Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You have options!

For many women who live in the southern Utah area, our options are very limited as far as birthing is concerned. This also applies to other places in the U.S. that keep their maternity services 'medicalized'. Here, you have to decide between homebirth with a midwife or a hospital birth. There are no birth centers or progressive birthing CNM's or OB's from which to choose from. Having to choose between these two extremes makes it hard for the 'middle of the road' women who want to deliver in a hospital with little intervention and a more natural approach. I just found a website; that completely addresses this issue plus many more that women are faced with today as they enter the medical, maternity world.

Back in '97 when I had my first child in a St. Louis hospital, I interviewed many doctors before I decided upon the one I chose. These were the days of birth plans and Lamaze/Bradley classes for every pregnant woman. I just so happened to read a few, pivotal books on natural childbirth during my pregnancy that made all the difference in the world for my low intervention outcome. "Childbirth without Fear" and "Easing Labor Pain" were the two "bibles" I adhered to. When I entered the hospital, scheduled for an induction due to being 10 days "late", I knew what I was up against as far as interventions were concerned. I was ready to refuse the heavy Pitocin that would be advised to "get things going" and the Heparin lock IV "just in case I needed a C-section" and the constant fetal monitoring they would insist upon "to keep my baby the safest during labor". I hired a doula for $225.00; the best money I ever spent. She kept me on my ideal labor path even when times got tough and pain was intense. She helped navigate the tough decisions when I was in the trenches of labor. She rubbed my back with a tennis ball, helped me walk around my room to get things going, suggested nipple stimulation for keeping the contractions coming and empowered me to tell the doctor to turn off the Pitocin once it did it's job of kick starting my labor. She kept me on the natural childbirth path and 12 hours later I was holding my firstborn son in my arms having fully felt the entire experience and completely satisfied that "I did it". I achieved my goal; as lofty as it might have seemed in an institution that would've advised otherwise. I listened to my heart, stuck to my guns and had that baby just like I wanted to. I made the hospital work for me...and you can too! You have options. The OB and nursing staff are there to give you what you want. Demand that and don't apologize for being pushy. This is your labor. It may be your last baby or one of many, but each labor counts in women's lives. The experience and story never leaves us. It is part of who we are and contributes to how we feel about ourselves and our babies. Make your labor YOUR LABOR. Do it the way you envision it, no matter where you are giving birth. You only have one chance to do it, so decide what you want and make your wishes known.

One out of every three babies are born by cesarean in the U.S. today. This rate is appalling! Don't be another statistic; demand a natural, non-interventive labor and birth and walk out of that hospital empowered and satisfied.

The only way the maternity healthcare industry will change is by women demanding more from their doctors and less from the surgical knife. One third of women don't need their babies cut from their bodies, this major surgery is their for emergencies only. One third of all pregnant women are not walking emergencies. We were made to have babies on our own. Stick to your convictions, educate yourself on your rights and go into your labor ready to have the best experience ever. You are worth it, your baby is worth it and we are the only ones that can turn this around.


Emily said...

Just what I needed! This post totally made me excited for my delivery & determined to get what I want. :) I'll let you know how it goes... (5 more weeks)

Lori Wrankle, Traditional Midwife said...

I'm so glad that this post has helped! I wrote this with you in mind...thinking about your situation which is so common for women these days. Not ready to homebirth but not excited for a hospital birth, either. It's exactly where I was with my first baby, too. I empathize and want to empower women in their limited choice of birthing places. You can do whatever you want to. Your labor is about you and you are paying the bill. They are working for you! Sometimes it's hard to remember that when you're in "their" house, but try to have your hubby be your advocate when you can no longer focus on those things.
I'm so excited to hear how it all goes. Thanks for being a loyal reader! Sure appreciate you and your family!

Emily said...

I'll have to talk to you soon, but just wanted to let you know that we had a great experience & got just what we wanted. Thanks for your encouragement & friendship!