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LAmom

Hospital Births are not natural! venting...

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I've had a range of hospital deliveries (twins whose dropping heart rates required vacuum delivery; c-section for breech presentation of a baby with a large head; and a VBAC).

 

Every time I consider regretting anything about my deliveries, I think about the maternal mortality stats from WHO:

 

"Every day, approximately 1000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries."

 

(That's maternal only; neonatal death and stillbirth stats are here.)

 

Our health care system is undeniably flawed. Clearly, there are hospitals that are backward about interventions and breastfeeding :001_huh: - but not all are.

 

The problem of a high c-section rate isn't driven only by fear of law suits. One in 115 newborns in the US is stillborn. Let's say a reasonably busy Ob/Gyn does about 300 deliveries per year. That's two or three babies per year that this one doctor delivers dead - and has to hand over to grieving parents. Those births must be very memorable. I'm sure there are doctors who just want to get the c-section done to get to their golf games. But the majority just aren't willing to take risks because all those stats that seem so tiny to us patients (it'll never happen to us) are real losses that they see first-hand.

 

The important thing, IMO, is that we have choices. People who say they'll never deliver without an epidural can have an epidural. People who are indignant about hospital interventions can have a home birth. Not everyone in the world has these choices, and not everyone gets to come through the delivery process alive.

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I've had a range of hospital deliveries (twins whose dropping heart rates required forceps; c-section for breech presentation of a baby with a large head; and a VBAC).

 

Every time I consider regretting anything about my deliveries, I think about the maternal mortality stats from WHO:

 

"Every day, approximately 1000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries."

 

(That's maternal only; neonatal death and stillbirth stats are here.)

 

Our health care system is undeniably flawed. Clearly, there are hospitals that are backward about interventions and breastfeeding :001_huh: - but not all are.

 

The problem of a high c-section rate isn't driven only by fear of law suits. One in 115 newborns in the US is stillborn. Let's say a reasonably busy Ob/Gyn does about 300 deliveries per year. That's two or three babies per year that this one doctor delivers dead - and has to hand over to grieving parents. Those births must be very memorable. I'm sure there are doctors who just want to get the c-section done to get to their golf games. But the majority just aren't willing to take risks because all those stats that seem so tiny to us patients (it'll never happen to us) are real losses that they see first-hand.

 

The important thing, IMO, is that we have choices. People who say they'll never deliver without an epidural can have an epidural. People who are indignant about hospital interventions can have a home birth. Not everyone in the world has these choices, and not everyone gets to come through the delivery process alive.

:iagree:

This is way different then the perspective I started with, but it's really where I am at now.

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Moving a pregnant woman heavily in labor goes reeeeallly slowly.

 

Not if you really do need to get out quickly. I've had to do an emergency transport. We moved her quick.

 

After 40 hours of labor, contractions 1 minute apart, I RAN down 101 steps to my car in 60 seconds between contractions.

 

Also, if you are planning a homebirth, do your research and pick someone good. My midwife had 25 years of experience, 10 of which were in the hospital. She showed up with enough gear to categorize her as a rural hospital in NZ. Oxygen tanks, IVs, forceps, drugs to stop haemorrhaging, the works. Obviously, to be used in case of an emergency. I also had a 2nd midwife at the house. I would have had the same transport issues if I had been at a rural hospital and needed to transfer to a major hospital.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Many hospitals do not require all you mentioned. Sometimes you might have to sign Some disclaimer first, however.

 

But no matter what hospital you are in, it is still your body. You can do anything you want. No one can hold you prisoner in a bed you do not want to be in if you are just there to deliver.

 

Congrats to your new child. And for #6, I hope you find a more progressive hospital.

:)

 

And some are just plain evil. The hospital I was at for my first baby lied to me to get me to comply with their procedures. The OB lied to me. Flat out. I'm glad there are good hospitals. There are also really, really awful ones.

