drug-free, epidural, C section? should we have the choice?

[deleted account] ( 214 moms have responded )

I think we should have the choice of using gas, pethidine, epidural etc during child birth. we should also have the choice to birth drug free, thats what i chose and my midwife supported me all the way and never pushed for me to have any drugs. But should we really be able to choose to have a C section?? I dont think so. If its needed, of course! But if someones just too posh to push...I think its a bit over the top.

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Sharon - posted on 02/03/2011

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I don't think its any of your damned business what another woman does with her body.

Its like saying she can't pierce her nipples because she won't be able to breastfeed.

It's like saying she can't eat junkfood because it'll ruin her health.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY BODY. ITs MINE. Not yours. If you want to rip your vagina in half while avoiding an episiotomy - so be it! If you want to have a silent birth - so be it. I don't give a shit. But stop saying what I can and can't do with my body.

Mary - posted on 02/06/2011

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Okay, so I have to ask....

How is a fetal monitor applied against your will? It's two belts wrapped externally around your stomach, which, unless your arms are paralyzed or restrained, you can simply remove yourself. Better yet, don't sit there and let "them" put it on in the first place.

When my sister (who is not in any way medical) had my niece 8 years ago, her water spontaneously ruptured on her due date. She was not in labor, nor was she dilated. Her midwife wanted to start pitocin. She wanted to wait and let nature take it's course. She discussed her options with the nurses and midwife. After an NST, she went home. They did have sign a release form which clearly spelled out what her provider's recommended course of action was (induction) as well as all of the possible complications that could arise from her not following her midwife's suggested course of action. She was "allowed" to do what she wanted, although she did have to take responsibility for her choices.

She went home, and returned about 12 hours later when she was contracting regularly (I'm not sure that she was really in active labor at that point, but she really wanted a vag exam to see how far along she was). They did want to continuously monitor her at that point, and again, she refused. It wasn't a huge ordeal, they told her why they wanted to, and she declined. She did allow hourly fetal heart checks, on her terms.

Oh - and in case any of you are wondering - I was in no way involved in this. I was hours away. My then FIL had died suddenly, so I didn't even know that she was ruptured or in labor, since she didn't want to "bother" me!

I'm sorry that some of you are so unhappy with your birth experiences, but I also want to say that you need to own your responsibility in how and why things went down the way they did. Obviously, you consented to things being done. You chose to birth in a hospital, and apparently did nothing (or very little) to prepare yourself for what was about to happen. You now sit here after the fact, and decide that you didn't like this, that or the other thing - even if some of those things, like pain meds or an epidural - were things you requested.

I would never assert that all hospitals, providers, or nurses are "good". I've encountered some crappy ones myself. However, they are not all bad, either. That being said, even if your particular providers were as horrible as you claim, you are also responsible for choosing them in the first place, staying with them if they were not listening to you, explaining things, or answering all of your questions. A pregnant woman is not some helpless "victim"...unless she turns herself into one.

Sarah - posted on 02/05/2011

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See, this is why I think there HAS to be choice, just reading through this thread alone has shown how extremely different each woman's birth can be, so thinking that every woman is going to benefit from the same pain relief (or lack thereof!) is crazy.

If I were to have another (which I'm definitely not!! lol) I would opt for an elective C-section, which for someone like Lisa would seem like a crazy idea! Whereas her decision to have a home birth with no-one there, seems kinda crazy to me. BUT, that should be Lisa's choice, it's HER decision and I would fight for her right to do it. (if that makes sense)

With something so personal and subjective as birth, I don't think that you can generalise what makes someone a "wimp" or what way is "best", you have to do what's right for YOU, not anyone else.

Sharon - posted on 02/03/2011

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First you're going to say a woman can't choose to have a c-section, its not medically necessary, then you'll be saying she can't have pain meds, its not medically necessary, then yer fuckin asses will be saying formula only by prescription.

Knock it off and get the fuck over yourselves. While I draw breath& carry a gun you will not take my choices from me.

LaCi - posted on 02/03/2011

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I think it's an issue of personal preference. I think we need to respect people's judgement (within reason of course). People know what they need, they know how much pain they can handle, and they are more in tune with their own body than we often give them credit for.



I chose a c-section, because I felt that was what I needed. It had nothing to do with not being willing to push. It was based on my own intuition. Once they pulled him out, the doc told me I made the right decision. he wasn't terribly keen on it beforehand, but he still respected my thoughts under my circumstances.

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Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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@Sarah, lol yeah i had 2 blood trandsfusions :/ i lost 1.9 litres of blood, but fortunately that wasn't all because of the C-section, i had placental abruption which is why i needed the C-section.
Yeah everyone has such different experiences so its hard to know whats easiest i suppose. I think the only difference in our opinions is i think the professionals should decide that and you think the mum should :)
Yes if everyone could have an easy birth and a healthy baby i wouldn't care how they did it!

Cyndel - posted on 02/08/2011

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personally a c-section is major surgery, so I don't think it should be an option unless the doctor believes it necessary. It should always be a last resort. for the most part it isn't as good for the baby if mother and baby could have done the viginal delivery as the squeezing through the birth canal helps expel fluids etc from the babies lungs.
Don't get me wrong, c-secs are a blessing and if I ever need one I will thank God that it was availible, I simply think it is too dangerous to be allowed as a non-medically necessary option.

Merissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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I agree woth laura, we should have the choice for medication, but not for a C-section. in Idaho we have the choice for what pain reliever we want.. I, personally, didnt have any, both of my boys were natural. it didnt feel good but it didnt hurt.

There are dangers of having a C-Section. babies body parts have been cut from having a cesarian birth. I personally think its too risky.

Mary - posted on 02/08/2011

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Sarah, you are not alone. A friend of mine had two horrific vaginal births - shoulder dystocias with each, as well brutal 4th degree tears. Her recoveries were further complicated by some world-class hemorrhoids as well. Each baby required resuscitative measures at birth.

When she got pregnant a 3rd time, her OB strongly advised a c-section (or find a different doc if she wanted another vaginal delivery). Although she was very nervous, she opted for a section. This time, she had a baby that came out pink and crying. She was able to hold her within minutes, and was nursing her within a half hour of delivery. With her first two, she had need of extensive vaginal repairs, which lasted a whole lot longer than her section, and she (and her babies) were too battered and bruised to do much more than just lay there). She was up and out of bed within 12 hours, and required significantly less pain medication, and for a shorter amount of time, than with her vaginal deliveries. She too, had that "this is what a birth should be like" feeling!

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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That's the whole thing isn't it, everyone has such different experiences! I had to have a blood transfusion after my oldest, I could barely hold her to start with. It is horrible when what should be the most amazing day ever is marred by things like that :(

In saying all that I have, I still was going to have a vaginal birth with my youngest, I didn't think "God, my first birth was terrible, I'll opt for a C-section" (although it put me off having any more for 4yrs! lol) the only reason I had a C-section was because they realised she was breech after I'd been induced!

After my C-section, I was like, "THAT'S how birth should go! No trauma, no blood transfusions, no not being able to even hold my baby!"
As your experience shows though, it doesn't work that way for everyone. I wish everyone could just have a nice easy birth every time! lol :)

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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Well i'm glad your 2nd was much better :)
Ohhh yes i've heard about back to back! ouch!
I'm surprised the hospital allowed you to do it not knowing what you were doing! My hospital really pressured antenatal classes and gave out heaps of pamphlets and explained as best they could about it all. I was really disappointed having done so much research and preparation that NOTHING went to plan!
That's good you're C was so good! I've never heard of one like that! I only got to hold my daughter for a minute after they spent 2 resuscitating her and then was taken away to special care. I screamed and cried the whole time and only got her back in recovery because i was absolutely refusing the nurses feeding her! Haha i was so angry and upset that they brought her down to me to feed her :D But i hardly remember that special time, all i remember was a nurse holding her on, while more nurses held my arms down because of all the needles and constant blood pressure tests. I could go on for hours about how awful it was! I would never wish for anyone to go through it like that.
Awesome you were back to normal so quickly! I was in hospital for a week and couldn't move without crying for 6 or more weeks. They took away my pain killers because i had an allergic reaction :'(
Yeah i agree, they definitely need to be extremely well informed to make such a huge decision. and yep same thing with home births! I just don't understand why any mother so well informed would go for a C-section if the odds are in her favour of having a normal birth and she doesn't have any psychological issues with a natural birth.
I guess if i went through what you did i would probably think that mothers should choose, and maybe if you went through what i did you might think that no one should be allowed to choose something so awful, because to choose it for no reason other than 'too posh to push' lol then they are very ignorant. :) It should be up to the professionals.

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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It wasn't totally the hospitals fault, I didn't have a clue what I was doing! lol
The 2nd hospital I went to was much better. I still think though that if even if I'd been in the 2nd, better hospital from the word go, the birth still would have been a nightmare! My eldest was back to back, not fun!

It makes me sad that people who have had C-sections often seem to have a bad time with it. Mine was amazing! I got to hold my daughter straight away, I was up and about within about 12hrs (albeit slowly!) and home in 48hrs. After a week I was nearly back to normal, and 2 weeks later, I was back to normal! I guess that's the thing though, you'll never know whether it will be an easy recovery or not. It took me a lot longer to recover from my vaginal birth!

I don't think that women should be able to demand a C-section the minute they get pregnant, and get one. There needs to be lengthy explanations and going through risks and things. Just like I don't think a woman should be able to demand a home birth without going through all the risks. Ultimately though, it should be up to the mother.

Sorry, I'm rambling on a lot! :)

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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I have read your post :)
I'm sorry that happened to you, but wasn't that the hospitals fault?
I think women should be able to have every choice for pregnancy and birthing, but i think natural or C-section should be up the professionals because it is dangerous surgery and shouldn't be performed unless necessary.
It sounds like we went through the same thing in our recovery but mine was from a C-section and i am still in pain 10 months on. But i know what you mean, i could hardly look after my daughter the first few days either :(
Yeah there are 2 sides to every coin, and i am all for C-sections, hell it saved mine and my daughters life! But from experience and research i think its not the ideal way to birth and in a low risk pregnancy natural birth, however they want to do it should be the only option :)

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011

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@Sarah Colborne: If you scroll up and read my posts though, you'll see that I would choose another C-section rather than my traumatic vaginal birth. I would choose a C-section in the blink of an eye because (for me) the recovery time was MUCH less and I was able to care for my baby straight away, rather than the first few days of her life being looked after by nurses (like with my eldest)



So, there's 2 sides to every coin, which again is why women should have the choice! :)

Sarah - posted on 02/07/2011

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scroll up and read Christine Cooks post :)
That pretty much says it all! A traumatic natural birth and an average C-section and she would still choose her natural birth over the C-section, that pretty much says it all :)
I don't know if women get the choice, i don't think they do unless it's medically necessary. But if the only reason they are choosing a C over natural is because they don't like the idea of pushing a baby out their vag then i think they need to be more informed about C-sections. I still haven't recovered from mine psychologically or physically 10 months on. Defs not something i would choose again!

[deleted account]

oh christine i know how that is VBAC's are horrid and the god awful tearing afterwards still in recovery mode. mind you i had to into surgery to fix my cervix cos the little bugger shredded it and then i get told that they're not sure if i can have another vaginal delivery but we'd have to wait for next time! next time i won't be in the god awful public hospital where i was screaming for 4 hours for an epidural after requesting it

Paige - posted on 02/07/2011

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Drugs and c-sections should be an option for women. Personally, I had an epidural and I'm so thankful I did. Yes, I still have pain in the area of the injection site, but my delivery would have been terrifying without it. I was in so much pain that I was vomitting and starting to black out; they ended up upping the dosage twice so that I could finally relax enough to concentrate on what was going on.
All this talk of natural vs c-section is pretty frustrating. You do what comes naturally to you, if that is a c-section, then so be it. I do think that women need to be more educated on both drugs and c-sections though. Mind you, I'm one of those people who will research something within an inch of it's life because I don't like making uninformed decisions. Whatever feels right to you or is necessary, then that would be considered "natural" to me. Everybody has their reasons for their choices and they should be able to walk with their heads high without getting blasted from someone. This argument is the same as the breast vs formula argument - irrelevant. This is the 21st century and we all have the right to decide how we live our lives, including elective surgeries even if it is a major surgery. *sigh* Would any of you who want to take away that choice like someone coming into your home and telling you that you cannot discipline your child the way you want to? The way someone gives birth is extremely personal, just as how you discipline your child is. There are risks on both sides of the fence, any doctor will admit that. Also ladies, keep in mind that c-sections (probably because they have become more common), are getting safer. They know that if you're awake during the surgery, you and the baby are less likely to have complications, versus being completely out during the procedure. Though, because epidurals are still fairly new technology (in the eyes of the science world), they don't always work on everyone and those that are having a c-section and the epidural doesn't work, will need to be knocked out for the surgery. Being asleep for it will up your chances of hemorrhaging, the baby being too loopy when out that it doesn't breathe, etc, but these things can still happen with a vaginal delivery.
Sorry for the rant ladies, just thought I'd put in my two cents! I vote that women get to keep the choice.

