Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Birthing Options

Since the beginning of time women have been giving birth.  Women have given birth in fields, elevators, any and everywhere.  We are so lucky now to have options where we can labor and deliver.  Here are some of the options for women to consider when planning their delivery.
Birth Centers
Birth centers are for women who have a low risk pregnancy.  Giving birth in a birth center allows women to have a more natural experience while still having the medical assistance at the ready if any complication were to arise. 
Benefits to birth center:
  • Momma has control
    In a hospital setting you may be limited to how much you can move around, or who can be present with you during labor and delivery. In a birth center you are able to invite who you would like to be there.  If you have children and you would like them present, they are 100% welcome. Also, you may want to be moving around to ease the contraction pain, which you are more than able to do in a birthing center.
  • A warm environment
    A birth center has a different feel from a hospital.  It is a much more personalized experience.
  • Medical attention if necessary
    If any complication is to happen, there is medical intervention at the ready.  If you are not in a birth center which is in a hospital, the medical attention given at your birth center will get you to a hospital if needed.
Risk of birth center:
  • Early discharge
    Mommas are discharged within 12 to 24 hours of the baby being born.  This could be seen as a benefit to some women.  For some women, they need or want that 2 day recovery time where they have the help of the hospital staff.
  • No on call pediatrician
    You need to have the appropriate doctors ready for your baby because there is no on call pediatrician who can come check out the baby.
  • Difficult transport
    If problems arise, you will be transported during labor
Home Birth
For women who have absolutely no risk in their pregnancy, 100% normal and healthy pregnancy, this option may be for you.  One thing you need to make sure of is, if you have a medical history with prior pregnancies like preeclampsia, diabetes, high blood pressure, or previous c-section, you may want to reconsider this option.  With the right team and support anything is possible, but when dealing with your health and your baby’s health, you can never be too safe.
Benefits to home birth:
  • Comfortable environment
    For home births, what is more comfortable than being in your own home?  Being in a familiar environment will help ease your anxiety.
  • Family and friends welcome
    You can have anyone and everyone come to your home and witness the birth of your baby.
Risks of home birth:
  • Insurance
    A home birth may not be covered by insurance.
  • No pain relief
    There is no pain relief available if you are to change your mind
  • No on call pediatrician
    You need to have the appropriate doctors ready for your baby because there is no on call pediatrician who can come check out the baby.
  • Difficult transport
    If problems arise, you will be transported during labor
Water Birth
A water birth is when you give birth or labor while in a tub or jacuzzi, basically being immersed in warm water.  In order to have a water birth, you must not have any pregnancy complication or infection and your baby should full term, at least 39 weeks.
Benefits of water birth:
  • Relaxation
    The water flow will help relax momma’s muscles and improve blood flow.  The water also allows momma to focus more.
  • Pain Relief
    The water will relieve some of the pressure on your body.
  • Eases the baby in
    Some women believe since their baby is in water in the womb, it will ease their coming into the world by bringing him or her in warm water, rather than a cold bright room.
Risks of water birth:
  • Baby swallowing water
    The baby can swallow water which could lead to electrolyte problems.  The baby could also get an infection if the water is contaminated in any way.
  • Lack of oxygen
    It is possible there could be a lack of oxygen underwater.  If this happens the baby could suffer brain damage.
Giving birth in a hospital is the most traditional birthing method.  Hospitals have private rooms with tubs where women can labor and deliver.
Benefits to hospital birth:
  • Medical comfort
    Many women feel safest when in a hospital setting because the proper medical attention is right there. 
  • No last minute rush
    You don’t have to worry about being rushed to a hospital if some complication were to arise.
  • Pediatric attention
    There is immediate pediatric attention for your baby.
  • Recovery help
    In a hospital you have 2 days recovery time where the hospital staff is there for all your needs. 
Risks to hospital birth:
  • Limited people involved
    You are only allowed 2 people in the room with you during labor and deliver.  Some women want more than 2 family members or friends.
  • Less privacy and impersonal
    It is not quite as personal an experience as a home birth or a birth center.  In my own experience, I felt like a priority during my labor and delivery and had a very personal experience, but not every women has this experience.
  • Limited activity
    You are most likely stuck in a bed because you are hooked up to the fetal monitors.  Some women don’t mind this, some need to move during labor.


  1. I love this post! I am 23 weeks pregnant and I have been looking into all of my options. There is a lot that has changed since I had my son 13 years ago! I will be following your future posts :)

    -Michelle at MichellesPixieDust.com

  2. Thanks so much for this post. It is really informative- I can tell you took the time to give a balanced look at all of these options. Thanks for sharing on #smallvictoriessunday- stop by again next week!

  3. Very informative! Thanks for putting this together! I will be pinning this to my birth board. :)

  4. What a great post - this really hashes out all of the options that a woman has when experiencing labor and delivery. Since my son was footling breach, I really didn't have many options but I'm so happy that I still had a very personal and positive experience with my doctors and nurses during my delivery.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday! We love having you! :)