Finding the Right Place for Your Delivery

Becoming a mother is an exciting experience, and it comes with several big decisions. One of the initial decisions any mom-to-be needs to make is where she should have her child. Determining the location of your birth determines several other components of your pregnancy experience, including your OB/GYN or midwife and your prenatal care.

Questions every woman should ask herself as she determines what birthing environment is right for her include:

What’s my comfort zone?

Comfort is important during the birthing process. Being in a stressful environment will only increase the level of stress a mom experiences, which can raise heart rate and increase the time of fatigue. To avoid excessive stress, moms should choose a birthing environment that is most comfortable for them. Hospitals, birthing centers, and home births all offer unique comforts, and a woman should explore these options early in her pregnancy.

Are you a high-risk pregnancy?

High-risk pregnancies often require advanced or special care options to ensure the safety of both mother and child during the delivery process. High-risk pregnancies come in a variety of forms, and can be caused by numerous conditions. Pregnant women with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or heart disease are all considered to have high-risk pregnancies. Pregnant women who are ages 35 or older are also considered high-risk. Additional conditions, such as familial history of complicated births or of genetic abnormalities, may also put a woman’s pregnancy in a high-risk category.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a high-risk pregnancy due to a family history of genetic abnormalities, consider prenatal testing to check for the presence of trisomies. Trisomies are chromosomes that didn’t replicate properly, and they result in birth defects. By knowing in advance that there is the presence of a genetic abnormality in your pregnancy, you can choose a birthing environment that specializes in such deliveries so that your child’s needs are met immediately upon arrival.

What services do they offer?

The level of services between a home birth and a hospital birth are fairly dramatic. In a home birth, you will not be able to receive an epidural, be induced, or have a Caesarean section. In a hospital, you will most likely not have fetal massage, water baths, and close and intimate personal care like you would in during a home birth. Depending on the health of your pregnancy, and your own preferences, you may need a variety of different services to make sure that your delivery is as easy as possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask hospitals, birthing centers, and midwives about the services they offer, as they will vary from institution to institution and midwife to midwife. Make sure that regardless of the environment you choose, that excellent prenatal care is offered.

What does your budget look like?

Having a child comes with very high costs. In fact, it costs an average of $250,000 to raise a healthy child from birth to age 18, and that estimate doesn’t include costs that are associated with a child that has special needs.

The average hospital birth costs around $12,000, and this is for an easy, healthy delivery. If you require a Caesarean section or have complications, your costs could skyrocket. If you have health insurance, some of these costs may be alleviated, but still expect to have some high out of pocket expenses. The average home birth costs around $3,000 and includes prenatal care. For those who are very worried about the cost of their delivery, they may find that a home birth is more in their budget.

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Comments

  1. Giving birth is probably the biggest thing a woman will ever do in her life. It’s important to be comfortable with your choice.

  2. I’ll be honest I’m so over hospitals. I gave birth in 3 different hospitals for 6 kids and if I ever am blessed with another, homebirth it will be for me. We didn’t have many options though, so I think looking around for different hospitals is a must. You have to be comfortable and like where you will be.

  3. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    My sister in law just gave birth to my nephew in her apartment. While I would never, ever do that, I respect her decision 🙂

  4. I had my kids at the hospital because that is where I was conformable. I think that it is important that you are comfortable where you give birth you do what you want not what anyone else THINKS you should do.

  5. I had all of my kids in a hospital. Had I known then, what I know now, I would have gone to a birthing center.

  6. I actually switched hospitals with my first and second. I wanted somewhere more comfortable and I got that the second time around.

  7. Finding a great place to deliver is super-important. I was pretty lucky with each of my deliveries and had a great nursing staff at all of them.

  8. This is such an important topic! I will definitely pass this on to my pregnant friends! It will be of great help to them!

  9. This is really helpful. It’s good to plan for these things before hand. My kids were each born at different hospitals in the same area.

  10. These are great thoughts. I was lucky to deliver at two wonderful places. I was lucky!

  11. My friend just had a midwife and a home birth for fourth child. It was an amazing experience for her. There are so many great options available now for women to give birth.

  12. If i had another child i would love to try a home birth. I have heard a lot about water births as well. So many amazing places to give birth now.

  13. Finding the right place is always important. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable.

  14. so much research goes in to childbirth! It’s probably the most researched experience of my life, but crucial for everyone involved to be comfortable!

  15. That is great information for any expecting mom! I know it was a very hard decision to make with both of my pregnancies!

  16. It really is important to know your options. I barely made it to the hospital for my first baby!

  17. My triplets were high risk so no one agrees more than I do about knowing what the best delivery option is for you.

  18. These are great things to think about during your pregnancy. My experience was pretty cut and dry with C Sections, so I didn’t have a ton of choices.

  19. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says:

    I was very particular about my hospital when I gave birth! It’s such an uncomfortable experience that you need it to be in the best accommodations possible!

  20. I had my kids at a hospital and both doctors who did the procedures are friends of the family. This is a great resource, especially for first time moms.

  21. i don’t have any children, but i totally agree you have to be extremely comfortable and safe for something of this magnitude.

  22. kathy downey says:

    You have to choose whats best for you

  23. Last week I had the privilege of watching my baby niece be born. I t was such an amazing experience.

  24. My family is facing issues with Trisomes right now. It definitely makes me realize that a hospital with a high risk nursery is the only place I would ever go to deliver.

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