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Home vs Hospital crisis

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello! I have a question!

I am considering homebirth with my next child (just had my first, already conspiring to have my second!) I had a great hospital birth, but would like to try this homebirth option. My only concern is that whenever I talk with "homebirthers", they all attack me for having a good hospital birth. I am not anti-hospital and never will be, is it possible to like homebirth and hospital birth at the same time? I feel ridiculed by these women who are so overtly anti-doctors and nurses, painting them with broad strokes as all inherantly evil people just wanting to take advantage of poor laboring women.

What does everyone else think??

post #2 of 13

Hi Heather!! (m)

I'm sure there are many people who have great hospital births, everyone is different!

My problem though, was that I had been thinking I had a nice second birth, but the longer I thought about it there were many aspects that I didn't like, I didn't feel in control, I didn't feel I had a say in many things, I didn't like having to stay in the hospital (or sign out and leave without my baby!)...it was "nice", but it wasn't what I wanted.

Now after reading lots of books, I've come to think that neither of the birth experiences I had were "nice". There were interventions that shouldn't have happened, there were tests with high false postives that made me worry the last two months of my pg with my son that he might have Down's, there was monitoring that was "required"...I was led down that rosy path, thinking this is what it had to be, when really there were just "managing" me, making sure I caused them the least amount of liability or problems...not good.

So while you *can*, and people do, have good hospital births, that's usually not due to good hospital practices or care for the mother or child. Most hospitals care of their bottom line and avoiding lawsuits more than anything. There are probably exceptions to this, but it's hard to find them!!

Sure I have two healthy kids, but not due to the hospitals or the doctors. And I won't "appreciate" them for my kids, that was not their doing!! I won't ever say again "the point is a healthy baby, by whatever means necessary", because there's also the needs of the mother, the birth experience is hers as well, and it should be *just* the way she wants it.

Okay, I'm rambling! :-) But don't feel in any way bad about your hospital birth if you liked it! It's all how you see it, if you make the informed decision to have a hospital birth and it's good for you, then great. I think that's the problem though, not enough "informed decision" making going on by the parents, just because the information they need is so hard to find!! That was our problem, we didn't make an informed decision, we just went along with what was "supposed" to happen.

So that's my take, don't feel bad for a second!
post #3 of 13
It's true homebirthers tend to be one sided, but so do militant hospital birthers, unfortunately. These are people who always tend to take one side or another, ignoring any middle ground.
I have done both, 1 in hospital, and 2 at home. I'll be having my 4th in a hospital for mainly financial reasons, but am really happy about the choices I am offered there that weren't available before ( a midwife can attend & a waterbirth ).
I think mostly the hbers are afraid of the hosp interventions and tend toward alternatives in their physical care anyway. Hospers want to be "safe" with all the technology available to them. It's a false sense of security if you ask me. Then again, if that is where they feel safest, more power to them.
I am frequently saddened by the opinion of most women of their capabilities, or rather lack thereof. Hearing "I just couldn't do it without the epidual" says a lot about how confident a woman is with her own abilities. But the homebirthers need to stop being so judgemental about a woman feeling more comfortable in a hospital setting...one woman I know was in labor for, like 36 hrs and pushed for 8(!) But once she got into the hospital, things progressed much better, she has told me that she calmed down a great deal when she got there and just felt better being in that environment.
What we really need are more birthing centers--none of the germ related problems as in the hospital and as much support as you get at home. Someday...
post #4 of 13
It seems like it's all a matter of perspective. My mom had beautiful and happy hospital births--no meds but I was turned by forceps. In her mind all the interventions were necessary and good and her doctor was conservative and kind and just right for her. As far as happiness goes it doesn't really matter whether the inteventions were medically justified or healthy--it was what she expected and it made her feel safe and secure. I would run screaming from the hospital and give birth in the parking lot if my Dr tried to justify turning my babe with forceps but that's me. A different birth will make me happy.
And it seems perfectly understandable to me that one type of birth might make us happy at one point and later with more education or a different set of standards or a different set of conditions, another birth might make us satisfied. So yes, I totally understand how you had a happy hospital birth--it fit your needs and your expectations. And you will only have another happy hospital or homebirth if that one fits your needs and expectations. And anybody who tries to tell you you are wrong for finding satisfaction in your birth experience is wrongheaded--they are speaking from their perspective and they have no way of knowing what was right for you then or what will be right for you in the future.
post #5 of 13
I believe women need to give birth where they truely feel safest and most supported. For some this will be at home, for some, a hospital. I had a fabulous home birth, but one of my best friends (who attended my birth) had two great hospital births without unwanted interventions. Here's why: she and her husband were well educated about the birth process and their choices and they were very firm about these choices with the medical staff. Not confrontational, but determined and firm.

