A new person announced. You have nine months to look forward to the birth of your baby. But the closer the birth, the more uncertainties are mixed into the anticipation.
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"At some point in the course of every pregnancy, the question arises as to where and how the birth should ideally take place. In addition to a visit to a clinic, there is also the possibility of a home birth or a stay in a so-called birth center. While the hospital primarily guarantees safety and optimal medical care, the birth center primarily convinces with more personal care. The birth itself can be performed either as a vaginal birth in 3 phases or by cesarean section."
Birth: where should the baby come into the world?
Birth: Where should the baby be born??
An important question that parents should clarify several months before the expected date of birth is the place of delivery: should the baby be born at home, in a birth center or in a clinic?
The birth in the clinic: safety for mother and child
Birth in the clinic: safety for mother and child
In Germany, most couples choose to give birth in a hospital, because this is where the safety for mother and child is greatest. In case of unforeseeable complications during the birth, a team of doctors is already on site. Also an emergency caesarean section or other medical measures can be initiated immediately. Pain treatment by means of a spinal cord injection (peridural anesthesia or PDA) is also only possible in the clinic. Many mothers also choose a hospital that has its own pediatric ward or a premature infant ward.
Most clinics offer regular tours of the delivery room. Expectant parents have the opportunity to see the delivery rooms and can find out about the services offered by the hospital, such as water birth or birthing stools. This makes the decision easier.
Home birth as an alternative to the hospital
Many women want to deliver their babies in the familiar surroundings of their own home, and opt for a home birth. As a rule, the mother-to-be is accompanied by an experienced midwife. However, the pregnant woman does without modern medical equipment and painkillers, which poses risks in the event of an emergency. For this reason, a birth at home is only permitted if no complications are to be expected.
"Many women wish to deliver their babies in the familiar surroundings of their own home, and opt for a home birth."
Statutory health insurance companies also cover the costs of delivery in the case of home births. Only the midwife’s on-call flat rate of about 300 euros must be paid by the parents themselves, depending on the health insurance fund – it is worth asking the health insurance fund here.
Birth center: security and intimacy
A compromise between the two options is the birth center. Here, medical care is better than at home and care is more personal than in the hospital. Nevertheless, young parents should make sure that the nearest clinic can be reached quickly when making their choice.
Types of birth: How the baby should be delivered?
Types of birth: How the baby should be born?
Whether a child sees the light of day through a vaginal birth or whether a Caesarean section is performed depends on various factors.
The natural spontaneous birth in three phases
The ideal case is the so-called spontaneous birth. The baby is delivered through the woman’s vagina without the use of any aids. This has the advantage, among other things, that the baby already comes into contact with microorganisms in the maternal vaginal area. This first contact with bacteria acts as an initial spark for the child’s immune system. In addition, the contractions gently push any remaining amniotic fluid out of the baby’s lungs so that he or she can take a strong first breath.
Many women feel an irregular, slight tugging in the abdomen, similar to menstrual cramps, weeks before their due date. These contractions of the uterus are called descending contractions and cause the baby to slide deeper into the pelvis – that is, to slowly assume the birth position. However, contractions do not open the cervix yet.
Only when the contractions become stronger and more regular, and come at intervals of about ten minutes, is this an indication that things are about to get started. Slight spotting, the discharge of a mucus plug and the breaking of the amniotic sac are also clear signs. At the latest when the contractions last longer than 20 seconds and occur every five to seven minutes, the mother should notify her midwife and drive to the clinic.
Important: The birth of the second child is usually much faster than the first. Expectant mothers should react more quickly here.
1. Opening phase
This phase lasts a long time – often longer than twelve hours – and requires a lot of strength, especially for a first-time birth. The contractions become stronger and slowly open the cervix as the baby slides deep into the mother’s pelvis. Support from the partner and relaxation techniques are important for her now. An epidural is usually not given until the cervix has dilated to at least two to three centimeters.
2. Expulsion phase
Now the contractions begin at intervals of about one to two minutes. But only after the cervix is fully open should the woman push hard. For mothers, it is usually a great relief to finally be able to actively drive the birth forward. The phase of the contractions can last about an hour – but once the baby’s head is born, it goes quickly and the little one announces to the world with a loud cry that it is there.
3. Postpartum phase
When the baby has left the uterus, it contracts for the last time and the placenta comes off with the membranes and the umbilical cord. The midwife closely examines the afterbirth and makes sure that no placenta parts remain in the uterus, as these can cause dangerous bleeding and infections.
Any external or internal injuries to the vagina, so-called perineal tears, are treated by the doctor with a few stitches after local anesthesia. In this situation, the mother is usually too distracted to notice all this, because in her arms lies her wide awake baby, looking out into the world for the first time.