"The reason a doctor suggests 30 weeks is because that is the point when most doctors will refuse to accept a pregnant patient, so if you're 30 weeks along and your current doctor says, no VBAC, you'll be more likely to have to stick with that doctor because no one else will take over your prenatal care. It's a sneaky, horrible thing and SO many docs do it. There is NO reason why she can't explain risks, benefits, rates and outcomes with you right this second. " -from an anonymous poster on a board
That's it exactly! Unfortunately, doctors think they can control their patients better that way by forcing your hand and cornering you. But they do it in such a way that makes them look better than they are. Go to www.vbacfacts.com
and get all the info you can. She has a wonderful site with tons of up to date info and advice! And you can facebook her "Jen VBACfacts Kamel" and she has a group on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/vbacfactscommunity/
Get Penny Simkin's THE BIRTH PARTNER and Korte's THE VBAC COMPANION and Ina May Gaskin's INA MAY GASKIN'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH at the very least. Those will give you a great foundation of pregnancy, labor, birth, and VBAC's. Go on the Ican website also.
Find an experienced Doula who has worked with VBACs before who can educate and coach you through this. And immediately force your doctor's hand on the info while searching for midwives and other doctors for backup. You will have to do all this learning and doctor hunting as fast as you can before your window shuts and they refuse to take you for prenatal care. Its going to come down to how committed you are to having this VBAC. Unfortunately, women have to work very hard for them. What they said about educating yourself on all the processes of birth is true. That's another good reason to find a Doula who is also a Childbirth Educator if you can. Then you get the best of both worlds. Find an in-depth prepared childbirth class series that lasts 6-8 weeks-so you know it will cover everything well.
With my first pregnancy I was the typical first time mommy-to-be.
I completely trusted my OB/GYN aand that she would do what was best
for me and my baby and that she knew more than me and I had little to
no knowledge of what my birth options truly were. So when at my 39
week appointment (but really it was more like my 37 1/2 week
appointment since they always had my due date wrong) my doctor
mentioned that it was looking like I was going to have a big baby and
said we should have an ultrasound. Did the ultrasound and she said
that the ultrasound showed I was going to have a big baby, so she went
into a list of the possible complications that could occur if I tried
to deliver her vaginally (I had also had planned on going naturally
since the beginning of the pregnancy and also not use EFM). She told
me I had two options: 1. induction, which she said would more than
likely result in an emergency c-section since my body wasn't ready
(hadn't dilated or effaced yet) or 2. have a c-section. I did not know
at the time I could have said no and that I had the option to wait
until my body went into labor on its own.
Out of fear we had the c-section. She was 8lbs 12 ounces. Before
I could hold my baby the nurses whisked her away because her blood
pressure went up (atleast I think that was the reason they gave), but
later she was completely fine. So it was over two hours before I held
her for the first time or got to breastfeed her. This resulted in a
very difficult breastfeeding relationship...she never learned to
latch, from 3 1/2 weeks to 5 months I exclusively pumped, and she
finally figured out how to nurse at 5 months, but she self weened
herself at 9 1/2 months because she preferred the bottle.