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First off, OP, congrats on your new little one! :) And I'm sorry the hospital experience you had wasn't pleasant. I'm 100% for the woman having her choice of how labor progresses (obviously within reason, which you totally are )

I love hospitals, personally...so much so that now I'm pretty sure I want to work in one. :tongue_smilie: So I'm all for everything they include, for several reasons. But my hospital (where I delivered all 3 of mine) is pretty progressive - they don't schedule inductions before the due date (I honestly think that many times that is done out of convenience, and I'm not a big fan of that - I had a friend who scheduled an induction 2-3 weeks before her due date because 'the doctor said the baby would be too big' :rolleyes: People have big babies all the time, AND they can't reliably tell how big a baby will be before birth... anyway... :lol: Getting off my soapbox ) and they aren't big on c-sections. They LOVE v-bacs and are much more likely to push a vbac than a c/s or induction. (My doctor got a hard time from her fellow residents - yes, my doctor was a resident, but I know how to pick 'em, mine was chief resident every time ;) - because she didn't try to convince me to have a vbac with my second. The circumstances made it HIGHLY unlikely that I would ever deliver a baby naturally. She knew that, I knew that... so she didn't push it.)

 

Congrats!

Personally, I believe Thank God hospitals aren't natural. In nature women often died in child birth. I LOVE modern medicine. Loved that my son was revived at birth by a team because he wouldn't start breathing and is a joy for me today, ten yrs later, a big, healthy boy.

I love modern medicine, too. :) Without it, I wouldn't have DD! (NICU/ECMO baby) Did I mention I want to work in a hospital? :lol:

I thought my hospital births were great and would echo the others who said your experience is not typical of all hospitals. The only monitoring/IV lines I had during birth was one painkiller I requested. Nothing else.

 

I'm also wary when we talk about how natural childbirth is. Death and injury are perfectly natural as well, especially in places and times where/when we didn't have the hospitals and medical knowledge we do know.

 

All that aside, congrats!

I agree with this, too. I think that there are some extremists on both sides - if anything, I guess I'd be more to the pro-hospital than the anti-hospital side. BUT I definitely think that the best thing is a balance in the middle. I probably wouldn't have any children if we would have been 100% 'natural childbirth only'... who knows if I would have even lived through it?

Congratulations on your new baby!!!!

 

Listen, we've been fighting this battle since the early 70s, at least. The problem is that the many women who were born in the last 35 years or so, whose mothers fought even to have the fathers in the delivery rooms, are enamored with technology and they are not battling it enough. I am horrified by the number of women who think nothing of the intrusive practices (yes, even epidurals are intrusive) of their doctors, and who do things like actually schedule c-sections. We have not gone forward; we have retreated.

Some people have to schedule c sections. I'm not a big fan of scheduling them for the first baby, but for subsequent ones where the mother would probably not progress on her own...a scheduled c section is a necessity, IMO. :) (I had 2 scheduled c sections - both just a couple of days before my due date, so that I hopefully wouldn't go into labor before hand.)

 

 

I've heard numerous stories where women thought they had to pee or poo only to find it was a contraction and now there is a child in the toilet, not exactly the best way for delivery to happen.

 

But, I will never say moms shouldn't do births at home, but please be aware things can go wrong with even full term 7 pound babies that there has not been problems all pregnancy. To me that precious cargo is just too precious to risk.

I actually have a friend who that happened to - the having the baby in the toilet. He was 2 months early, and she was in the hospital when it happened. He was tiny! He's ok now, but yeah - not what they were planning, for sure!

And I second the second thing I bolded. I had all textbook pregnancies, easy as pie. Nothing was noticeably wrong with DD until she was born. She was 8 lb, 4 oz, born at 39 weeks 3 days. All the doctors were sure she'd pull out of everything really quickly - a day or two in the NICU. No one could believe it when it was longer, with all the stuff that ended up happening!

