Birthing options

What could be more natural, right?

There are many options to consider when deciding how to deliver your baby, and having a birth plan can help make sure everyone knows what you want to happen.

Think through the details. Will you want to avoid anesthetics completely? Do you want to consider them at a certain point if pain requires? Do you want to try water labor, epidural or nitrous oxide?

Start by writing down how you imagine the birth going and include as many thoughts and plans as you can think of. This will give you a starting point that you can then prioritize, strike out ideas and categorize thoughts.

It will also give you a framework for discussions with your health care provider — prompting questions, challenging assumptions and generally making you better informed about your options, what to expect and when to expect it.

Things don’t always follow the plan, so be flexible.

Include in your birth plan the classes you want to take, any questions about breastfeeding, whether you want to discuss cord blood storage, any concerns around substance abuse and a checklist of what to take to the hospital.

Nitrous oxide labor

Commonly used for births during the 1800s until the invention of alternative pain medications and epidural, nitrous oxide is safe and easy to use.


In the U.S., the first licensed midwives date back to the early 1700s. Midwives who practice in the medical setting are certified nurse midwives (CNMs). They are highly trained, board-certified nurse practitioners who can deliver your baby.

Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)

The American Pregnancy Association says roughly 3 to 4 out of 5 women can successfully give birth vaginally after a C-section. A Norton Healthcare doctor can work with you to achieve your goal.

Water labor

You can labor in warm water to lower stress and help with pain management at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.


The most popular form of pain relief during labor is anesthesia commonly referred to as an epidural. It is administered with a needle into the epidural space of the spinal cord. Medication blocks the nerves from feeling pain, allowing most patients to deliver with minimal discomfort and limited side effects.

Natural birth

This is a labor and delivery with minimal medical and technological intervention. It usually involves special breathing and relaxation techniques for pain relief. A natural birth is truly definedby each woman’s preference. Many will choose to use nitrous oxide or spend time in a labor tub to help soothe labor pains.

Women’s Health – 4GYN

Norton Healthcare’s Kempf named to national CFOs to know list

Becker’s Healthcare has recognized Adam D. Kempf, Norton Healthcare senior vice president and chief financial officer, as one of the 106 hospital and health system CFOs to know in the nation. Those on the list play an integral […]

Read Full Story

Dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms and what to do

We are seeing record high temperatures in Greater Louisville already this spring. These early hot days mean you can get caught off guard by heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat [...]

Read Full Story

Veterans can get urgent care with Norton Healthcare under VA Mission Act

Under the VA Mission Act of 2018, eligible U.S. veterans now are able to get treatment for minor injuries and illnesses such as colds, sore throats and minor skin infections at urgent care clinics through […]

Read Full Story

Patient navigator Karen Allen educates patients and learns from them too

Karen Allen, R.N., oncology patient navigator for Norton Cancer Institute, sees the patient navigator role as a “bridge across the canyon of uncertainty” for patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer. “I imagine my family […]

Read Full Story

That fabulous handbag may be causing pain and damage to your body

You have a thing for bags. The bigger the better, right? Sure, a big, fabulous bag might be able to hold everything you want to carry with you, but all that extra baggage is doing […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.