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What To Expect...

Posted Mar 15 2013 11:32am
This post is not about the famous (although I wish it weren't) book, but rather what to expect in Houston area hospital births. Unlike hospital births of the past, women are no longer routinely shaven and given enemas, and men are allowed in the birthing room. On the other hand, another set of standard policies have replaced these.

Jenna over at The Birth of a Doula wrote a great post recently, and I wanted to share it here.

"I often support women giving birth in hospitals.  Birthing in the hospital means that there will likely be routine procedures and potential interventions that take place... it comes with the territory.  It's important that women and their partners are familiar with 1) what these procedures and interventions are, 2) why and when they may occur and 3) what the risks and benefits are to each.

To be clear- the point of this post is not to list out the pros and cons, but to instead list the most common routine procedures and interventions so that they are all in one place.  My hope is that clients of mine, fellow doulas, and parents looking for a list like this can use it as a springboard and do their own research.  I want people to KNOW what can be expected when laboring and giving birth in a hospital.  Follow the rabbit trails of links and suggested reading and be very familiar with what these common procedures and interventions are.

So without further adieu, I give you the list."
She goes on to detail that hospitals will routinely perform amniotomies (breaking your water), place IV lines, provide continuous fetal monitoring, deny food and drink during labor, expect the woman to wear a hospital gown, and perform vaginal exams throughout. To read her full post, see Birthing in The Hospital .

This is great to be familiar with. Many hospitals have policies in place which a mom may or may not want or need. When a woman knows what to expect from her place of birth, she can better anticipate what she would like to decline or avoid through prenatal conversation and education with her birth team (doctor or midwife, doula, etc...)

All of the hospitals in this area consider the items on her list as routine and to be expected during a hospital birth. So, if you are planning on birthing in a Houston hospital and want to avoid any of these, be sure to speak up.

And finally, for a concise birth plan worksheet, see here .
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