A natural hospital birth is an empowering, attainable goal! Epidural-free births don’t just take place at home or in a birthing center. In fact, the hospital is a safe, reliable setting in which to have a natural birth. However, your preparations need to reflect the fact that you’re choosing a natural birth in a hospital. Let this list guide you as you prepare for a natural hospital birth:
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #1: Interview Your Doctor or Midwife
The wrong health care provider might frustrate your natural birth plans, no matter the setting. Make sure to select a doctor or midwife who supports low-intervention, spontaneous, vaginal birth. Take the opportunity to interview potential providers to determine if personalities click, and if your birth philosophy lines up with the doctor’s practices.
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #2: Hospital Tour
Hospitals have reputations, too! Schedule a tour, and notice if the birthing suite provides the use of bathtubs, birthing balls, birthing stools, and other labor tools. Don’t be afraid to ask applicable questions such as the hospital’s c-section rate and if the nursing staff is familiar with and friendly towards a natural hospital birth.
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #3: Coping Queen
While the hospital might provide the physical setting for a natural hospital birth, mom is in control of the mental setting. Confidently manage contractions with a variety of coping techniques to draw from. Don’t expect a lot of labor support from hospital staff, but instead come well prepared with your own birth team. Consider hiring a doula to assist you and your partner. Take charge of your own preparation so that you’re ready to implement coping techniques with or without hospital staff in the room.
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #4: Intervention Education
Learn as much as possible about routine and non-routine interventions that might be encouraged during a natural hospital birth. Obtain education through natural hospital birth courses or from conversations with your doctor or midwife about the hospital’s “standard care”. The less surprised you are, the more confident you’ll be when it comes to making important decisions.
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #5: Open Communication
After you’ve carefully selected a doctor or midwife, then it’s time to foster that relationship. Take advantage of monthly appointments to develop a friendship and mutual understanding of birth and labor expectations. For example, it is vital that your doctor is aware of your desire to have a natural hospital birth. At the end of the day, remember that you are the boss. Your doctor or midwife works for you, and if it’s not working then feel free to leave and find a new provider.
Prepare for Natural Hospital Birth #6: Free Yourself
Be realistic with your expectations and allow for flexibility. Even the most careful planner can not control how each unique birth will play out. Take your labor experience moment by moment and appreciate both the miracle of birth and the benefit of modern medicine.
Preparation for a natural hospital birth will look different than home-birth or birth center preparation. But remember, as you focus on the goal of a positive birth experience, a healthy mom and a healthy baby, you are sure to find success in any birth setting.
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!