Natural birth possible/likely without midwife or doula?

Nikki - posted on 03/09/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I love my OB so decided to go with her instead of a midwife, and have not (yet?) found a doula...I have my heart set on a natural birth, but am wondering how likely it is without a midwife or doula. My mother-in-law has had three natural births, and am hoping to look to her and other natural birth moms for support. Am I just totally naive to think I'm going to stick to my plan with this approach? Any advice would be much appreciated! :P

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[deleted account]

It certainly helps if your OB supports your decision.



Do a birth plan and make several copies of it. Make sure everyone involved in your birth has a copy. Make sure you are firm in what you want and that your partner/birthing companion is supportive and will stick up for you. They can't make you do anything you don't want to, but they can be quite persuasive, especially when you are in such a vulnerable state. Be firm with what you want and stick to it!



Good luck!

Colleen - posted on 03/10/2009

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I don't think you are naive at all.  I stuck with my family doctor and was able to have a natural birth and follow my birth plan in every way - without a midwife or a doula.  Where I live midwifery is not funded and we just didn't have the extra cash to spare.  



I think it depends on the relationship you have with your doctor (which sounds great), and the support you have (which also sounds very good).  It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me.  There were moments during my labour where there were recommendations made that would not have followed my plan.  However, my partner and I had done a lot of research and we were prepared for that.  We were able to circumvent all interventions and have our little one 100% naturally.  It did take some strength of mind, though!



I hope this helps you figure it out, and good luck!  Whatever you do will be the right thing for you.  Best wishes. 

Julianna - posted on 03/10/2009

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The important thing for having an natural birth in a hospital is to have a strong advocate, because most likely you will have nurses coming in asking "You want that epidural Yet?" and telling you a lot of BS to have you get it because it make their job easier. So you need someone who will be able to tell the nurses to back off and keep them from doing unnecessary things. Also make sure you do not induce labor or receive any other drugs like pitocin. Those will only make your contractions bigger and harder. Almost always, women who receive pit. will get an epidural.



It is very possible to have a natural child birth in the hospital. Be strong and take what's yours! Good luck.

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[deleted account]

absolutely stay home until you feel like you're getting closer. getting to the hospital absolutely does cause stress and stress absolutely does cause tension and pain in your body. i didn't understand the hypnobirthing well enough for it to "work" for me the first time... but the 2nd time it really sunk it and it absolutely worked. the first time i was completely overwhelmed and distraught because they were pushing me to be induced. i waited 2 days because the hospital was full where they insisted i stay on monitors and not eat in case they found a room and were ready to start the induction. i was horrified this was happening to me. to my luck, i went into labor on the 3rd morning without being induced, but was such an emotional wreck from various sides of the situation beyond those i mentioned, plus starved and probably incredibly low sugars... etc etc i could not relax. they had me pushing in an assessment room with 4 other women on gurney beds between curtains and insisting that something was wrong and they might have to operate. all the while i knew in my heart everything was fine, but they still used forcepts to deliver her more quickly (less than 2 hours from start of labor!) because they insisted something was wrong. she still scored 9 on her immediate apghar test - she was perfect! my 2nd was also extremely fast - an hour an a 1/2 from the first sign of labor. we barely made it to the hospital - i was 9cm when they assessed. the doctor couldn't believe i was that far judging by how calm i was. i really practiced the relaxation techniques that i had learned from hypnobirthing 3 years earlier, and am a firm believer now that childbirth really can be pain free if you trust your body and relax all the muscles that are doing their job.

Anne - posted on 01/14/2010

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I had a natural birth in a very typical hospital setting with my OB and regular staff L&D nurses. Actually, my OB, whom I do like very much, really just showed up in time for pushing the baby out so mostly I was with the staff OBs in L&D and the nurses.

They did think I was a little nuts for not taking meds, and they DID try to get me to take pitocin in the beginning to hurry things along. But when I told them how important trying to have a natural birth was for me, they backed off and let me do my thing. I think it was a bit of a novelty for the hospital staff, as in the upper class suburb where I delivered the women are all about pain relief and NO one around here seems to do a natural birth on purpose!

Anyhow, not sure I could have done it if they would have given me pitocin - it was hard enough as it was and I have a high pain tolerance. I did take hypnobirthing classes, but they didn't really help me. My prenatal yoga and general yoga practice was most helpful - a lot of positions eased the pain of contractions. And hot showers helped a LOT. My husband tried to be helpful, too, but to be honest I think he was more overwhelmed by the whole thing than he expected so luckily I had strong enough convictions for the both of us!

I am due with baby #2 in a few weeks, and hope to deliver naturally again - same hospital, same OB. My biggest advice is staying home as long as possible, as they do push drugs for both pain relief and moving things along once you get there - plus, if you aren't far enough along, I think people often stall out when they arrive at the hospital bc being there causes its own stress.

Good luck - you can do whatever you set your mind to! And if it doesn't work out the way you planned, don't beat yourself up about it - the most important thing is that your baby arrive healthy however that may come about!

