General chatter - Opinions on health care whilst pregnant




serendipity907
10-02-2011, 08:10 PM
So I know of this couple who are expecting their first baby. However they have apparently decided against getting scans, Dr's appointments and a midwife seemingly. So really any kind of medical help.

Now this is their choice I guess-People have been having babies for ages without help. But I didn't know people really still did that these days?

I couldn't help but feel a bit concerned, I don't have children but I'm sure if I did I'd want every kind of help available (Scans, check ups, pain relief and a midwife)

Just wondered what peoples opinions on here were about this, is it really adviseable to do everything on your own, and why would someone want to?
Surely the thought of being a first time parent must be scary enough without worrying about what you're going to do if something goes wrong!


cherrypie
10-02-2011, 08:21 PM
I think most routine pregnancies are over monitered in the western world. However, things can become non routine really fast and fortunately we live in a part of the world where that can still have an outcome of a healthy baby and mother. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't take advantage of these things and give themselves and their child the best possible chance.

well, yes I can imagine actually, extreme arrogance. I actually knew of someone whose baby was breech and decided the doctor didn't know what he was talking about. People had been having breech babies for thousands of years. She found someone claiming to be a midwife to deliver the baby at home.

runningfromfat
10-02-2011, 09:15 PM
Yeah... I have a hard time understanding it too. I'm definitely more on the natural side of things in that I'd prefer not to have medical intervention if it's not necessary. That being said if we have another kid I'll have regular midwife appointments, ultrasounds, listen for the heartbeat etc. If intervention is necessary, definitely, my health and that of any future baby of mine is my #1 priority, so if that means a c-section then so be it.

It's especially hard for me to understand after having a missed miscarriage myself AND I have a friend in real life who had a stillbirth so I know for sure things can and do go wrong. While the stats are much better now-a-days when it comes to child birth that's because of regular check-ups, better nutrition (as in we're not starving, not that our food choices are necessarily better), and advances in medical science.


murphmitch
10-02-2011, 10:34 PM
I know a couple who decided after watching how-to videos, that they would deliver their own baby at home & save money. After losing half her blood and being hospitalized for numerous blood transfusions, they decided it wasn't such a good idea!

shishkeberry
10-03-2011, 12:42 AM
I totally get where your friends are coming from. I'm very hands off when it comes to pregnancy. I wanted to do it unassisted with my last one, but it was my DF's first baby and he was having kittens over it. But I didn't even see a doctor until I was 30 weeks. My next pregnancy (if there is one) will be unassisted, both the pregnancy and the birth. If I finally cave and agree to another baby, we're doing it my way, dammit! :lol:

fatferretfanatic
10-03-2011, 11:19 AM
I have not had kids and it is up in the air about whether I would have them in the future. But, I can also see where they're coming from. I think I would probably still get scans, but have thought in the event of a pregnancy I would plan to have a midwife with medical training come to my home to help me deliver, and have people at the ready waiting to take me to the hospital in the event of an emergency.I am not comfortable in a hospital setting, and as uncomfortable as childbirth already is I would like to be able to do things more my way, and have someone that could oversee things if necessary. However, if I had complications during my pregnancy that would lead me to believe that I might have a difficult birth,I might forsake that and go the hospital route. I would want to monitor my pregnancy but if giving birth at home is a more positive experience for mother and baby, I don't understand the problem with it.

runningfromfat
10-03-2011, 11:41 AM
I would want to monitor my pregnancy but if giving birth at home is a more positive experience for mother and baby, I don't understand the problem with it.

I don't get the impression at all that the serendipity907 is talking about a homebirth but rather unassisted childbirth where a mother has no prenatal care whatsoever and delivers at home without a midwife. Those are two very different things ;) (I'm saying this as someone who is very much considering a homebirth+midwife next time around but would never, ever, ever consider an unassisted childbirth unless I lived in a post-apocalyptic era :lol: ).

DezziePS
10-03-2011, 12:25 PM
Yes, I understand the home birth thing- and many times they can discern with a good amount of accuracy whether your delivery will be a high-risk one before you have to make that decision. I don't think it would be right for me, but I can understand that. I do not understand the whole unassisted birth thing. That seems awful, and I would guess it would be the kind of thing where you realize what a colossal mistake you've made but by then it's too late. I also don't understand not getting prenatal care. There is a reason why SO many women and babies used to die in childbirth and don't anymore. Nature is not working with us humans when it comes to pushing an oversized cranium out of an undersized pelvis. I plan on doing everything I can to increase my odds of success!!

ade903
10-03-2011, 01:46 PM
I watched a REALLY good documentary on this, but I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it or what it was called...
I never thought I'd consider anything alternative when I have kids, but the documentary brought up a lot of good points against giving birth in a hospital. I'm really undecided about how I'll go about it when I have kids though. I figure it isn't your kid, it isn't your business. They'll do what they want regardless of your opinion.

