How to Have a Natural Hospital Birth

While giving birth at home or at a birthing center can be most advantageous for having a natural childbirth, the vast majority of women in the U.S. give birth at the hospital (over 98%!)

Sometimes, women choose a hospital birth for medical reasons or if they are a high-risk pregnancy. Other times, there are no other options. Birthing centers are few and far between in more rural areas, and some states outlaw home births attended by midwives.

But, just because you give birth in the hospital doesn’t mean you can’t give birth naturallyA natural hospital birth can absolutely, 100% be done!

Here are some tips to help you have a natural hospital birth.

Accept that the system is (probably) against you

This may sound harsh, but it’s better to be prepared if you want a natural hospital birth. Most hospitals specialize in interventions. Some doulas and midwives believe the moment you step into the hospital and put on their gown, you’ve had your first intervention.

As we know, one intervention like Pitocin can lead to another intervention like an epidural, which could ultimately lead to a c-section. This is such a common occurrence that there’s a term for it: The Cascade of Interventions.

Over 85% of U.S. women will have at least one intervention during birth, so the odds are set against you, especially at the hospital, if you don’t take decisive action.

But remember, over 90% of women can have an unmedicated vaginal birth, so know that it is not only possible but probable if you’re prepared! If you need to have your natural birth in a hospital, it’s your job is to get educated, get empowered and get support!

Commit to a natural hospital birth!

In our society, where birth is medicalized, a woman doesn’t just stumble into a natural birth, especially if it’s her first baby. Women who want a natural hospital birth need to have a strong “WHY” or reason(s) to work against the system. Your why will drive your birth and give you the strength to go the distance.

Here are some things you can do to really, truly commit to going natural.

  • Sign a pledge. Say it out loud. Do whatever it takes to commit to yourself, to others and to God or the universe that your intensions are to have a natural hospital birth.
  • Read, read, read! If you only have time for one books choose Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It has helped many mamas who were on the fence about natural birth embrace it. (be sure to bring them in your hospital bag too).
  • Get on the same page with your partner. If your partner is not on board you will need to explain to him why you want a natural birth. Many people just don’t know why natural birth is so great and why trying for one in the hospital is more difficult.
  • Surround yourself with natural birth advocates. Find natural parenting groups in your area. Check out a La Leche League group (many members are naturally minded). Immerse yourself in the natural birth and parenting world.
  • Stay away from nay sayers, Debbie Downers and scaremonger-ers. You don’t need to hear all of the exception-to-the-rule stories or negative experiences. Remember that over 90% of women can have a vaginal and unmedicated childbirth. Read some of the amazing natural childbirth stories in our gallery. Stay positive and know that many scary stories may have started with unnecessary interventions that you can avoid.

Research your hospital

If you have a choice of hospitals, it’s a good idea to research your options and try to find the most natural-minded practitioners. Scour online forums for your area and check local parenting groups to get an idea of what other mamas experienced at your chosen hospital. Moms and doulas are the best resources for finding the right place to plan a natural hospital birth.

Additionally, you’ll want to call the hospital and ask for a tour. Some will be able to do a private one and others will require you to sign up for a group tour. In either case, make sure you have a list of questions you want answers to that may not be obvious just by looking around. Here are some ideas:

  • Is the hospital baby friendly?
  • Ask them what their c-section rate is. (Or, if you know who will attend your birth, what is their c-section rate? Hint: if they don’t know their stats, it’s not good!)
  • Are there any restrictions on who is allowed in the room?
  • How does the hospital support breastfeeding? Do they have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) on staff?
  • Can I eat and drink during labor?
  • Can I walk and move around during labor? Do I need continuous fetal monitoring, even though it isn’t evidence-based?
  • Can I stay in the same room the entire time?
  • Can I choose what position I deliver in?
  • Can I have access to a birth ball?
  • Can my partner stay with me after the baby is born?

