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  • Dr. Stephanie Perez

You CAN have an unmedicated vaginal delivery in the hospital

As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I see a lot of women for prenatal consultations. As part of the appointment, we discuss the birth plan. Many of the women that are birthing in the hospital will say things like, "I want to try to have an unmedicated vaginal delivery, and we will see what happens." I also work with a lot of women who do homebirths, and those words are not used - they KNOW they are going to have a natural vaginal delivery (unless there is a need for emergency transfer). I feel like there is a discrepancy or misunderstanding surrounding hospital birthing and unmedicated deliveries, like you can WANT to go natural but simply being in the hospital makes that less likely. I had all three of my babies via natural, unmedicated vaginal deliveries in the hospital and were able to have the births that I desired.


If you want to have an unmedicated delivery and birth in the hospital, it is TOTALLY possible!!

There are a few recommendations I can make to help you achieve your goals:


1) Open communication with your birthing provider. Tell them your desires from the beginning of wanting to birth vaginal without interventions. Remind them at follow-up appointments.

{This awesome triage nurse stopped and gave me hip squeezes as I was having a contraction mid-walk to my room.}











2) Get a doula! A doula is a birth support person who will help you navigate hospital policies and regulations, while being an advocate for you and your family. They not only give you physical support during the labor and delivery process, but also help to communicate with hospital staff in real time of your desires. {Kirsten Clark, of Sacred Haven Birth Services served as such a wonderful doula for our family. I can't wait for her to become a midwife!}








3) Get your family on board. Let your family members know your plan, so you can have foundational support at home. My Mom and my husband were the most amazing birth support team and really helped me stay strong when things got tough. They took turns providing emotional and physical support.



4) Prepare for labor and delivery. See a pelvic floor therapist during your pregnancy. Take birthing classes like Bradley Method and Hypnobirthing. Do breath work and imagery practice daily. Read books like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Babies are not Pizzas, Natural Hospital Birth. Go over the unexpected (induction, pitocin, c-section) so that if things change, you can still have a plan. I ended up having to be induced with pitocin with my second child but was still able to have my unmedicated vaginal delivery.




Birthing in the hospital does not MEAN that you have to have medical interventions if you don't want to (in reference to no emergency situations occurring). Use your pregnancy as the time to get educated! Also, don't entertain nay-sayers or anyone who doesn't support your plans and desires. Surround yourself with a positive birth team and mindset. I would love to be a part of your birth team and help you achieve your birth goals!


~Dr. Steph



Dr. Steph resides in Alabaster, AL and has delivered three children in the hospital via unmedicated vaginal deliveries. She is passionate about giving women the birth support and education they need to achieve their goals and recover postpartum.

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