Last week on WHNT News 19 This Morning, we aired a special series of reports called “Birth Options” with the goal of helping moms-to-be and families across the Tennessee Valley learn about various methods of labor and birth available to them.
I began researching for this series a few months after I learned I was pregnant. Like any first time mom, I was overjoyed. I also had a LOT of questions. What should I eat? What exercises are appropriate? What should we register for? How do pregnancy and labor develop? What can go wrong during both?
As I read and talked with people, I found myself facing a very fundamental question: How should a baby be born? The obvious, easy answer, is safely. That’s what all parents hope for. How families achieve a “safe” birth though is actually more varied than you might realize. There are several different ways of birthing a child in the United States – including at a hospital, with a Certified Professional Midwife at home, or in a specialized birth center. You can go without drugs, opt for a C-Section, or experience a mix of natural labor and interventions.
Deciding which of the above experiences are right for you is a big deal. So if you missed any of our special Birth Options reports, you can click on the links below to watch each one and learn more:
The Farm Midwifery Center – Nestled to the southwest of Nashville, Tennessee, in a rural community dedicated to sustainable living, The Farm Midwifery Center is run by highly-trained midwives. These women care for pregnant moms who come from around the world for a natural, drug free labor and to birth in cabins among the trees.
Home birth with a CPM – A certified professional midwife – or CPM – is trained to attend out-of-hospital home births and provide care to pregnant women. Many women desire a home birth to avoid medical interventions in a hospital, as well as to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. Home births with a CPM are an option in Tennessee but illegal in Alabama and some women would like to see the law changed.
A modern hospital experience – The modern hospital experience offers epidurals and other pain-relief medications, as well as instant access to the latest technologies and physicians. For many women, this is a great comfort and in rare cases when an unexpected emergency arises, can be life-saving.
Having a baby is a miraculous and complicated experience and this series of reports was in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide to birthing. Instead, it should serve as a springboard for moms hoping to learn more and motivate them to research medical and natural options in consultation with a care provider.
Feel free to share your Birth Options experiences with us below! Only 5 weeks left until my own little one’s due!