Natural Birth Options in Nashville and the Surrounding Areas
By Candice Brett

While many moms choose the traditional route of having a baby in a local hospital with the use of medications, more and more mothers-to-be are exploring their options regarding natural childbirth in Nashville, whether it is in a hospital, a birthing center, or at home.

Insurance coverage is typically available for all three options, however sometime some companies will have non-coverage clauses regarding homebirth. Even with no insurance coverage, the prices of homebirth with an independent midwife are surprisingly affordable. There are many available resources in Nashville and the surrounding areas to help get you started.

If you know you would like care outside that of a typical OB/GYN, you may want to consider midwifery care. The Nurse Midwives at Vanderbilt offer well-woman care, pre-conception care, and prenatal care, as well as labor and delivery.  Many women feel this option is best to support their wishes of a natural, unmedicated birth in the hospital, where interventions are minimal and actions like immediate skin-to-skin contact and delayed cord clamping are considered the ‘norm,’ and all care for the baby after delivery can be done bedside to assure minimal separation between mother and baby.

Another option for mothers seeking natural childbirth in Nashville is to receive their care from midwives at a birthing center. This model of care is very similar to the Nurse Midwives at Vanderbilt, but birthing centers usually do not offer medication (or even have it available) at the time of labor and delivery. However, for those seeking a completely natural birth, this is considered a plus. An added bonus to choosing a birthing center over a hospital birth would be the much sought-after water birth, which is not an option at Vanderbilt, but is available to mothers at Infinity Birthing Center in Cookeville. The Farm in Summertown is another great birth center, and is known worldwide through the work of famed midwife Ina May Gaskin.

For moms wishing to have their babies in the comfort of their own homes, seeking out an independent midwife is the route to take. These women provide one-on-one prenatal care during the pregnancy and attend the birth at the home of the client. If an emergency were to occur during labor, agreements are made beforehand to transport to a hospital. Two great resources are Susie Meeks with Morning Star Maternity Services and Kimberly Spencer with Nashville Midwifery Service. Tender Beginnings Birth Services is another great resource. Tender Beginnings is unique because the midwives involved not only provide all your prenatal care needs, they attend the birth of your baby in their private setting similar to a birthing center, but it is actually in a home. This is a great option for mothers wishing for home birth but cannot realistically have the baby at their own home.

Through a little research and using the resources that are locally available, it is completely possible to have your birth experience be all that you dream of. You deserve it!

Also read our updated article on Water Birth and Labor Options in Nashville.

Candice Brett is a local artist, wife, stepmom, and first time mommy-to-be living in East Nashville. You can find more about Candice and her artwork at &

Music City Moms is not affiliated with any of these centers, nor do we have any recommendations or have any personal experience with any of them. Be sure to do your own research to find the best fit for you and your family.