Hospitals have become the go to place to give birth in many countries. About 98% of all births in the United States are in hospitals, so if you live in the U.S. there is a good chance that is where you are planning to give birth. Even if you are planning for a birth center or home birth knowing about your backup option is smart. Birth is not an all or nothing decision where you are either having a baby in hospital with tons of interventions, or having a baby at home with no interventions and incense burning in the background. There are an infinite number of options available to you to really prepare for and craft the birth experience you want. The key to getting the birth experience you want is being educated. Whether you are planning a cesarean section or will be having a natural labor you could do either in a hospital setting and this episode will help you get more familiar with what you expect in a hospital birth from the moment you arrive, through your labor and birth, until you are discharged and headed home with your new baby.
For most of our entire human history a mother in labor was free to move around and change positions to whatever was most comfortable and suited her best at the time. It really wasn’t until we made labor and birth a highly medicalized process that women began laboring on their backs in a bed. There are an infinite number of positions you can try during labor and there is no one size fits all. Labor will likely start at home and you can utilize many different positions to keep labor progressing and be as comfortable as possible before you even get to the hospital or birth center. No matter where you are giving birth, what your birth plan is, or what interventions you are electing to have, you have options. This episode has a lot of different positions to try with the pros and cons of each, and what the research says about the best positions for both labor and birth.
Electronic fetal monitoring is probably a topic that you don’t think you need to know anything about. Knowledge is power, and knowing how this works, what your options are, and how it can impact your labor, and even the outcome of how your baby is born is powerful. Although electronic fetal monitoring sounds pretty uninteresting it can have a bigger impact on your labor than you think, and you may have some different choices about it depending on your risk level and how you and your little one are doing during labor. During your labor and birth your doctor of midwife will be checking the heart rate of your baby. This is monitored because your little one’s heart rate is thought of as the best way to check their well-being during labor. The goal of using electronic fetal monitoring is to identify babies who are short on oxygen and then identify what the underlying cause is to correct it. Monitoring heart rate can also alert your doctor or midwife in the event an emergency arises in which the baby needs to be born immediately either via cesarean section or through an assisted birth.
Should you see a Midwife or OBGYN? Your care provider is the cornerstone of your prenatal care and choosing the right one can make a big difference on your birth experience. This is your expert resource that you will be working with throughout your pregnancy to make some very important decisions. You need to be comfortable with, and trust, your care provider. Both a midwife and an OBGYN offer prenatal care, assist in labor and delivery, and are qualified to give postnatal care. While they are similar, these are two different designations, and there are pros to each of them. There are also some situations in which one would be more appropriate than the other. This episode breaks it all down for you so you know the difference between a Midwife and an OBGYN, and know which one is the right choice for the pregnancy and birth you are planning for.
The majority of babies will get fed formula in the first year of their life and this episode has some great info on what your options are, what the ingredients are, and everything else you need to know to decide what formula is right for your little one. Since the inception of formula, manufacturers have spent a pile of money and resources trying to mimic breastmilk as closely as possible. All the ingredients that go into formula are in one way or another mimicking what is actually in breastmilk. Infant formula today is the best we have ever had available and it is continuing to improve over time. After breastmilk, formula is the next best thing. When it comes to choosing an infant formula you have a lot of options. Just walk down that aisle of your grocery store and you have floor to ceiling packages with brilliant marketing telling you that each formula is the best. So which one is the absolute best? I wish that were an easy answer, after listening to this episode you will have a much better idea of your options and be able to decide which one is right for your baby.