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Natural Childbirth in a Hospital

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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October 8th, 2010, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 263
Good Morning Ladies...

Where DH and I live is quite rural, hence, we only have the option of a hospital birth (homebirth is out of the question for DH! ). We are expecting our first child and would like to have a completely natural birth. For those of you who delivered in a hospital setting....

1) What would you reccomend discussing early on with your doc?
2) What was the biggest help in keeping to your natural birth plan?
3) Other words of wisdom/advice?

Thanks so much!

Last edited by ABCsMommy; October 8th, 2010 at 06:19 AM.
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October 8th, 2010, 06:34 AM
bre4thewin's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
Posts: 9,268
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1) What would you reccomend discussing early on with your doc? Tell your doctor very early of your intentions. Ask him/her questions and scenarios. You can gage how supportive he or she will be of a natural birth based on there reaction...then you can find another one if need be.
2) What was the biggest help in keeping to your natural birth plan? Get a Doula. For woman wanting a natural birth in a hospital its a necessity. YOu need someone to advocate for you when you are unable. someone who is educated and can "say...yes this is right" or "no, this is not ok"

3) Other words of wisdom/advice? good luck mama...labor as long as you can at home!

Thank you Mom2*Lauryn*Jacob* for my gorgeous siggie!

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October 8th, 2010, 08:27 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Henderson, NV
Posts: 1,721
The best bits of advise I have are (1) if possible take a natural child birth class (we did Bradley with our 1st and would strongly recomend it) (2) Have a written birth plan signed by both you OB and peditrician on hand before going to the hospital.

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October 8th, 2010, 09:17 AM
QueenCrafty's Avatar Courtney
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 26,352
1. Talk to your doc early and often about your plan to go natural. Ask them and the hospital about required procedures (Do you have to get an IV, can you go without or at least just have a hep lock, Can you labor in a tub/shower/whatever position you choose)

2. Labor at home as long as possible. Get your DH on board. My DH was skeptical about a natural birth at first until I finally sat him down and explained why I was choosing this. I told him exactly what I needed him to do for me (be an advocate and be okay with me being in pain because I was)

3. Read! I read several books that were recommended in the stickied reading list. I learned a lot more by reading than I did taking the hospital's childbirth class with my first

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October 8th, 2010, 09:34 AM
MamaMandy's Avatar is it Spring yet??
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 383
Hi, I am going for a VBAC as close to natural as possible, and haven't delivered yet but hopefully can give some helpful info.

1) What would you reccomend discussing early on with your doc? What you consider natural birth, and your preferences on standard medical practice - do you want your waters broken or not, vaginal exams during labor, monitoring, etc. What they consider medically necessary & why, and whether you agree with that. Like, some doctors believe constant monitoring is necessary, while some moms believe it's only necessary if there are signs of distress. Knowing what interventions they routinely do, why, when, and their respect for your difference of opinion on those are big, at least to me.

2) What was the biggest help in keeping to your natural birth plan? Haven't got there yet, but I am trying to make sure I have plan B's and C's in mind, recognizing that you really can't *plan* birth! I know what I'd ideally like, what's ok, what I can deal with & get over, and what I really would hate. I guess you'd call it a tiered or layered plan! I also am fortunate enough to have found a volunteer doula to help me make informed rational choices during labor, although she is not allowed to actually speak FOR me.

