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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh only has one reservation about doing a UC and thats not knowing everything is ok with the baby (i.e. no prenatal care.) We can't afford a midwife as we dont have any insurance and though we qualify medicaid they don't cover midwives. So what are your thoughts on seeing a dr. for prenatals, but just not going to the hospital when its time? I mean to be honest no prenatal care kind of scares me too, but I do not want to have my child in the hospital....so what do you think? Any other suggestions for what we could do?
 

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You can learn to do self-care, which is very cost efficient. Take your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. Listen to the baby with a fetoscope. You can buy urine test strips to do your own home urinalysis. You can do your own GD testing at home, even test for a few other problems. All of that is fairly easy. You can learn to palpitate your stomach to find out the position of the baby and placenta and to check your cervix for dilation & effacement. There are very few things that the nurses do which you cannot do at home, most of which are unnecessary like ultrasound. Going for prenatal care, then birthing at home is fine, but expensive... And if you tell them you are going to birth at home unassisted they will probably make your pregnancy very complicated by trying to convince you otherwise, and you don't need that negativity. I recommend self-care, but watch yourself for signs that something is wrong such as bleeding (You can google 'pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore'). If you do feel like something is wrong then go see a doctor. If not, just enjoy your pregnancy!
 

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Not a UCer, but a homebirther with my .02 worth. If it makes you and your dh more comfortable, see the doc for prenatal care. I wouldn't even mention your intention to birth at home, but if you did need to transfer they won't give you as hard a time. They'll just think you went into labor.

Hope you have a great pg and birth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks ladies


Heather- If I were to get pregnant medicaid would pay for a dr. Although I would like to read up on the self care. Do you have any books or sites i can look at?

Ligmom-Yeah I figure something would happen like that. I didn't plan on letting them know, but I thought it would be smart to at least know who would take care of me in the event I need to transfer. I do however want a birth plan in place for the hospital so that they know *if* I end up there what I want and will have. If they give me even an ounce of guff I won't go back.
 

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Mommy2Austin, if the prenatal care would be free, then the issues you are going to have to face will only be standard of care, possibly being pressured into unnecessary tests, and/or harrassed for your decision. If you can find a practitioner who meets your expectations of care, will listen to your input, and won't badger you about birthing unassisted, then I would go for it if it puts you at ease.

If you just need occasional assurance, you can try doing partial care. Prenatal care doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can pick and choose which tests you take and which visits you go to. Many UCers will set a specific schedule for prenatal care that differs from the norm, such as a first visit to discuss concerns, then a 20 week visit for an ultrasound and check-up, and then one towards the 'due date' to check positioning and everything. The way you design your prenatal care plan is completely up to you.

The other option is self-care which can be used in conjunction with either of the other two options. Or, you can do your own self-care and never see a doctor unless something is wrong. I don't know of any books on self-care, though I was working on a thread about unassisted pregnancy & self-care (still have a lot of research to do) located here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=557447 There is some self-care information on this site http://www.purebirth-australia.com

I think your best bet is to look up a standard prenatal care schedule of testing and exams. Look at each test they typically administer, and research the test as well as the disease it tests for. Find out if you can do a home version, too. Then decide which tests and exams you want and which you don't, what checkups you'll need and won't, etc.
 

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what does your husband need to feel that the baby is ok? which tests does he want?

because you can get those--typically ordered through your primary care physician--and not worry about signing on for various hospital care, etc.

my DH and i are talking about UP and what sort of care we want for prenatal care. we'll likely get it through a clinic.
 

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Not to really answer your question, but to address what i see as an underlying issue......it sounds like you and dh are both steeped in fear.

What about "prenatal care" is it that you each think is so helpful/necesary?
Once you know the specifics of what it is you believe "prenatal care" to provide, then you can forumlate a plan to obtain that particular information/reassurance. I'm betting though, that once you get into it...you'll realize your desires for "prenatal care" are simply a reaction to haveing been brainwashed your entire life to believe that "prenatal care" is somehow some magical thing that you "must" do to get a healthy baby.

Use this to start working through your issues and fears.

If necesary, obtain the "care" you CHOOSE (not are buillied into) to get....but again, I'm not sure what this would be.

Do you know what goes on at a "prenatal" appt?? Sice you have a child, I'm thinking yes? do you feel the weighing and measuring is vital? If so, do it at home. The blood pressure or blood sugar monitoring? again, do it at home...the peeing in a cup? you can do it at home...
Unless you are looking for a bunch of high-tech and/or invasive tests like ultrasound, amnio, triple-screen, or the like, there really isn't anything you can't do at home.

