Birth, Parenting, Pregnancy

Home? Birth Center? Hospital?

So, you are expecting a bundle of joy to arrive in the near future. You are excited and rightfully so. Then….you begin your journey into the world of pregnancy, labor and birth. There is so much information….so much, at times, contradictory information.

Will you choose an OB, MD, ND, CNM, CPM, LM to be your birth attendant? Which one is the right birth attendant for you and your personal situation? Then there is all the controversary surrounding the prenatal tests — which are all optional and have a 50% false positive rate. Which tests will you accept as “necessary” for you? How will you know if you’ve made the right decision? What about the birth place? Where will your baby come into the world? Will it be in the comfort of your own home? Will you travel to a hospital? Will you meet someplace in between the two and birth at a birth center?

The answer to all of these questions is the same – it depends on your situation and how your pregnancy progresses. If you have any reservations about home birth – research it….study it…..ask questions about it of those who have experienced it, especially if they have also experienced a birth in the hospital and/or birth center. Those who have only experienced birth in one location may not be the best people to ask for an opinion. They have nothing to base the opinion on….seek out those who can answer the question objectively.

I’ve birthed primarily in the hospital but I have had the joy of birthing at home also. What’s my opinion on birth place? Again the answer is the same as above….it depends on your situation and how your pregnancy is progressing. If you are healthy and low-risk then a home or birth center birth just might be the right choice for you. If you, however, are experiencing some health challenges like hypertension, diabetes, etc then the hospital may be the best place for you.

All decisions need to be made only after thorough research. Research would include reading, talking with friends and family as well as taking a comprehensive childbirth class and always keeping your birth attendant in the loop. It is the wise couple who not only learns what their options may be but who also create and keep positive communication with their birth attendant. Making the birth attendant the “enemy” is not the best choice. If you are feeling uneasy about who you’ve chosen as your birth attendant… still have choices – you can choose to change providers – even if your insurance does not cover the provider you’d really prefer to choose. You have options – there are always options.

It is important to enter labor feeling confident with who you have chosen and where you have chosen. Any doubt may hamper the progress of your labor. Choose wisely and if you have questions ask them….we learn by asking questions….so never hesitate to ask the questions.

Most importantly understand that this is your event – no one elses. It doesn’t much matter what anyone else feels is the “right” option for you – only you know what is the right option for you. Good luck!

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