Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Birthing Options

So much of what goes on during pregnancy is about choices. You need to make the right choices nutritionally in order to make sure you and your baby get what you need. You need to make choices about how to manage side effects like morning sickness. You need to make choices about baby names, about what to put on your baby shower registry and even about when to announce your pregnancy. One of the most significant choices you need to make is where you’re going to have your baby.

Here are some of the common options that you’ll probably want to pick from:

  • At a birthing center. A birthing center is a medical facility that’s typically staffed by midwives, although there are usually obstetricians on staff as well. Birthing centers tend to be a much more relaxed environment than a hospital when it comes to birth. You’ll probably have more leeway when it comes to certain decisions during labor if you’re in a birthing center. A birthing center is best for women who are looking to have a birth with as few interventions as possible, but who want to have quick access to medical staff. Some birthing centers are even located inside of hospitals, but operate independently.
  • At a hospital. Generally speaking, if you have an obstetrician as your care provider for your pregnancy, you’re going to be at a hospital. Giving birth at a hospital gives you immediate access to as much medical staff and technology as possible in your area. Hospitals tend to have more stringent guidelines than birthing centers, so make sure you know what to expect from the hospital before you choose to use one. If you need a C-section or if you have a high-risk pregnancy, a hospital is your best choice.
  • At home. Some women choose to have their baby at home. When you’re at home, you have more freedom and more comfort. Of course, you have more responsibilities, as well. You also have access to fewer medical resources if you were to need them. If you have a low risk pregnancy and want a birth with no medical interventions, a home birth might be right for you.

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