Birth Experiences: What to Expect In A Hospital, Home Birth Or Birth Centre

Your little one is on the way! But he or she is not here yet, which means there is still a bit of time to prepare. This is a very exciting time, and you want to be prepared. Where is the best place to give birth? You are probably nervous about the birth itself but what about the entire birth experience? What should you expect, and if you have a choice, which one is right for you? A hospital with everything in place? Or would you prefer to give birth at home? Or in a birth centre?



What are the differences?

At a hospital there will be doctors, other staff and everything that you may need on hand.  For those who are nervous, or anticipate problems, usually doctors can only be there at a hospital and that makes the hospital the right choice. Hospitals also have options for pain relief. Others might worry about germs, or the possibility of infection. Different hospitals have different amenities, so check with the ones close to you to see what they offer. Some have private rooms and will allow guests. 


At home you will need your own staff and midwives, but you can choose who will be with you. The biggest advantage is that you will be in a place that is comfortable and familiar to you. 


A birthing centre is a place somewhere in between home and hospital. They have staff and medications, and facilities in place in case of emergency. If you choose a birthing centre you can be sure that everything will be in place for you, but you may still need to be rushed to a hospital if certain complications occur.


Birth experiences

The first hour after having the baby is a magical time. Mom will get to spend that time holding baby and bonding together. This is going to be the most wonderful hour, but it might be one of the things that is worrying! At some point in the first hour, you and baby will want to try nursing. The little one will be hungry and looking for some skin-to-skin comfort. Will you try breastfeeding? Will you have milk? What if it doesn’t work? 


By suckling, the baby will send the signal to your milk supply that the time is here, and your body will do the rest. It doesn’t always work so perfectly, however. Baby doesn’t always latch on properly, and it can be a difficult adjustment. In addition, it can be painful and harder than it looks. It helps to have nurses, or midwives available for assistance, for advice and for the moral support that an uncertain, new mom might want.


Whether you birth at hospital, at home or at a birthing centre, learning to feed baby is the biggest next step, and what you should expect is help. If you have trouble breast feeding, or simply want to bottle feed, know that it’s okay! Breast or bottle, it is your choice.


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