The hospital-based alternative birth room has become a popular alternative to the conventional labor and delivery room setting. Responses to a mailed questionnaire from 78 of 82 (95%) Washington State hospitals with obstetric services were used to relate available birth options to alternative birth room status and obstetric volume. Alternative birth rooms were in existence, or planned, in 63% of responding hospitals. The presence of an alternative birth room was directly related to obstetric volume (P<.05) and perceived local incidence of home deliveries (P<.025). Hospitals with an alternative birth room had more postpartum options regardless of obstetric volume. Hospitals with an alternative birth room and less than 1000 annual deliveries had more delivery and bonding options. The results of this analysis, plus the fact that 47 of 78 (60%) responding hospitals offered more than half of the options surveyed, suggest that Washington State hospitals have responded to new consumer desires more than previously appreciated.
© 1981 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists