Unmedicated Birth Planning with an OB — The Bump
Pregnant after IF

Unmedicated Birth Planning with an OB

Hi everyone I’m a FTM and have decided to go full steam ahead to do an unmedicated birth.  I have done quite a bit of research and chosen a birth course (Hypnobabies) and hired a doula to get me through.  I know that things may come up that are outside of my control that might cause medication to come into play in which case I’m totally fine to abandon my plan but I am concerned about interventions that may not be emergencies but “pressure recommended” to move things along.  Like repeatedly being asked if I want pain meds, limited options for natural pain relief at the hospital, or pushing the Pitocin when baby is ok but labor is just taking a long time.

For those of you who have (or are planning to talk to your OB) what kind of questions did you ask to find out if your OB group/hospital is supportive of non-medicated birth vs. just tolerant to let you try (while doing an eye roll behind your back)? 

Me:38 DW:33 
TTC History in Spoiler ***Trigger Warning*** Losses/Child Mentioned 
Dx: My wife has no sperm  :D and apparently my embryos aren't as good as they look
2016

 * April IUI#1 - BFN
 * June IUI#2 - BFN
 * July IUI#3 - CP  :'(
 * Sept IVF#1 - 4 Retrieved & Mature, 4 Blasts.  Fresh Transfer 1  - CP  :'(
 * November FET #1 - Transferred 1 Blast - CP  :'(
2017 Switched REs - Recurrent loss testing for me - all normal, remaining 2 frosties sent for PGS - both abnormal
 * April/May IVF#2:  9 retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized, 7 blasts!  Sent for testing - 2PGS Normals (0 remaining)
 * November IVF #3 12R, 8M, 6F, 4 blasts! - All 4 PGS normal!
 * November FET# 2 (Transfer a PGS normal from IVF#2) - BFP!!!
2018 DD born 8/20/18
2019 5PGS frosties ( 4 remaining)
  * September FET#3 (1PGS normal) - Beta#1: 139.7  Beta#2: 322.6

[Deleted User]adirat

Re: Unmedicated Birth Planning with an OB

  • I actually picked my Ob practice because they also had the midwives on staff.  So I have just been seeing the midwives, and I haven't actually met the doctor(s) yet!  When I asked the midwife about going unmedicated, she recommended I choose the Hypnobabies class as well, over the Lamaze, which are both offered at my hospital.  So far, it seems everyone has been really receptive, so I'm hoping that's a good sign!
    adiratsuzycupcake
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  • adiratadirat member
    Following this topic! I had a partial placenta previa so I first have to make sure it resolves itself, but if so, I'm really interested in looking into Hypnobabies. 

    My OB is in a practice with midwives so while I see the doctor it's friendly to unmedicated and medicated plans alike. She even once told me that the reason some people stall is because they come to the hospital too early and could've spent more time rolling on the ball at home. Basically she said that as long as patients are open to intervention in cases of distress, she is open to laboring unmedicated in cases without distress. 


    [Deleted User]
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  • Just an FYI after going to my first hypnobabies class I would recommend starting sooner rather than later.  The time commitment is a little shocking as was the price of the class.  Mine is a 4hour class each week for 6weeks.  Then there is the homework which is primarily practicing hypnosis techniques for about 1 ½ hours every day!  It’s a big commitment, and I think I’m going to need all the practice I can get as in this first week I get distracted by the littlest noise I can’t imagine staying relaxed through birth quite yet…lol. 

     @businesswife you were smart to start this when you choose you practice.  I feel so behind the ball.  When I mentioned going med-free and hiring a doula at my last appointment I they said it was great but followed it up with there is no shame in getting an epidural if you decide you want one later.  I think it was meant to be supportive but it just gave me a weird vibe like they didn't think I could, or it was really rare for their practice.

     @adirat I hear that a lot of partial placenta previa’s resolve themselves as the uterus expands I hope yours does as well!  It is a lot to invest if you think you might end up having to do the c-section, but I do have to say I think the relaxation tools in the class have good applications for stress reduction in pregnancy, and life in general so I don't think it would be a waste even if you don't deliver vaginally.  One thing I like about the class is it doesn't seem to promote the vaginal birth is the "best" or "natural" birth.  Its very my baby will be born in the way it needs to be be in order to be healthy for mama and kiddo.  Kinda like the nuance of fed is best vs. breast is best.  I didn't want to feel like a "failure" if I couldn't do a vaginal delivery and I felt a little like that might come out of the bradley method classes I looked at.  

