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'Freebirthers' have babies with no medical help<br>
Unassisted deliveries growing in popularity in the U.S. and Britain<br><br>
LONDON - They insist they’re no superwomen, they have no special powers, and are certainly not pain or adrenaline junkies.<br><br>
But ‘freebirthers’ choose to go through what some call the most painful and potentially frightening experience of a woman’s life with no drugs, no midwife and no medical help.<br><br>
Delivering their own babies at home, often alone, they dismiss what they say is “fearmongering” by doctors and midwives and confidently catch their offspring as they leave the womb.<br><br><br>
“Birthing uses the same hormones as lovemaking — so why would you want anyone poking and prodding you, observing you and putting you under a spotlight?,” said Veronika Robinson, an Australian based in Britain who sees growing interest in freebirth among readers of the international magazine, “The Mother.”<br><br>
Her comment is echoed by many in online discussion groups about freebirth, where women insist having a baby is as intimate an experience as having sex.<br><br>
“We were the only people there when she was conceived, and it felt absolutely 100 percent right that we were the only people there when she was born,” writes Laura Fields from the United States.<br><br>
Robinson says medical establishments in Britain and across other westernized nations have for years been “taking something that’s natural and making it into a disease,” and now, with freebirthing, “women are taking their power back.”<br><br>
Free- or unassisted birth means having a baby with no medical or professional help. In Britain, as in North America, where its popularity is growing, it is legal as long as delivery is not “assisted” by an unqualified partner, friend or husband.<br><br>
To some, like new mum Janet Sears, the idea of giving birth alone, with no one around to help if things go wrong, is little short of madness: “It’s my idea of hell,” she told Reuters.<br><br>
Intervention and fear<br>
But one of its most prominent supporters, Laura Shanley, an author on childbirth, is now mother to four children — all of whom were born at home without the help of doctors or midwives.<br><br>
Shanley, who lives in Colorado in the United States, says that, in essence, birth is only problematic because of three main factors — poverty, intervention and fear.<br><br>
As long as clean water and reasonable living standards are available — as they are to many women in the west — then the task is to eliminate the other two factors and a natural birth will be as safe as it can be.<br><br>
“As I began to understand how fear affects the body, and that birth is not inherently dangerous provided we don’t trigger the fight-flight response and shut down labor, then to me it was natural to want to just trust myself,” she told Reuters.<br><br>
“It didn’t make sense to me that something that ensures the continuation of the race would be a dangerous and scary event.”
 

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Ummm..not really sure what you are asking. With 325 posts here at MDC, is this really the first time you have come across the concept of UC? To learn more, feel free to visit the unassisted childbirth forum(located under -birth and beyond-). Also, the UC signature, like the one in my siggy, stands for UC/freebirth, so you can easily see which members have UC'ed/are planning to.<br><br>
I'm planning my second UC in Dec/Jan.
 

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I have been with MDC for awhile and after reading a whole lot on unassisted births I loved the idea and the mindset soooo much. But my problem is this: When I am in that much pain I can't imagine being alone - I mean I can barely move and breathing itself is painful and I have to concentrate sooo much on breathing to keep the pain at bay that I would freak out and plus I dont have a husband who would be supportive of doing it alone. If he was willing to help me and help me deliver I think I might be able to do it. But to catch my own baby or deliver alone - for me, its quite impossible - and I have very short transition periods so I wouldnt have time to position myself to birth...but kudos to those of u who do and can. The closest my births have come to natural are no pain meds, no belt around me, on a birthing ball, on the floor but with a midwife and my husband at our hospital.
 

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I would not want to be alone but that's just my opinion. I feel like we are a tribal animal and perform best in the company of others whether that be with a midwife, a partner, a friend, a sister, a mother.<br><br>
I would just like to have someone on hand in case I wanted them... you know? It would make me feel safer to have someone else there.<br><br>
That article infuriated me though. Saying that mothers who UC should be charged with manslaughter if the baby dies. I wonder how he feels about being charged with manslaughter if a baby died on his watch with all his interventions!
 

