Why choose unassisted childbirth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-26-2004, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(BTW I'm not new here, even though this is my "first" post I had a few hundred on the old board but seem to have lost my registration.)

So anyway I'm curious about why people choose unassisted childbirth and what exactly that means. I've looked at some of the UC birth stories and it seems like people still have a partner or friends there...so does "unassisted" mean more like unattended by a professional?

I had my son at a freestanding birth center and I was very glad I had the support of the midwives and I felt like everything went how I wanted it to. But we are planning a move to a city with no birth center and I am pondering where we will have the next birth (although I'm not pregnant now and not planning to be for a while).

My SIL, who lives in the city we want to move to, trained to be a doula although I don't think she ever practiced, because she has three little ones right now...but I could ask her to come to my birth if I wanted to have it at home. She is also a nurse so maybe could handle things like stitches if that turned out to be necessary. I wonder if this is not "unassisted childbirth" or if her doing things like that crosses the line of providing midwifery care which I'm guessing is a different type of thing one must licensed to do (homebirth with a licensed midwife is legal in our state).

If I sound confused, that's because I am... besides the questions for myself I've just been very curious for a while about why some mamas choose UC. I thought maybe for some it's financial reasons, or not finding a provider you feel like you can trust, or maybe something else I hadn't thought of.
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:32 PM
 
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well, for me, i absolutely do *not* want another hospital birth. i just don't even want to "go there" (both literally and figuratively). this will be our last baby so... it's really important that my birth be everything i really want it to be.

i can't afford a midwife; the only midwives that serve my area have a discounted rate... of $3000 per homebirth. i just can't swing that. we have just over $2000 in the bank, which we have to live off of for at least the next 6 months or so, until my fiance can pull in more money from his home business and/or get an outside job.

i considered a doula + hospital birth... but that's not what i want. i want to just let nature take it's course and turn all of my trust over to my body, myself, nature, the Universe, and the Goddess. i want it to go how *i* plan, not how anybody says it should go. i don't want to fight with anyone during contractions when they want to put in an IV, or watch the worried faces surrounding me because i'm experiencing normal labor pain. i don't want to have to pack up and leave my comfy home and warm bathtub and garden right when labor is getting enjoyable to go somewhere i hate being and that terrifies me, so that some dr i've never seen before can rush in, make a big fuss, strip away my woman power, catch the baby and take all the credit. i just want to step out of that mainstream powertrip over women and do what millions of women have done before me, without any assistance or guidance.

i want to be able to feel the cord pulsing in my hands. i want to feel my baby's head as she's crowning. i want to feel the placenta and keep it attached for however long i see fit, perhaps full lotus birth, if that's my choice. i want to be able to snuggle and hold my baby for as long as i like, without anyone taking her from me and washing her while she screams, or pricking her feet or smearing ink on them or taking her away and weighing her while she wails because she's cold and nobody's touching her. i want to establish nursing immediately after birth, and not have rude nurses coming and handling my breasts and shoving the baby on them because they're trying to "help."

i trust that my body can take care of the baby it's grown. i trust in my intuition and my ability to know what to do when the time comes.

and i also know that if anything goes wrong, i'm only about 3 minutes from the local hospital...
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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First it was an unwillingness to birth in a hospital. I didn't feel like I would be "safe" there, with people poking and prodding me, knives and needles and infection all over the place. My first was born in the hospital, and while it was not a BAD experience, many things happened there that were unpleasant, and I later learned, not evidence based practices.

From there, I became determined that I would ONLY birth in my own home. I had become convinced of the safety of homebirth. Further, I grew to believe that MANY of the problems in birth were actually CAUSED by the attendants. Regardless of whether in the home, or hospital, or birth center. This is not meant in a cruel way, but the difficult in listening to your body increases exponentially the more you rely on an "expert" to tell you what to do, when to do it, etc.

For a time, I thought we would hire a midwife anyway. My husband was not keen on the idea of a homebirth. He worried about hemorage and tearing, amoung other things. He also didn't want to shell out the almost $4000 for a midwife. It was a very difficult time for me. Ultimately though, it was clear that there was NO money for a midwife, particularily when I didn't really want anyone else there when I gave birth anyway!

It came down to this: A woman's body is MADE to give birth. Left completely alone, and unprepared, probably 90% of births would go just fine. Prepared emotionally, physically, and mentally, outcomes improve even more. But regardless of where you give birth, or with whom, there are NO GAURANTEES. I think most UCers are aware of that, and ready to take on complete responsibilty for their births. Scary, but true. Ever heard the saying, "Birth is as safe as life gets"?

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:39 PM
 
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There are a bunch of different definitions of "unassisted birth" -- the way I define it is that the birth is not managed and not observed by hired professionals, but not everyone would be happy with that definition. For instance, a lot of women having UCs seem to be perfectly happy to have their husbands (or other non-professionals) act as midwives. I don't regard that as "unassisted", but they do. I personally don't see that it matters how you label it -- the important thing is that you are able to cue in to your needs and have an unhindered birth. And that sort of answers your second question, for me. UC is the best way for me personally to have an unhindered birth. Here's an article I wrote that addresses in some more detail the reasons why: http://home.earthlink.net/~eaglefalc...ivesanduc.html and an excerpt from another article here: http://home.earthlink.net/~eaglefalc.../presence.html
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:45 AM
 
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Over the years, I have known of many UC's; most of them occurred because there were no qualified midwives or willing doctors in the area at the time of the birth.

Most of the people who have participated in UC's who I have known have been idealistic people with different and often utopian ideas about how the world should be. These people have a hope for the future that they hope to bring to their children, and hope by their children's entry into this world, that the change can begin.

Although most people will not admit it, most people who have UC's have a desire for a better world, better than it is now, and hope to be able to effect the change by their small contribution.

JMHO- from my lifetime of observations.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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QUOTE]Ever heard the saying, "Birth is as safe as life gets"?[/QUOTE]

I've heard that saying, and I don't get it. Anyone want to explain it to me?

I would edit it to be "Birth at home if you are low risk with a well trained midwife as as safe as birth gets" but that isn't as catchy, is it?
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:45 PM
 
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I will choose UC because I feel it is the safest way to have a baby. I think interference during labor is a very big risk. Even if it comes by the way of a midwife and not an OB. I also believe women don't need help giving birth, we are designed to do it.
I can understand how in this society UC is seen as dangerous, I mean we have been taught birth in itself is inherently dangerous. Birth is something that must be overseen by an "expert" and anything less is irresponsible. Funny thing is the woman herself is the true expert.
I know I can't change peoples' minds about this but I do wish others could at least pretend to show respect for those who choose to birth this way.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Ever heard the saying, "Birth is as safe as life gets"?
Honey wrote: "I've heard that saying, and I don't get it. Anyone want to explain it to me?"

I've always interpreted it to mean that birth is as safe as life itself is. Life holds many dangers. I could get hit by a car when I'm walking down the street; I could suffer a stroke while sitting here at the computer. I could get food poisoning at a restaurant; I could slip on the stairs and break my neck; I could get cancer. Yet we don't normally behave as if every moment in a normal, healthy life is a potential emergency, as we do with normal, healthy birth. The point of the saying is that we are irrationally fearful of birth when in reality it is no more nor less dangerous than living itself.
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