Anyone else considering a "low tech" pregnancy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally respect those who aren't, there are many great reasons to have ultrasounds, triple screening, amnio, GD testing and the like...but it there anyone who doesn't go for a doppler, ultrasounds, GD testing, triple screening etc. etc. Basically you pee on a stick, talk to your care provider, get palpated and hear the heartbeat when the fetoscope can pick it up? I didn't do a lot of testing last time but feel, for me personally, that I'd like to go this route this time unless i get a strong feeling or indication that such tests may be necessary....


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#2 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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With dd i had an ultrasound at 8 weeks (which I wished i hadnt- due to negative dr comments) and then the next time I had any exam or appointment was at 34 weeks (

 to meet the Dr) and then 38 weeks (scan only).  I didn't do any blood work after the first visit (which they did std's ect) 

 

This time I probably wont do any scans or   tests until at least 6 months. I may go in to "register"- I am in Denmark and i get free care, but I just dont want it. The only reason I will go at all is to be in the system so I can have a midwife at the birth. Ill do what it takes to get that- and not more. 

 

 


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#3 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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Hi there!  I am a midwifery student pregnant with my first baby.  I do not plan on using the doppler or having any ultrasounds during my pregnancy.  I may get some initial bloodwork done, as I eat a completely raw vegan diet and I want to make sure I'm not missing anything crucial, but that's it. 

 

Nice to meet you! :)


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#4 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 03:32 PM
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I typed  a reply then it disappeared.

 

I am preg w/#4.

 

With DD 1, I did everything mainstream. Had all the tests, did everything the docs said.


With DS 2, I had a MW and a HB and I refused most testing. I did have some basic blood work and did use dopplers. No U/S, GD test, quad screen, etc.

 

With DS 3, I was planning a UC and had no official prenatal care. I did use test strips to pee on and I listened to the hb w/a fetascope. 

 

With this baby, I think I'm going to go the route of #2. I just think that's what works best for me.

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#5 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 06:38 PM
 
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Seriously thinking about it. Last time, for the first half of my pregnancy I had a MW who rolled in the portable ultrasound for each appt and I had no idea there were any issues until later. I ended up switching to MWs who were much lower tech (and more mama-friendly instead of medical-friendly!), but still used dopplers unless someone requested otherwise. Now I'm pretty concerned about USs though, and I'm thinking of skipping them all unless there seems a reason not to. We'll see. I didn't bother with the GS testing last time, but I did get a blood sugar monitor and I tested once a week (one AM fasting, another 2 hours after dinner) just so I could make a dietary shift if needed, but there were no problems. My grandma had (probably TRUE, uncontrolled) diabetes with her last baby and she ended up with a 13 pounder! I didn't want a surprise like that. I don't remember triple screen, is that a blood test?


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#6 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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The triple screen (now a penta screen) is a maternal blood test that can (possibly) indicate if your baby is at risk for Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal disorders.  It has a high false-positive rate but can be useful for parents at risk of carrying a fetus with a chromosomal disorder (such as advanced maternal age parents) and who would consider aborting the fetus if this were the case.  The next step after the penta screen would be a Level II ultrasound, and then an amniocentesis.


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#7 of 102 Old 05-13-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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I just had my initial meeting with the home birth midwife we're going to use today. I'm super excited that she doesn't care if I decline all testing throughout my entire pregnancy. I don't know about doppler though. She said she uses it in labor, but I don't know if she uses it in the appointments. Hrm. I'll have to ask her. 


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#8 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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I will probably skip all ultrasounds and would like to avoid doppler. We've never done the triple screen with our other two kids, and I'm not sure I feel the need for GD screening this time. I'm okay with initial bloodwork just to see where everything's at. This is our third baby and they haven't been spaced very far apart, and I've been breastfeeding for almost 4 years straight, so I'd just like to see how my body's holding up.

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#9 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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Would you lovely ladies mind telling me why your opting for a low-tech pregnancy? What are the risks of ultrasound and other tests?