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If Hubby could be here for this birth I would love a UC but right now I just do not want to be all lone and really even the thought of the home birth I am planning, with a midwife, is some scary as Hubby will not be here. For some reason, when he is around I feel like I can do and handle anything.<br><br>
I have no issue with having a room full of people at the birth, as long as the energy is right. It is rare I can find that energy around any Dr, but not un-heard of! And many nurses I have come to find have it.<br><br>
Either, way, thanks for posting here as many of us do not wonder over to the UC board but still wonder about it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Kimmy
 

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I think that it's totally a woman's choice as long as she is educated about possible complications and has an emergency plan.<br><br>
Personally, I need a midwife. That's where I am psychologically. I understand that some women need to be alone. I respect that. I am also incredibly privileged. We live in a city with many birthing options. There is a free standing birth center 10 minutes from my house. We can afford a midwife and have health insurance. Our hospitals are not completely awful. These factors all play into people's birthing decisions.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jennah_Gole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8218030"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have been with MDC for awhile and after reading a whole lot on unassisted births I loved the idea and the mindset soooo much. But my problem is this: When I am in that much pain I can't imagine being alone -</div>
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But, who said birth has to be painful. I had 3 UC births, 5 total unmedicated natural births that were totally tolerable (i used herbs that cherokee indians have used for birth) and 1 PAINFREE birth. (i used hypnobabies and will use it again this time, it really worked for me)<br><br>
I think for some people unassisted birth is the right choice. For me it is. And I believe in birth being an everyday miracle. Easy and safe with everything just feeling like a muscle flexing and some squeezing. This is how I experience it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>swimswamswum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8218420"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We can afford a midwife and have health insurance. Our hospitals are not completely awful. These factors all play into people's birthing decisions.</div>
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Maybe for you, for most UCers those are not legitimate factors. I live in a city with one of the highest rated hospitals in the country, and I most certainly can afford a multitude of midwives or doctors or cameramen or whatever. But I would not think of doing anything but a UC unless there was a strange complication.<br><br><b>To suggest that people stay home to give birth all by themselves because they can't afford or can't abide any other way is a misrepresentation of the UC mentality.</b><br><br>
People do not do a UC because they are poor, uneducated or think their hospital is too awful. They do UC because they are extremely educated (to the point of being annoying) and extrememly conscientious about what is best for themselves and their baby. Women who give birth unassisted generally know far more about their own bodies, and the process of parturition than the average gal, and in some cases more so than some doctors -- again, due to diligent research and consideration.<br><br>
As has been already stated, every woman deserves to make that choice for herself, but sadly the choices often seem limited due to misrepresentation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Interesting thread!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AuntG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8219447"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe for you, for most UCers those are not legitimate factors. I live in a city with one of the highest rated hospitals in the country, and I most certainly can afford a multitude of midwives or doctors or cameramen or whatever. But I would not think of doing anything but a UC unless there was a strange complication.<br><br><b>To suggest that people stay home to give birth all by themselves because they can't afford or can't abide any other way is a misrepresentation of the UC mentality.</b><br><br>
People do not do a UC because they are poor, uneducated or think their hospital is too awful. They do UC because they are extremely educated (to the point of being annoying) and extrememly conscientious about what is best for themselves and their baby. Women who give birth unassisted generally know far more about their own bodies, and the process of parturition than the average gal, and in some cases more so than some doctors -- again, due to diligent research and consideration.<br><br>
As has been already stated, every woman deserves to make that choice for herself, but sadly the choices often seem limited due to misrepresentation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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I guess I was thinking about the reasons <b>I</b> would consider it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AuntG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8219447"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><b>To suggest that people stay home to give birth all by themselves because they can't afford or can't abide any other way is a misrepresentation of the UC mentality.</b></div>
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No, it isn't necessarily. Many women consider or go through with UC because there is very limited choice for birthing options. I am very, very lucky that although we are very low income I can take out student loans to pay a homebirth midwife. If we did not have that option, I would UC. I do not need a midwife. But I do prefer labor support and an experienced person to give me feedback and to coordinate things like clean-up and keeping my DH focused appropriately (he is not a labor support, by our mutual choice). I prefer the model of feminine rite of passage rather than couple-only sexual experience. If I did not have the option of borrowing money to pay a midwife I would do without those luxuries rather than go to the hospitals here. Or pretty much anywhere.<br><br>
But in MI, attended homebirth is a luxury. Medicaid does not cover it, nor do the vast majority of private insurances.<br><br>
So, yes, if I didn't have my choice of homebirth midwives, I would choose UC by default, not because I'm called to it.
 

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i love reading UC birth stories.<br><br>
i will have a midwife for my next birth, i had a midwife with my first too, but i would feel more comfortable birthing alone this time, if for example the midwife didnt reach in time.<br><br>
i think it should be a womans choice and that it should not be illegal for someone to be there to help, like hubby, etc. i think UC offers women and dh and <b>in particular baby</b> a better birth experience than <i>most</i> probably get in a hospital.
 

