Natural Birth

Could use some advice...

I'm completely stumped on what to do.  DH is supportive of me no matter what we decide (he thinks since I am giving birth whatever will make me more comfortable is what matters most).  I really wanted to have a med-free and no intervention birth as long as it is safe for me to do so.  We talked about using a midwife or a birthing center vs a hospital and he was on board with this. 

I couldn't find either in our area so we started out at a "baby friendly" hospital.  I learned that a lot of the normal procedures they do aren't necessary.  A the prenatal class we took one of the doctors speaking admitted a procedure they did was not necessary but only a precautionary step they take.  Someone asked about risks involved to the baby in doing this and the doctor quickly changed the subject.  This and several other events that have happened really bother me and make me think I wouldn't be able to have a natural birth in a hospital with low interventions.

About a month ago we moved to a new state and I once again looked around for birthing centers or a midwife.  I was so excited when I found a midwife.  We met with her & decided to switch.  I am now wondering if we should do something else.  I did some research and she is only a CPM which from my research isn't even legal in IA (unless I read something wrong only CNMs are legal).  She is very nice but not so good with returning emails or sending out information when she says she is going to. 

I was talking with a friend and she asked me how I would feel if my baby died because the midwife didn't have the machines that doctors do to save my baby in case of an emergency.  I am a low risk pregnancy and this is my first child.  I just can't get what she said out of my mind & I am just freaking out.   I don't know what to do.  I no longer feel comfortable with my midwife and I am not comfortable with having my baby in a hospital with all the interventions. 

I would appreciate any advice or personal stories that you think may help me.  Thanks.


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Re: Could use some advice...

  • What, specifically, are "all the interventions" you don't like about a hospital?

    I had my baby in the hospital (and will have my next baby in the hospital), and there were procedures I agreed to. He got the vitamin K shot, I got the post-birth pitocin shot, he had the eye goop, etc. BUT I also had a lovely med-free birth. They delayed procedures for an hour or so while we bonded and cuddled. I was allowed to deliver in the position of my choice, and monitored using a doppler. My hospital is NOT famous for being natural friendly, but the combination of my doula, my doctor, and labouring mostly at home gave me a pretty positive experience.

    I think a CPM can be a perfectly valid and safe choice, but if YOU don't feel confident and safe in your birth environment, it will impact your labour experience. You need to find the right care and space for you.

  • imageshellmom22:

    I was talking with a friend and she asked me how I would feel if my baby died because the midwife didn't have the machines that doctors do to save my baby in case of an emergency.  I am a low risk pregnancy and this is my first child.  I just can't get what she said out of my mind & I am just freaking out.   I don't know what to do.  I no longer feel comfortable with my midwife and I am not comfortable with having my baby in a hospital with all the interventions. 


    This is just ridiculous. Your friend lives in Lala Land where the hospital is a 100% safe and risk-free place to have a baby. The reality is there is not one "risk-free" way to have a baby. Whether you choose a hospital, birth center or home there are calculated risks you are taking - once you're educated on those risks, you make the choice you're most comfortable with.

     I've never had a hospital birth but from what I understand you can sign a waiver to forgo unnecessary procedures you would like to decline. Other moms would have more input here and it might also be state specific.

    Good luck with everything!

     

