How do you have a "safe" hospital birth?

I was going to write today about the different types of childbirth education classes that you can take but while I was researching, I came across a very interesting topic. I was reading “The Official Lamaze Guide (revised and expanded version).” I was in the section detailing how to “Create a Comfortable Environment” and read this:
“The quest for safety in birth can be a double-edged sword. Most women choose hospitals because they believe that hospitals are the safest place to give birth. But ironically hospitals are NOT safer than birth centers and homes for the great majority of births.” (pg 133).
The Cochrane Collaboration states that “planned hospitals births may even increase unnecessary interventions and complications without any benefit to the low-risk women.” (
Now I’m guessing that you are thinking that I am against hospital births,and that is far from the truth. What I am against is all of the unnecessary interventions that can come along with a hospital birth. Can you avoid them? Most of the time, yes you can! How can you avoid them? Be informed! Know what the possible interventions are and know the possible outcomes to those interventions. Know that you have a choice to accept those interventions or to not accept them. Know what your alternatives are to those interventions. For example: some hospitals will recommend to break your water to “help speed up your labor.” The facts are, that it doesn’t always work. The facts are that it increases your risk for infection, and according to the hospital, it puts you on a time clock for delivery. What you should know is that, unless you are at least 4cm dilated and unless the baby’s head is on your cervix, breaking your water increases your risk for umbilical cord prolapse (where the cord comes out first). In this situation, you will have to have an emergency caesarean section. If the cord presents first, the baby’s head can and most likely will press against the cord, which will then cut off the baby’s oxygen supply. Does this always happen? NO! Is it a risk? Yes. I am not saying this to scare you! I am saying that if you know your facts, then you can make the decision based upon facts and not upon being pressured to get the labor moving along at someone else’s pace. But also know that there are times when a birth does need interventions. Every birth is different, they are unpredictable. Know how to change directions with it and go with the flow.
Take a childbirth education class that is based upon facts. Take a class that suits what your needs are. Research information on your own. Look up evidenced-based birth information. Find out what interventions you want and don’t want. Know how to voice what you want or don’t want.
Hire a Doula, they can help you with writing a birth plan and creating one that suits your needs. A Doula can help guide you through the decision making process and they can show you how to voice your wants in your health care. They won’t speak to the doctors and nurses for you, nor will they give you medical advice, but they will lay out the facts and support YOUR choices. This is your birth, make it one that you want. A doula will help you with comfort measures and they can help create the environment that you are comfortable with.
FYI, I am not affiliated with Lamaze. I do however, read many books on different types of childbirth education classes. I create my classes based on facts and proved relaxation techniques. I incorporate many different types of childbirth education information. I also create my classes based upon what a parent wants.
Be infomred! Be prepared!