It can happen to anyone. I'm just so glad I was at a hospital fully equipped for this sort of thing - as opposed to being in another hospital and her having to be transferred, or me not being admitted at all. It made the first few days much easier (though going home still wasn't pleasant). But she was the best place, ever!

The other side:

 

(and I don't want to start a debate. People have strong opinions and I respect that. It's just that when I was researching this, I never saw counter-arguments.)

 

Doctors induce not for convenience, but because the rate of stillbirth steadily rises at the end of pregnancy.

 

They recommend the hep lock or IV because getting an IV started in a hurry is horrible in case of emergency c-section or hemorrhage. If you hemorrhage, it is harder to start an IV because the blood goes to vital organs and there isn't as much in the extremities. Hemorrhage can happen really quickly, and risk of hemorrhage goes up with the more babies you have had.

 

"The hospital is only 5 minutes away." I've done a home birth transport, and they are way slower than you would think. We weren't planning on a hospital birth, so my bag wasn't packed. Had to pack the bag. Moving a pregnant woman heavily in labor goes reeeeallly slowly. In our case, we lived 20 minutes from the hospital but it took me 2 hours to get there.

 

The other problem with "only 5 minutes away" is that for a baby, time is oxygen which is brain cells. If the baby goes into distress, which can happen unexpectedly, the baby needs to get out now or risk death or brain damage.

 

"Why? Because women sue." But they only can sue if they get a bad outcome: i.e. dead or brain damaged baby. Doctors and hospitals do these things to help the greatest number of women get a healthy baby.

 

I've never heard of having to use a bed pan. That seems pretty weird. Was your baby high/not engaged?

ITA with all of the above. I've also heard that there is a significant increase in 'unexplained fetal death' after 42 weeks... so I have always thought that going longer would be dangerous.

I've had a range of hospital deliveries (twins whose dropping heart rates required forceps; c-section for breech presentation of a baby with a large head; and a VBAC).

 

Every time I consider regretting anything about my deliveries, I think about the maternal mortality stats from WHO:

 

"Every day, approximately 1000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries."

 

(That's maternal only; neonatal death and stillbirth stats are here.)

 

Our health care system is undeniably flawed. Clearly, there are hospitals that are backward about interventions and breastfeeding - but not all are.

 

The problem of a high c-section rate isn't driven only by fear of law suits. One in 115 newborns in the US is stillborn. Let's say a reasonably busy Ob/Gyn does about 300 deliveries per year. That's two or three babies per year that this one doctor delivers dead - and has to hand over to grieving parents. Those births must be very memorable. I'm sure there are doctors who just want to get the c-section done to get to their golf games. But the majority just aren't willing to take risks because all those stats that seem so tiny to us patients (it'll never happen to us) are real losses that they see first-hand.

 

The important thing, IMO, is that we have choices. People who say they'll never deliver without an epidural can have an epidural. People who are indignant about hospital interventions can have a home birth. Not everyone in the world has these choices, and not everyone gets to come through the delivery process alive.

This.

Choices are the most important part. So glad we have them!

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The hospital where I gave birth didn't "make" anyone do anything. And I get really, REALLY sick of all the hospital birth hate that keeps cropping up around here. A hospital saved my life and Sylvia's life. Without medical intervention we both would have died. Not everyone should homebirth. :glare:

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I wouldn't give birth in a hospital again - and I am supposedly near a "good" hospital. And unfortunately the province made a really good effort at destroying midwifery here in the name of regulating it and making it available publicly. The thing with any sort of medical system is that once you are in it, its momentum starts to drag you along. They may have the best of intentions, but that doesn't mean they really know how to deal with people - they deal with statistics. So an average becomes a standard, and they can't understand why there are increasing numbers of babies being born with problems due to immaturity when they induce all these babies to avoid going late. They tell you all the bizarre and unlikely and deadly possibilities of the interventions without the less disasterous but common ones, or how they may lead to other issues. Little effective things, like trying to change mom's position if the fetal monitor is non-reassuring, or, God forbid, changing the position of a mom who has an epidural regularly so as to avoid that issue in the first place, simply aren't thought of.

