Most women who give birth do so vaginally. Some women, because of personal preference or underlying medical issues, plan to have an unmedicated birth. Others either know from the outset that they want to be administered medications to keep them comfortable during labour and delivery or are open to using them if the pain and pressure from the contractions become too intense. In some cases, surgery is required to deliver the baby.

While there are a number of different types of childbirth, they all have one goal in common to deliver a healthy baby.

General Options

Pregnancy and childbirth are natural life events and in most cases you will have a natural birth. While all women hope for a normal pregnancy and birth, there is always a chance of complications in pregnancy – to the mother, the baby or both of you.  Before making a decision regarding what birthing method to choose it is important to first see all the information.

Water Birthing

Water birth is childbirth that occurs in water. Proponents believe water birth results in a more relaxed, less painful experience that promotes a midwife-led model of care. Water birth offers perineal support for a birthing mother, which decreases the risk of tearing and reduces the use of episiotomy. Thus, water immersion during the labour is a relatively ideal method for providing analgesia during labour.

The Mongan Method (Hypno-Birthing)

The Mongan Method (Hypno-Birthing) is a tried and proven method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful manner. It is a program a that considers the psychological, as well as the physical, well-being of the mother, her birth partner, and the newborn, independent of context, whether that be in the quiet of a home, a hospital, or a birth center.

The Mongan Method (Hypno-Birthing) program is built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body.

The Lamaze Method of Natural Childbirth

The Lamaze Method of Natural Childbirth, also known as the psychoprophylactic method or simply Lamaze, started as a prepared childbirth technique popularized in the 1940s, as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth. Today, Lamaze has become one of the most popular ways to get information about pregnancy, birth, and parenting through its many educational offering on and off line. Lamaze International trains childbirth educators around the world.

The stated goal of Lamaze is to increase a mother’s confidence in her ability to give birth; classes help pregnant women understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort, including relaxation techniques, movement and massage.

The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

The Bradley Method of natural childbirth (also known as “husband-coached childbirth”) is a method of natural childbirth developed in 1947. The Bradley Method  is first of all an application termed “the six needs of the labouring woman”, most notably deep and complete relaxation and abdominal breathing, but also including quiet, darkness and solitude, physical comfort, and closed eyes and the appearance of sleep. Secondly, the Bradley Method relies heavily on training fathers to be labour “coaches”, or partners. Bradley Method teachers usually supplement these primary techniques with training in different labour positions and comfort measures. In order to master the ability to relax completely as a pain relief tool, couples are taught several different relaxation techniques and encouraged to practice relaxation daily, so that the mother can rely on a conditioned relaxation response to her partner’s voice and touch.

Lotus Birth

Lotus birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to his/her placenta until the cord naturally separates at the umbilicus- exactly as a cut cord does- at 3 to 10 days after birth. This prolonged contact can be seen as a time of transition, allowing the baby to slowly and gently let go of his/her attachment to the mother’s body.

Calm Birthing

Calm birthing is a prenatal education program for pregnant couples preparing for a positive birth experience aim with the program to help pregnant couples attending the classes eliminate the fear, experienced by many, in relation to their approaching labour and birth.

During the classes, couples discover how the labouring mother’s body responds physiologically when fear is present. They also learn practical skills of Relaxation, Breathing and Creative Visualization which are used during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and beyond.

Active Birthing

Active Birthing is a philosophy of working with the natural process of labour and birth. An Active Birth is instinctive, following the spontaneous process of labour and birth using your own resources. Active Birth supports women to do what feels right for them. Supporters say that Active Birth lessens the risk of complications during labour.

As the term ‘Active Birth’ suggests, women are encourage to be active not passive during their labours.

Caesarean Birth

Caesarean Birth, also known as C-section, is the use of surgery to deliver one or more babies. A Caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. This may include obstructed labour, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, problems with the placenta, umbilical cord or shape of the pelvis, and previous C-section.

Gentle Birth

Gentle Birthing is a complete childbirth preparation programme that teaches easy self hypnosis techniques which enable you to feel calm, confident and in control throughout your pregnancy and during your labour. Gentle Birth provides you with the road map to a fulfilling, empowered, dignified birth experience in whatever direction your body and baby will take you in hospital or at home with or without an epidural. The program also supports your partner in their significant role during the birth process.

Breech Birth

A breech birth occurs when a baby is born bottom first instead of head first. Around 3-5% of pregnant women at term (37–40 weeks pregnant) will have a breech baby.

Most babies in the breech position are born by a caesarean section because it is seen as safer than being born vaginally.

As most breech babies are delivered by caesarean section in developed countries, doctors and midwives may lose the skills required to safely assist women giving birth to a breech baby vaginally. Delivering all breech babies by caesarean section in developing countries may be very difficult to implement or even impossible as there are not always resources available to provide this service.

Home Birthing

A home birth in developed countries is an attended or an unattended childbirth in a non-clinical setting, typically using natural childbirth methods, that takes place in a residence rather than in a hospital or a birth centre, and usually attended by a midwife or lay attendant with experience in managing home births. Home birth was, until the advent of modern medicine, the de facto method of delivery.

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