One Born Every Minute
You Just Found Out You're Pregnant - But How Will You Give Birth?
This may be your first baby, it may be your fifth - but one thing is the same: you need to decide how and where you will give birth!
I'm about to have my fifth child, and I've had more than one kind of birth - in fact I've had 4 other very different birth experiences. With each and every baby I had to look at my options and decide what was best for me and my family.
You may know the obvious options, but have you considered them all?
Hospital Birth: This is the usual choice for women in the U.S. It seems like the obvious option, the easiest, right? It might not be right for you. If you are writing up a birth plan and it's the longest list ever and your OB gets a bit bristly at the site of it - a hospital birth might not be for you. If you're planning on refusing many of the typical protocols in the delivery room - a hospital birth is very likely not for you. If you're a high risk pregnancy or already know you'll require a c-section - a hospital birth is for you.
Birth Center Birth: This is sort of a go-between in the world of childbirth. This is the place you can go to still feel like you are all "official" with some slight protocols and doctors and nurses. This is also were you usually will find midwives. Birth centers can sometimes do IV's and administer certain drugs, and they have great relationships with the local hospitals. It's also a great environment (very comfy rooms that feel like bedrooms) and sometimes you can even have a water birth. If you are not comfortable with a home birth but know a hospital isn't right for you - you're a great candidate for finding a birth center you love.
Home Birth: The ancient of ways, the most modern of trends. Home births are still only accounting for about 1% of births in the U.S., and yet anectdotally they are on the rise. They aren't just for the hippies or the crunchy mamas, but those who simply see birth as a natural experience, do not have any high risk pregnancy issues, and have no desire to be a part of the deliveries the hospitals are offering. I've had 3 home births (and one hospital birth) and am very much a home birth fan. If you don't feel comfortable with a hospital or birth center, home is your place to be. If you steer clear of the medical establishment in general, home birth is for you (and you probably knew that already!).
No matter what you choose, know that you DO have options. No matter what state you live in. Make Google your friend and find local birth centers and midwives if you feel in your gut that the hospital is not where you belong. And good luck with your journey!