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How was the birth of your first?

Poll Results: What was your FIRST baby's birth like? (check all that apply)

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 37% (204)
    100% Natural
  • 18% (102)
  • 15% (83)
    Pitocin (or other contraction stimulant)
  • 17% (92)
    Epidural (or other pain/sleep meds)
  • 7% (39)
  • 2% (16)
  • 0% (5)
541 Total Votes  
post #1 of 168
Thread Starter 

I was just curious after my new moms group today, how many first time mothers gave birth without an IV, Pitocin, Epidural, etc. It seems like every new mom I know needed some intervention and I live in an area with a LOT of supportive doulas, midwives, birth centers, and even hospitals. I just wonder: How realistic is it to expect a 100% natural birth with the first baby? 


* I changed the title because I thought more people would open it with a more neutral name.


(I included IV because I was taught it's an intervention in my Bradley class. I think I was using "natural" to mean intervention-free but thinking about it now, it's really not the same thing!)

Edited by ZakareyasMama - 4/27/11 at 3:54pm
post #2 of 168

I think it depends on how long you labor at home.  I was with a midwife practice that delivered both in a hospital and a birth center.  I was risked out of the birth center for slightly elevated BP, so I had to go to the hospital to give birth.  I labored at home for 12 hours and kept in touch with the midwives, then stopped by the birth center so they could check my progress.  Fortunately I was at 6 cm and we went on to the hospital, where I was only in the room for 4 hours before he was born.  The midwives took care of ordering noninvasive monitoring (I guess it was intermittent, but I was so out of it I don't remember much except that I was mobile most of the time I was there).  I had a hep lock but no IV.  By that point I was not hungry anyway.  My labor actually picked up once I learned that I had made progress, so there was no reason for augmentation.  An epidural did not occur to me until I was in transition, and then they got me up on the bed and I pushed the baby out. 


Now, had I gone to the hospital before I did, and had an OB rather than midwives, it might have been a whole different story.  My labor was erratic during those 12 hours -- it slowed down and started back up depending on what I was doing (bathtub and reclining on couch slowed it down, climbing stairs and walking sped it up).  The contractions were never in a consistent pattern.  The 5-1-1 rule, for example, would have gotten me there first thing that morning, which would have been a HUGE mistake.  So for FTMs, I absolutely think that staying home as long as possible is the key. 

post #3 of 168

I had IV fluids, and didn't put it but cytotec for PP hemorrhage, but the PP hemorrhage was because my platelets had dropped for some mysterious reason, I was loosing a lot of blood. 

and I consented to the IV when I got to the hospital because I knew I was a bit dehydrated because I didn't really drink water while laboring at home. by the time they finally got it in two hours later I didn't feel dehydrated anymore, but had a hard time getting them to understand I no longer wanted it because the doc had already ordered it. 

post #4 of 168

With my first, I was clueless. I wasn't in the world of birth and babies. I was 20 years old and my oldest was a surprise. So I saw an OB and did basically everything I was told. Alyssa was induced because she was 10 days late, with pitocin and an epidural. It's only luck that I didn't end up with a c-section.


So, the fact that you are here and researching what is best for you and baby means that you are much more likely to get the birth you want. Good luck to you! Educate yourself. You know yourself and what you are comfortable with. 

post #5 of 168

I had a c-section, even though I did many of the "right" things (educated myself about natural childbirth, hired a doula, kept myself mobile during labor for as long as possible, etc.).


Factors that contributed to my experience:

* I had to have a hospital birth, because of financial constraints.

* I was working full-time with very limited maternity leave, so I was working until almost the moment labor began. I was basically exhausted before it even started.

* Labor began with water breaking, a very unusual labor pattern.

* I was an "old" first-time mom (38).

* About 12 hours into my labor, it was interrupted by my lawyers (long story, for some other time).

* I think my baby was poorly positioned, but I don't really know for sure.


