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Discussion about UC birth - Page 10

post #181 of 238
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oh and erin - about the fundus thing...I was responding your post when you posted:


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How does one know if the fundus is following the baby? Is this a visual thing from the outside? Just curious because none of that was visible because of the position I was pushing in.


were you not asking a question there?
I was asking how a provider would be able to see this, was it something to be observed from the outside of the woman's body?
post #182 of 238
you can see the change in shape of the uterus as the baby desends depending on what position the mom is in... just like you can see the difference between a resting and contracting uterus.
post #183 of 238
This is an interesting discussion. The idea that women are meant to give birth with other women could be culturally based, I don't know. I doubt it is biologically based. I can see the benefits of attended birth for many mamas, particularly very young ones and for first time births. Within this line of thinking, if women are motivated to birth with other women (whether it be culturally based or not), where do the prenatal visits fit into this mindset? What prenatal "exams" or visits have morphed into are women forced to attend sessions where they are monitored, assessed, questioned, tested, measured, & psychologically examined. And, if her body or mind are not performing to whatever level a given midwife deems appropriate, she is dumped....let go....abandoned....or given over to someone with an even more medically based mindset. How do these culturally motivated practices fit in with the argument that women are meant to be attended during birth?
post #184 of 238
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Some are.

It's one thing to be motivated by a desire to NOT have something happen. It's another to be motivated by a desire to HAVE something happen.

See the difference?
Pain pushes.
Vision pulls.

What worries me are those women who never get to the "vision" part of thier births.
I don't know what I see. This morning as I went out to the chicken house to gather eggs, I happened upon a very surprised mother mouse with her newborn babes.....they were attached to her nipples & nursing away! The second she saw me she was OFF! Running with nurslings in tow desperately trying to hang on to then nipple. One little pink newborn mouse had fallen off, and she risked a trip back to retrieve it. She grasped it in her mouth & carried it to safety.

This reminded me that what a woman describes as fear, could indeed be something as simple as the age old mammalian instinct of protecting the unborn child. I think that is how I see it. Anytime I am afraid of a midwife, I am simply wanting to keep my body and my child safe.
post #185 of 238
[QUOTE=mama in the forest;6129744]This is an interesting discussion. The idea that women are meant to give birth with other women could be culturally based, I don't know. I doubt it is biologically based. QUOTE]

Is it biologically based to have a man there?

I know that there is a lot of argument out there that the human pelvis is fine, fine, fine...but there is also some very good evolutionary arguments about how it's because of it's shape we humans desire assistance at birth. I know this makes it sound like I am saying birth is dangerous. I am not - I am saying that birth can be more difficult for humans than for other primates and mammels.

If we are going to go on the idea that birth is absolutely no problem all the time, and we are just like all other mammels (which is impossible because many mammels birth in many different settings - and yes, many mammels do die in birthing thier offspring or thier offspring die) then perhaps the addition of a man is very odd indeed. What mammel has that? wolves, maybe...

I have more to write, but it's off to work I go...Good Discussion!
post #186 of 238
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Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
I

This reminded me that what a woman describes as fear, could indeed be something as simple as the age old mammalian instinct of protecting the unborn child. I think that is how I see it. Anytime I am afraid of a midwife, I am simply wanting to keep my body and my child safe.

I can agree with you on this all depends on what a woman thinks of as a threat.. fear and preservation intersect-- but not all mammals find others of their own species a threat and domestic animals may find that you are not a threat- have had dogs give birth in my bed.. and friends who's cats sought them out to be around when the gave birth...

as far as prenatals and taboos and other rituals observed... some of this also comes out of fear and preservation- in the days before antibiotics and VD was not treatable this is when eye treatment began for the newborn they could atleast prevent GC caused blindness but there was a long history before that of not being able to treat- women and children suffered and I am actually old enough to remember when it was very hard to diagnose chalymidia so women on the pill were more likely to become infertile because of this infection so these are modern tests just like checking bp-and lab values to find women who have illness in pregnancy- not all old technology but maybe maybe to some degree- our minds have gone places and do things to helps us it is in our "nature" to do these things just as much as building shelter (like nests) or nursing babies or gathering food-- not to say that everything offered or done need be done by everyone- tracking bp is useful- as is giving consideration to your overall state of health-- concern if you have enough good food to eat, clean water to drink,- home to live in- supportive relationships, ability and awareness of child care needs- or things like finding that ovarian tumor that is essentially benign and we know this because of repeated scans and hormone levels---
post #187 of 238
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How do these culturally motivated practices fit in with the argument that women are meant to be attended during birth?
It's just part of taking care of each other as a society. If we failed to do that then we would become extinct. I think it's the same as taking care of a sick or elderly person. When a person needs help, most societies provide it. Not every woman needs to be attended, but I think for many it can be a great comfort which is a good thing.

