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Austin area mom's - need names of natural birth supportive docs

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I had my DD at the Austin Area Birthing Center with a midwife, but I am needing names of OBGYN's in the area that are supportive and encouraging of natural birth (least possible interventions, no drugs...etc). Thanks!!!
post #2 of 15
Dr. Christina Sebestyen. Includes midwives in her practice.
post #3 of 15
Originally Posted by mamapsychologist View Post
Dr. Christina Sebestyen. Includes midwives in her practice.
Yep. She's pretty much the only one in town with a reputation of being really natural birth friendly.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yikes really? Ok what about even tolerant??
post #5 of 15
I have heard that Dr. Mike Love is very tolerant/supportive of natural birth. The hospitals, unfortunately, are a different story.
post #6 of 15
That's it in a nutshell -- you might be seeing an OB who is natural birth tolerant, but the hospital policies are not. You'll still be strapped down with continual fetal monitoring, laboring under time limits, quite likely given an epesiotemy, probably augmented with pitocin, and so on. With a doula, a birth plan, an ironclad will, sympathetic nurses and a bit of luck, it's possible to have a natural hospital birth, but it will be a battle -- and when I'm in labor the last thing I want to be doing is battling the system. I'm kind of busy, what with having a baby and all.
Dr. Sebestyen has managed to create a hospital based midwifery practice, but even she is still swimming upstream against bad hospital policy. For example, she wants her patients to be able to have waterbirths, but the hospital (St. David's) prohibits it.
Is there a reason why you can't have a homebirth or birth center birth? Because if you want a natural birth in this town that's really the best way to do it.
post #7 of 15
Mamajen- I totally agree that if you want a birthing center then you should go there. I also don't think it has to be that bad!

But if you want an OB, and have health concerns for yourself or the baby, the by all means you should deliver in a hospital. I will be having a natural childbirth with Dr. Sebestyen's practice and they do NOT encourage pitocin, or episiotomies at all! I have known people who had wonderful natural births with her, and she herself had a natural birth using hypnobirthing.

The hospital does have their policies , yes. And if you have a condescending nurse who scoffs at you having natural birth, you can ask for a different nurse. So I would encourage you to make several copies of your birth plan and hand them out to all involved in the birth. Having a doula is also not a bad idea if you want to make sure there is someone there to enforce the birthplan with the nurses at the hospital. But, you will not have to fight people in this practice to give you low intervention, since it's what they believe in.
post #8 of 15
Yeah, like I said, Dr. Sebestyn does have a very good reputation as being natural birth friendly. She started the only hospital-based midwifery practice in town, and I have friends who have used her and loved her. If you want/need an OB, she would be a good pick (with the caveat that you wouldn't be able to have a waterbirth).
If you wind up in any other OB practice, it's just that you can go in with the best natural birth plan in the world and find yourself derailed. I've seen it happen waaaay too many times. A lot of women think they can find an OB who isn't adamantly against natural birth, and as long as they have their birth plan written out they'll get their natural birth. Simple, right?
The reality is that bad hospital policies can make it very difficult to pull off a natural birth in a hospital, even if the mother is relatively educated and prepared. You're not progressing like we want, you need some Pitocin. You need to lay flat on your back for continuous fetal monitoring. It's been 24 hours since your water broke, time for your C-section.
It is possible to have a natural birth in a hospital, but you tend to be swimming upstream. If a woman wants a natural birth, the single smartest thing she can do is pick a sympathetic provider.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am not pg or planning a birth anytime soon I would totally go back to AABC (even if insurance didn't cover it!) in fact I was there today.

I am putting together a parent resource guide because I am getting my Bradley Method certification and I know that a lot of women just feel more comfortable in a hospital setting, but still want a natural birth. I am hoping to be able to educate them on their options to control the amount of interventions they will be faced with either at the hospital or the birth center, or even with a midwife at home.

