this Greater Boston birthing center include private labor and delivery rooms and recovery rooms, a Level II NICU (also known as a “special care nursery”), physicians experienced in specialized care, one-on-one nursing care for mothers and babies, high-risk pregnancy services, lactation consultants, and security. Additional specialty services include Reiki sessions for babies, hand massages for moms, homemade treats served daily, and visits with a therapy dog.
Private postpartum rooms include:
- large windows, some of which offer views of the gorgeous wooded area outside the birth center
- heat lamps above each bed that allow for maximum comfort for mothers and babies
- free WiFi access
- comfortable day beds for birthing partners
- visits from lactation consultants
- rooming-in services (i.e. moms and their babies aren’t separated)
Moreover, the postpartum recovery rooms are designed for families’ maximum comfort during recovery as parents bond and learn to care for their new baby. As a baby-friendly location, Clough Birth Center values skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, rooming-in, and a variety of new parent support groups. During my entire 2-day stay post-delivery with my daughter, staff were kind and respectful. I loved that no one tried to take her out of the room to get her weight or for any other reason—not a single time.
Bain Birthing Center
330 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Located on the Mount Auburn Hospital campus, Bain Birthing Center offers patients and their families a warm, welcoming environment with all the resources and services of a Harvard-affiliated hospital. This birthing center promotes custom, patient-centered care for all families.
Amenities include private labor and delivery rooms equipped with:
- adjustable beds
- birthing balls
- birthing stools
- wireless fetal monitoring
- rocking chairs
- private bathrooms
For cesarean births, a clear drape is available to patients who want the experience of seeing their baby brought into the world. Quiet, peaceful maternity suites are available to families during recovery and include a pullout bed for the support person. Furthermore, patients have all-day meal services and around-the-clock access to a fully-stocked self-service kitchen.
The facility is safe and secure, with all entrances to the birth center locked. Up to three support people are allowed during labor, and during postpartum recovery, direct family members may come and visit. To read more about this birthing center, check out my post dedicated to Bain Birthing Center along with one of the main providers there.
Neighborhood Birth Center
Something exciting is happening in 2023! The Neighborhood Birth Center has been in the works for several years and is finally set to be Boston’s first birthing center. At Neighborhood Birth Center, patients will receive comprehensive care throughout pregnancy and delivery through patient-focused healthcare that allows the birth process to be empowering and compassionate. This welcoming, spa-like center will have rooms featuring luxurious tubs and showers, birth balls, slings, natural light, and access to outside. Patients will have access to nitrous oxide if they’d like it. The space will consist of a living room, kitchen, play area, atrium, and gardens. Services will include:
- pelvic floor therapy
- chiropractic care
- mental health services
- childbirth education
- postpartum care
- lactation support
- support groups for new parents and for parents who have experienced child loss
The care team at Neighborhood Birth Center include some heavy hitters (in the best way!) with some serious qualifications. Nashira Baril, MPH, is the founder of the birth center. She brings two decades of experience in applying public health knowledge to closing the racial equity gap and has worked at both Boston Public Health Commission and Harvard School of Public Health.
Other staff members include Jo-Anna Rorie, CNM, MSN, PhD, who has a resume too long to capture here; suffice it to say that she has been serving the Boston community for over 3 decades in high-level roles that have had significant positive impact in working toward addressing terrible maternal and fetal health statistics in underserved communities. Katherine Rushfirth, CNM, was previously the Associate Chief of Midwifery at Massachusetts General Hospital and one of the first midwives to serve as faculty at Harvard Medical School. Jessie Laurore, the center’s program manager, received her undergraduate degree at Harvard, currently serves as a birth doula, and will be studying midwifery starting in 2023.
All of the staff share a passion for social justice and health equity, and I truly believe this birth center will be a huge step toward medical equity for underserved populations in Boston.
North Shore Birth Center *
85 Herrick Street
Beverly, MA 01915
*Update: North Shore Birth Center is closed as of December of 2022. I will leave it on the list for now as the hospital will be renting the space out to a private midwife practice starting in 2023.
Located on the campus of Beverly Hospital, the North Shore Birth Center (NSBC) has been serving women since 1980 and provides holistic pregnancy and birthing care through a team of skilled midwives. The team includes Esther Hausman, Taylor Leininger, Jessica Newcity, Chelsea Perrin, and Lisa Thibodeau. NSBC’s claim to fame is that it was the first freestanding birth center in the Northeast.
The North Shore Birth Center is peaceful and quiet and values the whole family. Patients have access to a full kitchen, living room, deck, and outdoor garden. Midwives support women through labor and delivery with emphasis on low-intervention childbirth and non-pharmacological methods for pain management during labor. This Boston birthing center is an excellent place to give birth for women who are experiencing healthy, low-risk pregnancies.
Boston Birthing Centers
A birth center provides a serene, home-like environment as an alternative to hospital births for patients experiencing low-risk pregnancies who want quality, mother-focused care fitted to their unique goals and needs. Birth centers offer complete care throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum recovery. They include a variety of services and amenities that allow women to have empowering, low-intervention births. If you are planning to give birth in the Boston area, be sure to research these five excellent Boston birthing centers.