All we ask is that you let us serve it your way.
Burger King Jingle
There are a few statements that I often hear that have been bouncing around in my head today.
“Buy the hospital ticket, and you buy the hospital ride.”
“You can’t go to McDonald’s and order a steak.
“You can’t plan to give birth in the hospital and expect to have a natural birth.”
I have to admit I never liked the statements.
I’ve always found them trite, dismissive and utterly worthless. Especially when it comes to helping families understand their options and achieve their goals for birth. While I understand what the statements are trying to drive at, the analogies simply don’t work.
Just because one chooses to or has to deliver in the hospital doesn’t mean they have to give up their desire for a natural birth. I see the hospital, not as a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. But instead, as a buffet that has every option that one might want or need available to them.
Some might argue that one gives up choice when they enter the hospital because of hospital policies.
That’s simply not true.
Hospital policy dictates what the staff must offer, but Patient’s Rights dictate that we as consumers have the right to make informed choices. Informed decision making includes the refusal of a suggested procedure or intervention. I won’t deny that some hospitals might make this a challenging situation for families, but we also can’t deny that policy doesn’t dictate what must be done in the confines of a birth center or home birth as well. And providers in those settings have also been guilty of using less than ethical or fair tactics to gain compliance or agreement. So location alone doesn’t mean that you won’t have to advocate for yourself and your desires during labor.
The bottom line is that regardless of if it’s “hold the pickle, hold the lettuce” or “hold the IV and continuous monitoring” you CAN “have it your way.”
My top 3 recommendations for planning a natural birth are:
- Hire a provider whose approach to labor and birth aligns with your own birth philosophy.
- Choose a birth location with staff who are supportive and experienced in working with women who desire natural births.
- Hire a doula.