I am not pregnant yet but I have been thinking about it for a looonnnggg time. My family does not have health insurance and I had medicaid for DD(6)'s pregnancy. No Ob's were accepting new medicaid patients at the time so I had to go through the local health clinic which made me basically feel like trash. The appointments took forever just for a few minutes with a nurse who took my blood pressure, urine and weight. I felt like I was just another statistic teen pregnancy. Yes I was 19 but I had been married for a year before my pregnancy. I didn't know that I could refuse things like internal exams. Most things wouldn't have bothered me if it had been the same 1 or 2 nurses I saw each time and the same doctor because I'd at least feel more comfortable with the person. Anytime I had a question or concern I was given a textbook answer that I already basically read in one of my pregnancy books. My pregnancy was completely "normal" with no problems other than a lot of weight loss in the beginning from a lot of morning sickness. I don't see a reason to automatically jump to seeing a doctor for my care. I plan to still go to the hospital for the birth simply because DD had trouble getting oxygen during labor and I'd feel safer to keep it monitored. Who knows? I might change my mind about that as I go through pregnancy.
Anyways, like I said I'm not pregnant yet. I just want to figure out what I will do before I get pregnant. What made you decide to go unassisted? Did you self-monitor or just go with how you felt?
I didn't U/P though, I wanted to be sure I was in the best possible condition and low risk for the UC. I didn't know much about birth and didn't think I could learn fast enough. My OB/CNM team was really good, and friendly, even though it didn't seem like they did much, they did catch a few thing I wouldn't have (e/E sensitization, which can cause hemolytic disease, like RH disease, and did), low blood count. when my UC turned transfer, I was happy to have them as back up.
This time around I don't have insurance, and will probably use Medicaid or Planned Parenthood for prenatal, and try again for UC. if the only providers I had access to were rude and not helpful, I might skip it, though I would be a little scared. Some mamas here UP and they do everything from full prenatal, to self checks, to nothing at all. I don't self check because I don't know what to look for, but that's just me.
I don't know if this helped or not, but it's my experience :-) BEST LUCK!
I went UP basically because I didn't like my other options. I don't want to use the registered midwives and then leave them at the end, and seeing a doctor didn't feel necessary. I mostly just go by how I feel, but I pay attention to my diet and check my blood pressure. Last pregnancy I did a lot of chiropractic, and hope to go a few times before my next baby is born.
I'm going to have to start learning this because I think perhaps a UP is in my future. I want to be able to pick and choose what I do, however, so maybe it won't be a complete UP. I would love to hear some experienced moms with UP come here and "teach" us how to UP, in terms of monitoring ourselves and what you've done for various things, etc.
Vegetarian Spiritual wife to Joshua (HS sweetheart, together since 1999); mother of Eve (Dec 2003) Cian (March 2009), and Sage (March 2011)! <--!
My book about what I learned from my experiences with childbirth was published April 2011.
You could simply attend 2-3 appointments at a clinic to birth at a hospital with some connection to prenatal care.
and well, my UP was just nothing. I ate well, slept well, got massage every week, and that was it. :D
My last pregnancy/birth was unassisted. I contacted a Midwife that I know professionally (I had doula clients who had used her) at 33 wks to secure her services as a back up only. That was the only time I saw her and I did ask her to listen to the baby's heart beat with a stethescope and confirm position. For "prenatal" care I learned lots about normal pregnancy and birth, watched birth videos. read stories, read midwifery blogs etc. I really enjoyed reading the threads here on MDC about prenatal care and I also thought Elizabeth Davis' book Heart and Hands was an excellent resource. I ate really well, did yoga, got extra rest and tried to keep stress out of my life. I saw a chiropractor a few times, and had accupuncture and homeopathic remedies for morning sickness. I really enjoyed knowing that I was giving myself and my baby the best prenatal care possible. I worked on connecting with my baby and tuning into my own intuition and listening to spiritual guidance from God. I felt very secure in knowing that I could trust my body to let me know if I needed additional medical help. I live 5 min from a hospital, 5 min. from two wonderful midwives and 15 min. from my Naturopathic Physician. Knowing I could access medical help from a variety of sources was very important to me. I really didn't want to have to go the hospital for something simple that I couldn't provide for myself (like stitches). I am forever grateful to the midwife who agreed to be my go to girl if I needed anything. In my opinion freedom of choice means being able to choose if you need care, at what level you need it and from whom.