Where to give birth? 8 tips for choosing the most suitable place for childbirth

Choosing where to give birth is not a "for granted" action. The birth centers, hospitals and structures that offer assistance to pregnant women can be very different from each other, even within the same city. And consequently, the type of birth also changes. that you can expect based on the facility you are in. Usually the decision is made at the beginning of the third quarter, in the seventh month. There is plenty of time to get the information you need. A visit or a phone call is enough. Here are the aspects to take into consideration to make the right choice. To help you make a decision, just answer 8 important questions, which you can find below ...

Preparing for childbirth: what to put in your bag?

The moment is approaching, the time is almost up and you are about to give birth. Even before waiting for the waters to break, you should already have a bag ready, with all you need and what you need for your baby. In this video, Nanny Simona gives us some valuable suggestions.

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8 things to know to prepare for childbirth!

1. Large or small hospital?

The size of the birthplace or hospital matters: the more births there are in a given hospital, the better safety is guaranteed (for the experience of the operators, the guards, the facilities available). it should be at least 1000 parts per year. In fact, today the birth centers with less than 500 births are being closed because they are considered unsafe. Often, however, large hospitals are at the expense of privacy and intimacy, and at great risk of medicalization.

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2. How many Caesarean sections have there been in the place you have chosen?

The rate of caesarean sections is considered the main index of quality and can make a difference in the choice. As a rule, the lower the number of caesareans (and the higher the number of natural births), the better the quality of the place. There are hospitals that have very high rates of caesareans (over 50% of total deliveries), where it is highly likely to end up in the operating room (often even without a real reason). Other hospitals are more cautious, and caesarean surgery is performed only in case of real need. The Italian average of caesareans it stands at 37% with marked regional differences.

3. How are the midwives' shifts?

Depending on the length of the midwives' shifts, they may be more or less likely to be followed by the same midwife or not throughout labor until birth. Obtaining a minimum of continuity of care is possible if the birth point provides 12-hour shifts, otherwise a change of guard must be taken into account. In your choice of the right place to give birth, you could make this also weigh, asking yourself: do I always want to be followed by the same midwife, or is it indifferent?

4. What pain relief methods do they use in hospitals?

The offer of epidural analgesia is not guaranteed by all birth points 24 hours a day. In fact, the use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), an "alternative to" spinal puncture analgesia, is growing. Some hospitals also focus on water births, which can be a great choice, while others only offer massages. In the water birth option, however, instead of choosing a hospital you can decide to go back to a choice that many are making: home birth!

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5. What positions do they use for childbirth?

Generally, the birth points leave great freedom of movement during the active phase of labor (except for routine checks such as the execution of the tracing). Everything changes when the expulsive phase begins: there are still few wards that allow you to give birth standing, kneeling or on all fours. Very often they are transferred to the birthing table and only one position is imposed, whether they like it or not. Try to investigate permitted birthing positions before choosing your facility.

6. Do they have an episiotomy? How often?

Pay attention to the frequency of the episiotomy, the cutting of the perineum which is often carried out to facilitate the birth of the child during the expulsive phase of childbirth. Depending on the protocol adopted, midwives perform it more or less routinely, even when it is not strictly necessary. However, it is a cut that requires a long healing and has several consequences, do not take it lightly.

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7. Do they make you keep the baby in contact right away?

Immediately after delivery, the baby should be placed on the mother's tummy for prolonged skin-to-skin contact (research shows that it improves all of the baby's vital signs and reduces stress). Many birth points, however, tend to be rather hasty, for organizational reasons, and immediately bring the baby to the controls without allowing immediate contact with the mother. Yet natural childbirth is recommended precisely to create such immediate contact, why deny it at the last moment?

8. Do they allow rooming in?

Rooming in is the possibility of keeping the baby in the same room as the mother immediately. Leaving the baby in the room with the mother is now considered a must by the vast majority of hospitals. It favors the arrival of the milk and the formation of the attachment bond. But a lot depends on how the structure in which you are located is organized: it can be mandatory 24 hours a day (with the elimination of the nest) or only during the day (at night the children are taken to the nursery), partial (in fact only some hours) or on request. Which of these options would you like to find yourself in? The answers to this and other questions will help you decide where to give birth.

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