Hannah - posted on 02/07/2011

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Well, from what I have heard about c-sections I would not want one....I'd rather have a 4th degree tear like I did with my nearly ten pound son...Sure getting stitched up for an hour was excruitiating but when in comparison to the thought of having my stomach cut open, stapled and stiched and not to mention a longer process of healing I would opt vaginally any day. But thats just me personally. It should be up to the woman what she wants to do, I mean it is her body after all. She is the one who has to deal with the pain and the recovery, I mean why would you deny someone the right to choose whatever they see fit regardless of the reasons for choosing to have one? I think really what it comes down to is that some people are judgemental, self righteous(sp?) twats who can't see any other way but their own and thinks anyone else doing otherwise are obviously uneducated and delusional....I say just get over it cause not everyone has the same views in life....

[deleted account]

Mandy - the only reason my OB was there was because the midwife called him because she felt i needed a c-sec..im in australia too i must say though after that i will never ever set foot in a public hospital again

Jessica - posted on 02/07/2011

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I'm actually going to my first Midwive appt. tomorrow. For my first baby I used was with the Low Risk Clinic in the hospital in High River, they had a midwife, but I had 1 in 5 chance of getting her during my appointments. This time around I applied to soley have a midwife for my whole pregnancy, I got accepted and now have 2 midwives who will take care of me through my whole pregnancy and then when it comes time to have the baby, I will still be in the High River hospital but you now have to option to rent a birthing tub, which I plan to do and the midwives take care of you soley unless something goes wrong, then the Docs can be called.

Laura - posted on 02/07/2011

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Lesa, no midwife and no OB? that is crazy!!! I would not trust a GP at all. I'm so thankful I get to see my OB right from the begining so she knows exactly what's going on.

Lesa - posted on 02/07/2011

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@ Krista: It is that way here in my city. I don't think there are enough OBGYN's. I had many issues with my second child and my GP did not have a clue when it came to pregnancy. I really feel like we do women a disservice by not providing adequate care while pregnant. I believe that midwives are illegal in our province, crazy eh?

Krista - posted on 02/07/2011

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@Lesa: yeah, I think we only have a handful of midwives here in Nova Scotia as well. And there are none in my region, so it's just not gonna happen. However, we're a little different here in that I was referred to my Ob/Gyn right from the beginning of my pregnancy. I didn't realize that in NB you don't see the Ob/Gyn 'till the end.

Vegemite - posted on 02/07/2011

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I don't understand why someone would chose a c-section when there is no medical need. My first I had an emergency c-section after 9hrs of labour including 2hrs pushing, the recovery was awful with weeks of pain and a total 6 weeks to heal properly. I got a uterine infection which almost cost me the ability to have anymore kids. It also took me about 8 weeks to want to bond with my baby.



My second child was VBAC 7 hours with 2 pushing, a third degree tear and a tear to the rear of my pelvic floor muscle which after 18 months of physio is nearly healed and incontinence almost completely gone but will require strict pelvic floor excercises always.



Whats was the least painful and easiest to recover from? The VBAC by far. A few hours of pain, 1 week of discomfort and excercises that all woman should do or weeks of pain? I know I wouldn't be choosing a C-section.



However my C-section was a medical emergency and saved my baby's life so I am glad I had it.

Amanda - posted on 02/07/2011

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Jenn- I'm curious as well, as to where the info/facts are coming from.... i did find some info that there were 500 maternal deaths associated with C-sections in one year but there was also the disclaimer that it was unclear how many of these deaths were directly associated with the csection itself or the complications that lead to the csection. that right there tells me that specifics aren't always available and numbers/ percentages are then easier to skew in whatever direction you want them to go....

