When a woman discovers she is going to be a new mum, she may find herself searching for the most pain-free way through both her pregnancy and delivery. Looking for a pregnancy guide, especially if you are going through your first pregnancy, is a good idea. And then, you will have to decide whether you want to be under the care of a midwife, or an ob-gyn. Here are a few factors to consider before making that choice:
Pregnancy and delivering babies are not new to science. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of times, long before the invention of hospitals. Only in this century have we “hospitalized” women who are pregnant, therefore, requiring the use of an expert ob-gyn, even when there are no complications. You will find most of the information you need in a pregnancy guide, and your midwife or ob-gyn will be able to answer any questions that may remain.
The length of the labor, as well as the pain that comes with it, can be greatly influenced by the secretion of either adrenaline or endorphins, psychological blocks, and fear.
Factors which may increase the adrenaline (which interferes with the ability to relax, therefore interrupting labor) are: bright lights, unknown voices (radio, intercoms), an unknown presence in the room. Factors which may increase endorphins (women’s natural painkiller) are: natural or soft-lighting, familiar faces and voices, music, sitting in a warm bath, relaxed atmosphere.
When you visit your hospital or birthing center, you may talk about your birthing plan which takes into account these delivery-room details. However, it is highly likely that in a hospital setting, you will not be in charge of the lighting, the people walking in and out, the noises and intercoms. Doctors are busy, they don’t have time to help you along. Hiring a doula when in a hospital setting can help, as she will insure the doctors and nurses follow your birth plan as closely as possible.
Psychologically, if you have any qualms whatsoever about giving birth, being a new mum, having a child, starting a new life with your partner and baby, it is very important to address these issues. No amount of drugs or pleading can increase the dilation as much as a women’s own psychological mind-set. Try to confide in your caretaker so that once you are ready to deliver, you are not halting the process with subconscious fears. Have faith in yourself as a woman, empower yourself in knowing that you are meant to give birth and whether you choose the hospital setting or a midwife, your process is really happening between you and your baby.
You will also probably receive free baby samples, whether you choose to go with a midwife or with an ob-gyn. Free baby samples can be a good way for you to discover new products adapted to your baby, and to check how your baby reacts to them. Do not hesitate to ask your hospital or midwife for your samples before, or after the birth!