Giving birth can be an emotional and physical journey. Finding the right way to give birth may just give mums-to-be an extra form of comfort and guidance.
From water birth to lotus birth, there are many benefits that both mum and baby can experience. The type of birth that you want largely depends on your physical and medical needs. If you are looking at an untraditional birth process, it’s best to consult your doctor, doula or medical practitioner.
It’s especially important to consult your physician if you have had a complicated pregnancy. If you’re opting for a water birth or an at home birth, your doctor may recommend that you have your birth properly monitored. Complicated pregnancies may require close attention at birth to ensure the healthy delivery of your baby.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve rounded up the different ways to give birth:
It’s believed that hypnobirthing can ease the pain of labour, with some saying it can even speed up the process. Hypnobirthing is all about embracing the natural motions of giving birth instead of fighting the pain.
Western culture has a strong tenant of pain associated with childbirth. Hypnobirthing aims to flip this idea and encourage mums-to-be to self-hypnotise into a relaxed state to help alleviate the discomfort of birth.
When we fear birth, our primal “fight or flight” instincts kick in. This causes stress hormones to increase which has an effect on the blood flow to the uterus. Due to the lack of blood flowing to the uterus, women can experience uterine pain and an interruption in the labour process. Fear causes your body to tense up too which prohibits the body from releasing through the birth.
Hypnobirthing tries to replace this fear with relaxation. When your body is relaxed, your hormones and muscles are better prepared to give birth.
So, how do you know hypnobirthing is for you?
If hypnobirthing sound appealing to you, we would recommend taking a few classes to fully reap the benefits.
A recent trend, known as ‘free birthing’ or unassisted births, sees some women choosing not to have scans or check-ups during the pregnancy and giving birth without modern medicine or a medical professional present.
Some are very cautious about this new trend, due to the risk it poses to mother and baby.
However, many still prefer this method as they find it more intimate and believe that it empowers women. One mother even recorded her unassisted birth in her own garden which she then posted online to share the experience with others.
Unassisted births are best for mums who want:
One of the newer trends is the ‘lotus births’, which is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord and placenta still attached. It takes three to ten days for the cord to dry up and naturally fall off when it is normally severed ten seconds after birth. Once this happens, the cord and placenta are placed in a pot with herbs and salts until it dissolves.
It is not known yet whether there are any benefits to the delayed removal of the cord with some mothers saying that it stops babies from dropping in weight so soon after birth, and others saying that it continues to provide nutrients to the child. Some doctors claim that the prolonged attachment puts the baby at a higher risk of developing an infection.
The benefits of a lotus birth include:
Water birth involves going through labour and having to deliver in a tub of warm water. Some women do choose to just go through labour in the tub due to the soothing motions of the water. On the other hand, some women only deliver in the tub when they’re ready.
One of the main benefits of water birth is the fact that the water imitates the environment in the womb. This makes it more comfortable for you and will help decrease pain levels. Water birth has also been known to help speed up the delivery process.
On the other hand, water birth doesn’t allow for foetal monitoring through labour and delivery. It’s recommended that you have a doula or a midwife present to help guide you through the process safely.
Water birth is best if:
Caesarean births are often opted for when vaginal delivery is not possible. In most cases, cesarean births are scheduled in advance to optimise the health of the mum and the baby.
However, it’s also a chosen method when natural labour has taken too long and the baby and mum are put at risk. If this is the case, an emergency c-section might be necessary.
During a caesarean, mums are put under anaesthesia for the process to begin. Once the mum is comfortable, your doctor will begin making an incision through to the uterus. When the uterus is clear and ready, your doctor will reach in and pull out your baby.
It’s a quick and painless birthing method that has many medical benefits if you have had a complicated pregnancy or you are worried about the wellbeing of your baby.
A planned caesarean would suit mums who:
At the end of the day, the mum's the one who has to go through labour and delivery. Take the time to find the best method for you and your needs in order to make the process as easy as possible. If you have any worries, we would recommend consulting your doctor to establish a birth plan.
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