I read an amazing piece over at RH Reality Check the other day, the tone of the article wasn’t extremist, or liberal… it was factual pointing out simple facts about our maternity care, statistics, and shortcomings while using valuable information provided by Amnesty International. Last spring the Deadly Delivery report was published. 154 pages of statistics, data, and stories of why our maternity care in the United States is failing. I also figured I have been really neglecting my blog while writing on Being Pregnant right now, so I knew I needed to step it up a notch… using something other than my own pregnancy to provide entertainment for my lovely readers.
In the United States we are spending the most per birth in the world. In one year, the United States spends a reported $86 Billion dollars in pregnancy related hospitalizations… That is a TON of money. Yet the maternal mortality rate in our country is higher than 49… Yes that is right… 49 other countries around the world, which include South Korea, and Kuwait. True story!
According to the Deadly Delivery report a woman in the United States is five times more likely to die during childbirth than in Greece, four times more likely to die during childbirth in Germany, and three times more likely to die during childbirth in Spain. All countries with birth rates that can be considered comparable to the United States.
While we have a higher population, and birth rate annually, these factors are certainly taken into consideration when calculating these statistics.
Every 90 seconds… a woman dies from a pregnancy related cause. 2-3 of those women are in the United States.
Since 1990, the maternal mortality rate here has DOUBLED. We have been taking steps backwards, clearly not forwards.
During this time we have also seen a rise in managed births, and the way childbirth is handled. More c-sections, more inductions, more complications in pregnancy, and a slight rise in multiples. Not enough to warrant the cesarean rise by any means, which some use as the main culprit.
During 2004, and 2005, a simple period of two years – 68,433 women died during childbirth, or from a complication of childbirth. That is simply way too many mothers gone.
Why am I being so gloom and doom about this?
I am not trying to scare women, or worry pregnant women, I am trying to help others to understand what kind of problem we are currently facing. We need to start with grassroots advocacy. Pissed off mothers on the ground level sparking a need for change, and helping others to become educated on what is going on. So many are oblivious to these numbers or think our country is top of the notch when it comes to birth. Believe me, I see it daily online. Whether on my due date month group, or in discussions on twitter (although most of my lovely ladies on twitter are great birth resources!)
The biggest problem in the maternity care system seems to be the lack of proper prenatal care for certain groups of women. There are the uninsured of course which is growing. Many women do not know the options that are available through government funded programs to help avoid the complications lack of prenatal care may cause. Then we have the immigrant communities, and of course women of color. While I am of neither community, it impacts us all as women. These are our sisters, mothers, cousins, and friends. Social barriers, and racial barriers should not be limiting access to proper care for anyone. Because you may not fall into these groups, does not make these women any less important!
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes: every human being has the right to health, including health care, unfortunately that is not being followed in the United States, especially when it comes to prenatal care. Unfortunately there is so much negative stigma surrounding the government funded programs, such as prenatal care for all women, which is available, that not all know this is an option. Insurance is looked at like a privilege, as well as health care when it should be a basic human right, not just for the rich, or people who happen to be lucky enough to have a job… this week. Fortunately for many, this is hopefully going to be changed with the health care plan, but there is so much he-said-she-said it virtually will never change, or be passed.
Women with limited English, and of the communities I spoke of above are at greatest risk. Women of African American background are four times more likely to die from a pregnancy related complication, or during childbirth than a woman of white background. And of high risk cases, African American women are five times more likely to die than white women. Shocking and seriously alarming numbers. But it is not across the board for all women of color in the country. Studies show that women in large metropolitian cities are at an even greater risk. Another example taken from the RHRealityCheck article :
The inequalities are also geographical; risk is not uniform across the 50 states. Women in DC are almost 30 times more likely to dies than women in Maine.
Also sparking concern about the lack of prenatal care providers in these areas. Lack of providers who will accept uninsured patients, lack of providers willing to accept women with government funded forms of insurance, and on, and on… It is a numbers and money game. Malpractice insurance is the main source for Doctors being so money hungry, I think second is the huge loans that need to be paid back after medical school too. I live in a state with the fourth highest malpractice rate for Obstetricians, I see it day in and day out with our local birthing women. Answer to the issue? Tort reform. But that is besides the point of my post today.
