Often I get phone calls and emails from women looking for the “out of the box” type birth experience. The box is going to the hospital for birth classes where you will be taught how to be a good patient. Then going to the hospital when the care provider decides you are ready to give birth, being induced and getting your epidural and hopefully not having a cesarean in the meantime. But since the metro Atlanta area cesarean rates has several hospitals whose cesarean rates are close to or over 40%, you can see this is not happening.
So, if you are looking for something different- here is my recommendations. Have you considered a home birth? The studies show it is just as safe if not even more safe. There is a great link- Georgia Midwifery where you can see information and details on hiring a home birth midwife. As as a doula, I have experience with several of the local midwives and would welcome telling you about my personal experiences with them. A doula is still helpful as the midwife is caring for you medically and her assistant is much like the role of the nurse in the hospital. The local midwives are lucky to have great physician back up available in the case of needing to go to a hospital during the labor or needing to transfer care during your pregnancy.
If you are not ready to step outside the box to a home birth, let me tell you about the local hospitals that offer gentle birth options and where the staff is used to supporting moms who desire a low intervention birth or natural birth. The care is usually the midwifery model of care. Atlanta Medical has two different midwifery practices that offer water births and gentle cesareans when they are needed. And North Fulton has two midwifery practices that share call between the two groups of midwives that offer many of these same options.
This does not mean you can not find a doctor or midwife elsewhere to offer these options, but as a whole, these are the places where we find these options are normal. If you are concerned about the use of midwives vs doctors- read this article.
As a doula who has been doing births for over 22 years- and attended over 600 births, I have to tell you when something great is happening on a regular basis regarding births, we talk about it within our community. And we talk about the horrific things going on as well. I think hands down the talk in town is to consider Intown Midwifery@AMC , Providence Womens Healthcare midwives and Nile OBGyn Midwives @ NFR and for the desire to have a doctor practice Dr Joe Tate @ EMTH.