anyone have Hospital birth w/o interventions? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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has anyone here had a truly intervention free hospital birth? I'm walking out of a homebirth for a hospital birth this time (#1 induced hospital, #2 at home) and although I'm arming myself with information I wonder how common it is (or can be) for an intervention free birth. I have an experienced doula coming with me who vows to stand up strong for my birth plan and knows the nurses at this hospital as well as my doctor.

I'm to the point of even wanting to birth without any hands "down there" unless I ask for it. Not sure how my doc would do with that, but she had her own babies at home (and is an OB!) so I think there's a chance.

You?
Sarah

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#2 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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I've had 3 hospital births, the only one I've managed to have without any interventions but the initial check on admission was my last. And I had her 20 minutes after I arrived so they didn't have time to harass me or do much except catch.

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#3 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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This is a great question and one I hope to answer for myself. At my next midwife visit, I'm going to ask her all of these questions. The only problem is that I get whatever midwife is on call.

At my last hospital birth I was very in control and they listened. I'm not even sure I want ANYONE else in the room besides me, dh, and the mw. Not even a nurse. That may change if I "like" the nurse but I want support, not people doing things to me.

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#4 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Me.

It was wonderful. My husband knew exactly what I wouldn't agree to and stood up for my wishes 100%. My OB recommended which hospital (of his three with priveleges) so I could have the birth I wanted.

Angela
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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#5 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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I believe it's unlikely and rare. No VEs, IV, saline or heplock, ECFM (or intermittent FM), AROM, being confined to the bed, etc. Completely hands off and free to do whatever you wish in terms of your labor/birth preference.

With DD2 I had AROM, saline lock and intermittent FM and three VEs. Without being a royal bitch or making "requests" or "asking" for permission, it would be extremely hard to have a totally normal birth in most hospital settings.

Many have their own definition of what "intervention-free" means. It depends on one's personal birth philosophy. If they don't touch or meddle and only offer support or something to drink, massage, listen to babe's heartbeat with doppler or fetalscope then I'd say that's pretty intervention-free.

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#6 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Semper Gumby View Post
I believe it's unlikely and rare. No VEs, IV, saline or heplock, ECFM (or intermittent FM), AROM, being confined to the bed, etc. Completely hands off and free to do whatever you wish in terms of your labor/birth preference.
I had none of the above in my 2002 hospital birth. I did have a 15 minute external fetal monitor strip, but that was it, and I was standing/squatting the whole time

No vaginal exam, ever, from start to finish.
No IV or lock.
No stripping of membranes or artificial rupture of membranes.
No pitocin, no cytotec, no augmentation or induction.
No traction on the cord after.
Babe at my breast within 30 seconds.
Delayed cord clamping.
Babe stayed with us for 2+ hours. Then DH followed him and was with him the entire time before they returned him to me.
Babe with me the entire 2 days, co-sleeping in the bed.


NOTHING other than the 15 minute EFM strip.

I walked in with my husband and doula at 10 cm, though. Baby was born within 30-45 minutes of walking in, and the only reason it took THAT long was that I think I closed up a bit out of nervousness.

When the EFM was done, the CNM walked in. She asked me to get on the bed if I could, and I said I couldn't (I was clinging to a small bedside table), so she slid a chux pad under me and slid under me, like an auto mechanic checking the underside of a car LOL.

She saw my bulging bag of waters. I shouted "I need to push!" and she said, "Then push!" No vag exam--nothing. She could tell.

My body pushed (I didn't do it voluntarily--it just happened, maternal-fetal ejection reflex). Bag of waters EXPLODED.

DH, CNM, and doula slowly guided me to the bed, where I ended up releasing the baby in a modified all-fours position about 4 pushes after my water broke. Done.

This was at a small community hospital, btw--nothing fancy, and not known for any sort of alternative birthing/natural birthing approach. We were just very clear and advocated for what we wanted, and picked a CNM practice that supported what we wanted.

So it IS possible to have a non-intervention hospital birth. I'm now due in early August, and damn well intend to do the same again.
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#7 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, I'll have to ask my OB what she thinks is truly possible for an intervention free birth. This hospital is relatively small and they have a TON of Amish people in this community who many times come to the hospital. Everyone I have talked to so far can't say enough good things about this hospital and the nursing staff in the birthing center. The nurse who gave me the tour said that none of my requests to her seemed unreasonable and that they can't force me to do anything I want.

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#8 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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I think it totally depends on the hospital. It could not happen here. Good luck!

-Angela
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#9 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Semper Gumby View Post
Without being a royal bitch or making "requests" or "asking" for permission, it would be extremely hard to have a totally normal birth in most hospital settings.
This is something that drives me crazy about having a hospital birth - having to "ask permission," especially for normal things like eating and drinking. : It's also something I've struggled with in discussing with my HCPs - if I "ask permission" for something, and they say no, then I kinda feel like I've agreed that it's their decision. OTOH, if I go in saying, "This is what I'm doing, I don't care what you say" then I feel like I'm setting myself up to be in conflict with them from the get go.

