Originally Posted by cranberry99
Hi, I'm wondering how long after your unassisted birth you ladies waited to take your child to a physician for a physical - when you have the baby at home, do you notify anyone?
My responses will be with regard to the UC community in general and my own plans, since I have not had a baby yet. Of course, there are exceptions, but I feel it's helpful to speak in generalities about us as a community.
We do not generally notify anyone immediately after the birth unless there is a birth practitioner (usually a midwife) fully onboard with the UC decision, or unless the decision was made to call a practitioner and say, "oops, baby came too quickly, I meant to come in/call you to come." Both of these paths are not common, since practitioners tend to object strenuously to our UC plans and 'divorce' us as care providers rather than accepting our plans. However, the "oops" notification is even more rare, since there are ethical and logistical considerations involved with purposely misleading someone.
|If the baby seems fine, I'm assuming it's fine to take the child in to be looked at?
You'd think so, but no, in fact, a healthy baby is generally much better off waiting a while before seeing a physician. This is due to practitioners' tendency to freak out, combined with usual policies for 'newborn care,' both of which are more likely to endanger a newborn than a baby who is even slightly older. There are two major dangers for healthy newborns who are taken 'just to be checked:'
(1) Coercive health care providers. Babies have been injected with hepatitis B vaccine and vitamin K, have been given eye antibiotic, have been roughly scrubbed, even have been circumcised
(generally by mistake) without any parental authorization or after extreme emotional pressure on the parents (leading to a consent under duress). Be aware that you will not be asked before routine treatments and tests are applied; you must pro-actively prevent them if you do not want them. Hospital admittance is even more hazardous, with the potential for IV antibiotics and spinal taps on healthy babies just because they were born out of hospital.
(2) Child Protective Services (different names in different places, but the same hazards). Social workers have extremely varied attitudes with regard to UC, and many consider intentional UC to be abusive in itself. This perception can lead to forced separation of the baby from the family for months' or years' duration.
The risks presented by healthcare providers and by social services can be mitigated greatly by waiting to have the baby checked at all and by avoiding the hospital entirely.
Most of us do opt to get a PKU expanded screen, which checks for many rare disorders that would cause brain damage or other irreversible effects prior to showing obvious symptoms. This requires a blood draw (which does not
have to be a heel prick), and can be done anytime between 24 hours after the baby first eats (digestion is necessary for accurate results) and 6 months of age (though earlier testing is preferred since some disorders will begin to cause brain damage within the first weeks of life if not treated). Personally, I'll be getting the StepOne packet from Pediatrix
; I want the blood draw to do as much good as possible and this is the maximum number of screens that can be done. I plan to ask for an arm draw and to use EMLA cream
for 2 hours beforehand to eliminate the pain of the draw.
If done after the baby is 24 hours old, by a pediatrician who is not completely freaked out by a homebirth (generally best to say 'homebirth' not 'UC'), in a non-hospital setting, this screening test appears to be neutral or helpful with regard to avoiding social services, since you can show that you are choosing some medical care for the child and can thereby alleviate some potential concerns with regard to medical neglect.
|Finally, were your health practitioners on board with you prior to this act/did you have anyone with you at all, like a husband or friend? Thanks for your help
Most of us do not birth entirely alone; usually the baby's father is also present at the birth; the baby's older siblings and the mother's friend(s) are also sometimes there. However, it is exceedingly rare to find a health practitioner who is on board with a UC.
Some of us choose not even to seek a practitioner to "back up" our labor, feeling that it can become a self-fulfilling activity whereby transfer is made more likely by the fact that a 'backup' is in place, and that there is no guarantee that a particular practitioner will be available when we are in labor. Others choose to seek such a practitioner to potentially provide reassurance to prevent transfer, or to try to avoid the negative attitude with which some practitioners approach patients who have no regular care provider. In either case, we generally do not ask any care provider to 'go along' with our UC plans, because they generally will not do so.