Natural Childbirth | Northfield Hospital & Clinics

Natural Childbirth

Whether you’re pregnant, trying or thinking about it, this is an exciting time in your life. Giving birth is a natural part of life and we want your birth story to be memorable and the story you want it to be.

We encourage a natural childbirth experience, letting the miracle of birth unfold through empowerment, attentive waiting, natural alternatives and low intervention. 

About Natural Childbirth at NH+C

hospital room with natural childbirth aidsWhether you're pregnant, trying to conceive, or thinking about becoming pregnant, this is an exciting time in your life. Giving birth is a natural part of life and we want your birth story to be memorable and the story you want it to be. We respect those that desire a natural childbirth experience, letting the miracle of birth unfold through attentive waiting and low interventions, while providing empowerment to make choices and offering natural alternatives for pain management.

If your goal is a birth with minimal intervention, while having all the resources of a hospital if needed, we’ve got you covered. Women’s Health and The Birth Center are proud to offer natural childbirth options that you and baby will love.

We offer patient-centered care, open and honest communication, and providers who are experts in their fields and go the extra mile to ensure that your pregnancy and childbirth is what you want it to be.

Women’s Health - Care For Your Pregnancy

Your journey will begin in Women’s Health for all of your clinic visits. From childbirth planning to fertility issues, from the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and postpartum, our team offers supportive, compassionate care. You probably have many questions. Our providers, with years of experience caring for moms and babies, have the answers. Because the team is all-female, they understand your needs as a woman and provide caring, support and guidance including emotional well-being based on your personal needs and wishes. During prenatal care and childbirth, we will:

  • support your birthing choices and provide natural, holistic care
  • empower you to make the choices you want for your pregnancy and birth
  • provide education and support and offer natural alternatives for pain management
  • offer natural alternatives for pain management and encourage movement and different labor positions, labor in shower or tub, massage, aromatherapy, birthing balls
  • support your decisions regarding medication in labor and self-administered nitrous oxide, IV medications, and epidural are available

The Women's Health Team

The Women’s Health team is made up of OB/GYN doctors and midwives, a maternal fetal medicine specialist for high-risk pregnancies, nurses, nutritionists and radiologists who all support providing a natural childbirth. The care amongst the team is seamless and you can feel confident that whomever you meet will honor your choices. Learn more about midwife services.

Pre-conception Planning

When you’re trying to get pregnant, your provider can help you figure out your optimal fertility days which can shorten the amount of time it takes you to get pregnant. Your pre-conception health assessment might include conversations about nutrition, weight, mental health, sexuality, exercises to consider and to avoid, supplements and prenatal vitamins, infectious disease prevention, and genetic history considerations.

We also offer genetic testing to help you determine your carrier status, and inform you of any risk of passing chromosomal disorders to your potential children.

What to expect from clinic appointments

Your first OB visit will happen between 8–10 weeks of pregnancy and will include two separate appointments on the same day. This includes:

  • First appointment: You will have an ultrasound so we know how far along you are. You may decline this if desired and discuss it further at your appointment.
  • Second appointment: You will meet with your provider to review your past medical history, current medications, previous pregnancies, and do a physical exam. She will also answer any questions you have, explain the frequency of visits and prenatal tests offered, and review important information you should know to have a healthy pregnancy.
  • After your appointment, we will have you go to lab, where you will need to have your blood drawn and provide a urine sample.

Frequency of visits thereafter:

  • Every 4 weeks up until 28 weeks of pregnancy
  • Every 2 weeks up until 36 weeks of pregnancy
  • Weekly from 36 weeks up until delivery

The Birth Center – Delivering Your Baby

hospital roomWe offer a nurturing, family-centered and safe environment that allows you to focus on the miracle of your new baby. The Birth Center provides a customized natural labor and delivery experience in a safe hospital setting. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. You’re only moments away from experts who can step in should a problem arise.

The expanded Birth Center was built with mothers in mind. Some of the features to aid in natural childbirth include:

  • Soaking tubs for hydrotherapy
  • A water birth suite
  • Huge windows with calming nature views
  • Room-darkening blinds
  • Variety of seating: rocker, recliner, couch
  • Natural childbirth aids in all labor and delivery rooms:
  • Birth/labor sling
  • Birthing chair
  • Birthing ball
  • Peanut ball
  • Squat bar
  • Yoga blocks
  • Beanbag chair
  • Aromatherapy

The Labor and Delivery Team

Besides the women’s health team you’ve already met, your care team will include labor and delivery nurses that support your desire to have a natural childbirth. Our nurses are highly experienced and have training in natural childbirth techniques. You will often have the same nurses during your stay. They understand your journey, respect your wishes and provide for your personal and baby care needs.

Movement During Labor

We encourage you to move as much as you want during labor. Your provider and nurses can coach you through movements and positioning using natural childbirth aids such as the birth chair, birth sling, peanut ball, birthing ball, and so much more. We encourage movement to improve comfort during labor as well as to help labor progress. If we need to continuously monitor baby, we offer wireless monitoring to allow for movement.

Our nurse-midwives and labor and delivery nurses at The Birth Center are trained in Spinning Babies®, a technique using different positionings and movements to get babies into the right place and position for birth.

Unmedicated Birth

We offer natural, drug-free comfort measures during labor, including warm water immersion therapy (hydrotherapy) in our birthing tubs. You also have natural methods to manage labor pain including epidural alternatives Do we want to say what these alternatives are or give a couple of examples? Of course, should you decide to have an epidural, our obstetric anesthesiology experts are ready to step in. Does aromatherapy belong here? 

Water Birth

water birth room

Laboring in warm water can feel calming, relieve pain, and reduce the risk of tearing during birth.

The Water Birth Suite features a large, luxurious tub that gives freedom of movement, allowing you to get into positions that feel comfortable throughout your labor.

The tub is accessible from three sides, so it’s easy to monitor and offer support during labor. Built-in seats at various heights let you get into different positions and your support person can sit on a ledge alongside you. Multi-colored LED lighting adds to the calm setting.

When baby arrives, there’s a gentle transition onto your chest for skin-to-skin contact and bonding. The Water Birth Suite has everything you need to labor and deliver in warm, soothing water...  plus all the resources of a standard labor and delivery room if you need them. Are you interested in water birth? Talk with your women’s health provider during your pregnancy.

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping

Your provider will delay cord clamping to maximize healthy blood flow to your baby from the placenta. We recommend waiting at least 5 minutes before clamping the cord (or until pulsations stop). Delayed cord clamping is an evidence-based practice associated with several benefits for newborns:

  • Better circulation
  • Lower iron deficiency anemia rates
  • Lower jaundice rates

Delayed cord clamping can also mean less blood loss for the delivering parent. Will some people want the cord clamping to last longer than 5 minutes? What about baby being on chest for an hour? Is the cord clamped or not clamped during this time?

Newborn Bonding

We believe in immediate bonding after both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. This includes skin-to-skin contact and encouraging breastfeeding within an hour of delivery.

Breastfeeding / Lactation Services

We provide you with education and support to help make breastfeeding a positive experience for you and your new baby. While you are in the hospital, our International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and lactation trained nurses, will help you through each step of breastfeeding to ensure your baby has a healthy start to life. Once you are home, you can make an appointment to meet with the lactation consultant one-on-one to provide additional support, discuss problems and answer your questions. Learn about Breastfeeding / Lactation Services.