Will the Royal Baby Have Less Birth Intervention than U.S. Babies?

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While I’m not one for watching the news, I still appreciated this little clip about the differences between British and U.S. birth.

Unlike U.S. Birth Standards, in the U.K….

  • Prenatal care is free
  • Most women use midwives instead of obstetricians (though Dutchess Kate is using two OB’s!)
  • There is more of an emphasis on natural childbirth
  • Far less interventions are used
  • Epidurals are administered less frequently
  • Birth tubs standard at most births
  • C-sections rate 1/3 of the U.S. 33% c-section rate (source)

Interesting, huh?

Have you had a baby in the U.S. or U.K.?

What was your experience?

Read my daughter’s birth story here

and my husband’s account of my son’s birth here


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  1. Steph says

    We have just moved from Scotland back to the U.S. I had my little girl in Scotland under the NHS last year. It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. Midwife-led care, natural birth is definitely encouraged and seen as the ‘normal’ way to do things, interventions are truly seen as interventions (pitocin, epidurals, etc) and treated as such rather than a ‘normal’ way to give birth. Of course Drs and OBs and interventions are readily available if necessary (I had friends who had more complicated pregnancies and births and had great experiences). There is generally a very different approach and culture of prenatal care, pregnancy, and birth compared to the over-medicalized US. When I get pregnant again I want to beam myself there for the care! I won’t know what to do here.

    Oh, one more thing: home birth is just considered another option for you under the NHS if you are interested in it. The midwives will bring everything to your home. Its brilliant.

  2. Gena says

    I live in the US and was able to have a natural birth with my son. I went to a midwife for the last 5 months of my pregnancy and was able to give birth at a birth center, not at the hospital. The best part was that I went home that night and didn’t have to spend days in the hospital.

  3. says

    I had all 4 of my children in the UK – all totally natural births (the only pain relief I had with 3 of them was gas and air (nitrous oxide and oxygen)… the fourth I had nothing at all.
    Two of my births (one and two) were midwife-led hospital births, two were home births. And my 3rd was a very fast (less than 20 minutes in total) labour and unattended homebirth where the baby arrived before the midwife did… I gave birth totally alone in the bedroom, and delivered my own baby without even a tear….

  4. says

    I’m in the US. I too was able to have a natural child birth, no intervention, no drugs, none. My husband and I really had to advocate for ourselves in order to do this and I was lucky not have any complications. We had our baby in a child birth center attached to a hospital. The nurses were wonderful and let my husband sleep in the room with me. They allowed my newborn to sleep with me too. We had a great experience. But our second child was born in a different birth center attached to a hospital as well and it was a totally different experience. No drugs, but not as “natural” as our first and the staff was not nearly as accommodating to our wishes of a natural child birth. This was in 2002 and 2006. It seems to have a lot to do with the doctor/OB/midwife you choose and what the birth center is like. We also read a lot and educated ourselves so we could speak intelligently about what we wanted. It was hard work. When I talk to other women and their experiences, I seem to be a bit unique.

  5. says

    I am a bit envious of how natural birth is accepted as normal in Europe, the U.S. has a long way to go! With my first I had a natural, drug-free birth at a hospital, where we quite literally had to fight for what we wanted every step of the way. Turned out okay, but I hated the negative atmosphere and and being the ‘odd one’ with their intervention-heavy policies.

    Second baby we decided on a small birth center across from a hospital, 45 minute drive from our house. It was a water birth and it was a surreal, beautiful experience that I would wish to all expectant moms. It was everything I hoped it would be, just two midwives and my husband and I in the building, peaceful, a large bed for both of us to sleep on, the water birth was so much easier. I can certainly see why birth tubs are standard in Europe!

    It really annoys me that the U.S. is so against home birth while the Europeans see it as normal, ugh!

    Here are my babies’ two birth stories:

  6. Leah G says

    SO far my first two birth have been with two amazing midwives. We had homebirths for our girls. No intervention, no complications, no stress. I am pregnant with #3 and 650 miles from our midwife. Our new state does not license midwives. So we are planning to get OB care and then just birth at home again. Dr’s make birth sound scary and treat it as an illness. If that were the case non of us would be here now.

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