Published: 09/21/2013 - Updated: 01/25/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
When it comes time to give birth, every woman must decide which type of labour is best for her.
In earlier times, births used to be at home, assisted by the same family, husbands or by a midwife, however, in recent years technology has become an essential part for the moment of giving birth. The idea of an alternative birth does not necessarily mean you are against technology, however, it is important to consider other options with which we feel comfortable at this special time.
Alternative births are seen as risky, which is why it is recommended to have a specialist or skilled person present at the time of birth so they can assess the condition of the mother and baby during the process. While some women feel comfortable and safe in a hospital, for others, the opportunity to have a more natural and traditional birth is a better choice.
1. Water birth
This is done in the same household and normally bathtubs are used for birthing. However, this can also be done in a birthing center that is equipped for this type of birth. It is recommended to have the water at body temperature.
There is some speculation around this method of birthing and some suggest that it can be less traumatic for the baby. However, it is without doubt that actually it is more beneficial for the mother and the baby being born in water is indifferent. The aquatic environment allows the mother to relax before and during the birth.
This type of birth should always be supervised by a professional as it involves risks to the baby if you stay a long time under water.
2. Childbirth at home
Doctors tend to recommend opting for this alternative on the basis that the mother has a history of having a natural birth with a healthy baby as a result. In the case that this is your first time giving birth, the possibility to go to the hospital should also be an option if there are complications.
As a first step in preparation, you should clean and fix up the room where the birth will be, preparing everything that the midwife, assistants and baby will require before, during and after the birth. Try to make a comfortable and soothing environment.
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During childbirth, the midwife should review the baby's vital signs through a stethoscope and she and the father should assist the mother to be more comfortable.
The benefits of this type of birth is that you have the privacy to give birth at home in familiar surroundings, the future father is an integral part of the birth and even the baby's siblings may be present if you wish.
3. Vertical childbirth
As labour has become a procedure which is almost exclusively carried out in hospitals, women are quite often limited to lying in the same position as it is easier for midwives to perform obstetric maneuvers. However, there are some studies that consider the supine position to prolong labour and lead to other complications.
On the contrary, walking, squatting, standing or sitting can help relieve pain and promote labour, as a mother who moves freely is less likely to have an episiotomy, forceps, or even a cesarean.
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A birthing chair consists of a support for the mother to sit down to give birth, and allows the mother to be in a vertical position facilitating labour, as the mother can push the baby easier using the force of gravity .
An alternative birth offers the mother the possibility to experience birth in her own way, without the pressure of taking medication for pain or being forced to stay in a birthing position that is uncomfortable. It is definitely not a suitable option for all women, but for those who do not fear the birthing process, it provides a family atmosphere and avoids unnecessary medical interventions.
The baby also benefits as he or she is given to the mother immediately after birth and can begin breastfeeding spontaneously.
A natural birth requires the professional in charge to spend more time with the mother and provide a more humane treatment, as well as the fact there is no need to rush the process of birth through drips.
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