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ABSTRACT: The Alternative Birth Center (ABC) practice and outcomes at Mount Zion Hospital are described and compared to those in the regular labor and delivery area. In the ABC there were fewer cesareans, better Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes, less use of analgesia and anesthesia, but no significant difference in admissions of babies to the newborn intensive care nursery. The ABC has helped to make more flexible some of the newborn procedures. Several case histories are presented which illustrate ways that such care can be provided while responding appropriately to parents’concerns.