According to Ina May Gaskin, one the foremost midwives in the nation, only when you fully surrender to or let go and embrace the body's instinctual rhythm and power can your body successfully give birth. This takes an understanding of how the body works and how it has been designed to give birth successfully. Giving birth is something you do, not something that happens to you. It is not a medical procedure. It is a natural biological process that we women were designed and created to do!
Okay. Still easier said than done, right? So how do we create that for ourselves? It is easier to accomplish in a home birth setting where we can stage our environment for our comfort and be in a familiar, safe, setting. A midwife usually spends more time with their client and established a more personal relationship.
So, how do we take that into the hospital setting? It starts with finding a doctor and hospital that provide you with a sense of security. Taking the time to get to know your doctor and making sure your needs mesh with their philosophy is your responsibility. It won't happen in the exam room. Schedule office time where you can sit face-to-face (with your clothes on) and have a list of questions, wants, and needs, to discuss. Do this as often as you need and really get to know your doctor. Do this with the partners as well as they might end up attending your birth. Remember, they work for you!
Find POSITIVE birth stories. If you can't find any personal ones look on line, there are plenty out there! Take a hypnobirthing class. Buy or borrow the video "Orgasmic Birth" as something to strive for. Practice guided imagery with your partner and doula. Bring something comfortable to wear for your birth. A hospital gown implies that you are a patient needing medical attention. If you don't have anything comfortable enough there are birth skirts for sale online, check them out! Bring music that makes you feel good. Singing will actually help your cervix dilate and dancing will help rock the baby into position for birth. Talk with your nurse about entering quietly and keeping your room an intimate space. Dim the lights, shut the curtains, whatever will help you relax. A hospital is never going to be as comfortable as your own home, but you can personalize it by bringing comfort items from home and surrounding yourself with loving support.
Good luck and God Bless,