3) Other words of wisdom/advice? Make sure the hospital has plenty of alternate pain relief options. Many will advertise birthing balls, hot tubs in rooms, portable monitoring etc. and conveniently leave out that they only have 1 or 2 available. Make sure the hospital supports birth as a natural process not a medical emergency- do they encourage skin to skin contact ASAP & as much as possible, breastfeeding, rooming in etc. can be good true indicators of their philosophy. I live in a rural area too and am travelling an hour & 20 minutes to get to a hospital that is in line with my birth wishes, so you may want to consider a commute if necessary. I just did a pre-natal intake per the hospital's request, for nearly 2 hours I met with staff to go over my medical history, pregnancy history, birth wishes/plans, family situation, concerns - basically my life story! Also I toured the whole unit, did the paperwork in advance, heard their policy spiel, and was able to ask all my questions. If your hospital will do this with you, it could be very very helpful. I'm also asking that if possible, nurses who are partial to natural child birthing be assigned to give our care. The nurses are really the backbone in hospitals, and IMHO have the greatest impact on care & experiences in hospitals. With my 1st daughter, the doctor was great but the nurses absolutely horrid, dreadful BLEEPS- they kept referring to me as an "abdominal surgery" rather than a mom who'd just had her first child or even a person, complained about emptying my catheter bag, refused to give me even ibuproferen once we discovered the morphine drip pump was broken all along...I so wish I'd met & specified ideal fits for our nursing care!! Live and learn! Now, if I don't like a nurse's attitude or actions I will speak up & throw him/her off our care & out of our room. So I guess remembering YOU are in charge, not them, is another! Liana wants to play,s o off I go. Good luck!!
Raising my kids with boundaries - NOT battle lines.

Children are not little adults, but they ARE people too!

There's a reason they are called dependents...

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October 8th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 263
Thanks so much! What great insight!
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October 8th, 2010, 03:36 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 4,037
I've had two natural childbirths in a hospital settings, though neither one was "normal". But both times I've had very supportive people caring for me and the births were good. I'll be doing a hospital natural childbirth next time, too.

1) What would you recommend discussing early on with your doc? Like the others have said, ask them what their procedures are, what is required and what you can turn down. Also ask about hospital policies - which may not be the same as your doctor/midwife's policies! It's the nurses you will be dealing with most often and if they ALWAYS do x, y and z you may end up having to argue with them, even if your doctor says you don't need them (like an IV, etc). I also asked what their statistics were for episiotomies and c-sections. But mostly I wanted to feel out how my care providers felt about it, if they were going to be supportive or rolling their eyes at me.

2) What was the biggest help in keeping to your natural birth plan? Well, I think knowing the facts, having had read a TON before I ever went into labor, helped me understand what was going on, what they were offering. I knew what drugs hospitals use, I knew the risks of all of it, I know how easy it is for things to snowball when you start interventions. So even though I was in labor and highly distracted, I knew what I wanted and why so I wasn't going to change my mind.

3) Other words of wisdom/advice? Having someone supportive with you is HUGE. My husband took the place of a doula, asking nurses if procedures were necessary, answering when I was busy with a contraction, encouraging me. You really really want to have positive people around you.

2 IVF babies and 1 surprise!
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October 8th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Lucky Mama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 5,575
We delivered DD in a hospital due to insurance issues. We actually had a wonderful experience, but we did a LOT to prepare:

-Be sure your provider is SUPPORTIVE of natural birth. My first midwife said she would "allow" me to "try" to have a natural birth, but that I "shouldn't hate myself when I begged for an epidural." I found a new midwife posthaste after that comment! I was sure to ask her about any interventions to gauge how she felt about them. If she had indicated casually that she did episiotomies, gave pitocin, etc. often, I would have been looking for another midwife again.

-Ask around for references of a good midwife. You can find reviews online or get opinions of friends and family. Some areas have websites dedicated to natural birth that list natural birth-friendly providers. We found our amazing midwife through our Bradley teacher.

-If you can, take a class. If you can't take a class, study birth as much as you can. I think a lot of times fear gets to women in labor moreso than the pain. I had a very, VERY painful birth, but never even thought to ask for medication because I felt so calm and unafraid. I knew that pain had a purpose and even though my labor was very difficult, it was one of the best experiences of my life!

-Give your birth plan to your doctor as early on as possible. That way you can make sure they will support you and you can discuss issues with your plan and, say, hospital policies. I also took copies of our birth plan to the hospital to give to the nurses that cared for us. I don't know if they ever read it, but it helped my peace of mind.

-If you can, have a doula with you. I didn't have one for financial reasons (my mother, who had her last two births at home, came to support us), but I know DH would have loved a little extra support once I began the more difficult part of labor. Trust me, when you are in hard labor, it's difficult to think straight! It's so nice to have someone there to help you determine if a proposed intervention is actually necessary.

