My husband and I have two children. Both were born in the hospital. My son, the youngest, was induced due to medical reason's for his sake.
My husband and I are trying to have our third baby right now. Before I become pregnant, (which I hope is soon because we have been trying for a year) I would like to explore the different birthing options. Is there any one out there that can provide me with this information or give me suggestions as to places/books that I can learn about the different birthing options.
Thank you in advance,
Jeanette

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Hi Jeanette! Welcome! There are lots of great books out there. I haven't read "Your Best Birth" yet, but from reading the excerpt and seeing the table of contents, I'd say start right here! Other great ones are "Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina Mae Gaskin and Henci Goer's "A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth". Best of luck to you!
Hey,

The internet is a wonderful resource for information. Of course everything should be taken with a grain of salt since most isn't written by trained professionals. But it's a great starting ground to find out the basics.

There's natural birth which can fall into various methods. Three of the larger known methods are;

Lamaze (http://www.lamaze.org): Pioneered in the 1950s by Dr.Fernand. Based on education, classes and continuous emotional support. The Lamaze six recommended care practices include the belief that labor should begin on it's own, women should be free to move throughout labor, women should be supported in labor, no routine interventions, women should not give birth on their backs and women and babies should remain together after birth.

Bradley (http://www.bradleybirth.com/): It's keys lay in relaxation techniques for the mother, teaching her methods to cope with labor naturally. "The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education."

Hypnobirthing (http://www.hypnobirthing.com/): Sometimes called the Mongan Method relies on childbirth education and self-hypnosis/meditation techniques. A series of five 2.5 hour classes.

Then there are techniques that aren't specific to any one method, such as waterbirthing. A great source of information on waterbirth is here at Waterbirth International: http://www.waterbirth.org

Here are a few links on Elective Cesarean:

The Pros and Cons of Elective Cesarean on Ivillage:
http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/plabor/0,,8zp5z6lt,00.html

Elective cesarean: Is it for you? on Babycenter:
http://www.babycenter.com/0_elective-cesarean-is-it-for-you_1498696.bc

Electivecesarean.com
http://www.electivecesarean.com

I'm less familiar with books although I'm sure there are many out there. Hopefully some of the other ladies can help there. Best of luck with your birth!
I recommend reading "Pushed" by Jennifer Block, in addition, of course, to "Your Best Birth'!
You can read an excerpt of "Your Best Birth" on this site under BOOK on the menu bar.
I gave bith to two babies in the hopsital and two babies out of hosptial in a birthcenter and in the water. I would suggest checking out local birthcenters in your area. The water was so nice. My son (baby #3) was 9lbs 4oz. I was at the birth center for two hours before my son was born. I think had I had him in the hospital I would have been in labor longer. When I first arrived at the birth center they checked me and I was at 9cm. They didn't believe how calm I was. I had my wonderful husband, and my two girls. They asked if I was ready to get in the tub I told them no cause my mom wasn't there yet. My mom showed up about ten minutes later. They asked again if I was ready to get into the tub and again I said no cause my dad wasn't there yet, I sat on the edge of the bed unilt my dad showed up, about 10-15 minutes later. When he showed up they asked if I was ready to get in the tub and I gladly said yes. They checked me first and I was complete. I got in the tub with my husband and my girls feet. (They really wanted to be in the tub too but there just wasn't enough room). When I was in the tub I remember watching the blue gel they use on the doppler floating around the bottom. After about 20 mintues in the tub my son was born. My oldest daughter (5 at the time) and I got to cut the cord. I don't think I could have done this birth any other way. I wish you the best of luck and happiness in what ever choice you make. :)
I would highly recommend watching The Business of Being Born. It was a real eye opener for me and made me feel more confident in the decisions I had already made to have an unmedicated natural childbirth for my first child.
I would definately recomend Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin. It is very comprehensive. My first child was high risk as I suffered with severe hypertension that came on very suddenly. Thus it was a very medicated labor/delivery. I recently (Feb 09) had my second child and studied HypnoBABIES (different course than HypnoBirthing). It was actually the Busines of Being Born that made me decided I was going to take more control of my birth and educate myself more. I also looked on the DONA website to their required reading to become a dula. I found a lot of great books there.
http://www.dona.org/develop/birth_cert.php Click the required reading link.

I was able to find a hopsital in my area (St. Marys, Troy, NY) that works with midwives and allows a lot of freedom in birthing choices. It was great. I was able to have my natural birth; all my requests were granted with the utter most respect. Good luck!!
In addition to books and movies mentioned I like The Birth Book by Dr. Sears is also I good book that gives very balanced opinions on different options for birth. You could also look into a pregnancy coach. A pregnancy coach is someone who helps you plan the best birth possible and helps you sort through all the different information on birth. I do some online pregnancy coaching if you are interested. =)
Exploring all of your options and educating yourself accordingly is the essential - the most important thing you can do for you and your baby to get ready to experience "your best birth."

My advice is this: after filling up to the brim with information and insights, sit back, close your eyes, breathe and ask yourself, What Does Your Dream Birth Look Like? Where are you? What sounds would you like to hear? After experiencing your first two labors and deliveries, what would you like to do differently next time? Are there positions you would like to try?

Really let all that info sink in, and then stop reading...stop listening to anyone but yourself. Trust your instincts.

Wishing you a blessed birth!
Hi Jeanette, You being on a site like Mybestbirth is an outstanding start to learning about your options. I'm a doula in my city and will first tell you that someone else's experiences may not work for you and on the other hand may be a "godsend" for you. Talk to other moms in your area about the birthing options in your area. Some place have birthing centers and some don't. I do encourage you to contact a local doula in your area. She can shine some light on your options locally and how to go about preparing for the birth you want. You can ask questions even if you don't feel like having a doula at your birth. I encourage you to read The Thinking Women's Guide to a better birth, Your best birth, Your birthing plan, Pushed, and of course there's others but these will help you decide about what option you want. You have to ask yourself what kind of birth you want and go from there. If I can be of further help, please let me know.

Traci

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