How to Have a Natural Childbirth Experience in a Hospital

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When it comes to your childbirth options, there is no “one-size-fits-all” birth plan. These days, you have the choice to opt for an epidural to help with pain management or seek an unmedicated experience with less medical intervention. Learn how you can have a natural childbirth experience in a hospital.

Natural Childbirth

One common misconception about birthing in a hospital is that it means being medicated and confined to a hospital bed. “[Hospitals] can provide you with a birth experience similar to what is offered in a home or birth center setting,” says Samantha Skelton, a Certified Nurse Midwife with the Banner Health Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

“I offer an array of childbirth methods and tools to support natural childbirth while in a hospital setting – hydrotherapy (laboring in water), using a birthing ball or peanut ball, aromatherapy, music, massage, Spinning Babies or fetal positioning techniques, nipple stimulation, and others,” says Skelton.

Skelton says fetal monitoring can be done using doppler ultrasound, commonly used in a home or birth center setting. For closer monitoring, wireless monitors can be used, allowing you to move around and not be confined to certain positions or a bed. 

At the end of the day, your pregnancy is just that – yours. You get to decide how and where you’d like to welcome your bundle of joy into the world. But, how do you decide?

Making the Best Choice for You

What are the most important aspects of childbirth to you? This is a question Skelton advises her patients to consider. “My colleagues and I strive to provide individualized care; for some women that means a medicated birth and for others it means a natural or unmedicated birth.” Skelton recommends you research the various methods of childbirth and consult your provider to find what’s right for you.

When consulting with your provider, Skelton recommends asking these questions:

  1. What fetal monitoring or surveillance methods do you use? In what situations do you divert from those practices?
  2. Am I able to deliver in positions outside of the bed?
  3. Do you support me having a doula?
  4. Do you encourage freedom of movement during labor?
  5. Are you supportive of a birth plan?

It’s important that you select a provider and hospital that supports your right to help guide your care and will educate you on the safety of the various birthing methods, says Skelton. “There are risks with each and every method of childbirth, and as a Nurse Midwife, I am here to discuss and educate my patients on the risks and benefits.”

Banner Health is proud to make your labor choices and preferences a priority. Find a Banner provider near you to learn about and discuss which birthing methods and techniques you can use during labor. 

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