Natural Birth At Hospital – Is It Possible ? How ?
Some women have asked me whether it is possible to have natural birth at hospital. These women know the risk of having birth at hospital in terms of having a natural birth. But they want to have a natural childbirth there because of a variety of reason such as insurance coverage, practicality (no midwife nearby, living in illegal homebirth state, or no birthing center), and, to some extent, fear.
I’d like to say that it’s possible to have a natural child birth at hospital. However, I think it is such a risky propotition.
Hospitals are in business of managing birth, and are more interested in managing birth efficiently than in being considerate of each woman’s needs and feeling. This is not surprising considering the numbers of women who are giving birth there at any given time. Therefore, even if a woman wants to have a natural birth, a lot of time, hospitals cannot do their best to ensure that the woman gets what she wants. Instead, her wants are only second to hospital policies aimed for managing the labor and delivery process, which means:
1. a woman is subjected to many hospital routines and prohibition, many of those are not proved beneficial in improving labor and birth. In fact, some of them can interfere with natural course of labor or can make a woman uncomfortable that the labor is halted, slowed down or become more more painful.
2. a woman whose labor is not considered ‘normal by hospital standard’ (i.e. taking longer than it should be) are not accommodated and supported accordingly. Instead, she will be induced so that she can give birth within the time frame, which can lead to a more painful contraction and a cascade of other intervention.
Therefore, I suggest you to read the article hospital birth first before making a decision whether you should have a natural hospital birth or not.
Having said that, I also believe that it is possible to have a natural birth at hospital. However, a woman has to struggle harder to get the birth that she wants at a hospital.
For those of you who are aiming for natural birth at hospital, the following is the tips for you to maximize your chance of having a natural hospital birth:
1. Find an obstetrician supportive of natural birth. This is a must. Your doctor has to support your decision in having a natural birth at hospital. Make sure that it’s not a lip service and that you define what a natural birth means to you, because a lot of people think that as long as the birth is not by a c-section, then it qualifies as natural birth. So make sure to talk about it if your definition of natural birth is a drug free no intervention birth.
2. Once you find your ideal physician, proceed to choose a hospital which is supportive of natural hospital birth and where your physician is affiliated with. You may also want to choose the best hospital to give birth in terms of the way it is supportive of breastfeeding.
3. Read tips for having a natural childbirth which can be applied in any birth setting, be it at a hospital, home or birthing center. Basically in order to have a natural childbirth you should do preparation ahead of time and maximize the chance of having a drug-free birth by doing the right thing at the time of your labor. In order to prepare your body for birth you need to have a good prenatal diet and perform prenatal exercise. Make sure you stay low risk. Also, educate yourself in a matter of pregnancy and childbirth through reading best pregnancy books, attend birthing class and watching natural birth video. See the details of natural child birth preparation here.
4. If you think you need more support for childbirth, hire a labor partner or doula. The presence of a doula can increase the chance of having a natural birth at hospital.
5. Finally, once you know what exactly you want for birth, go through your birth plan with your doctor