As for the man/woman thing, I think women--being the only gender that can go through it--just know more about birth. A man can attend and help out, do massages, even understand the process...but having never dealt with the pain can only make recommendations he's heard have helped other women. He can't speak from his own birth experience.
post #188 of 238
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Originally Posted by loved
I worry about aspects of UC - or maybe it's factions of the UC community.
Yes, me too.

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Mostly, I love the movement and think it will do a lot of good (and has already.).


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Originally Posted by shell024
I am pretty sure that for the next birth, I wil prefer more time alone because I am almost certain that my inability to just LET GO AND BE, free of fear, free of hinderance was partly just because I knew dp was there.
Yep. I think that if I were to give birth again (planning NOT to ) I would want to do it alone. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, how it would have been different, psychologically and in terms of state of consciousness, if I'd be alone. I would *not* do over my last birth to have my husband not attend. There were things that happened because he was there that are very precious to me. But still, I'm curious about what it would be like to be focused fully on my body and baby. My husband is the person I can be least self-conscious around, but there's still that element of my awareness that is focused on him.

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Originally Posted by loved
It's one thing to be motivated by a desire to NOT have something happen. It's another to be motivated by a desire to HAVE something happen.

See the difference?
Pain pushes.
Vision pulls.
Absolutely.
post #189 of 238
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Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom
One way that I know that UC isn't the way it is meant to be for everyone is my strong uncontrolled desire to want to be a part of childbirth beyond my own. Why would I feel this way if many women weren't supposed to have other women with them during childbirth?
Because you have psychological and spiritual needs that are met by doing so? Which may mesh with another woman's needs, but neither yours nor theirs defines Birth itself. In other words, your desire to be part of childbirth beyond your own says precisely nothing about what birth is supposed to be for me. By your reasoning, I could ask, why would I have a strong desire to UC if it wasn't meant to be that way for all women? But there's something missing there, which is that we all have different needs and goals.

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Originally Posted by mwherbs
there is no denying the cross cultural and timeless presence of other women attending births-
There's also no denying that all of these cultures in which attended/assisted birth is the norm, are partriarchal/aggressive cultures. We have very little knowledge of non-patriarchal/aggressive cultures, but that which we do have shows that the more earth-based and respectful the culture, the less the birth process is directed or interfered with, and the more likely women are to give birth either alone or autonomously with the emotional support and protection of her sisters. We can call the latter "midwifery" but it is very different from the midwifery we see commonly practiced today and historically, for the most part.

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in places and in times where women haven't read about birth- how is/was the information conveyed about safety and what is normal? usually instructions and information is/was taught in some timely fashion like prodromal labor... or when the birth hut is made.... just like education about breastfeeding- women and babies just nursed- how was it made easy?
Instinct. Anything else is cultural and the need of the society or conditioned need of the individual, not of the body.

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by access to other women doing the same thing- you had daily reminders of positioning and timing because you would see others nursing all the time -
Well, I breastfeed on the baby's cue and hold her in the way that is most comfortable for our bodies. Somehow I managed without those daily reminders of positioning and timing, how could that be? I do agree that it's helpful to have others with experience around -- not to show women how to do what is normally an instinctive bodily function, but to help with solutions if the body is hindered in some way. We had thrush. That isn't normal. At that point, my body needed help from the outside, and that's where my sisters came in with their experience.

It's the same with birth, and I've never met a UCer who wasn't open to seeking and receiving help when she intuited or had direct evidence that it was needed. But UCers are different (generally speaking) from those who believe in assisted birth in that they believe that in a normal situation their bodies already know perfectly how to give birth without being told or shown, better than any outside source.
post #190 of 238
Well I'm a big ole feminist, but I'm not buying that attended births are a symptom of the patriarchy. By the same logic I could declare that urinating on the ground (or into a hole in it) is a symptom of patriarchy. We just don't know any other kind of social system well enough to guess how it might handle the fundamental basics of life differently.

In my feminist utopia world, however, it's women helping women with childbirth, not women being isolated from other women and relying on a man. That's one thing that annoys me about the UC propaganda that anything other than UC is somehow not "free." I'd rather rely on wise women than clueless men, whether they're an OB or a husband.
post #191 of 238
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Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom View Post
if the right care provider is chosen, I wonder how much damage can be done by her being there?
Given that you can never guarantee that the person you've chosen will act in your best interest (even if that is their intention,) I don't know how practical this line of reasoning is. I thought I'd chosen the right care provider for my first -- she was well respected in the community, I had recommendations from people I knew, she had mounds of experience, she answered all my questions right (at least the ones I knew to ask at the time,) she had a pleasant, sweet, calm demeanor, our prenatals were pleasant and encouraging. What more could I do to ensure that she was an appropriate care provider for me? Yet she wasn't, and her actions during the birth led to a traumatic experience.

