"Home delivery is for pizza"

by DaniGirl on June 22, 2007 · 76 comments

in Life, the Universe and Everything

The title to this post is a bumper sticker from the American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists quoted in an article about “freebirth” in today’s Citizen. The article discusses the apparently increasingly popular choice of some expecting mothers to deliver baby at home with no medical professionals in attendance – no doctor, no midwife, no doula.

Um, no thanks.

(I’m sure my mother is breathing a sigh of relief right about now.)

I guess I’m a moderate on this particular spectrum. I have to admit, I’m a little cynical of people who choose “convenience” c-sections. (We had an interesting discussion about this last year.) And note here I’m talking about convenience c-sections and am in no way being critical of c-sections in general – hell, that’s how I debuted almost 38 years ago.

On the other hand, while I can appreciate on an intellectual level why someone would choose an unmedicated child birth, I’d no sooner choose to have my wisdom teeth pulled without medication than try to birth a child without it. The irony is that my body is particularly unresponsive to the epidural, and after hours of tinkering with the “cocktails” both boys were fired out pretty much without the benefit of anesthesia.

While I would never choose a home birth, and certainly not an unassisted one (and again, please let me say that this is not a criticism of those who do – just one girl’s humble opinion on what’s best for her parts and her babies) I have to admit that for the first time I’m idly considering switching from an obstetrician to a midwife.

(My mother is shaking her head in dismay.)

I’ve actually always rather enjoyed my obstetrician’s clinical professionalism. If I remember correctly, she once served at the chief of obstetrics at the hospital where the boys were born. We’ve had some pretty traumatic moments with her, from the elevated risk of Down syndrome with Tristan to the miscarriage last year, and while she was never exactly warm or comforting, I was always reassured by my faith in her capability. And yet, because of the nature of her practice, she hasn’t been present at the birth of either boy.

A midwife appeals to me because of the extra attention implied in midwife care: the extra hand-holding, extended appointments, and after-birth care. Truthfully, I don’t even know that much about midwives and the regulations that govern them here in Ontario. Last I heard, if you have a midwife in attendance at a hospital birth, you are encouraged to leave soon afterward, as opposed to the 48 hours that you stay if you have an OB in attendance. Is that right? And midwives are covered under OHIP (public health insurance), right?

Anyway, I likely won’t change – but I’m curious. Where do you find yourself on the continuum – freebirth advocate or convenience c-section or somewhere in between?


{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jojo June 22, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Hello,
Before giving a comment, I wanted to let you know I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. It gives me such a wide range of reactions. Thank you.
I’m 7 weeks pregnant today, yay for Fridays! Happy 8 weeks Dani! This is hopefully going to be our first child. I was pregnant last winter but miscarried.
Before getting pregnant, I was seriously considering a supervised home birth with a midwife. But when I got pregnant last time, I realized after being hospitalized for hyperemisis gravidarum 3 times that pregnancy and health was very “out of my hands.”
Once I experienced the miscarriage, we made the decision that if I were to get pregnant again and carry the baby to term, I would definitely have it at my closest hospital with hopefully a Dr. who specializes in Obstetrics or an Obstetrician who tries to be present at the birth. Giving birth for the first time without medical support is a bit out of my comfort zone.
In regards to midwifery, I would really like to have one. Unfortunately last time I was pregnant, when I spoke to the closest group, there was not going to be any midwives delivering at the Civic Hospital. I haven’t called yet this pregnancy to see if it’s different this time, but it seemed that the hospitals were giving the midwives less hospital privileges as of June/2007.
Sorry about the long post,
Jojo

2 Jojo June 22, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Hello,
Before giving a comment, I wanted to let you know I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. It gives me such a wide range of reactions. Thank you.
I’m 7 weeks pregnant today, yay for Fridays! Happy 8 weeks Dani! This is hopefully going to be our first child. I was pregnant last winter but miscarried.
Before getting pregnant, I was seriously considering a supervised home birth with a midwife. But when I got pregnant last time, I realized after being hospitalized for hyperemisis gravidarum 3 times that pregnancy and health was very “out of my hands.”
Once I experienced the miscarriage, we made the decision that if I were to get pregnant again and carry the baby to term, I would definitely have it at my closest hospital with hopefully a Dr. who specializes in Obstetrics or an Obstetrician who tries to be present at the birth. Giving birth for the first time without medical support is a bit out of my comfort zone.
In regards to midwifery, I would really like to have one. Unfortunately last time I was pregnant, when I spoke to the closest group, there was not going to be any midwives delivering at the Civic Hospital. I haven’t called yet this pregnancy to see if it’s different this time, but it seemed that the hospitals were giving the midwives less hospital privileges as of June/2007.
Sorry about the long post,
Jojo

3 Barbara June 22, 2007 at 2:32 pm

I called the two Ottawa midwife associations when I was 4 weeks pregnant (2004) and was told that they were already booked for the month I would deliver. I was on a waiting list and eventually got a call but decided to stick with my doctor and the OB-GYN who was associated with his practice. I did use a doula, though. She was a fabulous help. It was reassuring to have someone in the room who had been present at 300+ births and provided calm advice and company when Ken wanted to get food, etc. We have no family in Ottawa and I was too private to “impose” on a friend. Check out the Comfort and Joy Doula Association (http://cjdoula.ncf.ca/services.html). We used Barb Gowan. She also leads infant massage classes.

4 Barbara June 22, 2007 at 2:32 pm

I called the two Ottawa midwife associations when I was 4 weeks pregnant (2004) and was told that they were already booked for the month I would deliver. I was on a waiting list and eventually got a call but decided to stick with my doctor and the OB-GYN who was associated with his practice. I did use a doula, though. She was a fabulous help. It was reassuring to have someone in the room who had been present at 300+ births and provided calm advice and company when Ken wanted to get food, etc. We have no family in Ottawa and I was too private to “impose” on a friend. Check out the Comfort and Joy Doula Association (http://cjdoula.ncf.ca/services.html). We used Barb Gowan. She also leads infant massage classes.

5 Rebecca June 22, 2007 at 2:36 pm

I would never even consider a home birth. There are simply too many variables involved and I do believe that quick access to medical care is why infant and mother mortality rates have decreased. I can’t imagine taking what I consider to be such a risk with my and my children’s lives. That said, I also believe that if that’s someone’s choice… good for them. Childbirth is such an intense, personal experience that I can’t see trying to tell someone else how to do it.
As for meds? Ugh. I’m one of those moms who had a VERY BAD epidural experience with my first and absolutely refused to have one with my second. I fully believe the too-strong epidural is what caused me to need a huge episiotomy and suction to get him out. On top of that, my left leg was numb in one very large spot for about a year. So yeah, not for me. I did have the second without an epidural, much to the nurses dismay. They tried to convince me to have one, and apparently weren’t used to “natural” births (I had to have pitocin so it wasn’t really natural) so they weren’t able to recognize transition (I did and they told me I was wrong), they weren’t going to check me when I told them I needed to push and instead tried to tell me I had “hours yet.”
I do believe there would be fewer interventions and medications needed if medical professionals would LISTEN to the laboring mother. Which is why I think a doula is a such a fantastic idea. Imagine… someone there to make sure you get what you want AND what you need, WHILE having immediate access to professional medical care and equipment in case of the unexpected. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!

6 Rebecca June 22, 2007 at 2:36 pm

I would never even consider a home birth. There are simply too many variables involved and I do believe that quick access to medical care is why infant and mother mortality rates have decreased. I can’t imagine taking what I consider to be such a risk with my and my children’s lives. That said, I also believe that if that’s someone’s choice… good for them. Childbirth is such an intense, personal experience that I can’t see trying to tell someone else how to do it.
As for meds? Ugh. I’m one of those moms who had a VERY BAD epidural experience with my first and absolutely refused to have one with my second. I fully believe the too-strong epidural is what caused me to need a huge episiotomy and suction to get him out. On top of that, my left leg was numb in one very large spot for about a year. So yeah, not for me. I did have the second without an epidural, much to the nurses dismay. They tried to convince me to have one, and apparently weren’t used to “natural” births (I had to have pitocin so it wasn’t really natural) so they weren’t able to recognize transition (I did and they told me I was wrong), they weren’t going to check me when I told them I needed to push and instead tried to tell me I had “hours yet.”
I do believe there would be fewer interventions and medications needed if medical professionals would LISTEN to the laboring mother. Which is why I think a doula is a such a fantastic idea. Imagine… someone there to make sure you get what you want AND what you need, WHILE having immediate access to professional medical care and equipment in case of the unexpected. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!

