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Birthing Options FAQs

When it comes to giving birth, there are many options to consider. Here at Union General Hospital, we want to make this an easy and exciting experience. Read below to learn about commonly asked questions associated with considering a Birth Plan.

Who can I have in the room with me during birth?

You’re able to have your support person (typically a significant other or friend) and two more people.

Am I able to have someone there to photograph or video the experience?

Any of the allowed visitors can video or take photos as long as the mother approves. The actual birth of the infant cannot be videotaped.

When it comes to feeling pain, would I rather have an un-medicated birth or have an epidural?

Some women prefer to have an un-medicated birth to avoid epidurals and all pain medication. Women who choose this option typically use other methods to relieve pain, such as breathing techniques.

Other women, about 60%, decide to have an epidural. An epidural involves a numbing agent that is injected into the spine. You remain awake for the entire birth but pain is controlled or eliminated from the waist down..

What position do I want to give birth in? Partly sitting? Laying on my side? Squatting?

Our team of doctors at Union General Hospital are prepared to accommodate for any of these birthing positions and can discuss which option is best for you and your baby. It is important to discuss your preferred position prior to being in active labor.

What about an episiotomy? Would I rather have my perineum tear naturally, or would I rather have the cut administered by a doctor?

Oftentimes, especially for first pregnancies, the perineum (the tissue between the anus and the vulva) tears during pregnancy. This is common, and the body naturally heals itself after 2-3 weeks. If a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal (shoulder dystocia) or the baby needs to be born immediately, an episiotomy may be necessary. A doctor would make a clean incision in the area.

Would I prefer to have a natural birth or a caesarean section? What are the differences?

A natural birth is when the baby travels out of the uterus, through the cervix, and out through the birth canal.

A caesarean section is a surgical operation that involves making an incision by cutting through the wall of the mother’s abdomen. About 33% of women have C-sections in the United States. Although this is typically not a first-choice on many birth plans, there are certain situations that make this option the best alternate. Your doctor can give you the information necessary to prepare you for either of these options.

Can my significant other cut the umbilical cord?

If approved by the mother and physician, a significant other may cut the cord.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding? What’s a lactation specialist?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with most doctors, advocate breast feeding for at least the first 12 months. Breast milk is the best food for your baby, as it has all the most important nutrients for newborns. Studies suggest breast feeding may prevent sickness in the baby’s future as well as lower risks of breast cancer and diabetes. We have lactation specialists ready to assist you in learning more about breast feeding as well as assisting you with how to do it.

It’s important to remember that breast feeding is a personal choice. Whatever you decide, please inform your doctor so we can do everything we can to assist you with either option.

Do I want the baby on my skin immediately? Or would I rather the little one be washed off and placed in a warm towel?

This is a personal preference for each mother. We will gladly accommodate either option.

Our Goal

Our goal in the women’s health department is to make your pregnancy a comfortable and family-centered experience. If you have any questions or would like to talk to one of our doctors, please contact us. We would love to be a part of this exciting time of your life.