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How to achieve natural birth? - Page 2

post #21 of 49
Thread Starter 
I called my insurance today and they don't cover a doula at all. Not too big of a surprise, I guess. We may still look for one.

I also went to the library and checked out several books. They only had one of the ones recommended here - I may need to go to the downtown library for more selection. I'll read over these first!

post #22 of 49
Does your library do transfers from other libraries? That would be easier on you than having to traipse all over looking for stuff.
post #23 of 49
I just read a paragraph in Gurmukh's Prenatal Yoga book that has had me thinking for DAYS...

"Don't try to have a homebirth at a hospital and a hospital birth [meaning all the technology] at home"

Decide what you want and realize that it is going to be hard - if not rare - to have an interventionless birth at a hospital. They are just not set up that way.

Call around - do not be afraid to switch providers, hospitals, etc.

Good Luck
post #24 of 49
For a Doula, contact www.dona.org see if you can find a doula in training to take you as part of her "attended births" or a MW in training who can advocate for you while attending one of her required births.

Some doulas in training/MWs in training will take you on free or for minimal cost. We have found that Doulas in our area cost $300 or more. We WILL be having one if I have a hospital birth. It's simply not an option, since DH is fighting me on a homebirth (because of cost).

Have your DH read (even if he hates reading) The Birth Partner.

Try The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth and Birthing From Within.

I agree with everything that the others have said. AVOID ALL INTERVENTION Beginning with pain meds and internal exams! The more intervention, the less freedom, the higher the risk of a c/s.

I also agree that if there's a hospital with a lower c/s rate RUN RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN to that hospital. 30% is VERY HIGH (above the rate for the whole country!). Find a care provider who is 100% on your side, someone who believes in birth the way you do. Ask the provider you have now, what his/her c/s rate is at this time. If it's over 10% then run away!

Good luck to you!
post #25 of 49
I hope this does not sound too abrupt, but if you do not like to be bit, do not play with snakes.

IOW, get a doula, a midwife, and stay at home.

It is not too late to change your mind.

If you do not want a cascade of interventions, why go where the interventions are?

You need to remember that when you are in the hospital, you are on their turf. It is their territory and they make the rules. The rules are designed for their convenience not yours. If they "lose" your well thought out birth plan - what do you do then while in labor?, - write one out between contractions? They are in charge!

JMHO, born out of years of experience through watching and listening.

YOu will remember your first baby's birthday for the rest of your life.

I have talked to old women who could not remember what they had for breakfast, but they could give me a blow-by-blow full account of their first baby's birth.

This is a significant day in YOUR life and will affect the relationship with your SO and with your new baby and the rest of your family.

Be honest and informed and good luck.
post #26 of 49
Great thread! I just wanted to add something to all the wonderful ideas you've already gotten.

I am a doula, a fairly new one, and after my first few clients I was very suprised and amazed to learn how little most women seemed to know about their doctors "rules" (rolling eyes) or the policies and procedures of the hospital where they plan to give birth. As a part of my birth plan package, I now give my clients a sheet with a list of questions for their care provider to fill out, you could also call or visit your hospital to ask the same questions (because it does not matter if you doc says yes when the hospital says no). It is still a work in progress and far from perfect (it is fill in the blank so won't get you as much info as a good, in depth chat will) but i think it is a good place to start and identify areas where you doc/hospitals policies are not in line with your wishes. I'm happy to share it with you if you like. When you've got those questions answered you've got a really good stepping off point to writing your birth plan, if your doc/hospital encourages eating and drinking - you can leave those items off your birth plan. But if you get the sheet back and it says that you must be continuously monitored from the time you are admitted to L/D - you know that not only should this item go on the birth plan, but that you also need to discuss this with your doc LONG before the first contraction hits. I also tell my clients to ask their docs to sign their completed plan after reviewing it line by line (keep it short, only the most important points, so your wishes don't get skimmed over). Doesn't mean the hospital will respect it, but at least gives you some evidence to hold up when you say "But my doc said it was okay".

I also have my clients practice saying "NO" in various ways and situations - it is a harder word to say than you think. You and your husband could roll play some situations so that both of you get comfortable with declining interventions, etc. If you've said the words before, they'll be much easier to say when you're in the midst of labour.