So, I have a ton of midwife recommendations...but still only two docs! That is just so sad!!
post #10 of 15
I delivered at NAMC in February with Dr. Campaigne (the other OB at OBGYN North). I love love love their practice and had a decent experience with the hospital. Dr. Sebestyen and friends have a reputation there so if it is at all possible you will probably get a nurse who is down with their approach. Mine was supportive, and told me later that she always recommends their practice when people ask for a good OB. So there are nurses there who get it. There are definite trade offs being in a hospital, of course. I am considering the birth center for my next one, but if I end up needing/wanting a hospital birth I would absolutely be back at OBGYN North.
post #11 of 15
I plan on having a HBAC in Septemberish with Christy Tashjian. She is wonderful. I interviews around 8 other midwives and she is the one I "connected" with. She also had an HBAC with her second. Pretty much all the midwives I spoke with said that they work with Dr. Love, Dr. Polan, and Dr. Soren at St. David's central, when they need advice, or back up. They do worth with Sebastyen, but she does not agree with HBAC, even though I do go to her for all my well woman stuff and love her and think what she has done with her practice is AMAZING.

I would look into home birth, it has the best natural and healthiest outcomes in every study done. If not that, the Birth center birth. AABC is one of the main birthing centers in Austin, I did go through them for my first, but I found them a little too clinical for me. For some moms, it's great. If I chose again, i would choose Centre Vida here in South Austin. There are others.

Hire a DOULA!!! YOu can get them for free, with GALS program if you go to st. david's central. Otherwise, some are still getting their certifying births, so you may get them at low cost is money is an issue. They will help you take control of your birth

Interview the OBs, and don't ask them how they practice, ask them what their statistics are. They may say they are open to natural birth, anti-induction, only cesareans when needed, but if they have never seen a natural birth, have an induction rate over 15%, or a CS rate over 15%, don't go to them. Here is a good guideline from WHO


Good Luck!
post #12 of 15

Just off the top of my head...


Midwives/homebirth midwives provide, ideally, far less intervention than hospitals overall.

However, the following docs are highly supportive of natural birth (not just in office visits, but in the labor room):


Dr. Sebestyen

Dr. Campaigne

Dr. Mary Mirto

Dr. Soloman

Dr. Hughes


This is a short list. You also need to interview other docs that would be on call for these doctors at hospitals to see if they are also on board with your preferences. If your doctor cannot attend your birth when you go into labor, be sure one of their supportive partners can! This is crucial to a natural birth experience.


There are some offices that say they support natural birth but in the labor room, it is a different story. I am aware of at least one such practice in this area, so look up reviews for those providers, talk to folks in their waiting room, call up the front desk to find out what birthing method they recommend. Beware those who are ambivalent about it, or do not seem knowledgeable about the reasons behind your preferences, i.e., do not offer up their own knowledge about options regarding having a natural birth, but give short answers that seem to somewhat satisfy your questions. Delve deeper, ask more detailed questions such as 'Do you require an IV hooked up routinely?' If the answer to this is yes, without a prior health concern such as Strep B infection, this is not likely to be the right provider for you. A great book to look at for questions to ask providers is Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.


Hope this helps.

post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post

I have heard that Dr. Mike Love is very tolerant/supportive of natural birth. The hospitals, unfortunately, are a different story.

Yup.  I would see Dr. Love and go to St. David's.  I transferred from a HB and was treated with nothing but respect and kindness by Dr. Love and everyone at St. D's.  I had a very good experience there. 

post #14 of 15

I currently have an OB/GYN that delivers at St David's on 32nd Street but I am not sure she is completely on board with a natural birth (I am due in June). Anytime I discuss it with her, she responds with "keep your options open, you may need pain meds, I can't guarantee that you won't need Pitocin" etc.She did recommend hiring a doula and taking a HypnoBirthing class. I live in south Austin and am not sure I want to drive all the way to north Austin for all my appointments, etc. Can anyone explain their deliveries at St David's main hospital. Are the nurses supportive of a natural birth or does it feel like a constant battle? Any info would be great! Thanks!!

post #15 of 15

I didn't deliver there, but I was treated for a serious PPH there.  No one batted an eye when I told them I was a homebirth transfer.  The nurses and doctors were wonderful and strongly supported me breastfeeding my baby (who they let room with me even though she wasn't a patient). 


I have no idea what birthing there would be like, but I left with an excellent opinion of the hospital.  It's the one my midwives prefer to work with as well.


Based on my experience, if we have another child, we'll do so there. 

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