An epidural-free childbirth means more options for mom and partner when it comes to the location of the birth. Hospitals, birth centers, and home births all offer couples options for safe, supported birth. However, the vast majority of couples choose a natural childbirth in hospital over birth at home or in a birthing center. Why choose natural childbirth in hospital?
Here are some compelling reasons why women choose natural childbirth in hospital:
1. Choice of Healthcare Provider
Many couples are uneasy with the thought of someone other than a doctor or certified nurse midwife delivering the baby. Typically, doctors only attend births in a hospital, while certified nurse midwives practice in both a hospital and in some birth centers. Choose a natural childbirth in hospital if you prefer the training and qualifications of a doctor or certified nurse midwife.
2. Sense of Safety
Peace of mind is essential when it comes to preparing for labor and delivery. Some women feel most safe at home or in a birth center, while others feel more assured in the hospital. The security net of the hospital can be like learning to ride a bike; you know someone is right next to you if you start to loose balance. Labor is somewhat unpredictable, and some couples find it reassuring to know that medical interventions are available if necessary.
3. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
It’s important to plan for childbirth in its entirety, including after birth care for both mom and baby. Choosing natural childbirth in hospital ensures that your precious newborn will have access to the most advanced care options. While the majority of newborns are healthy, it may increase your peace of mind to have a NICU available, in the off chance that baby needs a bit of extra medical attention.
4. Longer Postpartum Stay
Most hospitals encourage couples to stay in their facility for at least 48 after birth while the health of both mom and baby are observed. On the other hand, most birth centers send mom home about 6 hours after birth. If you prefer a longer stay of care with registered nurses monitoring your newborn, then a natural childbirth in hospital might be your best option.
5. High-Risk Pregnancy
Most birth centers and home birth midwives have policies that preclude couples with high-risk pregnancies. Don’t be discouraged if you fall into this category! Natural childbirth in hospital is a wonderful option for mothers who are categorized as “high-risk”. With preparation and open communication with your doctor or midwife, you can still strive for a natural, low-intervention birth in a hospital even if you’re not an “ideal” birth center candidate.
There’s no way around the fact that prenatal care and childbirth are expensive. In general, most insurance companies cover the cost of a hospital birth and prenatal care done with a hospital-based provider. Many birth centers and most home births require self-pay options, although their prices likely cost less than a hospital birth, before insurance is applied. For couples with a tight budget, a natural childbirth in hospital may be the most affordable option.
When it comes to natural childbirth in hospital, you really can have your cake and eat it, too. First, do your homework to find a hospital-based healthcare provider whose practices support low-intervention, natural birth. Next, prepare and practice coping tools to help you manage contractions with confidence. And then, take advantage of an epidural-free birth with the modern benefits of a hospital.
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!
Declercq, E.R., Sakala, C., Corry, M.P., Applebaum, S., Her- rlich, A. (2013). Listening to Mothers III: Pregnancy and Birth. New York: Childbirth Connection.