Can I have pain medications or an epidural at a birth center?

No. An epidural requires an anesthesiologist and the birth center does not have one on staff. Epidurals and pain medications used during labor and delivery increase risk to both mother and baby, and that increased risk is better managed within a hospital setting.

Midwives are well acquainted with a wide array of techniques to manage pain in labor. Your midwives and birth team will help you discover effective pain-relief without the use of drugs. Freedom of movement, eating and drinking in labor, hands-on support, use of water, and the presence of a skilled professional well-acquainted with normal birth all enhance women’s ability to cope in labor without the risks associated with medical pain relief.