7 Miche June 22, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Unmedicated birth? That wasn’t my plan. I clearly remember my dismay when I heard the nurses “reporting” to the next shift “she won’t need an epidural.” I shouted back “but she WANTS one!” They laughed. I didn’t get one. (Just as well, I guess, or I might be blaming my sciatica on the epidural!)
I’m glad I delivered in a hospital. There were complications that required immediate intervention. I like happy endings!

8 Miche June 22, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Unmedicated birth? That wasn’t my plan. I clearly remember my dismay when I heard the nurses “reporting” to the next shift “she won’t need an epidural.” I shouted back “but she WANTS one!” They laughed. I didn’t get one. (Just as well, I guess, or I might be blaming my sciatica on the epidural!)
I’m glad I delivered in a hospital. There were complications that required immediate intervention. I like happy endings!

9 Jenn June 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm

A friend of mine is seeing a midwife in Ottawa and although she is right on the Nepean Ottawa boarder, due to boundries her miwife delivers at the Monfort. Nepean, Kanata midwives are are able to go to Queensway Carleton should you choose a hospital birth.
They had a segment on the late night news last night regarding freebrith. I was going to be on past my bedtime so I asked my husband (holding the remote) if he could record it for me. He laughed at me and asked why I would bother watching it- I would only critisize. I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. But I am interested in hearing why someone would voluntarily make that decision.
I have chosen to go with a midwife for this (my third babe) and the experience has been wonderful. All women in the group are extraordinary and I leave each appointment feeling pleased with my care. I always felt anxious at the OB/GYN waiting, waiting to be weighed, waiting for my turn only to have a rushed visit and leave. I pee in the cup and dip the stick, and weigh myself before we meet. We get to make decisions regarding tests rather than having a requisition sheet handed to me. I feel more on involved in my own care this time rather than having something happen to me.

10 Jenn June 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm

A friend of mine is seeing a midwife in Ottawa and although she is right on the Nepean Ottawa boarder, due to boundries her miwife delivers at the Monfort. Nepean, Kanata midwives are are able to go to Queensway Carleton should you choose a hospital birth.
They had a segment on the late night news last night regarding freebrith. I was going to be on past my bedtime so I asked my husband (holding the remote) if he could record it for me. He laughed at me and asked why I would bother watching it- I would only critisize. I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. But I am interested in hearing why someone would voluntarily make that decision.
I have chosen to go with a midwife for this (my third babe) and the experience has been wonderful. All women in the group are extraordinary and I leave each appointment feeling pleased with my care. I always felt anxious at the OB/GYN waiting, waiting to be weighed, waiting for my turn only to have a rushed visit and leave. I pee in the cup and dip the stick, and weigh myself before we meet. We get to make decisions regarding tests rather than having a requisition sheet handed to me. I feel more on involved in my own care this time rather than having something happen to me.

11 valerie June 22, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Freebirth does not interest me, but I loved having a midwife both times. I actually liked leaving the hospital shortly after Sarah was born, going home to my own bed. And was very happy to snuggle into my king size bed with my WHOLE family after Samuel was born at home.
You ARE allowed to stay at the hospital after birthing with a midwife, if you so choose (at least, you used to be).
Like some others commented, if I didn’t have a midwife, I’d get a doula, being sure to find one that offers post partum care as well.

12 valerie June 22, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Freebirth does not interest me, but I loved having a midwife both times. I actually liked leaving the hospital shortly after Sarah was born, going home to my own bed. And was very happy to snuggle into my king size bed with my WHOLE family after Samuel was born at home.
You ARE allowed to stay at the hospital after birthing with a midwife, if you so choose (at least, you used to be).
Like some others commented, if I didn’t have a midwife, I’d get a doula, being sure to find one that offers post partum care as well.

13 Dina June 22, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Hi,
I also read your blog on occassion and always enjoy the topics/discussions you report about.
I totally agree with your post.
Regarding “freebirth” I feel that is really a huge risk and although a woman may not have had problems during her pregnancy there are always chances something could go wrong during delivery. I don’t understand why someone would choose to put both themselves and their baby at risk. If we had chosen something like this (or even home birth with midwife in my case) both myself and my baby would have died. There was absolutely no way for me to deliver naturally and c-section was the only option (planned)
thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!
Dina

14 Dina June 22, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Hi,
I also read your blog on occassion and always enjoy the topics/discussions you report about.
I totally agree with your post.
Regarding “freebirth” I feel that is really a huge risk and although a woman may not have had problems during her pregnancy there are always chances something could go wrong during delivery. I don’t understand why someone would choose to put both themselves and their baby at risk. If we had chosen something like this (or even home birth with midwife in my case) both myself and my baby would have died. There was absolutely no way for me to deliver naturally and c-section was the only option (planned)
thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!
Dina

15 Ingrid June 22, 2007 at 5:49 pm

I respect midwifery, but as a health care professional, I have seen many deliveries “go bad”. This is not the fault of the midwife at all – they are educated professionals, experts in their field, and are very competent. But if something does go wrong, they are limited in what they are able to do, and this is the time period where seconds and minutes count.
Best compromise in my opinion is to have a hospital birth with a midwife or doula – I think it really depends on if you are a person who likes the touchy feely relationship which is hard to get from an OB, but more achievable with a midwife.
Personally, I was happy with my OB and he delivered all 3 children – the 3rd he was not on the L+D floor, but came especially on my request.
Definitely an individual choice, and always interesting to hear how different people feel!

16 Ingrid June 22, 2007 at 5:49 pm

I respect midwifery, but as a health care professional, I have seen many deliveries “go bad”. This is not the fault of the midwife at all – they are educated professionals, experts in their field, and are very competent. But if something does go wrong, they are limited in what they are able to do, and this is the time period where seconds and minutes count.
Best compromise in my opinion is to have a hospital birth with a midwife or doula – I think it really depends on if you are a person who likes the touchy feely relationship which is hard to get from an OB, but more achievable with a midwife.
Personally, I was happy with my OB and he delivered all 3 children – the 3rd he was not on the L+D floor, but came especially on my request.
Definitely an individual choice, and always interesting to hear how different people feel!

17 Holly June 22, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Wow. Another great post, Dani, and I feel compelled to comment.
It’s just our first baby so we don;t have tons of experiences like others who have posted but we’re really, really THRILLED with the care we have been receiving at the midwifery group. We were on a waiting list for a few months so we have experienced both the ob-gyn and the midwifery care in the space of a few months. Midwifery has been the best fit for us in terms of how many questions we have as first timeers and how much time we get to spend with our midwife. We used to have 10 mintue appointments with our ob (who we really liked) but our midwife appointments are 45 minutes and we feel like we can talk about anything and everything. You also know that at least one of the midwives who you meet with over the course of your pregnancy will be with you for your birth. This is reassuring to me to know that I will know them and they will know me.
You can also *definitely* stay in the hospital if you want to stay in the hospital. Midwifery is considered primary care and is fully covered in the same way an ob would be.
Even if you are just thinking about midwifery right now, definitely call and get yourself on one or both of the waiting lists. Then at least your options are open to make your decision.
I think the biggest thing for me with having a midwife is having my voice heard and respected throughout the process.
Sorry for the long post. If you ever want to talk about midwifery in terms of prenatal care, I’m happy to chat and I have a few other friends who would gladly share their stories of their births too. I know you like the Web for info and there are some good sites out there – Midwifery Consumers of Ottawa is one local site. The two midwifery groups (Midwifery Group of Ottawa and The Midwifery Collective) also have good information on their websites.