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No, it isn't necessarily. Many women consider or go through with UC because there is very limited choice for birthing options. QUOTE]<br><br>
i agree, if i moved to a state that midwifery was illegal or not available to me, i would seriously consider UC before going to a hospital ( even though UC seems a little scary to me, the hospital seems way scarier.) sorry i just have a hospital/doctor phobia
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bobandjess99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8217808"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ummm..not really sure what you are asking. With 325 posts here at MDC, is this really the first time you have come across the concept of UC? To learn more, feel free to visit the unassisted childbirth forum(located under -birth and beyond-). Also, the UC signature, like the one in my siggy, stands for UC/freebirth, so you can easily see which members have UC'ed/are planning to.<br><br>
I'm planning my second UC in Dec/Jan.</div>
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NO. It is not the first time I heard of this. I came across this on a nursing board and thought it would be interesting to see how different the posts responses are. I am in nursing school and want to become a midwife and plan to have a homebirth when the time comes. I just like to hear opinions on here so my head does not get too clouded by the medical professions opinions.
 

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In theory for some women, it's a great idea. I personally would have died (literally) with my first born due to some complications during labor. Thanks to the quick thinking of my midwife and doctor, they saved my life, and my baby's, and I still got my vaginal birth (with quite a difficult recovery). At this point, I'm quite content to have all the help I can get!
 

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I am planning my first Up/UC after having one child born in hospital(dp birthed) and one homebirth with midwives. For us personally, young healthy women carrying healthy babies, the "help" didn't help us much at all, and knowing as much as I know now, I feel that an unassisted birth is the best choice I can make for my baby and my family.<br><br>
We did not choose it to save money, I chose it because when I began to see my upcoming birth, I did not see that a (even homebirth) midwife was in my picture of how things would unfold. External prenatal care is nice for me, but it is not necessary, as I know that all is well. If this is to change, than my plan will likely change, but as long as I continue along the same path, I will be birthing at home with my family and no one else in attendance.
 

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I think it's absolutly beautiful incredible and amazing.. that a woman can trust in birth so much and be so educated about the process and know her body so well, and be so entranced in the labor yet still so aware that she is able to birth her own baby... I think it's brilliant!! I saw a video of a UC twin birth and it was incredible, 2nd a breech!!<br><br>
I am moving to a state where midwifery is illegal, but there are midwives there like in most every state that are willing to risk their careers to work underground to support healthy preg. and births!<br><br><br>
My partner doesn't trust in the process as much as I do. And honestly I don't know how much I trust myself to do a UC yet either. So we will be doing our first birth experience at home with a very much so "hands off" midwife <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
For me my grandmother, and greatgrandmother and even great great, were all midwives. The helped deliver all babies in their local town. For me that is what birth is. Being at home and comfortable and having related support and elders come over and welcome you through the process.<br><br>
Who knows maybe one day if I'm blessed to be able to birth more babies the idea of a UC will be what I want... but right now I'm not there yet. I want my partner and my whole support circle of women( my mom, sister, midwife, and doula) all to be there with me to experience the amazing beauty that birth can be!!<br><br>
Sadly I'm terrified of the opposite. I really am worried to birth in a hospital!<br>
I pray nothing comes up where I need to be there but I know I will embrace it if it does. It would be a far harder for me to birth in a foriegn place. Even though I've been a volunteer doula in a hosptial for years, and I've had many homebirthers need to transfer. I do totally agree that birth no matter where it is, who it is with, and how it is done, can still be the most amazing, life changing, spectacular gift one will ever be blessed with!! Each expeience can be unique and perfect for whom is choosing it, and even if it wasn't their first choice of birth.<br><br>
I'm just so super proud that women have so many choices today, and that will still fight for this to become even greater!!
 

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I want someone there, that act's like they aren't there until they know I want them there, without me saying so. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I appreciate HeartsOpenWide posting this in Pregnancy rather than on the UC forum. I am sure she posted here often enough to know there is a UC forum on here but I think on the UC forum it's not allowed to question UC so this is really the best place to put it for <span style="text-decoration:underline;">varied</span> feedback.<br>
I had a lovely homebirth with midwives and would never consider UC. We did have a complication towards the end and were able to avoid a transfer to the hosptial due to the help of my fantastic midwives. Had it been a UC I would ahve had to transfer for sure. I'd rather have another birth like the one I ahd before where I can be in the comfrot of my own home and feel safe. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Perhaps with several homebirths under my belt I might consider UC. But this will be my last birth and my first homebirth, so I am going with a midwife. I'd like to do as much of the "work" as possible with her hands off, but definitely want her there.
 
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