Yes, true, first-timers have a higher transfer rate, but it shouldn't be as high as 25%! if a MW tells you that's her transfer rate for FTMs, I'd be worried (is she not giving adequate support to help labor progress?) & I'd look into other MWs.
Some people view transfer as "proof" that HB is a bad idea in the first place. I find this a little nuts. One poster here had a transfer after a long, long labor & said she still thinks HB is great & the fact that she was trying to HB in the first place saved her from CS!!! If she hadn't done like 30+ hours of laboring at home first, the hospital REALLY would have rushed things along with pitocin and/or AROM earlier in the process - leading to the infamous "cascade" ending in a CS. The fact that she was able to labor at home without intervention for so long meant that when she did go to the hospital for an epidural so she could sleep, her body could keep working & she had a vaginal birth.
Makes perfect sense to me!
Knowing that hospitals tend to "push" and rush birth along, and that FTMs labor for longer than second-timers, it makes a lot of sense for FTMs especially to HB!
I just think it's important to have good transfer plans - & I would factor in the details of what a transfer scenario would look like into my decision making process.
If you can, "establish" care with HCPs at the hospital you'd transfer too. We're lucky in Baltimore that we have one HB MW who's a CNM & has priviledges at a great hospital - so transferring is easy - she can still be your HCP! I'm using a CPM, who happens to be illegal in Maryland (even though she's legal & licensed in neighboring Virginia - so stupid!), but she's friendly with the CNMs at the hospital where I had DS (same hospital to which I'd transfer.) So I won't be met with hostility or the type of situation where my MW is disregarded as not a "real" health care provider, or I'd have to LIE & claim I'd had NO pre-natal care in order to protect my MW.
(Incidentally, I had a hospital birth with my DS only because my stupid, clueless Bradley teacher told me HB was illegal in Maryland. Totally not true! I did like the CNMs at the hospital I switched to at 20 Weeks & didn't want to consider transferring my care AGAIN when I learned the truth about the matter even later in pregnancy. While I had a good experience, there was no need for me to have gone there & I really should have started with HB in the first place & am now planning HB for #2.)
As for the old, "You don't know what to expect because you haven't been there." Well, whatever, that's kinda silly, IMO. Every birth is different & while the odds are good that since I had a fast birth & the pain was totally manageable, my 2nd will be even faster yet & still manageable... there is also still a chance that labor could throw me a curve ball & be much different & much more difficult. NO ONE every really and truly "knows what to expect" from birth & the rate at which labor will progress & the pain level. So don't let people hold that over your head as if you are naive & clueless because you haven't done it before. I HAVE done it before, but I still don't totally know what to expect from #2, KWIM?
Originally Posted by the janet
Some people do have good hospital experiences but it's a total crapshoot and I'm not willing to risk it. The odds of something going wrong during labor are slim. The odds of hospital protocol forcing something to go wrong are pretty great.
Yes, the odds of having a good hospital experience in the US are slim, VERY SLIM!
And I am saying this as someone who did have a GREAT experience in the hospital. I'm lucky to have had the hospital, the CNMs, and the nurses I did. Very lucky. But I realize it is all rare... very, very RARE. That is the fact of the matter.
(Oh, but the lactation consultants were ATROCIOUS, absolutely awful. It was only my insane determination that saved us. I'm sure it would have been better in an HB. Heck, being left solely to my own devices to use the internet & library would have yielded a better outcome!!!!!!!)