18 Holly June 22, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Wow. Another great post, Dani, and I feel compelled to comment.
It’s just our first baby so we don;t have tons of experiences like others who have posted but we’re really, really THRILLED with the care we have been receiving at the midwifery group. We were on a waiting list for a few months so we have experienced both the ob-gyn and the midwifery care in the space of a few months. Midwifery has been the best fit for us in terms of how many questions we have as first timeers and how much time we get to spend with our midwife. We used to have 10 mintue appointments with our ob (who we really liked) but our midwife appointments are 45 minutes and we feel like we can talk about anything and everything. You also know that at least one of the midwives who you meet with over the course of your pregnancy will be with you for your birth. This is reassuring to me to know that I will know them and they will know me.
You can also *definitely* stay in the hospital if you want to stay in the hospital. Midwifery is considered primary care and is fully covered in the same way an ob would be.
Even if you are just thinking about midwifery right now, definitely call and get yourself on one or both of the waiting lists. Then at least your options are open to make your decision.
I think the biggest thing for me with having a midwife is having my voice heard and respected throughout the process.
Sorry for the long post. If you ever want to talk about midwifery in terms of prenatal care, I’m happy to chat and I have a few other friends who would gladly share their stories of their births too. I know you like the Web for info and there are some good sites out there – Midwifery Consumers of Ottawa is one local site. The two midwifery groups (Midwifery Group of Ottawa and The Midwifery Collective) also have good information on their websites.

19 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Yikes – a home birth? No thank you – we aren’t living in the dark ages, anymore. I see nothing fun or nice about that. I had the nicest, biggest, cleanest room at the Civic when I gave birth, a great experience overall. I waited until I was 8 cm dilated before asking for eqidural. At that point, I wasn’t liking the pain, but before that, I was fine. Pushing out my baby came super easy to me, too. And I healed right away. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the second time around is just as easy and as just a wonderful experience. As for choosing to have a c-section, at first, I wanted one. My mom had me and my sister via c-section, by choice, both times, and she healed sooo quickly, no pain, barely a scar, and she was keen on suggesting that for me. However, in the end, I choose to go natural and I loved it and hope the same happens this time. I won’t criticise anyone if they chooose a c-section, but after having gone through natural birth, I can’t imagine why anyone would willing cut open their tummies and have stitches – for sure. No thanks! But if it has to happen, so be it. A home birth, though? What if something goes wrong? Just too many ‘what ifs’ to think about…

20 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Yikes – a home birth? No thank you – we aren’t living in the dark ages, anymore. I see nothing fun or nice about that. I had the nicest, biggest, cleanest room at the Civic when I gave birth, a great experience overall. I waited until I was 8 cm dilated before asking for eqidural. At that point, I wasn’t liking the pain, but before that, I was fine. Pushing out my baby came super easy to me, too. And I healed right away. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the second time around is just as easy and as just a wonderful experience. As for choosing to have a c-section, at first, I wanted one. My mom had me and my sister via c-section, by choice, both times, and she healed sooo quickly, no pain, barely a scar, and she was keen on suggesting that for me. However, in the end, I choose to go natural and I loved it and hope the same happens this time. I won’t criticise anyone if they chooose a c-section, but after having gone through natural birth, I can’t imagine why anyone would willing cut open their tummies and have stitches – for sure. No thanks! But if it has to happen, so be it. A home birth, though? What if something goes wrong? Just too many ‘what ifs’ to think about…

21 Karen June 22, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Hi Dani. A topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve was with the Midwifery Collective in Ottawa for both of my births. The first was a hospital birth that ended in a c-section. The second, just this past September, was a homebirth and the best experience I could have hoped for. If we have a third, I’ll be having a homebirth without a second thought. However, I do understand the reservations people have with homebirths but for me, it was the best thing I did for myself and John (and Hope for that matter).
Anyway, if you are thinking of the midwives, who are all excellent in Ottawa by the way, do get on the waiting list like, right now, or you won’t get in (and might not even if you get on the list today). The demand is high and there are too few midwives.

22 Karen June 22, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Hi Dani. A topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve was with the Midwifery Collective in Ottawa for both of my births. The first was a hospital birth that ended in a c-section. The second, just this past September, was a homebirth and the best experience I could have hoped for. If we have a third, I’ll be having a homebirth without a second thought. However, I do understand the reservations people have with homebirths but for me, it was the best thing I did for myself and John (and Hope for that matter).
Anyway, if you are thinking of the midwives, who are all excellent in Ottawa by the way, do get on the waiting list like, right now, or you won’t get in (and might not even if you get on the list today). The demand is high and there are too few midwives.

23 ali June 22, 2007 at 6:52 pm

i’m all for the drugs. he. kidding. mostly.
i fall somewhere in between, i guess. i wouldn’t ever opt for a c-section – unless i’d had c-sections before. and i wouldn’t ever have a baby NOT in a hospital, unless i was one of those amazon women who just can’t make it on time (but my babies come out painfully slowly…). if something were to go wrong, i’d want to be in a hospital, surrounded by medical care. also, i want drugs. ๐Ÿ™‚

24 ali June 22, 2007 at 6:52 pm

i’m all for the drugs. he. kidding. mostly.
i fall somewhere in between, i guess. i wouldn’t ever opt for a c-section – unless i’d had c-sections before. and i wouldn’t ever have a baby NOT in a hospital, unless i was one of those amazon women who just can’t make it on time (but my babies come out painfully slowly…). if something were to go wrong, i’d want to be in a hospital, surrounded by medical care. also, i want drugs. ๐Ÿ™‚

25 BubandPie June 22, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Wow, that bumper sticker is really offensive! I can understand opposition to “freebirths” but the slogan puts emphasis on the LOCATION of the birth, not on the presence or absence of midwives.
I would never have considered homebirth for myself (I LOVED being in the hospital and would have stayed longer if I could!) but everyone I know who has had a homebirth has loved it – the whole experience has been joyful and meaningful, far beyond what is possible in a hospital setting.
There’s so much misinformation out there – it’s so easy to imagine a what-if scenario about a baby requiring immediate medical care. But the studies have shown that homebirth is safe for low-risk pregnancies – for every bad outcome from a homebirth, there will be a bad outcome in hospital that may have even been caused by the whole cascade of interventions (each of which carries a risk).
I love my O.B. – just talking to him for five minutes (which was all I ever got) was better than a Valium: he just exudes confidence and optimism, and it’s contagious. For that reason, I never sought out a midwife, but everyone I know who has used one (including several people who went with a midwife for a second pregnancy after going the O.B. route for the first one) just raved about the experience.

26 BubandPie June 22, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Wow, that bumper sticker is really offensive! I can understand opposition to “freebirths” but the slogan puts emphasis on the LOCATION of the birth, not on the presence or absence of midwives.
I would never have considered homebirth for myself (I LOVED being in the hospital and would have stayed longer if I could!) but everyone I know who has had a homebirth has loved it – the whole experience has been joyful and meaningful, far beyond what is possible in a hospital setting.
There’s so much misinformation out there – it’s so easy to imagine a what-if scenario about a baby requiring immediate medical care. But the studies have shown that homebirth is safe for low-risk pregnancies – for every bad outcome from a homebirth, there will be a bad outcome in hospital that may have even been caused by the whole cascade of interventions (each of which carries a risk).
I love my O.B. – just talking to him for five minutes (which was all I ever got) was better than a Valium: he just exudes confidence and optimism, and it’s contagious. For that reason, I never sought out a midwife, but everyone I know who has used one (including several people who went with a midwife for a second pregnancy after going the O.B. route for the first one) just raved about the experience.

27 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 8:14 pm

P.S. As for midwives, I see no desire. I have all the love, support, and hand-holding I need from my husband, mom, mother-in-law, sister, grandmother, dad, etc… my sister and husband were in the room with me when I gave birth, the rest of the family eagerly waiting outside. They have all been such great help and support from day 1. I can’t imagine anyone else in my life… what could a midwife give me that I don’t already have? I also got excellent treatment and support from the nurses in the hospital. Now, nurses – there is something we cannot live without!

