Midwifes

[deleted account] ( 112 moms have responded )

http://www.truththeory.org/the-business-...







Some women worry that a midwife cannot take care of them as well as a doctor. This is not true. Even the World Health Organization has recognized the importance of midwives, noting that women who give birth with a midwife often have shorter labor times and usually don't need as much medication.

A Short Midwife History

In many parts of Europe, using a midwife has been common practice for a long time, while in the rest of the world, a midwife is much more likely to be by your side during birth than a doctor, especially if you live in a rural area.



Midwives have been attending births throughout history and are even mentioned in the Bible. In the past, midwives had no formal training, gaining their experience from "on-the-job training" instead.



However, because of changing societal ideals, by the beginning of the 20th century, the number of pregnancies assisted by a midwife began to decline dramatically in the United States. Many women began to believe that having their baby in a hospital with a doctor was much safer than at home with a midwife. This change marked a shift away from viewing childbirth as a natural process and towards regarding it as a medical problem that could only be treated by highly trained professionals. This resulted in the profession of midwives being almost completely eliminated from the United States.



In the 1960s, there was a growing movement among women to regain control of their bodies. One important aspect of this was their right to choose how to give birth. Women did not want to be knocked unconscious or strapped to a delivery table during labor, which was far too common back then. Along with women's demands, there were nurse-midwives who had become common fixtures in many hospitals. Since nurse-midwives had been trained in an academic setting, educational standards began to be set, thereby giving the profession more legitimacy. These two factors coupled together meant that midwives were making a comeback in America.



Nowadays, midwives are increasingly becoming a fixture in prenatal care in North America. Education requirements for midwives have evolved to reflect the knowledge midwives need to become accredited. A midwife today must have a number of years of formal classroom training as well as practical training before she can be accredited and allowed to practice. Midwifery is no longer an illegal activity, which means that women all through Canada and the United States can benefit.



Midwife vs. Doctor

Many women choose to use a midwife rather than a doctor because of the difference in practicing philosophy. The Canadian Association of Midwives sums up the basic principles behind midwifery very simply:



We believe in a primary care model of midwifery that is community-based and collaborative. This model is founded upon principles of woman-centered care, informed choice, continuity of care and choice of birth place.



Midwives believe in allowing women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies. They feel that births do not have to take place in a hospital. They also believe that the whole family should be involved in a pregnancy rather than just the pregnant woman and her health care provider. Midwives look to support you through your pregnancy and provide you with information so that you can decide what you think is best for you and your pregnancy.



Midwives look to incorporate modern medical knowledge with traditional methods of dealing with pregnancies and birth. Having a pregnancy looked after by a midwife means that you are treated as a person experiencing a normal part of life, not as someone who has a medical condition. While all this sounds very nice, there are obviously some differences between a midwife and an obstetrician.



One of the main differences between a midwife and a doctor, aside from philosophy of care, is training. A midwife is trained to deal with women who are having a normal, uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancy. If there are any complications with your pregnancy, or if any develop while you are pregnant and under the care of a midwife, you will be referred to an obstetrician.



However, midwives have been trained to deal with all facets of prenatal, antenatal and postpartum care. Just like an obstetrician, your midwife will be with you right from the start of your pregnancy up until six weeks after you give birth. Even if you need to be transferred to an obstetrician during your pregnancy, many midwives will continue to see you in order to provide emotional support.



Another difference with midwives is that women receive much more personalized care. Most midwives work independently with a group of other midwives (usually known as a midwife collective). Some midwives work in birthing centers while others are based out of a hospital. If you go for an appointment at your midwife's collective or birthing center, you will probably notice that it has more of a warm, family-oriented atmosphere than a sterile medical feel. Midwives encourage their clients to come to their appointments with family members and friends and have appointment rooms large enough to accommodate everyone. In some parts of the world, midwives will even make the trip to your home for your prenatal check-ups. Your postpartum appointments will almost always take place in your home (if you want). Plus, midwives make sure they deal with any concerns you have about your pregnancy, whether it is medical or emotional. They are happy to have a long appointment with you in order to ensure that any issues you are dealing with have been resolved.



