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Types of Births
by Mel April 2nd 2010, 07:45 AM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 3, Issue 8 (February 2010).

Types of Births
By Gidig

Having a child can be a frightening experience. Doctors, needles, babies, procedures, and lists of things to remember loom over your head. You’re going to be a mom, bringing a baby into the world. It’s best to be informed about the types of births, where you can deliver, and who can and should be there with you to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Care Providers

Different people can help in different ways to give you the best care possible. When looking for the right care provider, decide how and where you’d like to give birth. Get recommendations, and decide who you’d feel most comfortable with talking to. Sometimes you have to ask personal questions, so if you don’t feel at ease with them, you may not talk about crucial things to the birthing process.

Obstetricians/Gynecologists – Obstetricians and gynecologists are doctors specializing in caring for women through childbirth. They closely monitor the pregnant woman’s health through the whole pregnancy and delivery. They are meant to prepare you for delivery, and what to expect. Both are informed on woman’s reproductive systems, but a gynecologist usually is the one to do pap smears, breast exams and the sort, unlike obstetricians. They’re both especially helpful in monitoring high risk pregnancies.

Midwives – Midwives usually have a vast amount of knowledge to assist with a delivery. Typically they assist with low risk pregnancies and can help with births at hospitals, homes and birthing centers. They’re very emotionally supportive as well as checking on the woman’s physical well-being. They believe in normal birth, and only use technology when necessary to you, or your child’s health. Midwives also provide the mother with individualized education, emotional counseling, prenatal care, and postpartum support.

Locations to Give Birth

When choosing a place to give birth, you have to decide where you’d feel most comfortable. Talk to others about their experiences giving birth in different atmospheres, and the care your baby and you will be able to receive at each location.

Hospitals – Hospitals are usually the place people choose to give birth. If you have an obstetrician or gynecologist hospitals are usually where they work out of, and know most about. People choose hospitals because they feel more comfortable having the technology and resources to get help quick in the case of an emergency. Though, keep in mind, sometimes they aren’t the most comfortable atmosphere for you. And visiting hours from hospital to hospital vary.

Birthing Centers – Sometimes birthing centers are inside hospitals, and sometimes free-standing. They’re meant to make the atmosphere more comfortable for everyone involved, and be very specialized at the same time. Midwives are usually the sole care provider here, but obstetricians and gynecologists can work there too. This type of location is recommended for low risk pregnancies, and with woman who want few interventions.

Home Birth – Some women choose to have their baby from the comfort of their own home. With having a home birth, you have to be very educated about what’s going to happen, what to expect, and how to go about getting medical assistance if needed. Midwives come to help with the birthing process. This is a very family centered birth, but is only recommended for low risk pregnancies. Some women are also uncomfortable with the thought of being so far from medical help in the case of an emergency.

Water Births – Some women choose to actually deliver their child in water, such as a pool or a bathtub. Some choose to labor in the water, and get out for delivery. And some choose to deliver in the water as well. The water is soothing and relaxing during the usually uncomfortable process of delivering a child. It can also help lower high blood pressure when it gets high from anxiety. The theory behind it is that the child comes out into an environment that is similar to that in the amniotic sac. If this interests you, be sure to talk to your health care provider and look at if this is a reasonable option.

Types of Births

There are various types of births, as in the way the child is delivered. Be sure to look at your options, and decide what is best and most comfortable for you. Talk to your health care provider about what would be in your best interest. And be sure to inform yourself about the possibilities.

Natural Birth – This is also known as vaginal birth. It usually doesn’t use the assistance of doctors, and usually people choosing this type of birth have a midwife. These births can happen in hospitals or at home. You can also have a normal birth in a pool, or other water as discussed above. There are many types of pain management that you can use with a natural birth, or you could use none at all. It is rare to need stitches, the only case you may need them is if a tear occurs at the point of birth. Your midwife will let you know what’s going on, and will usually put the stitches in themselves. With a normal birth, women usually go home quickly after the delivery compared to other methods. Women also usually recover more quickly.

Caesarean Section – There are various reasons why you may have a caesarean section, but normally it is preformed when vaginal birth isn’t the safest for you or your baby. Doctors cut through your abdominal wall, where your baby is born through. To have this preformed, you must sign a consent form. You should know all the information you can about caesarean sections, because there are many cases that it needs to be done as an emergency operation if the natural birth is not going correctly. You will be given the proper treatment for pain as you wish, such as an epidural or the like. It can sometimes be uncomfortable because so many people are there, and you are on the spot. But your doctor, your midwife, and your partner are able to come in with you. You normally stay awake for the whole procedure, but in some rare cases they will give you a general anesthetic to put you to sleep.


Overall, remember to ask questions if you’re uncomfortable. Look in to the possibilities of what could happen when you’re in labor, remember it doesn’t always go as planned, but this is for the protection of you and your baby. Your doctor will do what’s in you and your baby’s best interest, so make sure you chose a doctor you really trust to make these decisions.
After all the labor, rest, and take your child home with you to enjoy having a newborn with you!

Sources:
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/
http://www.nuh.nhs.uk/

Last edited by Mel; April 4th 2010 at 09:37 AM.
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