I want women to know that hospital births don't have to be filled with intervention and that moms who deliver in hospital settings can and should be active participants in deciding what goes on during their own labor and delivery. I delivered both of my children in the hospital where I am a registered nurse (on the OB unit). I labored in the hot tub, in the shower, on the birthing ball, and spent very little time in the bed. I refused artificial rupture of membranes when I felt it wasn't in my best interest, I delivered my daughter unassisted and without any medication, then got up and gave her her first bath while my son and extended family looked on. My children were immediately placed skin-to-skin, never left my room, etc. While I admit that I largely wouldn't have been challenged because I was cared for by my peers, any proactive mom could have the same experience in my institution. I chose my experience while at the same time delivering in a place that had help, equipment, and experts available should the need arise. As a neonatal/obstetric nurse I am all too aware of the fact that infants are sometimes born who need immediate intervention to ensure their well being. In fact, approximately 10% of infants need some type of resuscitative efforts. Fetal distress can and does present very rapidly, without warning. Some of the worst infants that I have performed resuscitations on have had no identified risk factors during the prental/intrapartum period. For me, delivering in a situation where help is available is a must. Medical professionals like myself don't have to be the enemy. Are there bad MDs and nurses? Sure there are. But moms who are informed and proactive can, to a very large degree, decide what they want for their own birthing experience. Educated women who form partnerships with their physician and nurses can have natural births, even in the hospital setting. As a Certified Childbirth Educator, I stressed to my class participants to be vocal to their care providers. Don't just slide into the bed as they apply the fetal monitor and stay there for the duration of your labor. Speak up! Tell the nurse, MD, or midwife what you want your experience to be like. The experience is yours, no matter where you give birth. Birth is a natural process and the interventions should be minimal and based on need. Be your own advocate, and the advocate for your baby as well. Hospitals aren't the enemy. There are many like-minded healthcare professionals such as myself who want you to have the best experience possible and who would love to help. Just seek us out!