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do it yourself birth...support, placenta, hemorrhage?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am so excited that we have made the choice to go for an unassisted birth. I feel so empowered. I am more aware and active in my pregnancy than ever before. I have had my face stuck in a book or a computer since our decision. So, I am looking for support. It is not in my friends or my community. I have had to quit mentioning it all together because the judgements and negative comments I receive. It just takes too much energy to try to educate a closed mind. It's hard to be so excited about something and not be able to share it. I also have a couple of areas I really want to focus on...hemorrhaging and placenta detachment. Has anyone researched these specific areas and found particular books to be helpful? most UC books are pretty vague. I want physiological function and what to do when. Also has anyone heard of problems with expelling the placenta if you don't induce it(massaging, pushing, pulling). Even some midwives are pretty neurotic about getting that placenta out right away!!!! My instinct is to let my body do what it needs to do in it's own time. Also,do you have to massage the uterus to get it to go back to size? Thanks forthe resources and support of these discussion boards.
post #2 of 12
Hi! It can be a character building experience...

A good book to invest in would be Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis... It has a lot of excellent information. Your husband will be an important player in this event, and if he doesn't like to read, you may need to read it to him to get him prepped...

The Lord bless you!
post #3 of 12
I just want to mention something here, not a judgement about unasisted birth because that's your decision, but please do some research into the signs of meconium aspiration and what to do for it. My daughter was born at home with a certified Midwife attending, she had severe meconium aspiration and I was so excited and busy I didn't even notice. Luckily the midwives were not so distracted and knew what to do right away. I knew meconium could be serious but I really didn't realize that babies die from it My daughter was rushed to the local hospital, then transferred to a Universtity hospital where she required being put on a respirator and and surgically attatched to a heart/lung bypass machine. She is ok now and it is really rare, but I just want you to be informed and aware.
post #4 of 12
Hi! I felt that I should mention that postpartum hemorrhage can be an unpredictable thing sometimes, but that there are also lot of things you can do to ensure that it doesn't happen. At any rate, not having it before is not a guarantee it won't happen, out of my four births, with number three I had a terrible hemorrhage. I had never had one before, and with number four my placenta delivered with barely a half a cup of blood- which I credit to being better prepared, physically and otherwise. You can be more confident the more prepared you are for unusual outcomes...

The meconium does happen, not as frequently at home, but it can happen. A good bulb syringe and suctioning on the perineum if meconium is present at the delivery of the head is the best prevention you've got. Dad needs to know that mom needs to ease the head out and then pant while he suctions and checks for a cord, etc. Suction the mouth first and then the nose. Then you can push the baby out the rest of the way...

Reading and preparing is the key to a peaceful UC...

If you need the fellowship of like-minded ladies you might want to visit


The Lord bless you,
post #5 of 12
Just a note about the meconium (cuz I didn't realize this til it happened to us)- it can be passed in uetero *way* before birth (in our case probably more than a week prior since her fingernails were stained from it and it was so pervasive) and already be in the lungs before baby is born, in which case no amount of suctioning will get it out. Watch for babies who do not "pink up", and rapid breathing, also meconium in the water.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your helpful advice. I have been reading a lot about meconium lately.The key to all my fears about this pregnancy, birth, and labor is educating myself. I am going to see a midwife about three to four weeks before my own estimated due date-check for position, and overall status of me and baby. I am wondering if meconium present that early would cause an irregular heart beat. In which case, we could detect this as well and plan accordingly. I was also under the impression that the reason for the meconium early on is because of some kind of stress the baby was caused. Maybe a fall or change in activity or stress from mama would cause that? I have heard overdue to be the reason. My other two babies were right on time. Just thoughts. I will definately check out those sites. Thanks for the tips.
post #7 of 12
I agree that if you are very healthy and the process is not interfered with, hemorrhage makes no sense. And even if by some fluke it does happen, remember that you're not going to die in the next few minutes. Be aware of the signs of shock and have a backup plan ready for getting emergency care quickly, and that should be all you need. Not all midwives carry pitocin, and somehow they still manage. You will too.

For herbal preventatives and remedies for hemorrhage and shock, you might want to take a look at Susun Weed's The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.
post #8 of 12
And no, you do not have to massage the uterus. It will help if the uterus is not firming up on its own, but it is not usually necessary (and of course, can cause problems if done before the placenta is birthed.)

