Birthing Options

Giving birth is life’s most awe inspiring experience. As you prepare for the magical moment when your baby enters the world, you face many important decisions. Many of them will hinge on your personal philosophy and the things you’ve come to believe about childbirth. As you grow closer to your due date questions will arise: Who should be at the birth? Where- at home, birth center or hospital? Should I take the childbirth education classes- what kind? Will my birth be natural or do I want pain relief? Will I breast feed? And the questions go on and on…

Conventional obstetrical care treats pregnancy as an illness which must be managed. This often results in routine interventions in the birth process- everything from constant fetal monitoring and epidurals to labor induction to episiotomies and routine non-emergency Cesareans. Nearly all OBs deliver babies only at hospitals where interventions are easily available and commonly used. In contrast, CNMs view birth as a natural process.  As more and more families realize there are alternatives to a conventional hospital birth, they are presented with the two main alternatives, which are home birth or birth center birth.  Ultimately, where you feel the safest and most comfortable, should be where you decide to give birth, but this may be different for everyone.  Your comfort is a key component in birthing success.

We often are asked the question of whether a home birth or birth center birth is best.  There is no perfect answer.  This can vary person to person, depending on your comfort level and living arrangements.  The same safety professionals and medical equipment/supplies are available at home, as are in the birth center, so you and your baby’s safety are comparable at both locations.