    "If you find a mate in life, you should be loyal. In your case, grateful."
    SAHM to two sweet girls, both born at home; Baby #3 in 2013!
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  • At this hospital they there are many procedures they require you to do such as an IV and continuous monitoring no matter what.  As far as I have been able to find out they don't allow you to waive them.  This means I would not be able to move around once I got to the hospital.  I have heard several stories on many topics.  For example a doctor told me I could give birth whatever position I want and a nurse told me the doctors really prefer if you stay in the bed on your back it's just easier for them.  They encourage immediate bonding, skin to skin and breastfeeding but yet they only let you hold your baby for a few minutes and then they take baby away to run tests in the nursery.  I asked if this could be delayed or done in the room and I have received a different response from each doctor/nurse.  One nurse said yes it's really simple and can be done in the room but some doctors think it's easier to take the baby away and do it in the nursery.  I asked if my DH or I could come with and she said no.  I just can't seem to get a handle where the hospital actually stands on procedures and interventions.  That's what makes me nervous...  They are the closest "baby friendly" hospital or even just hospital in general (45 minutes).  The next baby friendly hospital is another 2 hours away.
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  • Notice what you are saying... "the nurses say the doctors PREFER" "the nurses PREFER"...most of these procedures are merely just that- PREFERRED. They're not cut and dry, end of the line, flat "no you can't do that, it's not legal." If you look into it, there are few things they can MAKE you do. I'm not saying be difficult, but I am saying you're not required to do anything you don't want to. I've been in pretty much the exact same situation as you, and these wonderful ladies have been so encouraging and uplifting. I hate to put it this way, but it's true- you are a customer. They want to do what they can to make you happy. If you discuss your birth plan with your doctor and say you want to do whatever is possible to ensure a birth that fits your plan, even if that means going to another hospital, often they will try to work with you. And don't let them bully you- they want it easy, because they think that a sedated mother that's tied down to the bed with monitors and IVs is easier to control, but a lot of hospital nurses have limited experience with truly natural births- many mothers go to a hospital saying they want a natural birth but are completely unprepared to do what they need to in order to ensure this. It's like saying, "I'm going to get an A on the test next week" and then not studying for it. Know what you want and stand behind it- if they see you're passionate about what you want, and see that you're informed and prepared, they're a lot more willing to give you respect and give you less fuss with procedures. It also helps to have your DH or a doula or other support person there with you to help make sure your wishes are followed.
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  • imageshellmom22:
    At this hospital they there are many procedures they require you to do such as an IV and continuous monitoring no matter what.  As far as I have been able to find out they don't allow you to waive them.  This means I would not be able to move around once I got to the hospital.  I have heard several stories on many topics.  For example a doctor told me I could give birth whatever position I want and a nurse told me the doctors really prefer if you stay in the bed on your back it's just easier for them.  They encourage immediate bonding, skin to skin and breastfeeding but yet they only let you hold your baby for a few minutes and then they take baby away to run tests in the nursery.  I asked if this could be delayed or done in the room and I have received a different response from each doctor/nurse.  One nurse said yes it's really simple and can be done in the room but some doctors think it's easier to take the baby away and do it in the nursery.  I asked if my DH or I could come with and she said no.  I just can't seem to get a handle where the hospital actually stands on procedures and interventions.  That's what makes me nervous...  They are the closest "baby friendly" hospital or even just hospital in general (45 minutes).  The next baby friendly hospital is another 2 hours away.

    I gave birth in a hospital and most of the things you mention are what they recommend.  However, it is really up to the nurses and your OB to enforce those decisions.   You can do several things to avoid many of those situations you describe.  First and foremost, stay home until you know LO is almost here.  If you avoid going to the hospital early you can avoid the continuous fetal monitoring and IV.  I arrived at the hospital in transition and declined a heplock.  The nurse did not argue and I was pushing soon after arriving so the OB did not have time to insist I get one.  As for taking the baby away, you can deny it.  They will not pry the baby out of your hands.  I refused to let them weight my LO until I had attempted to BF and had some bonding time. The nurse came back 2 hours later to weight LO and clean her up.   It really was not that big of a deal. 

  • I think you should go with the hospital and get an experienced doula. If you're not certain of the legality of your midwife's practice and she's unresponsive with communications, then that seems to make that option less appealing. The hospital sounds far from ideal, but the truth is that, by law, they CAN'T force you to accept any procedure other than a legitimately life-saving one. The IV and continuous monitoring may be common policy there, but you absolutely can refuse them. A good doula will be your advocate when the staff applies pressure and tells you you have no choice. It will be well worth the investment, and besides that, it sounds like you have a supportive hubby who can provide even more support.

    If you haven't already, read Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel. 

    And finally, I just want to say that your friend's comment about your baby dying if you don't have a hospital birth was a terrible and ignorant thing to say. DO NOT let that influence your decision!

