How labor friendly is your hospital?

There are many important factors to think about when choosing where to deliver your baby, whether the facility is a hospital or birth center. One factor that moms don’t always consider is whether or not the facility is labor friendly.

Labor friendly facilities try to avoid unnecessary interventions during labor and birth and focus instead on a vaginal delivery. There is lots of research to suggest that vaginal delivery leads to better outcomes for both mom and baby in the short and long term.

Labor friendly facilities may be more likely to have resources that support you throughout your delivery experience. Facility staff may help you learn strategies to handle early labor, provide you information and support your choices about how to manage your pain, and encourage you to voice your preferences during delivery. There is evidence that when women feel more supported during labor, they have more positive birth experiences.

Facilities that are labor friendly can also have designated spaces with labor support tools such as walking tracks or birthing balls to help you manage the labor process. Doctors, nurses, and certified nurse-midwives at a labor friendly facility are more likely to communicate with you, respect your birth plan, and ensure that your preferences are followed as much as possible.

It is important to understand what support structures are in place at your chosen delivering facility. You can ask your provider questions about your birth facility’s policies to make sure your preferences are taken into consideration during your delivery process.

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