Comparing Birth Stories

Comparing birth in Australia with birth in Philippines Giving birth is one of the unique experiences in a woman’s life, and the experience of each mother during pregnancy, labor and birth differs worldwide. Many urban women, expectant mothers or parents conduct research on alternative birth options offered in their country in order to select the most appropriate method for them and their baby’s needs (Balsas, 2012). Although most women prefer conventional ways of birthing, there is an increase in global awareness among women and health care providers seeking gentler ways Of delivering babies.

As a result, there is a recent increase in popularity of water birth worldwide (Balsas, 2012). A water birth is giving birth under water with supervision of a doctor or a midwife (Namesake, Liberality, Vela, Fenwick, & Angstrom, 2012). Two examples that will be examined herein are urban women from different countries: Grace Gang from Philippines and Sharon Chocoholic from Australia. These two women clearly are willing to try something new and experiment with different options for pregnancy, labor and delivery.

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Both women searched for an alternative option and chose the water birth method; however, both had different experiences due to their economic backgrounds and availability of the procedure. First, throughout their pregnancy, Sharon, who is an Australian and Grace, a Filipino, both believed in giving birth naturally and trust that their bodies are more than capable of delivering a baby (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). They investigated birthing thoroughly, searching the Internet and reading hundreds of birth stories as well as committing time to keep themselves healthy (Chocoholic, n. . ; Glaze, 2013). They both believed that water birth is the best option for them as this is considered a gentler way of delivering their baby (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). On the other hand, there are differences between their situations: Sharon was pregnant with her first baby and did 2 not want to inform anyone about her plan on water birthing to prevent negative feedback about her pregnancy, whereas Grace was in for her second baby and surrounded herself with groups of people who understood water birth (Chocoholic, n. . ; Glaze, 2013). In addition, Sharon felt safe and comfortable completing her pre-natal appointments and giving birth in the comfort Of their home with a midwife (Chocoholic, n. D. ). Unlike Sharon, Grace attended pre-natal appointments in the hospital with obstetrician and pediatrician supervision (Glaze, 2013). In Australia, water births are commonly held either in hospitals or at home which includes pre-natal visits, attendance during labor and birth, and post-natal visits by a midwife for up to six weeks (Wells, 2010).

Unlike urban women in Philippines, urban women in Australia have the option of undergoing private midwifery care, whether they intend to give birth at home or in hospital (Wells, 2010). Moreover, there are several options in covering water birth costs in Australia such as private lath insurers and government funded homebuilt programs through a public hospital (Baker, n. D In contrast, water births in Philippines are rare and only wealthy urban Filipino women have the opportunity to give birth in expensive private hospitals (Glaze, 2013).

Furthermore, water birth is only conducted by obstetricians as midwives are banned in urban areas and hospital birth has almost completely replaced home birth, except in the poorest and most rural areas (Santos, 2013). Secondly, during their labor both Grace and Sharon had long hours of labor (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). Both found water birth as an effective way to manage pain while in labor, yet they prepared themselves to be mentally focused and physically determined which helped them remain calm and strong despite being tired due to the arduous labor period (Chocoholic, n. D. Glaze, 2013). Their husbands also played very loving and supportive roles (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). They helped by 3 massaging and applying counter pressure on their backs which effectively contributes in coping with pain during contractions (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). In spite of similarities on both cases, there are several differences teen the two: Grace managed her labor by walking in the hallway, bouncing on a birth ball, jumping up and down, drinking water and doing squats (Glaze, 2013). On the other hand, Sharon relaxed on the couch while listening to music.

She stood and leaned on a chair rocking and swaying hips (Chocoholic, n. D. ). Lastly, on the day of delivery both Sharon and Grace trusted their husbands and the professionals who surrounded them (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). Grace was relieved that her obstetrician was committed to her birth plan (Glaze, 2013). Similarly, Sharon midwives Angela and Tina gave her encouragement, wisdom and support (Chocoholic, n. D. ). Their support persons played a vital role and had a huge contribution in managing pain during delivery.

The warm water in the tub also assisted in decreasing stress levels and allowed their muscles to relax and that helped facilitate mental and physical calmness which leads to a relaxing environment for them and the baby (Fourier & Maude, 2007). They both strongly recommend water birth and encourage women to trust their body in giving birth naturally (Chocoholic, n. D. ; Glaze, 2013). They both find natural water birth a beautiful birth experience (Chocoholic, n. . ; Glaze, 2013). They both breastfed their babies right after the birth (Chocoholic, n. . ; Glaze, 2013). A noticeable difference between the two is that Grace delivered her baby in a hospital while Sharon gave birth at home and had a more personal and private experience having skin to skin contact with her first baby in front of the warm fireplace, relaxing and recalling the event over lunch. Sharon felt happy, secured and loved with a profound spiritual connection towards baby Jasmine as her motherhood begun but also felt sad thinking that the amazing experience of giving birth has passed (Chocoholic, n. ). In 4 addition, Grace noticed her second baby seldom cries and is often very calm (Glaze, 2013). Her recovery is also much easier compare to her first birth. Grace attributed these to choosing water birth (Glaze, 2013). Nowadays, urban women or parents worldwide conduct research to work out alternative options and services available in their country from pregnancy, labor and birth delivery. Grace and Sharon birth stories helps justify the benefits of water birth as alternative method.

The variations of difference and similarities of their birth experience highlights the many birth issues women deed to be concerned with, such as joining soon-to-be-parents groups, finding competent and trusted midwives and obstetricians as well as access to and availability of hospital and home births.