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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

re: Q: Alternative Birth Methods?

I did three of these options. My husband and I took a hypnobirthing class about a month before. I gave birth in a birth pool in my living room, attended by two midwives and a doula, as well as my husband. It was awesome! Start to finish, labor lasted only 8 hours and the "pushing" stage was only 15 minutes. This was my first baby, too. A fantastic book to read is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth." By the way, I'm no hippie, I'm a publicist in Hollywood. But I felt very strongly that my baby did not need to be "rescued" from my body and that the experience could be safer away from the hospital than in it. It was fantastic!

divaskychick |

re: Q: Alternative Birth Methods?

We used the Bradley method for both of our daughters births. Bradley educates you on what to expect when you deliver and teaches you how to relax during a contraction. I feel good having delivered both babies without drugs knowing they were awake and alert; ready to nurse.

bryans4 |

re: Q: Alternative Birth Methods?

I used accupuncture to start labor (I was 41 weeks) and within 5 hours was in labor. Although I gave birth at the hospital, it was a water birth and my son was born under water. He is my second child, my first having been in the hospital, 29 hours, epidural. I loved my second labor and birth. 8 hours long, 15 minutes of pushing...the water makes all the difference. I had to get out a few times and that was brutual. Having a water birth means no meds, but it was totally doable.

Froggy101 |

re: Q: Alternative birth methods?

Home birth if you are healthy and the baby is healthy is absolutly the safest way to go!

stevandaud |

re: Q: Alternative birth methods?

I highly reccomend watching The Business of Being Born! Just because the on the back with epidural method is the norm doesn't mean that it is the best option. Get educated so you can have the birth you want.

GraceOMally |

re: Q: Alternative birth methods?

I also did hypnobirthing with my son and was one of those women who the hospital didn't think was in labor...until they checked me and I was 9cm! My labor lasted nine hours and my son was born healthy and extremely alert. It was a great experience.

aja1223 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I'm going to be having a water birth at the hospital but the midwife said that I could get IV meds if needed.

sweetpea_61_28 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I am meeting with a midwife today and I am so excited! I am not against hospital health care but I feel that childbirth is something that God created my body to do and unless I or the baby are dying, then medical intervention is not necessary. My husband wasn't keen on the idea at all until we watched The Business of Being Born. It encouraged me to pursue my desire to birth at home and educated us both on the dangers of "routine" hospital procedures. I also chose home birth because I do not feel supported by my current OB in my decision to birth naturally. I am expecting my first child and when I think of a hospital birth, I get anxious. But when I think of a home birth, I feel peace. I encourage all ladies to look in to all their options before giving birth.

TheHappyCouple2010 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

The business of being born and MORE business of being born are both great DVD's to own. The second one is actually a set of 4 DVD's and has amazing information that isn't widely known. I am not against anyone wanting an epi or c-section but at the very least every women should be educated on the ways they can give birth. Nobody wants to regret there decision all because someone pressured them into or they weren't given all of the facts out there.

danie386 |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

Cool website with interesting material. I'll be back. go here

abualk |

Q&A: Alternative birth methods?

I am going to take hypnobirthing classes and if everything continues well and baby is on time I will be giving birth at a birthing center. I am really excited that my husband has agree to this options and is supporting me.

Nubeblanca77 |