28 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 8:14 pm

P.S. As for midwives, I see no desire. I have all the love, support, and hand-holding I need from my husband, mom, mother-in-law, sister, grandmother, dad, etc… my sister and husband were in the room with me when I gave birth, the rest of the family eagerly waiting outside. They have all been such great help and support from day 1. I can’t imagine anyone else in my life… what could a midwife give me that I don’t already have? I also got excellent treatment and support from the nurses in the hospital. Now, nurses – there is something we cannot live without!

29 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm

P.P.S. Sorry, also wanted to add my Ob-Gyn is an amazing, amazing woman, who really listens, offers advice, is just there for me, and I’ve been seeing her since I was about 17 or 18. She’s one awesome doctor. ๐Ÿ™‚

30 Loukia June 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm

P.P.S. Sorry, also wanted to add my Ob-Gyn is an amazing, amazing woman, who really listens, offers advice, is just there for me, and I’ve been seeing her since I was about 17 or 18. She’s one awesome doctor. ๐Ÿ™‚

31 jo(e) June 23, 2007 at 4:32 am

I went with midwives — and had really wonderful experiences with all four births. I would have gone with home births, but it was unfortunately illegal in my state (which was stupid — they are safe if the mothers are screened carefully) so I used an alternative birthing center which was very homey and nice.
I am a big advocate of women learning all they can about their own bodies and about childbirth so that each woman can be the person in charge of her labor and delivery, rather than some doctor being in charge.

32 jo(e) June 23, 2007 at 4:32 am

I went with midwives — and had really wonderful experiences with all four births. I would have gone with home births, but it was unfortunately illegal in my state (which was stupid — they are safe if the mothers are screened carefully) so I used an alternative birthing center which was very homey and nice.
I am a big advocate of women learning all they can about their own bodies and about childbirth so that each woman can be the person in charge of her labor and delivery, rather than some doctor being in charge.

33 Anonymous June 23, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Loukia – a midwife is not someone who is there to ‘strictly hold your hand’ she is a university educated professional who is more than capable of delivering a baby. They are also accredited to work in hospitals with the assistance of the medical team if needed.
As for your thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy?!!! Yikes!!!
Get your facts straight.

34 Anonymous June 23, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Loukia – a midwife is not someone who is there to ‘strictly hold your hand’ she is a university educated professional who is more than capable of delivering a baby. They are also accredited to work in hospitals with the assistance of the medical team if needed.
As for your thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy?!!! Yikes!!!
Get your facts straight.

35 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

so sad to see many minds here speak without knowledge and research on safety and pleasure of midwife-attended and childbirth at home.
before bad mouthing with unsupported opinion, why not explore with an open mind ?

36 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

so sad to see many minds here speak without knowledge and research on safety and pleasure of midwife-attended and childbirth at home.
before bad mouthing with unsupported opinion, why not explore with an open mind ?

37 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

For starters:
A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth
Obstetric Myths VS. REsearch Realities
http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/safety_issues01/saftysta.htm
http://www.gentlebirth.org/ronnie/homesafe.html
Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth Birth 1997 Mar;24(1):4-13; discussion 14-6 Olsen O
What is the relative safety of homebirth compared with hospital birth? Ole Olsen, a researcher from the University of Copenhagen, recently examined several studies of planned homebirth backed up by a modern hospital system compared with planned hospital birth. A total of nearly 25,000 births from five different countries were studied.
The results: There was no difference in survival rates between the babies born at home and those born in the hospital. However, there were several significant differences between the two groups. Fewer medical interventions occurred in the homebirth group. Fewer home-born babies were born in poor condition. The homebirth mothers were less likely to have suffered lacerations during birth. They were less likely to have had their labors induced or augmented by medications or to have had cesarean sections, forceps or vacuum extractor deliveries. As for maternal deaths, there were none in either group.
the same outcome as:
BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7505.1416 :
Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America
The Safety of Home Birth attended by a Direct-Entry Midwife – What Science has to Say
Compiled by Michael J. Stark, Ph.D. for the Maryland Friends of Midwives
Citizens for Midwifery – FACT SHEET – The Safety of Homebirth
From a World Health Organization (WHO) report – subsection on Place of Birth:
It has never been scientifically proven that the hospital is a safer place than home for a woman who has had an uncomplicated pregnancy to have her baby. Studies of planned home births in developed countries with women who have had uncomplicated pregnancies have shown sickness and death rates for mother and baby equal to or better than hospital birth statistics for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.
From a report on homebirth in England:
More recently, the 1992 House of Commons Select Committee on Maternity Services, now known as the Winterton report, went to the heart of the issue in the first of more than 100 recommendations and conclusions on pregnancy, labour and postnatal care.
On the basis of what we have heard, this Committee must draw the conclusion that the policy of encouraging all women to give birth in hospitals cannot be justified on grounds of safety.
Elsewhere the report went further. “There is no convincing or compelling evidence that hospitals give a better guarantee of the safety of the majority of mothers and babies. It is possible, but not proven, that the contrary may be the case.”

38 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

For starters:
A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth
Obstetric Myths VS. REsearch Realities
http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/safety_issues01/saftysta.htm
http://www.gentlebirth.org/ronnie/homesafe.html
Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth Birth 1997 Mar;24(1):4-13; discussion 14-6 Olsen O
What is the relative safety of homebirth compared with hospital birth? Ole Olsen, a researcher from the University of Copenhagen, recently examined several studies of planned homebirth backed up by a modern hospital system compared with planned hospital birth. A total of nearly 25,000 births from five different countries were studied.
The results: There was no difference in survival rates between the babies born at home and those born in the hospital. However, there were several significant differences between the two groups. Fewer medical interventions occurred in the homebirth group. Fewer home-born babies were born in poor condition. The homebirth mothers were less likely to have suffered lacerations during birth. They were less likely to have had their labors induced or augmented by medications or to have had cesarean sections, forceps or vacuum extractor deliveries. As for maternal deaths, there were none in either group.
the same outcome as:
BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7505.1416 :
Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America
The Safety of Home Birth attended by a Direct-Entry Midwife – What Science has to Say
Compiled by Michael J. Stark, Ph.D. for the Maryland Friends of Midwives
Citizens for Midwifery – FACT SHEET – The Safety of Homebirth
From a World Health Organization (WHO) report – subsection on Place of Birth:
It has never been scientifically proven that the hospital is a safer place than home for a woman who has had an uncomplicated pregnancy to have her baby. Studies of planned home births in developed countries with women who have had uncomplicated pregnancies have shown sickness and death rates for mother and baby equal to or better than hospital birth statistics for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.
From a report on homebirth in England:
More recently, the 1992 House of Commons Select Committee on Maternity Services, now known as the Winterton report, went to the heart of the issue in the first of more than 100 recommendations and conclusions on pregnancy, labour and postnatal care.
On the basis of what we have heard, this Committee must draw the conclusion that the policy of encouraging all women to give birth in hospitals cannot be justified on grounds of safety.
Elsewhere the report went further. “There is no convincing or compelling evidence that hospitals give a better guarantee of the safety of the majority of mothers and babies. It is possible, but not proven, that the contrary may be the case.”

39 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:00 pm

what is normal ? and when what went wrong:
http://www.normalbirth.org/normal_birth_blog.htm
http://www.sciencebasedbirth.com/
http://www.sciencebasedbirth.com/index_files/Tesla_presentation_Index_June2006.htm
I encourage you to have fun exploring and expanding your understanding and knowledge of this very important subject : )
aw, be inspired to kick the habit forever of stating opinions about health care providers or settings that are not upheld by statistics.

40 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:00 pm

what is normal ? and when what went wrong:
http://www.normalbirth.org/normal_birth_blog.htm
http://www.sciencebasedbirth.com/
http://www.sciencebasedbirth.com/index_files/Tesla_presentation_Index_June2006.htm
I encourage you to have fun exploring and expanding your understanding and knowledge of this very important subject : )
aw, be inspired to kick the habit forever of stating opinions about health care providers or settings that are not upheld by statistics.

