The royal family is about to get a little bigger, and during this exciting time for the British monarchy, speculation is rife about when, where and how the baby will enter the world. Since the pair announced that they were expecting in October, a lot of attention has been focused on what birth plan Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will choose. The former Suits star is known to break with tradition as she sees fit, and as noted by The Express, there are no shortage of options when it comes to giving birth.
Typically, pregnant royals follow a specific protocol that dictates where they have their children, who may be present, who’s the first to find out the baby’s arrived, and more, according to Cosmopolitan. While the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s hospital has been popular with royal moms Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, according to Town & Country, there’s no hard and fast rule that they must.
In fact, the Daily Mail reported that Markle was considering other birthing venues, and a separate report from The Sun suggested she was toying with the idea of having a doula on hand during the birth, which would be vastly different from previous royal birth experiences.
Markle and Prince Harry have been relatively tight lipped about their birth plans, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from turning. So, as her due date nears, here are all the ways her birth could differ from her sister-in-law's.
She May Not Give Birth At The Lindo Wing
Since Princess Diana welcomed Prince William and Prince Harry, royal births have typically taken place at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital. Middleton had all three of her children there, and for a while it was believed that Markle would follow suit with her first child.
However, the Daily Mail reported in January that Markle probably wouldn’t give birth at St. Mary's. Rather, according to the outlet, the former actress decided against it because of the distance from her and Prince Harry’s home.
As Daily Mail noted in their initial report, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex planned to be settled into their home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor by the time Markle is ready to give birth this spring. The home is about 25 miles away from St. Mary’s, according to Marie Claire, which could prove to be an issue should she require rushing to the hospital.
Markle and Prince Harry were considering Frimley Park hospital in Surrey instead, according to People. However, The Express has since reported that while it's some distance from her home, and rumors to the contrary, it appears St. Mary's is preparing for Markle to give birth there.
Kensington Palace doesn’t comment on the private matter of members of the royal family, and has not confirmed any reports about where Markle intends on giving birth.
She *Could* Use A Doula
According to Cosmopolitan, it's tradition for members of the royal family to be joined in the delivery room by royal midwives, and the number varies depending on the woman, according to the outlet.
Middleton is said to have had three midwives, according to Today's Parent, while The Sun reported that Markle is considering skipping the midwife all together; instead, the outlet stated that she consulted a doula.
While Kensington Palace didn't comment on reports Markle was considering having a doula present during labor, the doula identified by The Sun later told The Jewish Chronicle that the rumor was the "result of a Facebook joke on my personal page and a very tenuous connection between my husband's grandfather and Princess Diana." She told the publication, "The more I deny it, the more people believe it."
Her updated comments seem to suggest that Markle may not be using a doula — at least not this particular doula.
She Could Choose An Unconventional Birth Method
As noted by The Express, there are many different ways to give birth, and Markle could choose from a water birth, hypnobirthing, with or without medication, or even a C-section. According to the Care Quality Commission, around two in 10 women who give birth in England opt for water or a birthing pool.
Markle is due to give birth in late April or early May, according to TODAY. As the exciting day approaches, she's sure to have a lot of big decision to make. Here's hoping her birth goes smoothly, and her and Prince Harry's son or daughter is happy and healthy.