pregnant woman in labor

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Delivery options: finding the perfect one

Ever heard of hypno birth? Well, it’s something to consider, along with many other alternatives to a traditional vaginal birth. Delivery can be a stressful and hectic experience, so it’s best to have a clear vision of how you want it to go beforehand. You should have control over the way in which you welcome Baby into the world, so do some research and consider your individual health needs and potential complications.

First off, you want to be in an environment where you feel comfortable when giving birth. Some options are:

  • Hospital birth: If you feel safer with access to medical technology and excellent resources in emergencies, a hospital birth may be best for you. Additionally, a large staff of healthcare providers will be available to assist in the delivery.
  • Home birth: This is a suitable choice if you haven’t had many problems throughout your pregnancy and your healthcare provider doesn’t anticipate complications during delivery. If you are feeling particularly anxious about delivery, you might feel most comfortable with familiar rooms. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends discussing the risks of home births with a healthcare provider before making a final decision.
  • Birth center: This option provides more personalized attention from a group of midwives or nurse-midwives and usually encourages natural birth. You should only consider it for low-risk pregnancies, and be prepared to get transported to a hospital if complications occur.

There are also a variety of delivery methods to choose from, such as:

  • Vaginal birth: This method usually has the shortest recovery time and best results in terms of breastfeeding and bonding with Baby. Many women are concerned about coping with pain, but you can address this prior to or during delivery with your healthcare provider.
  • Water birth: Giving birth in a tub of 90-100°F water can be a more relaxing and less painful delivery option. It can be facilitated in a home birth or hospital, and Baby’s heart rate will be monitored throughout the birthing process with a doppler device. Since she has been residing within the amniotic sac for nine months, it is fine for her to come out in or above the surface of the water and be pulled out immediately to start breathing. ACOG states that immersion in water in the first part of labor can decrease pain or use of anesthesia, but advises against the second stage of labor and delivery under water.
  • Hypno birth: This method is mostly a coping mechanism for pain, since the technique helps with the breathing exercises and psychological effects of contractions. It can be done with a trained practitioner or be self-taught.
  • C-section: Most healthcare providers recommend delivery by C-section if they anticipate complications in labor or believe a vaginal birth could put you or Baby at risk. C-sections are also used for breech babies (oriented bottom-down) most of the time unless your doctor feels comfortable with delivering a breech baby and can perform this delivery safely. A C-section has a longer recovery time, so talk to your healthcare provider to see if it is the best option for you.

As always, your delivery should be a personalized process, and the best thing you can do to prepare is weigh the pros and cons of each method and location. Additionally, make sure you have a backup plan in case complications arise or you change your mind later on.

Read more
  • "Cesarean Section." U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus, n.d. Web.
  • Committee on Obstetric Practice. "Committee Opinion: Immersion in Water During Labor and Delivery." ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy of Pediatrics, 4/2014. Web.
  • Madison Park. "HypnoBirthing: Relax while giving birth?" CNN. CNN, 8/12/2011. Web.
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