Katelyn - posted on 01/11/2010

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I had a totally natural birth because my baby came so quickly. I think everyone's different but for me it was easy to just concentrate on what my body was telling me to do and I just did.

[deleted account]

have a birth plan! make sure your ob has it in advance, and make sure it states very clearly that you do not want to be offered pain medication. you know it's available and you will ask for it if you want it.
i had my first 2 children with ob's in hospitals. with the 2nd i saw a midwife for all my prenatal care but she just didn't happen to be at the hospital at the time. they were both natural, as in no drugs, but i still had interventions that i wish hadn't happened. we'll be having our 3rd soon, but the plan is to have him at home.

Lindsey - posted on 12/03/2009

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I had both my daughters natural, In the hospital of coarse. I never had a set plan to do it natural, and i didnt go in telling myself that i wont use drugs lol. I just never felt that the pain was that horrible that i needed to, after doing it twice first time being a breeze and second time being not so easy im sure i can do it again with my third.

Julie - posted on 10/11/2009

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To solve the nurses asking you if you want an epidural- make a birth plan and pass it out to all the nurses and make your dr sign it! www.babycenter.com/birthplan.

Erin - posted on 10/10/2009

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Along side all the amazing advice already posted, maybe one small idea:



What about your mother-in-law acting as your doula?

Not sure how close your relationship is or if you'd be comfortable with her being present during the labor / delivery, but if you would then it's something to think about. She'd definitely be a strong supportive voice with lots of personal experience to draw on.



Good luck! I'll probably be following in your shoes with my own natural, hospital born.

(Hoping to find a doula as well)

Danysolis - posted on 09/02/2009

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I think the important thing is that your doctor is supportive, that he encourages you to make it without the epidural. I did it, loved it and going to do it again!!!

Dianna - posted on 08/26/2009

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I just had a natural birth in the hospital w/o a doula, I did have a midwife, but that is because my OB is midewife based...But I can tell you I would have never been able to do it with out hypnobirthing. I know it sounds crazy, but it really isn't. I knew I wanted a natural birth but then I started getting REALLY freaked out with all of the stories. I started researching some different methods and came across Hynobirthing which I read a little bit about just b/c I thought it was ridiculous. Then I blew it off. A couple months later I came back to it for some reason and thank god I did. I did hours of research on it before I took the class b/c I still wasn't convinced. I took the class and it gave me so much confidence and it educated me on every aspect of birthing...just so you know, you aren't hypnotized, lol...But a can't recomend the class enough, 70% of women who have a hypnobirth have a pain free natural birth. no joke! look it up, I couldn't find ONE bad thing about this method...Good luck

[deleted account]

Also should say with second one I was induced as well..pitocin isn't fun..but I still didn't need an epidural or pain meds.

[deleted account]

Let them know when you get there you don't want drugs..if you talk openly with your ob about what you want they'll do what they can to make sure you get it..I had my older two boys in the hospital with just an ob and had no trouble..but you have to be willing to just say no.

[deleted account]

The hospital in our town is great-probably because it is such a hippie town the doc and nurses are used to couples wanting natural births. Our doc is completely supportive. A couple of pieces of advise we got from our bradley class: when you approach the nurses and docs, you don't need to be strident and angry about your choices-you get more with honey. We wrote in our birth plan that we want a natural birth but we are also going to be open if the baby is in distress-make sure you show them respect for their knowledge while also being clear about what you want. Also, in our birth plan one of the first things we said was "we would like to work with a nurse who enjoys participating in natural childbriths" (we already know our doc is on board). This sets it up right away-if the nurse is all about drugs, she/he probably doesn't want to work with women like us. I'm sure we're pains in the butts for them too! :) Respect everyone there-remember they are in this business because they care and just think about things in a different way. You can be nice, clear and open all at the same time! If you're interested, we can share our birth plan with you...

Carlyn - posted on 07/09/2009

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You might want to check out the Bradley birth method. We did classes before our birth and they are really great about helping your husband or birth partner be an advocate for you in the hospital. You should also check out the local hospitals and see what their stance is on natural birth. I know in our area there are some hospitals that have 99% IV setups on all moms, and some that are totally pro natural birth. Birthing centers are even better, if you can find one nearby.

Jessi - posted on 07/09/2009

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hi

i agree with all the above, you have to have a birth plan, and want to stick with it. defenatly work on your breathing! ive had 2 births with no epidural or any piain medication at all, in hospitals, no midwife no doula. i wanted to add though, with my second my water broke, and 30 hours later my doctor put me on pitocin (apparently its dangerous for the baby if your water breaks and you go too long without actually having baby, i advocated to wait as long as possible i wanted to try everything natura lly-usually they wont go longer than 24 hours.) the first poster was right it does make your contractions bigger and stronger, but i still didnt need an epidural. just wanted to throw that in there, in case you HAD to be induced or anything you wouldnt go into it thinking you would NEED an epidural..hopefully that makes sence.. my daughter is jumping on me so proof reading isnt gonna happe n!