But again..I hreally urge you to look deeper, at WHY you each feel you "NEED" prenatal care from a "pro".......I think you will realize much about your true feelings/beliefs/fears by doing this....
 

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Mommy2Austin,
I didn't mean they would give you trouble about your prenatal care--I meant that if you needed to transfer during or after birth they are less likely to give you trouble if you have been "receiving care". Yes, I recognize that this has very little to do with your actual health (or that of your baby), but (to me
) it is a small bit of insurance that should I need help I will not be treated as negligent. NOT to say that I feel not going to a doc or midwife in pg is negligent, but I have been with someone who needed to transfer and was harrassed for not going--It made a HUGE impression on me.

I don't know if that's useful info or not. As others have said it is absolutely your choice to have or refuse any prenatal testing. Me, I pick and choose. Mostly, I just want a record that says I've been "seen".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
Not to really answer your question, but to address what i see as an underlying issue......it sounds like you and dh are both steeped in fear.

What about "prenatal care" is it that you each think is so helpful/necesary?
Once you know the specifics of what it is you believe "prenatal care" to provide, then you can forumlate a plan to obtain that particular information/reassurance. I'm betting though, that once you get into it...you'll realize your desires for "prenatal care" are simply a reaction to haveing been brainwashed your entire life to believe that "prenatal care" is somehow some magical thing that you "must" do to get a healthy baby.

Use this to start working through your issues and fears.

If necesary, obtain the "care" you CHOOSE (not are buillied into) to get....but again, I'm not sure what this would be.

Do you know what goes on at a "prenatal" appt?? Sice you have a child, I'm thinking yes? do you feel the weighing and measuring is vital? If so, do it at home. The blood pressure or blood sugar monitoring? again, do it at home...the peeing in a cup? you can do it at home...
Unless you are looking for a bunch of high-tech and/or invasive tests like ultrasound, amnio, triple-screen, or the like, there really isn't anything you can't do at home.

But again..I hreally urge you to look deeper, at WHY you each feel you "NEED" prenatal care from a "pro".......I think you will realize much about your true feelings/beliefs/fears by doing this....

Wow...you really made an impression on me! I never stopped to think what was so special about the care that I couldn't do it for myself (or have DH do it.) I definitely will think on that and talk to Dh thanks so much!

Ligmom- Totally understand what you mean. Thats what I was thinking. Maybe a few visits and let them think I'm on board that way if something does go wrong my tale is covered.

Thanks again ladies so much!
 

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I saw a CNM (which are covered by medicaid here) for the first half of my UC pregnancy and then took care of myself after that. There's no reason I couldn't have seen her right up until they end though. I simply told the receptionist I was going to a new caregiver when she called after I missed an appointment. The CNM knew I was planning a homebirth as well.
 

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We've had a midwife since about 15 weeks and I've seen her a total of four times. Our insurance covers her, so it's fine for us and if something were to happen, we have proof that we received prenatal care. Not that it means anything...I haven't been weighed once, peed on a stick once or any of that stuff. I check my own blood sugar once a week b/c diabetes runs in my family, but I do that for me, not b/c she told me to.

So, if you can get prenatal free through medicaid, I'd say go for it. Just be very clear and firm in what kind of testing you'll have done, y/k? If you don't want the glucose test, don't take it (I don't take it even tho I have a lot of risk factors).

I plan on not calling the mw at all during labor, and I think she's aware of that fact. But, we've also both kind of covered our butts in case of a possible problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I talked to DH and he's said "Oh well since we can do all that stuff at home why not?" Hehe I still might go to a doc. if on just to have a record of care JIC. But I wont have any of the tests done. No point if a) i can do them at home b) they aren't necessary (i.e. blood tests) I told DH that it doesn't matter what happens with the baby. God will do as he sees fit and I can't/ won't try to change that.
Thanks for all the input ladies. I got a bunch of books on hold at the library talking about natural childbirth (most of the ones recommended on this board!)
 

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Another thing to consider...for me the fact that I had some prenatal care and had those records it made it easier (for me in TX) to get my ds birth certificate. It isn't necessary but it was helpful in my case.
 

