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Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

Lately a lot of my friends have been talking about alternative delivery methods, like water birth or hypnosis. Can you give some more info about this?

Re: Lately a lot of my friends have been talking about alternative delivery methods, like water birth or hypnosis. Can you give some more info about this?

The Bump Expert

While the “on your back, epidural-numbed”labor has long been the American standard, we're hearing from more and more women who are opting for lessconventional birth methods and pain control techniques. Here are a few waysthat women are now welcoming their little ones:

Water birth
Ever thought of delivering yourbaby in a Jacuzzi? With a water birth, you progress through labor in awaist-deep pool of clean, warm (around body temperature) water. More and morehospitals are offering this option. You can also deliver at a birthing centeror even rent a pool for your own living room! The big benefit: Hanging out in abirthing pool during the first stage of labor (when the cervix is dilating buthasn’t reached 10 cm yet) has been known to greatly decrease a woman’s chancesof screaming for an epidural. Some women choose to hop out of the bath oncethey’ve dilated, but with a true “water birth,” you stay in the tub until babyis out and swimming along with you. (The doctor/midwife pulls his face up intothe air right away.) Fans of water birth say it makes natural childbirth easieron Mom, and the transition to the outside world is easier on baby.

Home birth
A home birth is just what it soundslike -- giving birth at home. This option isn’t super common in the U.S. (roughly99 percent of births still take place in a hospital), but home birth storiesare popping up all over the media these days. Celebs like Ricki Lake,Charlotte Church, and Joely Fisher have chosen to skip the hospital for theirdeliveries. Most docs aren’t into this -- they warn of the dangers involved withgiving birth outside the reach of a hospital’s emergency care. Others, however,argue that home births are actually the saferroute. They say forgoing the hospital protects a woman from unnecessary drugsand episiotomies and that remaining in a comfortable, relaxed environment helpsthe birth to go smoothly -- just as nature intended.

Acupuncture is a traditionalChinese method of stimulating points on the body (usually with strategicallyplaced thin needles) to help balance the natural flow of energy (or qi). What does this have to do withdelivering a baby? Well, certain studies have shown that the needles may makelabor easier. In one study, patients receiving acupuncture were 50 percent lesslikely to ask for an epidural; in another, the treatment was effective ininducing labor in women whose water had already broken. Quirky fact: Some sayacupuncture can help turn breech babies too.

Think you could talk your brain outof feeling the pain of labor? Some women claim that self-hypnosis methods havehelped them to have less painful deliveries. How does it work? These techniquesare meant to help you retreat into yourself and essentially program your brainto believe that labor will be totally comfortable. Women that have gone thisroute commonly allege that when they arrived at the hospital, nurses refused tobelieve they were in labor (until they had their internal exams, of course)!Kerry Tuschoff, founder of the hypnosis training program Hypnobabies, goes sofar as to call her methods “software for the mind.” If you’re skeptical,consider this: Recent studies show that self-hypnosis can reduce the need for painmeds in labor and make for more satisfied mommies.

Erin Walters

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

We're 9 weeks pregnant with #2, and are planning a home birth. In many developed counties around the world (especially Scandinavia) midwives are responsible for the bulk of maternity care, with a large portion of women having their babies at home. OBs are there for the high risk cases and for when unexpecyed complications arise. They have the LOWEST maternal and fetal deathrates in the world. Here in America, for low-risk women, a planned homebirth with a trained midwife is JUST AS SAFE or SAFER than a hospital birth. The plus to being at home is the lower rate of possibly dangerous medical interventions (epidural, pitocin, etc). For example, the average hospital has a C-section rate of at least 30%. The average for midwives 3.5%. I'd take a midwife over the hospital any day!

skearhart4 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

My baby sister was a planned home birth, and she was born back in 1984!!! My mom had a midwife, and everything was perfectly normal and safe. This particular sister is the last of five, however, so I'm sure that fact had something to do with my mom feeling comfortable with that choice... for my first, I chose a midwife, but delivered in a hospital. It was sort of a middle ground between the two, I'd say.

Bec28 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I delivered my first in a hospital, my second in a birth center with a midwife and my third at home. I will never deliver in a hospital again, God willing. I know a lot of women who feel the same way as I do. Their hospital experience was a nightmare. Home birthing is scary to many people because we are used to having other people tell us how to take care of our own bodies. Midwives allow the mother to labor and deliver the child. She is there for emergency situations, moral support, education and guidance. Remember, doctors don't deliver your children, you do. Not to mention, a homebirth is around 2000-4000 dollars for all prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care. A hospital birth costs you (your insurance), or the government (medicaid) 15,000-75,000 dollars (depending on c-section, unecessary interventions etc). Wow, Why is that?

MrsPhillips09 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I gave birth at home in my bathtub and had a great experience. My Midwife was my hereon. My husband was so moved by the experience that he started filming home births for clients. http://forwardfilmsla.com/index.html#movie_07

contact@forwardfilmsla.com |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I am 27 weeks and am giving birth at a birthing center rather than a hospital and am planning on doing a waterbirth. I have heard many great things about how much it helps with relieving not only pain but stress as well. I have never been a fan of hospitals and there is no chance of my midwife missing my birth and me getting someone i dont know delivering my baby.

