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UC Support Thread #5, June - Page 6

post #101 of 244
Hi everyone,
wow cool discussion. A friend of mine is reading a book dictated by a Kung woman (Kung is supposed to have an upside down exclamation point at the beginning of it for a gutteral throut noise) She opens it up by talking about her births, all unassisted. (in the first though she was quite frightened and didn't know what to do afterwards, just left the baby to go get her husband, who ranted and raved at his mother for not getting out of bed to assist her I believe she was very young at the time). Apparently (I have not read this book have just been hearing about it) the mothers would sometimes recieve assistance from a mom or grandmother their first birth and then be alone all subsequent births. They would go out to the edge of the village and birth completely quietly, because they believed that fear has no place in birth. So although they felt pain, they wouldn't acknowlege it.
It's an insider account, and disproves the assistance theory quite nicely I think.
Here I still am, 2 days post-due with a full birth tub at the ready...and not much going on. How can I be on my 3rd child and still the process is such a mystery! What a relief to have no one to answer to but myself!
post #102 of 244
Thread Starter 
Stephanie, welcome to the board and congratulations on your pregnancy!

Heather, do you happen to know the name of that book? Funny you should mention it just now, first, because I've just been typing up some quotes from Michel Odent in which the !Kung are mentioned, and second, because another subject I'm extremely interested in is pain in birth -- as we all know, in the '50's or so with Lamaze and Dick-Read there started a movement to discredit the idea that birth is inherently painful, and the cause has been taken up by hypnobirthers and some UCers. On the other hand, you have the birth educators and researchers that insist that pain serves a purpose -- Pam England (author of Birthing From Within) comes to mind, and Michel Odent seems to believe this also. One argument for the former that I've heard is that in "primitive" societies like the !Kung women do not experience pain in birth. But I've also heard it countered that the anthropologists observing these peoples did not understand what they were seeing, which fits in with what you wrote above. As for me, I don't find either side's theories wholly convincing, and I'm still thinking about it.
post #103 of 244
Thread Starter 
Michel Odent, from The Scientification of Love:

It is often noted that human societies impose a pattern on the behavior of human beings at the time of childbirth. It would be more accurate to claim that all cultures disturb the purely physiological process in the period surround birth.

[…] It would take volumes to present a comprehensive study of the characteristics of a great number of cultures in relation to how they challenge the maternal protective instinct during the sensitive period following birth. However, a simple conclusion can be drawn from a rapid overview of the date we have at our disposal: the greater the social need for aggression and an ability to destroy life, the more intrusive the rituals and beliefs have become in the period surrounding birth.

[…] the cultures studied during the twentieth century by anthropologists share the same basic strategies for survival, which are to control nature, and also to dominate other human groups. For such societies it is an advantage to moderate and to control the different aspects of the capacity to love, including love of nature, that is to say, having respect for Mother Earth.

Our interpretation is confirmed by data from a very small number of pre-agricultural peoples that could be studied before becoming extinct, and who had other strategies for survival. Their strategy was to live in perfect harmony with the ecosystem; in such societies it was therefore an advantage to develop this form of love and respect for Mother Earth. The priority in these societies was not to develop the human potential for aggression. This is the case of the Efe Pygmies, who lived in Zaire’s Ituri Forest. They had a deeply rooted ecological instinct, and in particular and enormous respect for tress. It seems, according to Jean Pierre Hallet, that they had no rituals or beliefs disturbing the birth process. We also know, thanks to Melvin Konner in particular, about the ‘solitary and unaided births’ among the African hunters and gatherers, the !Kung San:

A woman feels the initial stages of labour and makes no comment, leaves the village quietly when birth seems imminent, walks a few hundred yards, finds an area in the shade, clears it, arranges a soft bed of leaves, and gives birth while squatting or lying on her side – on her own.

