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Natural Childbirth

Planning your birth experience

More and more patients have inquired about giving birth “naturally” – planning to deliver with limited or no pain medication.

The labor and delivery team at Cookeville Regional will support a mother’s birth plan as long as it’s medically safe for both mother and baby. If support from a doula is a part of your plan, we will welcome that assistance.

Talk to your provider about doula involvement during the labor process. Discuss your birth plan with your health care provider so everyone is on the same page.

Why natural childbirth?
Patients have said they want to avoid the low potential risks associated with epidural, and some simply want to see what their bodies can do. Some women consider any vaginal birth a natural childbirth, regardless of whether it includes getting an epidural or Pitocin to induce labor.

Others think natural childbirth is only when there is no medical intervention. Most patients fall somewhere in the middle. We can help you with whatever you decide to do.

What do I need to do to have a natural childbirth?

Giving birth naturally is easy at Cookeville Regional. Here are some things to consider:

  • Find and attend a childbirth class.
  • Create a birth plan and discuss it with your provider.
  • Choose your support team. This team may include your significant other, family or friends.
  • Make sure your support team knows your wishes.
  • Decide which if any technique you will use to help your labor, i.e., Hypnobabies, Lamaze, Meditation, the Bradley Method.
  • Consider having a doula to attend your labor/delivery.
  • Intermittent fetal monitoring – you will be on the monitor at an interval ordered by your provider. When not on the monitors, you will be able to move as desired including walking around the unit.
  • Wireless fetal monitoring – if your provider deems necessary to continuously monitor your baby’s heart rate, we can utilize this type of monitoring system.
  • Showers in every room.
  • Birthing Balls – can aid in a variety of positions that can help with labor comfort and progress.
  • Peanut Balls – can aid in a variety of positions that can help with labor comfort and progress. Can be used with epidurals.
  • Bar for the bed – can be used to achieve positions of comfort during labor.
  • Rocking chairs.
  • Beds that can be put in a variety of positions .
  • Saline lock intravenous access.

What does the birthing center have to help me with natural childbirth?

  • Delivery in the position of your choice.
  • Delayed cord clamping.
  • Immediate skin to skin for mother and infant (dads may be included).
  • Limited interruptions during the first hour of life.
  • Breastfeeding support to ensure feeding during the first hour of life.
  • Delayed bath for newborn.

What if.....


Many of the options will continue to be available. Discuss your options with your provider and care team.


Intravenous pain medication is an option during early labor. However, since the sedative effects are passed to the infant, pain medication may be more limited as your delivery nears.


Epidurals are available no matter when you go into labor. We have dedicated obstetric anesthesia providers available to answer questions and see you when you are ready to discuss an epidural. During an immediately after the epidural placement, one support person can remain at your side. We still offer many positions and tools to help you with your labor and delivery. All the options available during and after delivery are still available.


If you and your provider decide that you need to deliver by cesarean section, some options are available during and after delivery. If you are a candidate for spinal anesthesia, you can request a clear drape that will allow you to witness the birth of your baby. Depending on the condition of your infant at the time of birth, you will be offered the opportunity to breastfeed and do skin-to-skin in the operating room. You will be able to have one support person with you in the operating room as deemed appropriate by your team.