I have been researching waterbirth for months and there is only one midwife within 100 miles of me that is interested in waterbirth (but never done one) and the nearest hospital or birthing center that allows waterbirth is 4 hours away!!  I am willing to drive the 4 hours to the birthing center so I can have my waterbirth, I am even willing to stay in a hotel up there for the 2-3 weeks before my due date so I can already be there when the time comes.  But I would prefer to advocate waterbirth in my area and made it more available for other women here. I have spoken with the women's hospital that most women around here deliver at and they don't have any policies about waterbirth at all.  The OB nurse manager is very excited and willing to talk to the hospital CEO and try to convince the hospital that waterbirth would be a good addition to their services. I'm cautiously hopeful! :) Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make sure this works out for me and the rest of the women in my area?

Tags: hospital, midwives, policies, waterbirth

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Way to go! I have no experience here, but I'd think that having the OB nurse manager on your side can't hurt. I think that if they let you have a waterbirth, and they see how wonderful it can be, then maybe you'll be a pioneer to open up a dialogue for it to become common practice there. Good luck!
I'm going on my labor & delivery tour tomorrow. This is my third pregnancy, but each time I've lived in a different city and dealt with different hospital's policies. I'm cautiously optimistic that this one will be supportive of natural, low-intervention birth. Their website says they have tubs in the labor rooms, but I know from experience that it doesn't mean they'll let me use it during labor!
I am not currently pregnant, but I figured it could take awhile for the hospital to decide and/or prepare for a waterbirth. The OB nurse manager said they would want to have some staff trained in waterbirth ahead of time. I spoke to the only local midwife and she doesn't want to be invovled in trying to get waterbirth available a the hospital and may not want to do the waterbirth if it is approved!! She's interested in doing a waterbirth but is too afraid that she will lose the respect of the local OB/GYN's if she does. So I guess if the hospital agrees to a waterbirth that they (or myself) will have to find a different midwife. I can somewhat understand her reasons, but if you don't try to make a change you can't complain about not being able to do something you'd like to do. I guess I'm just more of a proactive person than she is. Praying the hospital still approves waterbirth, though! :)
Is there some kind of mothering/birth group in your area where you could meet other women who had water births? Or even a childbirth class (like Bradley or Hypnobabies) that promotes natural birth? My guess is that it would be helpful to find some women who have personal experience with water birth and figure out who their care providers were. It would be beneficial to have a number of people with you that support water birth and not have to do this alone.

Sorry, I don't really know where to begin, either! But I am thinking that if the hospital doesn't know any care providers that have attended a water birth, they might be afraid to "experiment" with it. So I'd keep looking around and gathering names/contact info. for anyone else that has had a water birth.

I really hope it works out! I wish my hospital offered that service, as well. Good luck!
No, the nearest place that allows waterbirth is 4 hours away in Indianapolis. :( Being in the Midwest doesn't give me very many options. The East & West coast have many options but not the Midwest unfortunately. That's an awesome idea about finding other that are interested at birthing classes! Thanks! :)
Wow, I had to check your profile. I thought that maybe you lived in the Palm Springs area, because it's pretty much the exact same situation out here. None of our 3 area hospitals offer, or have ever done a water birth. There is 1 nurse-midwife in the area. She does hospital deliveries only, no home births. I haven't spoken to her about water birth as her practice was not in my insurance network, so I couldn't afford to be a patient anyway. And all birthing centers are in L.A. or San Diego areas, 2 hours away. I considered going to the birthing center anyway, but because of the logistics issue have decided to go with a local doctor who claims to be on-board with as little intervention as possible ideals. I didn't want to look further into, or push the water birth issue with the hospitals for fear I might be treated differently (not in a good way) once delivery day comes. It's inspiring though, to hear your endeavor. Sorry I can't offer any help. Good luck though, and let us know how your progress goes!
lol Yeah, I live in southern Illinois. I'm shocked you don't have waterbirth available near you, all my research has shown that the East & West coasts are very open to waterbirth. You must be in a more tradtional hospital zone lol. That stinks :( We don't currently have insurance, so the cost is just a matter of saving money from every paycheck like we have been. I hope your doctor sticks with their little interventions as possible. If the hospital closest to me won't allow waterbirths I will drive the 4 hours to the birthing center for a waterbirth. Well, I have plans to stay in a hotel for the 2-3 weeks before my due date so I don't have to drive the 4 hours in labor lol. Thanks for the encouraging words! They're just as good as advise :)

Hi, I know this is an old thread, but can you tell me if you ever had any success with the hospital you spoke to about adding waterbirths?  Also do you mind sharing which hospital?  I'm moving back to southern Illinois on Jan 27 and will be delivering this baby there in June and would LOVE to have a waterbirth.  Thanks!

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