Fortunately, so far my OBs seem mostly accommodating to my wishes, though there are a couple things that I probably will have to fight for when it comes down to it.

Amy, wife to Paul 5/20/01, SAHM to Daniel 5/23/07, Claire 7/15/09, and Elaine 9/4/12

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#10 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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My DD's birth was in the hospital and was intervention free. I was planning a homebirth but had to change plans at 38 weeks when my bleeding time test came back with terrible results (I have a form of hemophilia). My MW and I decided that it just wasn't safe for me to be at home due to the high risk of a hemorrhage.

I labored at home until the last minute, which was wonderful. I was only at the hospital for an hour before she was born, though transition took a while because she was posterior and needed to rotate. The nurses were wonderful. No fetal monitoring (besides a check or 2 with the doppler... 1 of which I asked for).

I did agree to a heparin lock IV just in case of emergency bleeding. This was specific to my situation (because veins often collapse in the case a hemorrhage in a hemophiliac and it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to get my meds in if that happened). If I hadn't had this problem could have refused the hep lock. I had the put in my arm because I hated having things on my hands and didn't want them in my inner elbow because then I couldn't bend my arm. They were really nice to me and respected my birth plan and my choices.

Other than that, it was intervention free. I showered, walked around, chose my own birthing position and never had any vaginal exams or nurses poking and prodding me. The nurses (probably assuming I was cray, avoided my room like the plague really and didn't come in until DD was almost out and needed some help starting to breathe.

They NEVER took her away from me and she didn't leave the room even once. No eye ointment, no meds, no injections. I allowed the hearing test but they did it in the room. She slept with me that night (she was born at 11pm) and I signed myself out at noon the next day. All the nurses LOVED the cloth diapers, even the social worker that they dragged up because I was signing myself out AMA (I had no reason to stay). Everyone was really incredibly nice to us!

A planned hospital birth can go well if you are prepared and your care provider is on your side.

Beth )O( Homeschooling Mama to blahblah.gif DS (7) luxlove.gif DD (5) and sleepytime.gif DS (1) & #4 on the way in October!!! love.gif
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#11 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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the birth of my first daughter took place in a hospital and without intervention. i think the main factor was me showing up at the hospital in transition followed by my choice of midwife and perhaps i got lucky with a non-pushy nurse. the births of my three sons were intervention filled.

for the birth of my second doctor i will not be using a hospital but will birth at home with my ob.

i wish you the best of luck, sarah.

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#12 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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I had an extremely similar experience to gurumama. Truly intervention free 3rd hospital birth, but, I arrived at 10cms & pushing. My baby came 40 mins after I walked in the hospital doors. I didn't have a doula, but my birth was attended by my awesome midwife who knew I didn't want any interventions. She had to listen to fetal heart tones every 20mins by law, but that was a fine thing to me (she used a fetoscope, not those belly band things). Otherwise, there was nothing at all that could be considered an intervention. This was in 2005 in Berkeley, CA.

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#13 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 01:50 PM
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I think it totally depends on the hospital. It could not happen here. Good luck!

-Angela
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I also agree that it's unlikely and rare. It can happen, but for most people, it doesn't.
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#14 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 02:04 PM
 
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I think it would be very difficult to find a hospital in the US where they would be totally hands off.

Even if they don't actually get to do any intervention, the fact that they keep trying to talk you into having them is enough to disturb the whole thing for me.

And then there is all the people that keep walking in your room at night to check your vitals :

EDITED TO ADD: But yes, like others said, your chances are bigger if you labor at home until the last minute.... but then again, that in itself is very stressful because how can you be sure you won't get there too early or too late?
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#15 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Something I found with my second birth, is that there were several things they wanted to do because it was the norm there, and at first, the nurse pushed backed when I said no. But I kept saying that the doc and I agree, and she should check with the doc. I don't even know if she bothered to check with the doc or not, but saying that would have her drop it. After doing that a couple of times, she gave me no hassle at all.

I remember getting a tear stitched up right after the baby was born, and looking off to one side as she was being weighed, and out of the corner of my other eye, I see the nurse headed towards me with a syringe at the ready, to get me in the thigh. I immediately said, "Please don't give me that!" very firmly, but the please thrown in for politeness's sake And then instead of her next step being a step closer to me, it was a step towards the trash can where she threw it right in there. She knew at that point not to even bother explaining that I should probably have it, because I obviously already knew what it was and was going to say no anyway.
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#16 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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I have had several clients who have had intervention free-non medicated births at a hospital. The catch is that they were educated, vocal and discussed EVERYTHING with their care provider before labor started. I even had one OB tell his patient that she needed to come in right before she was ready to push (he wasn't on call the weekend she went into labor).

