Avoiding a Cesarean - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since so many of us are afraid of the potential of having a cesarean section, I thought it might be nice if we all spend some time educating ourselves together. Please bring information that you're aware of, or discussions about how to do the things recommended for avoiding a cesarean to this thread!

Here's a brief list of things to do to avoid an unnecessary cesarean, which can be found in full, with explanations here:

Before Labor

* Read & Educate yourself

* Research and prepare a birth plan

* Interview more than one care provider

* Ask about time limits in labor

* Tour more than one birth facility

* Find a labor support person

* Keep good nutrition

* If you've had a previous cesarean, explore VBAC.

During Labor

* Stay home as long as possible.

* Continue to eat & drink during labor.

* Avoid pitocin augmentation.

* Avoid vaginal exams once water breaks.

* Avoid EFM.

* Avoid epidurals.

* Find out the risks procedures before you are faced with them.

* Do not be afraid to assert yourself.

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#2 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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Excellent list!! Seeing your list makes me feel better, as I am doing or plan to do all of those things (well, those within my control) anyway. So hopefully my fear is an unwarranted one!!!

I guess what I am most afraid of is an OB trying to Cover his a$$ amd erring on teh EXTREME side of caution if he sees any type of "distress" or possible abnormality in labor. That's what scares me.

I want my baby to be safe, but I also want to let my body do it's thing naturally.... and I think my line between the 2 would be much less conservative than an OB scared of a lawsuit.

Does anyone else feel like this? I know that the ultimate choice is mine.... but I'm sure the pressure and scare tacticts would be great

Gigi. Mommy to 3 girls.
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#3 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's always your choice.

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#4 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another list I have says:
Quote:
Believe completely in your body. You must find a way to completely trust that your well-nourished body would not grow a baby that is too big for you to birth. This is difficult because much of the information we receive from the media, doctors and even other women is contrary to that. Many unnecessary Cesarean sections come from mismanagement of labor by the woman's attendants rather than the woman's body not functioning as it should.
I wish I could find a link to the full text, it's really great and I can't exceed quote limits.

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#5 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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Well, this really applies to all labor and birth, not just avoiding a c, but one thing that was told to me was do not watch any of those birth shows on tv like A Baby Story and others. They feature a lot of hospital interventions and permeate our subconsious to see that as normal, even though we may know better. Same with having people tell you all their birth horror stories. A pregnant woman does not need to hear those as it does no good. My MW told me some good lines to use for when someone starts on one of these stories, wish I could remember them.

I also really like that last paragraph posted by anna. This is part of our culture, big baby=c/s. Even some of the more crunchy folks I have talked to, like one homebirth mw, and my chiropractor, seemed to believe this to some extent. I would avoid any birth provider that is wanting to use u/s to measure baby later in pregnancy, or who expresses concern about size of baby of pelvis.
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#6 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CathToria
I guess what I am most afraid of is an OB trying to Cover his a$$ amd erring on teh EXTREME side of caution if he sees any type of "distress" or possible abnormality in labor. That's what scares me.

I want my baby to be safe, but I also want to let my body do it's thing naturally.... and I think my line between the 2 would be much less conservative than an OB scared of a lawsuit.

Does anyone else feel like this? I know that the ultimate choice is mine.... but I'm sure the pressure and scare tacticts would be great

I kwym. How many of us are really qualified to say whether the OB is right or wrong in some of those situations? And no one wants to take the responsibility for being wrong, and having something bad happen. Plus, once the scare tactics are brought up, I would think there's a greater chance your labor could go awry anyway. Stressed mom=stressed baby? We do the best we can by choosing someone we can hopefully trust. And talking about our birth philosophy with that person. But what else can we do? If we are going to hire someone to attend the birth in case of emergency, at some point we have to trust them to know what they're doing.
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#7 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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Anna-
I'm not pregnant right now but I hope you do not mind me adding to your list:
EXORCISE YOUR DEMONS. Really examine your fears, worries, etc. Birthing From Within is a good starting point. i say this because I know from personal experience how very strong your mind is, and how very much it can effect your labor. Think about how you will deal with situations that arise, and VISUALIZE yourself responding positively. Sounds nuts but...

