Ayurveda has a long tradition of supporting and promoting pregnancy. In fact, Ayurveda emphasizes the preconception period just as much, if not more, than the pregnancy period itself. The preconception time offers a golden opportunity to provide the best of the both of you to your future child.
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I started my pregnancy care pretty quickly with a physician. It was what kind of fell into my lap through a recommendation from another physician friend. Plus I was fairly new to this small town in West Texas, where, at the time, there were not any options besides a pretty traditional hospital delivery, with or without doula (birth companion and post-birth supporter) support. I loved my obstetrician. She was kind, intelligent, and capable. But something just was not clicking for me.
I then learned this week that a new birthing center opened up right next to the hospital. I am fully supportive of well-trained midwives and their work and so my husband and I decided to go take a look. Plus that gnawing feeling inside of me that the birthing experience I would get through my obstetrician, despite her amazing qualities, was not what I would want, just would not go away (though I could not exactly pinpoint why).
The midwife who opened the center was amazing and extremely welcoming. The center itself had a wonderful feel, was spacious, cozy, and felt very supportive of whatever birthing experience I would like. I met the midwife that would deliver Charlie (the name we call the baby) later, and we seemed to see eye-to-eye on various topics. I also felt like she would be able to guide me to do my very best to have a natural delivery.
There are many options for your birthing experience. You can deliver at home, at a birthing center, at a hospital with a midwife, at a hospital with an obstetrician with the support of a doula or midwife, or at a hospital with an obstetrician alone.
I am a firm believer that there is no right way to deliver. The one that is right for you lies in your heart and in your consciousness. It is important that you feel comfortable with the risks and benefits of any of the many options. Problems, though rare in a healthy mother, can and do happen during labor and delivery (if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying).
I had to do some deep searching within myself to find the right answer.
I had to answer honestly whether the emergencies and complications that I have seen during my training would flood me with worry during my labor if I was not in a hospital. I had to ask whether I would be willing to accept care from someone who was extremely knowledgeable in complications of pregnancy but not as present or involved in a natural, healthy labor and delivery. My husband also needed to ask himself these questions, and I had to listen. If a rare complication were to happen to me outside of the hospital, would he be able to accept it? Or, on the other hand, would we both feel fulfilled and more content from an environment and people who believe just as much in the spiritual and emotional aspects as the physical process of delivery itself? And there were so many more questions.
Here are more questions for you to consider as you make this decision for yourself:
What are essential (must-have’s) in your environment for you to feel comfortable and at ease? Anxiety and worry have an amazing ability to halt or slow-down labor.
Do you feel a connection (at a deeper level than just practitioner-patient) with your care provider? Do you feel heard and understood?
What is the level of training of your care provider? How many deliveries has he or she done?
Are there specific things you would like to have as part of your birthing experience (a birthing pool, delayed-cord clamping, specific rituals or spiritual practices, specific types of music) and which environments are supportive of that?
If you are considering a hospital, what is the cesarean section rate of the hospital? What is the cesarean section rate of your obstetrician or care provider? These are all very fair questions to ask. You’d be surprised that certain hospitals and obstetricians have reputations for being friendly or unfriendly towards natural births.
Perhaps one of the most over-looked, but most important factors, is how supportive is the nursing staff at the hospital of vaginal deliveries?
Are you able to walk at ease where you want to deliver? Constant movement is essential if you are considering a natural birth.
Is the obstetrician open to intermittent monitoring (where the heart beat is checked intermittently as opposed to continuous monitoring with monitors continuously on your belly)?
Have you considered a doula, especially if you are going to choose to be with an obstetrician? Studies show that doula support reduces cesarean section rates and complication rates.
Remember, every option has risks and benefits. Be prepared for both.
Of course, if you know enough mothers, you also know that you can only set intentions and do your best. It is also important to be yielding to your body and what fate has for you if your circumstances keep taking you away from your perfect plan. This is the spiritual practice of giving birth. Learn to yield despite your intentions.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Banyan Botanicals products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.