If you are an expectant mother, then you will know that having a baby can be both an exciting and scary time for you.
As time goes on, you would have to worry about anything that might go wrong during your pregnancy, and, of course, you would be required to have various pregnancy-related appointments with midwives, nurses, doctors and all manner of different medical personnel.
During the third trimester, your thoughts will turn to preparing yourself for the imminent birth of your baby (or babies, if you have been blessed with twins or triplets, for example). One important question that will remain in the minds of many expectant mothers during these final states of pregnancy is where the birth location should be.
Making an informed decision
Choosing a birth location is not a decision that is to be made lightly, so it is important that you know all of the facts in order to make an informed decision on this. Even once you have made your decision, you should take comfort in the fact that you will be able to change your decision – even though you have already made it.
Your midwife will normally talk you through the different options, but you can also get information from other sources such as children’s centres, your doctor’s surgery, maternity units in your local area, and, of course, the Internet.
It might even be a good idea to speak to mothers that have already had children, so that you can gain a valuable insight into their experiences with the various options available to you.
There are three basic options available to you when deciding where your birth will be; you can choose to have a home birth, or your birth location could be in a midwifery or birthing unit, or your local hospital. Here is the lowdown on these three options.
Option 1: home birth
An option open to women that have pretty straightforward pregnancies is to opt for a home birth. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, 2.4% of women in England and Wales opt for home births.
It’s an attractive option for women who want to give birth in familiar surroundings, but you should bear in mind that if you develop complications with your home birth, you will need to be transferred to hospital for treatment.
Option 2: midwifery or birthing unit
This second option is generally preferred by most expectant mothers, as it offers nicer surroundings and atmospheres than in hospitals. It is also better than giving birth at home, because there are specially trained medical staff on site. These units are usually freestanding units located next to hospitals, although they can be located anywhere really.
Option 3: hospital
Seldom chosen by women is the hospital option. An expectant mother might only consider the hospital option if there have been complications during the pregnancy, in which case having a hospital birth gives unborn children the best chance for survival.
Another reason why many women feel reluctant to have hospital births is due to all the horror stories in the media about negligent staff, and women claiming compensation from scarring from Caesarean section, for example.