My unnecessary c-section left me with both emotional and physical
scars but with a strong determination to have a different experience
the next time around...At my 6 week checkup I told my OB I knew I
wanted to try for a VBAC with my next child (I had done a little
research at this point and knew then that suspected "big baby" is not
a reason to use for induction or c-section) and my OB told me "we will
have to wait and see...if you have another big baby we will have to do
another c-section...you have a small pelvis". I was shocked that she
would throw out the "small pelvis" card...never once had she used this
excuse during my pregnancy...I left the appointment knowing I would
not go back...Research began and much to my surprise I soon felt sure
that I would plan for a HBAC (home-brith after c-section) with my
Jump forward to the arrival of Brianna Claire:
From the beginning of the pregnancy I was determined to wait until
labor started on its own, not just because I didn't really have a
choice considering I was going for a VBAC, but because I knew my body
and baby would work together and come that labor would start when God
had ordained for her to be born...I didn't realized that would mean
going 13 days past my due date! I went into prodromal labor (but very
painful contractions) around 4:00pm on Thursday February 16th,
2012...My water broke at 1am on Sat. morning, my midwife came over and
checked later that morning and I was still only 1cm dilated! The same
I had been at my appointment earlier that week! Contractions stayed
the same...varied in length and time between them...started
antibiotics on Saturday night, then after I couldn't take the pain
anymore with just the help of my hubby, I called my midwife's
apprentice who is also a doula and she came and checked me...I was
thinking I was probably still a 1 since the contractions never really
got consistent or more painful...but I was a 5 and was then able to
get in the birthing pool...she checked me around 6:30am on Sunday and
I labored in the pool for maybe and 1 hour and a half or so..still
didn't feel like the contractions were much stronger or intense...but
felt like I needed to poop...got out and tried to go to the
bathroom...she then checked and I was a good 9.5 maybe 10...my midwife
was still not there at this point...but baby was still at -3! In the
back of my mind I could hear my old doctor's words "you have a small
pelvis"...would my baby fit? She had also been on and off in the
posterior position for several weeks so that scared me a little as
well. At my U/S to check and make sure everything was fine on Monday
of that week they estimated her weight at 9 1/2 pounds! I was not to
excited about the idea of pushing out a 10 lb posterior baby!
To help get her to descend I started doing squatting position for
every contraction...after maybe 5-7 of them I really felt the need to
push! My Midwife had arrived during the last few contractions and she
checked me...I was fully dilated and baby had moved to a +3! I pushed
for about 45 minutes and she was born! It was so amazing and I feel so
blessed to have had the labor and birth that I had so longed for and
that I was robbed of with my first child!
Surprisingly she was 8lbs even! So much for "accuracy" of ultrasounds!
My first was 8lb 12 ounces born about 10 days early via c-section for
suspected big baby...I think my babies ultrasounds always show them as
"big" because they are long and have "big" heads. I just smile to
think that had I not done my research and had stayed with my ob they
would have sectioned her at like 38-39 weeks and at 41 weeks 6 days
she was a perfect 8lbs! She would have probably been in the NICU. I
truly trust that babies know when it is time to come and that as Ina
May Gaskin once said, "Your body is not a lemon. You are not a
machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic"!
One thing to realize is that a Doula is very schooled in the knowledge of Childbirth - labor, all its phases and stages, its nuances. Also all the terms and measurements the Doctors will be using to decide how ready you are for labor, such as your Bishop's Score, which includes the station of the baby in the pelvis, the situation of the cervix, it's effacement, & dilation and what all that means in concert. She knows what labor positions to use when, to help keep labor moving forward, to help keep the baby in an optimal position, to alleviate some of the pain you're feeling in labor as well as to help keep the stress off of the baby. It's nothing against the husband. He is there for intimately personal emotional support. That can never be replaced! ;)
A Doula also knows many tips and tricks to use to help keep you focused away from the pain and stay informed and educated fully on what is actually going on so that you can truly make informed decisions when you need to at a critically emotional time. Doulas can also help you form a list of Birth Goals, or what is usually called a Birth Plan. She can help you find a way to put together a polite and compact list that seems non-invasive to the Doctor/Midwife & Hospital Nursing Staff but still serves your needs as well. She can also help you become more of an informed advocate for yourself, by teaching you how to talk to your Doctor/Midwife about things that you're concerned about or may disagree with in an assertive but diplomatic way.
Doula's Support both of you emotionally, educationally, physically, and mentally! They do not give medical advice or do anything clinical, like exams or blood pressure. And they support you in whatever decisions you make. It is your birth. They are there to educate and inform on all the risks and benefits, which unfortunately you sometimes do not get the full picture from Doctors-for many reasons.... That is not to say that they are a bad Doctor! No! But they do not train in "Normal, unmedicalized births." Things like not rushing to induce unless there is eminent danger, because it can often lead to a C-section. And many other things she can help educate you on so that you can fully weigh the pros and cons yourself before things get emotional.
