We have made massive progress in the field of medicine. Yet, when it comes to giving birth, we still hesitate and develop anxiety about which hospital to go to, what medicines to have (or not) what will happen when the baby is arriving and what if something goes wrong? No matter how many advances science makes, the life of mother and child is dependent on multiple factors and it is essential to know what to expect. Does this topic deal with the pros and cons of various delivery options – normal or cesarean? Is the decision even in your hands? What are the drawbacks of “Water birthing”? Won’t home delivery harm my baby and several other fears and doubts covered for preparing expectant mothers. 

Normal or Cesarean – the good part of this decision is – there are only 2 choices. Either the traditional way, Vaginal delivery, or you can opt for a Scheduled Cesarean. Lamaze or childbirth classes will be a good way for you to prepare for this delivery as it includes breathing techniques, postures for the actual birth and mentally prepares you for the inevitable childbirth pain which no mother can escape. Although this is the natural method for delivery, you may want to consult your gynecologist. Depending on the position of your fetus and any complications, they may or may not recommend this method. Usually, the delivery can happen in a few hours but there are instances when the mother goes into labor for a lot longer. Unfortunately, this is hard to predict so best to be prepared either way.  

If, however, you are like those mothers who prefer not to undergo the pain and terror of natural delivery and prefer the scheduled C-Section, this is all you need to know. Your gynecologist will first need to approve this and will inform you all you need to know about this elective. The process is well planned and the only pain you should undergo is the insertion of the general anesthetic in your spinal cord and perhaps light pain of the stitches thereafter. The beauty of this process is that you may be awake through this process and feel some movements in your pelvic area as you will be under the influence of local anesthesia.  

At home or in the hospital – although we are progressing light years ahead, people still prefer to have their babies in the warm and safe cocoon of their home environment. You can also opt for this method if your gynecologist deems it suitable. This means you, nor your fetus is expected to have any complications. You will, however, need to prepare at least a month or two in advance and inform your doctor of this decision. He may recommend a midwife or doula for the process and you will need to set up your home with the birthing kit – list of all birth supply list from rubbing alcohol to towels and juice boxes and cord clamps. Your midwife will need to set up and sanitize the delivery area in advance. 

This may also be a good time for you to consider water birthing as an option. Ideally, there are locations created exclusively for water birthing but if your midwife deems suitable, you can also set this up at home in your bathtub or designated space created only for the delivery. Advocates of this method swear that this is the most relaxing, least stressful method and may also help speed up the labor process if you have to choose normal/vaginal delivery. However, this too comes with inherent risks. The water and surrounding temperature cannot be too hot or cold or will affect the baby. The fetus may also get an infection or accidentally ingest the bathwater so it is imperative that medical help should be accessible.

If this does not sound like something you would like to do, then hospital deliveries should be the answer for you. Depending on your gynecologist, you should be registered in the nearest hospital. If, however, you decide to choose a specialized hospital that may be located further from your residence, it is always a good idea to see if they can admit you a day earlier (some hospitals do give that option although it will be an expensive affair). If this is not something your hospital is open to then it may not be a bad idea to check into the nearest hotel for the night before the actual delivery. Trust me, if you feel the pains starting in the middle of the night, you won’t risk traveling even 15 minutes in your car.

Depending on the hospital, you may or may not prefer a private room. If you are extremely shy and reserved (as most of us would be during times of delivery) it may be a good idea to ask for (and pay for) a private room. This is more for the peace of mind and privacy rather than fancy toiletries. It also helps to have a room to your self when the baby arrives as you may not want to share space with another mom and her little one in case both newborns decide to take turns nursing and /or crying in the middle of the night. You will, of course, be moved to the delivery room when your doctor inspects you are sufficiently dilated and ready to welcome the baby.

The delivery process should be straightforward and the midwife, gynecologist, and others will all be there to assist you. You only need to brace for the inevitable birthing pains which are the part of this process and like all mothers, you will push through this too. Some moms swear by ice chips, cold water  and cold packs on the lower back but you are the queen at this hour and whatever you say – will be done. In the unfortunate situation when something goes wrong, the gynecologist will consult the on-call doctor and decide the best action steps. This, sadly, is not something in your hand and the best thing you can do is co-operate and allow the medical team to take over.