Educating yourself with regard to all the issues involving pregnancy and birth will help you to make responsible decisions that are right for you and your family. As the authors of A Good Birth, A Safe Birth said, “If you don’t know what your choices are, then you don’t have any!”
There are many different types of childbirth classes, and you need to research to find out which one will fit your needs. A good book to help in this search is The Birth Book, by Dr. William Sears, and Martha Sears, RN. Educating yourself well will help you to avoid unnecessary health risks common in birth in the United States today. This would include educating yourself as to the necessity of routine testing and procedures during pregnancy. Before consenting to routine testing or procedures be sure that it is being done for a true medical need or problem. You need to be aware of the risks and benefits of all tests and procedures during pregnancy. Excellent sources of information on this topic include Henci Goer’s book Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities, and Barbara Katz Rothman’s book The Tentative Pregnancy.
When choosing a Doctor or Midwife to assist at your birth, it is important you choose one who not only matches your birth philosophy, but also respects your right to make choices that are right for you. Be sure to interview all candidates before choosing. Think about what kind of a practice you would be comfortable with. Would you prefer a large practice of doctors or midwives, or a small practice of only one or two careproviders? If you discover along the way that you are no longer comfortable with your original choice, it is important to know that you have the right to change careproviders. Choosing wisely the first time will create less stress in your life.
Consider hiring a professional labor assistant (A Doula) to help you through your labor. Studies have shown that having a doula can reduce the need for medication, cesarean sections, pitocin to speed up labor, and other interventions common in birth today. It’s also wonderful to have backup for your primary labor support person in the event of a long labor.
On our Prenatal & Postpartum provider pages you will find a great variety of careproviders to help care for you during this time. They include, but are not limited to: Massage therapists, Craniosacral therapists, Chiropractors, lactation consultants, Nutrition consultants, Mental health therapists/counselors, and alternative medical careproviders.
Please note: The lists of recommended professionals are all members of Rochester Area Birth Network and adhere to the Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative . If you are a professional who would like to be included on these referrals please join RABN and send us an e-mail with all of your information.