Jenn - posted on 02/07/2011

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@Lesa - I didn't realize that there are some Provinces/Territories without Midwives. :(

LaCi - posted on 02/07/2011

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I just checked out my local hospitals, to make sure I was correct. I knew my office was run by a midwife but I was curious about the hospitals themselves. The two nearest me: Both encourage the use of midwives or doulas, both accommodate "alternative birthing solutions" and one of the two hosts frequent events in which pregnant women can meet doulas. Say's the websites. I'm sure it has a lot to do with location. I'm not entirely sure about the other hospitals there are so many here, but if someone had already decided to use doulas/midwives in a hospital they probably would have figured out which hospitals would accommodate their needs beforehand?

Lesa - posted on 02/07/2011

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I live in New Brunswick and there are no midwives here. I believe it would be beneficial for women to have that choice plus it would ensure that doctor's don't have too many patients. Here we have to see our GP until 36 weeks then we get to see an OBGYN. Unless of course you are high risk. If we had midwives then we would have professional care from the start.

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2011

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I read Sarahs comment my doctors wasnt even around when I had both my kids not even in the hospital it is only the midwives who deliver babies whoever is working at the time, In australia anyhow

Jenn - posted on 02/07/2011

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@Lesa - where in Canada are you? I know in Ontario you totally have the choice if you want to use a midwife and it is covered by OHIP.

@Julianne - where do you find any info to back up what you are saying? I can't find anything that says that Canada and USA have the highest infant mortality rates. Also, both hospitals that I gave birth in use midwives, as do MOST hospitals in Ontario. It is up to the YOU the patient to determine whether you want a midwife or a physician/ob/gyn to attend your low-risk birth (in the case of high-risk such as when i had twins a midwife is NOT an option). So it's not that hopitals don't use midwives more, it's that more people don't CHOOSE to use them. Also the fact there are a limited number of midwives available has an impact on any "stats" that you may be referring to.

Bethany - posted on 02/07/2011

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I think that we should be able to choose whether or not to have a C Section. I don't deal with pain well and I had to use medicine to help with the pain while I was in the hospital. When i started pushing they had to turn my epidural off because i could not feel my contraction

[deleted account]

I needed to have a c-section and my stupid obgyn said no...bubby was stuck i knew he was stuck even though id never been in labour before and it made for a very traumatic birth

Sarah - posted on 02/06/2011

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why aren't there midwives in hospitals in america?
(just wondering)
In Australia its primarily midwives delivering the baby and there are plenty of docs available if anything goes wrong.
I had an emergency C-section which saved my life and my baby's life along with the fetal monitor (the one that straps onto your belly)
I'm glad i had the C-section, because otherwise we would both be dead, but i really did hate the whole thing! I wasn't allowed to have those first few hours of bonding time while i was in recovery and then was so drugged up i don't remember much of the first few days. Plus 10 months on my scar is still bothering me.
i dont think women should be allowed to choose an elective C-section as soon as they get pregnant, C-sections should only be performed if necessary because it's major surgery and much more dangerous, in most cases to mum and bubs.

[deleted account]

Yes, some OBGYNS are eventually trained and as experienced as midwives because of hands on experience. They become like midwives from working in the field for such a long time. My original doctor was like that, the one who delivered my baby, not so much. Obviously not all hospitals are bad, obviously not all doctors are pushy. Their are in betweens to always and never, the world is not black and white. Still, i believe and stats back me up, midwives should be in the hospitals like other parts of the world. less complications would arise if they were in general, not case by case.

Laura - posted on 02/06/2011

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I don't know, my OBGYN delivered both of my sons and will be there for my third too. She is very much a trained professional in delivery and I'm so grateful she was there. The nurses who were there were also awesome and kept me very informed of everything. The only "bad" experience I had through either of my deliveries was when my hubby passed out when I was getting my epidural :) I can only hope that this one goes as good. I love my hospital, doctor, and nursing staff and had very "easy" births if there is such a thing :) So obviously not all hospitals are horrible and pushy.

