opting out of hospital routines - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to get things squared away for my hospital birth as much as possible. I know I'm going to be opting out of everything, no vitamin k, eyedrops, hep-b, or any other foreign substance introduced to my baby. If my doctor will not agree to this because of health issues (I have severe allergies and do not want to pose any risk of causing allergies or worse in my baby) I do not have a problem signing a legal consent form. I know for a fact that one of the vitamin k shots commonly used would give me an allergic reaction (there are actually two ingredients I'm allergic to in it.) However, it's my understanding that in my state, you have to say it's because of religious beliefs. Do they leave it at that, or pressure you to release the religion you belong to? I've heard some hospitals threaten to call CPS on you. Is this really grounds for them to do so? Do you think I should speak with and/or hire a personal lawyer in case something happens? Anyone have any advice on the subject? DH is more than prepared to stand up, and he is NOT the one to be pushed around! I just don't want anything to get escalated to the point of having security/police/CPS/lawyers involved.

Jaime ~ married to Chad, mommie to Elaine shamrocksmile.gif 03/17/08, 3rdtri.gif due 02/14/11 joy.gifHappy Valentines Day!

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#2 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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I don't know of any state where they can ask you what religion you are. They can threaten to call CPS but would have to have some justifiable reason (not simply a legal refusal of non-essential procedures). IF they were to call CPS and IF CPS showed up, yes, do call a lawyer and say nothing at all until they arrive to counsel you.

I would talk it over with the doctor in advance though, and with the delivery ward. Be sure to make it abundantly clear in your birth plan and make sure everyone entering the room reads it and agrees to it. Get things in place so there doesn't need to be a battle.

To my knowledge most docs/hospitals don't push the issue too much.
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#3 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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I found that the best way to avoid getting sucked into the system was to stay out of it completely. Perhaps ask yourself, if you don't want all the technology and routine procedures that come with hospital birth, why are giving birth there? Just food for thought.

The fact is, it's next to impossible to decline things in that setting. Your DH is tough, but what about when he has a doctor and 2 nurses explaining how your baby might die if you don't do x, y and z, and you're in laborland or postpartum hormonal haze? I have rarely taught a couple who were able to withstand hospital pressure no matter how tough they felt before.

It's possible that if you decline, you'll have CPS called on you. It'll be a hassle but it's unlikely there will be any long-term repercussions.

I guess you just have to ask yourself what benefit of hospital birth you'll be getting to make it worth the hassle and risk.

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#4 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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We declined everything including cord stump goo without much hassle. My midwife knew our wishes in advance, we told the nurses up front, and everything went just as planned (in that respect), even though I wound up being the only parent present until ds was 15-20 minutes old! (Dh had gone to walk our dogs @@)
The only time a question was raised was when the ped came in to do his exam. He "strongly suggested" the cord goo, but didn't push it when I pointed out that ds was never in the nursery and we were leaving earlier than protocol.

I had more trouble getting a nurse to not force a formula package on me than any of that other stuff!
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#5 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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My DH is an RN in a very progressive, research-based hospital. Even though his hospital is more parent-friendly than most, he has seen some bad stuff with staff. He is very cautious about offending hospital staff b/c (in his words) he "knows how evil some staff members can be." If staff are not natural-friendly and won't listen to "no thanks", he declines things in a very diplomatic, respectful, stall-for-time way (e.g., "Thanks you for telling up. We want to try nursing now. Can we talk about it again later?"). He is also adamant that we have a natural-friendly ped lined up and go to an appointment as soon as we leave the hospital to get a letter stating that the baby is healthy. We know someone who had CPS called on them as they were leaving the hospital. Going to the natural-friendly ped before they went home was the only thing that saved them a huge hassle.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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Mostly you just have to write it up for your file, remind them, stay with your baby so they don't forget and do it anyway, and sign an against medical advice refusal form. I found they didn't give me much hassle, just gave me the papers. Eye goop (not the old silver nitrate kind though) they did insist upon giving, but it was after half an hour went by so they did delay for me. If your pediatrician you plan on using has hospital priviledges there and you can have them back you up it will be easiest. Your OB won't have any sway here, once the baby's out it's in the pediatrician's realm.

For the birth itself, there might be a lot of routines to plan on declining as well, make sure you know all your choices there too and get your OB or MW on board with that. At the hospital I delievered at they had a lot of things in place that would hinder a natural birth, tie me down and annoy me and such.
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#7 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
I found that the best way to avoid getting sucked into the system was to stay out of it completely. Perhaps ask yourself, if you don't want all the technology and routine procedures that come with hospital birth, why are giving birth there? Just food for thought.

The fact is, it's next to impossible to decline things in that setting. Your DH is tough, but what about when he has a doctor and 2 nurses explaining how your baby might die if you don't do x, y and z, and you're in laborland or postpartum hormonal haze? I have rarely taught a couple who were able to withstand hospital pressure no matter how tough they felt before.

It's possible that if you decline, you'll have CPS called on you. It'll be a hassle but it's unlikely there will be any long-term repercussions.

I guess you just have to ask yourself what benefit of hospital birth you'll be getting to make it worth the hassle and risk.
I forgot to address this issue before hand. I don't have a choice because I live in a very rural area in a state with less then a handful of midwives to begin with, non of which are anywhere near me. There are no free standing birth centers anywhere near either. I'm taking the hospital tour in a few weeks and I'm hoping they are understanding that I'm requesting these things for valid medical reasons (I don't want to get labeled as the crazy hippy!) At this point I feel my only other option is to UC, which is a possibility - intended or not!