Lovely
10-03-2011, 02:23 PM
If I ever get to the point where I want a little podling of my own, I might consider home birth + midwife... but it would never have even crossed my mind to avoid seeing a doctor about it.

Even if it weren't for me, I'd want to make sure I'm doing the best I am for the kid I'm incubating. I'd want to make sure I'm up to date on how to stay my healthiest during a pregnancy. Because I really don't know these things.

Granted, maybe it's just that the idea of "doctors make things better" that is so ingrained in me culturally. But, there are certainly things that can go wrong in childbirth... I mean, it was rather commonplace for women to DIE in childbirth not a couple hundred years ago. NO THANK YOU! Give me a doctor or professional! At -least- to make sure things are going okay up until the birth.

shishkeberry
10-03-2011, 02:56 PM
Other than the ultrasound and bloodwork, there really isn't anything that a doctor can do for you that you can't do yourself. You can buy/rent a doppler to hear the heartbeat, you can buy strips to check for ketones in urine, and you can check your own sugar with a glucose monitor. You can also measure your own fundal height with a tape measure and test your blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer. Avoiding a doctor doesn't mean putting your head in the sand and hoping for the best. Lots of the things that go wrong in labor/delivery nowadays are caused by the doctors themselves. Google "cascade of intervention".

mandalinn82
10-03-2011, 03:25 PM
There is definitely a whole spectrum of possible care.

On one side, you have a "medicalized" birth - in a hospital, cascading interventions (first you get induced with pitocin, which makes the contractions so bad you need an epidural, which means you can't push as effectively and end up with a c-section), and a sterile, hospital environment.

On the other side, you have a completely NON-medicalized birth - at home, minimal or no doctor care beforehand, a homebirth midwife or other birth attendant who may or may not have admitting privileges at a hospital, etc.

I think most people want a birth that ends up somewhere in the middle, honestly, but sometimes hospitals can push people who are not willing or able to advocate for themselves into the more medicalized approach (which is probably why a lot of people opt to be at home). Even in a medical setting, it's possible to have a low-intervention birth, you just may have to advocate more for it than you would in other settings.

ERHR
10-03-2011, 03:42 PM
ade903 Were you thinking of "The Business of Being Born"?

midwife
10-03-2011, 04:39 PM
If I ever get to the point where I want a little podling of my own, I might consider home birth + midwife... but it would never have even crossed my mind to avoid seeing a doctor about it.

Even if it weren't for me, I'd want to make sure I'm doing the best I am for the kid I'm incubating. I'd want to make sure I'm up to date on how to stay my healthiest during a pregnancy. Because I really don't know these things.

Granted, maybe it's just that the idea of "doctors make things better" that is so ingrained in me culturally. But, there are certainly things that can go wrong in childbirth... I mean, it was rather commonplace for women to DIE in childbirth not a couple hundred years ago. NO THANK YOU! Give me a doctor or professional! At -least- to make sure things are going okay up until the birth.

Still is commonplace in a lot of parts of the world.:(

Lovely
10-03-2011, 04:46 PM
Still is commonplace in a lot of parts of the world.:(

Very true. And very unfortunate! :(

ade903
10-03-2011, 05:05 PM
ade903 Were you thinking of "The Business of Being Born"?

I don't think so. This was a dad with a regular video camera documenting his wife's pregnancy and researching what was best for them. *runs to hulu/netflix to see if I can find it* ...okay I just started The Business of Being Born. I'll let you know....

ade903
10-03-2011, 05:07 PM
I don't think so. This was a dad with a regular video camera documenting his wife's pregnancy and researching what was best for them. *runs to hulu/netflix to see if I can find it* ...okay I just started The Business of Being Born. I'll let you know....

Found it! Pregnant in America. On Netflix instant watch.

sacha
10-03-2011, 05:14 PM
My first labour was botched by overinterventions and typical strap 'em to a bed, pitocin, epidural etc.. my son was born with a birth injury. I am not brave educated enough to do an unassisted childbirth with #2 but I can certainly understand anyone who does. While I will be having a cesarean, part of me secretly wishes I could just run into the forest and do it alone.

serendipity907
10-03-2011, 08:09 PM
It's great to hear a variety of opinions.

I have no intention of bringing up the matter with them since it's their choice at the end of the day.

I think it irked me more so because I got the impression it was the husband thinking that it wasn't necessary.

My Dad was really against my Mum having pain relief, and I just don't get how he could have the nerve to be so fussy about it, when it's not him in serious pain!

