unassisted homebirth - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Homebirth > unassisted homebirth
Heidimama's Avatar Heidimama 04:31 PM 03-21-2002
I am so inspired by you all that I have butterflies! I am six weeks pregnant with my third. there is only one midwife that will commute to our home and that is only for the birth and she charges over $3,000! Maybe if it was my first but it is the third of two perfectly natural and healthy births, the second one at home. I have wanted it to be just my husband and I since I first found out I was pregnant with my first child. There are just so many fears set in us! I must say I still have fears but then again, I had fears about having a home birth and now I refuse to do it any other way! Good Luck and I am so relieved to see such support on this issue. I'd like to put you all on my buddy list for a support group when mine and everyone else's doubts get the best of me! You all are amazing!!!!

cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood 05:15 PM 03-21-2002
I felt just the same as you when planning our UC (third for us too.) Giddy and a little scared.

I have to mention that right now I am reading a fantastic book, Birth and the Dialogue of Love by Marilyn Moran. I am liking it better than any of the other UC books I've read. I think it is out of print but that you can still get it through Laura Shanley's website unassistedbirth.com.
cheryl's Avatar cheryl 01:27 PM 03-23-2002
I rather feel like I'm coming to this too late, and panic mode is the last thing I need at this point....41 weeks pg and feeling "performance anxiety" and pressure from all sides.
This is my 6th baby, 4 completed homebirths, 1 homebirth turned transport. Midwife is washing her hands of me at exactly 42 weeks.
My husband and I have no desire, whatsoever, to repeat the horrible hospital experience we had with my last baby. We also lack the finances to pay for a second mode of delivery.
I feel totally comfortable knowing what I know, which is fairly considerable, due to the number of babies I've birthed, but for some reason I feel that my knowledge falls short when it comes to UC. This is probably faulty reasoning...sigh...
My first was 17 days late, and then (17 years ago) no one made any noise about fluid levels, and biophysical profiles and nst's. I was just allowed to wait, had my membranes stripped and my paperwork fudged a bit! Perfectly healthy mom and baby, healthy placenta, easy birth (9-1/2 pounds).
Now, I feel like there is something wrong with me. Is it because I am old (40....perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy btw), is it because of the legal climate, is it because no one even wants to go to 40 weeks without induction?
Is it too late? Geez, I just want to relax and have a baby, whenever it decides to arrive.
violet's Avatar violet 03:09 AM 03-26-2002
Not that I know much, but I don't think there is a thing wrong with you--obviously you've had babies "late" and that might just be what your body does. What has changed is the medical mindset surrounding birth. It's the doctors who have a problem with you having a baby past 42 weeks, not you. I've spoken with a couple moms with children my age and they talk about being 2 weeks "late" or more and how the drs totally accepted this as natural and normal and healthy. Some babies just take longer. .

As for a UC, your "knowledge" about birth is not what needs to be sufficient. Drs have knowledge and they mess up births with all sorts of interventions and wrong headed opinions about what birth SHOULD be. You have lots of knowledge about how birth normally happens and while we can always learn more "stuff", that's not what we need for a UC. We need to connect with our body knowledge, our spiritual knowledge, our intuition, our faith, and trust that our bodies already know how to give birth and that we will know what to do when we need to do it because our bodies are made to do this and because we are intuitive and intelligent beings. I know I don't know nearly as much as my GP does about anatomy. But he doesn't know me very well either and he won't know when my body is telling me something. Neither would a midwife--