[deleted account]

no i mean trained professionals, you wouldn't go to a psychiatrist for vaginal issues, why go to a surgeon to give birth. The midwife is the trained professional in this case.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2011

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And.... you say "trained professionals are necessary in all other aspects of health....." you mean Drs?

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2011

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Oh and I'm sure, while small, the increase in multiple births has lead to a small increase in the overall csection percentage....

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2011

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I did look it up, couldn't find specifics..... I personally view my OBGYN as a trained professional....... he's experienced, not straight out of school....

[deleted account]

Obviously they are not all "perfect" they wouldnt be human if they wernt. Still, if midwives were more widely accepted in our countries, then their would be a lot less complications. Trained professionals are necessary in every other aspect of health, why not birthing.

Mary - posted on 02/06/2011

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Well, Julianne, I work at yet another hospital that not only has it's own midwifery practice, but there is always one in-house, 24/7 whom all of our patients have access to, even if they are not being followed by her practice. A doctor is not called in to intervene or evaluate a patient unless she determines that intervention beyond her scope is needed. Private docs follow their own patients, but since they cannot be there all the time, they rely on her evaluation to know when, and if they need to leave another patient on the exam table and get their ass into L&D. I guess the Mid-Atlantic region of America is lucky; we have an over-abundance of midwives. Because Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC all have schools with midwifery programs, many of them actually struggle to find a job around here.

While I love midwives, and have a great respect for them, they are no more infallible than a doctor. Some are great, and some really suck. Some are kindness and compassion personified, and others are rather lazy and indifferent.

[deleted account]

YOUR hospital does, the majority in Canada and America do not. Why not look it up to see how many were caused by what. Still, their is a spike in sections here, where a midwife is not the norm. They can determine much better than a doctor if one is necessary, after all, they are the professional.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2011

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My hospital does have midwives as does my OBGYN office. There was a midwife at both of my csections. And when it comes to the percentage of csections I always wonder how many of those were truly unnecessary, it's vague to say "most", what percentage were HIV or STD related, how many were " hey I Just want a csection", how many had previous csections etc.... off topic. Just curious

Lesa - posted on 02/06/2011

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I totally agree that there should be more midwives to give each woman more choice. In Canada we don't have that choice and I truly wish we did but in my situation it would not have mattered as a csection was inevitable due to the position of my boy. :-)

[deleted account]

Actually I am not assuming you are "all in the dark"

Like i said before, stats for Canadian and American mortality rates, need for csection and other medical intervention are higher than any other country. Midwives were taken out of the birthing process here. There SHOULD BE a midwife in the hospital during the labor process. We are the only two countries that when birth went to the hospitals, the midwifes didn't. I dont get why people dont want a trained professional there. OB/GYNS are great at their job, but thats medical intervention and surgery, not birthing.Most have never even seen a life birth until they are in the field. Why do we not have a professional there. No wonder more babies and moms are dying, no wonder our rates for c-sections is a ridiculous 37%. You can disagree all you want, but if more people were informed that giving birth in a hospital without a trained professional puts you and your baby at risk, then more people would push for midwives.

Lesa - posted on 02/06/2011

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I researched my whole first pregnancy. Had my birth plan ready and was at peace with it. Nature had other plans as my son was breech. My doctor and I discussed all the different paths I could take and we both decided that we would do everything we could to have a natural birth. 2 days later he tried to turn him (in the meantime I researched all the natural ways to turn him at home and tried every one) and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I stopped it after 2 tries and scheduled the section. I did not feel pressured and I researched as much as I could. I was scared of having a csection but I also realised that if I refused it, my son and possibly I could have died. I am thankful for modern medicine as it saved both the lives of my children. I did my homework and still did not get the delivery of my choice but I do not regret the decision I made. My son is alive and that is all that matters to me.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2011

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See, that's where I disagree Julianne, that's a lot of women " know the facts", research etc and still decide on a hospital/ medicated or csection birth. It wouldn't change many opinions. That. Sort of makes the assumption that we are all in the dark and you are the only enlightened one..... I respect your choice to birth at home, naturally, kudos to you, but no amount of info is going to make me choose that for. MYSELF

[deleted account]

Yes every woman has a different opinion, i think if we all knew all the facts, our opinions would change drastically.

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