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  • What is the best way to give birth?

    Should you use a medical center and all the drugs?

    Try for a home birth?

    What position - laying down or squatting?

    In water?

    Etc.

    Do you all have experience with any of the alternative ways to give birth? Any tips or advice is requested.

    (I'm not pregnant, just curious)

  • #2
    All ways to get a baby out suck in different degrees.

    I am a big proponent of natural childbirth. I also believe in as little intervention as possible. That said, interventions can often save the lives of mothers and babies. There is a place for them. For both of my children, I opted to be cared for by a Certified Nurse Midwife in a hospital setting. I would have loved to use a birth center if one was available to me. I would not have chosen a homebirth, but I believe they can be safe under the right circumstances.

    My first baby was breech and big. I was living in NM, and my midwives were barred from delivering breech babies. The two docs in the state willing to try a vaginal delivery both agreed baby would be too big. She was delivered by c/s but I opted to go into labor spontaneously first. I hated everything about the c/s and I believe it caused a lot of hardship for breastfeeding. That said, my baby was delivered healthy, and that is what mattered.

    My 2nd was an unmedicated VBAC in a hospital with a CNM attending. Everything about it was glorious. I was not separated from him for a second, nursing was terrific. The whole birth experience was exciting and exhausting and perfect. I wish I could have had both that way! Also, EVERYONE who came to visit in the first few days remarked how alert and strong my son was (already lifting his head and looking around). I think this had everything to do with him not being exposed to medications during the labor.

    If you opt for a natural delivery, I highly recommend reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. I read just about every birth book out there, but it was the tips in this one that kept coming to mind when I was actually in labor. I owe so much of my beautiful experience to her wisdom!
    Last edited by Yvonne PHX; 09-29-2011, 08:26 AM. Reason: added info about book

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    • #3
      The answers to your questions are really vary depending on the person giving birth. If you are healthy and baby is healthy and your personality is such that you would do a homebirth, that is probably the best. Homebirth is not for everyone. However, on the other end of the spectrum, CHOOSING a C/S and all the drugs is probably not best for anyone. The more interventions you choose, the more you will probably have to have. Yes, some people have to have C/S, I am not talking about them. Those drugs do have long term side effects for mom and baby. C/S has long term side effects for baby (for instance babies born by C/S tend to have more allergies, asthma, eczema, etc because they are not exposed to the immune boosting things in the birth canal or experiencing the stress hormones of going through the birth canal. There are certainly other factors (breastfeeding and nutrition), that is just an example). These would be things that you need to research, look at the studies, etc.

      In terms of actual birth position, again it depends. In general, flat on the back is the hardest, but that is how one of my babies was born (at home) after trying many other positions that didn't work. My second was born on my hands and knees. Hands and knees did not work for my 3rd and he was born while I was laying on my side. Same mom, three babies, three different positions... all at home, unmedicated, all very different, but wonderful. Squatting is probably a great way to give birth, but when I was ready to push, being on my feet is not where I wanted to be. I have never done a water birth, but have labored in the tub, and that's the best thing in the world.

      I would second Yvonne's book recommendation.

      It's wise to think about these things before you need to.

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      • #4
        I've had c-sections, hospital births with drugs, and home-births. The home-birth was by far the best experience for me. My home birth was also had a water-birth and it was soooo easy compared to my other births. I was also ready for it mentally, that is really important. You need to be relaxed, confident, and sure of yourself before you birth at home.

        My last baby was a planned home-birth, but he ended up coming premature and I had to have a c-section due to hospital policy. Was not happy, but was glad for the neonatal team as he needed it.

        Really it is a personal thing. For me, home birth is optimal, for others, the hospital is a comfort. There are too many factors to say this way is better than that way. You need to research and decide for yourself. Risk factors such as weight, and history also make a difference.
        Start of PB weight Aug/2011: 217
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        • #5
          Oh, for me, laying flat on my back hurts and prolongs things! Hated that part of the hospital experience more than anything. I prefer sitting up. For my home, water birth, I birthed sitting up in the tub. Labor from start to finish was 3 hours with the last 30 minutes in the tub.
          Start of PB weight Aug/2011: 217
          Start of Leptin Reset end of Aug/2011: 202.4
          current weight: 199.6

          Follow me and see what my kids are eating for lunch.

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          • #6
            I assisted a friend who had a home water birth. She labored while pacing, delivered on all fours in a tub. It was hard, as all birth is, but smooth and everyone was very healthy.

            If I were pregnant and healthy, I would have the baby at home with a tub or while squatting.
            Woman, Artist, Wife, Visionary, Mother, Gardener, Daughter, Tea-drinker, Friend, Believer.

