Expecting Moms Timeline

Click on the timeline below to access resources and learn more about pregnancy and birth.

Newly Pregnant

  • Understanding Your Options

    Do you know all of your childbirth options so that you can make the decisions that are right for you and your family?

    Read more
  • Educate Yourself

    Have you signed up for a childbirth education class, read any pregnancy and birthing books, watched documentaries yet? Get a sense of what birth options are available to you.

    Read more
  • 5 Steps to a Healthy Birth

    Do you feel overwhelmed by all the birth information? Start with these 5 steps to guide you through the process of making your decisions.

    Read more

Planning Your Birth

  • Your Birth Team

    Have you decided on your birth team? Use our provider network to find the best possible match for you.

    Read more
  • Your Birth Environment

    Where will you feel best supported and safest birthing? Start here to explore to your personal philosophy and vision for your birth.

    Read more
  • Preparing for Labor and Delivery

    Have you researched different labor coping strategies and pain management techniques? Use our provider directory to explore a birth doula, learn about epidurals and learn what feels right for you.

    Read more

Postpartum Health

  • Caring for your newborn

    What are the ways you want to bond and care for your baby immediately after birth? Learn more from our professionals.

    Read more
  • Breastfeeding and Beyond

    Do you want to make sure you have support for breastfeeding? Read our stories and find providers that can help with any of your questions or challenges.

    Read more
  • Caring for Yourself

    Have you remembered to plan good care techniques for yourself? Learn more on how new moms find ways to connect with other new moms and birth professionals to get the support they need in the early weeks.

    Read more

Your Birth Environment

Your environment sets the tone for your birth experience. From home to hospital, every birth environment has challenges and benefits worth exploring.

Today, most women in the United States give birth in hospitals. However, this is not the only option available: women also give birth in freestanding birth centers, hospital-based birth centers, or in their own homes. Be aware that some hospitals use the term “birth center” to refer to their regular labor & delivery floor. The American Association of Birth Centers defines a birth center as a home-like setting where care providers, usually midwives, provide family-centered care to healthy pregnant women. Most birth centers are located separately from hospitals, while a few are physically inside hospital buildings. In-hospital birth centers must meet certain standards for independence and must be separate from the Labor and Delivery unit in order to be considered true birth centers. A landmark study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, shows that birth centers provide first-rate care to healthy pregnant women in the U.S.

Where you choose to give birth will depend on your birth philosophy. If you’d like a natural, unhurried birth, consider having your baby at home or at a birth center. If you’re working with an obstetrician, you’ll likely give birth in a hospital. Explore your options, and discuss them with your care provider.

A comfortable environment is going to help you stay relaxed and this is crucial in allowing the physiologic process of labor to occur. An intricate blend of hormones is released during labor – some are helpful, but others can be destructive and even slow things down. Fear and stress may “stall” labor and create a need for medical interventions. If you do choose a birth environment other than your home, consider laboring at home as long as possible, and explore ways in which you can make the transition to the birth center or hospital as seamless as possible. Music, eye masks, and continuous labor support – such as a doula, family member, or friend – can be a great help.

To learn more about different birth environments, browse our resources or speak with a care provider from the CIC Provider Network today.

Alison Fenton-Willock photo 2Alison photo caption