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Medical vaginal hospital birth! … you’re not going to a prison and it’ not a rice paddy. For some birthing women, the hospital is like a very good motel while for others giving birth in a hospital is life-saving. For some other pregnant women, the idea of giving birth in hospital is terrifying. Others give birth in a hospital because their mother did or they lack choices or feel pressured by the obstetrician or midwife. In some countries, almost every pregnant woman births in a hospital while in other countries a percent of birthing women do so at home.

For whatever reason, you are going to go to the hospital to have your vaginal birth and you’re either prepared or not for the amount of medical stuff that’s going to be done to you and your baby.

One thing is certain no matter how you feel and what is happening to you in your hospital birth … you have lots of time to ‘do something’. In other words, you’ll still breathe, your body will be in some posture and your mind will be available for you to use. Giving birth in a hospital is a place. Having a very medical vaginal hospital birth is your reality and without a doubt some of the medical care might annoy you to no end but giving birth is an activity you will do no matter the place. Giving birth is always an activity you will have to ‘do’ regardless of what happens to you in that place. Having birth and birth-coaching skills is the ‘do something’ that can change your hospital birth into a personally empowered and positive birth experience.

Hospital birth and interventions

Every hospital has it’s own ‘standards of care’ or ‘guidelines to practice’ or a set of medical assessments, monitoring and procedures (AMPs) that are done on a regular basis to every birthing woman. Sometime in the late 1970s, all these AMPs were lumped into one word by natural birth advocates … interventions. In fact, you’ve probably heard about the ‘cascade of interventions’ that will occur to you if you’re not careful.

The word ‘intervention’ also implies that all these AMPs are unnecessary, imposed on women and the cause of having a bad birth experience. What can you do if you’re planning a hospital birth?

Birth Plans for hospital births

In the present childbirth conversation, you are told to make a Birth Plan and tell your obstetrician, midwife, and staff what you want and don’t want during your birth. That just goes out the window for so many women. In fact, many hospitals, obstetricians and staff are fed up and sick of Birth Plans.

Should you make a Birth Plan? Yes! You want to think about your baby’s birth. Should you ‘hope for the best and expect the worst’? No! You should just plan to think differently about how you are going to ‘do’ this activity of giving birth. This new thinking is not rocket science and is common sense. It’s just not common in the present childbirth conversation.

Birth skills are ideal for hospital births

In the 1960s-70s in the US and New Zealand (don’t know about other countries) birth skills were part of childbirth preparation, birth education classes. These skills took the form of Grantly Dick-Reid, Lamaze or The Bradley Method. All of these methods were developed by male obstetricians. They could see that childbirth was becoming full of all these AMPs. All their methods focused on achieving a ‘natural birth’ and ‘painless labor’. Sadly, they should have realized way back then that all birthing women should use birth skills if for no other reasons than:

  • to fill the time it takes to birth a baby
  • give you a focus for your breath
  • remind you to relax inside your body
  • to use your mind to totally participate in the birth of your baby
  • work with your skilled birth-coach partner/other

Unfortunately, these birth skills focused on natural birth and painless labor. Therefore too many women failed to achieve either of those.

Because of the failures of these methods, the present choice-based childbirth trend arose. If birth skills didn’t work to achieve more natural and painless births then we should rely on women’s ability to make choices. After all, every woman knows what she wants in her birth. Right?  Not necessarily! And even if you know what you want that doesn’t mean your birth will unfold as you’d like … thus the failure of Birth Plans!

Birth skills can always be used

Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation Online Course is like the dream come true for all of us who are giving birth in a hospital. The Birthing Better skills were developed by hundreds of families in the early 1970s in response to the failure of the 3 birth methods mentioned above. Birthing Better families wanted skills that worked no matter where they birthed, with whom or what was happening to or around them. Birthing Better families wanted skills for every type of hospital birth as well as to cope with the pain of labor contractions.

What Birthing Better families discovered about hospital births was simple:

  • You might have lots of AMPs or not. Using skills meant you could work around them and not be so reactive.
  • You might have lots of medical or health issues that require heaps of medical attention. Using skills meant you could work with your baby’s birth journey no matter what.
  • Obstetricians, midwives, and staff praised you for being skilled and praised your birth-coach for knowing how to help you stay in control and on top of your birth as it unfolded.
  • Families always felt empowered and positive about using birth and birth-coaching skills even if they hated every single moment of their hospital birth, if people were rude to them if the birth was nothing like they wanted or planned and if there was a challenging or unfortunate outcome.

Using your birth skills will always leave you feeling more satisfied with your birth. Using your birth skills prevents you from feeling passive, out of control or disconnected from one of the most important events in your life. Act now and have a great hospital birth.

First things first

Birthing Better families will also tell you that you absolutely must prepare your pregnant body to become a birthing body from 24 weeks onward as well as learn birth and birth-coaching skills.

Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.