But as someone who's just seen and heard about childbirth of Tv and from people, I couldn't understand why on earth you'd choose against every kind of help. I'd have thought they'd both feel a bit more at ease having at least a midwife for the delivery. I can see that people like to keep involvement down when possible, but in my opinion it seems a little reckless in this day and age to go without any check ups at all, even if it's just you keeping an eye on your own BP etc.

zinkemomx2
10-03-2011, 08:48 PM
I have a friend who had her second child with a midwife at home. When she got pregnant for the third time they decided to have no prenatal help at all. They rented their own tube and Dad was going to deliver the baby. They didn't know the baby was breech. Thankfully everything turned out just fine for them.

I would have loved to have less intervention but I was deemed high risk to start with because of my weight. Then we found out I was having twins. Then I developed some pretty severe preeclampsia and ended up admitted to the hospital at 34 weeks. They did an ultrasound to check the kids growth and they were both sitting crisscross facing each other. No way was I going to attempt a vaginal delivery under those circumstances.

But for your average healthy female I see NO problems with a "do it yourself" type pregnancy and birth.

berryblondeboys
10-03-2011, 09:08 PM
I am very much a hands off person when it comes to birth, but most people aren't educated enough to do it on their own. Most people wouldn't be able to know if a baby is breech or what to do if a mother starts bleeding out after delivery or how to deal with tearing, etc.

I used a nurse midwife with both of my pregnancies. In both cases I was too high risk to have the baby in the birth center and had to deliver in the hospital, but my care was still very hands off and calm and relaxed.

But having a professional there - lay midwife, nurse midwife or doctor is important. That's they way we've been doing it for most of human's existence. Women very rarely do it completely on their own because it is hard to deal with the 'whatever' while laboring. Not that it can't be done, but why do it? There are lots of safer alternatives that will still grant women the rights and choices they deserve. And honestly, if you can't afford even a lay midwives help, then you shouldn't be having a baby.

zinkemomx2
10-03-2011, 09:24 PM
And honestly, if you can't afford even a lay midwives help, then you shouldn't be having a baby.

THIS I totally agree with.

sacha
10-04-2011, 11:07 AM
Women rarely have given birth alone - no, doctors are definently a 'new' concept but midwifery (whether 'formal' or 'informal') is as old as humans themselves - an experienced woman, usually older and a mother herself, assists in deliveries. Unassisted childbirth is not as common but again, having gone through a very traumatic hospital birth myself, I can completely understand.

OP: Because you have only seen TV or movies, you have not seen the darker sides of hospital births. They do exist. Yes, hospitals help save thousands of lives, but they can also contribute to artificial conditions that can cause problems in labour too. I myself experienced that. For example, when you give birth to a baby that experiences shoulder dystocia and your ability to push is impaired by an epidural. When you are strapped to a bed and cannot move properly. When you are told you should not eat, etc...

runningfromfat
10-04-2011, 11:31 AM
Women rarely have given birth alone - no, doctors are definently a 'new' concept but midwifery (whether 'formal' or 'informal') is as old as humans themselves - an experienced woman, usually older and a mother herself, assists in deliveries.

OP: Because you have only seen TV or movies, you have not seen the darker sides of hospital births. They do exist. Yes, hospitals help save thousands of lives, but they can also contribute to artificial conditions that can cause problems in labour too. I myself experienced that. For example, when you give birth to a baby that experiences shoulder dystocia and your ability to push is impaired by an epidural. When you are strapped to a bed and cannot move properly. When you are told you should not eat, etc...


But having a professional there - lay midwife, nurse midwife or doctor is important. That's they way we've been doing it for most of human's existence. Women very rarely do it completely on their own because it is hard to deal with the 'whatever' while laboring. Not that it can't be done, but why do it? There are lots of safer alternatives that will still grant women the rights and choices they deserve.

I agree with these both very much. Historically most women did not birth alone. Unfortunately, midwives are there for a reason because childbirth does have the ability to go downhill, fast.

However, like sacha said, hospital births can also be extreme unpleasant (and much worse than that even!). I was lucky because I had an amazing ob/gyn who really respected my wishes BUT I still wasn't allowed to eat (and considering I had over 24 hours of labor, I was starving!), and I had a share a room for 2 days after birth. NOT FUN because DD screamed those entire two days, rarely slept, and DH was not allowed to stay over night with me. I was a complete wreckupon leaving the hospital after a long labor, and 2 days afterwards of no sleep with a baby that was nursing around the clock. If I would've had a homebirth DH and I could've switched off childcare duties or at least brought DD to me nurse while I slept a bit.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the nurses there who had ZERO breastfeeding experience and kept telling me that I should just formula feed. Then there were the lights that you couldn't shut off all the way and the constant interruptions from my roommates family who lived nearby. Just the thought of another hospital stay scares me quite a bit (although, again, I would go through it if I had to but I'd really rather avoid it).