Tell me why low-tech is better? (aka convince me the MW is the right choice) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 01-05-2009, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went to two care providers in one day- basically- I actually forgot I even made an appointment with the MW as I never heard back from them about my ins and coverage.... and literally at the last minute this morning, my dh convinced me to keep the appointment and "just go!"

Well, the first appointment was at an OB practice. A BIG ob practice (we are talking 4 stations to check in, I think there are 8 Drs total? etc) in a big, high tech, 2 year old hospital. they did the works, ultrasound for dating, pap, asked me about 800 questions about my medical history (and my families) and were very professional, etc. Everything was shiny and new and nice. I didnt meet the Dr I picked, I saw a NP - who was nice, but when I mentioned natural birth, she strongly suggested hiring a doula and "absolutely refuse" when they say they are going to give pitocin. eek.

Afternoon- went down to the midwive's office/birthing center. Its an old, old house, with dated everything- it was clean, but new, shiny, high tech, "of this era" it was not. I was shown around, the birth rooms were exceptionally clean and more like a B&B (with 80s decor haha) than the rest of the place. The Midwife was strightforward, she knew I'd been to a Dr earlier, told me my options for the area I live in, basically telling me that there is one hospital in the area that is ready/comfy with natrual births... and where I was wasnt it. She was super nice, asked me if I had questions before she even started telling me about the practice and about herself. It was more of a "this is what you need to decide on".

Now,
My fight in my mind is, my ins covers 100% for either if I deliver in hospital (mw has priveledges at the hosp. nearby as well) - and I would have to pay something like $500/800 to deliver at the BC.

There are a few issues. Why choose low-tech, old school, 40 min drive away when I have high tech, new school 15 min in traffic away for the same "$"?

I feel that I wouldn't have to fight to get a good birth experience at the birth center, but I donno - felt like "grammas house" ?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated. My dh thinks I should go the mw direction, but I don't know-- he wasnt there to "meet" both( ok, either, he was on 2yo duty at home)
Why am I so torn?

Kelly, mama to DD energy.gif : (3-30-06) and DS bouncy.gif 7/28/09) ....and gummi, due 3-30-13! (large sch....praying.gif)

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#2 of 49 Old 01-05-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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I guess I'm not 100% sure how to answer the question because... you don't see this kind of question around here much.

To be glib: Because the bright shiny new technology is so often unnecessary, and so often necessitates the use of more bright shiny new technology, and on and on until, so often, you end up with a bright shiny new scar.
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#3 of 49 Old 01-05-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Well, what's important to you?
If you want a natural birth, then you should be surrounded by HCPs who are supportive of it. If they are going to:
-push pitocin to speed up labor
-want to speed up labor with breaking your BOW
-do tons of vaginal exams in order to obsess over the rate of labor (so they can push methods to speed it up)
-want you constantly hooked up to EFM
-Want you on IV fluids & tell you you can't have anything "by mouth"

Then it's going to be much, MUCH harder to accomplish natural birth! & it ain't easy to achieve in the first place! So the last thing any laboring mama needs is people who are supposed to help her making it harder for her.

One intervention leads to another... and too often it culminates in c-section... which is happening about 33% of the time now!!!! I know it was very important to me to avoid an unnecessary CS.

I highly recommend the book "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. It clearly explains how injudicious use of interventions are dangerous for Mom & babe.

I'd much rather have people who respect the natural process of birth and take steps to SUPPORT natural birth than people who "know natural birth is best, but don't have the patience for it." (A quote from an OB friend of an MDC mama.) No matter what the decor... heck, even shag carpet & 70's wallpaper!
Remember, high-tech medicalized birth is PROFITABLE! That's why they can afford shiney & new stuff. Supporting women by helping them change positions, counter pressure, baths & showers, etc. helps labor - but it doesn't bring in the big bucks.

ETA: One more thing on shiney new technology... ever hear the phrase, "Give a boy a hammer & he will soon find that everything he encounters needs pounding?" They might want to use the tools simple because they are there & to justify the purchase. (Hey, no one wants to admit they made a huge 6-figure mistake!)
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#4 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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Um, unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, you don't need shiny technology... you just need a caring, knowledgeable provider who will sit back and let your body do things the old-fashioned way.

Remember, technology = intervention, and one look at the cesarean rate today should tell you that a majority of interventions are not necessary.

SAHM to DS Jan09, DD Mar11. lactivist.gifintactivist.giffamilybed2.gifhomebirth.jpguc.jpgwinner.jpggd.gifcaffix.gif

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#5 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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So many stations and shiny new things would make me feel like a car on an assembly line as opposed to a pregnant human, you know? And that was how I felt when I gave birth to my first daughter. Like I was inconveniencing these people, as opposed to them helping me give birth. For my second, I stayed home, and only had my dh present. It was much nicer, very peaceful.

