Birth Options: How Should Your Baby Be Born?

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When I learned I was pregnant with my first baby seven months ago, I was overjoyed. I had so many questions. What should I eat? What exercises are appropriate? What should we register for? How do pregnancy and labor develop? What can go wrong during both?

As a journalist, I started researching right away – eager to soak up as much knowledge on babies and birthing as possible. As I read and talked with people, I found myself facing a very fundamental question: How should a baby be born?

Birthing Options: Feb. 5-7 on WHNT News 19That question has an obvious, easy answer. Safely. That’s what all parents hope for. How families achieve a “safe” birth though is actually more varied than you might realize. There are several different ways of birthing a child in the United States – including at a hospital, with a Certified Professional Midwife at home, or in a specialized birth center. You can also “go natural” without drugs, or opt for a C-Section.

Deciding which of the above are right for you is a big decision. That’s where WHNT News 19 can help. For several months, I have been investigating birth options across the Tennessee Valley and beyond – talking with midwives, hospitals and most importantly, real moms.

The result is our series of stories airing Tuesday, Feb. 5th – Thursday, Feb. 7th on WHNT News 19 This Morning at 6:00 a.m. In these special reports (linked below) we take a closer look at the following birth options:

The Farm Midwifery Center – Nestled to the southwest of Nashville, Tennessee, in a rural community dedicated to sustainable living, The Farm Midwifery Center is run by highly-trained midwives. These women care for pregnant moms who come from around the world for a natural, drug free labor and to birth in cabins among the trees.

Home birth with a CPM – A certified professional midwife – or CPM – is trained to attend out-of-hospital home births and provide care to pregnant women. Many women desire a home birth to avoid medical interventions in a hospital, as well as to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. Home births with a CPM are an option in Tennessee but illegal in Alabama and some women would like to see the law changed.

A modern hospital experience – The modern hospital experience offers epidurals and other pain-relief medications, as well as instant access to the latest technologies and physicians. For many women, this is a great comfort and in rare cases when an unexpected emergency arises, can be life-saving.

In addition to researching birth options for “the big moment,” I’ve also been tackling additional questions and sharing my own pregnancy experiences for the last few months on my Baby Blog!

Moms from all over have been weighing-in on my posts about cloth diapering, best books for baby, and how to get free breastfeeding supplies! We encourage you to do the same and share with friends. Just click here to visit and explore my latest post!

Happy birthing everyone and may all of you moms and hopeful mommies-to-be have a safe, healthy little bundle!

- Michelle Stark, WHNT News 19 Anchor & Technology Reporter

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