Illinois’ first free-standing birth center approved

birth center

A two-room birth center at the nonprofit PCC South Family Health Center in Berwyn would be staffed by certified nurse midwives, doulas and licensed birth assistants. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / January 31, 2013)

Illinois’ first free-standing birth center could open within the year in Berwyn.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Board gave unanimous approval Tuesday to the center, a home-like facility where healthy pregnant women can give birth with minimal medical intervention.

The two-room birth center at PCC South Family Health Center in Berwyn will be staffed by certified nurse midwives, licensed birth assistants, and doulas, also known as labor coaches.

The clinic’s physicians will serve as backup.  In case of emergency, the clinic plans to transfer patients to Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park.

A 2007 law authorized a pilot program that allows ten free-standing birth centers around the state.

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