Having a natural birth in the hospital is a possibility for expectant moms.
Guest Post by Sarah Prince of My Natural Baby Birth
As someone who’s had natural births in the hospital, people are surprised that I have a bioengineering degree. Someone who studies how to manipulate DNA in a laboratory surely wouldn’t be interested in a natural birth, right?
Wrong, and I’ll tell you why.
We’re The Lost Generation
When I was pregnant for the first time, I knew for a fact that billions of women have been giving birth naturally for thousands of years. And they STILL do it today without:
- Western medicine,
- Epidurals or c-sections,
- OBGYNS, and
- Even midwives.
They had their mother’s and grandmother’s experiences to bank on and trust. They had countless women to assist and instruct who had gone through birth time and time again, also with the help of their predecessors.
You and I don’t have that. At least, most likely don’t have that.
Our mothers were the first era of women that regularly had epidurals, C-sections, and interventions galore. They didn’t birth at home with their own mothers at their side knowing exactly what to do. They were strapped up in a bed with the knock ’em out, drag ’em out experiences that Dr. Bradley calls them.
I Understood The Risks
Finding the support I needed seemed impossible. I didn’t know where to look. There was no one I knew with the experience to teach me.
But I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was ABSOLUTELY possible and the RIGHT thing to do. I researched and understood a lot of things like:
- the marvelous life long health benefits my child would receive because I would be seeding their microbiome,
- the risks associated with epidurals which lead to things like postpartum depression,
- the long list of pros and cons associated with interventions versus natural birth side effects,
- how similar the sensations of labor contractions and orgasms were because of my anatomy,
- why delayed cord clamping was super important for my baby.
So I weighed the factors affecting my situation and ultimately decided that having our baby in the hospital was the best choice.
My Reasons Why I Chose Natural Birth In The Hospital
My reasons may be different than yours. And in no way am I believing that every single mother should have a natural birth in the hospital. Only you can choose what’s best for you. But I hope that my reasons will help guide you along your journey.
1) My own anxieties and fears
I wasn’t afraid of a needle or surgery. My doctor wasn’t pressuring me into a situation that I didn’t want.
I was afraid of the small chance of something going wrong. I was afraid that, perhaps, I wouldn’t know IF anything was wrong at all. I was afraid that my husband wouldn’t know what to do to help me in such situations.
I was afraid that my mind just might get the better of me. That I would not be able to fully overcome my fears. I was afraid if I had a bad experience at home, that I wouldn’t be able to go through a day without emotional pain and trauma resurfacing.
If I was in a hospital, I wouldn’t have to worry about ANY of these fears because there were people there who would know what to do.
2) The cost of it all
Wait a minute. Isn’t the price tag of birthing in a hospital WAY more expensive than anywhere else? Absolutely. But I had insurance.
The amount that I would have to dish out of pocket was thousands less than if I HADN’T birthed in the hospital. My insurance wouldn’t cover anything if I chose to birth anywhere else.
Now, you may think that’s a completely irrelevant reason that has nothing to do with the health of my baby. You’re right.
But I’m the primary breadwinner in our home. Stress and frustration around money is a HUGE trigger of negative emotions for me. I did NOT want any more stress than I was already undergoing just from being pregnancy. Don’t forget all the baby items that I somehow had to pay for too.
So it was an important reason for me.
3) I felt supported
Hopefully you have a great support system right now, that your husband, loved ones, and physician are all on your side. Many of us don’t have that.
I fortunately did. My doctor always made me comfortable and was perfectly agreeable to what I wanted to do for my birth. He signed my birth plan after we discussed it. He didn’t pressure me and I respected his opinion.
My husband was completely okay with any decision I made and loved and respected my choice for such a momentous task I had ahead of me.
I didn’t worry about needing a midwife or doula because I felt that I already had everything in place. I’d done a lot of research, prepared in many ways, and felt mentally, emotional, and physically strong enough to do this.
Third Time’s The Charm
I had my first birth in the hospital, completely natural, with minimal intervention. I went on to do it again … and again.
Since that fateful day when I decided that natural births were for me, I’ve had three completely natural births in the hospital. I probably wouldn’t have it any other way.
My reasons haven’t changed. They have only been reinforced.
- Now I have a midwife through my hospital instead of an OBGYN.
- I have even more support from family that doubted me in the beginning.
- I trust in my abilities and have become fearless about giving birth.
Because of my experiences, I didn’t want other mothers to be frustrated. So I created the Confident Mother Natural Birthing Course to help others.
You Can Have The Natural Birth You Want Too
I’ve had three natural births in the hospital, so I’ve learned the three major secrets to having a joyful natural birth.
By no means do I think that you have to have three births to get everything right. But I was able to master the things that I now know contribute to a successful natural birth.
- The first time I conquered the mindset of getting through a natural birth by focusing on joy.
- The second time came an enhanced understanding of how I could perfect my relaxation to assist my body.
- The third time I focused on the proper exercises that strengthened my body was I thought was possible.
And you can absolutely do the same.
I’m not saying that you have to have a natural birth in the hospital to have a wonderfully memorable experience.
I am saying that when the right thought patterns and techniques, you can strengthen yourself in ways that you never thought possible. You can set yourself up for the best odds of success in the birth that you want.
Where do you want to give birth?
Sarah Prince is a mother of three little boys, her husband is an artist, and she lives in Utah. She loves dark chocolate, getting outside, and attending theatre. She’s the creator of the Confident Mother Birthing Course and MyNaturalBabyBirth.com.