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1. Talk to your doctor confidently and authoritatively about the specific details of your birth plan. Don't say, "I think it would be good if I could move around during labor." Say, "I WILL be moving around during labor. Will I encounter any problems when I ask for a hep lock/no IV and refuse continuous fetal monitoring?" A lot of doctors will give lip service to a birth plan, but not follow through. Nevertheless, I think it's important that s/he knows your wishes.
2. Make sure the nurses and hospital staff are also familiar with your birth plan.
3. Make it clear to your husband that a very important part of his job during the birth is to be firm with the hospital staff about your choices and defend your right to labor however you want. You really need his support so you can concentrate on your labor.
4. Get a doula!!!
5. Don't get intimidated by the hospital staff! This is YOUR labor and you have to do what you need to do. If the nurses or doctor get pissy with you, let them.
Best of luck wherever you end up!
I am assuming that at this point, your decision is made and that what you most want now is confidence, support and practical advice for your decision.
I have had two successful hospital births - 100% intervention-free. I know others who have also gotten natural birth in a hospital. So please - believe it can be done, and put aside your fear! There are some steps you can and should take to help things. Here's what worked for me:
1. Go to the hospital as late as possible. My Bradley classes said, wait until cx have been 4 min apart AND 1 minute long for 1 full hour (remember 4-1-1) Also, you should be emotionally feeling serious, stressed and inward-focused (not happy, excited and chatty) as this is a signpost for the 2nd stage of labor. Following this advice got me to the hospital at 9-10 cm dilated both times - so I spent 90% of labor doing whatever the **** I wanted at home. Lots of walking, sitting on the birth ball, easing my pain in the shower, getting lovely back rubs from DH and doula, etc.
2. Get a doula. Its late but you never know when a doula may have a last-minute opening in her schedule (client gave birth early etc.) so get the list of local doulas from the DONA site, and just start calling. Spending $600 on a doula is less than the $3000 for a home-birth and believe me your DH will be grateful for the help. Apprentice doulas may even work free to get certified. When I got to the hospital, I was completely out of it and unable to communicate. DH was a stressed out wreck poor thing, just holding my hand. The doula calmly handed over my birth plan, gently mentioned how the birth plan said I didn't want an IV or hep lock, and in a thousand subtle ways nudged things into the right place. She also helped us decide on exactly the right time to leave for the hospital so we timed it right.
3. Get your OB to sign off on your birth plan in advance. Ask him/her to put a signature on it. Review it with every doc in the practice, if possible. Ask them to place a signed copy in your medical file (which will be at the hospital). And obviously also bring it along with you. Your OB may not show up right away and this will help ensure the RNs or the resident on-call defer to the birth plan that your doctor has agreed to honor, even if they can't reach him.
4. Make DH memorize the following words "We want all newborn procedures conducted in our presence and with our express consent." And here's a little-known secret: tell the nurses you want to wait and give baby the first bath yourselves, at home! The bath can be a huge reason for mother-baby separation after birth - it gives them an excuse to take baby to the nursery, where they could do all kinds of things behind your back in addition to the bath, and then post-bath baby's temp always drops (surprise!) which is an excuse to stick baby under the warmer to "regulate the temperature" for 2-3 hours During this time, you are quietly going insane. I fell for this b-s in birth #1 and stood my ground with #2 - "Thanks but no thanks, no bath for us - just towel her dry please!" and was so glad I did, she never left my side.
Have you taken the hospital tour? On the tour generally the nurse will tell you what they usually do "routinely" and you can ask whether that can be avoided if the doctor says so. Their reaction will tell you a lot about what to expect.
When it comes to being induced, just say no. It is hard, I know. The latest trick seems to be using low amniotic fluid as an excuse to induce, which is not justified unless there are other signs that baby is not doing well. Drink a lot of water before any u/s (or even better, refuse the u/s!) as that can help your fluid levels. Going past your due date is also not an evidence-based reason to induce until close to 42 weeks again unless there are other signs baby is not doing well. If you are feeling pressure to induce for what you believe is a flimsy reason, and are having trouble standing up to the doc, try playing along "oh, i see what you mean, let me discuss this with dh and we'll call the office to schedule the induction" and then turning off your phone.
In terms of avoiding c-section, based on the experience of my many, many friends who have been cut open for no good reason, it is almost always due to baby being "stuck" or labor "failing to progress." All of them were trapped lying in bed with epidurals and fetal monitors and IVs. If you can stay out of bed, change positions, get on your hands and knees, squat to open up the pelvis, etc., that will greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you.
Good luck! You can do it. Look forward to hearing your happy birth story - hopefully soon!
|I dont want to end up being induced and I dont want to end up with a C section. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a hospital birth better? I know that its better if you can be up and moving around during labor, but will most hospitals let you do this, if you dont get an epidural?|
|What are the best positions to labor in, standing, squatting, etc?|
It's not too late. Many midwives would still consider taking you.
I would never risk myself and my baby in a hospital due to money. It's just not worth it.
Thanks everyone, you all are so great! I do like my OB and midwife (though she calls herself a med wife) lol But she is married to the OB so I guess it makes sense.. I have talked to them and it sounds like they will follow my wishes. I have not told them I am totally against an epidural but I would like to avoid it if I can.. And if I get to the hospital too late for an epi then that would work! lol I like the idea of going there and laboring in the car. I hadnt thought of that one. Hopefully they will let me be up off the bed.. What are the best positions to labor in, standing, squatting, etc? Well, thanks so much!
Wife, mom to DS (4), DD (2) and baby heart 2.7.13
No one can make a laboring woman do something she doesnt want to. In every case where they said i needed to do something that i wasnt going to do i asked for an AMA form. Against Medical Advice.
i know they dont present things like they are options but everything is up to you. I know it would be nice to stay at home and not deal with any of it. but its very empowering to "just say no" and its definately possible to have the birth you want in a hospital. Its taken me 3 hospital births to finally decide to stay at home and go the unassisted route.
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