I saw a fab documentary on midwifes and birth in general today. It was an excellent report that not only showed midwives working in lots of different environments here in Germany (in hospitals, midwifery houses, in the countryside doing home births) but also women making informed choices about how they want to give birth – either unassisted (i.e. either completely alone or with another layperson, such as their partner or mother), or just with a midwife at home or in midwifery houses or in hospitals.
So how would you want to give birth (if you think you want to give birth one day, that is or are currently pregnant)? Would you want lots of technical equipment around (just in case) and hence go to a clinic? Would you prefer a non clinical environment? Maybe a water birth? How about pain management? Would you want lots of people around or just your partner and/or a midwife? If you’re already a mother (which reminds me: anyone seen negative nancy and mamalli? been ages since those two were around!), would you choose a different way of giving birth next time? If you’re a guy, would you want to be present during the birth of your child?
I personally, hope I can choose how to give birth (i.e. have an uncomplicated pregnancy with no health risks for the child) and would prefer to do so in a non-clinical environment. A midwifery house (from what I’ve seen) or a non-typical clinic (i.e. one where you’re not forced you to have lots of people present, where you can move during birth, were you can choose how and in which position you can do so and which offers you *alternative* birthing, and doesn’t routinely force fetal monitors and all) would be what I wnat, because I’m not sure whether I would feel comfy all alone. I think I would want a safety net, “just in case”. I was quite shocked to realize that many hospitals treat births as “operations”, which really isn’t what I think births should be treated like, unless there is a medical emergency, and would hence really like to avoid a usual hospital. Discussed birth with my mom lots in recent weeks, and I am very sure I don't want to give birth like she did to me and my brother, without my dad (wasn't standard in the 70's over here)and without a friend around. In addition, my birth was extremely bad because I had health complications (my birth was induced, way too early, because my mothers gyno went on holidays!) and because I was a little premature and didn't want to breathe, they took me away from her and she was in the hospital, all alone, and had no clue what was happening with me.
My partner, who just started his 2 ½ month term in ob/gyn (he’s a 5th year med student), thinks I am (and many other women are, in his opinion) making too big of a deal out of more natural birthing and idealizing births and their importance, but then I wonder how seeing a real birth (which I think he will have the pleasure to witness in the next weeks) will influence his stand on this; as unbelievable as it is (prudish Aussies!), he had never seen a birth on TV or wherever (not in school, not once during his first 5 years of doing med), until they showed an educational birthing video last week.
So what’s your stand on this?
[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 04-20-2001).]
When my son was born, my birthing experience was terrible. If there's a next time, I want it to be completely different.
I really like the idea of birthing centers -- homelike atmosphere, but still a 'medical' setting if anything goes wrong. I want my partner and my mother to be there like last time, but no-one else. (other than a midwife / nurse, of course!) I'll try to go as long as I can without any sort of pain medication -- I'll use more breathing and meditation techniques and try to avoid the Demerol. Internal and external monitoring were horribly, horribly uncomfortable last time, so I'll try to avoid those too. Ditto an episiotomy -- I'd rather tear. I want to be an active part of the birth instead of a passive one like last time. Most of all, I want to feel that I'm in control of my surroundings and what's happening with my child, so I can look back on it and smile instead of shudder.
------------------ I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.
As i'm sure most of you already know, i want to be a nurse-midwife
I'm ALL for leaving the options up to the mother. No woman should be forced into having her baby in a situation she's not comfortable in. This, of course, saying that childbirth is expected to be "normal"... healthy baby, healthy mommy and yada yada ...
I also really want to open up my own birthing centre. Complete w/ yoga, meditation, parenting and first aid/cpr courses. I also really like the idea of water birth. So probably a few "water rooms" as well ... I don't know how far i'll get into this dream ... I just really hope i don't get stuck in a hospital
As for me, personally ... I don't know what i would want to do. Probably a water birth. It's said to be good for both baby and mom. I also love the Demerol tho I had it when i had my last abdominal surgery and i didn't feel a thing ... lol I would try to go drug free tho. I think everyone goes in saying that they'll "try" ...
I was present for the birth of both my children. The first died in the delivery room so I was awfully glad my wife didn't have to face that alone.
Because both pregnancies were "high-risk", deliveries were done in a hospital, Woman's College Hospital in Toronto which tries to combine a relaxed setting with all the neccesary hi-tech medical tools.
One couple in our 2nd Lemaze class elected for home birth. This became an emergency run to the hospital when severe complications developed.
I don't see why a person would want to be without the tools for rapid medical intervention if necessary.
As far as pain is concerned, why not control it? My wife had an epidural both times. She remained fully concious and alert and I think was more relaxed and had an easier delivery because the pain was controlled. I don't see why women should suffer pain when it is unnessessary.
Episiotomies are performed because a clean cut with a scalpel heals better than a tissue tear.
------------------ The most exciting phrase in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" ("I found it!") but rather "Hmmm... that's funny...."
- Isaac Asimov
[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 04-20-2001).]
Actually, Bobo, more and more doctors are finding that that's not the case. Episiotomies can be necessary for foreceps deliveries, but they can cause more complications than a natural tear can. it's like if you take a bedsheet and try to tear it -- you can, but it takes some effort. Take the same bedsheet, make a cut in it, and then try to tear it -- it's a whole lot easier. I have an article about this lying around somewhere, I'll put it up when I find it
------------------ I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.
Well, my mom is an NICU nurse, and I've heard WAY too many stories about how women gave birth at home with a midwife and how if the baby had complications it took them way too long to get the baby to the hospital for treatment, so the baby either died, ended up brain dead, or had sever problems. I'm sure that a lot of births have gone extrememly well in the same environment, but I would still rather be in a hospital with lots of technology and doctors. That's just where I'd feel the most comfortable.
As many of you know, I am a lebian, but I would still like to have children through artificial insemination (spelling?). I would want to have my wife with me and my mom since she teaches Lamaze and is a big part of my life (hopefully she'll still be then). I've heard a lot about water births, and I would really like to do that because of the benefits of it. As far as drugs and everything else, I'll have to see how I feel about that then and what condition I'm in.
------------------ "Honey, whose car is that in our driveway?"
I definitely want a non-clinical setting. As I've said before, I'd have my baby by myself in a field before going to the hospital I actually read something in the newspaper a few weeks ago about women who were having babies without medical help, but I can't find it on the net.
Anyway, I'd love to have a midwife, but I've heard the waiting lists can get really long. Since not every pregnancy is planned or predictable, I have no idea if I'll be able to have one.
I want the least invasion of my body possible. I don't want people slicing my genitals (they stretch). I don't want to be so drugged up that I can't feel when I'm supposed to push. I don't want a monitor flashing at me and making me worry if the baby's going to die. I want it to be as relaxed and natural as possible. Hopefully it will be just me and my partner and one professional. In a homey, comfy setting.
Rizzo (and everyone else, too, of course), have you had a look at http://www.unassistedbirth.com/ ? They have quite a few stories of unassisted (planned and unplanned) births, and when I first found that site a while back (Alli came up with it for the reproduction links), I was very surprised, really.
BTW: Bummer that there are waiting lists for midwifes. Over here, it is standard to have a midwife: Everyone simply has one and usually gets to know her (or seldomly him! there are male midwifes, too) quite a while before the actualy birth. People actually choose their hospitals by their midwifes, i.e. go where she is allowed to give births. Usually, over here, doctors only attend births in case of emergency (the mainly supervise). And I think that's fab. Good midwifes also do follow up visits at home after the birth and help with breastfeeding, too. Midwifes have done pregnancy care for centuries, and I somehow think that's the way it's *supposed* to be, a female thing, somehow. (geez, that sounds discrimatory)
Ahh ... there are few provinces that actually see midwivery as a profession (Ontario, Alberta ... i think), so i think it should be pretty easy to get into. But there are about 3 universities in Ontario that offer the midwife program
Posts: 7168 | From: Ontario | Registered: Sep 2000
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Good topic. I can't wait to be pregnant and give birth, so of course I've thought about this!
I definitely want it to be in a birthing center if possible. I'm thinking because I have lupus I might have to have it in a more clinical setting, but I would much rather do the birthing center. I don't like the idea of having my baby in a clinical setting. I would like it to be a comfortable experience for me and my new baby, and of course my husband (whoever he may be ) And my husband would definitely be aloud in with me when I gave birth, but no one else (aside from a midwife/or whatever). And call me crazy, but I really want to try doing a natural birth. I have a really high pain tolerance, but if I can't take it I won't be upset...I'd just like to try. But all in all, I think no matter where I give birth, as long as I've got a healthy baby in the end I'll be happy!
I think people who decide to have unassisted births probably not only need to be brave enough to decide they know their bodies well enough and whatnot, but also brave enough to explain their decision to the outside world.
