Natural Birth Experience in a Hospital: February 7, 2014

Giving birth, it’s one of the most natural things in the world, but in a hospital setting the natural experience was sometimes lacking.

“A typical labor and delivery process, long time ago, is the fathers had to be granted special permission to even come into the labor room. And the babies went to a central nursery, which was far away from the mothers,” says Nancy Travis, Director of women’s care birth suites at Cape Coral Hospital.

By the 60’s and 70’s, moms were expecting more.  A natural, family centered environment. It was the age of Lamaze classes with dads as coaches. Fast forward to today, and home like birthing suites.

“There’s a whole cast of characters that can come to births now. We have doula’s that are labor support persons that the mom will actually hire to bring with her during her birth. In addition to the husband or father of the baby or her mom or any other person,” says Travis.

Birthing suites are a comfortable space for mom’s to relax and let nature take its course. Along with the comforts of home are items to help mom speed delivery.

“We encourage her to be upright, walking around, getting in the tub- water does seem to speed labor. We also have birth balls that we will put mom’s on so they will rock, to make her more comfortable and actually get the baby in the right, optimal position to be born quicker,” says Travis.

At Cape Coral Hospital, they observe not only a moment of silence with each new arrival, but the medical staff observes the Golden Hour, giving families space and silence. Everyone works quietly, so the family can enjoy a personal experience.

“We try to just step back and let them enjoy their time with their baby.
There are certain things we need to do in the first hour according to the pediatricians, but we do those on the mom’s stomach,” says Liz Finn, RN labor and delivery with Lee Memorial Health System.

Being within the hospital creates an extra layer of comfort - mom and baby are monitored throughout. Help is only steps away, but seems a world apart to the new family.