Nonhospital birthing options, in or near Chicago IL, for 39 yr old, 1st baby



I am interested in giving birth somewhere other than a hospital, such as an alternative birth center. I don't know if I want to do this at home. I do want a skilled attendant, and medical back up only if really necessary. I do want some pain management options available, not necessarily an epidural. I do want emotional and psychological support, water birth option, my husband present, ability to pick my position and move about, freedom to vocalize, ability to birth the placenta and keep the cord intact while pulsating. I want freedom from pressures to undergo unnecessary interventions.


I do NOT want episiotomy, constant fetal monitoring (electrode screwed into baby's head), painful internal exams, a bunch of staff I do not know touching or observing me, unnecessary C-section, or other invasive, standard hospital procedures. I do NOT want other's controlling beliefs, ideas or lifestyle forced on me, or psychological manipulation. I do not want to be strapped down, or required to lie in lithotomy position (flat on back with legs in stirrups.) I do not want a male doctor. I do not want to lose my dignity.


What are my options? Many alternative birth centers want "low risk." I am low-risk, other than my age, negative Rh, and history of chronic neck / back pain.  I am healthy and physically fit, an exerciser and slim.  I will be 39 for this birth, my first. I am willing to go to a nearby state, if necessary, though I do work, and I would like to minimize inconvenience and expenses.


Any help or suggestions are appreciated. I do appreciate that others may not agree with everything I want / don't want, but I am having this baby, not them.  Options?

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Sounds like you want the Alternative Birth Center at West Suburban in Oak Park.  It's hugely popular, and you'll get everything you want there:

I've attended births there (I'm a doula) and can honestly say it's the most supportive place in the entire area for natural, normal birth.  The West Sub midwives have a 9% cesarean rate.  Call them right away!


All the best.

I second the alternative birth center at West Suburban. The midwives there are really wonderful and supportive. The hospital is in Oak Park, which is a short trip from downtown Chicago. Let me know if you have any other questions regarding birth in Chicago (I'm also a doula here).

Allie Sakowicz
Thank you Gina and Allie! I think I will give ABC at West Suburban in Oak Park a call. I hope my age does not scare them. I really like my OB/GYN in Aurora, but I don't like the model of whichever provider is on duty delivers the baby, not necessary my OB/GYN. I am also afraid my birth plan would be tossed out the window at the local hospital in Aurora. I am actually 1-1.5 hrs away from Oak Park, depending on traffic, since I live in the suburbs. I am willing to travel for the right people though. I think it is awesome that you are both doulas. I think I want a doula. I am feeling kind of overwhelmed, but I am trying to take this one step at a time. My husband will be supportive of my choices as well. I really think it is the people around who make the birth an empowering or traumatic experience. One of my friends had a bad experience at a Naperville hospital. She read it was good to walk around early in labor and asked one of the nurses. The nurse replied, "Oh sure, walk around if you want to KILL YOUR BABY!" That just set the wrong tone for the birth and if she knew better at the time, she would have reported her.



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