Midwifery in the United States



Certified Nurse Midwife

The level of care that you receive from your midwife is dependent upon how much training she has received. Always ask the midwife what certification she has. In the United States, there are two types of midwives: a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) and a direct-entry midwife. A CNM is a registered nurse who has also taken a graduate-level midwifery program. To be given the title of CNM, the nurse-midwife must also be registered with the American College of Nurse-Midwives. This is a regulatory board in the U.S. who accredits midwifery education programs and establishes the standards of clinical midwifery practice.



Direct Entry Midwife

A direct-entry midwife is a person who does not have any training as a nurse, only as a midwife. A CNM is more likely to work out of or with a hospital and is also allowed to prescribe medication. A direct-entry midwife is more likely to work in an independent collective of midwives and will assist in homebirths and births in birthing centers. However, she cannot prescribe medication. Direct-entry midwives should also be certified, preferably by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). If a direct-entry midwife has been certified by NARM, then she may prefer to use the title of "Certified Professional Midwife" or CPM.



Midwifery in Canada

In Canada, midwives fall under the singular classification of midwife. Unlike the United States, who have a national governing board, standards for midwifery in Canada are maintained provincially by the College of Midwives. Legislation regarding the practice of midwifery is also dealt with provincially. As a result, access to a midwife is not equal throughout the country. In New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, for example, midwifery is not regulated which means that practicing midwives do not have any hospital privileges and women who want to use a midwife must pay for it themselves (in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, the cost of a midwife is covered by the provincial health care system). Regardless, midwives in Canada do need to be registered, preferably with the College of Midwives in their province.



What to Ask Your Midwife

When you meet with a midwife for the first time, you might want to ask her some questions to make sure that she is someone you want to have looking after you. You should definitely ask if your midwife is accredited and by whom. This will help ensure that she has received the proper training and can provide you with a high level of care. Also, ask how long they have been practicing, as this will give you an idea of how much experience they have.



Additionally, it is important to inquire about the midwife's philosophy of care. While most subscribe to a more personalized method of care, there can still be variations in how each midwife practices.



If you already know what kind of birth you would like to have, or are thinking about an alternative birth, discuss this with your midwife. Not all midwives have hospital privileges, in which case a hospital birth would not be possible if that is what you wanted.



If you were thinking about having a water birth, it would be wise to bring this up since not all midwives have experience with this type of birth or feel comfortable with it. While most midwives encourage family participation in the pregnancy care, some midwives may discourage having family around for the labor. If it is important to you to have your family with you when you give birth, ask your midwife about this. Perhaps it is simply the location of your birth that will prohibit your family from attending, not the midwife, in which case you may have to reconsider where you give birth.



It is essential to remember that not all pregnant women can be looked after by a midwife. Ask what eligibility requirements your potential midwife has to help determine whether or not you can actually use her services. Also, consider the cost of the service. In the United States, costs can vary among midwife collectives and birthing centers, so it is worth doing some research into the price. Don't forget to check with your insurance company to see if part or all of the services are covered.



In Canada, most provinces cover the cost of having a midwife. In other countries, the cost of a midwife may or may not be covered. Be sure to ask regardless of where you live.



Giving Birth with a Midwife

Now, you may be wondering how your birthing experience will be different if you use a midwife instead of a doctor. One big difference is that midwives will attend to a homebirth while most doctors won't. Many women find the home birth experience to be a much more tranquil and enjoyable experience than a hospital birth. Women get to give birth in a familiar setting, surrounded by people they know and aided by someone who has their best interest in mind. Find a midwife who embodies these values for you.