I know I could learn more about birth and 'complications' and such, but I'd rather just spend this time being pregnant and getting in touch with the baby and my inner knowledge of my self. When you get down to it, all you CAN do is relax and have the baby. That's a given. Your only choice here is do you want to have anybody around for the event to "help" or "hinder" that progress. Whatever you decide, you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think you'll be announcing a birth here before you know it.
cheryl's Avatar cheryl 03:32 PM 03-26-2002
I know that instinctively I know what to do. I think it's just a combination of coming to this choice at the end of this pregnancy, somewhat by being pushed into a corner, and also the current popular mindset that if a baby hasn't arrived by 40 weeks...induce induce induce. I know, from my own experience, that a healthy outcome is more than possible being very late, but you know how your thinking can get twisted with too much second-guessing.
My midwife 'extended' my deadline by a couple of days, giving me until April 2 before she has to give me up as a client. I feel comfortable maybe going another week beyond that. I'm curious about other experiences with post date babies...but I think I'll start another thread for that one.
I did take comfort, in an odd way, that she found me to be totally uninduceable at this point, so I'm guessing even my backup OB, who is now somewhat part of the picture, wouldn't want to touch me with a ten-foot pitocin drip!!
cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood 04:18 PM 03-26-2002
According to Henci Goer's research, babies aren't even truly term (on average) until 41 weeks. GRRRR. Cheryl, I hope your midwife knows better and is just pressuring you to save her own ass, because personally I would be freaked out to have anyone attending me who thought that 42 weeks gestation was an actual crisis.

What if you have a NST done and it comes back normal? Would she still insist that you go to the hospital to be induced? I mean, that's just craziness!

And some women, I personally know two, just tend to gestate longer. This is unfortunately subscription (only $10/yr), but it is a great resource for those who do gestate longer than the norm.

cheryl's Avatar cheryl 04:47 PM 03-26-2002
Legally, where I live (FL) midwives are not allowed to attend homebirths that do not fall within the 37-42 week guidelines. So, yes...she is covering her butt...but justifiably so, I guess. The fact that she "refigured" my due date to officially give me a couple more days (actually it gives her a couple more days...as I can really birth this baby anytime I please, right?) was probably the only gesture she feels legally comfortable taking, and it took her a week to think about that one. That was one point that bugged me right away, as my previous midwife didn't have a problem with that one at all, and that was before anyone was doing NST's and BioProf....but also before the induction frenzy, too.
I am going to have either a biophysical profile done tomorrow, or an NST done in a few days. I think my backup OB will be satisfied with one or the other, we're just trying to find the cheaper alternative as we are self-paying.
IowaMama's Avatar IowaMama 02:19 PM 06-24-2002
Did anyone here have an Unassisted homebirth? We are planning to homebirth with our next child, and I really prefer to birth the baby alone (with very little assistance from anyone if possible). I just wanted to know if anyone made any special preparations or anything, as opposed to homebirthing with a midwife. Obviously though, if anything were to go wrong, I would call my midwife.
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme 02:32 AM 06-25-2002

I'll speak up, although I have not *had* an unassisted, I am on my way to my first one.

While preg with my last, and was learning all about birthing unassisted, I too wondered what preparations could be made. It was a big what do I do? What do I get? What do I need.

I figured out that you don't need anything but your birthing body.
Then trust in birth, body and baby...Actualizing of any fears you may harbour. I am calling it clearing out my cobwebs =) I still learn something new every day on my own personal journey. Focusing on healthy eating and yoga and walks for me is something new I am doing

On the more practical end~
Many people like to read up on the nuts and bolts of birth, what do "in case" of this or that.
many people just read lots and lots of unassisted birth stories. That is about one of the most encouraging, enlightening things to do.
Some people get the books written by people who have done it. Laura Shanley, Marilyn Moran, Leilah McCracken are a few that come to my tired preggo head! Laurie Morgan has an e-book for free, and one of my favorites, Birthing The Easy Way by Sheila Stubbs, isn't published yet, but if you order a copy she's more than happy to hot glue gun one together!
And everyone I know has researched to death the stats on home w. midwive vs. hospital vs. unassisted. I can recite in my sleep by now LOL. One wouldn't make such an important decision without gleening all the facts, of course.

As far as "supplies"~
Somethig to tie the cord with. A boiled shoelace left in the pot until needed is common. Some people made a special pretty tie out of embriodery floss. Lotus birthers don't need anything for this.
Towels warmed in the dryer are said to be very nice. Why not throw the recieving blankets in with them?
A plastic shower curtain to lay under the bedsheet, or a cheap plastic table cloth.
Some get nasal aspirators, but my druthers are not to, for myself anyhow.
a newborn hat.
Those plastic sheets with the absorbant paper, Chux pads.
Any kind of container to put the placenta in.