Ditto the suggestion to look into Optimal Fetal Positioning - and better yet, have a doula with you who understands the principals. In my (admitedly limited) experience, I've already had three labours where babies positioning caused problems that were "fixed" using the techniques I learned in the book (Sit Up and Take Notice by Pauline Scott and Understanding and Teachign Optimal Foetal Positioning by Jean Sutton and Pauline Scott).

Regarding changing care providers/birth location - I really think that if you are this nervous about the possiblity of interventions negatively influencing your birth - you owe it to yourself to at least carefully consider the option, or at least to consider why you do not feel open to changing. With only a year of doula experience under my belt, I can tell you that I firmly believe that the choice of caregiver is THE most important one that a pregnant woman makes. More important than birth place, more important than any choice in labour, more important than the size and position of the baby. This choice has the greatest impact on not only the actual events of the birth, but also on your perception of the experience. I encourage you, whatever you do, to make an active and informed decision on this factor.

Best of luck,
post #27 of 49

Provider Philosophy

You can read all about natural birth techniques etc. but if you don't have a provider and institution who are on the same page as you - forget about it.

After witnessing too many horror stories from friends of mine, I knew I wanted a different birth experience. I read the book "Thinking Women's Guide to Better Birth" by Goer and decided on a free standing birth center.

I was not able to deliver at the BC because of pre-e/PIH but was able to labor with BC midwife at hospital. I ended up delivering my son vaginally but only after pushing for 4 hours. After talking with numerous people in the childbirth community, I learned that being allowed to push for 4 hours is almost unheard of and that my vaginal birth was made possible by "a midwife who was advocating for me".

A major cause of c-sections is not allowing births to start naturally - "baby is too big, small. late, labor is too slow etc" If your mainstream provider decides to induce/augment you for one of these reasons, the cascade of interventions are going to start and then they will decide when time is up.

Seek out a provider who has the statistics you are comfortable with.
post #28 of 49

Along With Other Great Advice

Having had done this twice, once with drugs and once without, the natural drugs that your body produces are phenominal. I suggest focusing on the pain instead of trying to escape it. Then you know where it is going and what to expect.SURRENDER!Never such an empowering experience as giving birth! I had a beautiful hospital birth... they do happen! So along with all of the smart mama advice above, Have a beautiful safe birth xox
post #29 of 49
"The first intervention in natural childbirth is the one that a healthy woman does herself when she walks out the front door of her own home in labour." -Michael Rosenthal, Ob/Gyn.
post #30 of 49
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
"The first intervention in natural childbirth is the one that a healthy woman does herself when she walks out the front door of her own home in labour." -Michael Rosenthal, Ob/Gyn.
I totally agree!!
post #31 of 49
Another vote for reading 'Thinking Womans Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer. Don't remember who said it but.."If you don't know your choices, you don't have any'
post #32 of 49
Originally Posted by lilylove
Another vote for reading 'Thinking Womans Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer. Don't remember who said it but.."If you don't know your choices, you don't have any'

"If you do not want to demand your rights, you are probably not entitled to them."
post #33 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the input. Honestly, I am more discouraged now.

Not everyone has the same personality or the same thoughts. Mostly it just sounds like it's my own fault for wanting to birth in the hospital and I should just get over any desire for a natural birth. Fair enough, I suppose.

I will be talking with my dr. tomorrow about their policies and how doulas are reguarded. Then my husband and I will make a decision on whether or not to hire a doula. I don't have any recommendations for doulas. Do you all just recommend cold calling doulas from DONA's webpage?
post #34 of 49
Thread Starter 
Also, I did some searches and was unable to find any free-standing birth centers in my area. Are there any webpages to look for this sort of thing? The closest I found were 45 min - 1 hour away in NO traffic, so I do not feel comfortable with those.
post #35 of 49
Originally Posted by SiValleySteph
Thank you for the input. Honestly, I am more discouraged now.

Not everyone has the same personality or the same thoughts. Mostly it just sounds like it's my own fault for wanting to birth in the hospital and I should just get over any desire for a natural birth. Fair enough, I suppose.
This is not a blatant disregard for all hospital births. It just takes a very strong will and an ability to say NO if you're planning one. With the current atmosphere and increasing cesarean rate, you're lucky if you are discharged without an operation.

