It’s vital that you learn about all of your birthing options and carefully consider what is best for you and your family. There is a wide range of option from hospital birth to home birth, each with its pros and cons.
a parent, you will constantly be faced with important decisions to make. These
decisions start from the time you find out you’re pregnant. There are a lot of
choices to make throughout your pregnancy and about your birthing experience.
Some things you’ll face decisions about are who will care for you during your
pregnancy, birth and during your postnatal period; where you will give birth at;
and what type of pain medication, if any, that you want to help you manage
labour pains. It’s vital that you learn
about all of your options and carefully consider what is best for you and
Choosing a Pregnancy Care
have several choices of what type of care provider that you will have care for
you during pregnancy, birth and shortly after birth. Often times, you will receive care from
multiple care providers.
specialize in care of normal pregnancy
and birth. A midwife can care for you during your pregnancy, throughout
your labour and birth as well as during your postnatal period. Midwives
generally spend at least 3 years in schooling before they qualify and register
as a midwife.
2. General Practitioners
practitioners can go through specialized training beyond their normal degree if
they would like to have the option to provide care for women throughout their
pregnancy. If you’re interested in this, you can ask your GP about their qualifications.
complete extensive education and training to become specialists of female reproductive
health including pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care. They are well trained for complications and
Choosing Where to Receive Care
and Give Birth
are various places for women to receive care as well as give birth including
public or private hospitals, birth centres, and even a woman’s own home. Your
options may be limited depending on your location, so be sure to check what is
available in your area.
1. Public Hospital Maternity
in a public hospital maternity clinic is free
under Medicare. If you choose to have your birth at a public hospital
maternity clinic, you will likely be
seen by multiple different midwives and obstetricians throughout your
pregnancy and all of your visits will take place at the actual hospital. You won’t
get to choose who will provide your care during your labour and birth as it
will simply depend on who is working when you go into labour.
2. Shared Care
a public hospital maternity clinic, you’ll also have the option of doing shared
care. This is when your care is split between your GP (general practitioner)
and the maternity clinic. After an evaluation at the maternity clinic, you’ll see
your GP for your regular checkups. The hospital will still take care of all of
your scans as well as anything else outside your GP’s range of abilities. You’ll also give birth at the hospital and be
attended to by the midwives and obstetricians who are on duty there during your
labour and birth. A downfall of doing shared care is that you may be responsible for some costs.
3. Community Midwifery Programs
midwifery programs are usually run by small teams of midwives and are publicly
funded. They operate at facilities in the community. You must be considered
low-risk to choose this route of care. A continuity
of care model is usually adhered to with community midwifery programs. What
this means is that a woman is usually able to see the same midwife throughout
her antenatal care, labour, birth as well as during her postnatal period. This
helps to build a positive relationship based on trust, which can greatly improve
the woman’s overall experience.
4. Birth Centre
centres are typically attached to a hospital and run by a team of midwives. To
get care from and give birth at a birth centre, your pregnancy must be
considered to be low-risk. They tend to take a more natural approach to pregnancy and birth, and are designed to help
make you feel more at home than the typical hospital setting tends to. They are
often furnished much like a home to help provide a more relaxed vibe while also
remaining well-equipped in case of possible complications. They are also
well-prepared to transfer to the hospital in case of emergency. Most birth
centres provide care throughout your pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal
period. If this is what you’re interested in, you should enroll as soon as you are able to as available spots tend to go
5. Private Hospital
you decide you want to give birth at a private hospital with private insurance,
be careful to check to see exactly what your insurance covers to avoid any
unexpected costs. If you plan to go with a private hospital without having
private insurance, know that you will be
responsible for all costs involved. As a private patient, you get to choose
not only who will be providing your care but also where you will be giving
birth at.If you already know who you want to be your obstetrician, contact them
to find out what hospitals would be options for you. Vice versa, if you know
where you want to give birth, contact that hospital to find out who your
options are for obstetricians. You will go to see your obstetrician for all of
your appointments throughout pregnancy and then your obstetrician will come to
the hospital to meet you when it is time for your baby to be born.
6. Home Birth
option for women with low-risk pregnancies is a home birth with a midwife. This
usually costs 3-6000 dollars, but it can be a great choice if you can afford it
and plan to have a completely natural birth. You get to be in the comfort of
your own home with complete control over
your environment and the people present. If an emergency were to arise, you
can be taken to the hospital immediately and your midwife can go with you.
Labour Pain Management
and childbirth is a very intense experience and is considered to be very
painful by most. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help you
make it through the pains of labour and birth. Learn about and discuss the
different options available to you with your pregnancy health care provider.
It’s always good to know what you plan to do beforehand, but it’s also good to be open-minded in case you decide or
need to go a different route than originally planned.
1. Coping with Pain Naturally
are plenty of completely natural ways to cope with labour and birth. It’s a
good idea to educate yourself on how labour works and what will be happening
with your body during the process of labour. This can be empowering for women and help them to embrace the
natural process of childbirth. Some helpful tips to help you get through labour
is a technique used for pain relief during labour. A device is used to send small electrical pulses into the nerves
in the lower back. The pulses are controlled by the woman using a small
handheld device. There are no known side
effects for mother or baby, although it does not provide pain relief for
3. Gas and Air
way to relieve pain during labour is with nitrous oxide, commonly known as gas
and air. A labouring woman is given either a face mask or possibly just a tube
with the gas that she can choose when to inhale from. It’s important for her to
begin inhaling as soon as she feels a contraction coming
on as it takes a short moment for the gas to actually take effect. This is a
great option as it is simple to use and
the woman is able to control it herself. It is also relatively harmless as
it doesn’t stay in the mother’s or baby’s system. It does have the potential to
cause a few mild side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and disorientation.
However, if the labouring woman experiences any of these, she can simply stop
using the gas and air.
4. Pethidine Injection
is a strong pain reliever; it can be given through an IV, but is more often
given with an injection. Pain relief from pethidine usually lasts between 2-4
hours. Nausea medicine is often administered with the injection as it can make you
feel rather sick. Other possible side effects include:
·Respiratory depression, or reduced breathing
·Breathing difficulties in the baby
·Difficulty for the baby in breastfeeding
the option that gives the most complete relief from labour pains is epidural
anaesthesia. An injection of anaesthetic is delivered through the labouring
woman’s spine and is meant to numb the woman from the waist down. Since the
woman can’t feel her lower half, she will be confined to the bed and given a catheter
while the epidural is in effect. While the epidural is very effective, it also
comes with a fair amount of risks, including:
·Decrease in blood pressure
·Nausea and vomiting
·Lowered chance of normal vaginal delivery
·Increased chance of fetal distress
Other Decisions to Consider
addition to who your care provider will be, where you’ll give birth, and how
you’ll cope with pain, there are many other important details to consider
regarding your childbirth. You’ll need to decide who you want to be with you at
the time of birth, whether or not you want pictures or even a video of the
birth, and a myriad of other little details. It’s a great idea to write out a birth plan detailing your
desires for your birth. Discuss your birth plan with your pregnancy health
care provider to help ensure that your desires are known. Even though it’s good
to have a plan, don’t forget to keep an open mind as with childbirth, anything
can happen and our plans often must be thrown aside.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.