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Achieving a “Natural” Childbirth: Does the Setting Matter?

December 13, 2011

I am often asked by expectant moms, “Do I need to deliver at a birthing center to achieve a natural childbirth?” This is a great question!!! So many books, articles and blogs out there regarding natural/unmedicated childbirth suggest delivering in a birthing center or the comforts of your own home as the optimal setting. While a hospital is a far cry from your own home, it also offers many options (that’s right, options) that birthing centers and your home may not. So when it comes down to it, it’s the kind of support you have around you that matters, and not necessarily the setting itself.

First and foremost, find a midwife or Obstetrician that is supportive of your birthing plan and, most of all, someone you can trust. There are many situations in life that are unpredictable, and childbirth happens to be one them. Knowing you are in good hands before, during and after childbirth leaves one less thing to worry about as your due date approaches.

In my experience working with hundreds of expecting women, natural birthing—barring any unforeseen medical issues—is achieved through a combination of the following; a specific maternal state of mind, thorough preparation and supportive care providers. You will want to communicate your birthing wishes with your care provider to ensure that your hospital has the necessary support systems in place. Ask about the use of birthing balls, birthing beds, wireless fetal monitors, hydrotherapy and other tools that may assist you in your natural birth. Once you’ve done your research about various methods of birthing and have decided to go forward with an unmedicated experience, you’ll want to take a childbirth class that is aligned with your goals and educates you in various breathing and relaxation techniques.

At Boston Baby Beginnings, we believe knowledge is the vital key to achieving the birth you desire. Every expecting mother should be educated about ALL aspects of childbirth (including relaxation/breathing techniques, cesarean sections and pain management options). Advanced Comforts of Labor is a workshop that complements our Childbirth Preparation class; focusing on natural ways to manage the sensations and feelings of labor and birth.  With plenty of time to practice, these techniques will give each expectant mother and her partner the key components needed to embrace the journey of labor. For more information, or to register for an upcoming class click here.

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