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#6 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rachel616 View Post
Um, unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, you don't need shiny technology... you just need a caring, knowledgeable provider who will sit back and let your body do things the old-fashioned way.

Remember, technology = intervention, and one look at the cesarean rate today should tell you that a majority of interventions are not necessary.
:

If you want your baby cut out- go shiny and new- absolutely!

If you want time-tested, find a midwife and steer clear of the hospital.

-Angela
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#7 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Have you read any books by Ina May Gaskin, or Birthing from Within? Even just a memoir like Baby Catcher would give you an idea of how different the experience could be.

There is a fundamental difference in the approach to birth between traditional midwives and hospital OB's. Technology and hospital does NOT equal "safe" in any way, shape, or form - in fact, technology often leads to more and more technology, intervention, medications, and possibly emotional problems and regrets for you later. Technology is there if you need it, but if your pregnancy is normal, none of that is necessary. Midwifery is so much more person-centered, mothering the mother, honoring your wishes and needs, and respecting your rights. And a good midwife will let you know if your needs surpass what she can provide.

As a horrible OB nurse once said to me, your birth story is a story you will tell over and over again for the rest of your life....to your kids, your grandchildren, your friends, your children's spouses, etc....don't hand it over to some MD you've met one time who happens to be on call when you go into labor and doesn't even know you.
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#8 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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I can only agree with the other ladies here on this thread so far. I have given birth in two very different ways: one in a shiny fancy new hospital with all the machines and OBs, and the other in my dining room with a pool of water, an old futon, and not much else. I will take the simple, homey birth every time, unless medical necessity dictates that I need the shiny machines and OBs. A skilled midwife with gentle hands and a good old-fashioned fetoscope is much more my style than a big beeping contraption that plugs into my hoo-ha and has its very own nurse to read the paper it churns out.

Birth is a very intimate act. Think of it like sex. Would you rather make love to your husband in an operating room under bright lights with machines plugged into you and lots of strange people watching, or in a nice comfy bed in a dark private room (normally I would say your own bed at home, but you are considering a birth center)? Women birth best where they feel comfortable. I sure as hell don't feel comfortable in a hospital!

The actual birth aside, there is also the difference in care. Most OBs have to look at your chart to even remember your name. You're just another one of many patients they saw that day, a face in the crowd. A home or FSBC midwife takes on significantly less clients, so they are able to devote much more face time to each one, and give them personalized, one-on-one care. They become more like friends than care providers. And they stay with you from beginning to end when you go into labor. An OB just shows up at the last five minutes to "deliver."
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#9 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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I'm not sure you're comfortable with either option you've seen so far. Is there a *keep looking* option? This choice sure matters - it's more than likely the #1 thing you are going to decide about your health and your baby's health so I wouldn't make it lightly.

Have you read Henci Goer's book, the THinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth? That sold me on low-tech for low risk pregnancy. Take a look.

I've given birth twice with CNMs in hospitals. One shiny new teaching super high tech hospital and one cosy community hospital. But what really matters is your CP team. Both times I was with midwives who created a serious protective bubble around my birth and were backed up by OBs who genuinely believed that they were better surgeons, but MWs were better for low risk normal birth.

If you're not happy with either choice currently on the table, keep looking and keep reading and definitely keep asking your CPs lots of questions.
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#10 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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I can't say it any better than everyone else already has. For my first birth I chose the bright, shiny hospital and all it's technology. What it got me was an experience where I was totally out of control of my own birth, a bunch of strangers who saw me as little more than "the patient in L&D #2", a C-section, and an inability to hold my very own baby until she had been poked, prodded, scrubbed up, and held by numerous other people.

This time I am taking the birth center. It will cost us more than had we chosen the hospital, but I'd pay the moon not to have a birth like that again.
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#11 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 02:12 AM
 
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There are a few issues. Why choose low-tech, old school, 40 min drive away when I have high tech, new school 15 min in traffic away for the same "$"?
Because if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Dr.'s by nature are designed to "fix" things. They are taught throughout their 8 or more years of schooling that pregnancy is an illness and illnesses of course in their mind need to be treated.

You're fine. You're not sick. You're just a healthy pregnant waoman birthing a healthy baby. You don't need treatment that is intended for sick people. Now should something happen that requires treatment and isn't normal, then by all means, go to the new shiny place ASAP.
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#12 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 03:36 AM
 
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When I was first pregnant I interviewed with some midwives and then with an OB (with her office in the big fancy hospital... less than two miles from my house).