Jaime ~ married to Chad, mommie to Elaine shamrocksmile.gif 03/17/08, 3rdtri.gif due 02/14/11 joy.gifHappy Valentines Day!

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#8 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies. I have not yet discussed the details with my OB, but he knows I'm 'au natural.' He was ok with me not taking any form of prenatals, or the flue shot. So far he has had a pretty much 'hands off' approach. I think he assumes I won't want anything un-natural during the delivery, but I will make sure he knows specifics beforehand.

I have heard our hospital's birth center is fairly progressive. No separate labor/delivery rooms, everyone gets a private room - some w/ jacuzzi tubs, food and drink encouraged (they even have their own mini snack bar on that floor.)

I found the vaclib.org website had will have all the forms printed & signed, as well as a detailed birth plan. I'm going to speak with a friend of the family who is a lawyer. He's a divorce court lawyer, but if something happens he may help me (has before with traffic court.) If not, he'll recommend someone else.

Now I just need to find an understanding pedi. Are they usually ok with scheduling a meeting with parents before the baby is born?

Jaime ~ married to Chad, mommie to Elaine shamrocksmile.gif 03/17/08, 3rdtri.gif due 02/14/11 joy.gifHappy Valentines Day!

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#9 of 13 Old 01-11-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jayell79 View Post
I forgot to address this issue before hand. I don't have a choice because I live in a very rural area in a state with less then a handful of midwives to begin with, non of which are anywhere near me. There are no free standing birth centers anywhere near either. I'm taking the hospital tour in a few weeks and I'm hoping they are understanding that I'm requesting these things for valid medical reasons (I don't want to get labeled as the crazy hippy!) At this point I feel my only other option is to UC, which is a possibility - intended or not!
Well, that sucks! I loved my UC though. Some hospitals are crunchier than others, you might get lucky.

Laura, CBE and mom to Maddiewaterbirth.jpg ( 06/03/04) & Graceuc.jpg (  09/10/06)
 
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#10 of 13 Old 01-12-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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With my third birth we transfered to the hospital from home and declined everything. Doc and nurses were fine with it. We said no to bath, hep b, vit k, did not even let them weigh her until she was done nursing. Which she did for four hours after birth, yep she's my boob girl . They knew I had no prenatal testing done and did not even talk to me about any testing for possible strep or sugar issues. They were very nice and respectful. We went home after 10 hours.

Just wanted to put that out there. Just be very clear with them and since you have the opportunity talk about it ahead of time with hospital staff and your OB.

Allison wife and mom to four. 

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#11 of 13 Old 01-12-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I forgot to address this issue before hand. I don't have a choice because I live in a very rural area in a state with less then a handful of midwives to begin with, non of which are anywhere near me. There are no free standing birth centers anywhere near either.
You don't have to disclose your location, but I'll take a guess that it's somewhere in the Midwest... Any Midwesterner may correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, that region (and I believe New York state, but I may be wrong) is notorious for being midwife-unfriendly.

I had Dd at a freestanding birthing center by a midwife, so I can't help you with your upcoming hospital adventure.

But it's funny because just this morning, I was thinking about this topic. I had to go to the doctor, and the nurse asked me to step on the scale. I replied, "I'm going to pass today, but thank you." She insisted. I politely explained that my weight was absolutely irrelevant to my reason for coming in. She agreed but said I had to do it because it was a "routine procedure" and she would get in trouble.

"Couldn't you just write in any old number?"
"Step on the scale, please."

I caved because unlike refusing Vitamin K and eye goop, this wasn't a battle worth continuing. But yeeeeeeeesh! If it takes that much energy for a non-laboring woman to ask not to be treated as an "assembly-line" patient . . . I cannot fathom what having a baby at a hospital would be like!

Do you have a doula? Doulas are paid to learn your birth plan and fight these battles for you so that you and DP/SO can focus on birthing your baby.

In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
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#12 of 13 Old 01-12-2008, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You don't have to disclose your location, but I'll take a guess that it's somewhere in the Midwest... Any Midwesterner may correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, that region (and I believe New York state, but I may be wrong) is notorious for being midwife-unfriendly.

Do you have a doula? Doulas are paid to learn your birth plan and fight these battles for you so that you and DP/SO can focus on birthing your baby.
Yes, I guess I would be in the Midwest, more like just in the middle. Our town did just get a doula a few months back. However, I know who she is and she and I do not get along (my mother does not care for her either.) All of my immediate family are close by. My mom is DH's backup, and I'm sure my sister & father will be there too (in and out.) So I'm sure there will be plenty of support people, and what DH says GOES...for everyone!

Jaime ~ married to Chad, mommie to Elaine shamrocksmile.gif 03/17/08, 3rdtri.gif due 02/14/11 joy.gifHappy Valentines Day!

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#13 of 13 Old 01-12-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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I discussed these things with MW and am glad I did. In NY if you refuse the Vit K and eye drops it's an automatic CPS investigation. She worked with me on the eye drops and told the nurse to "miss" and then we wiped them out. Dd did get the shot though. Refusing Hep B was no biggie. Our hosp was very MW friendly.....policy is to encourage fluids in labor and restrict food but MW looked the other way and encouraged me to have a banana and some dry cereal at various points. No one offered/suggested drugs or an IV ever. They routinely delay cord cutting, no bath after birth, baby on mom as long as you want, not poking or prodding baby unnecessarily. This made it very easy for me to feel comfortable and I really trusted my MW when she told me not to fight the drops/shot due to CPS. She validated me and then just told me what she's seen in the past. Sad, but I appreaciated her honesty. I've dealt with CPS professionally and here in NY it's nothing I want to mess around with even though I know we have nothing to worry about. Again, sad but true!

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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