A midwife will encourage you to do what feels best for you, whether you want to walk around, get into the shower or use some heat compresses to deal with the pain. Midwives also do not set you to a time limit when you are in labor. Many doctors will let you try to give birth vaginally for a set amount of time before they decide to perform a cesarean. Since midwives encourage vaginal births, no time limits are enforced which means fewer unnecessary cesareans are performed.



In fact, women who give birth with a midwife often have less medical interventions. Other benefits to giving birth with a midwife include fewer complications with both you and your baby.



However, you do not have to have a homebirth with a midwife. Midwives will also attend to births in hospitals and birthing centers (most birthing centers are staffed primarily by midwives but have obstetrical backing). Even if you give birth in a hospital or birthing center, a midwife will still encourage you to deal with any pain you experience in a natural way rather than injecting you with drugs. They will also do their best to make your experience as calm and tranquil as possible.



Midwives feel that their role in a birth is to assist the women in labor. As a result, many midwives will not use the term "deliver" since they feel that this refers to them doing all the work, not you. Instead, many midwives prefer the term "catch" meaning that they will catch your baby when it comes out of you or has been delivered by you. Also, some midwives will refrain from announcing the sex of your baby, a common practice in many hospital delivery rooms. Instead, they will let you announce whether you have had a girl or a boy. Because midwives take a more passive role in the birthing process, many women feel empowered by the control they are able to wield.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Isobel - posted on 12/06/2010

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I had a midwife tell me that "only" one in ten babies "need" medical intervention after being born...I don't know about you, but to me...those are not small odds.

While I understand that I would likely be more comfortable and the I would likely have a shorter birth at home with a midwife, I am not willing to take a one in ten shot at having my baby die because hospitals "bug" me.

I support women's right to have home births when they are very low risk...but I couldn't chance it myself.

Mary - posted on 12/07/2010

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Kati, you are absolutely, 100% right about second births tending to be easier. Because your body did so much work with the first one, 95 % of the time a second labor is shorter in duration (almost by half), and the 3rd stage (pushing) is typically not even half of that of the first.

It really is not valid to compare your birthing experience between first and second babies, and think that your second delivery was so much more pleasant and less painful because of a change in environment, drugs or practicioners. The simple truth is that your body does not require the same amount of force to expel a baby the second, third, or fourth time around. Not only do you not have to work as hard, but (usually) you don't have to work at it for quite as long either.

There are, of course, a few women for whom this is not true, and there are many variables that can impact it, such as duration of time between births (>7 yrs), different father, significant change in your physical health, and postion of the baby's head (i.e. direct OP).

I also want to add - midwives are just like any other practicioners some are great, and some are truly awful. I've encountered both.

Dana - posted on 12/07/2010

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But, Lisa, you choose to use drugs and epidurals in the hospital, they don't choose it for you.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't care how people give birth but, you can't blame a bad hospital experience when it was your choice to use certain drugs.

Ez - posted on 12/06/2010

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I am a huge supporter of midwife-led care for low-risk pregnancies. I work with doctors. I think, for the most part, they are special people who have a job I would never want. I just think an OB is unnecessary unless complications are evident. Midwife care for low risk mummas is actually a benefit to the overall health system because it increases the availability of OBs for those women who have pregnancy complications requiring specialist care.

Isobel - posted on 12/06/2010

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certainly if I could have a midwife AT a birthing center or at a hospital, that would probably be preferable to an OB...but didn't Mary tell us that part of the rising rates of c sections were because of rising numbers of shoulder distocia (sp?)?

The fact that more women are having babies that are simply too large for the mother's pelvis is dangerous. If I were to find out that I was carrying a baby that was too big for my frame (because of gestational diabetes or for whatever reason) I would certainly choose a c section over chancing them having to break my baby's shoulders or the baby having permanent brain damage or dying.

I just have a problem with people suggesting that doctors are inherently evil and caring more about money than babies...cause I just refuse to believe that it's true.