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#8 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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I can not believe how much this thread is helping me . I have started reading Birthing from Within, but I got sidetracked by the Ina Mae books and the short, inspiring birth stories. ANyway, just wanted to say thanks!!!

Gigi. Mommy to 3 girls.
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#9 of 17 Old 01-18-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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Another way to help labor progress, and avoid a c-sec, is to stay active in labor. Change positions, walk, sway, dance. Stay at home as long as possible. Have female support, not just DH. Just my 2 Cents.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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#10 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debstmomy
Another way to help labor progress, and avoid a c-sec, is to stay active in labor. Change positions, walk, sway, dance. Stay at home as long as possible. Have female support, not just DH. Just my 2 Cents.
Gotta add my $.02 here..... I agree with this but we need to be flexible and be able to adjust our mindset for circumstances that occur differently than planned. I bring this up because although I knew that walking around, changing positions, staying home, etc. help pave the way for a great birth, my water broke at 34 weeks. So, I couldn't stay home, the docs required fetal monitoring (external), and started pit 9 hours into labor. Honestly, I was scared that if I didn't agree (although I did push the doc to clearly explain why I couldn't walk around to help my contractions and why we really had to use pit), something terrible would happen to my dd who was already at a disadvantage by being premature. So..... I just had to change my mindset, trust in my body and go with it. In the end, I avoided other interventions, progressed quickly, and delivered dd without any problems (vaginal delivery, no episiotomy, no pain meds, 1 hr pushing). I just got very determined.

But, some of us have past experiences that make hospitals scary. So, I agree with the poster who said "exorcise your demons". Think about what fears you have ahead of time but in the end trust your body and adjust your mind as needed.

I read most of a book this fall written by a midwife who worked with the Amish. She had a lot of stories and scientific info about how the medicalization of birth has messed things up. It was good but I can't remember the name or author - anyone know it?

Also, before I had dd, I read a Bradley book by Susan Hutchinson (I think that's right). I found it helpful in understanding what happens in a normal birth and understanding and trusting my body. Good thing for me since I hadn't been able to attend a birth class before delivery -- although, I think the class I had signed up for would have presented birth as a much more medical procedure than I would have liked.
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#11 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Schatz, there are absolutely scenarios that we can't predict and we must adjust our mindset for them. Utilizing some of the medical technology available does not necessitate a cesarean, but avoiding it can help to avoid a cesarean. We all do what we feel is right and deal with circumstances as they come up.

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#12 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss
Schatz, there are absolutely scenarios that we can't predict and we must adjust our mindset for them. Utilizing some of the medical technology available does not necessitate a cesarean, but avoiding it can help to avoid a cesarean. We all do what we feel is right and deal with circumstances as they come up.
anna - yes, of course this is true. That is why I questioned what was being recommended for me. But, having had the experience where I planned to walk, sway, stay home as long as possible, etc. but the reality made those things impossible, it was important for me to get my mind around the new situation and adjust so that I still felt empowered and in control. We are all biased by our own past experiences and the comments by debstmomy struck a chord with me, kwim? It's just that sometimes people seem to only point out the physical things we can/should do and forget about how important our mindset is in birth. Of course, there are women who have a great frame of mind but who end up with c/s for whatever reason but I think I'm just rambling now.... I think we are in agreement here.
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#13 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schatz
I think we are in agreement here.
Well good.

I think that mindset is a huge part of it. Doing everything you possibly can before labor to avoid a cesarean, and then having the circumstances change drasticaly to necessitate one would be a huge thing to get one's mind around, just as any change in our plan would be. There is a balance that must occur so that we can empower ourselves as much as possible with all the tools we might need or utilize in birth and then a release from the expectation of how it all might go because however we visualize it or prepare, there's no way to dictate how birth will happen or control it.

