For those who choose this method there are classes in natural childbirth available through most hospitals and Red Cross facilities. In these classes expectant mothers are taught the mechanics of childbirth; how to breathe and how to work with their bodies to deliver their child. In addition, fathers or birth partners are often encouraged to participate in the class.
Birthing stools, water birth and other alternative methods of childbirth are becoming popular. Birthing stools allows gravity to help women deliver their babies. Water births take place in a pool of warm water and is said to lessen the trauma to the newborn and relieve the pain associated with birth.
Hospitals have also changed with the times and are becoming more family oriented. Birthing rooms were once cold and clinical, and lacked the warmth and comfort of home. Today however most birthing rooms resemble most bedrooms at home; soft lighting, modern decorating and furniture allow the expectant parents to feel more at ease.
An advantage to these “birthing rooms” is that if complications develop the mother and baby can receive modern medical assistance. Discreetly hidden in these rooms is all the up-to-date modern medical equipment needed to ensure a successful birth. Giving birth in this setting allows the mother and child to be close to life saving techniques and support while enjoying the comforts and atmosphere of home.
Siblings and grandparents are allowed to be present for most hospital deliveries today. Gone are the days of isolation. Instead the entire family is encouraged to participate in all aspects of the pregnancy, including the labor and delivery process. Some fathers choose to cut the umbilical cord themselves and others will actually deliver their own child.
Becoming more family oriented, hospitals have learned that the baby will be provided an emotional bonding experience with their family from the moment it draws its first breath. By bringing the family closer, and providing a more homelike atmosphere, many hospitals hope to set in motion a lifetime of closeness.
Providing a homelike atmosphere during labor and delivery may build stronger family bonds. Allowing older siblings to visit and stay with their new brother or sister, and not be separated from their parents, eases the transition at home.
With the wide variety of options now available to expectant parents, there is no reason why parents should have to settle for a childbirth experience that is not to their liking. Ask your childbirth provider about the different options and choose the childbirth method best for you.