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The San Antonio Area Midwives Association


   Birth Options and Choices

                                                              Promoting Safe Choices in Childbirth


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State of American Childbirth:

A FACT Sheet from Citizens for Midwifery. Contains information all pregnant families should be aware of.






The national cesarean section rate for 2009 was 34%.


The cesarean section rate in Texas during the year 2007 was 33.7%.


The cesarean rate in Texas for 2009 was the third highest in the nation at 35.9%.


Healthy Texas Babies - Infant and Maternal Health Data



Did you know....


Primary Cesarean Section Rate by Hospital in Texas 2009

Note that these figures do not include repeat cesarean section numbers.




In Texas 1 out of every 4 deliveries was induced in the year 2007. The national rate for 2007 was 1 out of every 5 deliveries.










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Ten Questions To Ask When Planning for Birth

Have you decided how to have your baby?
The choice is yours!

Learn as much as you can about all your choices. There are many different ways of caring for a mother and her baby during labor and birth. 

Birthing care that is better and healthier for mothers and babies is called “mother-friendly.” Some birth places or settings are more mother-friendly than others.

When you are deciding where to have your baby, you'll probably be choosing from different places such as:

•     birth center,

•     hospital, or

•     home birth service.

A group of experts in birthing care came up with this list of 10 things to look for and ask about. Medical research supports all of these things. These are also the best ways to be mother-friendly.

From the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS):

Ten Questions To Ask: The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative

Diez Preguntas Que Debes Hacer


Water Birth – A Gentle Birth Choice

The uterus is a muscle, and it is impossible to completely relax a muscle that is in use. Allowing your body weight to be supported by water (rather than by the musculo-skeletal system) conserves energy, allowing greater stores for the work of labor. Buoyancy also allows the baby to float off of the main arteries and veins that supply circulation to the uterus. This allows the uterus to work more efficiently. Additionally, relaxing in the soothing warmth of water can also reduce anxiety (and thus blood pressure). According to the Gate Theory of Pain, any amount of pleasure reduces the sensations of pain.

Water birth has been proven to:

·     Speed up labor                                                                                  Happy new mom in water birth pool               

·     Reduce blood pressure 

·     Give the mother more

   feelings of control                                                     

·     Promote relaxation

·     Conserve her energy

·     Provide significant pain relief

·     Reduce the need for drugs and interventions

·     Be safer and more economical than an epidural

·     Give mother a private protected space

·     Reduce cesarean section rates

Waterbirth is highly rated by midwives and mothers, who typically state they would give birth in water again.

Multiple studies have found that waterbirth is safe for both mothers and babies. For a collection of articles on the safety of waterbirth please visit Waterbirth International.


VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Statistics show that most mothers who have had a previous cesarean can safely and successfully give birth vaginally. Repeat C-Section is not only unnecessary, but may not be safe. In fact, repeated studies show that both mothers and babies do significantly better with vaginal birth. Unfortunately VBAC is being virtually eliminated in most hospitals across the country, not for reasons of safety, but because a scheduled cesarean is more cost effective for physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies.

For more information on the risks of C-Section, benefits vs. risks of VBAC, and other issues regarding cesarean section and VBAC visit International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) or the Resources page of this website.

Induction of Labor

There are rare occasions when it is medically necessary to artificially begin labor, when risks associated with induction outweigh benefits of allowing a pregnancy to continue. However, when labor is allowed to begin naturally this will usually occur when the baby is mature and ready to be born, the best and safest time for the baby.

There is a growing trend to schedule birth for the sake of convenience, of either physician or parents. It is important to realize that induction of labor is often the first intervention used in an otherwise normal pregnancy and labor, which leads to a long line of more interventions, each with their own set of risk factors. Before considering inducing labor parents should inform themselves of both benefits and risks of induction.

© February 2009 San Antonio Area Midwives Association