I had the "perfect" midwife the second time around. Yet the moment she walked in the house everything changed. I was in active labor, near transition, and managing beautifully, even enjoying myself. I was glad to see her when she arrived -- I like her a lot -- but I was instantly transported out of the altered state of consciousness I'd been in and I never really got back there. I was self-conscious and aware always that I was being watched. I let myself be led after the birth and so felt allowed (and also the need to get away from the eyes and activity) to "check out" a bit, which interfered with my bonding time with my son. The birth was healing and empowering in the sense that nobody tried to take over and tell me what to do, and it was quiet and gentle, and the baby was fine and I was fine. No outwardly obvious damage, no. But I lost something with her presence -- it feels like it was stolen, but to be reasonable and fair I make myself say "lost" -- and to me it was not a small thing.

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I personally don't think birth and sex are the same in as many regards. For one thing for sex to happen (in the traditional sense) a partner has to be present. Birth can happen alone. If sex is not meant to be alone, is birth also not meant to be alone?
It's a good question, and I'm going to try to answer it in a roundabout way.

In conception the essential dyad is the woman and man. As a heterosexual and monogamist, I'm pretty partial to keeping the sex act to that essential dyad. But many people are able to become sexually aroused, with their genitals fully and normally functional, in other configurations. In birth the essential dyad is mother and baby. It is natural and normal for it to remain so throughout the act. Nothing else is needed for it to be complete and whole in a biological and spiritual sense. But it's also possible to have other people involved and still have the body continue functioning normally. The key in this happening in both sex and birth is that anyone outside of the essential dyad be inside the experience also. Ideally, this should happen in midwifery. I get this feeling from reading a book like The Red Tent, and I think that it's the romantic vision of midwifery in our culture, but almost never the reality. It's probably similar with women having others attend a UC. Sometimes the husband isn't inside it with her, and that's not ideal; it might even cause problems. She might make that choice anyway for various reasons, just as a woman might make the choice to have a midwife there for various reasons, and that's valid. But neither choice is in itself the way birth is just "meant to be".

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Mostly because he had a lot to learn about childbirth but also because he isn't a woman and just didn't understand it the way that another woman does.
I hear you, although I think it's a mistake to say (and I'm not saying you're implying this, just running with it) that a man can never be a more appropriate birth attendant than a woman just because he hasn't given birth.

My husband doesn't understand birth in the way a woman would (although it could be argued for that matter that no woman can understand birth in the way that another does) but he understands primality.

He wasn't that way with our first or second. He felt unable to be part of it, except as far as he was sort of given the approval to from the midwife, because other women were involved to the extent that it became "a woman thing". He was worthless, to be honest. But without someone there to make *him* self-conscious he was able to enter into it with me to a certain extent. No, he didn't feel the pain and he didn't feel the baby moving down through him, but he did enter a very primal, non-intellectual place with me and was fully present for me there. And for me that was far more positively affecting than support from my women friends would have been.
post #192 of 238
NAK

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Originally Posted by loved
I worry about aspects of UC - or maybe it's factions of the UC community.

Yes, me too.

What worries both of you about UC?
post #193 of 238
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It's just part of taking care of each other as a society. If we failed to do that then we would become extinct. I think it's the same as taking care of a sick or elderly person
Perhaps that is part of what drives me to UC...a small part, but it exists. I do not feel CARED for when I am scrutinized, measured, palpated, assessed, and psychologically examined. Now, should someone want to send me a box of chocolate, massage my feet, have a glass of wine with me, or send me a funny card, THAT would be caring for me! I just do not see birth in the same medical way that the ritualistic prenatal exams feel like. I see it more of a spiritual emotional family path. I think much of our common birth practices, including the supervisory role of the midwife, take away a woman's instinctual power. One more reason why I love UC.....I feel very wild, very UN domesticated.
post #194 of 238
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Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
Well I'm a big ole feminist, but I'm not buying that attended births are a symptom of the patriarchy. By the same logic I could declare that urinating on the ground (or into a hole in it) is a symptom of patriarchy.
Not the same logic at all. Taken in the context of the rest of my post, it should be clear that I'm talking about disturbed birth vs. undisturbed birth. If you'd read a little further you would have seen that I included "autonomous birth with emotional support and protection" in the kind of birth that is seen in non-patriarchal societies. (ETA: or perhaps in resistant sub-cultures within patriarchal societies.)

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In my feminist utopia world, however, it's women helping women with childbirth,[...]
Good for you. Not everyone's like you.