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Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

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Thanks for that tip Erin, I will definately have to search that out. My family isn't being exactly supportive.
And thanks Julianne, I hope that one day it works out for you too! (*crossing my fingers that I have no complications!!!*)

[deleted account]

:D im so happy for you!!! I cant wait until the day i can have a home birth as well. I hope the experience goes the way you dream it will :D

Ez - posted on 12/09/2010

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Oh you won't get any naysaying from me. I dream of a homebirth :)

If you're having issues dealing with other people's negativity, you should do a FB search for Birth Without Fear. The admin is a pretty hardcore UCer (including no prenatal care - not something I can support, but whatever) but you will get a lot of support and advice there. Good luck!

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

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I am due March 8th with fraternal twin girls. (And yes for any naysayers, I have researched the risks of twins in a homebirth setting lol)

Ez - posted on 12/09/2010

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Wow Jodi, congratulations! I am so excited for you :) When are you due again?

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

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ooh ooh ooh, I was waiting to post to this one until tonight...I just booked myself for a homebirth TONIGHT! (barring any complications of course!) I am so so so so excited! I trust my body (unlike my OB) and so does my midwife, so I therefore trust her (and her amazing credentials!). This has relieved so much stress and anxiety over my pending delivery, I'm on cloud 9!

Now just need to figure out where to fit a birthing tub...? lol I agree that far too many have misconceptions about midwifery vs OB's and most certainly about homebirths, this was a great thread!

Nicole - posted on 12/09/2010

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Lisa, my last was posterior, too. I got most relief laboring on all fours and he pivoted in my birth canal as I was pushing him out, too. No one would tell me he was posterior either until about the 5th time I said "Something is different! This labor feels different! What is it?" I suppose I could tell the whole time.

Minnie - posted on 12/08/2010

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Ah, yes, Mary, me and my amazing pelvis. And you know what else- with my second my midwife said after I pushed her out "you know she was posterior the whole time...I didn't want to tell you to discourage you, but I guess you had no problem there! She swung right around while you were pushing her out!"



I don't recall that labor being overtly painful either. I was quite content wallowing about on all fours in my tub :).

[deleted account]

I dont know if i can have a home birth next time, because of the complications the first time. Hopefully i can. We will have to see. IF i cant im having a midwife do it in a hospital with a doctor on hand.

[deleted account]

I had originally wanted a home birth but with needing an amnio and growth scans and it being my first baby I was advised against it. I hope to have a home birth with our second baby =)

[deleted account]

See the same thing happened to me! i was talked out of it. I wanted to have a home birth. Apparently that isn't safe though....I should have stood my ground and i wouldn't have such a bad memory of my child being born. It was suppose to be a beautiful experience.

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2010

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I didn't know my midwives. Any of the 6 that were on while I was in labour. I quite frankly couldn't have gave a damn just wanted the baby out.

April - posted on 12/08/2010

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@ Sherri...just read your post. I had a c-section, so I was in the hospital extra long to begin with...BUT...they did give me an extra day. I was there 4 days. I wouldn't say I had lactation issues, but I WOULD say the milk doesn't come in as fast with c-sections. I just wanted to be right nearby the lactation specialist if I needed her...I wanted one more day to practice with her and I was granted that!

April - posted on 12/08/2010

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i totally get what you mean by business approach...definitely NOT the experience I was looking for. I wish I knew better...i wish everyone didn't tell me a homebirth was a ridiculous idea. i wish i didn't believe them...i hate how i let everyone talk me into something i didn't want by using fear!

[deleted account]

I didn't like the business like approach. The nurse was the one who pushed the drugs. She kept telling me its ok to want them I've been in pain for so long and its going to get worse you didn't sleep it will give you a chance to rest and blah blah blah... it wasn't until 14 hours after being in labor that i actually caved. I figured if this wasn't as bad as it got...i wanted some. I wanted to be in control of my birth....he took that away from me. If i was in control i would have been able to do what my body was telling me to.

