Frequently asked questions
Hier findest du Antworten auf häufig gestellte Fragen.
Why give birth at a birthing center?Perhaps you are wondering why you should consider giving birth at a birthing centre.In our view, these are the most important arguments in favour of having your baby at a birthing centre:
- Childbirth is a defining moment that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
- We midwives view pregnancy and birth as healthy and natural life events. We support you in all phases of the birth.
- Natural birth has many advantages for mother and child: fewer complications, improved bonding, higher breastfeeding rates, better processing of the birth and lasting health benefits.
- You will receive empathetic, expert one-to-one care here and will benefit from our midwives’ wealth of experience.
- We take time to address your concerns and fears and help you to develop a sense of confidence in your own ability to give birth.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends midwife-led birth for healthy pregnant women.
What are the admission criteria for giving birth at the birthing centre?The following requirements must be met for admission to the birthing centre:
- Your general state of health is good.
- The course of your pregnancy means that spontaneous birth is expected.
- You have not previously had a caesarean section.
- You are prepared to have at least two antenatal check-ups at the birthing centre.
- Your baby is in the head-down position.
- You are not expecting more than one baby.
- Your placenta is not close to or covering your cervix.
- You do not have gestational diabetes that requires you to take insulin.
- Your child was conceived naturally.
- Your BMI is lower than 35.
- Your birth commences at the earliest in the 37th week.
- You are willing to read up and prepare yourself as well as possible
What is a birthing center?A birthing centre is a centre of excellence for pregnancy care, natural birth, postnatal care and breastfeeding led by experienced midwives
What do midwives do?Midwives are experts in pregnancy, natural birth, postnatal care and breastfeeding. They perform antenatal check-ups with all standard laboratory tests, support women during childbirth and look after them in the postnatal period and beyond (giving advice and assistance with breastfeeding, baby care and recovery). The midwives at the birthing centre also carry out follow-up checks and run both antenatal classes and postnatal exercise courses
What is your experience with journeys to the birthing centre? Will I make it on time?
The birthing centre is 7 minutes by car from Wetzikon, 40 minutes from Winterthur, 27 minutes from Rapperswil, 25 minutes from Männedorf and 18 minutes from Uster. People come here from a large area, including other cantons. In our experience, good communication is essential in this respect in order to coordinate timing. Where this was done, all mothers have managed to get here on time.
Does the birthing centre offer ultrasound scans?
To register for natural birth (see the admission criteria) you need to have an ultrasound scan to determine the location of the placenta. You should have this done by your gynaecologist or at a hospital. In the 36th week of pregnancy, we confirm that the baby is in the head-down position with an ultrasound scan at the birthing centre.
Does childbirth at a birthing centre entail higher risks?
For healthy pregnant women and their babies, birth at a birthing centre is just as safe as a hospital birth. The most important factors in safe childbirth are professional monitoring, time and emotional security.
- At the birthing centre, we do not intervene to speed up the birth, but allow it to run its course undisturbed.
- This is reflected in the statistics: a majority of women who give birth at birthing centres do not suffer perineal injuries, and newborn complications are rare.
- One-to-one midwife care is guaranteed throughout the birth, meaning that the mother always has someone by her side to provide empathetic support and expert medical monitoring.
- The caesarean rate at birthing centres is significantly lower (5-8% versus an average of 37% in hospitals; even taking into account the fact that birthing centres do not accept high-risk pregnancies, the caesarean rate is still significantly lower).
Both mother and child are monitored carefully during the pregnancy. If risk factors become apparent, we enlist the help of in order to decide whether birth at the birthing centre will still be possible or not.
Is a doctor in the birthing center?
No, there is no doctor on site. Our midwives have specialist midwifery training and specialise in caring for women during pregnancy, natural childbirth and the postnatal period.
We also maintain good ties with medical partners in the region, who we bring in for advice during the birth and examinations where required.
What happens in the event of complications?