I had an unusually difficult labor. I believe that most women with more support and fewer unusual circumstances can have a natural labor if they want one. I also believe that childbirth is unpredictable and untameable, and even the best planning cannot guarantee a perfect outcome. And of the women I know who got the natural childbirth they planned for, some were thrilled with their experience, others were traumatized by it. As a first time mom, it's just really, really hard to know what's going to happen and how you'll feel about it.

post #6 of 168
We did Bradley. I stayed home until I was truly uncomfortable.. got to hospital nine centimeters dilated and the CNM was awesome. I walked around, found my own cozy positions and was never touched unless they crept up to me to check the baby's heartbeat. I pushed the baby out, the well checks happened with baby in my arms. Baby was nursing in minutes. Half an hour later, I get a quick shower, put on my own gown and eat Chinese food delivered by a friend. I left for home and was in my own bed 14 hours later.
post #7 of 168
I did. 100% natural home unassisted birth.

I seriously doubt I could birth naturally in the hospital, unless I arrived pushing. Contractions while laying down is not for me.
post #8 of 168

I think it all depends on your care provider and where you're giving birth. If you have a good support system and you feel like you are in control I think you have a great chance :)

Also, doulas can really help with this thumb.gif

post #9 of 168

Very good poll idea.

One of my pet peeves is when new mothers are told that they can't possible birth naturally. Ughh.

My 1st was a natural homebirth.

post #10 of 168

First and only - natural home birth.

post #11 of 168

100% natural home birth here for my 1st (and as of now, only) child. We had a great supportive midwife, acupuncturist, and a lot of nipple stimulation with a splash of castor oil. winky.gif

post #12 of 168
I had an IV and received pitocin after the birth.
post #13 of 168

Antibiotics but otherwise a natural homebirth for our one and only.


I hate when people tell me that was brave. I tend to look at them funny even though I try not to :)

post #14 of 168

natural home birth

post #15 of 168

my first (as well as the consecutive two) were born w/o any sort of intervention with the exception of a few herbs and one internal check (that was only with my first). I thought it was odd how shocked people seemed at my first LLL meeting when I said I was planning a home birth (again with my first).

post #16 of 168

I see you're in Durham--I had both my babies there: first in the hospital; second at home. First was augmented with pit after 20 hours of ROM with no contractions. Delivered naturally thereafter--no drugs or other interventions, apart from abx for GBS. I don't know anyone IRL who gave birth in the hospital and didn't have some sort of intervention--almost always, pit-->epidural-->c/s. But I do know several who had lovely natural births at the Birth Center in CH or with the UNC Midwives in the hospital. So there's hope! Just stay away from OBs, even those that talk a good talk about natural birth...

post #17 of 168
Thread Starter 

I started at the Birth Center and had to transfer to the hospital (UNC) and so did most of the other recently new moms I know. One was a home birth transfer. We all had midwives and doulas and were highly educated about birth. We all had interventions. My interventions started at the BC so I won't blame them all on the hospital. I guess there's a bit of a feeling for me like what went "wrong," but I know I needed the interventions I had... I don't know I guess I'm still processing my birth experience dizzy.gif

post #18 of 168

Both of mine were natural homebirths.



post #19 of 168
Natural birth at the birth center. My only intervention was antibiotics for GBS (the IV was placed and removed after the antibiotics went in) and my only complication - a small level 2 labial tear that didn't require any stitching.
post #20 of 168

I had my son at a freestanding birth center (not attached to or in any way affiliated with a hospital).  No drugs, no IVs.  I did have some herbs before labor, because my waters began leaking well before contractions started, but that was totally my choice.  After about 24 hours I knew that the risk of infection went up, and fortunately the herbs and acupuncture worked to start contractions (or my body just naturally did it on its own).


Had I been under the care of an OB though, and not a midwife, my birth probably would have gone very, very differently, even with the help of a doula, due to my waters breaking well before labor began (almost 36 hours).  So I think in my situation, my choice of practitioner probably contributed a lot to my final outcome, based on my unique circumstances.


It was an outstandingly positive experience for me, and now I'm looking forward to doing it all over again with baby 2!

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