    Me:38 DW:33 
    TTC History in Spoiler ***Trigger Warning*** Losses/Child Mentioned 
    Dx: My wife has no sperm  :D and apparently my embryos aren't as good as they look
    2016

     * April IUI#1 - BFN
     * June IUI#2 - BFN
     * July IUI#3 - CP  :'(
     * Sept IVF#1 - 4 Retrieved & Mature, 4 Blasts.  Fresh Transfer 1  - CP  :'(
     * November FET #1 - Transferred 1 Blast - CP  :'(
    2017 Switched REs - Recurrent loss testing for me - all normal, remaining 2 frosties sent for PGS - both abnormal
     * April/May IVF#2:  9 retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized, 7 blasts!  Sent for testing - 2PGS Normals (0 remaining)
     * November IVF #3 12R, 8M, 6F, 4 blasts! - All 4 PGS normal!
     * November FET# 2 (Transfer a PGS normal from IVF#2) - BFP!!!
    2018 DD born 8/20/18
    2019 5PGS frosties ( 4 remaining)
      * September FET#3 (1PGS normal) - Beta#1: 139.7  Beta#2: 322.6

    [Deleted User]adirat
  • @2MomsHoping That is good to know!  I had heard you want to practice ahead of time, but I had no idea it was SO much! Lol. Our classes start late June and run for five weeks through July.  So starting week 28 and ending just before week 34. (I just counted lol)  when I went to schedule it, they told me the next session would be ending too close to my EDD, so that's nice that it seems they are actually paying attention and trying to set us up to succeed!

    I'm sorry your care provider reacted that way... :/  I am telling you, you never can tell with people.  A coworker I was talking with after our apt Monday, I thought would be really receptive, based on how I already know she is as a pet-parent, ...like probably thinks I'm legit cray now.  I told her about the doula and how they support you to have an unmedicated birth, largely by staying with you to labor at home as long as possible before making the call that it's time to head to the hospital... She looked at me like I had six heads.  And flat out asked me, "you mean you <i>want</i> to go through all that <i>PAIN</i>!?!?!?" So I had to kind of redirect the conversation because it was making me feel super uncomfortable having to defend my position to her.  Ughh.  Lesson learned.  I am going to have to make a point to keep my cards a little closer to my chest, rather than open myself up unless I really do know someone is going to be supportive.  It's practically impossible for me not to get emotionally invested in the topic, kwim?
  • With my first pregnancy, I also was pretty adamant about having a completely unmedicated birth --- no pain meds, no pitocin, nada. I saw a high risk OB at a hospital in Boston, and he was completely onboard with my plan, even thought my pregnancy was considered high risk. I wrote it all out and we reviewed it in detail together.

    Welp, my water broke 3 weeks before my due date. I wasn't having any real labor pains. The resident doctor working in triage was pushing pitocin on me hard - like just an couple of hours after my water broke. I kind of flipped out on her to leave me alone about it and requested that I see a non-resident doctor to review my plan because my OB wasn't there. Well my flip out worked --- they listened to me and respected my decision to hold off on pitocin and let me try and labor on my own. I was admitted and tried some natural techniques to bring on contractions. I felt some, but unfortunately, A LOT of time had passed after my water breaking and my not having any big contractions of my own. I had to start pitocin to avoid infection. Honestly, I was still angry about it but didn't want to harm the baby at that point.

    Long story short... I was able to have a relatively unmedicated child birth (aside from the pitocin) and not ONE doctor or nurse during my labor and delivery asked if I wanted medication. Everyone working with us read the birth plan in detail and respected every single one of my requests (not to tell me how dilated I was until it was time to push, not to push medication on me, not to mention a c-section unless it was an emergency, not to use certain language, etc.). After hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, an episiotomy, and a vacuum to finally get my baby out --- he arrived healthy, happy and NOT drugged up! 

    I am pregnant again with my second, and I will use the same birth plan. I see the same doctor at the same hospital. And would do it all again completely unmedicated if I can. And you can do it too!!!!

    OH! I should also mention that my DH and I took a hypnobirthing class. It helped, but honestly, the pitocin was so strong that I had a hard time doing the breathing exercises so I had to modify some things. But before my labor and delivery, I practiced all of the breathing techniques and exercises and it really, really helped. Regardless, I was glad I took the class :)
    [Deleted User]
  • @2MomsHoping I did hypnobabies and used a doula to help achieve an un-medicated birth with my DS, and I did get the birth I hoped for even in a hospital with an OB delivering him. I'm using the same OB practice this time around. I have the same birth plan I used with DS and have been going over it with the doctors. In all honesty, I do think it's important to go over your birth plan with whoever is going to be delivering your baby, but it's mainly the nurses that do the bulk of the work once you get to the hospital. For me, I found it most important for my husband and Doula to both know my wishes and preferences so that they could advocate for me while I was in labor.

    Especially using hypnobabies, from my own personal experience being in labor using hypnobabies, I was so zoned into hypnosis that I don't even remember the nurses or anyone asking me any questions. My husband and Doula answered everything and they knew my wishes so they spoke for me the entire time. I would just recommend going over your wishes with your partner and doula multiple times so they know what to say for you in the midst of everything. The doctor just came in once I hit 10 centimeters and started pushing, so all of the birth plan I had gone over with him didn't really matter since it was the nurses that were caring for me up until the very last minute. 