It can be done.

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#17 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Waiting until the last minute to go in seems to be a common theme in this thread. Easy for those near a hospital, more difficult for those who are not, and may not want to drive an hour while in second stage labour.

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#18 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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with my second, i went to a hospital for a "planned induction". They broke my water, gave me a hep-lock, and left me alone after that. I didn't have cord traction or pitocin after the birth either.

it was at a HUGE hospital, and my dr. was a resident female who really rocked on the idea of natural-as-possible birth.

it wasn't the ideal, but a whole lot better than what it could have been like!

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#19 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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My 3rd was an intervention free hospital birth, this could have never happened at the hoapital I deliverd the firth 2 at but this hospital is a little more laid back and my Midwife was on my side.

I arrived at hospital at 10 with budgling water bag and labored 2 more hours before water broke and baby came out while I was on all fours we had delayed cord clamping, no eye stuff, no injections of any kind then I signed baby out AMA 2 hours later. We told staff as soon as we got there to get the paper work ready because we were going to leave so they were great about have it all ready in a timely fashion.

While I labored they came in to check heartbeat w/ doppler ever 20 min and I refuse the IV and hep lock plus antibiotics cause was strep B positive they did not like that but you have the right to refuse ANYTHING its YOUR body

this time I'm using the same midwife and hospital and plan to deliver in room with just DH unless someone happens to walk in at that time I'm delivering

Betsy, Mommy to DS (10) DD (4) DS (2) and DS (1)
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#20 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
I have had several clients who have had intervention free-non medicated births at a hospital. The catch is that they were educated, vocal and discussed EVERYTHING with their care provider before labor started. I even had one OB tell his patient that she needed to come in right before she was ready to push (he wasn't on call the weekend she went into labor).

It can be done.
I'm glad to hear you say this because this is the thing I'm attempting. I am only 5 months so I'm going to ask how to get done what I want very early.

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#21 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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Yes, but I'm in a different country (and continent) and here it's very common to have that.

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#22 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Moved to Birth and Beyond.

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#23 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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I have had 3 hospital births and one accidental unassisted homebirth. Two of my hospital births I would describe as very minimal intervention and generally good experiences. That would be my first birth when I was 17 -arrived at the hospital 8 cms, was pushing within 40 minutes of arrival, pushed for 2 hours and certainly could have used more flexibility on birth position, but had a nice nurse who at least assisted me to side-lying, did have an unnecessary episiotomy, baby was given directly to me and only taken to be weighed briefly, had rooming in Also, my 4th birth - arrived to the hospital thinking I was just getting into active labor and was 9 cms dilated! Had a big argument with my OB about breaking my water (which I adamently didn't want) and then my labor stalled and I was fairly miserable, I think due to the stress, and finally I agreed to let her break my water and was already fully dilated, so I don't know why I didn't just push and keep her hands out. Baby never left my arms except to be weighed, my kids gave her first bath with help from the nurse.

It's my 3rd birth that I would describe as a fantastic hospital birth. I was seeing my family doc for this pregnancy, and he was a very gentle soul and very willing to support me however I wished. This baby was born in an in-hospital "birth center" - really just a fancy room at the end of the labor and delivery hallway. I had 1 exam on hospital admission (I was 4 cms, the least I've ever been on arrival!) My nurse got me settled in the room, explained that she'd just have me stand next to the monitor for a few minutes every 30 minutes so she could listen to the baby, and then she suggested I go walk. I walked in the halls for a while, then stood in the shower while my dh rubbed my back, then got out and rocked in a rocking chair and ate raspberry sorbet (which I can still remember as tasting fantastic) I remember that I was just starting to feel that contractions were really intense, and I told my dh I was going to wait 2 more contractions and then ask the nurse to check me because I wanted to know where I was. On the very next contraction, though, my water broke and I immediately wanted to push. The nurse grabbed a spare resident who stood in the corner of the room with her hands in her pockets (I understood later that the residents tended to get in trouble for "interfering" with the private docs births) but fortunately my own doc was in the building and was there in just a few seconds. I climbed into the big queen size bed and they stacked up a bunch of bean bags that I nestled into. This was the first time I ever saw a doc catch in a non-typical medical fashion. He knelt on the floor in front of me, and caught my son in a just a few pushes, and immediately put him on my belly. I had a skin tear that needed stitches, and he stayed there kneeling on the floor to do the repair because I was comfortable and didn't want to move. He didn't clamp or cut the cord for almost 30 minutes (which was how long the placenta took) He winked at me when I asked about it and said that he never cut the cord before the placenta because that way the nurses couldn't take the baby "just for a minute" I, dh, and the baby all slept together in the queen size bed that night, and my oldest ds slept on the couch. It was a lovely, lovely birth.

