A Word to the Wise
1) Women often feel like there are two types of birth. Medicated vs. Un-medicated. Also termed Interventions vs. No interventions. This is a cultural misunderstanding. Most modern hospitals offer a wide spectrum of comfort measures and medical support without requiring couples to choose one extreme over another.
Generally, the best way to differentiate between a negative and a positive birth experience lies more in how well the couple prepares for the birthing process than what options they choose prior to the onset of labor. Even if a woman plans to accept anesthesia there are great benefits to understanding the process and preparing for every possibility. If you want to narrow it down to two birth scenarios I would label them Prepared vs. Unprepared.
2) Remember the cliché, “Knowing is half the battle?” But still it is only half the battle. Many childbirth educators place too much emphasis on birth options and issues of consumerism and do not provide enough instruction on the actual preparation.
Knowing what choices are available is a good place to start but it’s sort of like picking a vacation destination. You can pick vacation destinations all day long, yet if you want to have a pleasant retreat you need to do your homework, scout out local attractions, schedule your accommodations in advance, (including a flight plan, itinerary), and then pack the appropriate gear. Writing a birth plan without actually executing an exercise, nutrition, and relaxation program is nothing more than a wish list.