Experience with birth, prior to giving birth? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Before you gave birth the first time, had you ever seen a birth?
Yes, once 3 14.29%
Yes, multiple times 2 9.52%
No 12 57.14%
No, but have seen an animal give birth 4 19.05%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

 
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#1 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really curious as to what the modern mother's experience with birth is before giving birth herself. I often read in birthing books/forums about how in earlier days women were surrounded by birth and birthing women, and by the time they themselves gave birth were quite familiar with the process. 

 

I myself never saw anything but birthing videos before having my first child, and while I was glad to have watched them, I think the longest any of the videos followed a mother was for maybe 10 minutes, and I don't feel like that gives a very complete picture of what birth looks like!

 

Please take the poll, and tell us about your experience! If you haven't given birth yet, please answer as you think you would have answered by the time you do birth.


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#2 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 10:12 PM
 
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I had never seen a birth before I had my first baby.

 

I was, however, able to invite a friend who was pregnant with her first baby when I was having my second at a birth center, so that she could see a birth before she had her baby. 


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#3 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

I was, however, able to invite a friend who was pregnant with her first baby when I was having my second at a birth center, so that she could see a birth before she had her baby. 

 

That was great of you! I hope she learned a lot from it. 

 

I started thinking about this issue when my close friend who is pregnant was staying at my house for a few days. We had a "girls movie night" and I screened "The Business of Being Born" Afterwards, she made the comment on the phone to her mom that it was nice to see what a birth looked like! I guess I take it for granted that I know what birth "looks like" but that is after watching lots of birth videos, and having 2 of my own.


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#4 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 06:06 AM
 
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My best friend gave birth six months ago and while I wasn't in the room for the actual pushing stage, I got to see her labor in water and later I hung out in the hallway listening to a very difficult back labor that lasted ten hours.  It was a wonderful experience for me (in addition to being able to hold her son an hour after birth) because I got to see the birthing rooms in the hospital I will deliver in and see the movement of doctors and nurses, the decisions that were made, and how everything worked together.  I've made a lot of my own birthing decisions based on how her experience went.  By and large, she had a great birth -- mostly natural, with a small amount of narcotics halfway through so she could rest enough to start pushing (which she needed, having back labored for so long).  But I also saw how vulnerable the birthing process is in a hospital... tons of people coming in and out, and the doctor admitted that she would have done a C-section if one particular nurse hadn't really pushed my friend to get that baby out vaginally.  So there were a lot of moving parts and a little bit of luck and a lot to learn.

 

I'm taking the Bradley classes now, so we watch a ton of videos of birth, so now I feel pretty comfortable with what happens in the whole process.  We'll see how much that all helps for my birth in August.


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#5 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 03:52 PM
 
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I am not sure that it makes a difference unless you have strong support and or pressure for certain kinds of birth. My sister assisted in two homebirths in her late teens and went on to have typical hospital births with a ton of interventions turned c-sections, She had four c-sections in all.

 

On the other hand, I do have a couple of homebirthing cousins who grew up them and do them although weirdly, they stress it is a financial choice because they don't have insurance. One of them actually dreams of giving birth in a hospital with an epidural.

 

Experience, i.e. everyone in our family nurses their babies, does seem to make a big difference though. That is just what we do and I don't know of a single cousin in my large family who didn't nurse their babies until they were at least one.

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#6 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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I've actually thought about this a lot, so thanks for making a poll!

 

I think women who have attended natural births and want to have a natural birth themselves are at a distinct advantage. I believe that our bodies learn through many different modalities, and seeing/hearing/smelling brings us knowledge in ways that we can't necessarily track in a really direct way, but that is real nonetheless. That's not to say that watching another woman's birth is the only factor in determining the outcome of one's own birth. Birth is way more complex than that. But I think it's one of the things that can help.

 

When I was pregnant, I wished and wished that I had seen another birth. But it's kind of an awkward time to start inviting yourself to other people's births, KWIM? And witnessing other people's births has just not been part of the culture in my family or among friends. My sister who gave birth before me lived very far away at the time. I don't have a lot of close friends who've given birth. The people I know who have witnessed other births have either lived in an intentional community or have been birth professionals. So. It seems like a pretty specialized thing in our culture.


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#7 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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I saw births as a small child because I was at the births of my 2 younger brothers when I was 3 and 1/2 and 7. I think that even though it was many many years ago, it did make a difference. Additionally, my mother was a lay midwife and so I grew up in a culture where natural birth and a woman's ability to do it were discussed often. I had a very natural water birth in a birth center the first time. I am hoping to have a similar experience the second time around.

mother of 2, wife, daughter, lawyer, toddler wearing, extended breastfeeding, ec-ing, water birthing....

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