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Nine Months : Birth Choices in Pregnancy

What is it?

As the name suggests, an active birth means being active and not confined to the bed during labour and childbirth. You are free to move and walk about during labour. You may want to assume different positions like squatting, kneeling, all-fours or rocking your pelvis.

Benefits of an active birth

* You are not confined to the bed lying on your back all the time

* Contractions are more effective in the first stage, if you're moving

* Being active helps build up your stamina

* By being in an upright position, you are helping the baby rotate into the best position for delivery

* Gravity plays a positive role in an upright position and helps the baby to be delivered

* Cervix opens up more easily

* It is easier to push in the second stage of labour

* Your partner can participate more

Preparation for active birth

There is not much you can prepare for an active birth except for your body and mind. You should strengthen your body by exercise. Ante-natal classes are very useful as they cover active labour quite well and help you practice various positions for labour and childbirth.

What is it?

Nowadays you can use shallow birthing pools filled with warm water in your home as well as in the hospital for pain relief during first stage of labour. If your doctor gives a go-ahead and if expertise is available, you may even be able to deliver underwater. The safety of such births is still questionable but nevertheless, water births are common.

The most common aproach used by women is to stay in water only for the first stage of labour and then get out to deliver their babies.

Benefits of a water birth

* Sitting in water during the first stage of labour can be a good form of pain relief along with being enjoyable.

* Warm water helps to ease the contractions.

* Your body is supported by the water and it can be very relaxing.

* Water may also help speed up a slow labour.

* As the muscles relax in water, your chances of tearing while giving birth may be reduced.

Preparation for water birth

You must first consult your doctor and determine if a water birth (with delivery under water) will be suitable for you. If your delivery is not foreseen as a simple or natural one, you will be advised against a water birth.

You will need to check with the hospital in which you are booked in to find out if they have a birthing pool. If the hospital does not have this facility, you may be able to hire one and take into the hospital. Check the hospital's policy on this.

If planning a home birth, you may be able to hire a birthing pool for use at home.

Your midwife will be able to assist you with any queries.

Natural Birth

This is when you go through labour and birth without any medical procedures that may alter the natural rhythm of labour. You make use of relaxation and breathing techniques. You may use homeopathic remedies.

High-Tech Birth

This is when labour is controlled by medical methods like induction, adequate pain relief , episiotomy etc. It is just the opposite of natural birth.

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