Also, take a look around at the birthing rooms. Would you like to be in labor there? Are they homey? Do they have soft lighting or comfortable beds and chairs? Do they have natural birthing accessories like squatting stools, large bathtubs, birth balls, etc.

Take a good birth class

There is no better way to prepare for birth, especially a natural hospital birth, than to take a good birth class. Unfortunately, many of the classes offered by the hospital talk more about how to be a good patient than how you can work with your body to give birth naturally. Take a look at this post about choosing the right birthing classes for you.

You’ll see that the hospital class doesn’t make an appearance in our post. That’s because hospital birth courses are also shorter, not in depth, and generally not supportive of natural birthing techniques and ample breastfeeding education. Furthermore, you’re less likely to find other like-minded, natural mamas to bond with in the hospital class! Instead, choose a natural childbirth education class that supports your goal of a natural birth.

Hire a doula for a natural hospital birth

A doula can make a huge difference in whether or not you can have a natural hospital birth. Not only can your doula help be your advocate for an intervention-free birth, but studies show that a doula at your side during labor increases your chance of spontaneous vaginal birth without vacuum or forceps assistance.

Women who had continuous support from a doula were also less likely to have any pain medication or epidurals, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, C-sections, or negative feelings about childbirth.

And doulas aren’t just for moms—birth partners rave about them too!  Your husband, your partner, your mother, your sister—these people aren’t professionals when it comes to birth. They know you. Doulas know birth. Together, they make up a powerful support team!

Learn more about how doulas improve birth outcomes and then grab these doula interview questions to help you find the right one.

Consider a birth center in a hospital

If for some reason you can’t deliver at a birth center, or if you don’t live near enough to one, check and see if you a hospital near you has a birthing center. The difference between the two is subtle but important.

A free standing birth center doesn’t have obstetrical surgeons (OBs) or advanced medical care available in-house. A birth center in a hospital does have access to emergency medical treatment if needed but are still primarily run by midwives, usually nurse-midwives. Yes, the midwives have to follow hospital protocol, but you probably have a better chance at your natural hospital birth in one of these birth centers than in a hospital maternity ward.

I gave birth to both of my kids in this type of facility and had 2 natural, vaginal births.

However, be careful! Many hospitals are calling their labor & delivery units “Family Birth Centers.” Almost always, these are not birth centers at all but normal labor & delivery units with all of the interventions that come with them.

A true birth center within the hospital will have obvious signs that it’s different–maybe a queen size bed, a big tub, and the inability to get medical interventions without transferring to a regular labor & delivery room. Hospitals have realized that the demand lately is to “go natural” and have changed their marketing to fit the bill.

Write a birth plan

Writing a birth plan is a great way for you to become familiar with what you desire for your birth, and with what choices you will make if circumstances change. A birth plan also helps to educate your birthing team and your doula can help advocate your choices for you.

Unfortunately, many nurses don’t take detailed birth plans seriously, so it’s good to keep it to a single page. Here’s an easy visual template you can use to build a plan that nurses won’t scoff at.

Stay at home as long as possible

Home is much more relaxing and comfortable for most moms giving birth. By being in your own space, you feel the safest and can get into your own labor rhythm. With your doula by your side, you will have lots of time to learn to manage the pain without the temptation (or pushing) of pain meds. You will also be free… to walk, squat, moan, eat, drink or do whatever you need to do to help birth your baby.

It’s also good to stay home as long as possibly because most hospitals put you on a timeline as soon as you arrive at the hospital. Remember, hospitals specialize in interventions. You go to the hospital to have the baby, so the hospital expects that this outcome will happen soon. (Or they will help make this happen!)

The moment you walk into the hospital, the interventions begin. From wearing a continuous fetal monitor or being pressured for Pitocin. Keep in mind that you can refuse any intervention, but it can become exhausting for mom. This is where your doula or partner can take over to advocate on your behalf.

Also, if your contractions stall on the ride to the hospital or at the hospital, dim the lights, create a small safe place, have you partner close and try to recreate an intimate space for birthing your baby. We have hormones that will actually work against us if we feel threatened or the light is too bright.