I chose the OB based on my interviews. I was happy with my choice and heard many good things about that OB. Though my "interview" with the OB was getting a pelvic exam and going over medical history. That was what was more familiar to me. The midwives were nice, but they were attached to the same hospital, so I went with what was more familiar.

As I became more educated, reading Ina May's books, and several others I became more and more apprehensive about birthing in a hospital (naturally, with no drugs). Finally I took a hypnobirthing class... in the class there was a section about birth plans and having my birth partner communicate these plans with the hospital. I realized that there was so much effort involved in getting the birth I wanted, it was a real turn off. And I really wanted to have a waterbirth.

I decided to look at other midwives. I interviewed two other... mind you I was 30 weeks pregnant at this time. I fell in love with one of the midwifery/birth centers. It was in a giant old house. The rooms were lovely, the tubs were huge, it looked like a nice, old bed and breakfast. I saw no high-tech anything, but it felt right in my gut.

So at 30 weeks pregnant I took the risk and switched. I had an amazing, quiet, peaceful intervention-free water birth.

Kimberly
(Mama to West (11/07) Mabel Kelly 10/02/09)
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#13 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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Finally I took a hypnobirthing class... in the class there was a section about birth plans and having my birth partner communicate these plans with the hospital. I realized that there was so much effort involved in getting the birth I wanted, it was a real turn off.
Ohh yes. This. My first labor in the hospital was so stop-and-start, stall stall stall, because I was wasting so much energy fighting with the staff about what I wanted. At home I did not have that struggle. I just...DID what I wanted. I didn't have to ask anybody, or write a birth plan and hope they would read it. I was able to focus on birthing that baby, and not on the crap surrounding me.
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#14 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 04:22 AM
 
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Have you watched "The Business of Being Born"? You can get it on netflix. It will answer all your questions.

But I'd also ask you what kind of birth do you want? Which place will most readily provide that kind of birth?

It isn't about the new and shiny. In more cases than not, the new and shiny will hurt you - physically and emotionally. They'll sell it like they can save you from catastrophe, should it arise. Problem is that 90% of the time, what they save you from was CAUSED by them in the first place. With all that new and shiny stuff they need to use, and bill you for to pay for.

I would compare it to partners. Do you want one with perfect teeth and a nice car - but is a complete ass to you, with no regard to your feelings? Or do you want one who is wearing a shirt he got ten years ago for Xmas - but makes you laugh and feel all is right with the world?
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#15 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 05:26 AM
 
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what is the tec shiny new stuff going to do for you? also I would say what do you want from your experience? do you want an honest to goodness attempt at an unmedicated vaginal birth- the medicated rates are very high in those shiny new places we see the results all over the place- increased c-secion rate 30% or higher, increase maternal morbidity and mortality- infant mortality about the same- locally the medicated birth rate is about 80-90% you have to go in more than just armed with a doula you need a provider with actions and philosophy to back up an unmedicated birth or how to support as close to that as possible like sleep meds for prolonged early labor, but not pushing for epidural at 2-3 cm- is on good terms with the staff and knows how to get the right crew to support an unmedicated birth- and that provider needs to have partners who are also on the same page...
so what has paid for all the shiny new stuff?
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#16 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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I would give anything to be able to deliver in the "grammas house" feel of our local birth center. I have been shifted to hospital care twice now.

The shiny new tech is not necessary for everyone. it's useful in an emergency, but in non-emergency births, it can cause you a whole host of problems. At the midwife center, because you won't have to fight for natural birth, your birth will most likely go better. For me that's the biggest thing-hospitals present risks to non-complicated births. Birth centers don't.
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#17 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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I agree that it sounds like you want to keep looking. What hospital is it that's good with natural birth? Can you check them out?

I had my first pregnancy with the huge and busy OB practice, the shiny high-tech hospital... I think the NP you saw there was giving you a clear warning: this practice will not assist you in having a natural birth.

My guess about the midwifery practice you visited is that their equipment is adequate. They will be able to identify when an issue requires more technology than they have, be able to refer you to a hospital if you need to be there. They can't invest in all the bells and whistles, but IMO, there is a lot to be said for adequate. The shiny new obstetrical practice probably uses all of those bells and whistles, and the comparative advantage to most of the patients they use them on is minimal.
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#18 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Read also "Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care" by Jennifer Block and "Born in the USA" by Marsden Wagner for a detailed, clearly explained--and infuriating!--look at what all that shiny technology has gotten us.

