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 getting him involved. Knowing what you both want out of the experience will help you narrow down your choices.
As you already know, things rarely ever 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 vs. going alone: 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 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.
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 vs. natural: 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. Medicated births will present you with a range of options for pain medications such as epidurals and spinal blocks. There's nothing wrong with medicated births, or those that use epidurals, 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.
Lying down vs. squatting: These two types of delivery options both provide intriguing benefits as to why you should choose them. With both options, you have gravity working in your favor to help bring the baby down. 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!