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, labour 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 (Balbas, 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 (Balbas, 2012). A water birth is giving birth under water with supervision of a doctor or a midwife (Menakaya, Albayati, Vella, Fenwick, & Angstetra, 2012). Two examples that will be examined herein are urban women from different countries: Grace Gan from Philippines and Sharon Colicchia from Australia. These two women clearly are willing to try something new and experiment with different options for pregnancy, labour and delivery. 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 (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 2013). They investigated birthing thoroughly, searching the Internet and reading hundreds of birth stories as well as committing time to keep themselves healthy (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 2013). They both believed that water birth is the best option for them as this is considered a gentler way of delivering their baby (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 2013). On the other hand, there are differences between their situations: Sharon was pregnant with her first baby and did
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 (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 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 (Colicchia, n.d.). Unlike Sharon, Grace attended pre-natal appointments in the hospital with obstetrician and paediatrician supervision (Glaiza, 2013). In Australia, water births are commonly held either in hospitals or at home which includes pre-natal visits, attendance during labour 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 health insurers and government funded homebirth 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 (Glaiza, 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 labour both Grace and Sharon had long hours of labour (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 2013). Both found water birth as an effective way to manage pain while in labour, 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 labour period (Colicchia, n.d.; Glaiza, 2013). Their husbands also played very loving and supportive roles...
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Balbas, N. (2012, July 26). Delivering a "water baby": Water birth pros and cons.
Colicchia, S. (n.d.). Reflections of my pregnancy and jasmine 's birth. Retrieved April 18,
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Wells, B. (2010, September 08). Water birth: the basics. Retrieved from Essential Baby:
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