[…] The ethnological approach is also crucial in helping us to realise that only those societies which have been successful at developing their capacity to dominate nature and to dominate other human groups have survived until the end of this millennium. All the other cultural models have disappeared. This is the very time when we realise the urgent need to develop respect for Mother Earth and other facets of the capacity to love. Humanity is at a turning point, when all our deep-rooted perinatal beliefs and rituals are losing their evolutionary advantages.
post #104 of 244
Thread Starter 
Dandylion wrote: "I have a question for those of you who do UP. Do you do any of the things that a midwife or doctor would do (such as checking for protein in the urine, blood pressure, listen to fetal heartbeat, etc.) or do you just eat well and take care of yourself and listen to your intuition? Also (for everyone) do you take a prenatal vitamin or do you just rely on good nutrition? I have some prenatal vitamins, but I'm not sure how good they are and I keep forgetting to take them! There were others there that looked better but they were soooo expensive! I don't know if I could afford to keep buying them."

I pretty much just eat well and take care of yourself and listen to my intuition. If something seems off, I might seek advice, or monitor my health a little more closely than usual. For instance, a while back I had an on-going headache for several days; I went to a local pharmacy to have my blood pressure checked, and I was much more careful about my food and water intake, and my stress levels.

My nutrition isn't stellar (I do eat some refined foods,) so I have been taking prenatal vitamins and EFAs. The vitamins I like best are Rainbow Lights -- they are plant-based so supposedly are absorbed better by the body than regular vitamins, and personally I felt a big difference when I switched. They are expensive, but I don't take the full dose -- about 1/6 of what is recommended -- because my diet is pretty good generally.
post #105 of 244
Originally Posted by bookwormmama
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to post a quick note and let everyone know that our lovely new babe, Silas Zoel, arrived Tuesday night!.

Congrats to you on the birthing of Silas.
Sara UC mom to 9.6lbs dd-now 5 years old!
post #106 of 244
I just found out that wildthing had her baby!! Congrats! Come tell us all about it, donna!
post #107 of 244

** update

i'm feeling so grumpy. i've been having rushes on and off since very early friday morning. i've been able to rest a bit but i'm getting so tired. this is so much slower than my first. heck it's so different all around.

hopefully soon i'll have a birth story to post................
post #108 of 244
Thread Starter 
Ooh, waiting in anticipation to hear from Donna...

Klothos, my third birth was just like that. Wasn't hard or anything, just dragged on and on and on... boring. It was annoying and I was emotionally just sort of worn out. I wish now that I had worked a little more on changing my attitude and doing fun stuff instead of just miserably waiting for that watched pot to boil. I sympathize, and I hope this happens soon for you!
post #109 of 244


My announcements will read:

Name of baby was born at home,
into his father's hands,
on date of birth.

He/She weighed ?? lbs. and was ??".
post #110 of 244


This is my first pregnancy and UC. As far as prenatal care goes, I went to my OB once initially in first trimester to confirm the pregnancy and get authorization for care through our insurance in the event of an emergency. I let them Doppler me for heartbeat once on that first visit (I was 12 weeks), but I never allowed it again as it is even more dangerous than ultrasound. This caused a lot of friction between me and my OB and he threatened to fire me as a patient! Unfortunately, I don't have a choice of docs due to my health plan and remote location. I don't take prescription OB prenatal vitamins. I take a store-bought brand that I can tolerate in a half dose ( I don't tolerate vitamins well anyway) and I try to eat properly. We had one ultrasound, but purposely also chose to have it late in pregnancy (24 weeks) so as to have allowed most of the sensitive fetal development to have taken place before exposing the baby. We did this mostly because it was our first child, just to give us the mental reassurance that everything was normal, but I would not have an ultrasound in subsequent pregnancies. It just really isn't necessary, and the entertainment value doesn't outweigh the fetal risks. It also caused more problems with my doc, because I told him I would not be submitting to further ultrasounds. I have now discontinued seeing the doc, as he is not agreeable to homebirth.