Natural hospital birth: It can be done!

You really can have the natural birth you are hoping for even if you have to be at the hospital. You can enjoy the experience of working with your body to birth your baby and surprise (and delight) doctors and nurses as they watch the miracle of natural birth unfold before their very eyes.

How about YOU? Did you have a natural hospital birth? Share with us!

References

 

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

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36 Comments

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  1. I live in one of those “no birthing centers, no midwives (officially) delivering homebirths” states. I’ve had all six kids in the hospital without medication. Was it always easy? Nope. Even using nurse midwives, I’ve had to stand my ground to get the birth experience I wanted. I do want to add that one more reason why we choose to continue to go to the hospital and use these midwives (and baby seven is on the way): we have really good insurance with excellent maternity benefits. Having someone else do the clean up and wait on me while I recover is really nice. 🙂 I could do without all the poking, prodding, and parading of people that come in the twenty four hours after the baby arrives, but it comes with the hospital package, so I deal with it.

  2. I am incredibly blessed to work for a hospital system that is naturally minded and has even won awards for our efforts to support breastfeeding and natural birth. My doctor supported me the entire time through my pregnancy when I told her I wanted a natural birth. Our hospital all day birth education class also advocated natural birth but then also went over interventions that might occur if they needed to. In our education class they also partner with our local Doula foundation and when I went into labor my nurse commented they love Doulas and was glad I had one. I went to exactly 42 weeks and my doctor was fine with it since I had such a healthy pregnancy, she didn’t set a date for induction until after the weekend (putting me at 42.5 weeks), saying I would probably go naturally over the weekend. I did! I had contractions 10 minutes apart ALL day Friday starting at 4am, then by 9pm that night they went to 5 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. I was only dilated to a 3 when they checked me so they had me walk the halls for an hour and checked me again, still at 3cm so they sent me home to labor. The moment I got home though my water broke, so back to the hospital. This time contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and the REAL DEAL! I got to labor and deliver naked with just a sports bra, no IV, no interventions. I thought I wanted the birthing ball so they brought it in, I sat on it for a second and thought my pelvis was going to shatter so they took it right back out. My doctor wasn’t on call that night so I had her partner who I had never met. I was nervous about that but my doctor had all my notes and birth plan in my chart that her partner knew everything she needed to and was very supportive of my natural birth wishes. While transitioning an hour into labor I did sign to get an epidural because I thought with first baby this labor was going to last 12 hours and I couldn’t take the pain for that long. But the doctor came in after I signed and checked me and said, “You’re so close there’s no time for an epidural, what position would you like to push in? Your baby will be here within the hour”. That was all I needed to hear to center and focus and actually enjoy that last bit of labor. The doctor even asked if she could massage my perineum while I dilated the last bit. She was calm and soothing the entire labor and worked awesome with my Doula. They both communicated great with coaching me through pushes and from water break to baby was only 2.5 hours. They did give me IV fluids after birth while I was skin to skin for the first hour, since I had puked so much through labor. They also brought me food, let me breast feed baby 15 minutes after she came out and waited to have daddy cut the cord until after we had gotten our fill of starring at our new bundle. My baby never left me side the entire time we were at the hospital, all tests and checks were done right at my bedside. Hearing others hospital birth stories makes me so grateful I have the hospital system I do. We have another big hospital system in our town and my friends that have gone there do not have the same blissful birth experience I got to have. As I prepare for number 2 due in 8 weeks I am so calm and ready because I know what to expect and can do it again just like the first time hopefully!

