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The need-to-knows when preparing for birth

27 Nov, 2023

When it comes to preparing for birth it is important to think about what is important to you. We are all different, so it is important to get really clear on what you are hoping for from your experience, and to understand the options available to you. Sometimes plans need to change, but it is still a good idea to spend some time thinking about your birth.

Consider your different birth options:

  • Low intervention birth – no or minimal medical intervention or medications.
  • Homebirth - birthing in your own home with the support of trained midwives.
  • Epidural - an injection in the spinal area that provides pain relief in labour.
  • Perhaps you are wanting a planned caesarean birth.

Care providers:

  • Midwife – midwives are trained professionals who can support you throughout your whole journey.
  • Obstetrician – a doctor who is specifically trained to provide medical care during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. You may have one obstetrician providing your care, or you may see different doctors.
  • GP - can provide pregnancy care, often referred to as ‘shared care’ where your GP does most of your appointments and then you go to the hospital for birth.

Support during birth:

  • Doulas – provide physical and emotional support and advocacy during birth.
  • Hypnobirthing – using self-hypnosis to reduce fear and stay calm during birth
  • Water birth - labouring/birthing in the bath to assist in relaxation and pain management.

I really encourage you to research the options in your area to see what is available and what might suit you best. You can contact your local hospital to find out more about the different options on offer so you can pick the right one for you. Choosing your provider and the type of birth you would like is a really personal decision! There is no one perfect option for everyone. I recommend doing some research so you can make a decision that is best for you.

Article supplied by PBC Expo Midwife.

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