41 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:09 pm

and to turn the lens around….
there are many reasons one might prefer to receive care & birth outside of hospital ! however, I will just present this one shocking infection case (& then read stat below on incident of hospital-borne infections)
http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/AmputeeNecrotizingF_JAn06.htm

42 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:09 pm

and to turn the lens around….
there are many reasons one might prefer to receive care & birth outside of hospital ! however, I will just present this one shocking infection case (& then read stat below on incident of hospital-borne infections)
http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/AmputeeNecrotizingF_JAn06.htm

43 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm

and….
providing this landmark article published in JAMA for your consideration:
Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 225,000 Deaths Every Year
This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.
The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she desribes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.
ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:
12,000 — unnecessary surgery
7,000 — medication errors in hospitals
20,000 — other errors in hospitals
80,000 — infections in hospitals
106,000 — non-error, negative effects of drugs
These total to 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!
What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.
Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:
First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.
If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).
Another analysis concluded that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings,with:
116 million extra physician visits
77 million extra prescriptions
17 million emergency department visits
8 million hospitalizations
3 million long-term admissions
199,000 additional deaths
$77 billion in extra costs
The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care.

44 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm

and….
providing this landmark article published in JAMA for your consideration:
Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 225,000 Deaths Every Year
This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.
The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she desribes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.
ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:
12,000 — unnecessary surgery
7,000 — medication errors in hospitals
20,000 — other errors in hospitals
80,000 — infections in hospitals
106,000 — non-error, negative effects of drugs
These total to 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!
What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.
Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:
First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.
If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).
Another analysis concluded that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings,with:
116 million extra physician visits
77 million extra prescriptions
17 million emergency department visits
8 million hospitalizations
3 million long-term admissions
199,000 additional deaths
$77 billion in extra costs
The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care.

45 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm

However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.
An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.
This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking of the US on several indicators was:
13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages
13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall
11th for postneonatal mortality
13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)
11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males
10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males
10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males
7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males
3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males
10th for age-adjusted mortality
The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the United States as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.
There is a perception that the American public “behaves badly” by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence.” However the data does not support this assertion.
The proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japan to 41% in Denmark; in the United States, it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range is from 26% in Sweden to 61% in Japan; it is 28% in the United States (third best).
The US ranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption.
The US has relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.
These estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report, and if the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

46 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm

However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.
An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.
This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking of the US on several indicators was:
13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages
13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall
11th for postneonatal mortality
13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)
11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males
10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males
10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males
7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males
3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males
10th for age-adjusted mortality
The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the United States as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.
There is a perception that the American public “behaves badly” by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence.” However the data does not support this assertion.
The proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japan to 41% in Denmark; in the United States, it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range is from 26% in Sweden to 61% in Japan; it is 28% in the United States (third best).
The US ranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption.
The US has relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.
These estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report, and if the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

47 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the US, following heart disease and cancer.
Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to the US’s low ranking.
Among 29 countries, the United States is second only to Japan in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography scanners per million population. 17
Japan, however, ranks highest on health, whereas the US ranks among the lowest.
It is possible that the high use of technology in Japan is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment, whereas in the US, high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment.
Supporting this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed (full-time equivalents) in the United States is highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan, far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.
Journal American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5
well, I know the latter was entirely
USA-based…but I believe I have posted enough to stove (feeding firewood into stovebox) some critical-thinking –> evidence-based opinions to share —-> light

48 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the US, following heart disease and cancer.
Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to the US’s low ranking.
Among 29 countries, the United States is second only to Japan in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography scanners per million population. 17
Japan, however, ranks highest on health, whereas the US ranks among the lowest.
It is possible that the high use of technology in Japan is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment, whereas in the US, high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment.
Supporting this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed (full-time equivalents) in the United States is highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan, far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.
Journal American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5
well, I know the latter was entirely
USA-based…but I believe I have posted enough to stove (feeding firewood into stovebox) some critical-thinking –> evidence-based opinions to share —-> light

49 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Medical Mistakes Kill 100,000 Americans A Year
The promise every doctor makes is, ร‚ย“Do no harm.ร‚ย” But doctors and hospitals do make mistakes. And the November 30 shocking report from the Institute of Medicine showed medical mistakes are a common and potentially life-threatening risk. If medical mistakes counted among the leading causes of death in America, they would be eighth.
Surgical gaffes like amputating the wrong foot or a deadly chemotherapy overdose make headlines. But patients may never hear of the more subtle errors, like a delay in diagnosis or testing that costs precious time to fight off disease. Medical mistakes costing lives. Medical mistakes are a stunningly huge problem, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. It quoted studies estimating that at least 44,000 and perhaps as many as 98,000 hospitalized Americans die every year from errors. To put that into sharper and more alarming perspective, even the lower figure of 44,000 deaths exceeds the number of people who die each year either on the highways, of breast cancer or of AIDS.
It is an intolerable situation, especially when it’s taking place in the United States, which leads the world in medical advances. The cause, according to the Institute of Medicine, is not as much recklessness on the part of doctors, nurses and other health providers as it is basic flaws in the way hospitals, clinics and pharmacies operate. That kind of problem is fixable.
if you want to learn how the US gov is addressing the problem, go to:
http://www.mercola.com/1999/archive/medical_mistakes.htm

50 Sandra June 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Medical Mistakes Kill 100,000 Americans A Year
The promise every doctor makes is, ร‚ย“Do no harm.ร‚ย” But doctors and hospitals do make mistakes. And the November 30 shocking report from the Institute of Medicine showed medical mistakes are a common and potentially life-threatening risk. If medical mistakes counted among the leading causes of death in America, they would be eighth.
Surgical gaffes like amputating the wrong foot or a deadly chemotherapy overdose make headlines. But patients may never hear of the more subtle errors, like a delay in diagnosis or testing that costs precious time to fight off disease. Medical mistakes costing lives. Medical mistakes are a stunningly huge problem, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. It quoted studies estimating that at least 44,000 and perhaps as many as 98,000 hospitalized Americans die every year from errors. To put that into sharper and more alarming perspective, even the lower figure of 44,000 deaths exceeds the number of people who die each year either on the highways, of breast cancer or of AIDS.
It is an intolerable situation, especially when it’s taking place in the United States, which leads the world in medical advances. The cause, according to the Institute of Medicine, is not as much recklessness on the part of doctors, nurses and other health providers as it is basic flaws in the way hospitals, clinics and pharmacies operate. That kind of problem is fixable.
if you want to learn how the US gov is addressing the problem, go to:
http://www.mercola.com/1999/archive/medical_mistakes.htm

51 Sara June 23, 2007 at 7:11 pm

I am not a freebirther. I think there’s a whole lot of evidence that women birthing for the first time benefit from the company of someone who knows what to expect.
But I delivered both children with midwives in a very natural childbirth friendly hospital, and I think if I were doing it again I’d consider a homebirth. Except that we don’t have a giant jetted jacuzzi tub, and our hospital does.
CNMs, in the course of their training, actually attend more births than OBs do, because OBs have to spend a lot of time working on the surgical side of things. And I do beleive the claims that because of all that surgical-side training, many OBs hasten to unneccesary interventions. They also have a much stronger urge to control and harness the birth process, which is something I think cannot truly be done and can be harmful to attempt. YOu can’t just say “Patient X will dilate at exactly 1cm per hour and deliver at exactly 9o’clock.” but they’d like to try.
I read Henci Goer’s book “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth,” when I was PG with Primo, and it kinda changed my life or something ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a science geek at heart, and she had all the evidence-based arguments I wanted that episiotomy is a crock of poo and a bunch of other stuff.
My first birth was awe-inspiring (I know, all birth is, but it was revelatory for me) and the next almost more so. I was attended by very well-trained midwives, extremely supportive nurses, and had the resources of a hospital to hand should they be necessary, without the hospital doing much to intrude on my body’s ability to birth. WIth my second birth, I experienced the fetal ejection reflex – something that a lot of hard-core natural birthers claim is impossible in a hospital – because I was allowed to stay comfortable and safe and not interfered with.
For me, it was at the hospital that I was able to relax and center and give birth relatively easily – the first time because I’d bought the “hospital is teh safest place” story, the second time because I’d had such a good experience there the first time. However, if we moved someplace where I had to deliver at a baby factory with a 95% epidural rate and nurses who laugh a birth plans (my hospital *Requests* a birth plan), I’d seriously, seriously consider homebirth. We’ve joked that we’d probably want to anyway, since my babies both have come quite quickly after labor got established, and the next one would probably be born in the car on the way to the hospital!