Sherri - posted on 12/08/2010

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Quick question some of you said you got to stay longer in the hospital because of lactation issues?? Really I have NEVER heard of such a thing. Actually could not stand the lactation consultants they were pushy and unrelenting I finally kicked them out of my room and told them never to come back. I tried with my first he seriously screamed and wanted no part of it. I tried for 2 days non stop and finally I was sobbing, he was sobbing. I was done a bottle was the way to go but those lactation consultants good lord they would not take no for an answer sometimes bottle is best for a mother and childs emotional well being.

[deleted account]

I live in the UK and here a midwife delivers your baby. A doctor is only present if their are complications. My midwife was amazing and I couldn't imagine having a doctor being there instead!

Krista - posted on 12/08/2010

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I also want to add - midwives are just like any other practicioners some are great, and some are truly awful.



Yep, and there are so many variables.



Julianne and I had the SAME obstetricians throughout our pregnancies and the same one for our deliveries, and yet our experiences were very different. Dr. F. is very earth-mothery and soothing, and is a big fan of natural labour, breastfeeding, etc. She's a lovely lady, and I would have no objections to having her deliver any future babies I have.



Dr. C. (the one who actually delivered Julianne's baby and my baby) is much more businesslike. He was focused on a) the baby being born alive and healthy and b) my health, and not much else beyond that. He never pushed any drugs on me, but nor did he dissuade me from them. The nurses were all great -- very supportive and they even indulged my wish to get up and walk around while we were waiting for the pit to kick in, even though it meant them having to untangle me from the macramé of IV tubes and help me go down the hallway.



I did wind up with an episiotomy, which I'd been hoping to avoid, but Sam's heart rate was dropping, so I wasn't exactly going to quibble over something as inconsequential as a little cut.



Looking back, I don't think that Dr. C actually gave a rat's ass about my "birthing experience". But honestly,in retrospect, I don't give a rat's ass about it either. I came home all in one piece (albeit with a few stitches in my Very Thing), and my baby was healthy. And even with his more brusque demeanour, I know Dr. C was truly happy to see my baby born healthy and to see how happy Keith and I were to meet our little buddy.



So it just goes to show you that even with the same PRACTITIONER, two women can have two very different experiences.

Kunang - posted on 12/08/2010

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Having said all of that, other than the lack of connection I had with my midwife, my birth was very relaxed and went quickly. I think due to my husband being my "spokesperson". He did a great job. Everyone need a fantastic support person thats on your level throughout the labor.

Kunang - posted on 12/08/2010

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I'm so sorry that stupid doctor did that to you! Birth should be a calm experience for the mother and baby. My mother was bullied by her doctor into having pethidine, even though she really didn't want it. From then on shes always been telling me to go with a midwife not a doctor. So for my birth I chose to have a midwife birth my baby at hospital. She didn't do anything at all, she was more interested in the computer screen and paper work behind me, my husband was the only person that felt like he was actually present for my birth. When it came to the second stage she tried to make me lie on my back, but I demanded that I wanted to be on all fours because it allows more room for baby in the pelvis. She didn't even "catch" my baby, she fell onto the bed. I know this isn't speaking for all midwifes, I do prefer them over doctors. But I think next time I'm going to be hiring a doula who supports natural active births.

Sherri - posted on 12/08/2010

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My back for all three of mine too Heather by my choice. I didn't want to walk move or be touched. Leave me be and I was just fine all on my lonesome.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/08/2010

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I actually liked labouring on my back. I tried some other positions at the midwife's request, but none of them were very effective for me. Put me on my back, and suddenly there was major progress. I don't know what's up with that. It just seemed like where I should be. My sister - she said she would have given birth on the toilet if they let her. She was there for most of her labour. haha.

[deleted account]

I Got both at my to children's births.. i loved the midwives and one stood up for me on my first child, which meant i didn't have to have an episiotomy done.I said no and then yes as i was 19 and frighted but thankfully the midwife said to the doctor NO she said no first.I had a small tear from the birth that healed super fast.I feel both are good but in an emergency a doctor is better obviously not putting down midwifes as the do an excellent job, they become a friend during the process of labour and delivery.

