Since Prince William tied the knot with Kate Middleton in 2011, royal watchers from around the world have learned the routine for royal births.
After days of anxious waiting, the mother delivers her child in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Later, there will be delighted announcements from the royal family, and a photo of the proud parents outside the hospital.
But a story first reported by Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent Katie Nicholl suggests Meghan Markle could break that tradition, and has been weighing “options” including a home birth to deliver her first child.
The report claims that first time parents Harry and Meghan will either choose a hospital near their new home in Windsor, or their home itself, as the place to welcome their baby boy or girl.
Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, will apparently be staying close to the couple in Windsor’s Frogmore Cottage as the birth date approaches, and plans to help the royal couple look after their bundle of joy.
A source close to the royal family said that Ragland, who shares a love of yoga with her daughter, is one of the people urging Markle to have a natural birth.
Already, Markle is reportedly reading up on hypnobirthing, a mental technique used instead of medication to relax the body and ease pain during childbirth.
It’s not as far out as it seems, since Markle admitted to using meditation and yoga to ease her jet lag while traveling through Oceania.
But skipping a stay at St. Lindo’s would be a major change, since Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, gave birth to both the princes there.
More recently, Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton also welcomed her son Arthur at the luxury hospital, where a stay can cost more than $13,000 a night.
Her sister-in-law may have passed along some tips, since Middleton was also said to have used hypnobirthing techniques while delivering her third child, Prince Louis.
So far, Kensington Palace has not commented on reports about Markle’s interest in a natural or home birth, so we'll have to wait and see.
All we know of Meghan’s due date right now is that it’s in "the spring" of 2019, likely March or April.
But based on the size of her growing baby bump, some parents are speculating the duchess will be delivering twins this spring.
Before then, Harry and Meghan are expected to spend Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham, alongside Will and Kate.