Childbirth: You Be The Decider

More and more women are ditching traditional prenatal classes and sources of information about giving birth.

Fewer women are seeking childbirth info, according to a survey of more than 1,300 first-time moms.

Less than 30 percent attended birthing classes; many didn't know the risks of common procedures and were willing to let the doctor or midwife decide on such options as epidurals and Cesarean sections, according to the study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada.

In the study, midwives' patients were more likely than physicians' patients to appreciate their own role in delivery and less favorable toward the use of technology.

Our Ask the Labor Nurse blogger makes a strong case for moms-to-be educating themselves about labor and delivery so that they have the power to make informed decisions when the time comes.

Knowledge is power when it comes to giving birth. And it starts with the person you pick to deliver your baby. Our OB or Midwife? page can help you sort through all the pros and cons to make the right choice that's best for you.

If you're looking for expert videos on pregnancy and birth, head over to our Knowledge is Power video section for clips on various topics, such as labor pain, appropriate interventions and C-sections.

Just remember: Every woman is different. Some of them breeze through childbirth. Others find it excruciating. Browse through our The Truth About Labor Pain page for info on what to expect and how to find relief.

—Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada / Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.