Other than that, I weigh myself once a week and take my BP at the drug store periodically to make sure it's normal. My weight gain has been slow and steady (18 lbs. so far), and I swim laps 2-3 times a week for exercise. I had one mild migraine headache in my second trimester, but other than that I feel great! I guess I just figure, "..If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

post #111 of 244
Hi Blueviolet, (and anyone else interested)The name of the book is Nisa, the story of a !Kung woman. My friend can't remember the name of the author.
post #112 of 244
ooh, I just had a feeling Donna had her baby! I can't wait to hear how it went.

As for prenatal care, I did for my last two preg's, just keeping tabs on my BP since it tends to go high, ate well, drank lots of herbs (nettle and/or RRL), took vitamins (rainbow light or supernutrition), exercised (more w/my third baby--it made a HUGE difference)...I think that's it. I weighed myself but more just for curiousity sake then for any "care" type reason. That's it! Pretty easy.

I wish I could compute the birth discussion but I never have enough on-line time or mental energy w/my three mo old taking most of it I think! I do scan it though.

We will leave for CO for two months on Friday. I'm excited to have lots of family time and relaxation. AND get out of the rat race here in Socal. And to return to the spot where Soleil was conceived last summer....

well gotta run, blessings mamas
post #113 of 244
cool article about a mama who did UC ~ for a VBAC

post #114 of 244
Thread Starter 
She was so brave to put herself out there like that! I would love to do the same, but my fear is of 1) being misrepresented by the journalist or the article having a negative tone, and 2) drawing unwanted attention to my family.
post #115 of 244
“I think we take it for granted that we have our own power within us to do what we want,” said DaSilva. “I’ve taken back the power of being a woman and being given this body that can do things by itself without anybody’s intervention.”
This rings so true with me!!
I understand being afraid to have an article written about your own UC, I think I would have the same concerns as you for sure. In one way I would want to tell the world but then again I wouldn't want any negative attention directed and me and my family.
post #116 of 244
In one way I would want to tell the world but then again I wouldn't want any negative attention directed and me and my family.

i was thinking about that too. i know my dad is going to freak out once he finds out we planned an unassisted homebirth...

if he finds out.
post #117 of 244
Hi...I'm just sort of jumping in here...I won't go into my whole m/w drama, but sufice it to say, dh and I are considering a homebirth,, and quite possibly an UC.
My last 2 were born in a hospital, ds birth was wonderful, despite being in a hospital birth center, dd was not so great. I had a mw for both, and dh delivered both kids under the supervision of the mw.
I have a couple ???'s (and I am sure I will have more) I know most of the time things are fine, but what if you tear? (I did not, either time) or bleed heavily? (I did after ds, and needed pit. to stop, lost a bit of blood) what if your water breaks, and still no labor after 24 hrs? What if your baby comes early? (dd was 5 wks early, and appeared fine, but had blood sugar issues)
I guess this really appeals to me, but I have alot of fears. I have time to decide, I'm not due until Jan. but I want to start learning so I can make a decision....
TIA, for any advice!
post #118 of 244
Nice to see you here tofumama.
Re: your questions...well, yes, you need to think really carefully about doing a freebirth. IMO complications are less probable when birthing in a unimpeded environment, where the mother (and partner!) are taking responsibility for themselves. Really, IMO the biggest, scariest "risk" is taking this all on your own shoulders. There is a lot of "what-if's" to go through, but that is part of the process. In my mind, how this type of birth works best is if you totally try to restructure your mind set (ie you are not taking more risks, just *different* ones and possibly less of those than an attended births. )
As for all the complications you mentioned, there are things you can do--herbs, seek traditional medical care, etc. BUt if I were you I would first think thoroughly if this type of birth really calls to you. If so, even if you still have doubts, start doing your research and reading. I personally believe as do a lot of other freebirthers taht most "complications" are not really so troublesome/dangerous. I think in all of those situations you would need to evaluate what your body and intuition were telling you and go from there. For example, I too was given pit for bleeding at my first birth (assisted by LM's at home) HOwever, each time w/my freebirths, I bled heavily as well, took herbs taht didn't seem to help the flow that much and eventually stopped. I never felt faint or shock-y, so I didn't worry very much. I just tend to bleed a lot. I *did* however lose enough blood to be considered "too much" though but in my case, I knew most likely it would not be problematic. And as for the 24 hr rule, this is an arbitrary number that hospitals use, you could just monitor for signs of infection (fever, etc). I personally would not have worried about such a situation....just would've kept tabs on myself.

