If you have a low-risk pregnancy and want the option to have a natural, non-medicated birthing experience with minimal medical intervention and technology, the Low-Intervention Birth Program at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital is a great choice for you. The program is also a great option for women who want to have an epidural but overall want fewer interventions.

At Women’s and Children’s Hospital, we offer the region’s only Low-Intervention Birth Program focused on giving women the choices they need to have the birthing experience they desire. Our certified nurse midwives and specially designed labor suites create a place where women with low-risk pregnancies can have the best labor experience possible.

Our Low-Intervention Birth Program may be right for you if you:

  • Have no complex medical conditions
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or less (evaluated throughout your pregnancy)
  • Are carrying a single baby
  • Are between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of your pregnancy
  • Have not previously had a caesarean section
  • Do not require induction for medical reasons

Each woman and pregnancy is different. Talk to your obstetrician about whether our Low-Intervention Birth Program might be right for you. For higher-risk patients, some of our less interventional components may be able to be incorporated into your births, too.

Low-intervention birthing suites

Our program includes birthing suites that offer a home-like atmosphere with ample nurturing for expectant moms and limited technological monitoring. Eliminating the distractions and discomforts of monitoring equipment can help you relax and be more comfortable.

Our rooms feature:

  • Hydrotherapy tubs. Sitting in water naturally eases labor pain and encourages relaxation.
  • Birthing stool, balls and slings. Squatting and sitting on these items during labor can help you better handle contraction pain.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This helps ease the pain of labor without the use of medicines.
  • Wireless telemetry fetal monitors. Our staff continually monitors the well-being and health of your baby allowing you to move freely without being connected to wires.

Benefits of a low-intervention birth experience

The potential benefits of a non-medicated labor and delivery include:

  • A shorter after-birth recovery period
  • No major surgery and recovery from a caesarean section; no scar and no pain related to the procedure
  • An earlier start to breastfeeding as mother and baby are both alert post-birth

If you qualify for the program, you may choose to receive your care from certified nurse midwives on staff at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital. You can also choose to have a physician care for you during your pregnancy and still take advantage of the Low-Intervention Birth Program and delivery suites.

Whichever you choose, we have the capability to provide the right level of care for your situation, giving you the peace of mind you need.

What to expect with low-intervention births

Expectant mothers who choose to have low-intervention births at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital must have regular prenatal check-ups. Their newborns receive the same testing, monitoring and postnatal care as other babies born at the hospital.

You may bring your own doula or birth coach who can work with the health care team at the hospital.

All of our labor and delivery nurses are specially trained in natural labor and birth support. They know how to give you the emotional and physical support you need before, during and after childbirth.

Who qualifies for the Low-Intervention Birth Program?

The low-intervention birthing program is open to all women who meet the low-risk pregnancy qualifications. For more information on qualifications, please call MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Low-Intervention Birth Program at 573-817-3535.