 

And if anyone has ever seen a bunch of nurses sitting looking at the monitors at the desk or in the room while the mother labours away, you know they just really don't understand how to support labour.

 

In the end, they hold the cards, unless you can be a really clear and aggressive advocate, and be able to think on your feet. Be willing to call in the chief of staff if the head of obstetrics is being impossible. Be willing to walk out. Be sneaky and hide in the toilet. Maybe you won't have to be this way. Maybe. And not everyone is up for that in labour, and they shouldn't have to be.

 

While it is true that in the past, and in modern third world nations, many women die in childbirth, those are not the people we should be comparing ourselves to. In modern wealthy western countries, the kind of care practices in the US and Canada have pretty much the worst results for mothers and babies. That is what we should be concerned about.

 

I am also totally flummoxed - who is in a life or death emergency transfer and stops to pack a bag? :confused:

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I am very happy for all the intervention the hospital used for DS. Because of it, I was able to keep him in longer then he wanted to be. When he came into the world, they were able to keep him alive and he is still here with us. If he had been born at home or without some the intervention, he would not be here. I am very happy for the epidural that helped me through the labor with him and the short labor with DD. Both of my kids loved my statica nerve and the epidural gave me the best relief I hadn't had in months.

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This is why I avoid hospitals if at all possible for myself. Ds was born in a freestanding birthing center and dd at home. If I ever get to have another child I will likely go back to the birth center. If something extraordinary happens then so be it, we'll go to the hospital. I will definitely avoid them if I can though.

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The hospital where I gave birth didn't "make" anyone do anything. And I get really, REALLY sick of all the hospital birth hate that keeps cropping up around here. A hospital saved my life and Sylvia's life. Without medical intervention we both would have died. Not everyone should homebirth. :glare:

 

:chillpill:

 

Listen, I am talking about normal circumstances and MY personal situation and what I hear from friends' experiences. Did I ever say there isn't a place for intervention?!! Or that it hasn't saved many, many lives?!

 

In my normal births, I just want to labor naturally and not be forced to be hooked up to stupid monitors that need to be readjusted every time I move. I also didn't say everyone should have home births. Lol. I never will!

 

I am simply venting, postpartum. Thanks to those who listened. The need to defend certain individuals love for hospitals is unnecessary. I know the good they cause and I can list the bad.

 

I'm done discussing this. I strongly believe a woman should have her choice--with the baby's best interest in mind--on how she wants to give birth. Schedule a c-section, go for it; walk in, get drugged and lay there, go for it. Pushy, annoying nurses and hospital policy is not what I desire and will not tolerate it be there a next time.

 

There. Done. No more lecturing me about how your life or your baby's life was saved. I'm not an idiot. :001_smile:

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:chillpill:

 

Listen, I am talking about normal circumstances and MY personal situation and what I hear from friends' experiences. Did I ever say there isn't a place for intervention?!! Or that it hasn't saved many, many lives?!

 

In my normal births, I just want to labor naturally and not be forced to be hooked up to stupid monitors that need to be readjusted every time I move. I also didn't say everyone should have home births. Lol. I never will!

 

I am simply venting, postpartum. Thanks to those who listened. The need to defend certain individuals love for hospitals is unnecessary. I know the good they cause and I can list the bad.

 

I'm done discussing this. I strongly believe a woman should have her choice--with the baby's best interest in mind--on how she wants to give birth. Schedule a c-section, go for it; walk in, get drugged and lay there, go for it. Pushy, annoying nurses and hospital policy is not what I desire and will not tolerate it be there a next time.

 

There. Done. No more lecturing me about how your life or your baby's life was saved. I'm not an idiot. :001_smile:

 

I'm sorry - I really hope my post didn't come off in that way (as one who was pro -hospital). I wasn't trying to change your mind or make you feel badly. I'm ultimately pro whatever mom wants.

