We all want to be sure that the way we choose to give birth is the safest choice for both mom and baby, however many of the most common complications women experience giving birth are preventable. The way you choose to give birth is probably best if it is the one you, your midwife, or doctor, agree on together. Your OBGYN or midwife will provide information on your options and choices with supporting facts based on your own unique circumstances and this will you help in making the right decisions for you and your baby. However, you should also take time to research and get as much unbiased information as possible.
What Is The Most Popular Birthing Option?
It is important to prepare for childbirth and to understand that the best birthing option depends on your body, your baby, any medical conditions, as well as the expectations you have about your birth experience. The following are some choices that you may want to consider.
The vast majority of women and birthing people decide to take the natural route with labor and birth as opposed to a C. Section. Natural childbirth may or may not involve using pain medication during labor but the goal is to have as little intervention as possible while letting nature take its course so that your baby is born vaginally. Those that choose to experience natural labor and birth often have fewer complications during labor and delivery, and they generally have a more positive experience overall. Research has shown that in the absence of medical complications and unnecessary routine interventions, such as breaking your water, spontaneous labor and natural birth is the safest way for you giving birth and for your baby being born.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and reducing stress can also help to prepare you and planning for an active labor and birth is part of your must do preparations if you want a natural birth. Learn as much as you can about movement and the different positions that you can use in labor to make you feel more in control, more comfortable and better able to cope with the sensations of childbirth. All of this will go a long way in helping you have a better, more positive birthing experience.
Increasingly many providers are now offering resources to promote natural childbirth, that you can also purchase for yourself, and some of these may be just what you need to get through childbirth.
Modern Birthing Stools or Chairs for Natural Birth
Using a birthing stool or chair can be a great way to help you during labor by allowing the joints in your pelvis to move more freely. This can create up to 30% more space for your baby to be born. By using a birthing position that makes it easier for baby to born they are less likely to become ’stuck’. In turn this means that you are less likely to need medical assistance to help your baby to be born. Upright positions for labor and birth include kneeling, all fours, squatting, standing and sitting straight up. All upright positions have been shown to prevent several common complications during birth such as:
- Prolonged labor (very long labor)
- Emergency C. Sections
- Baby becoming distressed.
- The need for Pitocin to increase contractions.
- Ventous (suction cup) to help baby be born
- Less tears or trauma to the perineum requiring stitches.
- Less NICU admissions
The modern birthing chair is designed to support upright birth positions while being easy for anyone to use. They should provide a comfortable place for the woman/birthing person to lean over, sit or rest on, while supporting her in whatever birth position she chooses during labor. However not all of them provide any cushioning and some can feel extremely hard to use for an extended period of time, particularly those made from wood, metal or fibreglass. Inflatables, such as the Comfortable, Upright Birth (CUB) support are much more flexible and provide cushioning for added relief.
The CUB Inflatable Birth Support is a multi-award-winning modern birthing stool that can provide all the advantages of mobility, comfort, and upright positions for labor and birth. Visit us here to find out more about our innovative product!
C-Section Delivery: An Alternative To Natural Birth
Doctors can recommend a C-section if either the mother or baby has a medical need during pregnancy or during labor itself. This is a viable option if natural/vaginal delivery puts the mother and the baby at risk of serious complications. Despite a C-section being major abdominal surgery in most cases this is a safe option to consider if vaginal birth is more risky for you. This is something to discuss with your doctor or midwife during pregnancy so that you understand why and when this maybe recommended for you if you had chosen to have a natural birth. It is worth remembering that C. Sections also carry risks to mom and baby so this should also be explained to you beforehand too.
Is There A Painless Way To Give Birth?
Some people find the experience of childbirth incredibly challenging and it can be difficult for them to cope physically or mentally during the experience of birth, especially if they have not prepared for a natural labor. How you choose to manage the experience of childbirth is a personal choice that only you can make and you may feel more confident if you have made the decision to have pain medications during labor or even to have an epidural. However it should be clearly explained to you that pain medications and epidural also carry risks and may mean that you need additional intervention due to the effects of the pain relief you have chosen. Natural birth is not painless or necessarily quick, however C.Sections, pain medications and epidurals are not either, even if they are generally safe procedures. The choices you make for your birth are really about weighing up what is safest for you and your baby depending on how you feel you can cope both during childbirth and afterwards.
Increasingly many women are learning to hypnobirth. This is a form of self hypnosis where you can train during pregnancy to be able to manage the sensations of childbirth better. Some people even report having no pain at all when they have used it during labor and many have reported that hypnobirthing was really helpful in keeping them relaxed and calm even if they chose an epidural or needed a C. Section, so it is definitely worth trying out. There are many free online apps, and courses, as well as guidance available from your Midwife or Doula. What is very important is how confident you feel in the advice you are given by your Dr or Midwife and in the support you have to make a truly informed choice so that you feel empowered by your birth experience, regardless of how you end up giving birth.
Should you or your baby need medical intervention during childbirth your Dr or Midwife will be able to provide a professional recommendation on how to make any intervention as pain free as possible.
During pregnancy you need to consider and take steps to look after your physical, mental, social, and emotional wellbeing by preparing for childbirth. Being well informed and prepared has been shown to improve bonding relationships, successful breastfeeding and decreased postpartum depression. Having confidence and trust with your care providers and birth team will also make your experience of childbirth much more positive, even if an unexpected complication does arise. Make sure that you discuss at length your personal choices and expectations during your scheduled prenatal appointments where your health and that of your baby will be monitored, and make time to become more informed about your choices and the impact they may or may not have.
Spending time researching the most beneficial birthing positions that will help you be more active and comfortable during labor is a great way to begin your preparation for a healthy birth and we would encourage you to learn more about hypnobirthing and practice relaxation techniques. If your budget, or insurance allows, consider hiring a Doula for additional support during labor as this has also been shown to improve the experience and outcome of birth.
If you have additional medical considerations at any time during pregnancy or birthing work closely and be advised by your medical provider at the time. Remember giving birth is not a competition and whatever way you bring your baby into the world, or how you choose to experience it make sure that you are informed, in control of your choices and as comfortable as you feel you need to be to cope.
Happy, Healthy Birthing!
We advocate adopting the Comfortable, Upright Birth (CUB) for all amazing mothers out there! Learn more about the advantages of upright labor positions and why they’re important during birth. Visit us here to discover what recent research says about upright birth!