How to have a Natural Birth in a Hospital

The following is a student blog post by Julia Fuller-Kling

How to have a Natural Birth in a Hospital

Babies arrive when they arrive.
Babies arrive when they arrive.

Many women choose to give birth in a hospital because they think they will feel safer and more comfortable having medical technology available if it becomes necessary. Medical technology saves many babies and mothers lives and I feel grateful for this, but it is often used routinely and unnecessarily in normal low-risk births and this can actually create more complications and a cascade of interventions. 

If you want to have a natural birth in a hospital setting and you are low-risk, here are some tips to help you achieve it:

~ Choose a midwife to be your care provider. Or, an OBGYN that has low Cesarean rate and low assisted delivery rate

~ Choose a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative hospital

~ Write a birth plan that explains your preference for a natural birth

~ Request as much privacy as possible and as little comings and goings of hospital staff as possible

~ If lights in the room can be dimmed, dim them. If the lights cannot be dimmed, request they be turned off and use battery operated candle lights

~ Request that you can eat and drink freely during labor

~ Avoid use of IV fluids

~ Request intermittent external fetal monitoring using a stethoscope

~ Avoid use of electronic fetal monitoring that does not allow you to get out of bed. You need to be able to move freely into all different positions

~ Avoid artificially augmenting labor, try natural ways to stimulate labor like nipple stimulation, cuddling and kissing, privacy, sitting on the toilet, etc.

~ Have access to or bring your own birth ball and birth stool

~ Have access to a birth pool, tub, or shower

~ Avoid use of pain medications

~ Request that you can push in any position you feel most comfortable in (including squatting)

~ Request hot compresses on perineum during crowning and pushing stage to avoid an episiotomy

~ Request delayed cutting of umbilical cord (wait until cord stops pulsating)

~ Insist that you get skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after birth to initiate bonding and latching on for breastfeeding

~ Have access to breastfeeding support after birth

~ Hire a doula! Doulas provide you with continuity of care and constant emotional and physical support 

Nurturing Care Doula Services

Julia Fuller-Kling offers holistic Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Doula services including Attachment-Parenting style childcare in Manhattan & Brooklyn, NY. www.nurturingcaredoula.com   julia143143@gmail.com

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