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Pregnancy & ChildbirthWellness & PreventionTreatment & Care

Labor Options

“We strive to help each mother have the birth she desires”

Each baby is brand new, vastly different from any other person who’s been or ever will be. Each labor, too, is its own, unique event. Now, more than ever before, mothers can choose how they experience labor.

It’s a choice that’s as individual as the woman, or the child she’ll bear. While the health of mother and baby is always paramount, the staff at Woman’s Hospital believes that each woman has the right to play an active role in how she gives birth.

Whether or not a woman chooses to have epidural anesthesia during the birth of her child depends on her individual circumstances and her health. For women who are interested in pursuing the option of a nonmedicated or natural birth, though, the hospital is fully equipped to facilitate and support that decision.

From a nursing staff that’s been well-trained in birthing methods and pain management techniques, to suites that can be attuned to make a laboring woman feel more comfortable, to a broad range of classes and support networks that are geared toward helping women gain an understanding of what they’ll go through as they give birth, Woman’s is a place where mothers-to-be can confidently explore and plan how they would like to have their children.

Support during labor, A highly personal decision

Woman’s Hospital offers a variety of classes geared toward letting women and couples know what they will experience throughout pregnancy and childbirth.

Learning more about what actually happens during a birth helps mothers decide, for themselves, how they would like to experience the birth of their child.

Whether or not a woman decides to use pain relief during her labor, it’s a good idea for her to learn pain management techniques in advance. Labor support classes are recommended for all pregnant patients. Register online now for Special Delivery and Labor of Love

Talk to your obstetrician

Armed with enough facts, a woman can discuss her hopes with her physician to make sure there’s agreement on how labor might take place.

Some women may know that they’d prefer to have epidural anesthesia, while others believe that they’d like to have a shot at experiencing labor without medication, but aren’t sure about what their bodies will go through in the process. At Woman’s Hospital, each individual choice is honored and supported.

Woman's also offers expectant mothers the option of meeting with a certified childbirth educator to review their birth plan and answer any questions that they might have prior to their big day. To schedule this appointment, please call 225-924-8530 or email us.

Hiring a Doula

Many women who have their babies at Woman’s choose to hire a doula, to act as a support person while they are in labor and giving birth. A doula is a nonmedical childbirth expert whose job is to offer support, encouragement, and information to women who are going through labor. A doula “mothers the mother” and gives her emotional support while she labors.

Whatever dreams a woman has for her labor, it’s critical that she remembers she needs to be flexible. The unexpected could arise and plans might have to change, so that mother and baby are safe and healthy. A change in what a woman had hoped to experience in no way means that she has failed or is inadequate.

The happiest possible birthday

Those who choose to give birth at Woman’s have access to a variety of amenities that can help raise their comfort levels and give them a sense that they are in a safe, secure place. The nursing staff is trained to respond to the special needs of women who have chosen to have nonmedicated births.

Each birthing suite has independent temperature and lighting controls as well as a bathtub and shower.  Woman's offers labor tubs available to patients free of charge, which can be used in the later stages of labor to help relax muscles and minds.  Birthing balls and a birthing bar are also available upon request.

Women are encouraged to bring pictures, a CD player with music or aromatherapy products that can calm them and help them focus.

The emphasis during labor ought to be entirely on the mother. That means she gets to decide who is in the room and what the room feels and looks like. It’s a good idea to inform family and friends whether or not they’re invited to the labor before labor actually starts.

Despite the advice and anecdotes that are frequently showered upon mothers-to-be, there is no such thing as the one single right way to have a baby. For many women, the decision whether or not to have a nonmedicated birth is the most personal choice they’ll ever make. At Woman’s, however, a laboring woman can count on plenty of support and resources to guide her through this life-changing event, however it unfolds.