by Jill Gliha, BirthLink Board Member
Part Four of a Six Part Series – Empowering Hospital Birth
When at home you are comfortable. You can sleep. You can eat. You can shower. You can poop. You can walk around etc. etc. etc. Your body and it’s systems are most comfortable at home. It will work best in that environment. The reason many women begin labor in the middle of the night is because the body is relaxed and it feels safe. Once you arrive at the hospital you will have to check in to triage and go through hospital protocol. All of this is necessary to be admitted, but disrupts the natural birthing process. Remaining home until in active labor will be helpful to avoid being “managed” once you arrive. If you show up at 7 or 8 centimeters, they are going to take you right up. Chances are your body isn’t turning back now so things will continue to progress. The less time you spend in the hospital ( usually ) the better off you will be.
Notes by Jo Anne Lindberg
It is almost impossible to know when you should go to the hospital — especially for first time parents. The tendency is to go in when you get the first few contractions. Most often the hospital will keep you even though you are in very early labor. Then they start tracking your progress and many mothers feel a pressure to perform. Hospitals often what to hurry things up with medications which often leads to what can be called a cascade of interventions. The best advise is to hire a professional labor support person called a doula. We will talk more about that in the next post. There are many benefits to working with a doula. I can’t say this enough times — hire a birth doula. That way you can stay home as long as can.