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Alternative Birthing Options

two women holding their pregnant bellies
two women holding their pregnant bellies

Why choose Ochsner Health for alternative birthing options?

Preparing to welcome your baby into the world is an exciting time. But with so many decisions to make, it can also be overwhelming. At Ochsner, we know how important it is to have the freedom to personalize all aspects of your birth experience. Our goal is to ease your concerns and give you peace of mind by offering alternative birthing options and helping you design the birth plan that is right for you.

At Ochsner Family Birthing Center at Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge and the Perkin Alternative Birthing Center at Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans, we offer a variety of alternative birthing options designed to meet your labor and delivery needs and goals. You can feel confident knowing that we provide the highest levels of medical care for you and your baby.

Certified nurse midwives are experts in traditional vaginal birth and deeply understand the birth process. They understand that pregnancy and childbirth encompass emotions as well as physical, spiritual and practical needs. That’s why midwives encourage women and their families to actively participate in their healthcare by providing individualized education, counseling, prenatal care, labor and delivery services along with postpartum support. Low-risk patients can choose to see a midwife for midwifery care throughout their pregnancy.

Midwives also believe that the birth process is unique to every woman, and labor is best experienced when the woman feels safe and is surrounded by people she trusts. At both of our alternative birth locations, our experienced certified nurse midwives offer a variety of personalized options, including:

  • Birthing balls
  • Birthing chairs
  • Birthing tubs for water births
  • Natural births
  • Showers
  • Walking during labor

Midwives collaborate with all our board-certified OB/GYNs, who fully support the beliefs and practices of our midwives. OB/GYNs are readily available to assist should it become necessary at any stage of labor or during the birthing process.

At the Family Birthing Center - Baton Rouge, we support every patient’s personal preference, including medicated, natural or water birth. Our certified nurse midwives are available at all times, and physicians can step in to assist anytime if necessary. A level 3 NICU is also located on-site should your baby require extra care after birth.

Additionally, our certified nurse midwives provide prenatal care in the OB/GYN clinics, helping mothers design the birthing plan that is right for them. This planning includes labor support and relaxation techniques, water birth options and alternative birth positions. The certified nurse midwives also offer comprehensive well-woman services, including annual exams, birth control and more.

Located in the Women’s Pavilion at Ochsner Baptist - A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center, the Perkin ABC is the region’s only hospital-based alternative birth center. Our certified nurse midwives provide women with a personalized birth experience, offering natural, holistic options in an inviting, homelike environment. The Perkin ABC has two birthing rooms designed to comfort mothers and their families. Features include:

  • A comfortable double bed
  • A family room
  • A shared kitchen

Additionally, our midwives offer comprehensive prenatal care in the Perkin ABC clinic, helping mothers design the birthing plan that is right for them. This planning includes labor support and relaxation techniques, water birth options and alternative birth positions. Our team of experienced OB/GYNs is readily available should assistance become necessary, and our level 4 NICU is located on-site to give your baby the highest level of care.

The Perkin ABC is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers and has been named a “Triple Aim” recipient from the American College of Nurses and Midwives. This accreditation meets the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience, reducing the cost of care and improving the health of populations.


All midwives must complete a graduate-level midwifery program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Certified nurse midwives have additional training and are also registered nurses.

In some cases, a woman with a high-risk pregnancy or who has a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, can still receive midwifery care. Your provider can help you decide if a midwife is the right option for you.

Some alternative birthing methods include:

  • Water birth. This method involves going through labor and/or delivery while soaking in a tub filled with warm water.
  • Using alternative positions. Suggested alternative positions may include using birthing chairs or stools, laboring on hands and knees or while walking, birthing in a tub or shower and other options that may relieve discomfort and help facilitate the baby’s position.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Alternative Birthing Options

Alternative Birthing Options Locations

Ochsner Baptist Women's Pavilion
2700 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115