Birthing Options to Consider...

Birthing in a Hospital

Research studies have shown that the hospital is not the safest place to give birth for the average, healthy, expecting mother. C-section rates are dangerously high due to the myriad of interventions that take place during labor. And hospitals are currently very restrictive as to who can be there with the mother. This leaves her without support and advocates helping her navigate through the choices in labor that she must make.
Regardless of the length of your labor, you should expect to have turnover in hospital staff if birthing in the hospital. You may encounter a myriad of different nurses and other staff, and this could also be true of your doctor. If he or she is part of a group of physicians/OBGYN's, your birth may not be attended by the doctor you were expecting. This can be nerve-wracking to the laboring mother and can cause labor patterns to change and potentially lengthen the hours of your labor.

Both during labor and after delivery, in the hospital, there are many interventions that will undoubtedly take place. These cause additional frustration and discomfort to the laboring woman. Anything from unnecessary vaginal exams and excessive monitoring to IVs and catheters, or from tests and treatments to separation of the mother and her new baby. All of these can be both overwhelming and disappointing to a new mother. Before entering a hospital every parent should think about how the hospital birthing process will affect their labor, delivery and bonding time in the early postpartum period.  

Birth Center Birth

Research indicates that choosing to give birth outside of the hospital is a safe and reasonable option for expecting mothers.
Birth centers are a concept that has really taken off in the last several years and are a great alternative to parents wanting a personalized touch and midwifery care without the pressure of turning their home into a birthing space. Birth centers are often run by midwives and contain all the comforts of home with the convenience of any necessary birth equipment for an uncomplicated delivery.
Midwives strive to make the birthing environments in their centers quiet, relaxing and professionally decorated to provide the comfort and feel of a home-like setting. Birth center birth is a very reasonable option for anyone wishing to feel at home and loved while laboring yet not quite ready to be at their own home.

About Midwives
Midwives are professionally trained to deal with unexpected situations that arise during birth including recognizing the need for more medical care. They provide comprehensive, compassionate care throughout pregnancy and the delivery process all the while remaining mindful of your specific needs.
Prenatal care with midwives is also very different than your typical doctor's office visit. Time is taken at each visit to thoroughly address your questions and concerns, to educate you about your pregnancy and to prepare you for the upcoming labor.  Midwives are masters of natural birth and the perfect advocate to walk alongside you throughout your pregnancy.


The vast majority of deliveries are uncomplicated and do not need medical intervention. Therefore, generally speaking, it is safe and reasonable to give birth without going to the hospital. The environment of a homebirth is very different than that of a hospital birth. At home you have control over where you labor, mobility during labor, laboring and birthing positions, lighting, environmental noise, eating and drinking, those in attendance, and much, much more. Giving birth in the comfort of your own home can relieve stresses and pressures that could otherwise impede the progression of your labor. Labors tend to be shorter and easier when women feel comfortable and are uninhibited. There is no need to impress and no pressure to progress within a certain time limit. A woman at home is free to be herself, to be intimate, and to be at liberty to do what she feels is most beneficial for her and her baby.

Most homebirths go smoothly and when they do you can easily keep your baby attached at the umbilical cord and immediately hold him/her for as long as you want. This prolonged attachment ensures that your baby receives every possible benefit from the placenta, including nutrients, blood, and oxygen. With baby still attached, you can be certain that your baby will remain right with you and not be taken somewhere for routine work. At home your midwife will check your baby's initial condition and may encourage you to begin breastfeeding right away. Breastfeeding also helps to expel the placenta naturally and in a timely manner.

Where should I give birth?

It is of vital importance that each and every woman plan to give birth in an environment that she feels safe in and with support of the people/professionals that she desires. Homebirth, hospital birth, birth center birth, midwife attended birth, unattended birth... these are all choices. No one way is right or wrong. Your birth choices should be made with careful consideration of the benefits and risks associated with them. You deserve to be treated with love and respect during your entire pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period. This is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life so make your choices wisely.

Develop an honest and trustworthy relationship with anyone who will be in attendance at your birth. If there is friction at your birth, there may be delays in progression. All of your energy and attention will need to be focused on the task at hand. Labor can be the toughest yet most satisfying job you will ever do. Doing it your way will be not only rewarding but empowering to you as a mother.


Water birth is the process of giving birth (or at least spending part of your labor) in a pool of water. Being in water provides birthing women with privacy and autonomy, while helping them to cope with contractions. 

What are the perceived benefits of water birth?

Until you're in labor it can be hard to know for sure what things will best help you cope with contractions. However, many women do plan for a water birth, and make sure to take steps to keep it a viable option should they find it helpful.   If you want a water birth, your care provider choice is very important. Find a midwife or doctor that is experienced in providing water births. Do your research and choose your care provider carefully to make sure you are supported and have the options you desire available to you at your birth.  

How Will My Baby Breath During A Water Birth? 
When we see a birth out of the water, we often notice baby is quickly breathing and crying. However, simply exiting the womb doesn't trigger breathing. Babies are triggered to breath when they feel the change in temperature and experience a change in placental perfusion.  When a birthing pool is kept at a safe temperature, a baby will continue to receive oxygen via the umbilical cord. Once brought gently out of the tub, the change in temperature will trigger baby to take that first breath.  

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