Although hospital polices differ, most allow a woman to determine what medical interventions she wants or does not want and who can be in the delivery room. There are always exceptions and someone will always have a horror story about a hospital experience. However, most hospitals want a woman to be happy with her birth experience. Hospitals are a business and unhappy patients are not good for business. Below is a general guide to a hospital birth.
Take a Tour
Hospitals run tours for pregnant women and their birth partner or family member. Take this opportunity to see the birthing room, ask questions and determine hospital polices. Hospitals also offer classes in pain relief options during labor. Don’t rely on misconceptions and horror stories about a hospital birth. Become educated to make the best decision for you and your baby.
Write a Birth Plan
Most hospitals encourage a women to write a birth plan. Your plan should state details, such as what positions you want to labor in, if you want fetal monitoring during labor, pain relief you would like and instructions for after delivery.
Pain Medication; It’s Your Call
Pain relief options are available with a hospital birth. There may be possible side effects with some choices. Learn options ahead of time. Hospitals will not force you into getting pain relief. If a women choices to deal with the pain in other ways, that is her call.
Visitors in the Room
Hospitals almost always let a birth partner in the room, even during a c-section. During a vaginal birth, several family members may be allowed, including siblings. Ask the hospital ahead of time if there is a restriction on the number of visitors allowed.
Bonding After Birth
If the baby does not require resuscitation, your new little one can be placed right on your chest. Dad or a sibling can cut the cord. Breastfeeding is also encouraged if that is your wish. Almost all hospitals encourage your new baby to room with you. The nursery is available if you need a little rest during your hospitalization.
Emergency Intervention is Available if Needed
Complications can arise unexpectedly. Some women prefer a hospital birth because emergency equipment and personal are right there in case the need arises. While most hospital births are uncomplicated, a percentage of babies will need some medical intervention.
Keep in mind it may not always be possible to have the exact birth experience you want. Safety for mom and baby is the primary concern. Going into labor with an idea of how you want things, but having some flexibility, will help you be less disappointed if things change. It may also be a good attitude to carry into parenthood.