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


With love,
Giselle Baumet

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