  3. I was committed to a natural hospital birth for my second at age 40 (my first was born 19 years ago, was augmented, and I gave in to the epidural at the end). Surrounding myself with the right team was key. I had a supportive midwife and hired a wonderful doula. I made it to 41 weeks, completely uncomplicated and low risk, but had a few scary blood pressure spikes at the end and I agreed to be induced for this reason. My midwife used a Foley bulb for dilation and very low dose pitocin to get me going which worked wonderfully. My hospital allows intermittent monitoring, but not for inductions. They did have a remote Bluetooth monitor, however, so I was fully mobile. I walked, used a birth ball, and was able to shower and use the tub. I was also allowed to eat. My team knew I did not want pain interventions and I was fully respected. I didn’t have one person ask me once if I was sure. No visit by anesthesia. I absolutely felt validated and supported in this choice. The pitocin was kept very low. My water broke spontaneously and I was able to deliver my son just 7 hours after the beginning of the induction. I believe that the dose of pit was so low that most of my labor was natural after the kickstart. I delivered in the position I was most comfortable in, with no tears and was up and walking after an hour of skin to skin and breastfeeding. The hospital is also baby friendly, which helps. While not 100% intervention free, I am ecstatic at the pain med free birth experience I had, in no small part due to the team I had around me.

  4. I had a natural hospital birth with my first and the doctors and nurses were incredibly supportive of my plan. It can be done and it can be a relaxing and beautiful experience. I’m actually looking forward to giving birth again with my second in October!

  5. I had all 3 of my babies in hospitals. My first I was not prepared- I should have hired a doula. I had the best intentions and my nurse was even so supportive of my desire to labor naturally but I was not prepared for how painful it was going to be and eventually I begged for an epidural! My second baby I hired a doula… but my baby was born so fast that she didn’t make it, I barely made it into the hospital. My 3rd baby I finally got it right. I hired a doula but I also prepared myself mentally and physically, armed with relaxation techniques. I would have all my kids at the hospital to appease my husband. Or agreement is that he is my advocate- I don’t want to be arguing with anyone or feeling pressure to submit to anything (especially not continuous fetal monitoring). He has always held up his end of the bargain and my last birth was especially amazing- empowering and redemtive! Still the hardest thing I’ve ever done but accomplishing my goal of delivering naturally in a hospital was priceless.

  6. I have a wonderful natural childbirth! We arrived at the hospital and I was 9 cm. 3 hrs later she was born! It definitely was a crazy but amazing experience.

  7. I’ve had 2 all natural births in a hospital and hoping for a 3rd in May.
    My last one, I birthed at home until the absolute last minute (I was 10 cm when I got to the hospital). I pushed while being on all fours on their bed. Baby was born 1 hour later. The nurse was shocked and kept saying that she felt useless because she wasn’t doing anything.

  8. All three of my births have been natural, in-hospital births! After a change in jobs and insurance that finally enables us to pursue a home birth, our plans are for baby #4, due in seven weeks, to be born at home. However, I had great experiences with my natural hospital births. It was a standard hospital (no birth centers in our area) and I had no doula, but apparently I’m just stubborn and when I want something I really go for it, LOL. Though it didn’t go 100% exactly the way I would have wanted, I was very happy with all of my hospital experiences and overall had beautiful, natural births in the position I chose. I was able to move around, walk the halls, use a birthing ball, get in the shower, etc. If home birth wasn’t an option, I would be happy going back to the same hospital to deliver 🙂

  9. My first birth was in a med pushing, cold hearted hospital. Unfortunately it’s mostly the only game in town. They didn’t believe I was in labor until I foubled over with a contraction (they almost seemed annoyed at my presence). I was strapped to a monitor they lost her heart rate and 4 nurses came rushing into the room and started doing “stuff”. Not once did anyone tell me or my husband what was going on. I am a nurse so I was able to figure it out. They pushed meds until I finally accepted (though no epidural ). A year later I was out running a hurricane with a one year old and a husband tbat was tdy for the airforce. I ended up delivering in my home town of very rural NY. The experience was so different. The staff including the doctor listened to every word I said. Offered meds and when I refused they simply said with a smile, “I think you are gonna be just fine”. I delivered all natural with amazing support from staff and family. Best delivery experience ever. Pregnant now with my 3rd and back in the same area and feeling the same bulkying tactics used the first time. Guess what…my body, my baby, my husband, our experience. If i say no or you don’t ask its legally assault! Find a doc and hospital you can trust to only intervene when it becomes medically necessary! It is very important.