I encourage you to try homebirth because it was great for me and other women I know.I wish you a most happy pregnancy and birthing experience!
post #6 of 13
hi there, i sympathize. just wanted to tell ya i have had one planned hospital birth, one spontaneous homebirth with a midwife, and one transfer to hospital care after complications made a homebirth too risky. all of mt births were good, though my first had some elements i was not happy about, due largely to my lack of knowledge about what to ask for/refuse. my home birth was awesome because i was better prepared and had a clearer picture of what i wanted due to my experience. i admit to becoming very critical of hospitals after that, as i felt very empowered. but i also felt quite self righteous and sanctimonious.... not cool. along came child #3 to teach me a needed lesson! isn't that the way of it? i had planned another homebirth, but at the end of my pregnancy developed pronounced hydramnios, and was measuring about 7 weeks ahead of dates at term... my midwife and i were in disagreement about the seriousness of it, and i decided to go to the hospital and have my water broken where i could get immediate help if needed (one complication of hydramnios can be the cord prolapsing, no time to lose there in my opinion). my family doc was at the birth, and it was wonderfull! i went in on the defensive, and carrying a large hand made poster of all the things i didn't want, "no vaccination, no bottles", etc, and the nurses all loved it, liked knowing where i was coming from so clearly. it was common knowledge that i was coming from a homebirth, but i was not treated with anything but respect, love and care. we had lots of privacy, and i delivered my 10lb, 2oz son with no medication and no intervention aside from the gentle breaking of my water that morning. i birthed him very spontaneously and quickly onto the bed, and leaned over myself to lift him to my breast. no suctioning, just me and his dad cuddling him in to breath. i really believe the environment in which one births comes largely out of the self... though i know from my experiences that is helps to be informed when working with healthcare professionals, lay or medical. ultimately it is up to me to make choices for my babies (for now!) so i seek knowledge as much as possible.
post #7 of 13
no, i think it's a personal decision. neither one is 'right'. I too had a great hospital birth with my first! I'm planning a homebirth next time because throughout this labor i kept thinking how much i wanted my own bed! I wouldn't change anything else. of course i realize that not every hospital is like that- i was fortunate to have one that actually supported my wishes. I've gotten that reaction from a few people too, that I copped out somehow by having a hospital birth. Oh, well, there's always going to be someone that disagrees with your decision either way. If YOU are happy with it that's all that counts!
post #8 of 13
Just as you can have a horrid experience with the wrong midwife at home, you can have a great experience with the right birthing "team" at the hospital.

It is nice to hear that you had a good birth at the hospital. I am training as a Bradley instructor and most of my couples will be going with a hospital birth. What was your secret? Any tips?

I had to go to the hospital mid pregnancy for cramping and spotting. I don't know what I would have done without the triage nurse. She was very special. Kind, funny and compassionate.

