From the moment a woman sees a positive pregnancy test, her life changes forever. Parenthood is one of the greatest adventures anyone can go on and it is vital that every new mom learn about her birth options and is fully prepared for the birth of her baby.
Birth Options: Choosing a Care Provider
Many newly pregnant women may simply go to their local OBGYN without much thought. While this is a viable option, it is important to put some thought into what kind of care she wants to receive as well as the type of birth she wishes to have. The two main options a woman has for prenatal care are an OB-GYN and a certified nurse-midwife (CNM). Both are medically safe, but have very different methods of caring for a woman and her unborn baby.
An OB-GYN will be very knowledgeable about how to use medicine to provide a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery but will view the process as a medical event with the need for intervention. As a result, there is a greater incidence of medical interventions including episiotomies, pitocin for inducing contractions and c-sections.
A certified nurse-midwife is trained in all the same medical interventions as an OB-GYN with the exception of surgical procedures. They hold a more naturalistic view of pregnancy and birth and thus the incidence of medical interventions are significantly lower. Most CNMs will support the mother’s choice of natural birth or pain relief in birth, and have hospital affiliation so that a mother may choose to have an epidural and give birth in a hospital setting.
Birth Options: Child Birth Preparation Class
While it may seem simple to sign up for a child birth preparation class in order to learn about the labor and delivery of a baby, in fact the choice of class will directly impact the mother’s experience. There are many options available, and many women have wonderful birthing experiences with each class. The important thing is for the mother to research the available classes and choose one that best fits with her personal beliefs and desires regarding her birthing experience.
Some of the options available to mothers include:
- Lamaze – this is a traditional child birth preparation class that teaches pregnant women and their birth partner the basics of what happens during labor and delivery as well as some simple techniques for pain relief.
- Bradley Method – this is a popular choice for many couples as it focuses on the natural aspect of giving birth, providing suggestions for pain relief and training for the birth partner as well.
- Hypnobabies – this is a self-hypnosis method of labor and delivery that helps the mom stay relaxed and in control throughout the entire experience. There is also a home study course for moms who cannot attend a class.
- HypnoBirthing – another self-hypnosis option for mothers who wish to remain as relaxed and pain free as possible during their labor and delivery.
When a woman becomes pregnant it is important that she put some thought into her choices and birth options. Being prepared and understanding her options is important for every new mother. It is also important for a woman to realize that if things do not go as planned during the birth of her first child, she can change how she does things the next time.