Buying time at the hospital

The Cord: Episode 13 – Buying more time at your hospital birth

Why this podcast?
The Cord podcast is made up of interviews with prenatal, birth, postnatal and parenting experts.

It covers the areas you would expect (pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and bonding) but also covers areas like trauma, healing, spirituality and wellness. The host, Amy Neuhedel, is a doula, childbirth educator and mom coach. She is also my friend and mentor and just generally a very cool person.

Something I really like about this podcast is that there are a few episodes which are simply Amy talking to you about a specific area and giving you some helpful hints. The episode I am going to write about is just such an episode.

How does it look?
Aiming to bring you –
”connection, peace and empowerment in your birthing year and beyond”
The Cord released its first episode in October 2015 and by February 2016 was already at episode number twenty-one. More recently, episodes have been released about once a month.

It is hard to pinpoint a specific theme or flavour for this podcast. I suppose that connection, peace and empowerment would be the words you would associate with it and these are pretty key during pregnancy and birth. The Cord is a really interesting, diverse source of information.

Episodes range from ten to forty-five minutes with an average episode being around twenty-five minutes.

Who should listen to this episode
Quite simply, anyone wanting to avoid being time-pressured or rushed to give birth in a certain number of hours. If you are hoping to let your birth unfold in its own time, without restrictions, this episode is for you.

The episode
At just twelve minutes this episode is pretty short. It is also very simple in that Amy talks to you in a very friendly, relaxed way (I love how she somehow makes you feel like she’s on the phone with you rather than talking to you via a podcast) and gives you three very straightforward, easy to implement tips for buying yourself time and space at hospital.

However, these three simple pieces of advice could help make the difference between having the birth experience that you want and, well, not……

Why do I need to buy time?
Amy begins by talking about the sixty plus-year-old Friedman curve on which many hospitals still base their time frame for birth. Basically, you have about ten hours to dilate and then about two hours to push or breathe your baby out. After that, hospitals tend to want to ‘do something’.

I really like how Amy acknowledges that in those rare cases of true emergencies hospitals and medical teams are amazing and that we are so lucky to have them. But! For the vast majority of women, all that they need is the time and space for their birth to unfold.

The tips
I am not going to go into every detail here as I am really hoping you will decide to listen to this episode in full but here is a sneak peak:

Don’t be there yet. Simply, stay at home as long as possible. At home, you are relaxed and comfortable and your birth hormones are much more likely to flow freely (which is pretty much essential to the whole process). The absolute best situation would be that by the time you arrive at the hospital this flow of hormones is simply unstoppable!

ASK. QUESTIONS. If someone is suggesting a medical procedure to speed up your birth it is totally ok to ask a few questions.

Is This An Emergency?

Can We Think About It?

Are There Any Alternatives?

For example.


Get into some water. Huh??! Yep. Bath. Shower. Even, simply getting into the bathroom and (I love this image!) squatting backwards on the toilet. You get space. You get time.

To wrap up
Already??! Yep, this was indeed a short post but I really want the episode to speak for itself. I hope that this post and the episode itself (which goes into a lot more detail and gives you suggestions for other episodes that could be helpful) have given you a few ideas for ways to let your birth unfold in its own time, even in a hospital setting with all the schedules and regulations that this can involve.

If you have your own tips or experience on buying time and creating your own space I’d love to hear about them.

Until the next time!

More episodes on this topic
This sounds like a fairly specific topic but it is basically aiming to help you get the kind of birth you want in a hospital setting. There are really A LOT of episodes related to this so I am just going to pick a few from the podcasts I have featured so far. I want to state that I have made the assumption that if you are looking to buy more time you are most likely aiming for an undisturbed birth.

The Pregnancy Podcast: Episode 46 – Natural Hospital Birth

The Birth Hour: Episode 26 – Natural Hospital Birth Story  &  Episode 54 – Positive Hospital Birth Stories

Healthy Births Happy Babies: Episode 33 – How to Have an Amazing Hospital Birth


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By emilywills

Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.

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