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Thread: Unassisted Birth
December 2nd, 2012 11:34 PM #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
I have not had an unassisted childbirth and I hope not to! Both of my kids were born at freestanding birth centers attended by midwives. We have since moved to another state and there are no birth centers nearby, so I have chosen to have a homebirth this last time around, and am hoping that my midwife will arrive in time. I certainly can't plan on making it to the hospital with how fast my last birth went, so I figured it is better to plan for home birth. My second child was born in only a little over an hour from start to finish. (I had 15 minutes of discomfort, 30 minutes of hard labor, my water broke and my body immediately started pushing (while I was walking out to the car) and then I had a 20 minute drive to the birth center in which I tried not to push, and DS was born 8 minutes after walking in. It would have been even shorter if I didn't have that 20 minute drive.) Thankfully DH was already home when labor started (it was evening). And FTR, that birth hurt like hell. My first labor was so pleasant and manageable in comparison, at 7.5 hours total. The second was like a freight train and it was miserable. Understandably, because that was a lot of dilation in very little time.
I am actually afraid that I will end up birthing alone this time. I've talked about this with my midwife and she said that most of the time, if labor happens that fast, it's because everything is going the way it should be regarding positioning and cords and such, and so it shouldn't be something I should worry about much if it goes fast again. (Not that I can slow it down!)
I actually agree with the vast majority of what Blade posted. I think the question of risks is important. For me, the risks of UC do not outweigh the risks of birthing in a hospital. But the risks of having a qualified midwife and a home birth or birth center birth do outweigh the risks of birthing in a hospital for me and my specific situation. Blade stated that the baby cannot consent to the risks that a UC (or HB) present. The only small quibble I have is that the baby cannot consent to the risks that a hospital birth presents either. There are risks on both sides - risks of increased interventions (which result in way more common but perhaps not as serious problems) vs. risks of not enough interventions (which result in much less common but perhaps more serious problems).
I am all for home birth, but I don't see how choosing unattended childbirth can possibly win in the assessment of risks.
As I think about UC more, I have a few more thoughts. Even if everything with birth goes perfectly (which it basically has for me), I am so physically exhausted, in a different state mentally because of dealing with the pain, etc., that I can't imagine having to actually take care of myself and the baby alone in a UC. Even just the clean up afterward, or making sure I don't faint the first time I stand up, or any of the extremely simple things would not be in my capacity to accomplish immediately after birth. And if there was any little complication at all - no way. Both times in order to get the placenta out, I've had to stand up and let gravity help. I couldn't even do that by myself without the midwives to help me. I've read that women who UC claim they have some sort of extra energy, extra awareness, extra whatever, precisely because they are not attended during birth. But why would you want to rely on that? Again, I really, really hope my midwife and my husband make it on time!!
Last edited by aguafresca; December 2nd, 2012 at 11:53 PM.Lucía, Sebastián, & Inés
Next: Eloísa Pilar or Félix Ignacio
December 2nd, 2012 11:43 PM #13Senior Member
Lucía, Sebastián, & Inés
- Join Date
- May 2012
Next: Eloísa Pilar or Félix Ignacio
December 3rd, 2012 12:13 AM #15
IMO, but I am all for women wanting to deliver their babies the way nature intended. Within reason of course.
December 3rd, 2012 12:32 AM #17
I didn't mean to be condescending, quite the opposite. I was hoping to have a fruitful discussion and that is exactly what occurred.
In answer to your question-- absolutely not. No patient can be admitted to a hospital without being under the official, formal care of a licensed and credentialed practitioner (physicians, nurse-practitioners including CNMs, and in some states, PAs). That practitioner must provide care or will be held liable. Even if there are no adverse outcomes, they could be disciplined and lose their license for patient abandonment.
Birth centers are not considered health facilities in the eyes of the law; instead they are private businesses and are not regulated or licensed any more than a Hallmark franchise (there are no inspections, licenses or permits required to open one), so they can set their own policies. Perhaps a birth center and a non-credentialed midwife who does not have prescribing powers, does not operate under the license of a physician, and is not formally trained (i.e. a "Certified Professional Midwife," or a "Licensed Midwife," or neither) would be willing to provide a 'UC room,' but honestly it goes completely counter to the entire philosophy of UC. I would imagine an ardent UC'er would argue that the presence of help in a nearby room would undercut her sense of autonomy and confidence and would produce worse outcomes, or some such thing.
In my non-objective, non-official and quite personal opinion, I think Unassisted Childbrith is nothing more than Russian roulette with only bragging rights as a prize. That's why women who have UC'd wear those births on their sleeves like merit badges and talk about them in the same way other people describe drinking 20 tequila shots, tandem skydiving, or climbing Everest, like you're supposed to be really impressed that they're such a badass. While I disagree with homebirth too as a philosophy, at least when I hear women justifying their choice to HB I feel they're being logical and genuine. When I hear women attempt to justify UC, I just hear narcissism.
Edit: since you asked about nurses attending births-- an RN with no further education and training (not a CNM) cannot attend patients. It is completely outside the scope of training and licensure. Not that a good nurse isn't very savvy and worth their weight in gold (L&D nurses in particular are the primary labor support person for most and have seen everything), but they'd lose their license immediately.
Last edited by blade; December 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 AM.Blade, MD
XY: Antoine Raphael (3.1.2012)
XX: Cassia Viviane Noor (11.30.2013)
December 3rd, 2012 12:50 AM #19
For me personally, I don't believe that having help nearby in case I needed it would undercut my sense of autonomy or produce worse results. On the contrary, I believe it would reduce stress and my feelings of "what if". I just don't see how a reasonable person could fear having help nearby could produce a worse outcome. But then ardent UC'ers are not known for being the most reasonable people.
Quick question: do hospitals ever allow the mother to catch her own baby? I have heard of this happening with the father, but never the mother.
Last edited by sawdust_and_diamonds; December 3rd, 2012 at 12:52 AM.