The day that your baby arrives is, quite simply, one of the most important days of your life! Value your babyʼs birth by investing yourself in it -- your time, your thought, and your finances. It is totally possible to have a wonderful, glorious birth in any setting you might choose. You deserve the best possible birth -- the best birth you can create -- not just the birth that appears to be good enough for your insurance company or the right one for others around you.

Unfortunately, if you go into your experience simply turning yourself over to the authorities who are in charge, all too often you will receive a series of interventions that might not be truly necessary for your or your babyʼs well-being, and that can actually create negative or harmful conditions. Instead of passively accepting anything that is suggested to you ---->>>>

I strongly recommend that you do these three things in order to have the best possible chance that you will have the birth you want, no matter which setting you choose.


  1. Educate yourselves really well! Learn what normal birth is and set your sights on it.

    Normal birth includes:

    1. Labor begins spontaneously, on its own.
    2. The mother has freedom of movement throughout labor.
    3. There is continuous labor support available.
    4. There are no routine interventions.
    5. The mother pushes spontaneously in an upright or gravity-neutral position. 
    6. There is no separation of mother and baby after birth [Lamaze Inst for Normal Birth].

    Normal birth is rare in our modern world. Mainstream birth is highly medicalized. Research what kind of birth care you want and how you want to be treated in labor and birth by reading, talking with all kinds of providers, attending classes and support groups facilitated by independent childbirth educators, watching films, exploring the internet.

  2. Choose your care provider carefully. Make sure that your care provider agrees with how you want to be treated and dealt with in labor and birth. That means that you must also check out your care providerʼs call group, because there is no provider who is able to commit to being available 24/7. You must know that your care providerʼs call group members will also agree with how you want to be treated and dealt with, because you do not know who will actually walk in your door when you are in labor.

    And, if you donʼt like the answers that you are getting from your chosen care provider, GO TO SOMEBODY ELSE! You are not obligated to the person you began seeing, who is after all your hired help. You have every right to change providers if you discover that you are not a good fit.

  3. Consider hiring a labor doula -- a professional labor companion -- to be with you throughout active labor. She might be a midwife who is willing to counsel you as your personal guide in whatever setting you choose or require, or she might be a doula who is solely trained in labor support. She should understand birth in all settings, believe in the ability of women to perform this miraculous, heroic act, and have experience in guiding you and your loved ones through the unfamiliar whirlwind that birth is. Research clearly shows that women who have the committed one-to-one presence of a supportive guide during labor have shorter labors, less need for pain medication, fewer cesarean surgeries, higher rates of successful breastfeeding, and more harmonious relationships with their spouses 6 weeks after birth. Even if it is expensive to hire this person, she is worth her weight in gold.

I would also recommend a postpartum doula to help you in your home in the days and weeks after birth. Your recovery can be smoother, less anxious, more peaceful, and more joyous with positive postpartum help from someone who knows what the needs are of the new mother and family.