52 Sara June 23, 2007 at 7:11 pm

I am not a freebirther. I think there’s a whole lot of evidence that women birthing for the first time benefit from the company of someone who knows what to expect.
But I delivered both children with midwives in a very natural childbirth friendly hospital, and I think if I were doing it again I’d consider a homebirth. Except that we don’t have a giant jetted jacuzzi tub, and our hospital does.
CNMs, in the course of their training, actually attend more births than OBs do, because OBs have to spend a lot of time working on the surgical side of things. And I do beleive the claims that because of all that surgical-side training, many OBs hasten to unneccesary interventions. They also have a much stronger urge to control and harness the birth process, which is something I think cannot truly be done and can be harmful to attempt. YOu can’t just say “Patient X will dilate at exactly 1cm per hour and deliver at exactly 9o’clock.” but they’d like to try.
I read Henci Goer’s book “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth,” when I was PG with Primo, and it kinda changed my life or something ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a science geek at heart, and she had all the evidence-based arguments I wanted that episiotomy is a crock of poo and a bunch of other stuff.
My first birth was awe-inspiring (I know, all birth is, but it was revelatory for me) and the next almost more so. I was attended by very well-trained midwives, extremely supportive nurses, and had the resources of a hospital to hand should they be necessary, without the hospital doing much to intrude on my body’s ability to birth. WIth my second birth, I experienced the fetal ejection reflex – something that a lot of hard-core natural birthers claim is impossible in a hospital – because I was allowed to stay comfortable and safe and not interfered with.
For me, it was at the hospital that I was able to relax and center and give birth relatively easily – the first time because I’d bought the “hospital is teh safest place” story, the second time because I’d had such a good experience there the first time. However, if we moved someplace where I had to deliver at a baby factory with a 95% epidural rate and nurses who laugh a birth plans (my hospital *Requests* a birth plan), I’d seriously, seriously consider homebirth. We’ve joked that we’d probably want to anyway, since my babies both have come quite quickly after labor got established, and the next one would probably be born in the car on the way to the hospital!

53 Sue June 23, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Being from England I’m wondering how different your midwives are to ours.
From the moment you discover you’re pregnant we are allocated a midwife who does all your general checks throughout the pregnancy.
Midwives also deliver our babies in hospital (usually different ones to those that you have during pregnancy).
We only have doctors or consultants involved if complications occur during pregnancy or childbirth.
I have to say our midwives are great though and I personally would choose a hospital for the comfort factor even though I like the idea of homebirths.

54 Sue June 23, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Being from England I’m wondering how different your midwives are to ours.
From the moment you discover you’re pregnant we are allocated a midwife who does all your general checks throughout the pregnancy.
Midwives also deliver our babies in hospital (usually different ones to those that you have during pregnancy).
We only have doctors or consultants involved if complications occur during pregnancy or childbirth.
I have to say our midwives are great though and I personally would choose a hospital for the comfort factor even though I like the idea of homebirths.

55 Anonymous June 24, 2007 at 2:57 am

I had midwives with both my children, and had planned to give birth in a birthing center inside of a hospital– the best of both worlds, I though. I wanted a natural midwife birth, but wanted also to have the doctors there in case of emergency.
There actually was an emergency with my first birth, when the baby was in distress w the cord around his neck. I believe that the only reason I didn’t end up with a c section was because of the care of the mid.wives. They did not rush to intervene, but aimed to control the birth process with oxygen, positioning and delayed pushing.
My second birth was very different. It came so quickly that I did end up having my baby at home, while waiting for the babysitter to show! It wasn’t on purpose. Naturally the birth happened at it’s own speed, without incident. We then all went to the hospital in the ambulance, but I probably didn’t need to.
Where do I stand on the issue? I think home birth is great for uneventful pregnancies. I think access to a hospital is great for the possibility of emergency. I chose to go unmedicated, but see why people would chose an epidural. I would never do a voluntary c-sec without the medical need, but if someone else wants to have major surgery, who am I to say they can’t?
Basically, I stand in the position of choice. It should be a woman’s choice what she does with her body. Why does anyone else care, anyway?

56 Anonymous June 24, 2007 at 2:57 am

I had midwives with both my children, and had planned to give birth in a birthing center inside of a hospital– the best of both worlds, I though. I wanted a natural midwife birth, but wanted also to have the doctors there in case of emergency.
There actually was an emergency with my first birth, when the baby was in distress w the cord around his neck. I believe that the only reason I didn’t end up with a c section was because of the care of the mid.wives. They did not rush to intervene, but aimed to control the birth process with oxygen, positioning and delayed pushing.
My second birth was very different. It came so quickly that I did end up having my baby at home, while waiting for the babysitter to show! It wasn’t on purpose. Naturally the birth happened at it’s own speed, without incident. We then all went to the hospital in the ambulance, but I probably didn’t need to.
Where do I stand on the issue? I think home birth is great for uneventful pregnancies. I think access to a hospital is great for the possibility of emergency. I chose to go unmedicated, but see why people would chose an epidural. I would never do a voluntary c-sec without the medical need, but if someone else wants to have major surgery, who am I to say they can’t?
Basically, I stand in the position of choice. It should be a woman’s choice what she does with her body. Why does anyone else care, anyway?

57 BeachMama June 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Hey Dani, you have lots of wonderful comments and tons of info to help you make your choice. But, I will add my two bits just for fun.
I had/have both midwives and homebirths. I think the freebirth thing is a little crazy and I will admit it wasn’t until I read the book “Birthing from Within” that I chose to go with a homebirth for J.
Hospitals scare the crap out of me, ironic considering Hubby spent 11 years at the QCH. Nothing good ever comes from me being in a hospital, all of my experiences of overnights have been near death experiences, including last years ectopic. After reading the book I realized that I would be a much happier person if I stayed home, where I love to be.
I discussed this with my midwife then brought Hubby to discuss too. He was good once he found out that your room has everything the birthing room has (minus the drugs) and that in the event of complications arriving the midwives prep you exactly the same way you would be prepped at the hospital while the ambulance is on route. You are registered with the hospital and ambulance and if anything should arrise you are good to go.
Since having my midwife and my homebirth I would never go without either unless my midwife told me specifically that my care would be better with a OB and a hospital. I even worried that I was carrying twins because then I would have to go without my midwife.
I use the Ottawa Valley Midwives, they are located in Carleton Place and have priveleges at the QCH. They are all wonderful and have supported me through all of my pregnancies (6) and are sympathetic to my desire for no meds and the least amount of intervention possible. I would recommend them in a heartbeat, let me know if you want their number, referrals don’t usually go on a wait list.
Best wishes with your choice, as it is I thank God that we are given a choice here to do what is best for our bodies and our babies.