It wouldn't be something for me, I think (I want as safety net), but in a really weird *intuitive* way, unassisited birth does make sense to me, the more I read about it. Something about it makes birth appear so much more *normal*, don't know. Really can't explain it. Wouldn't be for me, but I can understand why women do it their way.
i have to say, i do like the idea of birth not being considered an "operation," of it being natural and whatever. that said, i would never in a million years want to be unassisted or at home, or even really in a birthing center. i want to be in a hospital, damnit! maybe that's because i live in a big city with great hospitals; i'm just more comfortable with a substatial safety net, i guess.
------------------ if you want to kiss the sky, you better learn how to kneel (on your knees, boy) -U2
My mom is a NICU nurse and loves to talk about babies and births. I've heard so many horror stories about hospital births that it's not even a consideration for me unless something is seriously wrong.
I'm planning to opt for the birthing center route. If it's not legal in the state I'm living in at the time, I'll move! Anyhow, that way there's guaranteed rapid transit if there *are* complications. Also that way I have a sort of automatically ritualized setting. I like the idea of a water birth. I do not intend to take drugs (considering that I don't usually for anything else, and they have a variety of side effects, particularly prolonged labor) but of course, there's no way to tell until it happens.
Hopefully my partner will be there, and my parents will be, if not there the whole time (I assume I'll want some privacy), then very near-by. Dim lighting. Music.
---- On a related note. The USA places pretty low in infant survival. Compared to other countries worldwide, I've seen us placed from 18th (according to UN Demographic Yearbook '93) to a depressing 26th (according to the FSU Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy, '97). Presumably this is because we're the only developed nation without universal healthcare. My mom says poor people in the US have really, really low infant survival rates.
KittenGodess said "In a hospital where they can take care of anything that might go wrong...and drug me up baby! I'm such a wimp, and I really really can't stand pain at all."
LOL ... I agree, what if something goes wrong? Or it goes on too long and you pass out under the pain? Hospitals arent just there to be a complicated pain in the neck.. they're there to help you in everyway possible!
Posts: 17 | From: Sydney, NSW, Australia | Registered: Aug 2000
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Well, there are lots of reasons, Aphrodite.
For instance, it is estimated that about 75% of Cesarean sections are done unneccesarily, because the doctors are basically lazy. Too, many holistic midwives and schools of thought on childbirth theorize that a typical hospital room makes for a trraumatic birthing expperience for the infant: they come out of the warm, wet, quiet dark and into a brightly-lit room with a ton of loud people, one of whom smacks it on the bottom. Thankfully, some hospitals are wising up to this and are providing better birthing centers with more conducive environments.
However, they are still ungodly expensive, many do not respect a mother's wishes (such as not to use painkillers), and the environment in most is really quite jarring and uncomfortable. Even the position most women are put in in a standard hospital to give bith (on back, legs in the air) is the LEAST ideal birth position there is. It could only be made more difficult were she standing on her head.
Too, midwives are generally just as (if not more so) skilled as doctors. And a good midwife can tell a woman when her birth may have risk-factors that would mean she and her baby would be better suited to a hospital. Women have been having babies since the get-go, and while more complicated births did often result in mother or child deaths before hospital births, standard births really aren't anything that complicated.
Personally, I would opt for a home-borth or a bithing center, and likely go the water-birth route. I would want my partner in there with me and a midwife, but likely no one else. And I'd also likely do what Susie Bright discovered worked wonders, which was to actually use a vibrator during her childbirth.
Actually, quite a few women who went either the home or unassisted birth route and have written about it online, also write about being sexual during labor and about it helping the whole process. And while it was surprising for me to hear about that for the first time, it does make sense, too, and seems to have been fab for those who've tried it.
Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000
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Well, the presiding theory is that the actual purpose of the Grafenberg Spot (which would explain why it is in a fairly difficult-to-reach loaction) is to lessen pain during childbirth, as the infants head will put direct pressure on it as it passes through the vaginal canal.
Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Yup, I remember reading that, too. Oh, and I read, too, that the way some women are forced give birth in in some hospitals is the worst imaginable (i.e. on the back & legs in the air). I was quite happy to hear (and see) in that docu women gicing birth squatting, on their knees or lying on their side, one leg over the shoulder of a kneeling midwife who helped the baby. Very impressive.
Some hospitals over here have come back to using some old fashioned (mideaval) very low birthing chairs which just support the mother a tiny little bit and let her give birth sitting or rather squatting.
