3 Birthing Alternatives

What was birthing alternatives for you?

It is great to know that a woman no longer has to settle for a hospital delivery with painkillers. Gone are the olden days of only one birthing option. Now there are more options than ever for birthing alternatives. These methods often allow a mom to deliver in more comfort, often in her own home or a birthing center and they take into account the importance of a father in the birthing experience.

Lamaze Childbirth

The Lamaze method concentrates on teaching women how to deal with childbirth without medication. The founder of this method believed that childbirth was a natural experience and should be treated as such. The goal is to teach women how to relax during labor and to encourage proper breathing methods that will ease pain, provide enough oxygen during delivery and take a mom’s mind off of the discomfort. Some classes also teach Yoga and meditation as a form of taking ones mind off of pain. This method does not require a coach, however many men attend the classes with their wives. The Lamaze method was developed by obstetrician Ferdinand Lamaze and has been used since the 1950s.

Bradley Method

The Bradley Method is sometimes referred to as ” husband coached childbirth”. This method of childbirth believes that childbirth is a natural process. The Bradley Method involved weeks of classes, directed at teaching parents how to deal with child birth with the assistance of a father as an encouraging coach. This method teaches relaxation and breathing, as does the Lamaze, but the big difference is the role of the father in learning to be a support to his spouse during childbirth. The partner is taught methods to use during the delivery that will help him be an active coach. With proper education and father coaching, the Bradley method feels that most women can avoid pain medication, unneeded interventions and possibly C- Sections. The founder of this method is obstetrician Robert Bradley and he developed the method in the 1940′s.

Water Births

More hospital and birthing centers are offering a woman the chance to have a water birth. Those that don’t, often have whirlpools directly in a patients room for part of the labor process. There are two main reasons that many women are turning to water birthing. A baby has spend the first nine months of life in a liquid amniotic environment, so many moms feel it makes perfect sense to bring the baby into the world in a familiar environment. In addition, waters provides relaxation and often eases pain . Many women report an easier birthing experience during a water birth. This is one of most popular birthing alternatives right now.

The goal of birthing alternatives are to reduce discomfort for the mom, limit or eliminate medication during delivery, reduce interventions and to reduce the number of C- Sections. It is always important to check first with a doctor before choosing an at home birth or an alternative birthing method. An OB/ Gyn will take several factors into consideration, including the health of the mother and baby. Not all birthing alternatives are right for everyone, so choose the one that works best for you and your family!


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