How to Have a Natural Birth In a Hospital How to have a natural birth in a hospital

When and if your choice to have the birth of your baby in a hospital, you do have options. You certainly may choose to get the epidural, you may choose to hire a midwife, or plan for a c-section. Whatever you decide to be the best birth experience you’d like, I will always encourage an informed birth where you do as much research in your birth choice. I can only speak on my experience, which was a planned natural birth in the hospital and provide what I believe is important to achieving something that many say is impossible. Here is my advice for a natural birth in a hospital:

Have a midwife as your care provider

I know there are medically-minded midwives (usually called med-wives) that may not honor your natural birth just as there are OBs that are naturally-minded and do respect the natural process of birth. At least with midwives (my women care practice had two), you can avoid an on-call OB you’ve never met. Otherwise, find an OB that you know will respect your preferences or has built a reputation for a natural birth.


Hire a doula

A doula is someone you have for assistance and advocacy during labor. It derives from the ancient Greek meaning of “woman who serves.” For me, our doula was great in assisting my husband as he was my main labor partner and making sure my preferences were followed by staff when I was “in the zone.”

Prepare a birth plan

Going in with a literal “plan” of action does not only provide structure but it is wise to let hospital staff know and visually refer to your preferences and desires. I used this birth plan creator recommended by my doula. Please try to keep it on one page. I would recommend bringing your draft copy to your hospital tour and ask any questions you might have and also get a chance to maybe remove something your hospital may already do so you don’t have to list it on your birth plan.

Educate yourself!

Take classes (yes, plural), read up on what natural labor entails, and surround yourself with positive stories from other been-there-done-that moms. I found it really helpful to connect on Facebook with natural birth advocates and read natural birth stories, especially ones in hospitals. This point is so important because you are only as good as what you stand for yourself otherwise you will fall prey to anything.

Decline every and any intervention during pregnancy

Yes, even if your midwife kindly offers to strip your membranes. Your body and baby will know when it’s time. That’s it. Remember: it’s a “guess date,” not an expiration date!

Labor at home as long as possible

I’ll be the first to say it: being in a hospital puts a lot of pressure on you, which in turn can compromise your focus and increase interventions. I did not stay at home very long because I thought I needed to go to the hospital once my contractions were so-and-so apart. WRONG. If I were to give any advice regarding stages of beginning labor, it would be to keep your ass at home for as long as you (comfortably) can!

Labor in water, if possible

There’s just something about water when you’re rolling through waves of contractions. I literally had to be forced out of the hospital tub to be intermittently monitored during labor. It was that good. You’ll find your element and when you do, stick with it! My thing was getting hot water sprayed on my belly as I was visualizing and swaying my hips in the water. Uh-mazing.

Don’t be afraid to vocalize and visualize

I don’t mean scream how much from the pain you’re feeling like in the movies! I’m talking about humming in rhythm, breathing loudly and intently, and especially letting others know what you need/don’t need. Visualizing my baby’s face in my mind greatly helped me cope with the contractions. Visualize whatever helps you get through each wave.


… your body and your baby. If you feel like you’ve literally given all you’ve got, then trust your team (birth partner, midwife, doula) because they’re there to make sure you get a healthy baby.

Honorable mentions:
Rebozo: this neat little trick helped Humnoy to crown after pushing for a few minutes. I pulled on it while my husband/doula supported my weight as I was in the sitting up position.

– You may not want to eat or drink during labor! I sure didn’t!

– Slow dancing with your birth partner is a sweet and helpful way to cope through a contraction.

– Everybody poops! See: Why Asian Moms Are Sucky Doulas

What is your helpful advice to an expectant mother wanting to have a natural birth in the hospital?


19 thoughts on “How to Have a Natural Birth In a Hospital

  1. This is a great post especially for me being a month away from birth and wanting it to be all natural! Unfortunately I don’t have the choice of doing it at home or in the hospital and I’m going to be subjected to all the pressure of being at the hospital but these are great and helpful hints!

  2. I certainly cannot give any advice for natural birthing. I opted for the epidural so quick its a shame. I pooped on myself… multiple times, I screamed, I cursed, I even thought about slapping a few nurses. We will see how this pregnancy goes. Going natural seems like the best thing to do, but for some reason when those contractions hit, it goes right out the door…

  3. I just had a 100% natural (minus the IV they never used except for saline) birth in a hospital. (Granted, in Laos) but it can be done. Also, my doctor knew I wanted a natural birth so even though I admit, at one point I was begging for pain meds, she talked me through it. Think here they push natural birth more, (unless you are kon HiSo, then you go to Thailand and have a c-section…my friends thought I was nuts for a natural birth.) Anyways… babling….Totally agree with everything you wrote above, having a Doula saved me and helped my hubby alot.

  4. I’m a huge natural hospital birth supporter and I even wrote a book, called “Natural Hospital Birth,” so I’m not kidding about being a huge supporter. The idea that natural birth doesn’t belong in a hospital is ridiculous. Wherever women give birth, they should be able to listen to their bodies.

    • I agree. I feel it is the right of all women to have their own sense of preference and safety. There are strong proponents for home birth, like myself, but I also encourage the hospital because not *all* experiences are unwanted nor horrific. I’m glad you support it too!

  5. Excellent post. I’m 26 weeks myself and am aiming for a natural hospital birth. I’m passionate about all things natural and so it only makes sense to introduce my baby into the world in this way also. After all, we can do it. If you’re interested, please have a look at my blog – I’ve created a space for educating women on their capabilities to birth naturally and I’d love to connect with like minded people : )

  6. Pingback: Home Birth Active Labor To-Do List | The Laotian Commotion

So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s