One book that I particularly like that covers complications in some depth is Rahima Baldwin's Special Delivery. Even Spiritual Midwifery has some good information, though (and I feel the same about Heart&Hands) the tone can get annoying because hands-on management of the labor and laboring woman by the midwife is assumed.
post #9 of 12
Hi Ladies... This is not something that I make a habit of sharing... But two of my sweeties were UC, and with my first UC I had a terrible hemorrhage during my 3rd stage, but I didn't know it until my head felt dizzy when I moved it at all, and my words were slurring. I can't even begin to estimate the amount of blood I lost, and if it had not been for a phone call to a midwife friend, things could have been really bad... My husband and I had no clue what to do, and it happened so fast that I would never have believed how bad it was if I had not been there. My husband had to carry me to the toilet and mash on my uterus to expel clots, one was lemon size and several were key lime size, this and the large patch of blood clotted on my chux from where I was sitting in bed, and the blood that came with the placenta... no telling how much in all (a clot represents twice the volume in blood). We weren't even sure if the placenta was complete because we had never really seen my others before, so we had to hope that expelling the clots would do the job. Praise God, it did!! It took three weeks for my skin to pink up, and that was after tons of chlorophyll Baby was fine though!

In hind sight, it was uterine atony that caused my hemorrhage, but I had never heard of uterine atony either... so when it happened, I didn't know it, and just be-bopped along until finally I realized, hey... I don't think I had this much drainage after birth before...? I wonder... is something wrong...?

UC #2 , no hemorrhage!, but the baby had apnea... boy did I freak out... one minute baby is nursing and fine, the next the color turns blue... no warning, never happened before... Then, the baby pinked up again briefly, and then it was blue again... Well, that did it for me. We packed up the family and went to the hospital.

Okay, don't trash me here... I know that I take the chance of getting good and truely smashed by UCers for sharing this...

It is just my experience. And I take responsiblity for my decisions. It did help me to see the benefits of the experience of a good midwife at a birth though, and I have been much more respectful about the considerable wisdom that they have...

Good or bad, I would do it again, but I would be better informed and not base my future birth experiences on the trouble-free births I had with my first two children. I honestly thought that nothing could go wrong at my first UC, I believed it with all my heart... with my second UC I was more mature and prepared, but it still humbled me.

The Lord bless you,
post #10 of 12
I totally understand. But you were able to handle it even when you were not at all prepared to. And we're talking about two serious emergency situations. One might prefer a midwife be there to help -- that doesn't mean that the midwife is necessary, nor that she would make a difference in the outcome. Of course, often the attendant (whether medical or not) is responsible for the complication, either indirectly or directly. Each individual is going to have a different risk/benefit ratio for each option -- and there are never guarantees.

So the question for the person considering UC is: do you feel confident in your ability to assess your need for help, and if a complication should arise, would you feel comfortable dealing with it until help was secured?
post #11 of 12
I think it is great that there is a dialog here about this. I think that the stories of the UC w/"problems" are important too....I threatened to hemorage w/baby one--an assisted homebirth. and was prepared for baby two (freebirth) thanks largely to Susun Weed's book for baby two. "Emergency CHildbrith" helped me feel secure that I would probably not die from a hemorage (his statistic is that no one died in a study of this in under two hours I believe). However, I think it is important to realize that everything serves a purpose. I was not concerned about the labor and birth but started to bleed a little too much for my liking after the birth, despite my taking shephard's purse and motherwort. We finally called a midwife around an hour after the birth who had offered to help if we needed it. It is my belief that it was my body expressing a need for an "OK" from someone else...I did feel much better once she came, looked (with her eyes only, no touching except a feel of his heart rate), and pronounced us officially "OK". She checked my BP, told me to keep taking the herbs I had, empty my bladder (her opinion was it was too full and preventing my uterus from clamping down properly) and checked for tears at my request. She was great..totally respectful and wonderful. she had only positive things to say!
anyway, it is MO that sometimes these things manifest simply to serve a purpose or have a message. There is a deep wisdom in your body and spirit!
also, re: your other questions...usually you expel the placenta just fine and I've heard of many stories where it took a while and was fine too. if it happens, you could ask yourself, "what am I holding on to?".
BTW< check out Jeannine Parvati Baker's web site too--www.freestone.org for great freebirth articles, and books. She is very inspiring.
I found that all types of birth have their pros and cons. I personally cannot ever imagine having anything but a freebirth again but think that you should not get too freaked out about medical procedures as it can interfere w/your own body messages and intuition. NOt saying you shouldn't prepare but that one of the Pros of a freebirth, is that you can really and truly hear your body's wisdom about the whole thing. No other voices there to contradict. I read "hearts and hands" and got totally overwhelmed and had to stop. But this may be a part of the preparing for a UC cycle!! LOL. I mostly just really tried to read affirming articles and books. oh yea, and Hygieia Halfmoon's books are great too--"primal mothering in a modern world" and "I can do this!"--which is a journal of her pregnancy w/last baby, who was a painless freebirth!
good luck and we're here for you!!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the insight. I definately was overwhelmed by Heart and Hands...it is written completely from a midwife's perspective. It does have great info on dealing with specific problems. I think I am going to take a break from the educating myself and just listen to my body. From what I have read of other unassisted births that is the true key to a safe and healthy pregnancy, labor and birth. Instincts, instincts, instincts.
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