Linda - posted on 12/08/2010

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I did my research while pregnant with my first child. But being my first I really didn't know all my options. I decided to go with the midwife program available at the hospital since I was low risk, healthy etc. The mid wives were nice enough, let me read my charts and be as informed as possible. But I know i told them I wanted to be as intervention free as possible. My son was pushing the limits of "acceptably late" and finally I started with contractions in the afternoon of the night I was scheduled to be induced. Even though everything was going of it's own accord, I was still given medication to move it along. I was given the antibiotics IV even though I was told two weeks prior I didn't need them felt tethered to a bed with the tubes and monitors and everything that I thought went against a mid wife's philosophy.

When my water broke on it's own my son slid down so hard I couldn't bear it. The rest was excruciating back labor. No one suggested to get up and move around or try another position. I had a whole notebook filled with pages of different positions to try out, but was in no condition to go find them in my suitcase or even suggest that someone else go find them. I blacked out for a good 45 minutes. Gave in to an epidural, which had to be inserted twice (once they realized the clip at the other end was broken the first time). By then I couldn't feel anything at ALL and felt like I was rocking in a dinghy.

Thankfully My son was born healthy and I had no complications either. I just wonder if I hadn't been given pitocin to get things moving if I would have caved to an epidural. Or if I had more interactive support. (Love my husband, but he would have them give me morphine if it meant not having to see me in pain.) Things could have gotten more complicated after that. To this day (almost 4 years later) I can still tell you EXACTLY where those epidurals were inserted. And no one really mentions all the awful complications that can go along with them: migraines, infection, etc etc.

I'm expecting my second in April and want everything to go smoothly so I can give birth in a midwife center. 2 minutes from the hospital, but far enough away from the epidurals.

Like in the documentary (which is amazingly eyeopening) linked in the original post here--- most people do more research to buy a stereo than where and how they want to bring their baby into the world. Kinda frightening how much mis-information is out there.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/07/2010

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Mine was three hours long. It was madness. Hopefully the next one isn't shorter than that.

Mary - posted on 12/07/2010

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Ahh, Erin, your pelvis was amazing enough to let little Miss out into this world - don't sell it's accomplishments short =)

Mary - posted on 12/07/2010

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Lisa - you are the exception, not the norm. BOTH of your labors were abnormally short and easy compared to what the majority of women endure to give birth.

Apparently being in a lithotomy position didn't lengthen that 2nd stage for you at all - you've been blessed with an amazing pelvis =)

Ez - posted on 12/07/2010

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I also want to add - midwives are just like any other practicioners some are great, and some are truly awful.

Amen to that. When I got risked out of the midwife care in the birthing suite, the OB that took over was amazing. Gentle, encouraging and supportive of my wishes. A midwife I saw just before they labelled me high risk was anything but, and told me I would need an epidural to deliver such a big baby. The first midwife I had during my labour was lovely and supportive. The next one yelled at me to get on the bed (after I fainted) and not get off because she wouldn't be picking me up :-/

Minnie - posted on 12/07/2010

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Mary- my first labor totaled four hours and I pushed for eight minutes. My second labor was five hours and I pushed for four minutes.



Difference in work between the two, I suppose there was, considering that with my first I was in a lithotomy position pushing uphill vs. all fours with my second in the water..



Ah, yes, Laura, thank you for clearing that up. For a low to no risk pregnancy I believe homebirths are as safe as, or safer than a hospital birth. I have been no-risk for all of my pregnancies.



Obviously if I was high risk I would birth in a hosptial. But since I'm not, I'm thankful that I don't have to birth there.

April - posted on 12/07/2010

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@Lisa-- your first experience sounds EXACTLY like mine...almost to a T. My son was born on Dec. 22...not due til 29. Who wants to bet that Mrs. Doctor was trying to avoid a Christmas baby?!

