Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Palmerston North New Zealand
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I think some of this is cultural I'm lucky enough to live in NZ where women bring a lead maternity carer to the hospital with them. The vast majority of births are midwife only and are very low tech. My partner had a lovely hospital birth with Emmett, we arrived when she was 7 cm, she never got on the bed, had a lovely very strong shower for analgesia, pushed him out squatting, went home 2 hours later. We held him, dressed him, he even got to nurse from me (I was still feeding his big brother) with only positive comments from the midwives.
Although I dream of a solo UC on the bathroom floor, I'm planning a hospital birth due to my history of HELLP and c-section at 28 weeks. I have the same midwife as Leah had and I know she'll support me to have a natural birth if at all humanly possible.
I am a family doctor and also attend births in that role, I have never done an episiotomy except for fetal distress (twice in four years), hardly ever need to suture anyone, babies are always put straight to the mothers chest, all women are encouraged to breastfeed in the first hour (pretty well all do), I examine babies on their mothers unless they are not breathing or are very ill.
NZ has mostly developed a culture of excellence in childbirth without unnecessary interventions. I still see unnecessary cascades of intervention in some instances in the big hospitals but we are lucky to have more options to avoid this than most American women.
Anna, partner to Leah, mum to Bede 7 and Emmett 3, having another in Jan 2008