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Birthing Trends: July 10, 2013

High tech- low tech. These two birthing trends seem to be at odds, but they coexist at Cape Coral Hospital.

“When a mom comes on a tour, we show her our rooms and explain to her that our goal for her labor is to have the baby as fast and as pain-free as possible,” says Nancy Travis, director of woman’s birthing suites with Lee Memorial Health System.

Today, more moms-to-be are looking for homelike accommodations.

“So that was the invention of the birthing suites and the labor delivery recovery room, where the mom could have family members with her during labor, which was unheard of,” says Travis.

Those looking for a natural experience may have a doula or midwife take part. The focus is on keeping mom peaceful and calm.

“We encourage her to be upright and walking around. We also use birth balls, which are big exercise balls, rocking chairs, and all kinds of comfort measures to get the baby in the right optimal position in order to be born quicker,” says Travis. 

Each suite has a Jacuzzi ready to go.

“With warm water that we fill up pretty high, almost to the top of the tub, so mom is deep in the water,” says Travis.

At the same time, childbirth is getting back-to-basics. There is a simultaneous move to the high tech. Including C-sections, genetic testing, advanced ultra-sounds and the use of telemetry for fetal monitoring during labor.

“This little box that the mom would be able to take with her, put it on her shoulder, and then walk around with it as it picks up the babies heart rate,” says Travis

Despite the natural trends, the majority of women feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital.

“Right down the hallway from us we have an operating room, a special care nursery, and our intensive care nursery to take care of any baby’s problems should they arise,” says Travis

It’s the mixing of trends that reinforce that a good birth is a safe birth.