-Labor at home as long as you can! Once you enter those hospital doors, you are on their time clock! If you aren't progressing fast enough or like they think you should be, they will try to move things along!

-Be informed and don't be afraid to be assertive! This is your birth! Anything that happens is part of the experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Don't be afraid to be picky or a little bit demanding. You have every right to have as much say as possible in how your birth unfolds!

Good luck! You can have a wonderful natural birth in a hospital!

____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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October 8th, 2010, 07:25 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 19,074
1) What would you reccomend discussing early on with your doc? I'd discuss you wanting a NCB as early as possible. My doctor only had a 1 in 40 chance of actually being there for my delivery so I also wanted to know how supportive other doctors/nurses were, etc. I went over my birth plan with my OB and then had DH post a copy to the room where I was in labor and tell each person that came thru the door that I was having a NCB.
2) What was the biggest help in keeping to your natural birth plan? Having DH and my best friend there to run interference if necessary. The first nurse I had with Lily was really rude about having a NCB, but all the others were great.
3) Other words of wisdom/advice? I would definitely take a class on NCB (Hypnobabies, Bradley, etc) if possible and read up as much as possible on laboring and birthing.

I had a good hospital experience with Lily and achieved a NCB there, but I chose to have a home birth with Violet.

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October 8th, 2010, 07:38 PM
sara~b's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had a pain-med free birth in hospital. I had pitocin and mag due to pre-eclampsia and not progressing. However, it was hard! I had midwives who I thought would be more supportive and more involved then OB's but they really weren't. They missed my pre-e and then the whole time I was in the hospital I had to beg to get them to come in and check me. The nurses spent more time with me then the midwives. I also had a doula but she had to be somewhere while I was in labor and I ended up with her back up doula. I was okay with that but towards the end she kept pushing me to get an epidural. When I said no the last time she even asked me 'why?' I couldn't believe I was 17 hours into labor and still defending my choice not to get an epi to the person I was PAYING to support that decision. My DH was the only one who stood up for me. I also begged for hours for them to break my water because it was taking 2-3 hours for me to progress 1 CM and sometimes I would regress. I went from 2-3CM at one point back to high and almost closed. The OB on call wouldn't let them break my water no matter how much I pleaded. Once they finally did Ash was born in 48 minutes.

The moral of my story is that it doesn't matter where you are or who your care provider is. You have to believe in yourself and know you can do it. And you also have to be willing to stand up for yourself if that perfect care provider doesn't turn out to be quite so perfect at the last minute. If your DH is seriously on board with NCB you will be just fine. Do your research, interview lots of care providers and doulas, and take classes. You'll be just fine in the end!
Sara, 27, married to Shane, 31, mom to Gemma, 6, and Ashlyn, born 8/7/10

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October 8th, 2010, 08:02 PM
pr1madona's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,824
I have had 2 natural hospital births, my most recent 9 weeks ago:-) so here's my advice:

-Definitely talk to your OB/midwife about the things most important to you. When my OB talked about inducing me just because I was due on Labor Day, I never went back. I found a practice that was as pro-natural birth as you can get, and made sure I interviewed them first to find out their policies on Pitocin, episiotomies, etc.

- Get a doula. Mine were great. They had great suggestions based on what I was feeling at the time and were able to give DH good ideas for different pain relief measures.

-Stay at home as long as possible! You don't want to be put on a timetable, especially if you are just in early labor.

My OB and doula were definitely key to my natural birth this past time. Everyone expected my labor to be under 4hrs as my 2nd was that long and my 1st was 8hrs. This time was 16hrs and towards the end I was exhausted. I got to the hospital at 5cm at 9am and didn't have her until 6pm. I was asking for meds at the end out of sheer exhaustion and intense back pain. My OB simply told me "No, you know you don't really want that. You are at the end now." She waited with me at the end and just talked to me.
Amanda- Mom to Dylan 13yo, Mikayla 9yo, and Arielle 5yo, Juliet 4yo, Noelle 18 m

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