When possible, it should be the mother’s decision where and how to give birth. Not all births go as planned, but I was lucky to to give birth to my son at a birthing center without complications.
As I was preparing for birth during pregnancy, I researched birth stories. I found people sharing their stories about natural birth. They talked about the differences between their births at hospitals and their homes. After doing research, there were several reasons why my husband and I chose to give birth at a birthing center.
Midwives strive to empower expecting mothers. They respect their opinions and preferences. They ask for permission before touching them and more time visiting the mother. Mothers feel supported by midwives and usually appreciate their advice.
Informative Birthing Classes
Most birthing centers provide birthing class. They teach about various pregnancy complications and their signs, how to breastfeed, and preparations for the actual birth. The instructors lead soothing strategies with the parents-to-be. Attending a class with parents who are preparing for the same phase of life can help them to not feel alone and make friends. Generally, the attendees have close due dates and can also have babies around the same age.
The midwives assure parents of their protocol to go to the hospital and call ambulances for serious issues. They want to work with the hospital not against it. Taking classes like these help expecting parents feel educated and relaxed about the big day.
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Experienced doulas are a valuable resource for expecting women. They know the signs for how far along a mother is in labor just by looking at her body language. They track her contraction intervals and work with her however she feels comfortable. The doula can guide the husband in helping the mother cope during contractions and keep her stress at a minimum.
Doulas can also clean the house, help with the postpartum period, and be lifelong friends to the family. It is important to find a doula that meshes well with the family’s values and personalities; this is a very special and private experience to share with someone who the family could rely on for years after the birth. Some doulas are nannies to the families. Doulas can be in charge of taking pictures of the labor and birth, and some are actually experienced photographers. Doulas are not nurses, but they provide the emotional support an expecting mother needs to feel confident and calm through labor.
A Cozy Atmosphere
Birthing centers usually have a few rooms the parents can choose as a location to perform the labor and birth. The rooms are decorated just like a normal room in your home. On the big day, the midwives put on low lighting to keep the mother relaxed. The beds are larger than hospital beds and can fit both parents for resting after the birth.
My Birthing Experience
At the birth center, I gave birth in a large jetted tub with my husband holding me. It felt like a spiritual experience. I was so glad he was able to be so close and help me through every contraction. My doula kept me hydrated and fed. She put on my favorite music to keep me relaxed. When my son came out, I grabbed him and held him on my skin. He was so quiet and calm. I was full of adrenaline, but I still felt peace. My husband got to cut the umbilical cord after a few minutes. We were able to stay for a bit to rest, and then we headed home. The midwives also visited us at our house. They took care of the birth certificate and some lab tests.
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My husband and I felt in control. We were informed about each decision. We felt calm and ready for anything. I enjoyed being in control and appreciated working with people who respected my opinions and boundaries.
I am immensely grateful that everything went according to plan. Not all birthing experiences end this way, but I am glad I was able to have this experience. I learned how powerful my body is and felt oneness with my small family.