I gave birth to my dd in a birth center much like the one you describe. I was free to wander the halls, grab food from the refrigerator, have all my family there (and sleep in the spare rooms when my labor continued on into the night). I could shout out as loudly and as often as I wanted without feeling at all inhibited. When dd was born, we bathed together, nursed and cuddled in an intimate cocoon that never would have been respected in a hospital, but at the birthing center, the midwives left our new family alone for as long as we wanted before coming in and checking dd out. She never left our side, and we didn't have to fight a hospital staff to have it that way. It's just what midwives do. It's what they believe.

Others have said your search might need to go on. Have you considered homebirth?

I wish you the best of luck in your search. This is an incredible time in your life!!!

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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#19 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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I agree with what the PPs have said.

I, too, have a shiny new hospital less than 15 minutes away from me. But I will be driving over 30 minutes to a hospital in a not-so-safe neighborhood because that is where my awesome MW attends births. When DS was born, we made that drive through rush hour traffic with a blizzard brewing.

One anecdote that to me demonstrates the difference between a MW practice and an OB practice: Yesterday, DS came along to my MW appt. We accidently left behind his cheapy Target $0.99 mittens. They called me that afternoon to tell me that they had them so I wouldn't go nuts looking for them. That type of thing reminds me that my MW's office sees me as a person, and actually cares. I've never seen a dr that would do something like that.

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#20 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Considering I used to work (and still do sometimes) at the birth center you are referring to and I actually delivered at the "supportive of natural birth" hospital you are referring to, I can tell you to GO to the birth center. My son's birth was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. Hence the reason I am planning a homebirth next time. All that shiny new technology is what lead to my intervention-filled birth. I didn't see my son for 2 hours after he was born as he was kidnapped to the nursery for "observation". They say that they are natural birth friendly, but they aren't. Trust me on that one.

Not trying to tell you what to do, just giving you fair warning. Don't let the 80s decor fool you (I have tried to tell them to redecorate!). They are very supportive and great midwives. I have seen many births there and they were peaceful and surrounded by love.

My advice is to picture your birth in your head. What do you see? Do you see strangers all around you, with your baby lying on a warming table 10 feet away, with machines beeping and people walking in at out? Or do you see, you, happy and glowing, happily nursing your child in a warm and safe enviroment surrounded by people who have known you for nine months and care about your outcome?

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#21 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, yeah.
I guess I just needed to "air it out" and see my initial thoughts in "print". After I typed that all out, dh and I had a long discussion, mostly him telling me the same you guys are saying... I think you'll appreciate his anaolgy-

"Just because its new and shiny, does that mean it works better? Think about the way (we) exercise- I (he) use one machine at the gym, its not really a machine. It's a thing that keeps the bar from crushing me (him). The rest is all old school weights. (and I use weights and a big ball. haha) Are we in far, far better shape with our current "stuff" we use than a few yrs ago when we were machine slaves at the shiny gym? (yup. 100%.)

He also said that if I can't make up my mind, he'd do it for me. Birth center. Done. haha!

I REALLY appreciate all of your reassurance. I think I was suffering from shiny object syndrome, haha, and concentrating on the wrong things.

to nummies - very interesting about the hospital in question, and funny that you have mentioned redecorating to the MWs.

As soon as I click "submit" - I am going to call them and set my next appointment-- and figure out how to get my records from the OB transferred to the MW. I think it is the right choice, I would rather feel cared for than "take a number" any day.
Grammas house or not.

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#22 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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LOL...I will have to tell her that someone called it "Grandma's house"! I could so use that in my argument to redecorate! Hey, maybe I will be your birth assistant!! I am a RN there. Best wishes on a great birth!

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#23 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Kellykins,
Glad that the advice you got here helped you work through your thinking and come to the right place in your own mind. I agree with everything other posters said.

I would add that, you actually haven't closed off your options with this decision. Now you have chosen the mw/birth center route, the shiny new high tech is always STILL THERE if you need it! As a pp mentioned, should your pregancy develop any complications, and should interventions or technology be needed, even at the very last minute as you are in labor, your midwife WILL transfer your care to the hospital and/or OB. But, the chances you wiill need any of that stuff are reduced by the very fact that you are going to be in supportive, woman-centered, not-fear based care from now on.

In the Business of Being Born (get it on Netflix!) they show not only the benefits of midwife care in successful, joyful natural births, but also show a very dramatic example of a midwife who got her homebirth client to an emergency c-s in hospital when it was absolutely necessary. That's not a failure of midwife care - its exactly what should happen.