    "Can I call your baby 'Ze Munchkin,' or 'ZM' for short?" - my best friend
  • Where in IA are you? I would find out if there is a local ICAN chapter in your area, or some working doulas, and see if they can give you tips for low-intervention hospitals.

    https://ican-online.org/chapter/search 

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • We are delivering at a hospital with a reputation for not being so natural birth friendly, or so I have heard.  We have a birth plan (posted below) and a doula.  I have talked with my OB a few times about this and feel good about everything, regardless of what their "normal" is.  It is your body and your baby, don't feel forced into anything.  Hospitals are fine if you know how to advocate for yourself, what options you have, and a supportive partner.

    Hospital Labor Goals

    • We plan to have present at the birth and or labor: Dr. _______ (or other doctor from________ if Dr. ______ is unavailable), ______ (father), and ______ (doula).
    • I am ok with a heplock, but prefer not to be restricted to an IV unless it becomes medically necessary.
    • I would like to be up out of bed as much as possible during labor (walking, using the shower, changing positions, etc.) depending on my needs.

     

    Birth Goals

    • We are attempting to have our baby without interventions if possible.
    • We understand that there are procedures which may become necessary.  Except in the case of an emergency, we would like the opportunity to accept or refuse any procedure or medication.
    • If needed, we request that the least invasive or restricting versions of procedures be used.
    • We are aware of options for pain management and will ask if needed, please do not offer.
    • I would like to push at my own pace (Mother-Directed Pushing).
    • Please do not cut an episiotomy without discussing it with me first. I would prefer to first try perineum massage, support and warm compresses.
    • As long as I have not received an epidural, I would like the opportunity to try different birthing positions including squatting (with support from my husband and our doula), on my hands and knees, or side lying. 
    • We would like to have the baby placed on my (the mother?s) chest with skin-to-skin contact immediately after the birth and for as long as possible following the birth.
    • We would like to delay the cord clamping until it has stopped pulsing.
    • We would like to try to have the baby breastfeed as soon as possible.

     

    Newborn Care Goals

    • We would like all newborn care performed in our room with us present from the moment of birth.  If it becomes medically necessary for some care to be performed elsewhere, we would like ______ (father) to go with our baby and remain with her at all times until she is returned to our room.
    • Hepatitis Vaccine ? please do not administer this vaccine during our hospital stay.  It will be done at a later date at her doctor?s office.
    • Vitamin K ? we are ok with the administration of Vitamin K.  If an oral dose is an option, we prefer that to the shot.
    • Erythromycin Eye Ointment ? we are ok with the administration of the eye ointment, but prefer to wait as long as possible after delivery and the first breastfeeding session to facilitate bonding due to possible blurry vision.
    • Bath ? we would like to delay bathing our baby until at least 24 hours after her birth.

     

    Breastfeeding Goals

    • We would like to establish breastfeeding. Please do not offer any bottles to the baby without parents' notification of a medical need.
    • We would like to meet with a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital to have techniques checked.

    Thank you for taking the time to help us achieve our birth goals! 

    We are so thankful that our second daughter, Lillian Elizabeth "Lily", was born healthy and happy on February 11, 2013.  We love her to pieces.  

    We lost our first daughter, Hannah Grace on May 4, 2011.  She was buried on May 14 during a beautiful service at my home church. We are grateful that if she could not be here with us, that she is healed and whole with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will get to meet her. We love her so much.


  • Can you negotiate just having a heplock?

    Also, the continuous monitoring might be done remotely and if this is the case, you should still be able to move.  Just be aware that the band may shift and the heartbeat will be hard to pick up momentarily and the doppler location may need to be adjusted.

    BFP #1 - 2/5/2010 - c/p 2/9/2010, BFP #2 - 6/20/2010 - DD Born 2/26/2011, BFP #3 - 9/13/2012 - c/p 9/20/2012, BFP #4 - 11/11/2012 - betas: 53 on 11/13, 115 on 11/15, 8069 on 11/26 - u/s shows 127 bpm! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker BabyFruit Ticker
  • You need to do what you can live with regardless of anyone else's opinion.

     

    Regarding hospitals, I had a natural unmedicated birth in a hospital with no interventions, shots, needles, anything. It was calm and as close to a birth center experience as it could bbe.

    I strongly believe that women can safely give birth in a lot of places, but only you know what is right for you.  

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