Good luck on your journey. If it makes you feel better, most of us didn't feel 100% confident at the beginning--in fact the first time I was scared *@$%-less! It is a process--and w/my first freebirth, I felt like the pregnancy w/all its doubts and fears was WAY more difficult than the actual labor! BUt at the end, I had grown so much and had so much more true faith int he beliefs that I had originally only theoretically believed. I would just start reading and start soul searching. And go from there! Good luck. It *is* something you can do if it is something you really want it.

Here are the links for my birth stories:

My pix from my last birth are listed as a link on the beginning of this thread under my username.
post #119 of 244
indigolilybear~~I read both of your birth stories recently, and they were very inspiring for me. I can't wait to write my own birth story in a couple of weeks.:LOL I was thinking about it last night, what I will name it etc.

I went back to the first UC thread we had and was skimming through trying to find more links for great UC sites. I found *some* but they all don't work. When I was a part of this group then, I wasn't as interested in the things that I am now. Now I'm trying to get my mom and partner to read UC stories, and I am too.

I guess I want to be all prepared, but I realize that it is illusionary to think that having this or that will make me prepared. I just need my body to do it's work. It's just so hard to think that it could be this easy!

Things that I have for the labour and birth (LMK what you "expert" UCers think)....
-towels to do whatever with including perinium support(by me)
-massage oil with ess. oils
-dental floss for tying cord
-bulb syringe (will not use probably)
-kiddie pool
-chux pads (I do not like these things, the way that they look and feel, but I have them, so I might use them)
-lots of baby clothes and blankets etc.
-camera to catch some moments (not all )
thing that I still want to get...
-beeswax candles
-arnica (oil or homeopathy)
-a book (don't know which one or if I will even need it)
-herbal preparations of shephards purse, red raspberry, motherwort?

I just can't think of anything else!!! I guess I don't need the oxygen tank that the MW provided or all the papers that she was filling out while I was in labour, or the latex gloves, or the umbilical clamps.

I'm just wanting to be more prepared this time for the labour pains. I was under the impression that labour was a snap, last time. HA, was I suprised.
post #120 of 244
mamajaza--your list looks good. I'm glad you liked the stories...can't wait to read yours and hear about it! Sending peaceful, confident birthing vibes! ~*~*~

I would suggest maybe some rescue remedy. I never really used it but liked having it. Also maybe some herb teas or healthful sports drinks? I liked having something cool to drink while laboring and those plastic cups w/straws attached are nice to have and easy to use while in the pool or whatever. How bout some birth music? Ink pad for capturing footprints? Just brainstorming what all I liked having right there. If you don't already have one, I LOVED having a birth alter near the birthing area--pix of relatives, kids, candles and gifts people had given me during my BW, etc. It's also nice mindful work to do while waiting those final days!
I know you said towels, but maybe borrow LOTS for a waterbirth? So you can put them on the floor so you don't slip or dry off if you decide to get in and out. Also w/a freebirth, w/not so many "helping hands" it's nice to have everything reallyorganized/easy to find so your partner can help you.

Hmm, that's all I can think of. Posting a lot cuz we were all ready to go to CO for the summer when we figured out something is wrong w/our car so DH is out trying to fix it....waiting to see if we will leave today. AND I drank some coffee for energy for entertaining the kids and now we're stuck here....not used to caffeine any more!! LOL

edited to add: I Loved having my hypnobabies birth tape.....lots of affirmations that kept me on track and not fearful. HTH
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