Natural childbirth is not for everyone, but for those who want to have a natural childbirth, your biggest advocate will be your doctor or midwife. While you would think that your choice of practitioner shouldn't matter when it comes to how you labor, you would be mistaken. Here are some ways to tell if your midwife or doctor is natural childbirth friendly:
- Support for Natural Childbirth
Most doctors do not have the ability to sit by your side for the entire labor and delivery. They will know that you need extra support. They can advise you on how to best get that support including getting your family and friends prepared, what the nursing staff is like at your place of birth and information on hiring a doula.
- Good Advice
A practitioner who is experienced in natural childbirth will also have good advice for you obtaining your goal. This might include a natural childbirth class, a good book to read about natural childbirth, etc.
Your practitioner should have experience in attending natural births, which are different from medicated births in many subtle ways.
- Hospital Policies
Does your doctor or midwife recommend certain practices at the hospital that would benefit you in having a natural childbirth? This could something as simple as the freedom to move around in labor and intermittent monitoring of your baby in labor. Staying home as long as possible is also a good recommendation.
- Advocate Not Allow
Your doctor should be your advocate for your choices, not simply tolerate your choice of natural childbirth. If they laugh or try to talk you out of it, this is probably not the best choice for you.
- Recommendations from Others
Does your doctor or midwife come recommended form other moms who have had natural childbirth? Ask moms you meet in mothering groups, childbirth classes and other parenting classes. Some people also say that asking hospital nurses while touring birth facilities is a great idea. These recommendations come form people who see the doctors and midwives in action on a daily basis.
- Do they listen to you?
There is not one path to an unmedicated birth. Does your practitioner listen to you about how you want to go about getting there? Are they open and receptive to listening to you. It's the partnership with your practitioner that can be so very helpful.