There are some wonderful Dr's and nurses out there. I think that because you have to deal with so many of them in a hospital birth, you chances of getting a bad one is upped...

post #9 of 13

Home vs. Hospital

I have had two Hospital birth's. The first one (12 years ago) was a horrific experience for me. I was cut unnecessarily and drugged without consent - which made for a very bad experience all becasue of my OB/Gyn's golf game. I had a hopital birth with my daughter last year - it was planned with a midwife. It was planned for a Birthcenter up unitl 1 week before I was due and then my Iron level dropped below their standard so we planned for the hospital. As it turned out I would have been transferred anyhow becuise of my water being broke for 18 hours necessitated the need for IV antibiotics. I was fortunate to be in teh Only hospital in ?Ohio that is WHO/UNICEF certified as a baby friendly hospital and it was wonderful. I had the Midwives of Midwives Care (Mothering, April 2001 - A birhtcenter in Cincinnati) in attendance at my daughters birth and Nothing could have made my situation and experience any better. I labored for 24.5 hours of back labor and the only interventions were the IV antibiotics and after 23 hours we decided together that Pitocin was necessary after that long of a labor and I was still only at 6cm. The next baby we are planning for a home birth - I figure if I can do 24.5 hours of back labor with no drugs then I can do it at home if there are no medical complications. Hospitals can be good and they can be bad, I have had it both ways, but as long as you are happy with the outcome of the whole situation that is all that matters! Good Luck!
post #10 of 13
Birth where you feel comfortable!

At different times in your life, you may very well feel comfortable in different places.

Listen to what the homebirthers are saying and listen to what the hospital birthers say - take what works for you and leave the rest.

I find good phrases are "Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree" and "Thank you, I'll consider that".

Make your births what you want them to be. Good luck!
post #11 of 13
I had my daughter in a hospital by c-section. At the time, I thought I had a pretty good birthing experience. I wasn't incredibly upset about having to have a section since I thought I had no other choice and my doctor said it was best.

Since then I have educated myself and realized that I was basically forced to have a section through all of the unnecessary interventions that were forced upon me. I didn't know any better than, I do now. I still don't think that my hospital birthing experience was "bad"... I had great L&D and postpartum nurses who were very knowledgeable about breastfeeding.. there was a great LC who helped me immensely.

My husband and I are trying for #2 now and we will definitely NOT be going anywhere near that OB's office. We think we're going to plan a home VBAC (not finalized yet since we're not yet even pregnant).

I think you have to birth where you are most comfortable. I will not be going back to a hospital unless it becomes absolutely necessary but I know that some would never feel comfortable having a home birth. Do what is best for you, just make sure you are well-informed from the get-go, no matter what you choose.
post #12 of 13
My son was born 8/4/01 at a hospital, and the care I received from the nurses was excellent. I developed preeclampsia and my baby was delivered two weeks early.

Even with the IV, blood pressure cuff, pitocin, and internal moniters, I delivered my baby without an epidural or pain meds. Our doula was amazing! She helped me immensely.

I do wish that I had read more about preeclampsia. The archaic pediatrician who was on rounds ordered us not to breastfeed while I was on the magnesium sulfate drip. I wish I had known enough to ignore his *opinion*.

I am considering a homebirth for our next baby. I was glad to have hospital care during my very scary preeclampsia experience, and I'm hoping not to have that condition again.

post #13 of 13
That is so great that you had the support you needed through what could have been a very panicky situation. I have had both of my children indifferent hospitals - the first one was horrific because of my non-caring OB/GYN - he was more concerned about his golf game that afternoon than my birth. That is why DH and I opted for a midwife with our dd - and loved it! We had our dd at the Mercy Fransican Hospital - Mt. Airy Campus (listed in Mothering July/August 2001) and had wonderful nurses and our midwives were incredible (Midwives Care of Cincinnati, OH, Mothering April/May 2001). We are TTC a little brother or sister for dd right now and are hoping for home with this one since we now have a house instead of an apartment - I just did not feel comfortable with the idea of birthing in a building with up and downstairs neighbors, but since we don't have those now we are hoping to do it in our home.
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