4 Ways To Improve Your Hospital Birth

by Natalie McBride

4 Ways To Improve Your Hospital Birth

Preparing to birth your baby in a hospital can be both reassuring and unsettling at the same time. I found myself more unsettled than reassured and resolved to overcome my angst. I was amazed at how little I knew about my body’s capabilities to birth. I was equally amazed to learn about the tendencies of medical staff.

While my perspectives are only limited to my own experience of birthing two babies, I have read a lot, listened a lot and feel very strongly about hospital birthing. I’m not going to tell you what you already know, because it’s sensationalized through movies and regurgitated in the last infographic you saw on Pinterest. I’m going to share with you how you can make your hospital birth better.

  • Pack thoughtfully. Your hospital bag. Perhaps one of the more important bags you’ll ever pack, it can definitely improve your birth experience in a hospital. Think “I’m packing for a hospital stay, not a hotel stay.” They provide medical equipment and life-saving interventions, not soft bath towels and chapstick. Ask yourself, “How can I make myself feel most like ‘home’ while I’m at the hospital?” It’s hard to argue that having familiar-to-you-items that smell like home, aren’t going to bring you a sense of comfort amidst the unfamiliar.
  • Take more than a hospital tour. If you were going to run a marathon or swim to Alcatraz, would you put the date on your calendar, buy some apparel and show up? I’m betting you’d probably start training – consistently. Preparing to birth your baby mindfully means you’ll take some time to set aside the registry and learn about your birth style options. Yes, you have options and it is to your’s and baby’s ultimate benefit to explore which style might be best for you, in advance. You have nine months, spend them well! While informative, the hospital tour and hospital birth class are limiting. There’s much more to learn.
  • Write a birth plan. I know. Your sister and your friend told you “it won’t go as planned, so don’t bother.” Well, mama, to that I would say “at least I have a plan.” You’re not just showing up on B-Day, you’re birthing your baby. And while it is a natural process, you’re not the only one in the room. And while you’re either panicking or focusing on your breathing, there are several other humans in the room who are highly trained to help you birth your baby and, since this hospital isn’t Burger King, statistically they are more likely to have it their way than your way. Show up on B-Day with a plan. It’s worth every second you’ll spend putting it together.
  • Share your birth plan. Okay, now I’ve really blown your mind. First I tell you to ignore your sister or your well-meaning friend’s advice and actually take the time to write a birth plan and now I’m telling you to share it. Yes, just like you shared your breakfast on Instagram this morning. Well, you don’t have to actually share your birth plan that publicly, but *high-fives* if you do! Share it with your partner, your midwife, your doula, your mom (if she’s going to be in the room) your nurse and your OBGYN. Your “birth team” can’t cheer you on (AKA: help you achieve your plan) if they don’t know your plan. Set your intentions. It will make an absolute difference in both your’s and your baby’s birth experience.

Now, take a deep breath, let it go and take time to acknowledge the myriad of emotions you’re experiencing. Yes, some of those are hormones, but some of them could be anxiety, fear or excitement all at once. Don’t ignore them. Don’t pass them off as “hormones”. You can do this and you don’t have to do it alone. Set the registry and nesting aside for a few and learn about your options and how you can better understand what your body’s going to do for you when it’s finally B-Day!

Need a packing guide? The most comprehensive list of everything you need, nothing you don’t and things you didn’t even realize you needed is in our free packing guide download when you join us on our journey. Or you can skip all the packing nonsense and simply order a dual-purpose, stylish, pre-packed hospital birth bag from us later this year (more on that to come).

Not sure about these said “birth style options” mentioned in the blog? We summarize and offer direct links to reliable resources on a downloadable easy-to-read list when you join our journey.

How will you #babyboldly in your hospital?

Today’s Bold Momma

Natalie is co-founder of Baby Boldly, wife to James and mom to Abigail (4 years) and Mabel (1 year). Her passion (alongside pizza and chocolate) is with new moms and dads, striving to empower them for improved birth and postpartum experiences and changing the way society relates to new moms’ and dads’ unique needs.

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