How do I have a med free hospital birth?
The first thing, is to do your research. Know your options! It is so important (and your legal right under informed consent) know to the risks and benefits of EVERY drug and procedure you encounter while birthing- from routine vaginal exams, to ultrasounds, to a saline drip during labor, to constant fetal monitoring to testing for gestational diabetes to episiotomy and the list can go on and on and on. A great start to learning about the procedures you likely encounter during a hospital birth is Henci Goer's "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth".
It is important to also know your rights. You have the right to say "no" to any and all procedures your provider (doctor or midwife) recommend. They cannot "made" you do anything. They don't "let" you do anything, either. You have 100% say over what happens to your body, at all times! It is important to have a provider who understands that his or her role is as your employee and will respect your bodily intergrity and your autonomy. If your provider has a high c-section rate (anything over 15% is too high), then you have a higher chance of ending up with uneeded interventions during your labor.
It is important, particularly, if you are birthing in a hospital to have doula. The United States has the highest maternal death rate of all industrialized nations. It is very, very important to a mother and baby's safer to have someone in their corner, that is knowledge about hospital birthing, to help guide you safely through the process. Doulas do not have to be expensive, you can even hire one for free or low-cost, if you hire a student! : )
If you have any other questions, let us know! : )