One out of ever 5 women in the entire country are uninsured, equaling over 13 million women in our country alone.
You know them too! They are your sisters, mothers, cousin’s, friends, co-workers, and may be the lady sitting next to you on a park bench. There is no discrimination as to who is excluded.
Again from the RERealityCheck piece :
Nearly half of all maternal deaths could be prevented with better access to good quality maternal health care. From a human rights perspective, this is completely unacceptable. To reverse these trends Amnesty International is calling on the government to implement a robust and systematic response to the issue of maternal health in the US using a human rights framework. Domestically, Amnesty International recommends establishing and strengthening Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Boards to investigate maternal deaths and improve care and ensuring presumptive eligibility for Medicaid for pregnant women in all states.
We have to start somewhere. Something needs to be done, and it not only needs to be changes in insurance coverage, and ways for women to get prenatal care, but there needs to be a big change in…
I mean, the list could go on for hours with all the changed that need to be made. It is a seriously broken system. What birth has become in even the last 20 years has done no justice for our mothers.
I am sorry this was so long winded, but I have been aching to write something to passionate for a while. Between sick children, commitments on other websites, real life, and the holidays… I just haven’t had time, but let me tell you this felt amazing! I will be getting back into my normal swing of things.
Maybe it is just me… Maybe I need to see a “psychiatrist” as one commenter suggested on Babycenter, but seriously what is wrong with children knowing how babies are born?
Enter the doll that gives birth. Nothing worse than the plastic dolls on the market that crap their pants or piss… I guess it just is taboo because it is about birth, and a mothers vagina, although through pictures it looks like the bottom of the belly on the pregnant doll is what opens up.
Some of the gem comments that made me shake my head :
Anyone who thinks that this is ok needs to see a psychiatrist. There is absolutely no need for this. All that kids need to know is that Mommy is having a baby, they don’t need to understand how it happens at a young age. Why don’t we show them a man and a woman having sex to make a baby for God’s sake. This is horrible! This also looks more like a baby having a baby and that is not the message that we should be giving our kids. “Mommy, can I show you how my baby has a baby?” Whoever made this should be ashamed of themselves.
Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? That is about the most disgusting thing I have seen created geared towards small children. I have an 11 year old girl and also have an almost 8 month old baby. My 11 year old had questions, and I’ve always been open and honest about those kinds of issues with her and I wouldn’t even considering using a doll like this to explain things to her!!! Seriously, these people have gone WAY overboard!!!!
OMG…NOOOOO. What were these people thinking? This is just awful. I am the mother of 6 and I guarantee that if I had given these dolls to the first 5, they would have absolutely flipped out knowing I was going through such an ordeal. This is just WAY OVER THE TOP! Make them go away! I am going to have nightmares now just thinking about this!
Sadly, this is the world we live in, breastfeeding and giving birth is bad and Miley Cyrus smoking pot on video tape is what our children are looking up to as idols.
When you think about the numbers 1 out of 20 mothers… you think of a statistic like… have episiotomies, or have back labor, maybe even big babies. The last thing that I would think of would be what I learned today.
Almost 1 in 20 mothers may have a traumatic birth.
Nothing surprising to me personally since I have worked so closely over the last couple years with mothers who may not have had the ideal birth experiences, and even consider themselves traumatized by their experience. Between the first and second birth stories from The Feminist Breeder, to Sarah from One Starry Night sharing her experience while trying so desperately for a VBAC. It is something I have come to consider routine when speaking with women.
Of course there are a ton of women out there who have made it out of their childbirth experiences feeling fine, or as if their treatment was routine. I found this article, and the tale of Kerri made me sick to my stomach.
When Kerri was delivering the placenta, she started to hemorrhage. The resident on call became concerned that blood clots might be preventing her uterus from clamping down to stop the bleeding. She inserted her hand into Kerri’s uterus and without any warning or offer of anaesthetic, she began scrapping blood clots from the side of Kerri’s uterus. “She reached deep up inside and started scooping them out while pressing really hard on my uterus.. . . The resident insisted I was feeling sensation and not pain. I stated that, no, I was feeling pain.. . . She entered very roughly over and over again.”
The attending nurse and the resident, both of whom were just starting their shifts, had incorrectly assumed Kerri had received an epidural during the birth and that no additional pain medication was required. The experience was so painful that Kerri says she experienced flashbacks to an earlier sexual assault.
So powerful, so frightening, and yet all to common today. One of the biggest problems today is the way women are treated during birth, and after birth if they express any kind of dissatisfaction with their experience, especially if it yields a healthy baby. The attitude today is, if you and your baby actually survived the incident and experience, consider yourselves lucky, and quit your bitchin’ because others may not be so lucky. Kind of like saying to someone who lost a family member in a car accident, consider yourself lucky you are alive. Taboo to say the least, but wide spread in our society.
This leads to women not getting proper help, or reporting issues of depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after birth, which Gina, The Feminist Breeder has often spoken about.
This dismissive attitude ignores the debilitating fallout of a traumatic birth: flashbacks (vivid memories of the event), feelings of fear and panic, nightmares and difficulty sleeping. Women may avoid situations that remind them of their birth experience, says Christensen. They may detach emotionally to avoid re-experiencing emotions related to trauma. They may become hypervigilant in order to try to protect themselves or their loved ones from any potential future trauma. Unresolved trauma can have far-reaching consequences for a new mother and her family. It can affect her physical and emotional well-being and her relationships with other people. And if the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that typically accompany PTSD are not addressed, the new mother remains vulnerable and more susceptible to future trauma.
Something many do not understand, or have never come face to face with.
Another story that I found alarming was Kristen of Toronto Canada.
An obstetrician consulting on her case (she had planned a home birth) ruptured her membranes without her knowledge or permission. The obstetrician had wanted to admit her to hospital to induce birth after viewing the results of her ultrasound (at 38 weeks and one day). It indicated that her baby was large (estimated at 9 lbs. 3 oz., but actually 7 lbs. 13 oz. at birth) and that her amniotic fluid levels were low (though no one has been willing to confirm for her whether that, in fact, was the case). All she had asked of the doctor was a chance to go home and get some sleep. She had repeatedly stated: “I will come back after I get some sleep and when my support people are here.” He told her he needed to check her cervix — which is when he ruptured her membranes.
“He took away all my chances to try to have the birth I wanted,” says Farewell. She then goes on to describe a birth involving cascading interventions: an epidural after 12 hours of labouring naturally (when her cervix was still at 2 cm. and the baby hadn’t dropped), then a C-section 12 hours later.
All actions that could have been prevented had this Obstetrician followed informed consent laws. In mine, and the opinion of most women, and mothers, this is nothing short of criminal. What gives a provider such a sense of entitlement that they do what they feel to a mother, especially in this kind of a case!
There truly needs to be a change in our society when it comes to childbirth. If we don’t put an end to this now, it may only get worse!
On twitter, a large portion of my circle are childbirth professionals, or overall childbirth advocates. Mainly for natural childbirth, and in the past few weeks since having to face the choices I do in birthing my child, I have been becoming increasingly annoyed. Not just on twitter in general either. On facebook, in passing conversation, etc.
I have always stood behind the statement that natural childbirth shouldn’t be scary. Women who are afraid of pain, their vagina ripping open, or other common fears in pregnancy, IMO should think twice about having children… period. But the blanket statement that childbirth is not scary is something I find to be subjective and not accurate. While is should not be something that is scary, there are some women who are scared by it, or scared by a situation surrounding their own birth. My example? My own birth this time around. It is scary. Very scary.
I know I am going to be going through surgery, a surgery I didn’t like either of the two times I went through it previously. I am striving and trying very hard to make it the most positive experience possible. But it doesn’t change my own fears.
Blanket statements on such a broad topic should truly be looked at twice before used. There are so many more that go into the whole issue I take with it too… I can’t get into all of them because if I did, I would be here all day long.
The judgment around c-sections is upsetting to people who really need them. Through my time as an advocate, especially for VBAC I have always tried actively to be mindful of what I say, because I do realize, especially after my second son’s birth, there are a portion of medically necessary c-sections that take place in our country.
Certainly not 33% but I do believe there is the 5-15% that are necessary. I know there are people that fall into this category, and I know there are people who think they belong in this category because of misinformation. But as a pro choice woman, I cannot tell them that their choice is wrong or judge them for the choice they have made.
