Post # 17
IV’s mandatory? Hep-lock ok? I tested positive for Group B Strep so I will need antibiotics. My doctor said a Hep-lock is fine so I can retain my mobility, which is important to me.
How long you can labor for before being induced? Have not discussed this.
Can you eat and drink? Fluids are fine. They won’t want me to eat but I’ll sneak a protein bar if need be.
Fetal monitoring? I have requested intermittent monitoring.
How long will they let you push for? Again, have not discussed time limits
Are episiotomies routine? They are not routinely done at my hospital and I have made it known that I would prefer to tear naturally rather than be cut.
Laboring and pushing in any/many positions? All the L&D rooms at my hospital have posters showing various laboring positions. I also know they offer squat bars for pushing so I should be able to try different options.
Any perineal support? I’m honestly not sure what perineal support is.
Delayed cord clamping? Hospital supports it if requested, and I have requested it.
How long do I have to produce the placenta? I’m not sure, I imagine they will try to assist in the process.
Pitocin after birth? I would prefer to skip this but it is routinely given at my hospital.
Vitamin K, eye ointments, Hep B, immediate bath? Most newborn procedures can be delayed or refused.
I’m really hoping to keep my birth experience as natural and positive as possible, but I’m ok with giving birth in a hospital setting because I have hypertension and I’m aware that there may be complications.
Post # 18
@Miss. RubyLove: Have you heard of a doula? Their job is essentially to memorize your birth plan and be very vocal about what you want. I would strongly suggest having your husband, mom, whoever it is that will be with you during your labor to be your “doula” and know your birth plan, ask questions about what the doctors/nurses are doing, and just be very insistent on what it is you want. Of course you can hire a trained doula as well but I am not so sure I see the point of dropping a couple hundred to a couple grand just for someone to demand docs follow your birth plan.
Post # 19
@Miss. RubyLove: I’m glad that you feel that your doctor and you see eye to eye on your feelings/expectations, but based on your post I see a few pink flags in what she’s telling you:
– delayed cord clamping literally takes 1-3 extra minutes, so her excuse of needing to run off to an appointment I think is BS, in the sense that her time caring for *you* should be focused on *you* and not rushed so she can get back to her office. A few minutes in the scheme of her day won’t likely be a disaster and she shouldn’t be rushing her care of you for that reason.
– telling you not to type out your birth plan is a way of her saying that no one will care to read it, which isn’t very respectful. Also, you will be in labour and may not remember all the things that are important to you…in fact, labour goes best when you’re not focused on thinking so much. Written birth plans (a few copies) are a way to make sure you have your wishes clearly in writing in your chart so they can’t be forgotten, ignored or mis-understood.
– things that are “routine” at the hospital (eg. iv’s, continuous monitoring, pitocin for 3rd stage) can and should still be discussed and you can still give or withhold your consent. Just because it’s routine doesn’t mean it’s mandatory. Take your time now to discuss these aspects with your doctor and research for yourself so that you know you’re fully informed about why you would or would not want to consent to these treatments. No one can ever do anything to you against your will, that’s assault and it’s a crime. I’m in NO way advocating against routine care, I’m adovating for informed choice and consent!
– food/drink: there is NO evidence to withhold food and drinks (not just ice chips) to a healthy, low-risk woman having an unmedicated birth. You may be told by your nurse or doc to not eat, but you’ll need some calories on board to keep your energy up. Juices, honey sticks, light snacks are all good ideas and it makes me so sad that women need to “sneak” food although I know it’s true…..that’s a statement about our sad state of maternity care in North America.
– if you can afford it, or if you can find a doula still in training to become certified (they usually work for free), a doula is a great advocate in terms of providing support and also acting as a go-between between women and care providers to ensure that you have a voice and that your concerns or questions are addressed to your satisfaction.
Post # 20
It sounds like you are on the right track for making a natural birth happen! I would also recommend hiring a doula to help support you through the process. I personally had the same plans for my daughter’s birth (10 days ago) but it didn’t work out for me. I did all the research, took the classes, read a bazillion birth stories etc. I labored at home for 24 hours and went to the hospital when my contractions were so painful it was bringing me to tears. I found out that I had only dilated 1 cm in that whole 24 hrs!!! I got an epidural at 26 hours into labor and immediately dilated 6 more cm in 2 hrs. 4 hrs after the epidural I was at 9.5 (where I stalled for about 3 hrs) before pushing. The epidural made me finally relax and start to dilate – and therefore avoid a c-section. I really wanted to go med/intervention free but I have absolutely no regrets on how things turned out. I just wanted to share my story with you as every labor/birth is different and don’t always go along with our plans. Good luck!!!!
IV’s mandatory? Hep-lock ok? My dr offered hep-lock instead if going natural.
How long you can labor for before being induced? The point of induction is to START labor so they won’t/can’t induce you if you are already in labor.
Can you eat and drink? Nope – ice chips only. This is a key reason for laboring at home as long as possible.
Fetal monitoring? yes – some places will check in on the baby so you aren’t always hooked to a machine.
How long will they let you push for? I only pushed for 45 min so I’m not sure what the cutoff is – I have *heard* 4 hrs.
Are episiotomies routine? Definitely not – natural tearing is better for healing as well as incurring less damage.
Laboring and pushing in any/many positions? Yes this is definitely done – not needed for me personally but my dr preferred to help you push the baby out naturally.
Any perineal support? Yes – warm compresses and guiding baby’s head out
Delayed cord clamping? I did this and it was absolutely a non issue – took like 1 minute. Baby was on top of me getting wiped off in the meantime.
How long do I have to produce the placenta? The dr starts working on that immediately after birth. Mine was out maybe 5-10 minutes after birth.
Pitocin after birth? Yes – standard for detaching placenta and shrinking uterus back down. I believe it also slows/stops postpartum hemorraging.
Vitamin K, eye ointments, Hep B, immediate bath? They the shots/drops right away. She was bathed later on in the nursery.
Post # 21
I haven’t heard all the policies yet at my hospital — but I’ll have a midwife at the hospital instead of an OB. They’ve told me they have a really great relationship with the medical staff there who assist only as required.
It really weirds me out that so many hospitals above require an IV or a heplock just for someone to give birth. It’s not that complex to put in a line if a problem occurs. I would hate that.
Post # 22
@Miss. RubyLove: I see that this thread is several weeks old, but if you haven’t already run across it, I think you would really like Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence Based Birth blog. She has great posts on things like fetal monitoring, doulas, eating and drinking during labor, etc., all grounded in peer-reviewed research and written in an unbiased way. She also provides printable practice bulletins that you can bring to an appointment if you and your care provider don’t see eye-to-eye on something and you want stats and references to back up your position. With luck, though, you will be working with someone supportive of your goals – I hope all goes well for you!