I also wanted a water birth and she talked me out of it..she said they were gross and unsanitary. She was Dr..I believed her BS.

April - posted on 12/07/2010

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Kati-- I am not sure if they gave me anything other than the epidural...BUT they gave me so much of it that I couldn't walk until the next day. The anesthesiologist told it it would take 2 hours tops before I could feel my legs again. I THINK they may have given me some kind of pain medication on top of that after they sewed me up. I kept on complaining of abdominal pain and they said it was because I was left open for too long and a bunch of air got in before they sewed me back up. In hindsight, I wish I asked what they were doing every time they came and did something to me.

Minnie - posted on 12/07/2010

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True, Dana, it was my choice. But in a hospital it is much easier to give in to those drugs. The second my contractions left me moaning they went "oh, do you want something for that?" Here's some nubain.



I was induced with cytotec because my OB wanted a baby born 9-5 on a Tuesday. She pushed me into it and led me to believe my baby was in danger. When she wasn't.



The hospital also didn't allow a waterbirth. They also expect vaginal exams, and checking of the heart by nurses along with the midwife. I HATE being touched in labor. I don't want double the touching.



My OB also pulled on the cord and cut it before I could say anything with my first. Not something that should be done.



For me I feel more comfortable and yes, safer, laboring and birthing in a tub in my own bedroom.

Rosie - posted on 12/07/2010

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just being in labor made me vomit. lol! only with my first one though. i was shitting everywhere too. i was a mess. i had to be cathederized, i couldn't pee or poop forever afterwards. it was just horrible compared to my other blessed drugged up births. i didn't get drugs with my first until i was 7 cm.(nubane-that shit makes you drunk, loopy) and an epidural finally at 8-9 cm. which was hours later. when i went in i was 6 cm. it seriously took forever for me to advance with no epidural. my body was hating every bit of labor, i even tried to leave at one point in time. told them all to screw off i wasn't doing it anymore, lol! i definitely feel first labors are harder for everybody i know.

Isobel - posted on 12/07/2010

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I also had other pain meds that made me vomit though.

I think Kati makes a good point. both my children were born in a hospital and yes, I had every drug under the sun for my first, cause I panicked and went into shock and was awake for 3 days and thought I was gonna die...anyhoo...my second was born in a hospital with NO drugs in an hour and a half, it was beeee-autiful!

I think that the notion of "nobody's gonna make me go to a hospital NO MATTER WHAT" scares the crap out of me...what if something is really wrong and the doctor says so and your husband says so...would you really rather have a home birth than a live baby?

and the one in ten stat that I was talking about was one in ten of ALL babies...not home birthed babies which we all know are little to no risk :)

Dana - posted on 12/07/2010

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Ugh, whatever I was getting in mine through the next day was making me ill. I finally convinced them to take it out, it was awful.

Rosie - posted on 12/07/2010

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i'm noticing a pattern here with alot of ladies that their first birth (even mine) was horrid compared to my subsequent births. i personally don't think it's because of hospitals or drugs or whatever, i feel it's because it's the first time your body is going through all of the trauma of childbirth.
i'm not trying to say that your experiences weren't what they were, i'm just saying that first births are usually harder no matter what setting they are in.

i also don't understand the whole drugged up feeling that you say you had, april. my epidural left me completely cohearant (sp?) and didn't affect my functioning in anyway other than take away feeling in my abdomen and below. i havn't heard of it doing anything other than that. did yours make you unable to think correctly? did it make you sick? did you have another kind of pain relief for your c-section? this is all very interesting to me. sorry if i'm being nosey. :)

Sherri - posted on 12/07/2010

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Same here Heather could have have had a water birth right in my private suite, or a normal vaginal birth. They allowed you to walk around or just lie there (as I did) what ever made you the most comfortable.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/07/2010

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Also wanted to add that my hospital birth was a really good experience. I was allowed to move around (although there wasn't much time because it was fast), had no painkillers of any sort (until they used the vacuum - they put some freezing in there. I didn't even notice and only found out later that the thing was even used - ha!), could have birthed in a tub if there had been time to fill it, had a nice big room all to myself after with an extra double bed for the husband. Everybody was really nice and respectful of my wishes. When it's done properly, hospital births are pretty decent.

