Tips for Natural Birth in a Hospital Setting


In the USA giving birth in a hospital and doing so naturally and without medications is not the norm. Many nurses haven’t seen a natural birth and neither have many OBGYNs. So what’s a pregnant woman to do when she wants to birth naturally in a hospital?  Here are some tips to have birth your way while in a hospital setting.

Be Prepared

  • Take a birthing class that supports natural birthing (usually not the hospital class)
  • Read natural birthing books and stories of women that have birthed naturally such as Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.
  • Find a provider that is supportive of your natural birth choices – truly question your provider so that you know you both are supportive of natural birthing.
  • Visit your hospital birthing room to get a feel for the environment.

Birth Plan

  • Create a birth plan that specifies your birth options.
  • Include a after birth plan for what you’d like to have for your baby.
  • Give your birth plan ahead of time to your provider and give it to the nurses at each shift during your labor.

Support Team

  • Hire a doula
  • Discuss your birth wishes with your partner and ask for your partner’s support
  • Discuss your birth wishes with your family and also ask for your partner’s support.

On birth day

  • Remember that every decision is yours to make.
  • Labor at home as long as possible – you’ll be more comfortable and avoid interventions.
  • Once at the hospital have your doula or your partner set up the environment for you per your requests.
  • You may want to avoid progress check-ups as much as possible unless medically necessary.
  • Consider requesting intermittent monitoring vs. continuous unless it’s medically necessary.
  • Request to move around and shift positions, walk, and be comfortable.
  • Ask for a birthing ball.
  • Request that any extra personnel not be allowed in the room
  • Be kind but firm in your decisions.
  • Remember – it’s your birth

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The content of Granola Babies blog and website is for educational purposes and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.