Category: Optimum Birth Experience

CHAPTER [1]

The Optimum Birth Experience

or Decisions, Decisions

Pregnancy is a time of heightened awareness. You become aware of changes in your body, in your way of thinking, and in your priorities. You must also become aware of the choices available to you that can help determine how you feel about your birth experience, your baby, and yourself as a parent. You have the right as a consumer to know about the different options from which you can choose. You have the responsibility to learn as much as possible—through classes, your doctor or midwife, and independent reading—to enable yourself to make informed, considered choices from among those options.

In this chapter, you have been given an overview of pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period, and the options that you may want to consider for each. More articles on our website deal with these topics in greater detail alongside with information relevant to your first year as a new parent.

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Table 1.2 on this page presents a list of options for cesarean couples. With the national cesarean rate at approximately 21 percent, every couple should be prepared for both a vaginal and cesarean birth...

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