Childbirth also marks the birth of a ‘Mother’. Motherhood means being responsible for a myriad of decisions pertaining to another life. A life brought into this world by you. So how you bring your child into this world is the first and most significant decision you take. The modern era has a provided a plethora of birthing choices to ‘Would be Moms’. Let’s take a look at a few methods.
- Natural delivery
- Water birth
Now let’s delve into each of these birthing options and list out some of their pros and cons.
Also known as the vaginal childbirth method is the most commonly practiced birth option. This is a non-invasive and unmedicated approach to childbirth. This is best suited for women with absolutely no pregnancy complications. In this method, the pain and discomfort quotient is high and has to be entirely coped by the mental strength and preparedness of the mother.
The upside to this birthing choice:
- There is no medical intervention so no medicine related side effects are faced by the baby or the mother.
- Being in control of one’s body and the birth process gives an unparalleled feeling of achievement for many women. The mental awareness at the time of the birth of the baby overrides the pain and discomfort felt during the childbirth process.
- Since no epidurals or pain killers are given, there is no loss of sensation and/or movement so holding and nursing the baby can be done instantaneously as the mother is awake and aware. This helps in overcoming the post-partum depression and strengthens the mother-baby bond.
- Healthier baby and mother. Provides the mother a natural and quicker recuperation post the delivery.
The downsides to a natural childbirth method are:
- In case of a prolonged labor the need for constant heartbeat monitoring, an IV intervention becomes essential.
- Natural pain-coping techniques may become inadequate when labor gets extended longer than anticipated thereby requiring epidural to be administered to the mother for pain relief.
- At times, even with a perfect pregnancy, labor may throw up some surprises which will have to be handled with medical expertise so as to ensure a safe childbirth.
This mode of childbirth is through a surgical incision made in the mother’s stomach and her uterus. This is a major surgery and requires the use of anaesthesia. In most cases, the mother is awake and aware, though immobile during the surgery and can see the birth of her child. This method is mostly recommended to women having pregnancy complications or if the child is too big to be delivered naturally.
Some advantages of this birthing choice:
- Reduces the labor stress for the mother.
- The delivery date can be planned and accordingly all other requirements post-delivery can be arranged for in advance.
- Reduced birth trauma for the child.
- Medical specialists’ assistance available during and post-surgery to cater and cope with any unforeseen surprises.
A few disadvantages of a C-section are:
- Complications may arise due to surgery and anaesthesia.
- Longer recovery period for the mother.
- More chances of post-partum depression. Delay in the mother-baby bonding.
- More expensive as compared to a natural delivery.
This birthing choice is a new alternative childbirth method involving the mother naturally delivering the baby inside a warm tub or pool assisted by a trained birthing professional and/or an obstetrician. Water birth is a birthing option only for low risk pregnancies and can be arranged in one’s own home or at birthing centers. Nowadays many maternity homes also provide this birthing option.
- Reduces the perineal wear and tear in the birthing mother.
- Spouse can be an active participant in this birthing option creating a more natural and homely environment for the baby’s arrival.
- The baby is in the amniotic womb for 9 months so a water birth lets the baby come into this world in a similar relaxed habitat.
The risks involved in this birthing option are:
- Infection risks to baby are much higher if the baby breathes in the birthing pool.
- Chances of labor progressing slowly due to the relaxing water thereby requiring constant monitoring of mother and child’s vital signs.
- Risk of complications like bleeding during labor, snapping of the umbilical cord, fetal distress.
This birthing option is fast gaining popularity due to its unmedicated, natural and painless childbirth approach. This method though unmedicated is open to medical intervention if the need arises. It aims at using hypnotherapy to calm and relax the birthing mother. It primarily believes that fear and stress are the root causes of pain experienced during labor. Birthing mothers and their partners are taught self –hypnosis techniques to relax, meditate, self-hypnotize and visualize the transformations going through the mother’s body during the delivery. This helps the birthing mother to work in tandem with nature thereby enabling a gentler childbirth.
The advantages of hypnobirthing are:
- Self hypnosis gives the birthing mother total control over her mind and body thereby allowing her to use her own body’s sensations and movements to deliver the baby calmly and painlessly.
- In the absence of tension-fear-pain conditions, the mother is more relaxed and awake during the delivery and can bond with her baby immediately after birth.
- Childbirth happens just the way nature had planned and is safe, peaceful and an empowering experience for the mother and the baby.
The disadvantages are as follows:
- Hypnobirthing has been largely considered as a safe and effective birthing option. Apart from the woman being unable to use hypnosis to cope with the pain, no real disadvantage has yet been found in using this method as a birthing choice.
Giving birth to your child is a very personal and life-changing experience. Therefore it’s imperative to educate oneself with various birth options. This will assist you in making an informed decision thereby giving your baby the healthiest start to life and a memorable moment for you to cherish all your life.