I think the women here had some good advice....and are being honest. With a first time mom, the risk of having unnecessary interventions are very high (first time moms typically go past their due date, which could lead to induction, etc.).

Above all, I highly recommend a doula (and you don't have to ask your doctor about one - I wouldn't!) and also reading Henci Goer's book. The fact that you got a bit defensive there means that you hear some truth being spoken, I imagine.

Let yourself get a bit riled up. It's what will help you succeed in your wish for natural birth.

p.s.: About the freestanding birth center, check out the Tribe forums in your area - ask around. Also, I found the following link:

Birthing From Within are EXCELLENT childbirth classes - they dont' focus on natural/medicated births, they focus on personal empowerment for you and your partner about birth and parenting - and a whole lot in between. I highly, HIGHLY recommend them! http://www.heartandsoulchildbirth.com/ (this woman is a doula, too! Plus, I'll bet she has some great leads on providers that are supportive of natural birth!!) I can tell you that you'll get far more from a BFW series than any other childbirth class. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Hey, in addition, these CNMs might be a great place to receive some solid support for natural birth. I know I'd see most CNMs over most OBs any day for a normal pregnancy! http://www.midwifeinfo.com/mi_show.p...in=kavitanoble

Here are some midwives that practice around you - and a couple doulas (http://www.cooladoula.com/), too. Perhaps even calling one of them and talking about what they know in regards to supportive hospitals, birth centers, etc., might help...I get calls like this all the time and I'm happy to help: (I do know that Karen Ehrlich is a kick-ass midwife!!) http://www.birthpartners.com/search/results.asp

You are in a GREAT area for childbirth options. San Jose is near Santa Cruz and everyone knows that some of the most world-renowned midwives came from Santa Cruz! You have so many OPTIONS. Seek them out. You deserve to have an empowering first birth. So many women come to homebirth only after a horrible first hospital birth. You deserve to bypass that trauma - you can have a positive birth, but it really does depend on who is supporting you, who is caring for you and where you're giving birth.

Natural birth CAN happen in the hospital. It just takes more work.
post #36 of 49
have you done your hospital tour yet?

This might sound naive but does your hospital have tub/jacuzzi rooms for the l&d?

I cheesed out and had a shot of demoral when I was at about 6-7 cm but from when I got to the hospital ( @3cms ) to when I was fully dilated I spent the whole time in the jacuzzi tub and it probably really helped with pain management. I took a few puffs of No2 as well but found it just made me feel nauseous.

I was induced with gel twice during the day ( was 10 days overdue ) and spent as much time at home as I could handle before leaving for the hospital. I dreaded the thought of spending hours and hours wondering the halls of a hospital.

I never intended to have a natural childbirth and it obviously wasn't but I got through with very little in the way of drugs and my daughter was born within 5 hours of getting to the hospital. From the moment she was born her eyes were wide open and alert and she was bf-ing within minutes of birth. This was approx 3 hours after the demoral shot.

By FAR I considered the last few contractions prior to the actual pushing to be the most painful, the pushing I found to be a different sensation, not a cake walk but at least productive.

Good luck and if the pain gets really bad, don't feel bad if you opt for some meds. Hopefully that is OK to say on the board


They don't give out medals for labor but they do give out babies!
post #37 of 49
In addition to all the great advice you have already gotten, remember that most babies are late. Get yourself and your partner (and anyone else who is close to you and influential) to start thinking of your "due date" as being a couple of weeks after the official EDD (for example, my due date is 7/29, but I start telling myself very early, "I will have a baby by mid-August."). It seems that a majority of people I know who have the start of the intervention cascade start with that damn "induction for dates!"

Tell your provider that you will be monitored if you go over your dates (twice weekly appts, a non-stress test, biophysical profile), but you will not be induced unless there is a clinical indication (dates on a calendar don't count).

I think a birth plan is a good idea even if your provider or hospital is not willing to read it. It is a great opportunity for you and your partner to really know what you want. He can advocate better if he is familiar with the language of birth and what your reasons are for wanting/not wanting certain things.

Oh, edit to add - I've had two wonderful hospital births. I had no IV, no pain meds, supportive midwives and nurses, and minimal EFM. I was able to labor and push and deliver in any position that felt right. With my second I told them no coaching during the pushing phase and they didn't. I am one of those who likes the back-up of the level III NICU and so would not consider a home birth. IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A GREAT HOSPITAL BIRTH!!
post #38 of 49
I suppose it depends on your definition of natural.

