Expecting? If you'd like to have a less medical birth, whether in a hospital or at home, a midwife may be for you, says Ricki Lake, the actress, coauthor of the new book Your Best Birth, and producer of the hit documentary The Business of Being Born. Three reasons to consider a midwife:
1. They don't just deliver at home. In fact, 97 percent of certified nurse-midwives work in hospitals. "I gave birth to my first baby in a hospital because my midwife worked there," says Lake. "It was a great experience." And many ob-gyn practices have midwives on staff.
2. They're not all anti-epidural. If you want to attempt a natural birth, you may be more likely to succeed with a midwife, who will be there to support you throughout your labor. But most midwives are also open to administering pain relief, if you decide you do want that epidural after all.
3. They're family-friendly. "In our film, a mom has a water birth at home with her two-year-old sitting next to her," says Lake. Midwives can often help make your birth a family experience. To find a midwife who practices near you, go to yourbestbirthbook.com.