  10. I had a natural hospital birth in August 2015 and it was absolutely wonderful!! Like you mentioned in your article, I think committing to having a natural childbirth, having the support of my husband, and going to a great child birth class was what really made it possible (well first and foremost, my faith in God to give me the strength to do so! I prayed all nine months that He would enable my body to do what He had created it to be able to do, without any complications!!!) I stayed home as long as possible and I when I went to the doctor I was around 4/5 cm. When I got to the hospital, there was definitely some pressure to accept interventions that I did not want, but my husband really advocated for me. I was able to decline the IV they wanted to give me fluids through, just told them I was already hydrated and didn’t need it! They did put a saline block in my hand in case of anything though. I told them right away that I didn’t want pain meds/epidural and they said ok, but offered me the opportunity to change my mind. I used the birthing ball and this really helped. I didn’t have the constant heart monitor on the whole time, but eventually they did put it on, wish they hadn’t, I would have been more mobile. I did accept the Pitocin after the baby was born, next time I won’t just because I now know you don’t have to have it. I truly look back at the birth of my baby with joy.

  11. I ended up having an epidural with my first baby- I hated how it made me feel so I did everything in my power to have a natural birth with my other children. I had to be induced with my other two pregnancies (a singleton and twins), but thankfully there were no complications so I was able to have them without epidurals or c-sections. What helped me was having a good support system, great communication with my doctors and nurses, and educating myself on childbirth.

  12. I just had a 100% intervention free hospital birth with no opposition at all. I was with a midwife group who’s view is “your body, your birth.” Upon arriving to the hospital in labor, they did place a saline lock just in case the need for immediate meds arose, but otherwise, my nurses all encouraged me through my labor. My nurse massaged my back, coached me into a variety of positions, as my baby was occiput posterior and had a lot of trouble descending. Even when my water broke and we learned he had passed meconium, no one pushed me into any sort of augmented labor. We just kept trying new positions until finally, my midwife said to feel the baby’s head, and the nurse said, “reach down and help deliver your baby!” No pitocin given postpartum, and I was encouraged to take a warm shower within an hour after the baby arrived. Absolutely wonderful, natural birth.

    • Sounds fantastic, Kate. Congratulations to you!!! ❤️

  13. Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I had a great hospital birth and it was completely natural in the end! And I needed Pitocin for 7 hours and still gave a natural vaginal birth without an epidural! It is completely possible.
    The reason for pitocin was I was 41 and a half weeks, my fluid was dangerously low at a 2 out of 18 (even when I tried to gulp down copious amounts of water 2 days before my 2nd and last ultrasound on the day they induced me). Before my labor, I was watching videos, reading Mama natural comma and I even ordered spiritual childbirth by Ina May Gaskin and read it almost three times through! I was going to the gym 3 times a week, walking outside, eating healthy, and drinking lots of water and bouncing on my labor ball like it was no tomorrow. Let’s not forget eating 3 to 5 dates a day and drinking my red raspberry leaf tea! And this to say I was doing everything in my power to have a natural birth. We hired a doula and had a super supportive OBGYN, hospital and of course my amazing husband! Sometimes things are just out of your control. But as it says in Psalms if you commit your ways to the Lord he will act! I was nervous and disappointed and disheartened when I heard the word pitocin but all of the things I did in preparation I believe gave me 9 hours of active labor only with NO epidural or pain med! And I only pushed for 45 minutes with no tears, only a brush burn!
    You can do it ladies go get them!

    • **They ended up giving me pitocin at 9 at night and I started pushing and was fully dilated at 5 o’clock in the morning. Before pitocin I had a couple hours of early active labor

  14. I disagree with your view on hospital birth classes not being ‘natural birth friendly’, I found it to be the opposite. I went to my class (which was 7hrs long as an express class fit our schedules) with my husband both convinced in having a medication assisted birth and left feeling a lot more prepared and empowered to have a natural one! The nurse teaching the class was very pro all natural and gave all the facts concerning all choices. I found it to be very unbiased and informative and left feeling like it was our choice and that natural child birth would be supported by the hospital. I’m thankful to be giving birth at a baby-friendly hospital as well! Lots of love to all you natural birth moms from Denver!