I decided to have my first baby in a near-by hospital. I chose my hospital, despite it being out of network because it was very close by (no problem if I wanted to labor at home) and because they said I could rent a labor tub and bring it.

Neither of these ended up being issues. I was induced with cervadil gel on my due date due to rising blood pressure, protein in my urine and massive swelling and weight gain. I had a posterior baby and while I immediately went into contractions, it took quite a while to efface and begin the dilation process. I happily agreed to AROM 12 hours later (about 5 hours after I was really feeling the contractions.)

I began pushing 7 hours after that, and happily agreed to an episiotomy when my ob told me I was tearing towards my clitoris. I pushed in a semi-sitting position. They tried to get me to squat but I didn't have enough strength left. We had a few moments spent on a shoulder dystocia scare, and then she was born.

I had spent many hours walking the very short corridor, in the shower and on the toilet, so they must have been lenient about efm, though I don't remember.

What I do remember is that by a certain point I wanted an epidural, but dh and my mom (my labor team) both knew how strongly opposed I was to that before labor, and just didn't let the nurses anywhere near me. Just about everything that I recall was either done by my ob or my mom/dh. I guess a nurse did install a heplock at the end. I wasn't really happy about that (and it hurt!) but I was tired.

If you can't hire a doula, find a good friend who is willing to learn how you feel and what you want, and help you achieve it. And then just stay away from the nurses.

Having an ob you trust is important as well. My sister liked hers, but got the on-call ob and he did a massive episiotomy as she told him not to, delivered her baby (who she was pushing out just fine) by forceps and then manually delivered her placenta. There were no indications for any of that. He was just a misogynist jerk.

Because of later complications, I decided that I didn't want any more hospital births, and really enjoyed my second birth at home in a fishy tub with 2 midwives.

This time it will just be me and my mom and dh and I am so excited! It's very possible to fight for a good hospital birth and get one. And it's REALLY important to birth WHERE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE. I'm just past the point of wanting to fight that fight, and I would rather keep them all far away from me. (My very sweet midwives included, they still did things that we didn't want them to do.)

Some people wouldn't call my hospital birth natural. But I had NO pain medication, and no pitocin, and that met my definition of natural childbirth. Now I am not hung up on definitions, but will definitely be birthing with those people who I know will support me 100%.

Good luck planning and carrying out the birth of YOUR dreams.

Mommy to Meg 5/00, Peter 6/02, #3 due soon
post #39 of 49
i'm sorry to hear you're discouraged. i would be too.

i had a mw attended hospital birth with dd. the mw was very busy with another woman in labor who ended up with an emergency c/s. dh, my mom, and mil did most of my labor support.

i requested intermittent monitoring, and the hospital was very good about honoring that. no one ever made me lie down on the bed except for internal exams once or 2x. i labored in a bathtub most of the time, was allowed to vocalize as much as i wanted.

the only thing i remember needing to advocate for myself for was when the l&d nurse rolled an IV into the room. apparently the baby was "showing signs of distress." i told her no way was i getting an IV unless the mw said i needed it. mw came in and told her to take the IV out of the room.

i think you can have a good outcome with a hospital birth. but, i also believe it's in your hands, not your ob's, not your dh's, not your doula's. you need to be as educated as you can about the process and about typical hospital proceedures and how to avoid them. i'm pg with #2, no mws are delivering babies in hospitals where i live (thanks to the rising cost of insurance), and we can't afford a homebirth unless i go back to work. it's a choice i'm making. since i've been down the road before i know more about what my options are, what to expect at the hospital, and etc. i plan to read everything i can get my hands on to be as prepared as i can be.

good luck. chin up! don't be discouraged!
post #40 of 49
Sorry you're feeling discouraged but I agree with what pamamidwife said.

I wish I'd read a thread like this before I had my dd. I'd read some things but didn't have strong negative hospital experiences really spelled out for me like here. I wish I'd been discouraged BEFORE the birth rather than AFTER it when it was too late.

Finding a birth center, try:

and go to the your Tribal Area forum and ask other MDC moms in your area.
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