Most birth Stories involve an induction followed by a cascade of interventions, and almost half the time these interventions end up in a c-birth, as I prefer to call it.
Deciding whether to birth at home or in a hospital can be a difficult decision, especially if your birth team is not totally on board with it, and then there is always this nagging thought in the back of our mind what if?
Every day women can achieve their goal of an unmedicated birth in a hospital, it does not happen without a plan or a serious birth wish list. So here are some vitally important points.
- Choose your primary care provider carefully. Talk to your doctor about your plans.Make sure he or she is on board and supportive of your wishes. Feel free to ask questions about( their own and the hospital they service) rate of c-sections, episiotomies, inductions etc… If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers choose another care provider.Connect with Mom groups in your area and ask for recommendations,ask a local doula which doctor or midwife they recommend.
- Build a support team that respects you. Hire a Doula! A doula in a non-negotiable when wanting a natural birth in a hospital setting. The reason for that is that staff are generally trained to interfere and intervene.So even if you get to the hospital with a birth plan or wish, in hand stating all the things you don’t want you need to have a doula for support. One great role of a doula is that she can act as your voice through you of course, during labour. With a doula by your side, you will have the best chance of getting the birth you want. Find a doula early in pregnancy, that you can build a strong relationship filled with trust and confidence and love.
- Write a Birth Plan or Birth Wish. The best part of birth planning is an opportunity to discover you and your partner’s birth preferences and wishes as well as concerns and fears. Keep in mind though, birth is unpredictable and even if the situation forces you to change along the way you are still a fierce birthing woman and all births, medical or not, are a profound rite of passage into motherhood and may I say fatherhood.
- Get Educated. Your doula is a wealth of information here too and she can suggest childbirth education classes that will respect and enforce your beliefs.It is necessary to educate yourself, and learn to embrace your own natural intelligence that can help you birth more easily.
- Be prepared to advocate for yourself. It’s your body, your birth and your baby! No one has a right to do anything to you without your permission.Advocating for yourself will be easiest if you have taken the time to learn about your options and prepare yourself emotionally for the birth experience you wish for.Just because a doctor says something does not mean that it is right for you and your baby. Remember your values.
- Stay at home as long as possible!!! This is a top tip if you want a natural and spiritual birth experience. Many women especially first time mothers,rush off to the hospital when they don’t need to. This results in disappointment most of the time and it is discouraging to get sent home when little or no progress has been made. Or even worse, they may talk you into speeding things up with the cascade of interventions we have already talked about. Labour comes on slow in real life not like in the movies, and baby will not just fall out.Good rule is if you are still smiling and talking it is not time yet to go anywhere, stay home bake a groaning cake great for lactation. listen to some music. take a nap.
- Bring your allies to the hospital. Claim your sacred birthing space, make it feel comfortable, private and inviting.Ina May Gaskin says, “Whatever gets the baby in will get the baby out.”Bringing special items with you to the hospital will help feel at home. A relaxing playlist, a diffuser with some essential oils.A birth ball, a beautiful gown you can wear instead of that dreary hospital one. Reflect upon what you need to feel that you are entering into a beautiful ceremonial space, after al a birth is a ceremony, every bit as important as a wedding ceremony even more important in my book. You are welcoming your baby into your life for the very first time to breathe here on earth.This will all help your body feel good to open up and birth your baby.