If your idea of the perfect birth plan includes laboring upright and freely, without pain medications and beginning breastfeeding as soon as your baby is born, you may be surprised to learn that birth in the US doesn’t typically look like this, which is why you should search for a mom and baby friendly birthplace.
In many facilities, you’re more likely to labor lying in a bed, possibly with an IV and ongoing fetal monitoring, and you’ll survive on ice chips until your baby joins you for her first meal.
Experts agree that the best way to have the pregnancy and birth that you envision is to begin with a qualified healthcare provider who shares your beliefs and values about pregnancy, labor and birth. Then evaluate the facility where she or he will help you birth.
Use our checklist to gauge how accommodating your potential birth facility may be. This list is not meant to be exhaustive but for each “yes” you can check, the greater the chances that you may accomplish your desired natural birth.
Lastly, ask if the facility is a “Baby-Friendly” facility. This designation goes to hospitals and birthing centers that give moms the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies, as well as feeding formula safely for those moms who will do so. It’s part of the global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Currently, just more than 100 facilities in the US have this designation although the CDC recently urged all hospitals with birthing facilities to become baby friendly. Find one near you at babyfriendlyusa.org/eng.
Also Read: How To Have A Good Birthing Experience