    I never took the hypnobabies class in person, I borrowed the home study sessions from my doula and found that although it is a time commitment, I think it's less so than the actual classes. It's a lot of self teaching and reading through the workbooks, so it just depends on how you learn the best.

    Some resources that helped me that I'm using again - Books: Natural Hospital Birth, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, hypnobabies, red raspberry leaf tea (drinking 2-3 cups now at 35 weeks), birthing ball, yoga positions to ensure best positioning

    You can totally do it mama! Doctors are not used to just allowing women's bodies to do what they're meant to do.. They want to intervene and, sometimes, sadly, be home in time for dinner and move things along. Let your partner and doula be your advocate and unless you or baby are in danger, ask them to "wait an hour" if you're in the hospital and they're suggesting intervention (a tip I learned in Natural Hospital Birth that I love). Your body can do this and you and your baby are a team! 

    Most people think I'm insane when it say this but I'm really looking forward to giving birth again. It is an amazing thing to see what our bodies do after creating and carrying a baby for 9 months!
    [Deleted User]suzycupcakemechelita44
  • Wow! @TravelingCouple Thank you so much for sharing your experience!  That is really encouraging.  I like the suggestion to ask if it can wait an hour.  I will also check out the natural hospital birth book.  And Congrats!!! on 35 weeks!  So close to meeting your outside baby... :love:
    TravelingCouple
  • @BusinessWife Absolutely! Here's the cover so you can easily find it :)

    Image result for natural hospital birth

    And I can't believe how quickly her due date is approaching! It's unreal and so surreal.
    [Deleted User]
  • I didn't talk to my OB about having an unmedicated birth. I hired a doula team and DH and I talked a lot with them about unmedicated ways to induce labour and pain coping mechanisms. I was placed on the induction list at the hospital due to some complications.  I was lucky that the natural induction methods worked. Once I was admitted I told my nurse I didn't want any meds and she never offered them to me. My OB wasn't on call so I saw a different one and because I was progressing well the OB didn't push meds on me. With the help of the doulas and different techniques to deal with pain I was able to get to pretty much 10cm with no meds. I laboured in different positions, tried the shower, and did breathing exercises. Due to some issues (cervical lip and position of baby) I ended up having an epidural and assisted delivery, both of which I asked for after discussion with the OB about risks/benefits. I did not feel pressured into those decisions as the OB answered all my questions and my doula was great at reminding me of questions and concerns I had prior to labour. I ended up seeing 4 different OBs during labour and only one tried to give me meds, but was willing to wait an hour when I said I'd prefer that.
    [Deleted User]persnickity
  • @mechelita44 good for you for standing up for yourself, even though you ended up having the Pitocin at least you got to try on your own.  I’m so impressed you were able to stick to your resolve even through the unexpected turns.  After reading up on Pitocin it sounds like it really makes things more challenging.  You are in inspiration I hope your upcoming birth is just as amazing :)

     @travelingcouple I never really thought about how much more important the nurses are than the doctors with the birthplan you are so right they are the ones there for the whole show.  I’m wishing now we did the home study course for hypnobabies because I’m more of a study on my own type however DW needs a little more accountability and so having a class to go to keeps me from having to be a nag…lol.  I love your tip about asking if the baby is in danger or wait an hour.  Thank you

     @ladymilil thank you so much for sharing your birth story.  I’m constantly inspired by how much the doula can support.  It seems like everyone I talk to thinks it’s strange and unnecessary that I’m having one but I’m glad we will have that extra support.  It sounds like you had a wonderful delivery and you were listened to and respected so you could make a clear decision to have the epidural and assisted delivery.  I’m glad the wait an hour method worked well for you too to allow yourself time to think.  Thank you!

    Me:38 DW:33 
    TTC History in Spoiler ***Trigger Warning*** Losses/Child Mentioned 
    Dx: My wife has no sperm  :D and apparently my embryos aren't as good as they look
    2016

     * April IUI#1 - BFN
     * June IUI#2 - BFN
     * July IUI#3 - CP  :'(
     * Sept IVF#1 - 4 Retrieved & Mature, 4 Blasts.  Fresh Transfer 1  - CP  :'(
     * November FET #1 - Transferred 1 Blast - CP  :'(
    2017 Switched REs - Recurrent loss testing for me - all normal, remaining 2 frosties sent for PGS - both abnormal
     * April/May IVF#2:  9 retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized, 7 blasts!  Sent for testing - 2PGS Normals (0 remaining)
     * November IVF #3 12R, 8M, 6F, 4 blasts! - All 4 PGS normal!
     * November FET# 2 (Transfer a PGS normal from IVF#2) - BFP!!!
    2018 DD born 8/20/18
    2019 5PGS frosties ( 4 remaining)
      * September FET#3 (1PGS normal) - Beta#1: 139.7  Beta#2: 322.6

    TravelingCouple[Deleted User]
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