We clarify carefully during the pregnancy whether a pregnant woman meets the criteria for giving birth at the birthing centre. If this is not the case, we refer her to a suitable clinic from our network. Complications are very rare in healthy pregnant women – not least thanks to the one-to-one care provided by our midwives, who recognise complications at an early stage and act immediately.
When is a women transferred during birth?
In most cases, it becomes apparent that a transfer will be necessary at an early stage. Experienced midwives have comprehensive knowledge about the natural course of childbirth and any signs of irregularities. Transfers take place in accordance with our guidelines and in collaboration with our partner hospitals.
What happens during transfer?
Sirens and flashing lights are the exception. Since we recognise most possible complications very early on thanks to the one-on-one care we provide, almost all transfers take place in the family’s own vehicle, accompanied by the midwife who is looking after them.
For the event of emergencies, our midwives are trained in first aid for mother and child. In such cases, transport takes place by ambulance. The closest hospital is eight minutes’ drive away in Wetzikon.
What options for pain relief are available at the birthing centre?
The experience of pain during childbirth is significantly affected by the mother’s environment and the body’s own hormones. A protected, undisturbed setting, the sympathetic one-to-one care of midwives and the presence of loved ones (e.g. the partner, the mother’s own mother, a friend) help the mother to cope with the pain better. In addition, our midwives know proven techniques and remedies for pain relief.
Can I choose a certain midwife at the birthing centre?
This is not the usual practice as the birthing centre team works in shifts. You will get to know many of the midwives during the antenatal check-ups.
Do you use a cardiotocograph (CTG)?
Yes, if we have a medical indication for doing so. We check the baby’s heart rate at regular intervals, using something called a foetal Doppler.
Do you do episiotomies at the birthing centre?
Only if it appears absolutely necessary from a medical perspective. Since we do not intervene to speed up the birth at the birthing centre, the body has sufficient time to stretch and open up properly. Our episiotomy rate has been less than 1% since the beginning. See our statistics for more information.
Who examines the newborn?
Our midwives are trained to perform the examinations on the first and fourth day of the baby’s life (U1 and U2) and to check the child’s parameters on a daily basis. We have cooperation agreements with a paediatrician in Wetzikon and the neonatal unit at the Winterthur Cantonal Hospital (KSW).
How should I envisage the postnatal period?
- Loving, sympathetic care in a private room with an en-suite toilet and shower
- Partner welcome at any time (double bed); older siblings are also very welcome to visit
- A midwife is in the building at all times
- Guidance and advice on breastfeeding
- Baby care and guidance on baby-led potty training and carrying the baby
- Monitoring of the mother’s recovery and the health of the mother and child
- Therapies by agreement, e.g. craniosacral therapy
- Final consultation when you leave the birthing centre
- Follow-up check at the birthing centre six to ten weeks after the birth
How long can I stay at the birthing centre during the postnatal period?
On average, women stay at the birthing centre for four nights after giving birth. When the mother and child are discharged depends on their physical and mental/emotional well-being.
Incidentally, you can also give birth in a hospital and come to the birthing centre for the postnatal period.
What do your statistics say?
Statistics for 2021
Total births at our birthing center in 2021: 275
of which water births: 143
of which land births: 132
Number of children of delivering mother:
First child 120
Second child 103
Third child 41
Fourth child 8
Fifth child 3
No injury 167 (60.7%)
First-degree perineal tear 49
Second-degree perineal tear 51
Third-degree perineal tear 4
Twenty percent of women were transferred to one of our partner hospitals to give birth there after beginning the birth at the birthing centre. Ninety percent of these were non-emergency transfers that took place without an ambulance. Some 80 percent of these families chose to come back to the birthing centre for the postnatal period.
Ten percent of women who gave birth at Geburtshaus Zürcher Oberland had to be transferred to a hospital for a short time after the birth (as a precautionary measure, for instance due to increased postpartum bleeding) and subsequently returned to the birthing centre.