How to advocate for yourself and have a natural hospital birth
I know a home birth is all the rage in the natural community. But you can have a peaceful and natural hospital birth.
I have 6 children, all born in the hospital. All born without me having an epidural or taking any pain medications.I will share some of my experiences with you.
Start by finding a Doula or birth support person who will help you advocate for what you want so that you don't feel pressured to do things your not comfortable with. Find a midwife with hospital privileges. I can't say enough good things about my Midwives.
Visit the hospital before baby is born so you can see the labor and delivery rooms and talk to the OB nurses. As long as it is ok with your midwife, stay at home for as long as possible during early labor. Walk outside, as long as your midwife is ok with it eat small protein packed meals.
When you head to the hospital bring your own pillow. I can't stress this enough. Hospital pillows are horribly uncomfortable.
Bring slippers because who wants to be barefoot in the hallways outside your room. Bring a comfy robe because hospital gowns are a bit too open in the back
When you get to your room make it feel cozy, turn down the lights so it's not to bright. Set a baby blanket and outfit on the end table to focus on. If hospital policy allows it start up an essential oil diffuser to create a relaxing environment.
If labor is going smoothly and baby is doing well you do not have to stay in bed!! Get up, walk around. The nurses will tell you where it's good to walk around. I walked in the back "employee" hallway and avoided the main hallway in the hospital. Or just walk around in your own room.
Ask for intermittent fetal monitoring. Unless baby is showing signs of distress there is nqo need to be continuously hooked up to a monitor. 20 minutes every 60-90 minutes is usually plenty.
Drink. Keeping well hydrated is very important in labor.
Women traditionally have been told to avoid eating or drinking during labor due to concerns they may aspirate, or inhale liquid or food into their lungs, which can cause pneumonia. But advances in anesthesia care means most healthy women are highly unlikely to have this problem today and when researchers reviewed the literature of hundreds of studies on the topic, they determined that withholding food and liquids may be unnecessary for many women in labor.
This advice is based on findings but the American Society of Anesthesiology’
Labor in the water once it starts getting really painful. When the contractions are getting stronger don't feel like you have to get an epidural. Water is amazing for pain management. Have your Doula or support person massage your lower back, shoulders, legs. Anywhere it's feeling tight. Than go get in the tub or shower. How water is amazing, try different positions in the tub or shower. My last baby the OB nurse gave me a small exercise ball so I could be down on my knees and lay my torso on the ball and than had hot water from the shower hitting my back.
Ask to hold baby immediately after birth have them lay the baby on your chest. Delay cord clamping until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsing. Than baby can be weighed and measured and handed back for breastfeeding.
Ask for food after delivery, you will be hungry. Baby can room in with you. You do not have to send baby to the nursery if you don't want to.
Remember it's your birth, do things how you want, you are a guest not a prisoner. You get to call the shots don't be afraid to tell the nurses No I don't want to do that or sorry that's not how I do things.
For a normal, healthy, low risk pregnancy a
hospital birth can be a relaxing and natural experience. And once you have multiple kids it's nice to get away for a few days and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning while you lay in bed nursing baby and watching wheel of fortune!
Were your baby's born at home or in the hospital?