Avoiding Common Interventions

I had an interesting discussion with a friend last night. She is in her seventh pregnancy, and had her first 5 with epidurals and her sixth natural. She is planning on having this baby naturally as well. We got to talking about midwives and hospitals in the area, and she seemed to be really happy with her selection, but just wished that she didn’t have to have an IV. I told her that I didn’t have one at my birth in American Fork Hospital, and she seemed shocked and wanted to know how I had gotten away with not having one. She was even more shocked when I told her that they didn’t give my baby the eye ointment, Vitamin K shot, and Hepatitis shot that they commonly give newborns.

Here is how I avoided these common interventions:

If you choose a midwife instead of an OBGYN, you will be much more likely to have an intervention-free birth, especially at a hospital. Having your baby at home with a midwife is probably the surest way to avoid interventions, but I wanted the security of a hospital for my first. Discuss interventions with your midwife first: some midwives are more like doctors in their thinking and practices. Typically, if you are negative for Group B Strep, are not being induced, and are not planning on having any drugs, there is no reason you need an IV. Include in your birth preferences that you do not want one if it can be avoided, and keep yourself hydrated during labor with “clear liquids.”

As for my baby, I researched the three common drugs/shots that are administered right after birth—eye ointment, Vitamin K, and Hepatitis (these may differ depending on where you live). The eye ointment is only needed if the mother has an STD. The Vitamin K shot is a blood clotting factor, and since I was having a girl I opted out since there would be no circumcision. The Hepatitis shot can be given at the baby’s first doctor’s appointment. I wanted to make her transition into the world as easy as possible, and felt that none of these were necessary. I requested that none of them be performed in my birth preferences, and the nurses honored that. I did have to sign a waiver saying that I had opted out and that I wouldn’t sue if complications arose because of that, which I was fine with. Always remember, this is YOUR birth, YOUR body, and YOUR baby and you have a say in what happens!


  1. love this site… i am planning on using hypnobirthing with this kid, and i used it during my miscarriage- it did WONDERS 🙂

  2. That’s great! I’m interested to learn more about your experiences. Who are you using for a care provider here in Utah? Where are you delivering?

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