How To Have A Natural Hospital Birth Secret #3

Natural Hospital Birth

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Having a natural hospital birth is a possibility!

In this article we will go review and learn more about my top secrets to delivering in a hospital in the most natural way. No matter how you choose to experience birth I am here to support you every step of the way. Now let’s get into it!

Secret #1- Gather Your Dream Team (Read Secret #1)

A care practitioner who has your best interest in mind is your first defense against interventions. This is why it’s essential to gather your support team.

As a Prenatal Life Coach it’s my duty to ask why? Why do you want a natural hospital birth? Defining your “why” will fuel your fire when it’s time to exercise your rights in the medical model. Clarifying the reasons you feel strongly about natural childbirth will motivate you to stay the course when you’re thrown a curveball or meet resistance. 

Secret #2- Get Informed (Read Secret #2)

Being knowledgeable is how you’ll pivot when things don’t go according to plan. Clients always draw inspiration from hearing one another’s personal commitment to physiological birth in our group coaching sessions. 

I should also mention that the idea of “natural childbirth,” could mean many things for many different people. For some it will mean low-intervention, for some it will mean having freedom of movement, for others it will mean birthing on all fours. 

Once you decide what your specific goal looks like, we can then focus our attention on Secret #3.

Secret #3Have a Strategy

Write a Birth Plan (BP). I know, I know, birth plans have a bad reputation. The power of a birth plan isn’t the actual plan. It’s the process of becoming educated about all of your options and rights. 

Know your hospital or affiliated birth center’s policies inside and out before delivery day. You don’t want to contradict yourself by including ‘water birth’ on your plan since next to no hospitals allow for water birth. 

Furthermore, you should be mindful of the fact that not all L&D (labor and delivery) nurses will welcome your BP with open arms. Some may care enough to ask follow-up questions and others may roll their eyes. With this in mind…

  • Prioritize the big ticket items you care deeply about
  • Have a sense of humor 
  • Keep things to one page. 

Refer to the Trusted EBC Catalog for a guide on writing an effective birth plan that won’t get thrown in the trash. I’ve always been a fan of the Mama Natural Visual Plan (Howland, 2023).

I explain to my clients that writing your BP is more of an active exercise and less of an assignment to turn in and forget about. I encourage a Plan A, a Plan B, and a Plan C. BPs not only outline your desires, but they assist in communicating your preferences to your partner, your Doula, and any additional support people. It also acts as a conversation starter and roadmap for critical conversations to have with your practitioner. 

Role Playing

We will role play mutually respectful but potentially difficult conversations in our second trimester coaching calls to practice. In fact, if you’re not feeling heard or supported by your care provider when you review these wishes, it may be a sign that you need to make a change. 

When this situation comes up in coaching, we take a collaborative deep breath and work as a team to find a better fit. Once we do, and we always do (with plenty of time) we enjoy the collective and calming sigh of relief that comes with completing the dream team.  

Map out your labor

When I was planning D-day, I calculated the amount of time it would take to get from my home to the Birthing Center with traffic, without traffic, with snow, and without snow. I did not want to arrive too early and disrupt my flow, so I planned to stop at the Cary House, the beautiful old Colonial that my Doulas worked out of, and labor there for some time. This would put me minutes from the Birthing Center, in a relaxing atmosphere that felt like home. 

Of course on that day there was a blizzard and my plan went out the window (that’s a story for another day), BUT it helped to strategize before the big day. First time parents rarely have precipitous labors (giving birth after less than 3 hours of regular contractions) (Suzuki, 21014). Staying home as long as possible will serve you in the long run. More time at home ensures an uninterrupted stretch of time when labor can unfold naturally and in a relaxed way.

To Recap

Secret #1- Gather Your Dream Team 

There are so many aspects of pregnancy and birth that we cannot control. But that does not mean that we lose agency over the way things unfold. Be in charge of your prenatal experience. Work hard to foster an inner calm. 

Secret #2- Get Informed

Don’t let anyone feed you false information. Ask the right questions and be an active participant in every decision. Absorb the evidence from reputable sources such as Evidence Based Birth, The Cochrane Library and the Trusted EBC Catalog. Your birth experience impacts your confidence as a new parent. DO NOT leave it to chance. Sometimes I get push back on this notion because one truly does not have control over their birth outcome. But I strongly believe that what is most important is how you feel when you walk away from your birth. 

Secret #3- Have a Strategy 

Have a thought out plan that guarantees that you feel EMPOWERED bringing your baby into the world. 

 

-Coach Lisa

Find additional resources here.

 

References

Dekker, R. (2018). What is Evidence Based Care? Evidence Based Birth®. https://evidencebasedbirth.com/ebb-2-what-is-evidence-based-care/

Dekker, R. (2023). Hosting server connect timeout. Evidence Based Birth®. https://evidencebasedbirth.com/resources-for-parents/

Howland, G. (2019). How to have a natural hospital birth. Mama Natural. https://www.mamanatural.com/natural-hospital-birth/

Howland, G. (2023). Free visual birth plan template (Doctors & nurses love this!). Mama Natural. https://www.mamanatural.com/birth-plan-template/

Suzuki, S. (2014). Clinical significance of precipitous labor. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4285060/

 

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