Birth Options

Active Birth

The term Active Birth was first described by Janet Balaskas [www.activebirthcentre.com]
In her words:

Active birth is a convenient way of describing normal labour and birth, and the way that a woman behaves when she is following her own instincts.  It involves giving birth quite naturally and spontaneously through your own will and determination, having the complete freedom to use your body as you choose and to follow its urges.  It is a mental state of mind that involves acceptance and trust in the natural function of your body.

By deciding to have an active birth you will be reclaiming your fundamental power as a birth giver, a mother and a woman.

Being free to move and choose comfortable, supported, upright positions in labour, such as walking, kneeling, sitting or squatting, gives you a number of significant advantages, including:

  • Less pain
  • More oxygen to your baby during labour & birth
  • Optimal positioning & maximum space for your baby
  • More effective contractions
  • Easier to push
  • Less risk of tearing
  • You and your baby in optimal condition after birth
  • Bonding and breastfeeding facilitated

Home Birth

A planned home birth is a safe and natural alternative to a hospital birth, even for your first baby.

Home birthing can have numerous benefits. Many women find it easier to relax in familiar surroundings, your partner can be more than just a bystander, and your baby can be welcomed by family from the moment of birth. 

In addition, you will probably experience less pain by birthing at home, and you significantly reduce your chances of needing medical intervention.  This is because your body produces a complex array of hormones during labour & birth – if this delicate hormonal balance is disrupted (perhaps by being in an unfamiliar environment, or by feeling you have to behave a certain way) the birth will not run smoothly. Dr Michel Odent says labouring women need privacy, and to feel safe and protected.  The best way to achieve this is often to labour and birth at home.

Of course if there are problems during a home birth, your midwife will have the necessary emergency equipment on hand, and can arrange for you to transfer to hospital if needed.

Links

“Home Birth: What are the Issues”, Sara Wickham

Water Birth

Many women feel drawn to water during labour – a hot shower, a soak in the bath, or using a special birthing pool.  Being supported in water makes it easier to relax and to get comfortable during and between contractions.  Being in a pool increases the sense of privacy, and can speed up a slow labour. Immersion in water is effective at reducing pain, and is much safer than an epidural.

Birthing in water provides a gentle entry into the world for your baby (who has, after all, spent the last nine months in a warm, watery environment!)

“Typically, women who deliver in water report a feeling of excitement, joy and lasting personal empowerment that simply cannot be matched by standard hospital birthing procedures”. Karil Daniels.

Links

"The benifits of water", Karil Daniels

For more info on labouring/birthing in water or to order a Water Birth Kit visit  www.h2ohbaby.co.nz