• There are many options now available regarding childbirth. Go through the checklist below and make note of your own preferences. If you are unsure about an option discuss it with your healthcare provider and/or the instructor of your childbirth class. If you have other requests or if options from our list are not offered to you, you will have to voice your request and/or put it in writing. Some places are great about giving you choices while others might not be as sensitive and have a specific program in mind that they want you to follow, which may not be tailored to your needs. It’s your body and your baby, so speak up!

    Beginning/Speeding up Labor (If you have not yet gone into labor and would like to, or if labor is moving along very slowly)

    1. 1. Non-medicinal: walking, enemas, acupressure, nipple stimulation, sex/orgasm
    2. 2. Medicinal: Pitocin, Amniotomy, Prostaglandin Gel, Cytotec

    Monitoring during Labor

    1. 1. Non-continuous: Telemetry, Doptone, external monitor, fetoscope, vaginal exams to check the cervix
    2. 2. Continuous: Telemetry, Internal monitor, External monitor

    Fluids – in and out – during Labor

    1. 1. Oral- popsicles, ice chips, tea, broth, lollipops, soda, Gatorade
    2. 2. IV fluids – continuous or intermittent/heplock
    3. 3. Urine – catheter or not

    Pain Control

    1. 1. Breathing, relaxation techniques, imagery, vocalizations, massage
    2. 2. Narcotics- initially or at a certain point
    3. 3. Epidural – as soon as possible or only upon request, complete or light/walking epidural.

    Environmental comfort

    1. 1. Lighting, temperature of the room, sounds/music, pillows and soft clothing
    2. 2. Water – shower, Jacuzzi tub
    3. 3. Massage tools – heating pad, tennis ball, ice pack, oil/lotion


    1. 1. Upright: walking, leaning, sitting, exercise ball
    2. 2. Hands and Knees: with ball, chest to floor, on the bed
    3. 3. Reclining: on side, in reclining chair


    1. 1. Duration and level of tolerance
    2. 2. Position: reclining, hands and knees, squatting or standing, stirrups?
    3. 3. Perineum: massage, compression, episiotomy options
    4. 4. Assistance during delivery: abdominal pressure, vacuum, forceps

    After Delivery

    1. 1. Placenta delivery: Pitocin, pulling on cord, natural
    2. 2. Episiotomy repair: with or without local numbing

    Cesarean Section

    1. 1. Anesthesia: spinal, epidural or general
    2. 2. Support: partner, family, friends
    3. 3. Awareness: quiet or having doctor speak about each step before it occurs, whether baby stays with mom after delivery

    Newborn care

    1. 1. Umbilical cord: who will cut the cord
    2. 2. Warming: on mother or separate warming unit
    3. 3. Eye ointment to prevent eye infections
    4. 4. Vitamin K to prevent bleeding
    5. 5. First Bath
    6. 6. Breastfeeding versus Formula
    7. 7. Pacifier options
    8. 8. Nursery versus rooming in
    9. 9. Circumcision

    -Monique Araya, MD, FAAP

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