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#10 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demoonunit View Post

Would you lovely ladies mind telling me why your opting for a low-tech pregnancy? What are the risks of ultrasound and other tests?



http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/what-you-should-know-about-ultrasound


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#11 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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there are also many studies on pubmed that discuss the risks and benefits of obstetrical ultrasounds.  


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#12 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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I don't plan to do anything, except pee on the sticks my midwife has me do to test for sugar and protein.  Perhaps a doppler a few times.  That is it.  I won't even do the glucose test, which I didn't do last time either. 


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#13 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so gald to know I'm not alone! The only thing that slightly concerns me is that even at 20 weeks my mw's had a hard time finding her heartbeat partly i think because my placenta was in front and partly because they weren't very experienced with it...in my community i'll be the odd one out with no doppler use...i would consider it if we suspected a m/c etc and it was too early for the fetoscope.

For me, ultrasounds have not been proven safe...so i'd ike to get one only if there is a medical reason, not just as a routine screening...also they have a high rate and false positives and misreadings, esp as you get later in yoyr pregnancy (i.e. the whole "low fluid" thing with full term babies...we went through that....and we had a c section and i feel that the u/s was a big factor) also dd was freaking out during the two u/s i had...my belly was hot and she was frantic...it just didn't feel "right" for me and my baby...then i found out dopplers are actually higher radiation....also...after much reflection on my last pregnancy and birth my one regret is not trusting my insticts as they were bang on...and i felt like i'd hold mybreath for test results instead of tuning into mysekf and baby....i'm not saying it works that way for everyone and as i said if i felt or there was a valid reason to use a doppler or other test or technology i would. the gestational diabetes....i did a lot of research on it and concluded it is usually bogus even if you tru;y have it it can be controlled with diet modifications. plus in have dippy blood sugar and knew the results would be wild...i'd opt for a finger prick type glucose monitor, much much more accurate...


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#14 of 102 Old 05-14-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I have done unassisted pregnancies with my last two. Which means all I really did was pee on the pregnancy test and listen to the heartbeat with a stethoscope. (the heartbeat listening was purely for fun. could tell my babywas fin by how active he regularly was) I am very in tune with my own body so was aware of weight gain, etc.....Plus I had already had three uncomplicated easy pregnancies and labors/delieveries. :) To me, doctors ae for sickness and a pregnancy is NOT a sickness. Unless you have preexistingcondition or develop one...which has never been my issue. I find when you take it in your own hands you hold onto the power, instead of entrusting your dr with all of the details. I los that bonding with my first son through interventions in a hospital setting so this is an impornt issuein my life.

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#15 of 102 Old 05-17-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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We are doing a fairly low tech, but not all the way.

 

My first was pretty normal, although I did decline a lot of tests, and my second was a homebirth with dual care at an ob's.

 

This time around, I am not doing most things, but will have a short, early US(Endometriosis with some tube issues, just need to check on baby's location) and one at 20 weeks as a preventative check for any issues( we are homebirthing in a really homebirth unfriendly state, if there is any issue we need to know about it ahead of time).  I won't do any of the regular glucose tests, but we know I am severely insulin resistant and I will be regularly checking my sugars on my normal diet.


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#16 of 102 Old 05-17-2011, 11:41 PM
 
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I am not really sure.  It depends on how I feel as the pregnancy continues.  I will probably have the 20 week ultrasound to check on the baby and give us a heads-up if something is wrong. Other than that I would like it to be as low tech as possible.  I am going to be followed by a different group of providers because we have moved and I am not sure what to expect at this point.


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#17 of 102 Old 05-18-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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I've done the mw way, the unassisted way, and then the mw way again, but after my last experience, we are going the "average way". I'm not doing an amnio, or ultrasounds every month, but I will be hearing the hb at every possible moment, and doing an u/s at 7.5 wks, 13 wks, and then probably around 20 wks. might even do another one closer to term. After having done it the other ways, and with tragic experiences the last couple years, I feel more than comfortable with my decision. I respect those who are going the way I went before. I remember that mindset, and I know if I hadn't had those tragic experiences, I would still be in that mindset today.


