Royal Baby: Giving Birth In The UK Vs.The US

Patricia Didelot - Author

Jul. 10 2013, Updated 6:23 a.m. ET

The royal baby watch is on. When his or her mother, Kate, goes into labor, how will it be different if she was in the US vs. being in the UK?

Kate Middleton will deliver the heir to the throne at St. Mary’s, the same hospital in which Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William — the baby’s father — and his brother Harry.

By all accounts, the facility is beautiful ,and Kate will have all the comforts possible, under the circumstances, to make her stay as painless as can be.

When she finally goes into labor, a mere hours from now, her experience will highlight the different birthing practices that separate the UK from the US.

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American women usually give birth in hospitals and are attended by a gynecologist, which has overseen the entire nine months of pregnancy. They usually are given pain medication at some point, and the likelyhood of having a C-section is high.

The royal baby is being born for free. Women in the UK receive free pre-natal care and birthing. Most British women use midwifes for their deliveries, but Kate will have two obstetricians attending her. We are talking about the heir to the throne, after all.

In the UK, the goal is to have mothers give birth naturally, and many hospitals encourage women to use little or no pain medication once labor starts. The royal baby birthing experience is expected to be no different.

Epidurals are not as commonly used in the UK; patients are given laughing gas and birthing tubs to increase the possibility of having a natural birth.

C-section rates in the US are three time higher than in the UK.

“Well, natural is the way women were designed to have babies. Less complications, faster recovery,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz, Roosevelt Hospital in New York City director of gynecology.

The hospital has a lower C-section rate than the national average.

Rita Wagner, a certified nurse midwife at Roosevelt, said the hospital has its own floor with larger rooms to allow women to labor on their own, “as if at home,” without medication and added that they aim to give women a good experience.

Did you know that the royal baby birthing experience for Kate Middleton will be a natural one with little medication?

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