    • That’s awesome that you got a good hospital class! Sounds like you had a great baby friendly hospital. Unfortunately, not all hospitals share those values.

    • While your hospital birth class may have been pleasant, mine was exactly as Mama Natural described in this post – they even brought out an epidural needle for us to pass around so we’d know what would “most likely” be used on us. There was a lot of information that was basically like, “listen to your nurses, they know what’s best,” and really making childbirth out to be a medical issue rather than a natural process.

  15. In the U.K. all our hospitals support and encourage natural birth, I.V’s and fetal monitoring is only done when necessary.

  16. Getting ready for my second unmedicated birth any day now! My first child was induced 3 days early due to some health concerns and I was still able to have a beautiful natural birth in a hospital setting because my OB and doula alongside husband were very supportive of me going natural. My OB gave me the lowest dose of Pitocin he could and took me off of it as soon as contractions began. He also broke my water which really helped get things moving. I was still hooked up to an IV the entire time because I was GBS positive earlier in pregnancy. I had a very short pushing stage, something like 15-20 minutes. Hoping this time I can deliver in the hospital’s natural birth center and I am going with a nurse midwife practice this time around as this pregnancy is not high-risk, but if induction is needed again I know I can still go natural. So, don’t feel that you can’t have a natural birth if you are unable to give birth at a birth center or at home due to lack of availability or for health or financial reasons. If you can find a supportive provider and doula you can do it! 🙂

    • Fantastic encouragement Cathy, thank you! And best wishes for your own awesome and empowered birth!!!

  17. I gave birth to my son last month and it was 100% natural in a hospital in the west coast. I had done my research about the hospital’s practice methods and overall environment. In addition, I had also heard from many mothers that this was a great hospital to birth. Having read a bit about general tensions and resistance by hospitals to follow and respect natural birthing plans, I went in feeling a bit nervous even though I was confident and prepared to repeat my wishes to everyone. Once I was shown my room I handed the nurses my birthing plan and made sure to go over every detail. I was admitted during the second stage of labor, so it was a bit challenging to go over my birthing plan in detail w/out moaning, screaming, and ultimately feeling in another realm! The staff at the hospital was extremely respectful and mindful of my plan. They even communicated and reminded my doctor of my preferences during labor, which was amazing b/c I was only able to focus on breathing and pushing. After three intense yet amazing hours I gave birth to my first. I didn’t take any birthing classes, I didn’t hire a midwife or doula, I simply trusted my strength and knowledge and left the rest to fate. Thank you Mama Natural for sharing your experiences and knowledge. I have read several recommendations and after conducting my own research I integrated many tips during and after pregnancy, which I believe helped in many ways reduce the length of my labor and helped promote a healthy post-partum recovery. To any mama and/or mama-to-be reading this post, a safe and 100% natural birth in a hospital is absolutely possible. Be informed, ask questions, talk to other mothers, and build your own confidence in the type of birth you wish for. I had a very rewarding birth and one that left a beautiful imprint in my memory and soul.

  18. I had almost had a 100 percent unassisted birth. I went in with constant contractions that stayed the same 8 pm to 8 am. Had them brake my water then things picked up from there. I was asked many times if I wanted drugs and they pushed to put an iv in which I said no to several times too. I did unfortunately need a vacuum assist. My son decided to try to make his appearance sunny side up. I tore cervix all the way out and to my butt hole. The vacuum assist made him come out to fast and I had no time to stretch. I will never again let them assist in such a way again. 100 percent natural this next time.