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#18 of 102 Old 05-18-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Milly_P View Post

I've done the mw way, the unassisted way, and then the mw way again, but after my last experience, we are going the "average way". I'm not doing an amnio, or ultrasounds every month, but I will be hearing the hb at every possible moment, and doing an u/s at 7.5 wks, 13 wks, and then probably around 20 wks. might even do another one closer to term. After having done it the other ways, and with tragic experiences the last couple years, I feel more than comfortable with my decision. I respect those who are going the way I went before. I remember that mindset, and I know if I hadn't had those tragic experiences, I would still be in that mindset today.



 I think that losses make things different.  I never wanteds an early 'dating' US before, but now all I can think about is if the baby is devleoping.  I am most likely going to ask for a quick peek at baby when I go in on Tuesday.  Then to 20 week, supposedly what cuased my stillbirth can be seen on US with a good machine.  Not that knowing would help, because with a thin cord there really is nothing they can do to save the baby :/

 

I DO want a low tech birth though, intervention free.


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#19 of 102 Old 05-18-2011, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milly_P View Post

I've done the mw way, the unassisted way, and then the mw way again, but after my last experience, we are going the "average way". I'm not doing an amnio, or ultrasounds every month, but I will be hearing the hb at every possible moment, and doing an u/s at 7.5 wks, 13 wks, and then probably around 20 wks. might even do another one closer to term. After having done it the other ways, and with tragic experiences the last couple years, I feel more than comfortable with my decision. I respect those who are going the way I went before. I remember that mindset, and I know if I hadn't had those tragic experiences, I would still be in that mindset today.



As I said before I totally understand and do not at all judge this, and I can see it beinga choice I would make if I'd had losses or other complications. However, for me, if there are no red flags and no intuitive red flags, I feel that the risks are lower the fewer tests I do as they led to an extremely traumatic birth and unnecessary spinal taps, antibiotics, breastfeeding horrors and PTSD for me... I just wanted to know I wasn't alone in making these choices. I'm not really sure what you mean by "mindset" as I think it isn't always the same mindset that leads to the choice to test/not test. and I don't think there is a right answer, just what's right for you and the best guess you can make given your experiences, I'm sure that's what we're all trying to do! Just don't want anyone to feel alienated by this thread...

 


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#20 of 102 Old 05-19-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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So question for everyone. Kind of a "what would you do?" thing. 

 

A friend of ours mentioned that we could have twins. Now my husband and I are super paranoid. Mostly because this is our second and the symptoms have hit me so much harder and faster and I already look like I'm 4 months pregnant (from bloating) at 6 weeks. We were planning on just waiting to hear the heartbeat until around 20 weeks when a fetoscope can, but I'm wondering if we should do a doppler just once around 11 weeks to make sure that there's only one in there. I have no reason to believe it's twins (like family history), but I just feel paranoid about it now. Would once with a doppler at 11 weeks even be able to tell if there are two? I'd really prefer to avoid u/s all together. 


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#21 of 102 Old 05-19-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I personally wouldn't, but if it's stressing you out that much it might be better to just do it and be relieved. FYI I have heard of many people who never heard mroe than one heartbeat at a time and were carrying twins. Chances are you'll know soon enough in most cases by how big you measure. If twins don't run in your family though and you don't have other "risk factors"...I had many tell me maybe I was having twins first time around but I had no real reason, i just carried it all right in front and people like to get you hysterical, imo


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#22 of 102 Old 05-19-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Hi! My husband and I are having a homebirth with a certified midwife. We are having only one ultrasound, around 18-22 weeks. 

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#23 of 102 Old 05-19-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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My son was a UC, so I just ordered myself some pee strips, took my own blood pressure and listened with a fetoscope.

 

I have a MW this time, and she's totally cool with me refusing anything.  

