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Hospital Births-- Just how much control do you have?

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM
  • 10 Replies

Provided that your labor is progressing normally. Just how much control does the hospital give you? Or do you get snow-plowed by hospital procedure. What's within your rights as a laboring mother? Can you refuse the IV and monitoring in favor of being able to move around? I'm genuinely curious about this. (I had my first son in the hospital and felt like a medical experiment. I don't want to do that again. But I also don't want a home birth.)

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM
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by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:28 AM

It's been 21 months since I gave birth to my first child, so my brain might be a little foggy.  But from the classes I took and what I remember- I learned that you absolutely can refuse IV and monitoring- and anything else- UNLESS the doctors/nurses are concerned about you or your child's health.  I think you can go in with all the birth plans in the world, and in the end- they do their best to honor your wishes but keep you safe as well.  After the birthing classes my husband and I took- we had all the confidence in the world, I was going to do my best to try naturally until I couldn't handle it anymore.  But when labor started- it was 11pm and we were at home, the pain was awful and on the ride to the hospital I demanded that my husband call and ask for the epidural to be ready and waiting! lol.  Hope that helps!

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:27 PM

It has nothing to do with the hospital it has to do with your OB.  So as long as you are on board with your OB as much as you possibly want.  I couldn't be without an IV for #3 and #4 but went IV free for #1 & #2.  I walked around and was encouraged too for #4. 

by Member on Apr. 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Have you looked into a birthing center? You should have more control there. I had a home birth and loved it, but at first didn't want to do it. We watched the Business of Being Born (which I think is great whether you do a home birth or not), and decided to go for the home birth.

If you do have a hospital birth, make sure you have a birth plan, and maybe a doula. Not only will they help you during the actual birth, but if you tell them what you want, they will help make it known to the doctors (since you or others with you will be focused on other things).

by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 7:39 AM
You have ultimate control over your own body. Your insurance may not cover you if you go AMA (against medical advice), but you really can refuse whatever you want... On the other hand the doctors advice is there for a reason and you really shouldn't go against it unless you are very well informed and are willing to accept the possible cosequences. Ultimately in giving birth you should have a plan that you and your doctor are commfortable with that is determined beforehand.

by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Hospitals are there for medical emergencies and OBs are surgeons who have studied about all the possible problems that could go wrong in pregnancy and delivery.

If you want a birth that is less medicalized, you have to find the right care provider. And you have many options. You just have to do your homework!

Free standing birth centers are a good option for people who don't want a home birth or hospital birth. A lot of hospitals are renaming their labor and delivery floor as a "birth center" but that's not what I'm talking about. A free standing birth center is not in a hospital or associated with one. Although they are close by, just in case.
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by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

These ladies have some great advice...good luck mama!

by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM
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I would say look into delivering with a midwife at a birthing center. Midwives tend to intervene less often in my experience.

by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Talk to your OB and be sure to read the hospital registration documents before you sign them. Sometimes the doc's hands are tied if the hospital has certain protocol.
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by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 11:17 PM

I had the most amazing birthing experiences in a hospital with a midwife program.

by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I had a wonderful time with each of my 4! 

No pain meds, no IV with my last two, walking around, heck the L&D nurse for my 3rd was my DH's best friends older sister, so we spent two hours chatting and catching up..... 

Roomed in with my babies, my 4th one on night 1 I did send him to the nursery, he was born at 6:30pm, I wasn't "used" to his quirks just yet, and kept waking at every peep... and I was exhausted. Nurse brought him in at 3:30 as he was hungry 

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