Im rubbing my eyes, I hate to say! I hope I answered your question in the way(s) you meant. Best wishes on your path to a beautiful birth!
indigolilybear's Avatar indigolilybear 02:53 AM 06-25-2002
Iowa--we had our first freebirth or UC last may w/ds. we had a very assisted homebirth w/dd.

there are many threads here re: this subject.

some additional thoughts to Jessemom's post...

for lotus birth, if you are interested in it, you actually might need some supplies...like sea salt or rosemary and something to drain it in like a collander and/or diaper. some people make a special placenta bag.

i highly recommend a watertub of some kind. it helps so much and w/a freebirth, that way you don't have to worry so much about the catching the baby....and it eases many people a lot. there are many threads on this subject here too....how-to's etc.

we had Gregory WHite's emergency childbirth book which is a great read and handy manual to have. and susun weed's "an herbal for the childbearing year" which i had put post-it's on for certain topics.

i also had herbs...the cohoshes, skullcap, motherwort, bach's rescue remedy, shephard's purse....and lots of red raspberry tea. yum. (my info was out of the susun weed book mostly re: herbs) all the other "midwifery type" books i found to be too scary and not useful for us personally.

i agree w/lots of towels, we also had some chux pads which are always nice though not necessary.

as for reading, i liked jeannine parvati baker (www.freestone.org), mango mama's site, hygieia halfmoon's books, and various web sites like birthdiaries.com have freebirths on it.
also, I HIGHLY recommend "a clear road to birth" video which is a UC video that is wonderful w/many peaceful births on it. my DD loved it!!

i did a lot of soul searching...journaling, visualization, talking w/hubbie, you get the drift but it sounds like you just wanted to know more "practical" stuff.

Oh, it is such an exciting and empowering time...good luck and there are many freebirthers here if you need more help or more specific help!!
IowaMama's Avatar IowaMama 12:30 PM 06-25-2002
Thanks, This was all useful information. I really hope we have a smooth free birth with our next child!
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme 01:11 AM 06-26-2002
I Owa mamma, Not a problem....I am always happy to gab away about anything birth related as you can tell. I wish you and your family all the best and the best birth too.

I have been keeping a journal too. It amazed me after a few weeks how well it put me in touch with what was in my head, which makes me feel a lot better about certain things.

Now if I could just get my preggo head to remember to send out for the Clear Road to Birth! Ive been meaning to do that forever! I have the address and everything,...sigh....
Lmommy's Avatar Lmommy 01:05 AM 06-28-2002
Probably the most important preparations to make are mental. Find answers that sit well with your spirit, to any questions you may have prior to labor. Address any fears and assumptions you have. For example the idea that a midwife should be called automatically, if "something goes wrong."

Sometimes emergency intervention is more harmful than what happens when we intuitively respond to things that happen "out of the ordinary" (harsh and dangerous medical treatments of premature babies comes to mind as an example). It's important to understand this and be mentally prepared to weigh the options in every individual circumstance and not just seek medical assistance (or one specific alternative assistance for that matter) for every complication.

To get more ideas of what sorts of things you may want to address, you might like to read about other people's experiences with unassisted birth. The best place to do this I know of by far is www.unassistedchildbirth.com. There are lots of great articles, books, videos and links there that you can explore too. I agree with Jesse (((hugs and waves!))), that all the "equipment" that is really necessary to give birth is you and your baby. Make your environment comfortable and safe, suiting your needs rather than someone else's "must" list. Best wishes to you and your family! Laurie
Heidimama's Avatar Heidimama 03:11 AM 06-30-2002
Hello! This is our third pregnancy...#1 in "birthing center"
#2 at home with two wonderful midwives...
#3 planning husband-wife-home birth. this seems the next step for us as we have wanted to do it all along but were afraid. The decision has completely empowered us and I am way more in tune with my body than ever before.
yoga's Avatar yoga 03:03 PM 09-09-2002
I read a post somewhere on MDC where a woman was talking about birth not needing anyone but the mother (ya know, no doctor, midwife, etc) and I was wondering if anyone knows where I can find info or anything on this..? I've always wanted to do it, but have been ignorant abt the specifics and since it's the complete opposite of what's considered okay in our society, I don't see info on it. I'm possibly preg w/our 4th and I'd really prefer this birth scenario if anyone can help. Thanks!
Mirzam's Avatar Mirzam 04:53 PM 09-09-2002
indigolilybear's Avatar indigolilybear 08:55 PM 09-09-2002
we did this w/baby two and would do it w/subsequent birhts.

