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4 Common Myths of Giving Birth in a Hospital

Birth Plan, Epidural, Fetal Monitor, Giving Birth, Patient Rights

Having a baby is an exciting, yet stressful life event. There are many decisions to be made. One important one is where to give birth. Giving birth in a hospital has many advantages, yet some women are fearful. They have heard stories of medical interventions, and mom and baby not being able to bond right away. Below are 4 common myths about giving birth in a hospital so a woman can make an informed decision and choose what is best for her and her baby.

A woman will not be allowed to walk around during labor. This is usually not the case in most hospitals. In fact women are encouraged to walk around to speed labor up. It is true many facilities will want to check the baby’s heart rate by hooking mom up to a fetal monitor. However this is usually done intermittently. If a patient chooses an epidural they would most likely not have enough feeling in their legs to walk safely. Some hospitals do offer a walking epidural that allows more feeling and the ability to walk around. This may be an option. Women who do not have any type of epidural are usually free to walk around, use a birthing ball, and use a tub if available.

A woman will be pressured to receive pain medication such as an epidural. It is true a woman giving birth in a hospital will be offered pain medication but will not be pressured to accept any. A woman decides for herself what level of pain she can tolerate without getting pain medications. If she wants to go through the entire labor and delivery without any pain medication the hospital will certainly not stop her. However many moms to be decide they do want an epidural after feeling how severe the pain can be. The good news is when giving birth in a hospital pain medication is available if a woman does have a change of heart.

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A woman will give up all control when giving birth in a hospital. Many hospitals have a pregnant woman write a birth plan in advance that is brought to the hospital at the time of labor or sent early as part of a pre-admission packet. A birth plan can address pain medication a woman wants or does not want, who she would like in the room with her at delivery, birthing positions and other concerns. Hospitals will try their best to accommodate a woman. It is important to remember patients have rights. A patient can refuse a procedure. A woman still has a great deal of control over her labor and delivery. Occasionally unexpected things happen during labor that make following a birth plan not possible. Changes take place to ensure the health and safety of mom and baby.

A new mom will be separated from her baby after giving birth. With a vaginal delivery some hospitals immediately place baby on mom. Other hospitals may do so quickly but than assess the baby, which includes weighing and measuring length, making sure the baby is warm and dry, and making sure the baby is breathing well. Once the baby is quickly accessed if everything is fine the baby is given back to mom. Many hospitals have the baby stay in the same room as mom for the entire hospital stay. The baby may be taken to the nursery for brief periods of time for assessments. Mom and dad can accompany the baby if they wish and ask this be limited.

Hospitals vary, as do their polices. When a woman is deciding if she should give birth in a hospital she should research her options and learn the facts. Things have changed in the medical community. Hospitals have a strong focus on patient rights and satisfaction. The most important thing to remember is hospitals and women want the same outcome, which is a safe delivery for mom and a healthy baby.