58 BeachMama June 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Hey Dani, you have lots of wonderful comments and tons of info to help you make your choice. But, I will add my two bits just for fun.
I had/have both midwives and homebirths. I think the freebirth thing is a little crazy and I will admit it wasn’t until I read the book “Birthing from Within” that I chose to go with a homebirth for J.
Hospitals scare the crap out of me, ironic considering Hubby spent 11 years at the QCH. Nothing good ever comes from me being in a hospital, all of my experiences of overnights have been near death experiences, including last years ectopic. After reading the book I realized that I would be a much happier person if I stayed home, where I love to be.
I discussed this with my midwife then brought Hubby to discuss too. He was good once he found out that your room has everything the birthing room has (minus the drugs) and that in the event of complications arriving the midwives prep you exactly the same way you would be prepped at the hospital while the ambulance is on route. You are registered with the hospital and ambulance and if anything should arrise you are good to go.
Since having my midwife and my homebirth I would never go without either unless my midwife told me specifically that my care would be better with a OB and a hospital. I even worried that I was carrying twins because then I would have to go without my midwife.
I use the Ottawa Valley Midwives, they are located in Carleton Place and have priveleges at the QCH. They are all wonderful and have supported me through all of my pregnancies (6) and are sympathetic to my desire for no meds and the least amount of intervention possible. I would recommend them in a heartbeat, let me know if you want their number, referrals don’t usually go on a wait list.
Best wishes with your choice, as it is I thank God that we are given a choice here to do what is best for our bodies and our babies.

59 Valerie June 25, 2007 at 12:22 am

Beach Mama, I don’t think I realized you had the same midwives I had. ๐Ÿ™‚

60 Valerie June 25, 2007 at 12:22 am

Beach Mama, I don’t think I realized you had the same midwives I had. ๐Ÿ™‚

61 Chrissy June 25, 2007 at 1:28 am

Hi! I surfed in via Northern Mom and noticed you were also linked to Life is Good…at the Beach. I have been reading your blog, but have been a “lurker” for the longest time. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog and that I have nominated your blog for the Funny Blog Name contest at Pinks and Blues Girls http://www.pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com
http://pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com/2007/06/22/summer-bling-contest-giveaway/#comment-1870

62 Chrissy June 25, 2007 at 1:28 am

Hi! I surfed in via Northern Mom and noticed you were also linked to Life is Good…at the Beach. I have been reading your blog, but have been a “lurker” for the longest time. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog and that I have nominated your blog for the Funny Blog Name contest at Pinks and Blues Girls http://www.pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com
http://pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com/2007/06/22/summer-bling-contest-giveaway/#comment-1870

63 cinnamon gurl June 25, 2007 at 3:17 am

I had midwives and spent the entire pregnancy trying to decide between home and hospital. Since we’re only five minutes from hospital, I wasn’t worried about any additional risk at home, but I thought if we needed to transfer, it would be a very unpleasant five minutes.
In the end, I went to hospital at the beginning of my labour because there was meconium in the water, and stayed, ending up with an epidural then c-section. I loved having midwives to guide me. They encouraged me to get an epidural when I was only 3 cm because I was working too hard and it was the beginning of the day so I may not have gotten another opportunity. They were in the operating room when I had my c-section and they explained things to my husband and I. They were the ones who told me my son was a redhead with excited tears in their eyes. The OB who did my surgery was an awesome surgeon but his bedside manner left something to be desired. Because I had the midwives, though, it didn’t matter.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed being in hospital — and of course I needed to be there post-c-section. But if I’d had a midwife actually responsible for me during the birth (they transfer care to an OB under certain circumstances but never left me), I could have stayed just as long. And then they came to my house for all the check-ups up to three weeks postpartum. I’d do it again with midwives in a heartbeat.

64 cinnamon gurl June 25, 2007 at 3:17 am

I had midwives and spent the entire pregnancy trying to decide between home and hospital. Since we’re only five minutes from hospital, I wasn’t worried about any additional risk at home, but I thought if we needed to transfer, it would be a very unpleasant five minutes.
In the end, I went to hospital at the beginning of my labour because there was meconium in the water, and stayed, ending up with an epidural then c-section. I loved having midwives to guide me. They encouraged me to get an epidural when I was only 3 cm because I was working too hard and it was the beginning of the day so I may not have gotten another opportunity. They were in the operating room when I had my c-section and they explained things to my husband and I. They were the ones who told me my son was a redhead with excited tears in their eyes. The OB who did my surgery was an awesome surgeon but his bedside manner left something to be desired. Because I had the midwives, though, it didn’t matter.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed being in hospital — and of course I needed to be there post-c-section. But if I’d had a midwife actually responsible for me during the birth (they transfer care to an OB under certain circumstances but never left me), I could have stayed just as long. And then they came to my house for all the check-ups up to three weeks postpartum. I’d do it again with midwives in a heartbeat.

65 DaniGirl June 25, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Wow! You guys never fail to amaze me with your comment. Safe to say, I think we’ve covered the spectrum pretty well.
Chrissy, thanks! (blush) I’m honoured, and glad you de-lurked!

66 DaniGirl June 25, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Wow! You guys never fail to amaze me with your comment. Safe to say, I think we’ve covered the spectrum pretty well.
Chrissy, thanks! (blush) I’m honoured, and glad you de-lurked!

67 Loukia June 25, 2007 at 2:21 pm

I love people who won’t leave their names when they leave comments. I know what a midwife is, thanks. I kno they do more then hand-holding. However, I have a great relationshiop with my Ob-Gyn and along with my family, and the great nurses at the hospital, there is nothing more I need! I’ve been through it once, and had the experience of a lifetime.
As for ‘getting my facts straight’ on what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy, let me go over the list with you, and if I am wrong, let me know, okay? I think it’s advisable, at least from the million or so books and doc’s I’ve talked to, to AVOID:
– wine, and any alcohol
– cigarettes
– drugs
– soft cheese like feta, which may or may not be pasturized,
– cold cuts (unless you heat them up)
– sushi and some seafood like tuna (way too high mercury)
So, if I am wrong – please, let me know! But you know, I did have a very healthy pregnancy with my first, and he was born over 8 pounds, healthy as can be, and my labour was about 30 minutes. So, yeah, if I’m doing anything wrong, person who remains nameless – let me know. ‘Cause I think you’re the one who needs to read a few more books.

68 Loukia June 25, 2007 at 2:21 pm

I love people who won’t leave their names when they leave comments. I know what a midwife is, thanks. I kno they do more then hand-holding. However, I have a great relationshiop with my Ob-Gyn and along with my family, and the great nurses at the hospital, there is nothing more I need! I’ve been through it once, and had the experience of a lifetime.
As for ‘getting my facts straight’ on what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy, let me go over the list with you, and if I am wrong, let me know, okay? I think it’s advisable, at least from the million or so books and doc’s I’ve talked to, to AVOID:
– wine, and any alcohol
– cigarettes
– drugs
– soft cheese like feta, which may or may not be pasturized,
– cold cuts (unless you heat them up)
– sushi and some seafood like tuna (way too high mercury)
So, if I am wrong – please, let me know! But you know, I did have a very healthy pregnancy with my first, and he was born over 8 pounds, healthy as can be, and my labour was about 30 minutes. So, yeah, if I’m doing anything wrong, person who remains nameless – let me know. ‘Cause I think you’re the one who needs to read a few more books.

69 Chrissy June 25, 2007 at 8:48 pm

No prob ๐Ÿ˜‰ Check out their blog sometime. They’re a great bunch of gals and they have some pretty neat things to talk about (and neat contests too). I’m sure you already have a zillion other blogs you’re reading, but http://www.pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com is a great one.
PS. Yes, I figured it was time to de-lurk! LOL!

70 Chrissy June 25, 2007 at 8:48 pm

No prob ๐Ÿ˜‰ Check out their blog sometime. They’re a great bunch of gals and they have some pretty neat things to talk about (and neat contests too). I’m sure you already have a zillion other blogs you’re reading, but http://www.pinksandbluesgirls.wordpress.com is a great one.
PS. Yes, I figured it was time to de-lurk! LOL!

