Pregnancy is a very exciting time for an expectant mother. Buying maternity clothing, staring in awe at an expanding waistline, decorating a child’s room and watching the first tentative fetal kicks are a wonderful experience that many women cherish long after their children are grown.
While pregnancy is often a marvelous occurrence, many first time mothers understandably worry about childbirth. Horror stories abound about 50-hour labors and C-sections without anesthesia. Gory anecdotes are passed around with a wink by the formerly pregnant the way veterans share combat stories.
Packing bags for the hospital once the water has broken doesn’t have to mean entering an unknown country. There are many actions expectant parents can take to prepare for a visit from the stork.
One of the easiest decisions many parents make is where to give birth. The majority of women give birth in a hospital. A hospital birth is a popular and very safe venue to welcome a child into the world. Hospitals today offer many amenities to women in labor including private suites, catered food and even spa services to help ease labor such as massages and specially designed birthing tubs. Many maternity wards will offer advance tours of birthing facilities to a woman who intends to give birth in a hospital.
Hospitals can also accommodate a wide variety of labor choices. To someone who chooses to give birth without the assistance of drugs and using a midwife, the hospital offers a quick back up in case something goes wrong during birth and direct medical assistance is required.
Another choice increasing in popularity is a homebirth. A homebirth is when a laboring mother gives birth at home. This option is very popular in Europe where midwives are highly utilized. Homebirths have many advantages. They allow a woman to labor in familiar surroundings without the need for transport to a hospital. A natural setting can ease a woman’s fears and decrease labor time. A homebirth also allows greater participation by a partner who has a nearby place to rest during contractions. This choice can also lower medical costs.
For those at low risk of potential complications the choice to homebirth is an excellent option; one that can allow a laboring woman to have greater control over her birth and recovery.
Whatever choice you make, investigate carefully. A hospital birth can be a very satisfying experience that allows for maximum safety even if the patient is at low risk. A homebirth can be a joyous occasion that lets the laboring woman her friends join in her delight. Either decision can be the perfect way to welcome your new life into the world.