As an expectant parent, you take special steps to create the best possible environment for your newborn, which may include attending childbirth education courses, touring the hospital, packing a bag for the big day, choosing the right pediatrician and even decorating the nursery.
Expectant mothers are encouraged to create a birthing plan that includes various delivery options and information to ensure the delivery is a special moment for mother, father and baby. Some expectant mothers may favor the services of a doula or midwife rather than a physician. Some women choose to move about, sit or lie down as labor progresses, and may opt to progress labor by use of Pitocin® (oxytocin) or stripping of membranes. While delivering, some mothers may elect pain medication while others may want to have a natural childbirth.
Options for childbirth can include cesarean, birth in bed, a birthing stool or water delivery. These options are dependent on what your hospital is able to accommodate. Other requests, such as music, dimming of the lights and photography or videos, also may be considered. Post-delivery requests include whether you plan to bank the umbilical cord blood and if you intend to breastfeed.
Whatever the birth plan includes, it is important for the expectant mother to remember that not every aspect of child delivery can be accounted for. The delivery may be early or complicated by other factors, which require the intervention of a physician to ensure the health of both mother and baby. Other times a mother in delivery may change her mind about an option, such as pain medication, and the delivery team needs to be flexible to accommodate her changing needs. Whether everything goes as planned or something unexpected arises, the birth of your baby is a special event that will not be forgotten.
David Vexler, MD, OB/GYN, and Jeff Chapa, MD, OB/GYN, Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, will answer your questions about creating an effective birthing plan that helps you get ready for the expected and unexpected while preparing for your new little one.
Cleveland Clinic’s birthing hospitals—Fairview, Hillcrest, Lakewood and Medina hospitals—are committed to providing the highest level of birthing care for you and your growing family. Fairview, Hillcrest and Lakewood Hospitals received Baby Friendly Designation from Baby-Friendly USA in 2013. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding.
Jeff Chapa, MD and David Vexler, MD will answer your questions about preparing for the expected and unexpected in childbirth.
Jeff Chapa, MD, is Head of the Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine, and medical genetics. He earned his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. His post-graduate training includes an obstetrics and gynecology residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland followed by a three-year maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at University of Chicago. He also completed a two-year medical genetics fellowship at University of Chicago and Children’s Memorial Hospital. His specialty interests include preconceptional counseling, comprehensive management of high-risk pregnancy, obstetrical ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis, and prenatal genetic counseling.
David Vexler, MD, is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Regional Obstetrics and Gynecology department. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, he has been practicing at Hillcrest Hospital for 16 years. Earning his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, he completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at SUNY Health Science Center-University Hospital of Brooklyn.
Join Drs. Chapa and Vexler for this free webchat on Friday, July 19, from noon to 1 pm.
To make an appointment with any of the specialists in our Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.444.6601 or call toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 46601. You can also visit us online at clevelandclinic.org/obgyn.