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PREGNANCY & DELIVERY CONSIDERATIONS FOR A GENTLE BIRTH

"Be willing to speak up for what you want, and do not make compromises that you are not comfortable with."
 
First, consider the kind of pregnancy and birth experience you want. Then make sure you and your doctor agree on the birthing process.

When initially calling a physician's office, make it clear that you want an interview, and be willing to pay for the visit. Also, when you approach the physician, make reasonable requests. But if it is your desire to do so, seek some freedom within the bounds of good obstetrics. Work with your obstetrician, but do not give up on a gentle birth plan if you seek it. This is your birth experience.

Consider the following questions as a guideline in interviewing your physician:
  • What is the obstetrician's general philosophy?
  • Can family members come to office visits?
  • Does the hospital have and use a birthing room?
  • What is the atmosphere of the birthing room?
  • Is there a whirlpool bath available during labor?
  • Who is allowed in the room during labor and delivery?
  • How much can the father, siblings, and family be involved?
  • What techniques and alternatives are available for labor relief?
  • How does the obstetrician conduct the actual birth?
  • Can you take pictures or videos in the birthing room?
  • What is done with the baby at birth?
  • What happens if you need a cesarean delivery?
  • In general, how does the obstetrician conduct a cesarean delivery?
  • Can you have someone with you in the operating room?
  • While you are in the hospital, can the baby stay in the room with you?
  • How long will you be in the hospital?
  • Who are your backup obstetricians?
  • If it is your wish, will the doctor and the hospital allow others to become members of your birth team?

Dr. Cole believes in a coordinated, multi-discipline birth team approach. In addition to the obstetrician and pediatrician, consider the following specialists' involvement: Nurse Midwife; Childbirth Educator; Chiropractor; Nutritionist; Massage Therapist; Hypnotherapist; Acupuncturist; Spiritualist; and a Doula.