And the more prepared you are, the less anxiety and fear will be present. Fear and Anxiety together are the top causes of long labors. The more relaxed and calm you can stay, the more likely your labor will move more smoothly. True no one knows exactly what will happen during labor. But the deck will be stacked in your favor with a Doula, leaving your husband to focus solely on you and the baby, knowing you have your own labor support person to stay with you from early labor in your home-where you should labor as long as you can, throughout the entire birthing process and even a little after to make sure you get started off on breastfeeding and bonding well! No shift changes! She's there for all 3 of you and serves your interests, not the Doctor's or the Hospital's.
I just got off another board that was talking about breastfeeding in public - Then someone got upset with people doing that and said their church gave out flyers to inform people to go to the bathroom to feed or their cars but not in the service! This really got me thinking. Here was my post:
We need to teach our children to be comfortable with our bodies and understand that breasts are for feeding babies. If you teach your children about the natural way of feeding a baby like its no big deal and do not teach shame for the human body, then you do not have a big problem.
Its easy to say, "Well Johnny, some babies get milk from a mother's breast. That's where a mommies milk normally comes from, just like when you see baby animals nurse from their mothers. That's what they are made for- making milk for the baby." It becomes a teachable moment. ;)
We need to stop teaching our children to be ashamed of their bodies. You can teach privacy and modesty w/o taking it so far that it becomes fear of the human body. Besides, when you make a big deal out of something by acting so uncomfortable around it like it must be Taboo, you create a mystery about it that makes children more curious. Might as well be open and honest with them in a developmentally appropriate way once and for all like its no big deal and move on from there. ;)
Feeding a baby is a very natural and human thing to do. It should never be looked upon as shameful. If it makes you uncomfortable, I would suggest you tell yourself that this is not a sexual action and therefore does not fall under the idea of immodesty. Look at all the other cultures of the world that also accept this as normal. Their morality is not affected by it. Because this has nothing to do with being immoral. We have to separate ourselves from this "very old school" way of thinking. Our beliefs have not been threatened by someone feeding their child. Let's be realistic here. We need to reach deep down an examine ourselves and come to grips with the guilt-ridden old-style beliefs of modesty and understand that if its sexual in nature then by all means- modesty applies! But not to something as maternal as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is NOT sexual and if you can agree with this statement, then it logically follows that you should not allow yourself to be bothered by someone who is breastfeeding! If you are, then you need to examine the root of what is truly bothering you, which is not breastfeeding, but shame of the human body.
It SHOULD never be a problem to nurse in public and you should NEVER have to go into a bathroom to nurse! You wouldn't eat there, why should you're baby? ;)
Also, as far as it turning someone on? You are feeding a baby, that should not be seen as sexual and if it is in our over-sexed society, then it is definitely the other person that has the deviance problem and needs professional help. For those that just think its improper, I say to you, just don't look. You have the right to turn your head and I have the right to feed my baby.
Not all baby's like being covered. Mine didn't. They wouldn't eat like that and I refused to starve them. Now I didn't let it all hang out completely, but it shouldn't be a big deal. You can wear nursing bras and combo tanks with your shirts that let very little show so that onlookers have to be really ogling to see something more than what you would see in a bathing suit. Its absurd to make women feel shamed for feeding their babies. And also, you need to be able to manipulate the breast sometimes as well as the baby if you have a difficult nursing situation. Its so unfair to think that everyone is built the same and that it must be super easy to do it in a very hidden way for everyone. Let every woman do it the way that she deems is best for her and her baby. The rest of us should ignore her and not be bothered by it. Its natural and its survival. And the rest of the world is still doing it.
Its been done this way for hundreds of thousands of years and should never be seen as improper. That has to do with the over-modesty of the church in confusing what is sexual and what is maternal. They are two different things. ;) Just my 5 cents worth!
Introduction ~by Ginny Mills
As a mother of three, I have my share of my symptoms that seem to be leading to Pelvic Organ Prolapse. I have weak Pelvic Floor muscles, leading to a weak bladder, constant mild pain in the lower abdomen, (and lower back due to weak muscles) and I worry about them getting worse. So I'm currently starting a Pelvic Floor Rehab Workout trying to reverse or at least stop the symptoms. Here is some more information about this common condition. Hope it helps.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a very common condition in women, with symptoms most often appearing after age 50. Caused by weakness in pelvic floor muscles and ligaments, POP can be a silent condition in mild cases, with women displaying no symptoms and often unaware that they have been affected. On the other hand, women who have more pronounced cases of POP can have symptoms that vary from mild pain and discomfort to severe symptoms that threaten both health and quality of life. For these women, living with pelvic organ prolapse can be very difficult. What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscle group that supports organs in the pelvis, called the pelvic floor, becomes weakened, allowing those organs to fall out of their normal position and place pressure on the vagina. While the condition typically appears in older women, the damage that leads to it generally occurs years earlier. Childbirth is the most common cause of pelvic muscle damage, but factors like obesity, chronic constipation and genetics can also contribute to the development of POP. Symptoms of POP
Some women have no symptoms, while others experience mild or moderate pain and pressure in the abdominal area. Some women will develop problems with urinary incontinence, develop an uncomfortable bulge in the vagina from the pressure of displaced organs, or even have organs begin to protrude from the vaginal opening. In such severe cases, bowel movements may become obstructed by the prolapsed organs, and there can be a great deal of pain, pressure and discomfort. What Can Be Done About POP? Pelvic floor exercises
can restore strength to the pelvic floor muscles and relieve symptoms in mild to moderate POP cases. Some women can find symptom relief with the support of a removable medical device called a pessary, which is placed in the vagina to support the prolapsed organs. In the most severe cases, the only effective treatment is surgery, which restores organs to their original position to relieve the pain and restore quality of life. FDA Warnings on POP Repair Using Transvaginal Mesh
While surgery is a blessing for women who are in severe pain due to pelvic organ prolapse, women seeking that relief should speak to their doctor about the risks of a transvaginal mesh
implant. According to statements released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reports of serious complications with the use of transvaginal mesh have been rising at disturbing rates.
The problems that topped the list of reported complications included erosion of the mesh through the vaginal wall, organ perforation and mesh shrinkage, all very serious issues that require surgical repair. In some cases, even repeated surgeries cannot correct the problems. This has prompted mesh manufactures to participate in a transvaginal mesh recall
. The FDA recommends close medical monitoring of women who have had mesh implants to guard against these potential hazards. The FDA also reports that use of transvaginal mesh has not been shown to yield any better results than traditional POP surgery, which uses the woman's own tissues to correct the issues.
The Birthing From Love Digital Program is designed to be a transformational process. It was created to help you clear away anything that might get in the way of you having a positive, peaceful, and powerful birth experience. No matter how it unfolds.
There are heaps of experiences that can create fear, anxiety, and worry about birth. Reality T.V. (and regular T.V.!), scary birth stories, trauma, past birth experiences, relationship issues, books, the list goes on. It’s totally normal to have fear about childbirth. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
What I know for sure is that fear hinders the birth process, it tenses the muscles, intensifies the perception of pain, and messes up the uber-powerful birthing hormones.
KNOW YOU WANT IT? The BFL Digital Program is being released on June 15th, 2012. Just send me a note and I’ll make sure to let you know the instant it’s available.
why love and fear?Here’s what I think. There are two ways to give birth, one is from fear (causing worry, anxiety, stress, depression) and one is from love (causing peace, confidence, contentment, excitement, and strength). I’m pretty sure the latter will make the birth experience a whole lot better. And that’s what I want for you. You deserve it. Every woman does.
Pregnancy and birth represent one of the most powerful times in a woman’s life. Becoming a mother (or becoming a mother again) has a profound impact on a woman, and that process is never a neutral event. It’s often the best or the worst day (or simultaneously both!) of a woman’s life.
Because of the powerful nature of birth, pregnancy is often surrounded by fears ::
Pregnancy and birth often bring up other fears as well :: am I in the right relationship? Can we afford another child? How will I possibly manage everything?
- fear of the unknown
- fear of the pain
- fear of the possible complications
- fear of unwanted interventions
- fear of not being supported
- fear of not doing it right
- fear of pooping in front of strangers
- …the list goes on and on
The problem with fear is that, regardless of what the fear is about, it has a profound impact on your body, your mind, your baby, and the birth process.
why should I overcome fear?Research indicates that by releasing the fears that surround childbirth you can ::
This is big meaningful stuff. It matters. Really.
- Decrease the feeling of pain
- Decrease time in labor
- Decrease risk of unwanted interventions
- Increase the safety of mom and baby
is this right for me?This online program will be most useful to you if ::
The Birthing From Love Digital Program is designed to help process and clear and release fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt so that you can move into your birth process with freedom. Birthing From Love is for you if you want to ::
- You want to become pregnant but have significant fears about giving birth
- You’re already pregnant and are fearful or anxious about your upcoming birth
- You’ve given birth before and had an experience that created fears about birthing again
- You want your birth experience to be peaceful, powerful, and rewarding
- You want to gain confidence in your ability to birth and deepen trust in yourself
- This is your first pregnancy, and you want guidance in facing the unknown
- You’ve had a child and want a better birthing experience this time around
- You have a scheduled intervention and you’re upset about it
KNOW YOU WANT IT? The BFL Digital Program is being released on June 15th. Just send me a note and I’ll make sure to let you know the instant it’s available.how does it work?Through my research I learned that there are two ways to give birth. One is from fear, a traumatic experience that can cause tons of problems. The other way to give birth is from love, a positive birthing process that empowers women to feel great no matter what happens.
- Have the best birth experience possible.
- Prepare for it in a way that feels good to you.
- Have instant access to materials that can help you prepare
- Prepare your mind to support your body during your birth process
- Have tools you can use to prepare for labor, birth, and motherhood
There are five steps to psychologically move from fear into love ::
For more details on the five steps sign up for the free guide to Birthing From Love, you’ll find the handy little box on the upper right hand corner of this page.
- Understand the Mind
- Understand the Social Birth Culture
- Understand your Personal Birth Culture
- Understand and Release Fears
- Understand and Increase Love
Once you buy the Birthing From Love Digital Program you will get it in your inbox immediately. Yes. You can start the process right away.
You can work through the steps alone or with your friends or you can check out our thriving online community. You’ll have instant access to the audios, videos, and interactive pdfs It’s a multimedia phenomenon.
how is this different from every other birthing education class?There are countless wonderful birthing education classes out there. They demonstrate different birthing positions. They talk about the physiology of birth. Chances are pretty good you’ll leave feeling knowledgeable about birth. That’s a very good thing.
But, there’s something that’s missing :: psychology of birth.
I have studied and researched the psychology of childbirth and the psychology of fear in order to help women mentally and emotionally prepare for childbirth.
I know that you know that the mind has a very powerful effect on the body. Not only does it have an effect on us as mothers, but it also has an effect on how our babies develop mentally and physically.
When I was pregnant, I found tons of information to help me physically prepare for birth, but I couldn’t find a single thing to help me psychologically prepare for birth. Birthing from Love was designed to fill that gap, empowering women to transform their birth. Birthing From Love is all about mastering the psychology of birth so your mind can support your body in having the best birth possible.
as we transform birth, we transform the world
the new world of birthThe birthing world is changing, and there seems to be a split.
Some women are seeing the power and peace that comes from giving birth from a place of love.
On the other hand more women are terrified of the birth process.
Let me be clear: I am 100% supportive of a woman choosing to give birth in the way that is right for her. My concern is that too many women are experiencing birth as a traumatic and fearful event when it doesn’t have to be that way.
Birth can be a powerful and positive experience. In my opinion, the number one thing that is getting in the way of that is fear.
wisdom. empowerment. freedom.I’ve worked with thousands of women, helping them overcome fear, doubt, insecurity, anxiety, depression, and worry. I feel strongly that transformation works best when it comes from a place of wisdom, empowerment, and freedom.
I know you have the knowledge within you to have this kind of birth experience, you just might need a little support to access it.
what it isn’t.This is not, What To Expect When You’re Expecting. You will not get a week-by-week of what’s happening to your baby or your body. It’s not going to help you find the most comfortable position to birth your baby in.
It is all about the psychology of birth. Thoughts. Emotions. Beliefs. These have a profound influence on how your birth unfolds and how you experience birth. Birthing From Love gives you knowledge and guides you discover your wisdom.
useful. practical.This is what guided me when I was developing this program ::
Each section builds on the previous section to give you a strong foundation to grow from. Once the foundation is built, we move into various processes and exercises to help reduce fear, anxiety, and worry and increase peace, trust and love.
- It has to be loving
- It has to be valuable
- It has to be practical
- It has to be meaningful
- It has to be inspirational
- It has to combine theory and practice
- It has to move you from A (fear) to B (love)
You can use it by yourself, with your birth partner, or with a group of like-minded mamas. Birthing From Love groups are springing up all over the place. Why not start your own?
what’s covered.You will learn
We do this by moving through a step-by-step process that includes ten videos, ten audios, ten pdfs, & interactive processes throughout the entire program.
- The nature of fear
- The common fears & priorities for birthing women
- How to explore & identify your fears
- How fear affects you, your baby, & your birth process
- About the fear-love spectrum
- About myths of childbirth
- How fear & love impact the mind
- About the parts of the brain you need to know about for birth
- Learn how the mind tricks you into being fearful
- Learn how to work with your mind to release fears
- How the culture of birth creates fear & what to do about it
- How to work with your mind to support your body during your birthing process
- How to have a peaceful, positive, & powerful birth experience (no matter what happens).
- How your personal life experience creates fear & what to do about it
- How to process and release fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, or insecurity
- How to increase peace, love, trust, & confidence.
- A selection of my favorite resources to support you moving forward (including interviews of some amazing people in the birth world).
KNOW YOU WANT IT? The BFL Digital Program is being released on June 15, 2012. Just send me a note and I’ll make sure to let you know the instant it’s available.pay it forward.I’m all about helping the world to transform birth culture so that it supports women in feeling empowered, rather than traumatized. So $5.00 from every copy purchased goes toward Childbirth Connection to support the Listen to Mother’s Report.
In the Birthing From Love Digital Program , you’ll get my deep and detailed knowledge that comes from helping thousands of women. By now you’ll know if this program is for you. Trust your heart and intuition. They will guide to where you most need to be.
Questions, love? Make contact.
Love and Respect,
Scholarship Information: I know it can be hard trying to figure out all the things that you need to do in order to have the best birth experience possible.
This is the greatest time for women to give birth, we have amazing technology to support us (if we need it) and we have unlimited access to information (thank you internet!). This makes the birth process safer than ever before and also more complicated and overwhelming than ever before.
During my first pregnancy, I had lots of doubts and fears and I felt totally overwhelmed with the information that was out there.
You may have similar feelings.
By using the Birthing From Love philosophy and program, I was able to move past my fears and have remarkable birth experiences, but more importantly, I’ve been able to help other women do the same.
The women who are part of the Birthing From Love tribe are just like you. The community that we’ve created is precious and I know you’ll find some great connections in the program.
If you want to be part of the Birthing From Love tribe by joining the Digital Program I want you see you.
Now, I realize that finances are difficult for some people, especially when preparing to welcome a new little one into the world. So, once a month we offer a scholarship position.
Here’s how it works :: I want to know who you are and why it’s important to you to be part of the Birthing From Love Digital Program. Here’s the step-by-step process of applying for the scholarship.
I firmly believe that by changing how we birth we change the world. And when I say ‘the world’ I mean your world. We change the world one life at a time.
- Tell me who you are and why it’s important to you to be part of the Birthing From Love Digital Program.
- Create a video and post it on YouTube or write a blog post and post it on a website (Facebook and Twitter count too).
- Head back here and post the link to your info in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
This was a great little article! Thought I'd share it! - Gin
If you have thought about delivering your baby at home, you probably have a lot of questions! Are you wondering what exactly a midwife is, and whether midwifery care is right for you? What about homebirth -- is it safe? Is it legal? Is it what you want? This article, an excerpt from "Homebirth: Making it Happen," will help you find answers to these questions -- and more. BY: Anne Sommers, LM, and Abbi Perets
Arguments against homebirth, and how to respond
One likely reason that more women don't opt for homebirth is the wealth of misinformation that circulates about it. Add to that society's disapproval of anything outside the norm, and you have a recipe for more hospitalizations and the continuing belief that birth is, and should be treated as, a medical event.So if you've decided, after careful investigation and research, that homebirth is the right choice for you, you may still need to convince those around you of the sanity of what you're doing. This "cheat sheet" gives you some of the most common questions and arguments against homebirth -- and the answers you can give.
What if something goes wrong?
Even with the miracles of modern medicine, a hospital does not guarantee a perfect birth and/or baby. A hospital is not a magical environment where nothing goes wrong. Women in the hospital, for example, are more likely to have unnecessary c-sections. Avoidable operations can bring on a host of problems for mother and child, not the least of which is the introduction of drugs into both their systems.
A midwife is trained to spot potential problems early on. She will either act to prevent the problem, handle it or determine that you need to be transferred to the hospital. By calling ahead and alerting the hospital to your arrival, your midwife will help to ensure that a team is ready to treat you when you arrive.
What if the baby isn't breathing?
Just as at the hospital, the midwife will resuscitate the baby. She will do this in precisely the same way a paramedic would -- in fact, in some cases, midwives and paramedics take the same neonatal resuscitation class. Talk to your midwife about the equipment she carries. She should have oxygen with her and she should be trained in neonatal resuscitation. Have her explain the procedure of resuscitating an infant ahead of time. That way, if she needs to do it at your baby's birth, you'll know what is going on.
Isn't it safer to give birth in a hospital? (Also asked as: Don't you think you're putting your baby at risk?)
At risk for what? Again, most serious problems are detected during pregnancy. You're not putting your baby at risk of developing any conditions by virtue of where you give birth. Remember: A hospital is merely a building. Giving birth there doesn't automatically mean that your baby will be born perfect and that the very human staff isn't capable of making mistakes.
More interventions are used in a hospital setting, often unnecessarily. There you're also likely to face an overburdened staff, lack of continuous care during labor, shift turnovers, impersonal care, and so forth. This is in marked contrast to midwives, who attend you throughout the birth process, know you and your body well, and are familiar with normal birth (and therefore are especially attuned to dysfunctional labor/birth).
It's important to note, also, that a hospital houses sick people. Yes, precautions are taken to prevent the transfer of germs from sick wards to the nursery, but mistakes happen. Your baby is at greater risk of coming into contact with foreign germs in a foreign environment. Doctors, nurses, orderlies, maintenance staff,parents on tours, and parents and siblings of other babies (to name a few) will come into contact with you and your baby in the hospital, directly or indirectly. Your home and your family pose the least threat to your baby's fragile new immune system.
Who will check the baby out after birth?
Your midwife is trained to examine the baby at birth. She does the same newborn exam that a doctor does in the hospital. She'll record her findings and include them in the chart she turns over to you at your postpartum appointment. You can learn more about the specifics checked at birth in the "Immediate Postpartum" section of this book.
Most midwives advise that you schedule an appointment with your baby's pediatrician for three to five days after the birth. But do ask the pediatrician ahead of time -- she may want to see your baby sooner, especially if this is your first child. If you are very lucky and have great insurance, your pediatrician may make a house call -- but don't count on it.
What if the baby is breech?
Your midwife should be able to tell the baby's position (by palpating your abdomen and location of the heartbeat) by about 34 weeks. If she is unsure, she may suggest an ultrasound. Babies usually don't have enough room to turn around from vertex (head down) to breech after that point, although some do. If your baby is breech, your midwife may suggest exercises to coax the baby to turn vertex. The Webster Technique uses trigger points and adjustments to alter the condition of the mother's pelvis. This technique is often successful in rotating breech babies and relieving a fetal posterior position.
