When you were pregnant with your child, did you have a birthing plan in place? Did it go the way you thought it would, or did you have to change direction? There are so many options now for giving birth that it may seem overwhelming at times. How do you know what will be best for you and do you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong? Here are some of the different options that are available during pregnancy today and the difference between all of them.
- Hospital Birth: You will be under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses to ensure you and your baby are kept healthy and safe. The hospital is the most frequent choice today. Over 98% of people today choose this method. Being in the hospital allows for a clean and safe delivery and other options if something were to go wrong. This is the best option for people who have a high risk pregnancy, need to have a c-section or want an epidural. There are trained staff to assist in each of these areas and they are able to monitor both you and your child.
- Birthing Centers: This is a great option for people with low risk pregnancies that want to do things more naturally. These centers are set up to have a more at home feel to make people more comfortable. There are only certified midwives with no actual obstetrician or anesthesiologist on board with no possibility for a c-section. Midwives will monitor your progress and refer you to a doctor or hospital if needed.
- Water Birth: This option is not widely used by obstetricians but midwives approve of this method highly. Advocates for water birth say that the water relaxes the person and eases labor and delivery. There is little risk of drowning since the baby does not take their first breath until they are exposed to air. There is no evidence of negative effects to babies born by water birth. It is not recommended for people with high risk pregnancy or complications. People with high risk pregnancies are not recommended because the person and baby need constant supervision to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
- Home birth: Some people do not like the idea of giving birth in a hospital and feel more comfortable giving birth in their own home. The downside of this option is that there is no emergency medical care that can be provided if something goes wrong. Professionals that attend can provide limited medical care such as suction and the administration of oxygen.
Now that you know the different types of options to give birth, you can put a birthing plan in place. Some of the things to consider while creating a birthing plan are:
- Pain relief during labor
- Delivery positions
- Assisted delivery options
- What to possibly expect
- Who will cut the umbilical cord
- All the options available if something goes wrong.
Once you have a plan in place, you think you can put your mind to rest and that everything will work out the way you expected it to. That may be the case in many women’s experience giving birth, but for many women things can go wrong, and fast. I am one of those women that had a plan in place and was prepared and took precautions, but things went wrong. This is my story and hopefully it will inspire you and help you heal if you have been in a similar situation.
My entire pregnancy I was considered high risk. I have diabetes and other medical conditions that the doctors needed to monitor and keep a close eye on. My pregnancy was smooth and not a problem was in sight. I had an entire plan in place for how I was going to give birth and when to come in. The doctors wanted me to come into the hospital before my expected due date to induce and monitor me. When I went in they had to induce me. It was a very slow process for me as my body would not dilate fast enough so they had to use many options and tools to help me along. I ended up getting an epidural after day 2 of labor and I was so grateful. Finally after 3 full days in labor I was ready to start pushing and deliver my baby. It all started out well, they could see the head and I was pushing the right way, and his heartbeat was strong and healthy. But then things started to go wrong. I kept pushing but my child was not moving any further down, and at this time I was developing a fever and pushing much harder than I should have. They put an internal heart monitor on my childs’ head to make sure everything was okay. Well it was not okay. After 3 hours of pushing and my fever rising to 104 degrees fahrenheit I was scheduled for an emergency c-section. They discovered he was stuck in my birth canal and had his first bowel movement inside of me making us both dangerously sick. The entire c-section was terrifying. The doctors gave me gas to calm me down and I was not even in the room anymore, but in a place of a nightmare. The whole thing took 15 minutes, and when I came around they told me that my son was not breathing when he was born. He had inhaled his first bowel movement and was unable to breathe on his own for 5 minutes. His lungs were completely filled with this so they had to suction some of it out. Finally he is breathing on his own and is completely fine, but those moments finding out your child almost did not make it are terrifying. We were in the hospital for 2 weeks while we both recovered. I was so happy that I chose to do a hospital birth, because if I hadn’t I may not have my son today. He is now a happy 5 year old boy, even though he has autism and speech problems, he does not let anything stop him.
No matter what your plan is for birth, always have a backup plan just in case the unexpected happens. Also, DO NOT let anyone tell you how you decide to have your baby is wrong. You know your body and what you need and do not need. Listen to your body and doctor and things will work out for the good. Good luck to all upcoming moms out there! You’ve got this!