  19. Thank you for this !
    Had one planned C-Section and one natural birth at my wonderful big general hospital. Now, I would probably slightly prefer the natural birth over the planned C-Section – but only slightly. Both have their advantages (a planned C-Section actually having a lower complication rate than the natural birth) and it is really up to every woman which to prefer. Maybe it is the the “natural way” and belongs to the evolvement of humanity (with their increasing brain volume) to have developed very safe ways and being able to deliver babies by C-Sections.

  20. I have had a mixture of birthing experiences (I am currently expecting #7). Most of my births were natural and I had an epideral with 2 of kiddos. I have also had different situations arise that made me grateful for a medical community there to help. I think the most important thing I have learned through the six births so far is that: God has designed our bodies to be able to do this birthing thing :)- not to panic in the face of pain, but focus on what you are doing- bringing forth a little person. The other important thing is this- bottom line, hands down, the goal is to bring forth a healthy baby. Period. It’s great to have a plan and know what you want and pursue that, but don’t get hung up on it. Situation sometimes arise, but be thankful for and pray for all of the people who are involved in your birth and for a perfectly healthy baby, in the end- regardless of how he/she arrives. 🙂

  21. I had two natural births at my wonderful community hospital!! They were so awesome they even had on-call doulas and the nurses were so supportive of whatever the birth plan wanted! Wonderful, natural experiences!!

  22. Love this! I’ve had 3 natural hospital births, and you have great suggestions. I’m a people pleaser and so it was hard for me not to be a “good patient”. I’ve worried less about offending with each birth, but it is still hard to feel on the defensive at a time when you want to be completely peaceful.

  23. What a wonderful post! This is great advice for a mom to have the birth she wants. Giving birth at a hospital does not have to mean you miss out on a natural birth.This would have been a handy resource before I gave birth!

  24. Thanks for this! I was supposed to give birth in a birth center but my daughter came 7 weeks early. I was still able to have a natural birth though. I think it was harder to have it natural in that environment but totally doable and worth it.

  25. I had a natural hospital birth! Wanted a home birth and then found out I was having twins!! So since they were my first babes I chose to go the hospital route. Labor was 4 hours, pushed for 20mins and had a very minor tear (they made me birth on my back :/) that didn’t need stitches! Totally doing a home birth next time because the hospital staff honestly was not needed 🙂 Birthed two beautiful boys!

    • I really wanted a homebirth too but decided on a hospital after finding out it was twins. I hope my l&d is as awesome as yours! Gives me hope, thanks 🙂

  26. I had a natural birth in a hospital! Granted my labor was only 4.5 hrs long and I only spent an hour in the hospital before little miss arrived. As soon as I arrived, the nurses pushed the IV on me even though I was screaming that I was involuntarily pushing. Thankfully I had a birth plan and an amazing midwife that was an advocate for natural births.

  27. I had a natural birth with my second son at the hospital that I work at. I didn’t have an IV or anything. It was wonderful!

  28. I have had a hospital, a home and a birth center births. My first was a natural birth at the hospital, with a 10lb 6oz baby! I had my water broken after over 12 hours and I also sat a lot. Since then, I’ve had two 8.5 babies at home and birth center, and the bag of waters remained intact until their heads emerged. I’ve never had a doula, but the hospital was incredibly respectful of my birth plan! I think because it was short, they actually paid attention.

  29. Wow, what a great and complete guide! I will definitely share this with my peeps 🙂 I think this is such an important topic for women who prefer the hospital (or, like you mentioned, have no other options.) It can be tricky to navigate the system and I think you have included all of the necessary things to think about! When I was pregnant with my first child, we were planning on a natural birth at a hospital and created a “happy pregnancy bubble” to make sure I wasn’t inundated with negative thoughts and ideas. I was very conscious about what I watched/read and whenever someone started talking about my impending failure or the mistake I was making, my husband would extract me from the situation (usually very subtly, but sometimes with a loud announcement that I needed to get back into my bubble.) Thanks again for sharing this 🙂

  30. Yes! It can be done and it could be wonderful! I Had 2 natural births in 2 different hospitals…

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