Childbirth is not ONE WAY 1
On any given weekday in Atlanta, you can walk into most of our local hospitals and you are likely to see many women laboring and birthing in a VERY similar way. You will probably see the majority of women with continuous fetal monitoring and an IV dripping Pitocin. These laboring women will likely be lying in bed with an epidural catheter in their back. Most of these women will probably give birth in a semi-reclined position with a nurse directing her pushing. OBs will attend most of the births.
While most labor and births go this way it doesn't mean that ALL labors and births have to follow this same formula. There are so many different ways to do both. In labor you can be active or still. You can be loud or quiet. You can walk, dance, sway, moan, visualize and vocalize. You can choose to labor at home, outside or at the hospital. You can even labor in a magical laboring cave! When it is time to birth you can be in bed, in water or sitting on a birthing stool. There are innumerable ways to do labor and birth.
Unfortunately moms might not have access to all of these options. Their options might be limited by their care providers, their birthing locations and even their own personal health status. It is important that moms find out their options early in their pregnancy. Doulas encourage moms to ask questions of their care providers as soon as possible. If they find out that their preferences for labor and birth aren't available from their care provider they might want to look around. Changing practices late in pregnancy can be difficult and sometimes even impossible so the earlier they have these conversations the better.
If the standard way of giving birth doesn't appeal to you that's okay! Look into your options. Explore different ways of laboring and birthing. Consider hiring a doula! Doulas are a great resource for learning your options.