If by 36 weeks the baby has not turned, you will need to talk about your options with your midwife. Not all midwives will deliver a breech baby at home.
What if you hemorrhage?
A few minutes after you give birth, your midwife will encourage you to breastfeed your baby. This will stimulate your body to produce the naturally occurring oxytocin that causes uterine contractions. You may not think contractions are a good thing right after you give birth, but they really are: They help the uterus begin to return to its normal size and prevent hemorrhage.
If your baby is too sleepy to nurse, your midwife may suggest you manually stimulate your nipples. If you continue bleeding uncontrollably, your midwife will follow the same procedure the hospital staff would: Administer oxytocin and/or methergine, insert an IV to open a vein and deliver fluids, encourage you to drink, and/or promote urination. She may also offer some homeopathic remedies. If necessary, she will perform bimanual compression, a technique which forcibly contracts the uterus, stopping bleeding. She will, of course, monitor you closely and transport you to the hospital if need be.
Under normal circumstances, people do not hemorrhage and die in a matter of seconds. Generally, the signs and symptoms are clear and gradual enough to give your midwife time to treat you properly and/or transport you to the hospital.
I was just with Angie Johnson Arrington of CareAll Home Care - Jackson, TN. And she donated Pens and clipboards to my CAPPA Labor Doula & Childbirth Education Classes coming up at the end of June! Way to support the community of Women supporting Women! Thanks Angie and thanks to CareAll Home Care-Serving West TN!
I went into my second pregnancy thinking natural all the way. I had the certified nurse midwife and the natural childbirth classes. My son, however, had a different plan! 2 weeks before he was due, he presented as a footling breech at my routine weekly exam. The midwife was greatly concerned when she felt that little heel in my cervix but said that there were some exercises I could do and we would schedule a manual version. Not to worry.
Well, the exercises and the version didn’t quite work. He did manage to fold his legs up into the frank position, but I was certain I did not need a C-section. He was not transverse, the cord was not wrapped. We had kept checking on things with the ultrasound every few days at my checkups. My midwife made no promises, but told me she would do her best to find an overseeing OB who would work with us on a vaginal breech birth. She had attended a few and was familiar with it, but the hospital required the attending physician to be experienced in them and very comfortable with the situation.
I had Braxton-Hicks off and on for 3 days before my water finally broke late one night. And even though they tell you its never like it is in the movies, it was just like it was in the movies! A Great Big Gush! LOL! At the hospital, they let me labor into transition on a birthing ball, still hoping he would move. Which he didn’t! However, since he was in the frank position they agreed to let me try to have him “normally” as long as I had an epidural first so that if there were complications, they could go straight to surgery. I was thrilled they were going to let me try and we went for the smallest dose of epidural I was allowed to get.
In the delivery room, I had to listen to my midwife very carefully and only push when she said and only push as long as she counted because it was very important for her and the OB to control how he came out due to the position of the head and not knowing how the cord would be positioned coming down the canal. In the end, everything went smoothly. He came out genitalia first! ;-) He rolled right out. We paused long enough at his shoulders for them to unwrap the cord and then his head came out as both my midwife and the OB supported his body so that his neck wasn’t torqued the wrong way. He popped my tail bone from the angle that his head came out, but that was a small price to pay for a perfect breech birth! I was calm and in control the entire time with my supportive husband and midwife right there and I was not being threatened at all sides with a C-section like I was so afraid I would be. I didn't get my water birth, but I was spared a C-section and given a rare opportunity at a vaginal breech birth that went just fine!
I wish all hospitals would allow women this option. But first they have to start training them to deliver breech births!
Virginia L. Mills
(Sean was born in Richmond, VA. May 24, 2004 at MCV Hospital.)
If you haven't heard of Stephanie Dawn yet you need to check her out! She is a phenomenal person and speaker! Check her out at the WOMB conference or at her website www.StephanieDawn.com! Her work on Sacred Birth is amazing!