SerenaFarina |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I am a mother of four children and I am 13 weeks pregnant currently. I have had all of my children at a hospital and did not like the experiance that I had. I want to try water birth with this child bacause I have heard good things about it and also I do not want to have any kind of pain meds. But before I do I was wanting to know if anyone can give me some more info on the subject before I decide for sure what to do. Any and all info will be helpful.

christal122 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I am having a homebirth with a midwife.

SarahWaggy |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I just watched a great documentary: The Business of Being Born, available for instant play on Netflix. It compares hospital births vs home births. Rikki Lake created it. We just got married, but watching this made me decide that home birth is the only way to go!!! It will really open your mind, so please watch!

BransonsBecca |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

watched that same doc! It was mind blowing. I mean to say that natural birth is an unconventional method(as stated by the bump "expert") is a little silly. Though water birth and such is not as common as straight home birth, it is still far more normal for a woman to give birth in a comfortable position in water than it is with a tube running into your spine as you lay flat on your back. I'm have a natural water birth and though the pain is a little frightening I feel far more confidant with my midwife than I've felt with any doctor in my life.

americasalas |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

i watched that documentary too! i'm not pregnant yet but it has changed they way i view the birth of any future children entirely!! i plan on having a midwife instead of a OB for all my births. but i'm also going to interview OBs incase something does go wrong and i do need to go to the doctor.

amandamatsumura |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

Tomorrow I have a consultation scheduled by a midwife. This midwife belongs to a large practice but it's guaranteed she'll be delivering the baby. She delivers in a hospital so I'm worried it will be no different than having an OB deliver w/o interventions. It's my first so I'm weary of a home birth, but am strongly leaning towards it instead of a hospital.

NiciCola |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I’m currently on 32 weeks w. my second one. We the first one we were planning to have water birth at the birth center, which was on the hospital premises. Lucky of us this was a critical that birth center was a 10 steps way from hospital, since we had complications. If I would have decided to give birth at home my child would have not had a single chance to survive. At some point while I started to have irregular contractions the night before at 10 pm and by the time I got to the hospital 10 am I have dilated to 3.5-4 sm. Mid wife said at best I would deliver the baby by midnight, and baby’s heart monitor was showing that baby is under stress and suggestion was to have scheduled cesarean section instead of emergency. When the baby was born his heart has stopped, with electric shock it was brought back. My son end up in the intensive infant care unit for children hospital for almost 3 weeks. Thanks that I have not decided to have home birth, otherwise I would not have 2 year old son. I thought since I’m young, healthy and had no complications during pregnancy nothing should go wrong with such simple thing as giving a birth. I know my case is such a rare one, but would you want to wait 9 months and at the end not to get what you have hopped for. In my case my son had pass maconium and has been in there for a while. Before making a decision just listen to your heart not what other say. Good luck to you all expecting mothers.

snaiky |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

Read Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein as well as watch the Business of Being Born. The book was by far the most educational and honest with the birthing options. Just remember that any Dr. who tells you birthing outside of the hospital isn't safe, just remember they have a financial stake in saying that! They don't want to lose your business!!

jennjenn5158 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I'm doing a waterbirth at home with my midwives. I have always hated hospitals and my and both of my sisters were born at home back in the 80's. If my mom could have us at home I don't see any reason why I can't have my baby at home. My midwives even know the midwives who helped deliver me! Homebirth is definitely way cheaper and I think has way more personal, intimate, and self-directed care.

Cimmerine |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

My little guy was kind of born at home by accident! I was planning on a home birth, but he wasn't born at the home I had anticipated. When I was about 7mo along, my husband got a job in a city about 300 miles from where we had been living, so we had to move (not fun). About 2 weeks before I was due, there was a family reunion in our old town that I really wanted to go to. Everybody was telling me, "don't go. You'll go into labor!" But I'm stubborn, so I dragged my husband to the reunion anyways. We still hadn't sold our house down there yet, so I had a familiar place to stay. My mom said that's probably what did it - I felt safe and at home there. Sure enough, I went into labor. Fortunately, my MIL is an excellent midwife, so she came right over when my hubby called and only 2 hours later, our son was born. We had pretty much nothing with us, so she had to bring everything from her house. I kind of felt like the Virgin Mary in the stable, lol! But it was such a beautiful experience, I wouldn't trade it for the world. There was so much love and excitement and joy, I honestly forgot all about the pain as soon as they put my baby in my arms. I'm about 11 weeks pregnant now, and I fully intend on another homebirth. Wouldn't have it any other way.

fiddletoes |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I'm having my first at home, but we're only 2 minutes away from the hospital, so I feel like a last-minute transfer is very feasible. Our midwife has delivered hundreds of healthy babies, so we trust her expertise, and I'm low-risk with no family history of difficult birth. We also don't have insurance, so where we live, it's half as expensive as going to the hospital. I'm having fun getting everything together for our big day...in September 2013!

maralynn1 |