I remember when I had my first child. I wanted to try all the new things and water birthing was new thing that the hospitals was getting (although it’s been around since the late 1960’s), and so I just knew I wanted to have my baby like that and with no drugs. I wanted to be all natural, with a mid-wife and a water birth. We ended up taking classes that went over all of the different ways to have a baby. Having a chance to see them left me with a lot more to think about than before. Below are some of the different methods of childbearing practices.
Home birth is childbirth that occurs outside a hospital or birthing center setting, usually in the home of the mother. Most home births are assisted by midwives, but some home births are physician assisted. Others have no medical assistance at all. This is known as free-birth or unassisted home birth. Home births can take place with or against the advice of a medical practitioner. Natural Childbirth is method of childbirth in which medical intervention is minimized and the mother often practices relaxation and breathing techniques to control pain and ease delivery.
You can also choose to be medicated; you do not have to do it this way. The Lamaze method places emphasis on breathing and making productive decisions during laboring, rather than counterproductive decisions. During the Twentieth Century, the idea that a woman should be an active participant in her labor seemed to fall out of vogue. Instead, women were rendered completely unconscious. At one point, it was common for women to not only be unconscious but also be strapped to the delivery table during birth. Not surprisingly, by the middle of the century, many women began to feel that this method of giving birth was just not acceptable.
Luckily, the Lamaze method of childbirth, developed by Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze, came along at just the right time. By the late 1950s, many American women had begun to utilize Lamaze techniques. Since then, Lamaze has evolved from a birthing method to a birthing philosophy. I believe we forget that Until the 1860s, it was unheard of to give birth under anesthetic. The Grantly Dick-Read Method is an attempt to remove the cycle of fear and pain from childbirth, relaxing both mother and father. In an excerpt from his book, Childbirth Without Fear, Dick-Read explains, “There is no physiological function in the body that gives rise to pain in the normal course of health. In no other animal species is the process of birth apparently associated with any suffering, pain or agony, except where pathology exists or in an unnatural state, such as captivity. ” (Dick-Read, 2004). Dick-Read hypothesized that the fear felt by a woman during childbirth caused blood to be filtered away from her uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee the dangerous situation. As a result, the uterus was left without oxygen and could not perform its functions efficiently or without pain.
The Bradley Method teaches relaxation techniques, and uses basic self-hypnosis style birthing. Dr. Bradley developed his method during the era when in a twilight sleep stage and general anesthesia were common in hospital deliveries. Having been raised on a farm and having witnessed many animal births as a part of farm life, Dr. Bradley believed that women, like the animals he had observed growing up, could give birth without drugs or distress. Based on observations of perspiring mammals during labor and birth, he developed a childbirth method to teach women to do the things that animal mothers do instinctively.
Soon after starting to implement his new childbirth method with pregnant nurses as a trial, Dr. Bradley began to believe that the presence and support of the father during labor and birth was important to the mother’s success in achieving a natural birth. He became a pioneer in including fathers in the birth process and eventually expanded his childbirth method to include extensive instruction of the father as labor coach (Bradley, 2011). Cesarean Delivery is the delivery of a fetus by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus (from the belief that Julius Caesar was born that way.
The C-section rate in the US has increased more than 40 percent in the past 10 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Women may need a C-section if they and/or the baby experience distress during labor and delivery. When it’s needed, a Cesarean can save a mother and child from birth-related injury or even death. But according to a New York Times article on the report, most medical experts doubt that one in three women needs surgery in order to successfully give birth.
Critics say the operation is being performed too often needlessly exposing women and babies to the risks associated with major surgery (Grady, 2010). Water birth is a natural birthing process that allows a reduced pain birthing experience for the mother and a gentler entry for the newborn. It is a natural birthing process that allows a reduced pain birthing experience for the mother and a gentler entry for the newborn. The lower portion of the laboring mother’s body is immersed in a special pool or tub filled with body temperature tap water during the delivery. Non Recumbent Birthing Positions is another means of childbearing.
A study conducted by Homebirth Australia and reported in their February 1994 newsletter noted that of women who were free to move around during childbirth, 82 percent chose positions other than on their back (nonrecumbent). The position most commonly assumed by experienced birthing mother was hands and knees 28. 2 percent. The one most frequently used by first-time birthing mother was squatting 36. 2 percent (Schlenzk, 1999). Hypno-Birthing is something many women swear that “no pain, no gain” doesn’t have to apply to childbirth and profess that hypno-birthing is the key to a pain- and stress-free birth experience.
If you’d prefer to birth your child while dreaming of a far away beach or your favorite cafe in Paris, hypno-birthing may be for you. This works by allowing you to gain an understanding of how the birthing muscles work in perfect harmony–as they were designed to–when your body is sufficiently relaxed and you trust birth (Hypnobirthing, 2009). Although there are some many different methods to choose, the final choice was based on how it felt for me and my baby.
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ Box 5224 Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-5224, The Bradley Method®. Copyright 2011 Retrieved January 24, 2011 website: http://www.bradleybirth.com/ Grady, D., Panel Urges New Look at Caesarean Guidelines, 2010; New York Times Dick-Read, G. Childbirth Without Fear, Pinter ; Martin, London Lamaze International, 2010 Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, Washington DC Retrieved January 24, 2011 website http://magazine.lamaze.org/ HypnoBirthing, The Morgan Method, 2009 HynoBirthing Institute Scottsdale, AZ Retrieved January 25, 2011 website www.hypnobirthing.com Schlenzka, P. 1999. “Safety of Alternative Approaches to Childbirth.” Unpublished Dissertation. Palo Alto, Calif: Stanford University.