Even with the best plans in place, babies have been known to be born prematurely and in the most diverse situations. Fortunately, this is not very common, but should be discussed in the event of an emergency. Expectant parents should discuss their options with their health care provider and prenatal advisors.
The three most common birthing environments are: home births, birthing centers and hospitals. Each of these options has risks and benefits and should be well understood by the expecting parents. The level of care desired for example, having a doula, a midwife, a physician or a team approach should be discussed prior to delivery. The mother’s medical history should be evaluated and pre and postnatal care addressed.
Home birth, allows the mother to be in her familiar home environment, surrounding by her loved ones, wearing her own clothes and using her own baby products. The risks of contracting infections from other expectant mothers and staff are reduced. However, life saving measures may not be available, and if an emergency arise both the mother and baby may be rushed to a hospital for higher level of care. The lag time could be detrimental and affect the outcome.
A birthing center could be part of the hospital or a separate facility, and may have more medical interventions such as oxygen and suction apparatus, should the baby or mother require them. However, the expectant mother has options or freedom regarding pain control. She can also choose to go for non traditional birthing option such as the birthing tub. Advantages would include: the cost which is cheaper and more individualized care since she would have her own personal midwife coaching her through the birth process. Disadvantages would be the same as home births, because should an emergency occur both the mother and baby would need to be transferred to the hospital.
There are two forms of hospital deliveries: vaginal delivery and cesarean section. The advantage of delivering in the hospital includes getting the best and fastest care in case of an emergency. The disadvantages include: the higher cost, exposures to many staff members and other mothers and potential for infections, and adhering to strict visiting hours and protocols of the facility and wearing hospital gowns. The KidsWorldMD website offers more information on Cesarean-Section.
Whatever birthing option is used, expectant mothers will endure the stages of labor. An extensive overview found on the KidsWorldMD website will give an overview of the labor process and educate new mothers so that they can seek clarification from their health care providers prior to delivery and get the best care, regardless of which birthing method they choose.