Although I attend a lot of standard modern obstetrical births, I do attend quite a few births like that one of mine, too. It was my own family doc that taught me that I could get on the floor - and I almost always find myself there for the birth, as the grand majority of my clients birth squatting, hands and knees, or standing! My nurses are now well trained to do intermittent monitoring in any position, encourage moms to be upright and mobile, do infrequent if any exams, not coach pushing or try to put moms in non-gravity assisted positions, and to leave the baby alone.

I'd ask your OB what her typical births look like, and when she would feel it necessary to recommend interventions. Ask her how comfortable the nurses are going to be with you declining things, and whether she'll back you up if you want to go against any standard policies.
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#24 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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nak

not me, sadly. BUT one of my best pals did, same hospital and doctor as me- TOTALLY different experience.

She went in right after her water broke. Had 1 internal check, went into the hot shower for over an hour, got into bed, had 1 more internal, and started pushing while the 2 nurses and her doc sat on the other side of the room. dimmed lights. Baby wasn't taken from her at all except initial weighing and wrapping up.

funny thing is she went in wanting an epi and would have an elect c-sec if it had been allowed.
I went in because my UC wasn't going as planned and had tons of interventions and was }thisclose{ to a csec.
*sigh*

but ya, it is possible
best wishes :

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#25 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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I had my middle three without any interventions other than an ocasional heartbeat check. It's totally doable with the right provider and staff.

Good luck!

Wife to 1~Mom to 5 ages brand new to 12~Rural Mail Carrier~Keeper of 2 dogs, 1 cat & a flock of chickens :
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#26 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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I did. Two cervical checks--next time I think I'd even decline those as I found them incredibly painful. One was when I arrived (in transition) and one just before I pushed a couple hours later. And 15-20 mins of external strip monitoring when I arrived.

No saline locks. No restriction of movement, labored in the water or on the toilet. I could have eaten, but didn't want to. My food/water wasn't limited (in fact, they encourage eating/drinking at this hospital). Totally nekkid and free to roam. I did consider some of their attempts to position me while I was pushing to be a bit intrusive and next time I'll be more explicit in my wishes.

Delayed cord clamping, on the boob immediately, no baths for babe, etc.
Otherwise, nothing until afterward, when I accepted locals for stitching some minor tears. And RhoGAM the next morning, after they typed the tiny bit of blood remaining in the cord (DS is rh+).

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#27 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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My last two births were probably as close as I'm going to get to intervention-free unless I do UC.

I had intermittent monitoring (mw held the monitor long enough to catch the baby's heartbeat, then took it away) and a hep-lock due to my risk for hemorrhage. One initial internal check. Other than that, I did what I wanted to. Mw caught the baby, and handed him right up to me. : Placenta came out on it's own.
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#28 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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I had an intervention free hospital birth. Well, they did hand held fetal monitoring at first but then gave up because I was moving around too much. I wore my own clothes, no IV or Hep blok, no strapped down monitoring, no injections, etc. I was free to move around and labor and push in whatever position felt right to me. I had a wonderful, open-minded OB and an excellent doula. I was able to feed DS right away and the placenta was allowed to come out on it's own.

My only advice is to hire a doula, know what you want and don't want and make sure your mw, ob, etc knows too, and labor at home for as long as possible.

S~ Peace loving, natural living, FuNkY vegan mama to Keiran bouncy.gif 23/Dec/06:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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#29 of 53 Old 06-28-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I'd call my first birth intervention free or damn close to it. I arrived at 9cm. Had intermittent fetal monitoring - no belt or anything, the nurse just held the monitor on my belly every now and then. After about an hour I was at 9.5 cm and the MW broke my water - only after she asked if I wanted to try that and I said yes. There was some meconium and they did suction DS. That's it.

The thing is, for that MW group, that was basically standard practice. I didn't even go through hospital triage or even really get checked in, though we must have done something to tell them we were there. There ARE practices like that, but you may have to search awhile to find one.
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#30 of 53 Old 06-29-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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There were some interventions for my birth with DD in our birth center. I had to wear the eletronic fetal monitor belt (which I hated) for 10 minutes an hour. They tried to put an IV in because they thought I was dehydrated from throwing up, but they couldn't get it in, so I never had it. The nurse did an exam twice, which was super uncomfortable. I did get to walk around the whole time, take a shower, drink water etc. We had a good experience there overall. We had a birth plan and DP is very vocal. He made sure I had what I wanted. Our nurse called me "one of those patients"! Luckily the other nurses seemed to check on us more than she did. We loved our midwife too. I think they most important thing is to educate yourself about the hospital and what's normal procedure for your OB.
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