Illinois Could Get Free-standing Birth Center

Feb 5, 2013

A hearing Tuesday could lead to Illinois’s first birth center outside a hospital. The proposal’s before a state board that regulates medical construction. The birth center would go in Berwyn, a Chicago suburb.

Credit public flickr

It would be part of a nonprofit chain of clinics called PCC Community Wellness Center. Cecelia Bacom heads PCC’s midwifery program.

"Hospitals are not necessarily the best, safest or cheapest place for women to have babies." - Cecelia Bacom

The birth center would give women who can’t afford a home birth another option. That’s if their pregnancies are low-risk.

"For the midwifery community, this is a landmark. There are truly people in the Chicago area that have been working on this issue for 25 years."

They lobbied for a state law that allows birth centers and then helped hammer out the rules.
The midwives met opposition from groups representing Illinois physicians and hospitals.
Those groups are not fighting the Berwyn proposal.

Illinois Public Radio's Chip Mitchell contributed to this report