Growing trend leads to home birth experience in hospitals

Broward Health Medical Center’s home birthing room is allowing some expectant mothers to have a similar experience to an at home birth, but it’s still allowing them to have the safer option of being at a hospital.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – While the move towards home birth is rising nationwide, as well as 25% in Florida during the pandemic, there are risks to the practice.

That concern is motivating some hospitals to create that “at home” experience in a safe setting.

When Veronica Flores started planning for the birth of her second child, she had a clear vision of how she wanted it to be: more personal and peaceful than the first time around.

“There were so many lights and buttons and people in the first birth that it felt like it was just way too many, too much,” Flores said.

But she also wanted to be in a safe environment.

“You never know what’s going to happen, so being in the hospital, we’re prepared for any urgent emergency,” said Dr. Delis Skeete Henry, an OB-GYN with Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Flores agreed.

“I wanted access to the NICU, I wanted access to emergency care if I needed it, and I definitely wanted access to somebody who could take care of me for the next 24 hours,” she said.

Flores found the best of both worlds at the hospital’s new birthing room, which included a tub for expectant moms like Flores who want a water birth.

“It really was like I was in my own bedroom. It was a nice queen size bed with like 20 pillows and there was no beeping, there were no bright lights. It was just very comfortable,” she said.

On Sept. 10, 2021, Flores gave birth there to her daughter Rina with a close knit team by her side, including her husband, midwife, a nurse and her Doula Martha Lerner.

“I’m super excited because now more women are going to be able to do this,” Lerner said.

Throughout her labor and delivery, Flores felt empowered and protected.

“It was so great and it was everything I wanted, that I didn’t know I wanted, and it was really the best experience I probably could have asked for and it came out better than I imagined,” she said.

Broward Health Medical Center’s home birthing room option is limited to women identified as having low risk pregnancies.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.