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Birth Options
by Rebecca Garland

Pregnancy is a bizarre mix of options and forced decisions. You might have been able to control when you tried to get pregnant, but your body was in control of when it actually happened. Now you are working toward an inevitable deadline. The baby inside you will definitely come out, but sometimes you have quite a bit of say over where and sometimes even when he does.

You have many options today about where and how you will give birth. Before signing up for the more typical hospital delivery, you should at least consider the other options available to you.

Home Birth
For centuries, women had babies in the same place they conceived them – often in the same bed. There is really no reason to not have a baby at home if you are okay with the mess and clean up required and have a qualified medical person present to assist you. Many who choose a home birth prefer the quiet, familiar quarters of home for such a special time. If you are considering a home birth however, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor or midwife to rule out any possible complications and discuss emergency scenarios.

Birthing Center
A typical vaginal birth without medication for pain control does not necessarily require a hospital.

Many medical centers and independent midwives and practitioners now have and encourage mothers who are planning a natural labor to use a birthing center. The birthing center is often very focused on helping the mother through labor and delivery with as few wires and interventions as possible.

Birthing centers encourage all kinds of pain control such as birthing balls, rocking, walking and rest, but they are not in a position to offer epidurals or other serious pain medications. If you have no reason to suspect anything but an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and are ready to face labor and delivery head on, a birthing center might be the soothing, supportive environment you need.

Hospital Birth
A hospital birth has become most typical in our society. A hospital is the safest place for delivery if not the most comforting and homey. Many hospitals are now attempting to soften the décor and feel of the delivery rooms, but beeps, wires and constant nurses and doctors make it hard to feel as though you are anywhere but a hospital. However, if you are comforted by knowing your baby is in the hands of trained medical professionals throughout all of labor and delivery there is truly no alternative.

Hospitals allow all kinds of deliveries, but the most popular is the vaginal delivery with the assistance of pain medication. Natural deliveries free of pain control and cesarean sections round out the majority of deliveries.

If you are a first time mother or have any reason to be concerned about delivery or your labor, a hospital will offer you help should you need it. There are many reasons some babies are born via cesarean delivery and your doctor may request you undergo a C-section for your safety or that of the baby. A cesarean delivery is major surgery and must be performed by a doctor in a hospital. A step below major surgery is an induced delivery where certain medications are used to start and continue your labor to help deliver the baby at a particular time for a particular reason.

Whatever birth option you choose prior to delivery, be fully aware that you are not in control of your body or your baby. Be ready for a change in plans at any time during your labor or at the point of delivery. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get to experience your dream delivery. You’ll realize soon enough that any method used to bring your baby into the world is truly a miracle.


Be sure to share your bundle of joy using your personalized baby website.

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