I think all SmartMoms will agree with us when we say that childbirth is already difficult as it is. With all the advancements in the medical field, parents are given choices in childbirth that make the journey that much more stressful! The ultimate goal of every parent is to have the best childbirth, and this very idea plus the available options can cause a series of debate between couples, knowledge acquisition, and asking other moms about their experiences. The best source for the last one is our SmartMom app, of course! For the second point, you can find pertinent information below!
Delivery: Vaginal Birth or Cesarean Section
Vaginal Birth: The passage of the baby via the vaginal canal. This depends on numerous factors such as the age of the mother, the mother’s condition, and the condition of the baby. In vaginal birth, the down time is less, the risks associated with surgery such as heavy bleeding and infection is avoided.
Cesarian Birth: It is a surgical procedure that is slightly riskier than vaginal birth, but it is considered as one of the safest surgeries with few complications. It is done due (but not limited) to the following factors:
- Prevision cesarian birth (classic incision)
- Failed induction
- Obstructive tumor
- Fetal distress
- Multigestation (twins, triplets, etc,)
- Umbilcal cord prolapse
- Premature separation of the placenta
- HIV-positive/AIDS status
- Active genital herpes
- Severe hypertension
- Elective – the mother requests for this delivery
Childbirth Setting: Home or Hospital
Home Birth: We see a rise in this type of childbirth setting as of late, but this is not a trend. Women gave birth in their homes until the late 1800s. The main advantage of home birth is family integrity; the baby can be easily integrated into the family since they’re all together during birth. This is not for everyone, though. Women who have an uncomplicated pregnancy can opt to go this route.
Hospital Birth: Most still prefer to give birth in the hospital because it is better equipped for unforeseen emergencies. The mother’s heart rate as well as the baby’s will be monitored all throughout. Pain medication can be easily acquired if the mother chooses to have one. The newborn can also be cared for and given immediate treatment if need be.
Support Person: Significant Other or a Doula
Your Significant Other: Most prefer that their significant other be present during labor and delivery because they feel more secured and relaxed when they’re around. Some also want their SOs to indirectly experience what they go through during this time.
Doula: Before SOs was permitted during labor and delivery in the 60s, it was the experienced birth attendants who helped the mothers. There are times when the father is too overwhelmed with emotion that the support provided is insufficient, so some mothers prefer to have a doula. Doulas have more knowledge when providing the kind of support needed.
Pain Management: Natural or Pharmacologic Childbirth
Natural: In natural birth, the mother is not given any medication to ease the pain during vaginal birth. Pain is reduced by different means.
Types of Natural/Non-pharmacologic Childbirth:
- Lamaze Method – It’s originally called psycho-prophylactic method because it aims to prevent pain (prophylaxis) by using the mind (psyche). Popularized by Ferdinand Lamaze, the method primarily uses consciously controlled breathing to ease out the pain and prevent the diaphragm from putting pressure to the uterus.
- Psychosexual Method – Developed by Sheila Kitzinger, the method focuses on relaxation and proper breathing. The woman is asked not to fight the contractions, but rather flow with it instead.
- Dick-Reed Method – The main premise of this method by Grantly Dick-Reed is to avoid fear, because fear leads to tension, and tension leads to pain. Like the others, relaxation is highly encouraged.
- Bradley (Partner-Coached) Method – Robert Bradley believes that childbirth is a joyful process that should be shared by the couple. The SO should be present all throughout to help the mother. In addition, the mother is asked to perform muscle-toning exercises, walk around during labor, breathe properly, and to use an internal focus point as a distraction.
Pharmacologic Childbirth: The use of anesthesia and tranquilizers to relieve anxiety and pain. One or both are used during vaginal and cesarian deliveries. The ease of discomfort and relaxation is fast. The ability of the drug to affect the baby depends on its molecular weight.
The important thing to consider when choosing is to seek professional help. You need to be properly assessed first. Don’t be swayed by what’s popular or what worked for your friend. It is a case to case basis. What worked for them may not work for you. And finally, gather as much information as you can.