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After discovering the absolutely ridiculous standard of "prenatal care" here in Istanbul (consisting entirely of an ultrasound with every visit and every blood test known to man), I decided to do my own pregnancy care and feel much safer for it. I will give the caveat that I'm also a nurse, but believe me we don't learn how to do prenatals in school. There are several books available that can help you, and my main resource is Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis. I also recently picked up another book, A Book for Midwives that is really intended for midwives in very rural areas and developing countries. Both are excellent resources. I am also using the appendices from Heart and Hands to keep my own "records," but have added a few pages of my own, including urine analysis, gestational diabetes screen, and nutritional analysis. I even write my own progress notes. I guess the nurse in me wants to have good, complete records in case anything is ever questioned.

You can get the urine sticks from most birth supply companies. I used In His Hands for my birth kit supplies as well as the urine sticks. (Great company, super-fast shipping, and fabulous customer service--can't praise them highly enough!) You can get an electronic BP cuff at any drug store or Wal-Mart, and the last time I was in Walgreen's, I noticed that they even have home finger-stick anemia tests these days.

I've been reading an excellent book lately, Perfect Motherhood, which goes through the history of "scientific motherhood" in America. It see now that the concept of "prenatal care" was designed to indoctrinate vulnerable young mothers into the ideas that "doctor knows best," and that the ways of our great-grandmothers were "un-scientific" and most likely harmful. Having read that, I no longer feel any guilt for not attending prenatal clinics with a doctor who thinks that s/he is more qualified to be a parent to my baby than I am.

Good luck to you!
 

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For me the stress of having to deal with an OB would NOT have been worth it. We were comfortable with self-care. I'd sit and talk to your husband, do some reading on various tests and things (you'd be suprised at how useless many of them are-u/s, for example, has no benefit when done routinely), and discuss it thoroughly. If you're still uncomfortable, get a back up OB. You may be able to negotiate w/ a HB midwife to do a few prenatals and not charge too much, then you can avoid an OB completely. It's not like ANY woman needs as many prenatals as is standard these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I actually found a midwife who accepts medicaid! I might just go to her for prenatals and the birth on my own!
 

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I was wondering the same thing....and in my case I'm a VBA2C, so no dr would touch me anyways. I think I'm going to hire my midwife that I had for ds b/c she's pretty laid back and then not call her unless I need her during birth. I was stressing out about it, but I think I'll know (and You'll know) what's right at the time.

Good Luck and Congrats!
 

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I'm not around very often but just wanted to share:

With my 4th babe, my dh was laid off right after I found out I was pregnant and our insurance was about to be cancelled. I went for a visit because, as a tubal ligation reversal patient, I needed certain tests very early in pregnancy because of the increased risks from scar tissue, etc. My doctor knew that I intended a home birth w/ a midwife(a dear friend of mine).

She said that she was fine with it and even did some bloodwork for the midwife and shared the results but as time went on she became more and more beligerent about my pregnancy. She labeled me high risk, insisting on specialists for gest. diabetes (even though it was perfectly controlled through diet), etc.

I stopped accepting calls from her nurse and never went to the appointment that they made for me(can you imagine? the nerve!)with the endocrinologist. She wanted me labeled high risk so that I would be 'forced' into the hospital.

I realized that her negativity and fear had been affecting me and I cut off all communication with her. It was my mistake for even starting down that road. When push came to shove, she did not appreciate that I had had three previous easy pregnancies/easy deliveries and that my body was built to have easy labor/deliveries.

I am a very strong-willed person with three uncomplicated, unmedicated births(two at home, one in a hospital) under my belt, yet she still got to me.

I would not do it. It's too easy to get sucked into their fear and treatment of the 'disease' of pregnancy. But if you do, do NOT tell them you plan an UC at home.

HTH
 

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Not to derail the thread, but what if you have a medical condition that needs monitoring during pregnancy?

I have hypothyroidism, which is well controlled with synthetic thryoid hormone. My levels are stable now, but can fluctuate and go off what they need to be during pg and postpartum, so it's highly recommended to have TSH and T4 levels checked monthly or every 6 weeks during pregnancy and the postpartum period. With DD my meds needed adjusting for a while postpartum. I wouldn't worry about it much except that if it gets off it can increase risk of miscarriage or premature labor. I'd rather not go there!

I am seriously considering a UC for my next pregnancy, and would be quite comfortable doing self-care except I can't order thyroid tests and adjust my meds myself. I was thinking maybe go to one prenatal appt and get a referral to an endocrinologist to deal with the thyroid stuff, and thus have a doctor interested only in my hormones and not my baby. Think that might work?
 
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