The Coit House made history as the first midwife-led birth center to receive accreditation in New York state, according to a news release issued by the organization. National birth center accreditation signifies the high-quality, evidence-based maternal and infant care provided at the Coit House.
Midwives and birth centers are well-established as critical solutions to the United States’s maternal mortality crisis. Midwife-led birth centers care for healthy people with low-risk pregnancies and provide their services in a cozy, home-like setting. Although birth centers are more akin to a maxi-home than a mini-hospital, they have all of the necessary supplies, staff and training to manage most maternal and neonatal emergencies.
The highly individualized, compassionate and comprehensive care provided by midwife-led birth centers has been shown to improve birth outcomes and decrease unnecessary interventions which carry serious risks yet are commonplace in American hospitals, such as cesarean sections. In fact, all maternity hospitals in Erie County have cesarean rates over 30%, compared to midwife practices rate of just under 6%, according to Coit House.
The birth center accreditation process is a robust and exhaustive review of all of a facility’s systems to ensure the most up-to-date best practices for maternity care, neonatal care, business operations and safety are maintained.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers uses standards set by the American Association of Birth Centers to create specific indicators of compliance. The standards for birth centers and indicators of compliance span seven categories: philosophy and scope of practice; planning, governance, and administration; human resources; facility, equipment, and supplies; health records; research; and quality evaluation and improvement. They provide a consistent tool for measuring the quality of services provided to families in birth centers throughout the country. These standards have been endorsed by multiple professional societies and are recognized as a mark of excellent care and outcomes.