Nine months seems like a long time, but your due date will be here before you know it. You may not even be thinking about delivery at this point since you're most likely just finding the right prenatal vitamins that don't make your morning sickness worse, but with so many choices available you may want to start thinking about it sooner rather than later.
Before you can decide on the birthing option that's best for you, sit down with your partner and talk things over. He's a part of this journey too, so get him involved. Knowing what you both want out of the experience will help you narrow down your choices.
As you already know, things rarely go as planned. In this case, you should have back up and alternative choices in your mind. Some women go into the delivery room wanting a natural delivery. But they soon find themselves facing a C-section after they pushed for two hours and still weren't able to get baby out.
While your health care provider, whether it's an OB/GYN, midwife or other qualified individual who will deliver your baby, will ultimately decide on the option that's best suited to your individual circumstance, here is a list of choices you can take into consideration:
Doula: When you're trying to push out a baby, words of encouragement are needed. For this reason, some people choose to have a Doula in the delivery room with them. This non-medical professional is there for you before, during and after the birth of your child for physical and emotional support. Giving birth is more mental than most people think, so having that extra bit of encouragement is a benefit. There are others who prefer to do it with their partner and maybe another family member in the room instead. There's no right or wrong way to find your support, as long as you have it.
Home birth: Some women prefer the comfortable environment and surroundings of their own home and want to deliver their baby there. This allows you to have more control over your experience and you can have more family members in the room with you than what would be permitted in a hospital setting. However, hospital births are more common and provide you and the baby with the necessary surroundings for any scenario.
Water birth: More hospitals across the country are offering water birth options to soon-to-be mothers due to the soothing relief it can provide for both mom and baby. If you think this is what you want to do, talk to your doctor or the health care provider who will deliver your baby and see if it's a possibility.
Medicated: If you opt to go the natural route, you're one tough cookie. Although more women are choosing to go with natural births that are free of medicine, some can't quite handle the pain, and that's OK. If you have decided on a medicated birth, your doctor will present you with a range of options for pain medications such as epidurals and spinal blocks. There's nothing wrong with medicated births, especially if you have other health issues that could make labor excruciatingly painful for you.
C-section: This procedure as a birthing option has become increasingly popular in recent years and is something your doctor will talk to you about as your due date gets closer. Most doctors will probably tell you that they save C-sections as a last resort for a "lack of progress" in the delivery room, but if the need for one comes along they'll talk to you about it and make sure that you're OK with this type of birthing option. C-sections are also an option for women who would rather schedule the arrival of their bundle of joy or simply want more control over their delivery. If you're considering scheduling a C-section, talk to your doctor about issues such as recovery time and the impending scar before making up your mind.
Squatting: The same as lying down, you have gravity working in your favor to help bring the baby down when squatting during labor. The majority of women give birth lying down; however, those who have back problems may find that it puts extra pressure on their spine and may want to be in a squatting position. It really depends on the one that you prefer and what your doctors feel is best for you.
Is there a certain birthing method you prefer? Are you open to alternative options? Join the discussion below!