Dearest Doula, How do I decide on my birthing location?

Dear Undecided,

Welcoming your baby into the world is literally the most amazing thing you will ever do in life! Not to say you won’t do some awesome things… but really, giving birth to your baby is going to top that list! So it comes as no surprise that we often have a hard time selecting our birthing location. Often we are playing a balance of both physical comfort and well as safety. Here are a few key considerations to have in mind..

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp

  • Hospital births can be attended by both OB’s and Midwives. In fact if you know you would like to have an OB attend your birth, the hospital setting is going to usually be your only option. But have you seen how far the birthing rooms have come in recent years? Depending on your hospital selection, you may find deep tubs you are able to labor in, birthing and peanut balls you are able to utilize, squat bars, and beds that can support the body in a number of ways! Some even offer wireless and intermittent monitoring. So do some research on your local options and prepare to be amazed! With that being said, hospitals do have policies in place that can be bothersome to some birthing women. This may include, standard IV’s, continuous monitoring, arbitrary timelines and routine cervical checks. So be sure to speak to your provider in depth and consider a guided hospital tour of the labor floor. This is a great way to gage their approach to birth.

  • Birth Centers offer a beautiful middle ground, they offer the tools mentioned above and much more. If you know a hospital is too clinical for you, but aren’t comfortable with the idea of a home birth, this may be the perfect solution for you! Birth Centers are staffed primarily by Certified Nurse Midwives and occasionally Certified Professional Midwives. The care for pregnancies and births that remain low risk. Often you will find beautiful birthing rooms that are designed to mimic the comforts of your own home, or a tranquil spa. I’ve seen both and let me tell you, I AM HERE FOR IT! Birthing in what feels like five star accommodations is pretty magical, we are all goddesses after all (Yep, I said it! You are in fact a goddess!) These centers have many safety features you would find in a hospital, and the ability to transfer you quickly should your needs exceed their ability. While this doesn’t happen often, it’s good to know what hospital you would be transferred to if this was the case. Your midwives will have the supplies and skills needed to handle any complications that may arise, while you await transfer and often accompany you to the hospital as support.

  • Home Birth… If you are someone who does best in their own environment, this could be the option for you. Most often attended by a Certified Professional Midwife, home births are such an intimate way to welcome your baby earthside. You are able to labor in peace without the interupption of driving to your birthing location. You will need to maintain a low risk pregnancy for this to be an option for you. But do know, that in the event of an emergency an ambulance will likely be used to transfer you to the hospital. Often people chose to labor in their own large tub, or purchase a birthing pool for the birth. In addition to hydrotherapy, you are able to ready your home with any other tools you may wish to have. But maybe most importantly you can set your space exactly as you wish. Add birthing affirmations to your walls, light ALL THE CANDLES, shoot.. play Beatles music! It’s your birth, DO YOU! You will have months to prepare your birthing nest. How special is that?

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp

Options are great y’all, but I know they can be overwhelming if we allow them to be. Take some time to consider whats most important to you. Once you have done that, tour a few locations before making the leap and please know, if your still pregnant, you STILL HAVE TIME. If you aren’t happy with your current location, do some leg work and fix it. You deserve to have an amazing birth!