Childbirth Options Articles

  • Thankful we have multiple birth options

    We are blessed that we live in a country where we have incredible options for birth. Even though it's daunting sometimes, look at it as a gift many mamas would love to have.

  • US preterm birthrate lowest in a decade -- lots of work ahead!

    The March of Dimes just released the 2012 Premature Birth Report Card. The U.S. has hit a new 10 year low for preterm births. This is a significant improvement now registering at 11.7 percent! Use our resources available here on Pregnancy.org to get you and your baby off to a healthy start!

  • Birthing choices -- what are your real options?

    As soon as you saw a positive on the pregnancy test -- or maybe before -- you began planning your baby's birth. Do you prefer a hospital, a birthing center to have your baby at home? Who will attend? A midwife, an OB/GYN, a doula? What are your options?

  • Why your 'empowering birth' isn't worth the safety of my son

    You can ‘be empowered' all you want. You can have the best birth ‘experience' in the whole freakin' world. You can ‘feel good' about your birth until the end of time. But at what cost to the baby today or you? Find out what this dad has to say about it!

  • Your birth team -- Is a doula right for me?

    Should a doula be part of your birthing team? Your doula may provide emotional support, physical comfort or information, whether your birth takes place in a hospital, home, or birth center.

  • Ten activities that could induce labor

    Your due date has come and gone. Your ready to serve an eviction notice to your small resident. What can you do that might get the message across?

  • Childbirth -- Preparing for Your Labor and Delivery

    You've said your final good-byes at work. You've finished the nursery. You've celebrated the upcoming birth, baby shower or blessing ceremony. Now you're ready to focus on the big day. What can you expect when labor starts for real?

  • Your Baby's Cord Blood Could Work a Miracle

    You can collect your baby's cord blood and save it. Years later, it can be used in case of emergencies with your child or transplanted to a patient who suffers from cancer or rare genetic disorders.

  • Birthing Rights -- Get Empowered and Know Your Options

    Most parents don't realize they can be in charge of their baby's birth experience. Unless there are specific restrictions, you can choose how labor and delivery will flow as well as your baby's care after birth. You have the right to be included in decisions being made and the right to say "no."

  • Unassisted Home Birth: The Pro's and Con's

    Unassisted childbirth, also known as "freebirthing," is a growing trend in the United States and the UK. You might wonder why anyone would consider having their baby without an attendant. Learn about the pro's and con's.

  • Choosing a Hospital and Doctor

    There are major differences in the way doctors and hospitals approach pregnancy and delivery. I'd like to spend the next few minutes making you a savvy consumer. The hospital is the most important choice you will make with regards your pregnancy. Is it baby friendly? Can it care for preterm babies? Take these and more into consideration when making your decision.

  • Partner Support During Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, the most important thing is having support. Anai Rhoads shares ideas for partner support both during and after pregnancy.

  • Are Vaginal Exams in Pregnancy Necessary?

    What is the purpose behind performing the vaginal exam in pregnancy? If it is patient led, meaning that the patient is the one requesting it, what would be her reasoning? On the other hand, if it is physician or midwife prompted, what are they looking for and why?

  • C.C.: A Story of Courage

    by C.C. Howell

  • Perineal Massage

    Perineal massage is the gentle stretching and massaging of the skin between the anus and vagina (perineum) during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This massage has been shown to reduce the incidence of episiotomy and perineal tears during birth.

  • Signs of Labor

    Wondering if today is the day? What's the difference between dilation and effacement? Braxton-Hicks or the real thing? If you've lost your mucus plug will labor start right away? Learn more about the changes your body makes as it prepares for and begins labor.

  • Using Narcotics for Pain Relief During Childbirth

    Many women choose to use some type of method to deal with pain during childbirth. As you prepare for your labor experience it is important to become educated ahead of time on what different pain medications are available, how they work, as well as what the risks and benefits are.

  • Nitrous Oxide Analgesia for Child Birth

    So many women could use is a "middle path;" a mild analgesic that could be safely used during birth, with little or no effects on the baby. It would be okay if this analgesic let in some pain. It would make all the difference to have just "a little something to take the edge off."

  • Before Hiring a Midwife

    Before you hire a midwife, be sure to interview several carefully. Take your time reviewing their history, call up their references, have a list of questions handy, research the legal issues in your state and ask the midwife for proof of her certification.

  • Is a Doula for Me?

    The word doula is a Greek word that means "Women's Servant." Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from another woman has positive effects on the labor process. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.