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            • #7
              interesting thread. I have always thought having a water birth would be the most comfortable, (but what do I know!?), when I bring it up people look at me like I have four eyes. I don't know that we will have kids, but if we do I would def. give it a try...
              Have high hopes that journaling can keep me on track: www.southerndink.com If you are on twitter hit me up so we can keep each other motivated: http://twitter.com/SouthernDink

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              • #8
                Thank you. My fiance and I have been discussing this after I watched The Business of Being Born. He said he will watch it with me. He has never heard of anyone he knows have anything other than a hospital birth so I don't think he understands it. We have some Birthing Centers at local hospitals so I think that will be a great fit for us when the time comes, but I want to start planting the seeds that I don't want to do it like everyone else does. He has been involved in the room in 3-4 deliveries (friends and family) and I've never seen even one so he tends to think he is the expert on this compared to me. It is a good thing I'm the one having the baby then I guess I really don't think he would ever support a home birth, especially for our first, and I would likely be scared to do that also, but a birthing center seems right. I like thinking about this, it is fun, and I hope that all our pregnancies will be healthy and delivery will be as smooth as can be.

                Thank you so much for the book recommendations!

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                • #9
                  I'm a birthing rights advocate- the best way is whichever way a mother is most comfortable.

                  For me, its at home with a hands-off midwife- basically she sits in the other room- I prefer physiological birth. I do what I need to do, push when I want to and catch my own baby.

                  I had a perfect home water birth with my second child. Our midwife was completely respectful of our wishes.

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                  • #10
                    June, check out the book Pushed by Jennifer Block.

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                    • #11
                      June, if you have a pregnant friend maybe you could observe the birth? May sound odd, but my Sister-in-law was pregnant at the same time of my home birth and she asked to watch because she was scared of giving birth. I was worried it would scare her even more, but she really gained confidence after seeing my daughter born. My midwife was good at talking through it all and explaining things to my sil and it really helped her. Afterwards she kept saying, I can do this! After watching me she opted for a drug-free birth in the hospital and she was so proud of herself for doing it.

                      I think the thing that sealed it for her was my lack of pain immediately after and how alert the baby was. She raised her head and looked right up at me like 10 seconds after she was born. Babies born while the mother is drugged usually aren't so alert.
                      Start of PB weight Aug/2011: 217
                      Start of Leptin Reset end of Aug/2011: 202.4
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                      Follow me and see what my kids are eating for lunch.

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                      • #12
                        Whatever way gets the baby born in the safest way possible with knowledgeable people assisting.

                        I had a hospital birth with medication. I really wanted a natural birth but it didn't happen, we almost had an emergency C-section because of problems. I had a great OB who listened to me and respected my wants and needs while being honest about our health (I had a very complicated pregnancy); without being scary. She has become a good friend outside of the doctor's office and I plan to have her care for me during any other pregnancies and births. (If we ever get the guts to have another.)

                        On the other hand, a friend of mine had a natural birth at home with midwives. She studied up and interviewed lots of midwives and went with this couple who looked great. Everything went completely wrong and they lost the baby. Two days of labor and she wanted to go the the hospital but the midwives kept telling her everything was ok, or it was her fault the baby wasn't being born, she wasn't trying hard enough. Lots of really ugly things like that. They only called 911 when the baby was born not breathing. In the aftermath it turned out they weren't certified, not even CPR. I know my friend, she is crazy about details so how these frauds got past her I don't know.
                        (And please don't read this as a cut to midwives. Midwives are awesome and well trained-this couple lied and said they were something they weren't and had a nice website full of lies.)

                        As for giving birth-I dunno, I did it in the stereotypical feet in the stirrups method. The entire time I wanted to get up and squat down but because of all the IVs and stuff I couldn't. Baby came pretty fast so not sure if that is a good method or not. I've heard water births are very relaxing and help relieve pain.
                        See what I'm up to: The Primal Gardener

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by June View Post
                          Thank you. My fiance and I have been discussing this after I watched The Business of Being Born. He said he will watch it with me. He has never heard of anyone he knows have anything other than a hospital birth so I don't think he understands it. We have some Birthing Centers at local hospitals so I think that will be a great fit for us when the time comes, but I want to start planting the seeds that I don't want to do it like everyone else does. He has been involved in the room in 3-4 deliveries (friends and family) and I've never seen even one so he tends to think he is the expert on this compared to me. It is a good thing I'm the one having the baby then I guess I really don't think he would ever support a home birth, especially for our first, and I would likely be scared to do that also, but a birthing center seems right. I like thinking about this, it is fun, and I hope that all our pregnancies will be healthy and delivery will be as smooth as can be.

                          Thank you so much for the book recommendations!
                          Awesome! The single best thing you can do is have your husband on board with your choices. My ex and I took classes in the Bradley Method before the first. I can honestly say that the technique didn't really help me all that much during my VBAC, but what it did do was give me a partner who was vigilant and supportive and knowledgeable.

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                          • #14
                            from the womb hahahahahahaha

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                            • #15
                              Yvonne mentioned the Bradley Method. This actually worked wonders for us. My wife had a VBAC with our son - 9 lbs 14 oz! She is an admitted hypochondriac with very little pain tolerance under normal circumstances. But with the Bradley preparation and birth technique (we used a coach, even during the birth) she handled a drug-free birth with hardly a whimper (and though she is fairly robust-sized she does not have very broad hips). And as the husband/father I found the engagement level was amazing.

                              But if you go with any unconventional route, please make sure you get a "contract" with the physician. And even in that case, look out for those Napoleonic-complex OB nurses...scary! Midwives are usually pretty open.

                              Kevin

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