 

Unfortunately, I have a huge cyst on my ovary that's worrying me, so I ended up having ultrasounds at 5 weeks (with an ER visit where they discovered the cyst), 8 weeks, and I'm having one at 12 weeks tomorrow and at 20 weeks.  I want to make sure the cyst isn't growing too big.

 

If it wasn't for the cyst, I would have only gotten the 20-week ultrasound.  I think the benefits of it outweigh the potential risk, as serious anatomical problems can be detected, planned for, and even possibly fixed in utero.  I'm just having a basic scan at 12 weeks tomorrow to check the cyst and take a quick look at the baby.  I'm not doing the NT screen or any of the others, because I wouldn't get an amnio or CVS if they were recommended and I wouldn't terminate.

 

Other than that, I am comfortable using the doppler until a fetoscope works and in labor.  I prefer the fetoscope otherwise. I did initial blood work, but I'm not doing a glucose tolerance test or having any other interventions in pregnancy.  I was also GBS positive during my last pregnancy (a high-intervention surrogate pregnancy), but I'm not planning on doing anything about it this time unless major risk factors crop up (water breaking way before labor, etc.).

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#24 of 102 Old 05-20-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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My first baby, I had an u/s at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks, and then weekly 'fluid checks' after 34 weeks along with non-stress tests because of anemia (or so the OB said.)  That ended with an induction due to being a week "late".

 

Baby #2, I started out with a nurse practitioner. I waited to do the first u/s until 20 weeks, but my 1 hour glucose test wasn't done until later in my pregnancy, and I couldn't handle the 3 hour test, so after a week's worth of blood draws, I was told I had gestational diabetes at about 35 weeks and transferred to OB care with first and second year residents.  (To this day, I don't think I ever had GD; all the research I've read says that blood sugar in many pregnant women can get nutty closer to the end.)  Was induced a week early due to not being able to keep my sugars under control.

 

Baby #3 I went straight for the midwife, but waited until I was about 14 weeks pregnant.  One u/s at 20 weeks, and because we moved very late in my pregnancy (37 weeks), the new midwife ordered a second u/s just prior to induction.

 

I will say that all of my inductions went extremely well, with no complications and no further interventions.  That said, I HATED being stuck in the hospital (especially as a co-sleeper...doesn't fly in the hospital), hated all the people in the room waiting to "clean up" the baby, the whole bit.  So, while I'm getting ready to interview two of the three midwives in the area in the next couple of weeks, actual 'care' won't start until DF and I get married in July and I get on his insurance, and that's at the earliest.  (Because there's only three homebirth midwives in the area, I want to make sure I've got the one I want "locked in"!) 

 

We'll do the routine blood tests and the occasional doppler based on how the midwife normally does things, and will also be doing the 20 week ultrasound.  We have a very real concern that there may be more than one baby in there, and I'd prefer to know that ahead of time, since it may affect whether or not a homebirth happens.  Because we are a 30 minute drive from the nearest hospital, and because I have a cousin who has been living in the NICU with her baby for months (who was born with a heart condition that they caught on the ultrasound, and likely would not have made it had he not been attended to by neonatologists immediately), we're going to ask the midwife to order a diagnostic ultrasound (and not one of those 3d/4d things in the strip mall). 


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#25 of 102 Old 05-20-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If it wasn't for the cyst, I would have only gotten the 20-week ultrasound.  I think the benefits of it outweigh the potential risk, as serious anatomical problems can be detected, planned for, and even possibly fixed in utero.  I'm just having a basic scan at 12 weeks tomorrow to check the cyst and take a quick look at the baby.  I'm not doing the NT screen or any of the others, because I wouldn't get an amnio or CVS if they were recommended and I wouldn't terminate.

