Today, women have more choice with respect to the birthing process. It is now possible for women to decide when they wish to give birth thanks to better birth control methods. The list below includes some of the options that you as an expecting mother have as to how you wish to give birth.
This is quickly gaining popularity amongst women who want to experience labor naturally. Pregnant women who are taught self-hypnosis tend to have peaceful, calm births. Their labors tend to be shorter and they are less fatigued. The hypnobirth technique is most successful when taught by women with a background in both hypnotherapy and chidbirth education.
This is a specially designed chair that can support a pregnant woman in a sitting or squatting position. This allows for assistance from gravity during delivery, thereby speeding labor naturally. Also, the squatting position helps during the pushing stage. Lastly, many women like birthing chairs because it allows them to see more of the delivery process than conventional birthing methods.
Leboyer births follow the theory that the birthing process should be as tranquil as possible. It aims at making the child’s transition from uterus to the world as non-traumatic as possible. This may involve soft lights, soft music, a warm bath for the baby, not slapping the newborn to stimulate breathing, not cutting the umbilical cord immediately, etc.
A water birth theoretically eases the baby’s transition from the womb, into another warm, wet environment before entering the real world. Once the baby is born, it is pulled out of the water immediately and placed in the mother’s arms. There is little risk of drowning because breathing doesn’t begin until the baby is exposed to air. Your spouse can join you in the tub or hold on to you to provide support. This is really only an option for low-risk pregnancies; however, many women find that the water also provides relaxation and even helps with the progression of labor.
Home births are growing in popularity as more women choose this option over going to the hospital. A home birth allows you to labor in the comfort of your home, surrounded by people who mean the most to you. And right after you give birth, there’s nothing more rewarding than snuggling up in your own bed with your newborn beside you!
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD