(Please note - This is a heated subject for me and I may get off track and start ranting. This post will also be long. This is not a post made to put anyone down. I'm really trying to educate others so they can stand up for what they want and have the labor that every woman deserves.)
I am choosing to birth this next baby at home for several different reasons.
1. Maternity care now a days is... to put it gently... lacking.
2. I want to have a natural birth where I don't have to be constantly monitored, don't have to have an IV, I can move around as much as I want and in any position I want, I can eat and drink during labor, I make the decisions, I can labor on my own time frame and not the dr's, and I will not be pressured to do something I don't want to.
3. There will be no unnecessary interventions. (pitocin, epidural, forceps, c-section, etc)
4. I will give birth in a place I am comfortable, with people I love, with a midwife who is there the whole time, in a calm and loving atmosphere, and I never have to leave the house.
Let's compare how the maternity care OB's and hospitals give us today with the care midwives give...
You see your OB or their partners throughout your pregnancy (most likely you'll see multiple dr's), they'll come in and check your stats and leave before you have time to ask any questions (If you get the chance to ask them, it's not a lot of time or they'll have you ask the nurse.); they're likely to mention induction or stripping your membranes, many times doing it as early as 37-38 weeks.
2 out of 3 first time moms are induced. You'll go in either the night before or the morning of where you'll be monitored all night after they insert a drug (Cervidil or something similar) to start thinning your cervix; they'll start pitocin after a while, upping its dose as often as every half hour; they'll want to monitor the baby therefore leaving you to labor on your back in bed most of the time; you don't make much progress and the pain is unbearable so you ask for the epidural; you get relief but are then stuck to the bed being constantly monitored; nurses and the dr will check your dilation often; then one of four things will happen...
1. You'll be lucky and progress to fully dilated and push the baby out on your own.
2. You progress and push for an hour or more, dr uses forceps or vacuum, or they claim they NEED to do a c-section and give you the excuse that your baby is too big or that you just can't birth vaginally leaving you to believe that your body can't do what it was made to do.
3. Your labor slows with the epidural and you don't progress fast enough so the Dr claims they NEED to do a c-section with the excuse of Failure to Progress.
4. Your baby's heart rate slows and they rush in saying you NEED the c-section in order to save your baby.
(Note - it will go the same way for those who start labor on their own, starting with the pitocin part.)
Now, how many of you had one of those labors? I'll tell you, I had #1 for both of mine and I consider myself very lucky. I was induced with both, Cervidil, then pitocin, followed by the breaking of my water, epidural, and pushing them out in 10 and 3 minutes (See? LUCKY)
Here's how your midwife care will go...
You will either go to your midwife or they will come to your home for prenatal care; they will check you and baby and talk with you about your questions; you'll discuss a labor plan and they try to stick with it as best they can; during labor (either in your home or hospital) they will monitor baby as much or little as you would like (the same for checking dilation), let you move around and labor how you choose, and support you throughout the whole experience, never leaving your side; and after birthing your baby, they will let you spend time with the baby before bathing and weighing them. You will not be pressured to take pain medications and there will be no unnecessary interventions because they trust you and your body and know you can do it. If problems during labor do arise, they will try to fix them without the use of technological or medical interventions first. If the baby's heart rate is dropping, they will have you change positions to see if that helps. If you are slow to dilate, there are cervical massages or different relaxation techniques they will try. If they try everything, and it is not working, then a midwife will take more drastic measures (transfer to a hospital, pitocin, etc). Most midwives have a less than 5% c-section rate! (as compared to the 30+% nationwide for OBs in the hospital)
So you tell me truthfully, which kind of prenatal care and labor would you rather have?
OBs are trained to think of birth as a medical event, whereas midwives think of birth as a natural life event.
Birth IS natural and in a normal pregnancy, there is no reason a woman should not have the chance and time to give birth naturally. Dr's run on a clock and to them labor can not take more than 24 hours. If it goes over that, they get worried and most women end up with a c-section. Hence why they are pumping you full of pitocin to "speed things up". Let me clear something up for you... Many first labors last longer than 12 hours, even more than 24 hours. The main reason drs get concerned if your labor lasts longer than 24 hours is your risk for infections. You get infections by foreign things entering your vagina (nurses and your dr constantly checking your cervix for dilation). If checks are kept to a minimum, chances of infections are virtually non existent.
There is a reason midwives have such GREAT statistics when it comes to labors. To me, it really comes down to trust, care, and patience. They trust the laboring woman's body to give birth, they care about her and the baby's wants and needs, and they have patience and understanding the a baby will come when it is ready and all women labor in their own time frame. There is NO reason to rush a normal labor!
I've heard a lot of people say "Well of course the midwives have better stats. They have less patients so they're numbers are going to be lower!"
Yes, they have less patients (midwives attend less than 10% of births), but this is not the reason for lower induction and c-section rates!
Maternity care in the hospitals is a business. The more people they can get in and out of there, the better the business is doing. Time limits and c-sections are NOT THE ANSWER! When more than one out of every three women are getting c-sections, something is not right! There is no way in hell that many women are incapable of delivering a healthy baby, vaginally. Drs and hospitals need to change what they are doing. A 30+% c-section rate is disgusting. They need to stop lying to these women and stop making them feel as if their bodies are dysfunctional and inadequate.
And VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) are actually SAFER than a repeat c-section! Telling women a VBAC is too risky is a HUGE lie drs tell women. 75-80% of women who are given a proper chance at a VBAC go on to have a successful and healthy birth!
We as women need to start demanding better care! Or else nothing will ever change.
I'm trying to help change things by constantly putting facts out there (usually via my facebook and blog) and by choosing a midwife and home birth. If I can even help one woman have a successful birth that goes how they wanted, I'll be happy.
All I can do is put the facts out there and pray that someone listens...
On another note: I am fully aware that some women labor differently than the scenarios that I put up. I am putting up the most common births. This is my page and if you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it. Also, if you get offended or start to feel guilty about your own labor, don't blame
me. You need to deal with your issues and educate yourself so your next
labor can be an enjoyable experience. I'm not writing this to put anyone down about how they chose to labor. I am also aware that there are women out there that just don't want to labor without pain meds.
I also urge any woman who will ever have a baby, to read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. There are many many birth stories and facts in there. The book has been helping me to feel empowered and excited about my upcoming labor and birth.