 


I totally respect your choice, and for other reading I thought some info from our midwives clinic might be welcome. this is an excerpt from a handout on ultrasounds. I am in BC, Canada where the majority of mw's are legislated by the government and paid for by your health care system (awesome in many ways, with some major drawbacks) anyway, that just to say they are not super radical because of that and I find a lot of their info very balanced:

"

Malformations of the Fetus: Approximately 35--50% of serious defects are diagnosed during a detailed ultrasound at 18-21 weeks. Ultrasound may also detect "soft markers"--- characteristics of the fetal anatomy which are in themselves normal but can be associated with an increased chance of genetic anomalies. Detection of soft markers or true abnormalities allows women the chance to consider options to further diagnosis or rule out a condition (i.e. triple marker screen, amniocentesis), as well as the opportunity to consider termination of the pregnancy or the ability to engage resources/prepare for the birth of a special needs baby. "

 

So it can be very helpful, but it can also miss many things, so it's important to take these into consideration plus your personal comfort level and family history etc.

 

here's the link to the rest of the handout:http://www.pomegranate-midwives.com/handouts/Ultrasound.pdf 


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#26 of 102 Old 05-20-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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I had a blood test in the very beginning and my MW uses a doppler sometimes or fetoscope at our appointments. Otherwise, das it! No U/S or other tests.

 

If I had any red flags or health concerns related to this pregnancy I would follow my MW's advice for further testing or whatever would be needed to make sure everyone's safe & healthy, but I am very grateful to my super cool MW and having a healthy pregnancy thus far that I am able to go very "low-tech." :)


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#27 of 102 Old 05-20-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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We had a low tech pregnancy.  I did do one ultrasound to prove to myself I was actually pregnant.  We opted to only use a fetascope for heartbeat and I pee'd on the sticks at our appts and that was it.  I declined all other tests.... oh check that, I did do bloodwork.  Fabulous, quick home water birth.  

 

If I were pregnant ever again, I would only do an ultrasound and etc.. at my MW's recommendation.

 

OP, how are you doing?  I remember you having distress awhile back and have thought of you. 


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#28 of 102 Old 05-21-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DayDreamer View Post

I typed  a reply then it disappeared.

 

I am preg w/#4.

 

With DD 1, I did everything mainstream. Had all the tests, did everything the docs said.


With DS 2, I had a MW and a HB and I refused most testing. I did have some basic blood work and did use dopplers. No U/S, GD test, quad screen, etc.

 

With DS 3, I was planning a UC and had no official prenatal care. I did use test strips to pee on and I listened to the hb w/a fetascope. 

 

With this baby, I think I'm going to go the route of #2. I just think that's what works best for me.



If you don't mind me asking, what is the reason for having the blood work and doppler? I myself am planning to not have any tests done, but if you have had a bad experience with that, I would like to get more information.

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#29 of 102 Old 05-21-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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Hi everyone! So, my husband and I are planning a UC (first baby), and to get him to agree to that I had to agree to one u/s. I didn't get the anomaly scan, just a quick 5 minute viewing to make sure placenta was in a good spot, and to check for any major problems. Otherwise, we're using a fetoscope to hear hb, but thats mostly for fun bc he is sooooooo active!! I'm 24 weeks now and have only had 3 prenatal check ups (hmo med-wife) and am planning to avoid the next one until 30 weeks. I'm going to refuse the glucose screening test, seems like an absurd test to me, just working out my arguments in case med-wife wants to give me a hard time. I will also be refusing any further u/s, doppler, bloodwork, and internal exams - unless there is an actual MEDICAL need for them. I'm also not going to submit to those absurd weekly appointments after I hit the 3rd trimester...i will probably go in again at 36 weeks and no more.

Any tips for refusing the GD test? Anyone out there who has?

Btw, we're having a boy, took me a couple days to absorb that information and now I am so so exited!!!

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#30 of 102 Old 05-22-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

I just had my initial meeting with the home birth midwife we're going to use today. I'm super excited that she doesn't care if I decline all testing throughout my entire pregnancy. I don't know about doppler though. She said she uses it in labor, but I don't know if she uses it in the appointments. Hrm. I'll have to ask her. 



I would like to do basically what you are doing, but what about the possibility of rh factor incompatibility? I think that's the only thing I'm a little worried about having, but not knowing I have if I don't get blood tests.

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