New Options During Labor
Planning before your pregnancy and good pre-natal care are the best ways to assure a healthy delivery. While most mothers prefer traditional birthing methods including the use of epidurals, many women are taking advantage of new birthing options. Some of these options include telemetry, warm water labor and the birthing ball, available at all the hospitals in The Health Alliance.
Telemetry is an instrument that allows a mother to walk, while still monitoring the mother and baby during labor. In addition to recording the fetal heart rate, uterine activity and fetal body movements, telemetry improves patient comfort, allowing freedom of movement. It is also a safe method of continuous long-term monitoring for high-risk patients.
Warm Water Labor
The purpose of warm water labor, or hydrotherapy, is to enhance relaxation and promote comfort and pain relief by allowing the laboring patient to submerse into a tub of warm water or shower in warm water. The goal of hydrotherapy is to reduce the need for medical intervention.
Mothers who want to participate in warm water labor must meet certain eligibility criteria as determined by their physician or nurse midwife. (Some facilities may not be able to accommodate submersion into a tub of water, but the shower is available.)
A birthing ball can be used to support a mother’s back during labor. Use of the birthing ball facilitates physiologic positions for labor, pelvic relaxation, rhythmic movement and back pain relief. It also helps widen the pelvic outlet to its maximum and helps make contractions less painful and more productive.
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