Ep 46: Should You Have a Hospital Birth With Your First Baby?

Maternity Photo of Mom and Dad on the beach

Show Notes

“I want to have a homebirth with my second, but I’d feel safer giving birth in the hospital with my first baby.”

I hear this from so many moms.  And I get it!  With so much propaganda and misinformation regarding the safety of homebirth, I certainly see why so many moms feel this is the best option.

And for many, it really is!  They’ll feel more comfortable and just as empowered at the hospital.  But for others, they expect that having a natural birth in the hospital will be easier than giving birth at home, and once they experience the deep-rooted disempowerment that may occur at the hospital, they long to have considered homebirth more and swear to give birth at home the next time.  I mean, listen back to just a few interviews and you’ll hear this theme again and again.

In today’s episode, we’ll be speaking with Elena, who decided to do just that: give birth naturally at the hospital first.  We’ll hear her experience- both the good and not-so-good, and we’ll learn how to prepare ourselves in advance should we decide to give birth there, or perhaps we’ll skip it all together and just stay home.

Click here for the full transcript.


  • Elena mentions that she did not know much in the realm of care options at the time of her first pregnancy, so she decided to see a traditional OB
  • She was so uncomfortable with the care that she would sometimes skip prenatal appointments, feeling sure that she and the baby were fine, but hating the visits
  • At 37 weeks Elena made the decision to switch to the Midwives in her hospital’s practice.  Even knowing that she likely wouldn’t meet her midwife before going into labor, she felt this was the best decision for her.
  • It was- the care she received from her midwife was far better than what she had been experiencing with the OB’s in the practice.
  • When labor came on, she spent as much time as she could at home.
  • She finally had to drive into town to be checked, and the car ride was the worst part.  She knew that she should just go straight to the hospital.  
  • Upon a check, she learned that she was 6 cm and good to go to the hospital.
  • The hospital left a bad taste in her mouth after a number of issues like telling Elena to “cover up” as she labored down the hallway and a massive tear from being told to push on her back.  
  • Elena uses her story to tell other moms that it’s okay to have your first birth outside of the hospital– that’s where she plans to be the next time she decides to have a baby!

Episode Roundup:

Wow, there’s so much to say about this brilliant episode.  I’m so grateful that Elena came prepared to discuss both the pros and cons of her birthing experience in such detail.

The main point I want to bring up as we wrap things up is this:  if you’re more comfortable giving birth in the hospital, own that.  The point of this episode is not to make you feel concerned. Rather, it’s to inform you before you get there what you may expect and come into contact with, and be prepared.

I want to mention Elena’s sage advice of having a dedicated birth team to shoo away those care providers who just aren’t understanding the word “no.”  This is critical in my opinion.

And of course, coming from someone who clearly loves homebirth, I want to remind you that many of the struggles you could face in the hospital are not struggles you’ll likely face in the homebirth setting.

As always, do your own research.  And if you decide homebirth is right for you, check out my free homebirth mini course… a teeny smidge of a taste of what to expect when the full course launches in January.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Evidence Based Birth- Group B Strep

Happy Homebirth Academy

Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini Course

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