Their body… their choice.
The same goes for myself this time around.
I guess the overall gist of the post today is be mindful when you are talking to other women.
You get further with honey, then with lemon.
The other day I read a comment somewhere that childbirth originally went into the hospital because of the amount of women who died in childbirth at home. While the maternal mortality rates where higher during this time, the reason childbirth went into the hospital had nothing to do with this, but rather money.
Though my Lamaze education, I learned a lot about the history of childbirth, and I wanted to share some of the events and time line I found most interesting and helped me most in understanding the history of childbirth, especially in the United States.
Before 1700′s : Men were forbidden by law, and custom to attend childbirth
1700′s : Physicians first portrayed the idea that birth is a pathological condition that required medical intervention.
1750 : First recorded practices of medical intervention : Bloodleeting to control hemorrhage.
1847 : Anesthesia first introduced into childbirth. Although it is criticized by colleagues who feared it would have an effect on labor, and the baby. (Hmm… I think they were on to something back then!)
1850 : Oliver Wendell Holmes blamed Doctors for the outbreak of puerperal fever.
1853 : Queen Victoria used Chloroform for the first time.
1900′s : In the United States, most babies were born at home. (90-95%) and most of those births were attended by midwives.
1905 : First Maternity clothes were introduced, and women were no longer confined during pregnancy.
1908 : The American Red Cross starts to offer formal childbirth education. (Later on in the 1950′s they offered information on labor and birth in addition to pregnancy.)
1910′s : Low horizontal cesarean sections significantly decreased infection, and ruptures.
1930′s : Births become split 50/50 between hospitals and home, and the number of births attended by midwives drops to 15%.
1944 : Grantley Dick-Read published Childbirth Without Fear.
1949 : Elisabeth Bing teaches her first client and goes with her to the hospital for support.
1956 : La Leche League has its first meeting, as the breastfeeding rates are at an all time low.
1959 : Thank You Dr. Lamaze is published by Marjorine Karmel.
1965 : Bradley writes Husband Coached Childbirth and The Bradley Method was formed.
1977 : Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin was published.
1979 : 99% of all births took place in hospitals.
1989 : First edition of “The Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirt” is published.
1992 : DONA Doula’s of North America was formed, and started certifying doula’s for labor support.
Now that all of that is out there, while the maternal mortality rates lowered from the start of the timeline, till around the early 1990′s… it seems like the same time that VBAC peaked in 1996, that the maternal mortality rate peaked at the lowest, then started to climb again as the VBAC rate dropped off. I know that there is only a slight correlation between the two, but the rates are back up, and slowly climbing again.
It is interesting to look at this timeline and see a lot of unfounded changed we made over the years, based on money, or preference of providers, over what actual evidence based medicine shows us and tells us.
I have known Michael for a little over a year, but I have known her through the childbirth community since her oldest son was born. I have watched from a far her choices of home births, and being a hypnobabies advocate, and birth professional in my area. I was looking for something fun to do, and I talked to her about doing an interview about hynobabies and her experiences…
So welcome Michael, and enjoy reading!
1) What is Hypnobabies?
Hypnobabies is Hypnosis for Childbirth. Some call it “hypnobirthing” but that’s a completely different program. Hypnobabies teaches moms *real medical hypnosis* from Gerald Kein’s famous Painless Childbirth techniques for the birth of their babies. With this technique, moms can enter hypnosis, deepen it themselves and remain mobile during labor, completely comfortable at all times. Using and practicing the Hypnobabies creates an automatically peaceful, relaxing and more comfortable pregnancy, a calm confident “Hypno-Dad”, and an easier, fearless and often pain-free birthing for the “Hypno-Mom”. I mention Hypnosis for birth and I’ve seen people immediately start putting up a wall. They’re confused by the fake stage hypnotists and what Hypnosis really is. It is NOT someone controlling your mind, or having you do silly things while they wave their hands around your head in dramatic ways. All Hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are always in control of your own mind and your body while in hypnosis. You choose to enter hypnosis, stay in hypnosis, accept the suggestions, and emerge from hypnosis at all times. Stronger-minded and stronger-willed people are easier to hypnotize; not the other way around as is usually assumed. Hypnosis is not religion-oriented at all, just a way to direct your inner mind toward the positive for great personal benefit. What I really love about Hypnobabies is that it’s a complete childbirth education course, in addition to the self-hypnotic techniques. Because it’s a complete childbirth education, they don’t have to go elsewhere to another class to fill in any gaps.
2) Why did you choose Hypnobabies?
My aunt was taking a class to become a hypnotherapist. She first led me to the idea of using hypnosis for birth. I was honestly skeptical. I’m a Christian and was pretty clueless about hypnosis, having only ever seen the stage hypnotists and hearing about “mind control”. I thought it was someone *else* controlling my mind, which is false. I had already decided on a homebirth, so I figured I would look into the hypnotic techniques as my method of birth preparation. In my internet search I found that there were no Hypnobabies instructors in my area. I thought that I would benefit more from a live class so I took another program that did have an instructor near me. I was sorely disappointed. I learned next to nothing about Hypnosis, and it didn’t even touch on what to expect from the birth process itself. It took me a couple of months to figure out that I was severely lacking (and trying to write up my own scripts!!) I talked to my husband about buying the Hypnobabies Home Study program. In his mind, we’d already taken a class. He asked “Can’t you just… tough it out?” I bought the home study. I learned MORE about hypnosis AND birth in just the first weeks “class” than I did in the entirety of the other program. I felt like now I had something that would help me. Because I was so far behind in all this, I read the entire 5 courses in one sitting.
3) Can you tell us how Hypnobabies helped with your birth experiences?
I have had three VERY unique births. The first of which, I had only NINE days of practice with my Hypnobabies tools. NINE days, need I emphasize more? They really suggest at least 6 weeks of practice! I started my birthing time at 5am. I experienced no discomfort at all until 4pm. My son was born at 10:26pm. Between 4pm and his birth I had some pretty severe back labor as my son had turned posterior. The original program that I had taken had this underlying thought that if mothers experienced pain “they didn’t want it enough”. So I was disappointed in myself. However, Hypnobabies does NOT teach that at all. Looking back now, I’m rather proud of myself. Back labor was tough, and at the end was painful. I think I was holding him in. My mother’s plane arrived at 4pm, she didn’t get to my house until 6pm. My midwives said they saw me visibly relax when she walked into the room. Imagine what I could have done with 6 weeks of practice! As it was, I used every break in between a birthing wave to use my Hypnobabies tools and go completely loose, limp and relaxed so I could rest for the next one. That helped tremendously. My mother commented that I would go so deep and relax so completely into her arms that she had to hold my head out of the birthing tub. The next birthing wave would start and I would pop right up and start moving around for comfort.
My second birth I started practicing in my second trimester. I wanted the best use of time and practice, especially with my first baby running around. I hear the “time” excuse a lot. “I don’t have the time for all that practice.” Who does? In reality, everyone is working or doing something in their lives that takes up time. It’s about priorities! What do YOU want out of your birth and are you willing to put the “TIME” into it to get it? In all honesty, I would put my cd’s on before bed and listen to it as I fell asleep. This was a perfectly acceptable way to practice. My conscious mind wasn’t the part that needed to pay attention. My subconscious did. When I got up to pee in the middle of the night, I would put the cd back on. During any down moment during the day, I practiced the “finger drop technique” which is unique to Hypnobabies. It’s what allows moms to use their hypnosis as well as walk around and bounce on the birth ball. I definitely wanted to be able to do this, so I practiced it a LOT. In the end, my second son’s birth was nothing short of enjoyable! It was definitely intense. I knew that going in. Birth is intense! But his birth was intense joy, intense pressure, intense stretching. I laughed during my birthing waves, I enjoyed them. I had mild discomfort during transition, but I had amazing support and I knew comfort measures that helped from having had my previous son. Pushing was wonderful and I enjoyed it immensely. It felt productive! I gave birth to a 9lb 5oz baby boy with absolutely no tearing. Hypnobabies taught me not just to use hypnosis for birth, but positioning to aid in descent. I learned to “breathe” my baby out (which I did in combination with the utter throw down pushes my body produced.) But I was able to ease his head out gently. You can see his birth on youtube : (By the way… Check out Midwife and Science & Sensibility writer Amy Romano in the video!)
4) Tell my readers about your outstanding hospital birth?
Ahhh Trillian. Well first off I have to thank my incredible mother. And my insanely awesome Doula and dearest friend – Emily. Their loving, unfaltering support during my pregnancy and very long birth (by my standards) were nothing short of the best anyone could ever imagine or hope for. I love them with all my heart! Trillian’s pregnancy was such a stressful one. I developed blood clots in my first trimester and was put on blood thinners for the duration of the pregnancy. Home birth went out the window with the snap of a finger. With that, I was thrust into the high risk category, which meant a hospital birth at a big teaching hospital. My dad was a paramedic, I’ve been around hospital all my life. This time though, I was scared out of my mind. I started my Hypnobabies practice EARLY in this pregnancy so I could have the mental relaxation and positive reinforcement to help me get through the pregnancy with some sort of sanity. At every bloody appointment I went to, I had one nurse who loved to tell me “You could die”. Okay, I don’t know if she “loved” to say that, but she did. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Pulmonary embolism is the number one killer of pregnant women in America.” Regardless of whether it’s true or not, they had no cares about how saying something like that repeatedly would make me feel. So like I said, stressful.
In the end, I was 34 weeks when they first discovered low fluids. We made the deal to see if I could up my fluid levels over night and if so they wouldn’t induce me. Thankfully, I was able to do just that. But the very next visit, my levels were lower than before. I had been downing water like crazy, so that let me know something was wrong. I should have been able to keep it up with oral hydration alone. They also happened to discover her being a footling breech. Here in America, they like to refuse to induce (let alone birth at all) a breech. That would mean an automatic c-section. I made another deal, give me that night to see if she would change position, since she had been head down when I walked into that office. They wanted my fluids up anyway before they started the pitocin, so the deal was made. That entire night I pestered the baby until I felt her head in my hip. I prayed she’d turn head down all the way, and the next morning the resident was completely shocked to find her head down! Induction it was. The next couple of days I was so thankful for the childbirth education that Hypnobabies had first provided me 4 years ago. There was a LOT that I now knew about, and I had options. There’s a quote that I love that says “If you don’t know your choices, you don’t have any.” For the life of me I can’t remember who said it, but I feel that it rings true.
They wanted to use cytotec with me but I refused. They wanted to rupture my membranes (wasn’t their concern that I had low fluids?? Not a day ago, they had threatened me with stillbirth if I didn’t go to the hospital ASAP because of low fluids. Now they wanted to take away ALL the fluids?). I refused and said that if we needed to in the end, that was fine but I wanted that protective bubble as long as possible. I opted for a foley bulb to aid in manual dilation. That got me a couple centimeters. Then the rest was all pitocin– upped slowly. I had to remain on the monitors, but they put me in the room that had telemetry. I moved around a LOT. I slept on the floor on blankets instead of the bed because that was what was most comfortable for ME. I sat in the shower for hours. I was very comfortable just using my hypnotic tools, and staying in my “zone” for about 36 hours. I asked that the nurses provided me be ones who would help me achieve a natural (drug free) birth. I had a couple of awesome doctors who kept people out of my room.
There are a lot of what if’s for me. What if I popped my water earlier? What if I had taken something to help me sleep during the night? That was what did me in, I was so SO tired. I had been in the hospital the week prior. I was in the hospital the night before the induction. I was pooped. I was becoming very uncomfortable. I was proud of myself for using my Hypnobabies to handle the back to back birthing waves that never really went away. They were constant. I ended up getting an epidural when I was checked and found to –still- be at 5cm. My goal now went from drug free, to vaginal birth – period. I feared that if I wore myself out too much, I wouldn’t achieve that. I hated the epidural. It didn’t work the first time, leaving my left hip open to all the discomfort. So they had to administer it all over again. They thankfully left it a “low dose” epidural. I didn’t feel the discomfort, but I felt the birthing waves. I could move my legs and feet, but couldn’t really feel it when I scratched my leg. 6 hours later, I was checked and found to be at 8cm. I told them that I didn’t feel rectal pressure but I felt vaginal pressure. They said it would be a while and walked out of the room. I told the nurse again that I felt like she was coming out. She checked me and baby’s head was a knuckle from crowning. I birthed my baby into my hands, with the help of a WONDERFUL nurse to help catch. The video seems to be utter “panic” around the baby being born “without assistance”. The truth is we planned it out, and made it seem urgent. They had their chance, they walked out. Lol I had her 15 minutes after they found me at 8cm. Don’t underestimate mothers, especially a third time mom! There was worry about her health being that she was only 35 weeks, but she came out, peed on me, then nursed. My healthy little thing, I was SO happy. You can see me “breathing” her out here in the video. I did very little pushing, my birthing waves did it all for me. So I literally just breathed and “ahhhhh’d” her out.
5) Would you change anything about your births?
Had this been asked days or weeks after their births, I’d probably say yes and list some things I would have changed. Now, I pretty well accept them. They helped form my thoughts and opinions today. They showed me how much I can overcome, and just the amount of control my mind has over my body. I’m proud of myself, and I’ve loved the birth experiences that I’ve had. Even Trillian’s, though it was less than my idea of “ideal”. I believe that it has gone a long way in helping me to overcome my fears of a hospital birth. I learned just how in control I am over my own reproductive health, even if it takes an argument or two. I learned how backwards their reasoning is sometimes! I learned how loved and cared for I am by the people I chose to be on my support team. They were up and tired just as every bit as I was! So, no. I wouldn’t change anything.
6) Do you think your experiences would have been different had you chose a different birthing method?
I would have to assume yes. I really don’t think I would have had the pain free birth experiences that I have had, had I NOT used Hypnobabies. Their program is so detailed and easy to learn, and their techniques are what helped me in ALL of the births, no matter the outcome. Roan’s birth was super hard, but I accomplished a LOT with only 9 days of practice. Willem’s birth was so amazing, I had the practice behind me and I could literally just sit in the tub, enjoying and relax with my “lightswitch” tool that I learned. Trillian’s birth was empowering thanks to all the incredible information I’d learned and put to good use. Granted this was my third birth, but I had the confidence to say no to a procedure I felt would do more harm than good. I learned how to talk with my care providers, ask the questions, take the time to think it through. Not just blindly jump into a situation. That coupled with my hypnosis, made her birth that much bearable if not easier than had I not. There are so many wonderful programs out there that have excellent childbirth education. It’s my feeling though that the education, and the relaxation techniques – combined with the deep Hypnosis to help in pain elimination really goes light years beyond any other program that I’ve heard of. Hypnobabies really has it all. No offense of course!
There is NO ONE RIGHT WAY. There is only what feels right to that individual mother.
I want to thank Michael for opening up for an amazing post, and great birth experience to share with my readers!
Today, childbirth has become more of a medical procedure than a natural function of our bodies. Many women who do have a desire for a natural birth are often looking for resources and information on how to achieve that experience. A great resource I have come across several times in my journey to becoming a childbirth educator in recent months is a website called Mother’s Advocate. They offer a wonderful plethora of videos aimed to help in the teaching process.
The video I am going to use today is Avoiding Unnecessary Interventions, while writing a little of my own thoughts.
Realistically, if you truly want to avoid the common hospital interventions, the best place for you to give birth is either at home, or a child birth center. In my experience personally, it can be an uncomfortable or stressful fight with hospital staff to avoid simple things like an IV line. But it all goes back to birthing where you feel comfortable.
What are some of the common medical interventions during birth?
Most of which are unnecessary in many of the cases we see them in today, an IV for example. The purpose of an IV could be cut by simply allowing a woman to eat and drink during labor. Recent studies show that there is no need to starve a woman while she is in labor.
Constant electronic fetal monitoring is also overkill in low risk women, in recent years The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has shown that in the 40 years electronic fetal monitoring has been the norm, there has been no improved outcomes in mothers or babies. Of course like anything, there are some situations when necessary, but mostly in high risk cases.
Epidurals for those who choose to use them for labor can be the right fit, but they are not risk free. Epidurals can slow labor, or pose other risks to mothers and babies. There are various ways to help relieve the pain of labor.
Pitocin can cause contractions, but it can also cause contractions that are too strong resulting in fetal distress, or the cascade of interventions.
Skipping these common Interventions :
There are several ways you can go about skipping the routine hospital interventions listed above. Some of the ways you can do that are :
All of these can help to lower your changes of these common medical interventions having an impact on your desire for a natural birth.
A lot of people tend to think I am some kind of man hating, anti-ob/gyn, crunchy nut. Which in reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. With my first pregnancy I had a female OB/GYN, who was tolerable at first, but in the end I jokingly called her The Wicked Witch. As mean as it sounds, it was a pretty accurate depiction on her, as well as her personality. The only thing she was missing was a wort on the end of her pointy nose.
Needless to say, most of you who read here know I had a horrible experience and switched to midwife care for my second child. In the end, I needed a second cesarean section, so I was with the on call OB/GYN and the OB/GYN resident who was on call. Female on call, and male resident. I have always had a thing about male OB’s… was just kind of off to me. A man, who wants to do that for a living kind of makes me wonder.
But really, back to the point of my post.
Many in the natural childbirth community give off the impression that all OB/GYN’s are evil, Midwives are far superior, and we should set out in an angry mob with pitch forks and torches to run them all out of the country. While there are some OB’s out there like that (coughDramyinsaneinternettrollcough) not all of them are evil, and in the case of some situations, they are fully needed.
Enter Keith. My resident who took amazingly good care of me when I was not only in surgery, but during my 4 day stay at the hospital I gave birth at. I coughed, he offered me a cough suppressant (coughing after a c-section is NO walk in the park), he helped me walk to the bathroom, he was caring, warm, welcoming, informative, helpful, and everything a truly good OB should really be.
I have sang his praises since I was discharged on May 20th, 2009. Well a couple days ago, right before Benjamin’s first birthday, I found Keith on facebook. Just so happens that he is facebook friends with one of my midwives. Haha! (Who thought that Doctors actually used facebook! OH! That’s right, they cause internet drama!) So of course I sent him a random message knowing he would have no idea who I was, what my story involved, or why the heck I would even take the time to message him… I was wrong!
I guess I made such an impression on the L&D staff with my labor, they all remembered me. I thanked him for being an example of what ALL OB’s should be, and we are now super cool facebook friends!
Moral of the story, when there is a time and place for an OB/GYN, there are some great ones out there. We just need to weed out the bad ones.
I am currently working on ordering more books I am going to need for my certification, and the workshop I am taking in July, and it seems like time is flying till the Workshop! I cannot wait, and I can’t believe it is nearly May already!
Right now I am reading The Official Lamaze Guide Giving Birth with Confidence. (Just on a side note, I will be writing for Lamaze coming up on their new blog project thanks to the wonderful Amy Romano!)
But the main reason for my post today is I am starting to fully realize the need for good childbirth education, as well as reasonable access, and prices for the education. In recent months between studies showing women thinking 36 weeks is full term, or a due date, and television shows like 16 & Pregnant and A Baby Story, the message rings clear. We need more access and education.
One of the main factors, especially in young parents or skipping things like childbirth classes, or having a doula is money. It always comes down to the almighty dollar, or just thinking everything will be ok. Sadly for many of these same girls, and even women the modern maternity care system is not on their side, and they often do not even realize this until they are actually in the hospital giving birth, or being induced, or even being in the operating room undergoing a cesarean delivery.
My newest revolution in my journey comes to me with help of my children’s pediatrician, and a local program in place by the hospital I had my original cesarean at. It is called the “Young Parents Program” and is geared towards teen parents from the age 13-19. They are always looking for donations, help, and projects to really help to not only educate these girls but also prepare them for the great challenge of being a parent.
My goal is to offer these young girls free childbirth education classes after I complete this workshop, and start writing my own class.
I eventually want to also put together a group of local doulas who would be available to these same girls for their births, if they have the desire for a birth doula. It will be a long road, but hey, I got all the time in the world.
There is a pretty good amount of stuff that took place from last Sunday till today, so I am going to try and wrap it up as easily and quickly as I can. Be sure to check out all the links, the stuff that went on this week is unbelievable in some cases!!!
Family : Not much, we had Easter dinner, Ben is getting another tooth, and some of our seeds we planted have sprouted.
Around the Web :
In the News :
Hope you enjoy!