I’m here to give some tips to women who would really love to experience a natural delivery (drug free and with as few interventions as necessary) and also enjoy the safety/peace of mind a hospital can offer.
And, just so you know, I’m not a pain-junkie. I don’t think that I’m super woman for delivering naturally (and please don’t think I am). Confession: I was scared with both kids about pushing them out. I just really love seeing what my body can do on its own and am so amazed at the results. In addition, I can see how well-meaning medical procedures can get in the way of the body’s natural way of delivering a baby. It’s much easier to trust our bodies to grow our babies than it is to trust them to deliver them. Often, this is the case because we simply don’t know many women who DON’T get an epidural. If they don’t, they deliver at home, which seems to put them on a different level – one many women aren’t willing to explore.
So, I would like to propose that we can have the best of both worlds. The peaceful, beautiful joy of a natural delivery, without medication or additional intervention, and the security of a hospital “just in case”.
Here are my Tips for Delivering Naturally in a hospital:
Choose a practioner who is ON YOUR TEAM. Make sure that your doctor or midwife shares the same values and goals for delivery as you do. This is tough to figure out, because many OBs will say that they support natural delivery, but it’s difficult to know what they really mean by “support”.
I chose to deliver with an OB at Scottsdale Healthcare/Shea Hospital with our daughter. I used a doula to manage my pain. Everything about Reagan’s birth was wonderful where my doula and the natural process were involved and stressful and rushed where the medical staff and standard medical procedures were involved. We felt like we were fighting the hospital staff at every turn.
“No, please get this constant monitor off of me.” and “Please, I don’t want an IV drip.” and “Please, just wait a few minutes for my placenta to release and don’t tug on it!” “No, I don’t want a catheter after I deliver!”
Our son, born just last week at Phoenix Baptist Hospital was deliverd by a Certified Nurse Midwife from Bethany Womens Healthcare. Everything about his birth was peaceful, gentle, loving and beautiful. We felt like the hospital staff (from Triage to Labor and Delivery) were on our team, ready to help us welcome this little bundle. PEACEFUL. LOVING. SAFE. Sure, they listened to the heart beat and timed contractions, but just for 10 minutes when I first arrived and then on and off throughout labor.
Select a Hospital your trusted practioner recommends– None of the Scottsdale Healthcare hospitals allow midwives privledges to deliver babies. That being said, there are several hospitals in the Valley. I went with Phoenix Baptist Hospital because A.) they have a new birthing unit that is lovely and VERY supportive of natural births B.) my midwifery clinic uses them C.) they are the closest hospital to my home that allows a midwife to deliver.
If you are using an OB, hire a Doula– Think of your doula as your method for dealing with pain. She is your labor coach, your insurance against a C-section and your advocate. She can help your husband or significant other support you better. She can be your eyes, ears and peace of mind. Often women think that they can’t afford a doula. They run between $300-500. If you were to receive an epidural, it would cost you around $1000. If you end up with a C-section it could cost around $30,000. Sure, there are insurance issues that come into play, but for us, with our first, we felt like our doula was insurance against having a C-section and gave us so much support and peace of mind while delivering our daughter. If I had to use an OB for insurance or other reasons, and if I had to deliver at a Scottsdale Healthcare hospital; I would hire a doula. We decided to not hire a doula with our second child because I felt so confident that the midwife would be more than enough support for me since we were already on the same page, and she would be at the hospital while I labored (before I started pushing).
Pick a passage to memorize – My husband and I memorized a passage of scripture from the Bible. We chose Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” This was a great tool for us to be connected during labor – he would recite the passage during some of my contractions, and it helped me put my focus on the Lord. I got the idea from hypno therapy, where women use meditation to prepare for labor. Instead of using the hypno therapy script, I decided that I would use Biblical scripture to meditate on during contractions. Pick whatever tickles your fancy!
Joy is the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog and absolutely loves living in Scottsdale with her hubby Kevin and their daughter Reagan (born August 2009) and son Elliot (born May 2011). She is a lover of nature, a research analyst on all things related to life, a home manager, a crafty art-eest, Chief Marketing Officer for Cactus CrossFit, mommy, daughter and friend.