try www.freestone.org
or www.birthlove.com which is a subscriber site now but is probably worth it if you are serious about this option.

also there are lots of books
--laura shanley's unassisted childbirth
--anything by jeannine parvati baker (she has articles on her web site listed above)

--marilyn moran has a couple of books
--hygieia halfmoon's primal mothering in a modern world

good luck! there are lots of us freebirthers here if you have questions!
hawleyclan's Avatar hawleyclan 09:57 PM 09-09-2002
Hi! You may be interested in this online group


The Lord bless you,
yoga's Avatar yoga 10:06 PM 09-09-2002
Thank you all, sooooo much!

And now I know it's formally called 'unassisted birth' and that helps a lot!

Thanks again!
k'smami's Avatar k'smami 07:24 PM 09-10-2002
I will be having unassisted births for my future children (one is due in March ). There's so much out there. I've been researching it for the past 10 months and there's still so much more I want to read. I copied this list from a post I wrote somewhere else so I may be repeating what others have posted.


I also can't recommend enough the Unassisted Childbirth e-mail list. There is TONS AND TONS of useful information there. I've learned so much by being on this list.


Birthlove.com is a pay site but I have to say that the membership fee is totally worth it IMO. (And it's for lifetime membership so you only pay once.) It's like buying a book that keeps updating itself for free. Aside from all of the useful info about healthy pregnancy, midwifery and unassisted birth there's the online doula course whose information would definately be handy in an unassisted birth. There are also two e-books that you can download too. All of this just for the membership fee. (ok, I'll stop pushing it now LOL).

This is a link to more links: http://www.lauriemorgan.com/birth.html

I also read, Polly's Birth Book: Obstetrics for the Home by Polly Block. Ironically it was this book that put me on the unassisted path. It just seemed so simple, although it has a lot of complicated techniques in it for some reason reading it gave me the confidence to look further.

There is also "Emergency Childbirth" by Gregory White. This is a great one for hubbys who don't want to bother with the inspirational stuff, just the logistics. It's written for Police men and emergency response people.

Finally there's Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Shanley, I haven't read it yet but I'm told it's a must read.
yoga's Avatar yoga 11:27 PM 09-10-2002
I've joined that UC yahoo group and I've looked on a few of the sites. So inspiring! I'm kinda mad, tho, b/c my library carries no books on unassisted childbirth. Hmmm...might hafta request they order something.

Again, thanks everyone! K'smami, I wanna say Good Luck, but I don't wanna seem like I'm doubting your ability, so maybe Happy Birthing...?
laurashanley's Avatar laurashanley 02:31 AM 09-11-2002
I've given birth alone several times. You can read my stories here - http://ucbirth.com/stories.htm and also in my book UNASSISTED CHILDBIRTH. If your library doesn't carry it, I'm sure you can get it through interlibrary loan. And as you can see, there's a ton of info about it on the internet.
yoga's Avatar yoga 02:24 PM 09-12-2002
Laura-- I went to your site last night and I am in awe! You and David are enlightened folk.

I only wish that I had had the confidence so many of you have with my first pregnancy. But it's all been a learning experience and I'm grateful I'll be able to experience a UC!

laurashanley's Avatar laurashanley 07:59 PM 09-12-2002
I'm so glad you like my site! Good luck and please let us know if you're preggers!!
yoga's Avatar yoga 01:57 AM 09-22-2002
Just letting you resourceful and kindly ladies know that, No, I'm not pregnant. I feel a combination of and , ya know?

But, dh...argh! That man drives me crazy! He's completely abt it, and he's the one who didn't want anymore! Weird...

But, now, I know that he's okay w/ a UC, and I'm definitely gonna do it if we get pregnant again. I also now know he wants another baby, so we will try in a few months.

Thanks, Ladies!!
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