Good luck with the rest of your pg!
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#24 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nummies- just dont mention names hahaha on the needing redecorating!! My dh's response was "um, you dont have to live there, who cares?" He's so dang reasonable! hahaha!


I don't have netflix, I have blockbuster... and I don't see The Business of Being Born on there. Is it exclusively through netflix?

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#25 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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"Just because its new and shiny, does that mean it works better? Think about the way (we) exercise-
Your DH rocks!! Excellent analogy.

I'm a fitness instructor & I say that all the time! "Pumping iron" old-school way is the best! (For both health & physique). Actually... there's a physiological reason free weights are superior - literally more muscles are working! If you get on the ground to do a push up, you must stablize in space (not rock sideways or forward & back as you push up & down) as well as stabilizing with your abs (so your belly doesn't fall to the floor.) If you sit down at a machine & push a bar forward, you do work your pectoral muscles, but you don't get those other advantages!

Anyway, as for The Business of Being Born - some Blockbusters may have it, I don't know. But Netflix is usually offering free 2-week trials, so you could just do that.
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#26 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Oh, one other thought - I completely understand what you mean about being distracted by shiny objects...thinking about the decorating instead of the experience...

When we were new parents and didn't know better we put ds at first into a daycare that we thought was wonderful because it was brand new, clean, orderly and physically perfect. What we found out what really mattered the hard way. The brand-new staffers weren't time-tested and therefore kept leaving. The beautiful furniture wasn't childproofed yet - so my son cracked his head on a corner. The shiny cribs and swings and seats were where my son spent all his time since this modern-mainstream day care didn't think 1-on-1 contact was particularly important for babies. Although we were able to pull him out in a few months and he's been care of a loving nanny ever since - to this day I deeply regret that decision.

Not exactly the same but an analogy - I learned my lesson!
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#27 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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hey mama, just wanted to say for making this choice! and you have a great DH.
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#28 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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From my personal experience Dr's with "shiny, new technology" don't have time for you as a patient. How long did you talk to a Dr? How long did you talk to the MW?

I had a complication a few weeks ago and had to go to the ER. The Dr sucked! I'm sorry but he did nothing but put me on pain killers! I'm pregnant, man! Luckily before he ran out the door (I was there for like 4 hours and saw him for a total of 5 minutes and it wasn't busy) he told me to see my MW by Friday. TG I did! She helped so so so so so so much! I now am in love with her. hehe! She solved my problem. I was off of the pain killers that day and felt a million times better. It took about a week to feel back to normal but what she did helped me immediately all he wanted to do was stop my pain not figure out why I was having it. He had all of the technology available, used a lot of it (not him directly of course) and all it took was my MW actually taking the time to be in the room with me to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it.

My MW spends no less than 20 minutes with me every appointment (60 for the first). Her, not a nurse or me sitting in the room by myself, but her talking to ME! My OB spent a total of 5 to 10 minutes with me every appointment, pushed me off on to nurses or left me sitting in the room alone twiddling my thumbs. I feel like MY time is important to my MW because it is.

also for me being in a home setting is far more intimate and less "sterile." Pregnancy is not a disease. Dimmed lights, tubs to labor in, a nice big bed, and comfort are far more important to me in the normal birth process than all of the shiny new equipment crammed into a hospital.

This is my first, but my sister used MWs with both of her's and they were with her the entire labor and birth. No "you can't push because the dr isn't here" crap that my mom said they told her during labor, which of course she's looking at them like "are you freaking nuts?" The only time I ever hear of MWs missing a birth is when it just happens so fast that they can't get there in time, which isn't that common. But I have friends tell me a lot that they make you wait for the Dr because "X, Y , or Z." Gosh, we pregnant women are so inconveniencing for them.

I implore you to watch "The Business of Being Born." You can get it on Netflix, both as a DVD or stream it on your computer. It addresses the high c/s rate, the high intervention rate, how other industrialized countries treat birth, and exposes some of the Drs for the dunces that they are. Seriously some of the things that they said were amazingly ignorant.
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#29 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellykins View Post
nummies- just dont mention names hahaha on the needing redecorating!! My dh's response was "um, you dont have to live there, who cares?" He's so dang reasonable! hahaha!


I don't have netflix, I have blockbuster... and I don't see The Business of Being Born on there. Is it exclusively through netflix?
You can buy it on Amazon as either the DVD or "video on demand." This the documentary's official site. http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/index.php
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#30 of 49 Old 01-06-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kellykins View Post
I don't have netflix, I have blockbuster... and I don't see The Business of Being Born on there. Is it exclusively through netflix?
I rented it through blockbuster online.

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