Even with nine months to plan, labor and delivery don't always go as you want. This can be a scary and stressful time as you work to bring your little one into the world. The best way to mitigate stress is to have a well-thought-out birth plan to follow if possible.
A birth plan includes everything from what to pack in your go-bag for the hospital to whether you want to use an epidural or other pain relievers while in labor. Talk about all your options with your health care providers so you can make the best decision for you and your baby.
Some families choose to deliver at a hospital with the help of an obstetrician. Others opt for the services of professional midwives who can offer assistance at home or in a hospital setting. There is another option, too - a doula. These health care workers are birth assistants. They provide whatever is necessary to a mother while she is giving birth, such as verbal reassurance, massage and breath work.
If you are having a home birth, there is a lot of prep work before the delivery. You must have specific resources on hand, like a special home birth kit with tools for your midwife or doula to use during the delivery, along with waterproof coverings for your bed or even a birth pool.
Learn about different medical birth helpers, creating a birth plan and the benefits and risks of home birth here.
Choosing a Birth Partner
Having a Home Birth
What are Doulas
What are Professional Midwives
Writing a Birth Plan