Best of both worlds for childbirth: Comfort and intimacy, with medical experts nearby

smiling pregnant mom and sleeping baby

When Caroline O’Neill prepared to have her fourth baby, she pondered whether to have her son in a hospital, like her other children, or have a home birth. She wanted comfort and intimacy but wondered whether being at home would be as low-stress as she desired. She also wanted to be close to hospital services if the need arose.

She found the best of both worlds at the Natural Birth Center at Inova Loudoun Hospital (ILH). Only about 90 seconds away from hospital resources, the center offers all the comforts of home. With its many welcoming amenities (see below), the center was an ideal choice for Caroline, who found her birth experience there to be exceptional.

“You have experienced nurse midwives and registered nurses in a homelike setting,” says Caroline, now a HypnoBirthing instructor at ILH. “It’s such a special space, and everything there is about easing the tension and giving you a quiet, supportive place.”

Caroline especially liked the very large tubs that allowed her to float for a few hours before delivery, which she found calming. Because the center has queen-sized beds, her husband was lying alongside her as she delivered, and then the three spent the first hour cozied up together.

“It’s an amazing bonding experience,” Caroline says. “You don’t feel rushed to get going; you can have a natural birth with the support you need.”

“A major part of the experience is education before delivery so that expectant moms know their options when it comes to unmedicated options,” says Monica Freidline, Midwifery Director of the Natural Birth Center. “The main thing is that we want our moms to be comfortable and to have a great experience with delivery,” Freidline says. “Labor is difficult — wherever you are — but when you feel more relaxed and supported, that can certainly make a big difference.”

Sometimes, delivery will begin at the center, but a mom may change her mind about wanting medication, or the baby needs more intense monitoring. With the hospital just steps away, the transfer is speedy.

Features & benefits of Inova Loudoun’s Natural Birth Center

  • Queen-sized beds
  • Birth stools if mothers prefer not to deliver in a bed
  • Large tubs, birthing balls and labor slings to make labor more comfortable
  • Living area with kitchenette where family can watch TV, make meals, play games and relax
  • Fresh-baked cookies
  • Quiet, private, homelike environment

Loudoun moms to be: Browse our site, call or take a tour!

Learn more about the Inova Loudoun Hospital Natural Birth Center by calling 703-858-6824 or visiting our website at Schedule a complimentary tour of the center at


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