Kristy provides support for pregnant and laboring mothers and for transitioning families after the birth of their baby.See all posts »
Weighing Your Options for Labor and Delivery
As discussed in my last post, when it comes to childbirth, preparation is key.
During labor and delivery we are often presented with having to make hard decisions, and it's important to weigh the pros and cons of every option. Ask for time alone with your partner to discuss matters. Ask the doctor, midwife or nurses what some alternatives are. Know the risks and benefits of what is being asked or offered, and try and not to let fear or exhaustion make your decision for you. When faced with having to “give up” something in your birth that you really want, talk to your doctor about alternative options that will benefit you and baby in the long term. For example; let’s say you want to birth vaginally, but would prefer not to have an episiotomy. If you have to make a choice to give up one of these things, choose the option that will have the least negative effect in the long run (if it is available). In this case, the choice would be to get the unwanted episiotomy in order to have a vaginal birth.
Many parents create a birth plan or vision that outlines their desires, and it can be hard to know what do when we have to change course. Having a midwife or doctor that knows what your wishes are, and more importantly, who is willing to help you understand your options and make informed decisions for you and your baby is imperative. Choose long term goals and outcomes over short term ones, as this will help you remain flexible if circumstances force you to veer off the desired path.