71 Fawn June 26, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Sorry so late… I’m just catching up on my blog-reading.
As you know midwifery care is near and dear to my heart, since I’ve been working with Yukoners for Funded Midwifery to get midwifery integrated into our healthcare system the way it is in BC and Ontario and quite a few other provinces (not to mention both other territories).
It so happens that my first (and only) experience with childbirth was fast, med-free, and absolutely amazing. It was in a hospital with a great doctor and some wonderful nurses in attendance, along with my awesome husband. So I know that a wonderful birth experience doesn’t depend on having a midwife.
But I think it’s important that all women have the option to choose the kind of care they get. And I do think it would be great, for number 2, to have more relaxed and personal consultations throughout my pregnancy – my docs were great but they definitely had an overload of patients.
I also find the idea of a homebirth much more appealing for the next round. We brought such a crazy amount of stuff with us to the hospital to make it comfortable (the pillows! the massage oil! the extra socks!) that in many ways it seems like a lot less trouble to just stay home… Except that I’m sure I’d feel I had to have the place spic and span before anyone came in to help me deliver a baby there!

72 Fawn June 26, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Sorry so late… I’m just catching up on my blog-reading.
As you know midwifery care is near and dear to my heart, since I’ve been working with Yukoners for Funded Midwifery to get midwifery integrated into our healthcare system the way it is in BC and Ontario and quite a few other provinces (not to mention both other territories).
It so happens that my first (and only) experience with childbirth was fast, med-free, and absolutely amazing. It was in a hospital with a great doctor and some wonderful nurses in attendance, along with my awesome husband. So I know that a wonderful birth experience doesn’t depend on having a midwife.
But I think it’s important that all women have the option to choose the kind of care they get. And I do think it would be great, for number 2, to have more relaxed and personal consultations throughout my pregnancy – my docs were great but they definitely had an overload of patients.
I also find the idea of a homebirth much more appealing for the next round. We brought such a crazy amount of stuff with us to the hospital to make it comfortable (the pillows! the massage oil! the extra socks!) that in many ways it seems like a lot less trouble to just stay home… Except that I’m sure I’d feel I had to have the place spic and span before anyone came in to help me deliver a baby there!

73 Chantal June 27, 2007 at 12:42 am

I think it’s important to make the distinction between “Homebirth” and “Freebirth” (I only knew it as Unassisted until I saw it on The National).
“Freebirthers” do not represent “Homebirthers”. There is a difference between giving birth unassissted and chosing to do so with a skilled, and certified midwife.
I think there is a lot of misconception floating around about what goes on at a homebirth. Comments about us not living in the “dark ages” just prove that. Many people are surprised to hear what equipment was brought with both midwives, what each appointment entailed and what criteria I had to meet before being considered low-risk enough to birth at home.
For me, it was a caculated risk and not one taken lightly. I did my research and homebirth with a skilled attendent in a low-risk woman has been proven to be just as safe as hospital birth.
In the end, it’s a personal decision. If you want pain medication, get it. If you don’t, don’t. You don’t have anyone to answer to, including yourself. The most important thing to remember is that no decision has to be permanent. Many women have gone into labour not sure where to give birth and have always ended up where they felt most comfortable, whether at home or in hospital.
Your pregnancy and birth experience is what you make it. The only desired outcome is your satisfaction, which isn’t necessarily going to be the same as what someone else would want or even need.
A lot of information has been given about midwives, so I’ll just say that in Ontario, midwifery is 100% covered by OHIP. From the first appt to the birth and afterward. You can give birth where you want and stay in the hospital as long as you feel you need, whether that is 4 hours or 24-48. (Most women who give birth with an OB are encouraged to go home after 24 hours now).
You sound very happy, Dani. I’m thrileld for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

74 Chantal June 27, 2007 at 12:42 am

I think it’s important to make the distinction between “Homebirth” and “Freebirth” (I only knew it as Unassisted until I saw it on The National).
“Freebirthers” do not represent “Homebirthers”. There is a difference between giving birth unassissted and chosing to do so with a skilled, and certified midwife.
I think there is a lot of misconception floating around about what goes on at a homebirth. Comments about us not living in the “dark ages” just prove that. Many people are surprised to hear what equipment was brought with both midwives, what each appointment entailed and what criteria I had to meet before being considered low-risk enough to birth at home.
For me, it was a caculated risk and not one taken lightly. I did my research and homebirth with a skilled attendent in a low-risk woman has been proven to be just as safe as hospital birth.
In the end, it’s a personal decision. If you want pain medication, get it. If you don’t, don’t. You don’t have anyone to answer to, including yourself. The most important thing to remember is that no decision has to be permanent. Many women have gone into labour not sure where to give birth and have always ended up where they felt most comfortable, whether at home or in hospital.
Your pregnancy and birth experience is what you make it. The only desired outcome is your satisfaction, which isn’t necessarily going to be the same as what someone else would want or even need.
A lot of information has been given about midwives, so I’ll just say that in Ontario, midwifery is 100% covered by OHIP. From the first appt to the birth and afterward. You can give birth where you want and stay in the hospital as long as you feel you need, whether that is 4 hours or 24-48. (Most women who give birth with an OB are encouraged to go home after 24 hours now).
You sound very happy, Dani. I’m thrileld for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

75 PinkPowerSuit July 1, 2007 at 5:07 am

I wish I had time to read all of these comments.
I had my 1st in the hospital, naturally. 2nd and 3rd at home, water births. 4th in the hospital by early epidural. Every experience was through choice and prayer. Lotsa prayer. (Also, in my very small town, if I needed a C-section while in the hospital, I would have had to wait a good chunk of time anyway. Might as well spend 4 minutes driving from home to hospital.)
I had the same doula every time. Midwife for the middle two.
While I haven’t had a C-section or other medications I think my well-rounded experience is what allows me to have an open-minded view.
I actually did consider freebirthing my 3rd and 4th babies, though I had never heard the term at the time. Ultimately, I decided it wasn’t wise, but the desire was there. Sometimes I thought that I didn’t even want my husband there.
Anyway, I think that if we’re going to be a society that unapologetically gives women the right to choose to abort their babies, then we need to allow them to choose how to birth those babies with the same freedom from judgement. In my mind, the age of the baby doesn’t matter. And just like television ads and sound bites have convinced most of us that women should have the right to an abortion without judgement, the same will happen for freebirthing. It will take about 8 years, I predict. But with enough media attention, you can convince people that anything is okay.
And I think most of the time, freebirthing probably IS okay. I do believe that worldwide stats show that interventions cause many complications. (My epi added at least 20 hours to my labour– I’m usually fast with no complications and they were all birthed in only 6 years– and caused my blood pressure to drop waaaaay low). Even docs admit this. I think the risks are probably greater for mom than baby, but I’m no expert.
I am a babbler though. Those are just my random thoughts. It’s late and I’m tired. Hope it made some sense.

76 PinkPowerSuit July 1, 2007 at 5:07 am

I wish I had time to read all of these comments.
I had my 1st in the hospital, naturally. 2nd and 3rd at home, water births. 4th in the hospital by early epidural. Every experience was through choice and prayer. Lotsa prayer. (Also, in my very small town, if I needed a C-section while in the hospital, I would have had to wait a good chunk of time anyway. Might as well spend 4 minutes driving from home to hospital.)
I had the same doula every time. Midwife for the middle two.
While I haven’t had a C-section or other medications I think my well-rounded experience is what allows me to have an open-minded view.
I actually did consider freebirthing my 3rd and 4th babies, though I had never heard the term at the time. Ultimately, I decided it wasn’t wise, but the desire was there. Sometimes I thought that I didn’t even want my husband there.
Anyway, I think that if we’re going to be a society that unapologetically gives women the right to choose to abort their babies, then we need to allow them to choose how to birth those babies with the same freedom from judgement. In my mind, the age of the baby doesn’t matter. And just like television ads and sound bites have convinced most of us that women should have the right to an abortion without judgement, the same will happen for freebirthing. It will take about 8 years, I predict. But with enough media attention, you can convince people that anything is okay.
And I think most of the time, freebirthing probably IS okay. I do believe that worldwide stats show that interventions cause many complications. (My epi added at least 20 hours to my labour– I’m usually fast with no complications and they were all birthed in only 6 years– and caused my blood pressure to drop waaaaay low). Even docs admit this. I think the risks are probably greater for mom than baby, but I’m no expert.
I am a babbler though. Those are just my random thoughts. It’s late and I’m tired. Hope it made some sense.

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