When you discover that you’re pregnant, a birthing plan might be the last thing on your mind. Amid thoughts of your early prenatal appointments, ultrasounds, and picking out a car seat, however, having a plan to give birth outranks them all.
At New England Women’s Healthcare, our team is ready to help you navigate your pregnancy, from the time you get the two pink lines to the day you go into labor. Our team consists of six expert OB/GYN doctors, who offer different birthing plans to accommodate your needs.
What birthing options are available?
When you get to the point in your pregnancy that you’re starting to think about the delivery, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you want to give birth in a hospital setting, or are you looking for a more natural birth? Also, you need to think about a natural birth versus an epidural to help your pain.
With so many options, the decision on choosing a birthing method may seem overwhelming. While medical issues may guide you one way or another, it’s up to you and your partner about how to bring your baby into the world.
The first step in choosing your birthing plan is deciding where you would prefer to give birth. There are three main options when it comes to where to deliver your baby:
1. Hospital birth
Having your baby in a hospital setting is the traditional birthing option, of course, and it gives you the safety and security that you want when giving birth. One of our doctors can deliver your baby in the hospital, and you can receive an epidural if you’d like.
Hospital births also allow for consultations with lactation experts and other specialists who can help you during the first day or two after your baby is born.
2. Birthing center delivery
Birth centers have risen in popularity, mostly due to their patient-centered care. These centers are separate facilities, meaning they’re not part of a main hospital. A nurse-midwife is usually the one who will deliver your baby.
The great thing about birthing centers is that they’re often affiliated with a bigger hospital, so if complications arise, you and your baby can be transferred without issue.
3. Home birth
You may be thinking about giving birth in the coziness and comfort of your home. While this isn’t a well-known choice, it’s a way for you to feel comfortable and have control over the birthing process.
It’s important to make sure you’re healthy enough to have a home birth, as there are some risks involved for both you and your baby.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a birthing option
When you and your partner are choosing your specific birthing plan, you have a lot of things to consider. Make sure you take your time and discuss your thoughts with our team.
One major consideration is whether you’re likely to have a high-risk pregnancy or a high chance of complications. In these cases, the safest option for you and your baby may be a hospital or birthing center.
If you’re looking into a birthing center or home birth, it’s important to have an emergency back-up plan if something goes wrong. Although you likely don’t want to think about a problem during your baby’s entry into the world, it’s wise to have a secondary plan ready.
Pain management is yet another factor. At a hospital, you have a few options to control your pain during labor, including epidurals. However, at a birthing center or home birth, you won’t have the option of getting an epidural or having any pain management.
The biggest thing to take into account when making a decision on your birthing options is the health of you and your baby. If you have any underlying medical conditions, or you’ve had previous pregnancy complications, it’s good to talk to our providers to figure out the safest way for you to give birth.
If you’re pregnant and would like to learn more about your birthing options, contact one of our offices in Wilmington or Woburn, Massachusetts, to schedule a consultation. You may also request an appointment with one of our providers using our online booking tool.