Is Meghan Markle Planning to Have a Water Birth?

Rumors are flying that the Duchess of Sussex wants to stray from the typical royal game plan of giving birth at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital.

Pregnant Meghan Markle Greets Citizens in Auckland
Photo: Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock

December 18, 2018

Meghan Markle's pregnancy has captured the attention of the entire world, so it's no wonder that with her reported March or April due date just around the corner, rumors about the birth are flying. All of the assertions seem to involve the Duchess of Sussex embracing labor and delivery methods that are considered unconventional in the royal world, from home birth to hypnobirthing to water birth.

Vanity Fair, which often has the inside track from royal insiders, reported back on November 30 that "Meghan wants a different experience from the royal wives who have come before her, and the couple have been looking at 'options,'" according to their sources. That means Duchess of Sussex might be hoping to pass on giving birth at the private maternity wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London where Prince William and Harry were both born, as well as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and, most recently, Prince Louis.

But VF says aides aren't noting exactly where Markle and Prince Harry might welcome her first L.O., if not St. Mary's. It's possible they've yet to figure it out. One thing's for sure: The couple plans to be living at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor ahead of the birth, so the magazine hypothesizes that they might choose a hospital that's in or close to the town, as opposed to London. There's also buzz that Markle is exploring the possibility of a home birth.

No matter the exact location, Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, will be by her daughter's side. The Sussexes are reportedly building a mother-in-law suite, as well as the nursery, at the cottage.

“Doria plans to be around a lot when the baby arrives, and there are plans for her to have a dedicated space at their new home,” a source said. “She wants to be on hand to help Meghan and Harry with the baby. Doria will be involved, and if she’s involved she will be encouraging Meg to go for a natural birth.”

The report also asserts that Markle is learning about the hypnobirthing technique, which Kate Middleton allegedly used through her three labors, as well.

A sketchier source, Heat magazine, claims to have even more specifics on Markle's birth plan, reporting that she is considering having a water birth. According to the publication, the mother-to-be has requested to have a "pool set up in a relaxing environment." Their source also claims that Markle plans to divert from royal parenting norms in other ways, like breastfeeding in public to "help normalize" the act.

Only time—and the official word from Kensington Palace—will tell which of these birthing and parenting approaches Meghan Markle makes her own. In the meantime, with several months of royal bump-watching to go, the unsubstantiated buzz is sure to keep on comin'.

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