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#14 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schatz
We are all biased by our own past experiences and the comments by debstmomy struck a chord with me, kwim? It's just that sometimes people seem to only point out the physical things we can/should do and forget about how important our mindset is in birth. Of course, there are women who have a great frame of mind but who end up with c/s for whatever reason but I think I'm just rambling now.... I think we are in agreement here.
Shatz - I want to begin with that my statements were never meant to "strike a cord" with anyone. It was just information I was choosing to share, that some may or may not have read. They were not necessarliy recomendations for anyone. We were talking about AVOIDING a ceserean (Which I took to mean during normal birth).

We can also discuss being prepared for changes in normal labor that we were not expecting. (That goes along with the fear thread) I think that these are two very important things, in and of themselves, can be related or not related to each other.

While I am sorry you had to deal with a preterm baby and that comes with many unexpected things. That definitly has to deal with healing from past demons in order to surrender for this birth. See my original post under "past birth experiences". You will see that you are not alone & that many times ideal situations can be less than ideal.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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#15 of 17 Old 01-19-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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Have any of you read Henci Goer's "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a better birth" it is full of very useful info backed by lots of science about the benefits and mostly the detriments of modern obstetrical practice. A must read especially for those planning a hospital birth. I also just started reading Michael Odent's "Birth Reborn" and i think it is really wonderful. It talks a lot about the importance of a woman's midset during labor.

Quote:
This is part of our culture, big baby=c/s. Even some of the more crunchy folks I have talked to, like one homebirth mw, and my chiropractor, seemed to believe this to some extent.
As a side note, the biggest baby my midwife said she ever delivered was I believe 14lbs 4oz and she said that it pretty much fell out.
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#16 of 17 Old 01-20-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debstmomy
Shatz - I want to begin with that my statements were never meant to "strike a cord" with anyone.

While I am sorry you had to deal with a preterm baby and that comes with many unexpected things. That definitly has to deal with healing from past demons in order to surrender for this birth. See my original post under "past birth experiences". You will see that you are not alone & that many times ideal situations can be less than ideal.
Yes, I know that you did not post with any meaning other than to share info and the info you did share is just what we all need to know. While I don't think we should all fear unusual circumstances, I think we need to understand they do arise and think ahead about how we might deal with them.

Oh, yes, I've got demons from the past -- preterm birth demons, bfing problem demons -- and those definitely cloud my opinion. I find that I can no longer give out simple advice -- I am always saying "... but be aware that blah blah can happen." I actually feel confident about my ability to have another vaginal delivery but I don't yet trust my body to keep this baby in to term.

Well, anyway, that's enough soul searching for me this morning.
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#17 of 17 Old 01-21-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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I had a so called emergency caesarean birth with my first babe (ds) and a VBAC with my second (dd). I really feel that having a doula helped make my VBAC possible. I also saw a counsellor during my 2nd pregnancy to try to work through some of the issues I had been struggling with around the surgical birth of my son. Both of these things helped enormously. We have hired the same doula for our next birth and and are taking a Birthin' Again class, which is taught by a Birthing From Within facilitator. Although we can't have a home birth this time (very severe post partum hemmorhage after dd's birth), we did plan one for our second (the VBAC) and I also believe that it really helped us to anticipate the birth as a normal, healthy event, even though we anded up transferring to a hospital. Funnily enough though, with this next (and last) birth, I am much more at peace with the whole thing. I know my body can give birth vaginally and I am very confident that, should I have another caesarean, it would only be if it was absolutely necessary. I still don't feel like my first birth, with all the snowballing interventions and eventual caesarean was managed well. I felt forced to do things or accept things that I didn't want. This time around, I guess I just really trust my body and my birth team (midwives and doula). It's helpful that this is my third and I've already experienced two very different births, I'm sure this one will be different too! Bring on the chaos!
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