There are many options to consider for when you have your baby. There are a few options available to you which your midwife will explain to you during your appointments.
This is the most common way to give birth and this can happen at a hospital a MLU (Midwife lead unit) or at home (mentioned later on). A natural birth in hospital has a lot of advantages such as trained staff on hand, access to different forms of pain relief and special care baby units juts in case anything should go wrong. Mid wife lead units are usually attached to or close to hospitals and have a much more homely feel than a hospital. The advantages to these units are:
- You’re more likely to have the same midwife for the duration of labour
- The unit may be nearer to your home than the hospital
- There is evidence that less intervention is needed when at a MLU
A water birth is where a woman uses a warm water birthing pool during labour. Water can be a really effective way to reduce pain and to help you relax. Water births are hard to plan as they are determined by a lot of factors. For example, most hospitals won’t have enough birthing pools for every women who visits, so be prepared for the possibility of no free pools available to use. There are also other factors to include such as the progression of your delivery and what your midwife recommends as well as:
- If you’re overweight or not
- If you have a history of complicated pregnancy
- Your labour is premature
You are likely to be suited to a water birth if:
- You’ve had a straight forward and complication free pregnancy
- You’re having your baby after the 37 week stage of pregnancy
- Your baby is in the correct position
If you’ve had a pregnancy that’s gone smoothly with no complications, you may be able to have your baby at home. This can be more relaxing and calm as there is less travel and having to remember to bring everything with you, but it does also limit your pain relief options. An epidural can not be given outside of a hospital ward so if you needed one, you would have to go to the local hospital. There is also a chance you may have to go to hospital if any complications arrive. If you have a home birth, a community midwife will usually be the person to come over and help you.
Caesarean Section (C-Sections)
In some cases, a caesarean section is the safest way to deliver your baby. This could be due to any range of complications possible in pregnancy. A caesarean may also be considered as the safest route if you have twins or triplets. There are some situations where after a Caesarean is performed because natural labour is taking a dangerously long time or is just to distressing for the baby. When this happens it is called an urgent or emergency c-section. There are some mothers who opt to have an elective c-section.
An elective c-section can take place if the mother is anxious about a natural labour. Your midwife should give you the option to talk though your concerns with a consultant and if you still think s c-section is the best choice for you and your baby then your midwife will help you make all the arrangements.
You can find more information about all these options on the NHS website
or by talking to your midwife at the nest appointment.
Until next time…