Before you make a decision about where to give birth, it is important to look at all your options, and think about which one is best suited to help you achieve the experience you desire and the safest outcome for you and your baby. Your range of choices include:
Your care provider options may also include a Doula, who can work in conjunction with any of the above. A Doula is a person who provides support, especially during the labor and in postpartum care. During the delivery they function as a labor coach, but are not medically trained and do not engage in this aspect of the birth.
In conjunction with the decision about who to utilize as your primary care provider, also comes the decision of where to give birth. Again there is a range of choices which include:
- A Hospital
- A Birth Center
- A Home Birth
Ultimately each woman should follow her heart and give birth wherever it is she feels the most comfortable. You owe it to yourself and your baby to make sure these are informed decisions.
Choosing a care provider becomes especially challenging if you desire a natural delivery. So often, professionals who have received their training through medical schools and work out of a facility like a hospital are immersed in the Western style of medical practice. They simply do not have the same commitment to natural childbirth as those who practice at birthing centers or do home births.
Hospitals also frequently have a system of protocols that they must follow that put constraints on the natural birth process.
Women have also been taught to depend on the medical model support system for birth, from labor inducing drugs to drugs for pain relief. This in itself sets up a series of events which reduces the mother’s ability to give birth vaginally.
- Labor inducing drugs force the uterus to begin contractions before it is truly ready.
- Pain reliving drugs numb a woman’s ability to be in tune with her body, blocking her intuitive desire to push.
- These same drugs are absorbed by the baby and can put it under stress. indicated by a heartbeat that is too fast.
- Once it is determined that the baby is under stress, the doctor will declare the need for an emergency cesarean section.