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[...]not women being isolated from other women and relying on a man.
I asked you once before to leave the insulting generalizations off of this thread. No one here is advocating women being isolated from other women and just relying on men.

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I'd rather rely on wise women than clueless men, whether they're an OB or a husband.
Me too. Better yet, a wise lover and mate. Better yet, myself.
post #195 of 238
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Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
What worries both of you about UC?
Not UC itself, but certain conditions and belief systems under which it's done.
post #196 of 238
Something that I feel needs to be said flat out even though it's been implied, is that in a UC *no* one acts as a midwife. If a woman has a UC with her partner present, her partner is not a "substitue midwife", if a woman has a UC alone she does not "act as her own midwife". She is a woman giving birth or they are a couple giving birth.

(Even, perhaps, in the case of the ideals protrayed in the Red Tent, et al "all of them are a community giving birth"?)
post #197 of 238
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post

But it's also possible to have other people involved and still have the body continue functioning normally. The key in this happening in both sex and birth is that anyone outside of the essential dyad be inside the experience also. Ideally, this should happen in midwifery. I get this feeling from reading a book like The Red Tent, and I think that it's the romantic vision of midwifery in our culture, but almost never the reality. It's probably similar with women having others attend a UC. Sometimes the husband isn't inside it with her, and that's not ideal; it might even cause problems. She might make that choice anyway for various reasons, just as a woman might make the choice to have a midwife there for various reasons, and that's valid. But neither choice is in itself the way birth is just "meant to be".
(emphasis added)

so where is this definition of the way birth is "meant to be" coming from? If a woman made that "choice" as you term it to have a midwife, for example, why is this choice considered less than ideal? Who's setting these ideals anyway? Seems awfully subjective to me.

If someone wants a UC I'm all for it but I find the idea that it's the way birthing "should be" a little off putting, kwim?

Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding your intent.
post #198 of 238
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Not UC itself, but certain conditions and belief systems under which it's done.
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The religious reasons. The fear-based reasons (no, I don't think it's all about self-protection and instinct in protecting our babies...I think it's fear and mistrust of people). The belief that this birth will somehow prove something...
Or the romanticism...lined with naivete (sp?).

The belief that one needs to be independent - do-it-yourself, get away from the mainstream to the extreme. I think this can be very isolating. There's other stuff here that I can't put my finger on....the lack of cultural recognition of the rite of passage, maybe?
post #199 of 238
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Originally Posted by loved View Post
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
Not UC itself, but certain conditions and belief systems under which it's done.
The religious reasons.
The belief that this birth will somehow prove something...
The belief that one needs to be independent - do-it-yourself, get away from the mainstream to the extreme. I think this can be very isolating.
Just wondering why these beliefs would be worrisome. Unless I misunderstood the post.
post #200 of 238
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The religious reasons. The fear-based reasons (no, I don't think it's all about self-protection and instinct in protecting our babies...I think it's fear and mistrust of people). The belief that this birth will somehow prove something...
Or the romanticism...lined with naivete (sp?).

The belief that one needs to be independent - do-it-yourself, get away from the mainstream to the extreme. I think this can be very isolating.
I guess although none of these quoted reasons are *my* reasons for birthing UC, I wouldn't feel worried about the woman who owned these reasons. When I think about what you wrote, it's as though you're looking at UC birth through the eyes of attended birth...which makes sense. I see you're a home birth midwife from your signature.

Let's start with religion: who are any of us to judge that someone shouldn't birth privately because they feel a religious calling to it? Additionally, many UC'ers report that their private births had a spiritual or religious component. If there has been a poor outcome from any UC birth that was religiously based, that in itself is not a reason to assert that all of these such births are inappropriate.

Fear based reasons are so subjective and I also think cannot be judged as inappropriate. I do not think we can get inside a woman's head to exactly KNOW that whatever fears she is voicing are not good reasons to UC. I also disagree with this being a fear or mistrust of people. We are all people, and we live with each other & interact with each other on a daily basis. I can't speak for other UC mamas, but I have spent almost 20 years living & learning about my own fears. I do not have any kind of baseline mistrust of people.

Some of my best births have been very romantic & I always approach each birth with an openness & innocence.....which were I to try and write about it or describe it to someone could very well sound like naivete. (sp???? )

As far as being independent......I would use the word autonomous probably. There will always be people who choose to get away from the mainstream & do things in a new way. (though probably in the case of UC we are really doing things in an ancient way) These are the people that force the rest of the world to grow, to push through their commonly held beliefs, and to bring needed change. I think it's a good thing.

Isolation? I don't know. I do isolate myself during birth. But it feels beautiful, peaceful, spiritual, sexual, and welcomed. That privacy/isolation is exactly where I need to be. After birth I emerge powerful, and more sure of myself than ever.
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