Here's a piccie (if not a very good one)
And most have some ropes hanging from the ceiling so that you can rest your back a little during birth, too.
[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 04-25-2001).]
Awesome site, Smurfie! I agree with about everything they say there, although I would personally be much shyer about saying it as forcefully as they do, since I don't want to be judgemental...
Posts: 257 | From: Sarasota, FL | Registered: Jan 2001
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Regular. In a hospital, with my family and my hubby babe, with some drugs to keep me going. No way am I going to not have Epidural (sp?) Everyone that gave birth told me it was so painful, and I have a low tolerance for pain.
------------------ *~*~12/3/99*~* *~*~*~I LOVE YOU BOB FOREVER AND ALWAYS*~*~*~
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't" -Erica Jong<~~~no thats not me :)
I read an article about this a few weeks ago...I can't find it at the moment, but the article was on a debate triggered by Cindy Crawford's decision to have a home birth.
The advantages: your baby would have the benefit of being looked after relatives, and not just the nurse on duty. (There's another one which has something to do with more time to bond, but I can't remember what it exactly said, so I won't add it to the record).
The disadvantages: if there is a danger to the baby (apparently happens very rarely), it could possibly die before it reaches the hospital.
Actually, I'd be for having a home birth, unless there were a risk of the baby possibly dying. I see nothing wrong with home births - people give birth in shopping malls, soccer fields, bath tubs, so what's wrong with a home birth?
But ultimately, I think it's the parents' decision .
I was born in a large hospital in Toronto, where everything should have gone just fine, but the epidural my mother was given paralysed her ribcage, she had to be given oxygen, and I was delivered with forceps. It was her first birth, she was in her early thirties and healthy, but it almost killed her, and it did break my collar bone.
I want to give birth in water or on a birthing stool, I don't want it to be a very clinical environment, and I don't want too many people around. A midwife would be reassuring, but most importantly, I want my best female friend there. She's strong, has always been protective of me, and wants no children of her own, though she wants involvement with any I might have. I don't even know if I'd want my partner to be there, of if the experience would be good for him.
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000
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I would want to give birth in a hospital. Since I have medical issues of my own, I would want to be around lots of doctors just in case. I'm very glad my Aunt chose a hospital the first time she gave birth. Her child was 3 months early! I guess it just depends on the medical state of the child and/or the mother.
Ack!! I am hoping for either a home birth or birthing center for my next time around. Problem is I just went to my insurance provider's website and they don't seem to cover any midwives or birthing centers in my area!! Luckily there's plenty of time to worry about that! With my daughter, I had a hospital delivery. It was actually pretty much what I would want for the next time, except possibly the position (not quite flat on my back, but close enough) and I didn't feel like I needed all the technology. That's why I'm thinking of a birthing center for next time. The technology will be there in case I need it, but won't be quite so noticable or forced upon me (that monitor belt around my belly was quite annoying). I tried going all natural, but ended up getting a shot of Stadol in my hip. I really don't think the Stadol curbed the pain much, though. My hubby and my mom were there during labor and delivery, and I'd want them there for the next one, adding our daughter if she felt comfortable being there.
------------------ Munchy, the Munchkin, the Monchichi
I researched a lot of birth options when I was pregnant, and eventually concluded that I wanted an unassisted waterbirth at home, with my partner and my best friend in the room with me and my mom in the next room for backup. She's a licenced midwife, and I like knowing that if anything were to go wrong, she'd be right there to handle it.
That pregnancy ended in miscarriage but I intend to try to conceive again someday in the not so distant future, and that's definitely what I want to do when it comes time to deliver.
Having grown up around midwives, there's no way on earth I'm going to a hospital unless it's absolutely necessary. Midwives are fabulous, and these days, every bit as well-trained and well-equiped as doctors. My mom's medical equipment takes up the entire back of her van when she goes to births - usally, she doesn't need it, but it's there if she does.
my daughter is 13 months old, and beautiful and healthy. I had a nurse-midwife, and she was wonderful. Nurse-Midwifes are not something like most ppl think, giving birth in the woods, or in your house (although that is a choice with some of them, your house i mean) I had my daughter in a hospital, where if anything was to go wrong, there was a doc on call. plus i was a "high risk" pregency because of my seizure disorder, and i was still able to have a nurse-midwife. look into everything and see what you want to do, ask around. hey check on the net! but if you want my view on it, if i ever have children again, i'll have a nurse-midwife again, not a regular doc.
------------------ Nobody loves me everybody hates me i'm just gonna eat worms!
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