In this column, the author answers the question, ``Is choosing to give birth naturally a realistic option in today's birth environment?'' Women's choices of health care provider and place of birth are limited by the general belief that birth is safe only in the hospital and when managed
by obstetric medicine. In the typical hospital environment, women rarely have access to the wide variety of comfort measures and the continuous emotional and physical support required to give birth naturally. Routine care practices further limit women's birthing options. The Coalition for
Improving Maternity Services' document, the ``Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative,'' offers direction for creating birth environments that ensure options for women who choose to give birth naturally.
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Document Type: Editorial
JUDITH LOTHIAN is a childbirth educator in Brooklyn, New York, and the Chair of the Lamaze International Certification Council. She is also an Associate Professor at the College of Nursing at Seton Hall
University in South Orange, New Jersey.
Publication date: July 1, 2001
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