Sherri - posted on 12/07/2010

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You don't have to get drugs in the hospital either ladies. For my second I didn't. You have to ask for them or agree to them. You can have a natural birth at the hospital too. Not to mention I never had an epidural with any of my births.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/07/2010

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Where I live (BC, Canada), midwives are just another part of the health care system. My midwife was my primary caregiver throughout my pregnancy, but I also received consultation with an OBGYN because of my high risk status. She would not let me give birth at home. She arranged testing at the hospital for me. And in the end, she did not even catch the baby as there was a complication and a vacuum was need. But she was there the whole time, saw for an hour at a time at least for each of our appointments, came to my house when I couldn't come to her and visited every day during the first week of my daughter's life and once a week for the next five weeks. It was pretty much the best pre and post natal care I think you can get.

I don't see why everything needs to be so adversarial. As far as I can tell, things work best when we work together. The beauty of living at this point in history is that we have the benefit of both traditional knowledge and modern medicine to use when need be. One isn't superior to the other and if used correctly they are most complementary.

Minnie - posted on 12/07/2010

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I can say for me, at least, my homebirth was very healing. With my hospital birth I was drugged and on an epidural and felt like someone else was doing the birthing. I felt like a train wreck after, too. I did have a difficult time bonding with my daughter.

My second was just....so amazing. For me it is ALSO about the experience. For me it is not JUST about a healthy baby. I don't homebirth for a 'badge' as others have said, but because I feel better in intimate surroundings trusting my body to bring my baby earthside and with only the people I want there. I don't like hospital policies (at least the hospitals in my area). It was the most amazing rush lifting my daughter from my body myself and bringing her to the air from the water. She was so calm compared to my first (I believe the drugs and the treatment she had afterwards affected her) and I healed magnitudes more quickly than I did with my hospital birth.

I have no problem with other people birthing in hospitals. I just can't set my own two feet there to birth.

Sara - posted on 12/07/2010

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I second Dana on that one! ^^^^^

I would consider a midwife if I had an uncomplicated pregnancy, but with the problems I had I would not have risked it.

Dana - posted on 12/07/2010

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I had a C-section, I wasn't drugged up, I was however sick from the epidural so I wasn't able to get to see my son in the NICU until 5 hrs later (I did see him for a few seconds before he was whisked away). Either way, I felt love right away. There are plenty of women who have natural births at home who don't bond either. I don't think it can solely be blamed on which way you've given birth. I think it has a lot to do with people's expectations and how they handle unexpected consequences during labor.

April - posted on 12/07/2010

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Kati...because of my unnecessary c-section, I couldn't appreciate what I got in the end. my husband showed me our beautiful baby boy (already swaddled and fresh) and I was so drugged up that I didn't give a damn. I didn't feel love at all!! That feeling of love didn't come until after we were already home from the hospital...days later. Natural, without the drugs, at home is just one way of making sure that you get the bonding experience you want to have.

Rosie - posted on 12/07/2010

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you know, i honestly didn't even know what a midwife was when i was pregnant. now that i know, i'm not sure if i would've liked to have one or not. i'm not all about natural birth, or getting some badge for pushing out a kid with no drugs. if someone had tried to talk me out of my epidurals i think i would've punched them...in their crotch. how i give birth isn't all that important to me, it's what i got at the end that was. all of my experiences were good by me. my first one was the most "natural" and it is my least favorite birth.

meh, i do think they get a bad rap, and i do think that should change in the US. and they should be offered to everybody.they just aren't for me.

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