Sandra - posted on 06/24/2009

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I had four natural hospital births. Go in armed, ready to refuse all interventions, and take control.





And stay at home as long as you possibly can. Don't let them do ANY monitoring or cervical checks - they begin using an imaginary clock at that point, which can lead to more interventions. Just remember - this is YOUR body and YOUR baby. You are paying the hospital for a service - not the other way around. You make it exactly as you want it, not the way the doctors want it.



Good luck, you can do it!

Jessica - posted on 04/06/2009

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Quoting Faith:

Just be clear about what you want. Make sure your OB knows and understands your plan and is willing to keep things your way. I had my son in the hospital, completely natural! My OB was great about it. The nurses however were a different story, they kept asking me if i wanted drugs! and they were really wary of me getting up out of my bed. Of course they were surprised at how alert my son was at birth, and how quickly I recovered and was back up out of bed (cause neither of us were drugged like they were so obviously accustomed to) they didn't know what to do with me :-). It can be done! Best of luck and congratulations!



LOL, that's funny because it was the opposite at the hospital I gave birth at.  The doctor was the one pushing all the drugs on me (first pit then the epidural).  The nurses were absolutely awesome about NOT offering drugs and NOT checking me every hour or however often most places do it.  But, the OB I had was actually a high risk OB (which I didn't know until really late into my pregnancy, like around 35 weeks or so), and I'm sure that's why he was so ready to push interventions.  I was low-risk.

[deleted account]

I had a similar experience with some nurses during my labor. They kept going to my OB, chastising her for not giving me drugs or an epidural. She had to keep telling them that I was the one who wanted a natural birth and that she'd give me the drugs if I wanted them. She just respected my wishes and wasn't going to force anything on me. The nurses just felt bad for me and wanted to help ease my pain. Everyone really was great. No one ever bothered me about drugs; they went to my OB instead. And thankfully, she fought for me. I had a wonderful experience because I made my wishes clear from the very beginning, and my OB promised she'd do everything she could to make that happen. And she did. Congratulations and God bless!

Faith - posted on 04/05/2009

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Just be clear about what you want. Make sure your OB knows and understands your plan and is willing to keep things your way. I had my son in the hospital, completely natural! My OB was great about it. The nurses however were a different story, they kept asking me if i wanted drugs! and they were really wary of me getting up out of my bed. Of course they were surprised at how alert my son was at birth, and how quickly I recovered and was back up out of bed (cause neither of us were drugged like they were so obviously accustomed to) they didn't know what to do with me :-). It can be done! Best of luck and congratulations!

[deleted account]

I gave birth naturally in a hospital with just my OB and a nurse! No midwife, no doula, no epidural! I didn't even take birthing classes while I was pregnant. I just figured my body would know what to do when the time came... and you know what? It did! Of course, it hurt A LOT, but I was determined to go through a natural birth for my son, and I am so glad I did. The pain I felt was instantly gone as soon as my son was born, and after I was cleaned up, I was able to get out of bed right away. I didn't have to lay there for hours, waiting for my legs to wake up, and I didn't have to have a catheter either. The whole process, from beginning to end, was amazing. If you have a wonderful OB and nurse like I had, you will be fine. No midwife or doula neccessary. It really comes down to preference. But just so you know, it is 100% possible to have a natural birth without a midwife or doula. Hope this helps. :)

Jessica - posted on 03/31/2009

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A doula is a good thing for in a hospital, because they can advocate for you when the doctor or staff may try to push you into an induction or other interventions. See if you can find out your OBs rates for things like induction and c-section, as well as the rates for the hospital (just in case your doc isn't the one on-call when you have the baby).

Jessica - posted on 03/20/2009

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I gave natural birth with all 4 of my kids. My first were twins. my pregnancy was perfectly healthy with the twins and so i was aloud to give natural birth.  as long as you truly strongly want to give natural birth you can do it without either. just keep looking. there are many pros in doing so,. just hang in there.

Jamie - posted on 03/20/2009

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As long as your heart is set on it you can do it. It is an amazing experience. Although I did have a midwife, I had my children in the hospital. The hospital that we chose is a baby friendly hospital, this maybe something you would want to check into.

My advice to you is, remember you are in control not the Doc not the nurse you and your spouse. You are able to refuse anything that you want.
I don't know if you plan on nursing, but having a baby in your arms that is not drugged up and will nurse right away is amazing!!!!

Lauren - posted on 03/20/2009

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I am planning on also having a natural birth with my OB at a hospital... That's what my insurance covers, and there aren't many midwives available anyway. I plan on making it very clear when I get there that I want a natural birth with no interventions like Pitocin. I know that my husband will advocate for me, but I have to admit that it still worries me a little bit. I believe it can happen, though, and have friends who delivered naturally at hospitals. Keep the faith!

Rachelle - posted on 03/17/2009

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I had my daughter naturally at a hospital in rural Wyoming. No mid wife and no doula. You can stick to your plan as long as you rad and educate yourself and at least have a partner there that supports you. I love my birth story and look forward to the next birth!

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