Sorry that this thread took a little bit of an ugly turn. :grouphug:

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That said, I need to vent to --someone-- about hospitals and what giving birth has become. I was 42 weeks 2 days and had to be induced by having my water broken. That didn't seem to work so well so I chose to add in a "whiff" of pitocin putting me into nice otherwise natural labor.

 

My vent is in regards to how hospitals have you show up to give birth and want to hook you up to all these THINGS. An IV, those annoying elastic monitors that watch the baby's heart rate, your contractions (like you don't know when you are having one?!!). The BP cuff, and the pulse ox thingy on your finger. Sigh. Really?!! WHY? Because women sue. My water was broken and I was not allowed to go PEE!!! I had to use a bed pan. Seriously? All because hospital policy says I am at risk for cord prolapse. I know the doctor can override some things....but not much.

 

 

 

What I'm reading here is OP had an artificial rupture of membranes and an artificial "jump start" for labor which led to the use of artificial interventions (monitoring, etc.) which she is now railing against. In other words after the artificial procedures it is not acceptable to follow up with unnatural interventions. :confused: As for "WHY" such interventions may be used:

 

Pitocin can cause extremely strong contractions which can be unsafe for the baby, hence extra monitoring is advisable via belly bands that can show measurable intensity of contractions. The BP cuff is there so that when you suddenly feel light-headed and try to communicate that something is wrong yet you are unable to speak or even whisper because your blood pressure is falling the nurses can be there in an instant to administer help. Yes, it is annoying to have it on yet if your BP falls you will be very glad it was there. After the incident is over you might find yourself thankful to see the baby's heartrate printout (there because of those annoying belly bands) and know that baby's heartrate was not affected (because that is your first reaction: "Did it affect my baby? Is my baby still OK??"). If you go in and have your water broken (too often standard procedure for inducing) and baby's head has not engaged you have put your baby at great risk for cord prolapse - that's just the way it is. Fluid is coming out, baby's head has not engaged enough to block the opening and the cord can slip through. Having a laboring mom remain laying down is appropriate as is extra monitoring in case cord compression occurs. Annoying as those belly bands may be, they are the first indicator of distress for your baby.

 

 

We need to get our rights back. I don't give a crap about hospital policy. I do care about my baby's heart rate....I do. I do care if my BP is high. I do care about the end result--me being alive and my baby healthy and well. But, I desire to reach those results as natural as possible.

Again, how natural should things go when unnatural procedures/steps have been taken from the get-go?

 

 

What is amazing to me is how perfectly God has designed our bodies, from little things like the prostaglandin in semen to soften the cervix, to breastfeeding causing the uterus to contract (ouch) to help it shrink. AMAZING. The natural endorphins you get during transition to get you revved up and into the pushing phase! AMAZING.

 

Let our bodies do what they are meant to do. Walking into a hospital, throwing us on our backs and pushing a drug to numb us to not move while being hooked up to tons of wires and whatnots?! UGH.

 

He has designed our bodies amazingly yet we do things to "help" sometimes. Things like rupturing membranes, administering pit, etc. There are obviously times for such things to be done and they can be helpful yet then do we not place ourselves in a position of needing/having to accept continued artificial intervention?

 

I've had horrible hospital experiences and I've had experiences that saved my babies' lives. I've accepted intervention and I've refused the same. I'm not going to rail against how unnatural hospital births are, however, if I walk in and use unnatural means to start my labor, keep it going, etc. I do believe women should have choices yet at the same time it might do well to realize that choices have consequences. ;)

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Congratulations on your new addition!

 

Your vent comes off as peculiar because you had consented to certain interventions (which were very wise), but seemed surprised by the increased monitoring that comes with those interventions. I'm sorry that your doctor hadn't been more forward about what an induction would entail at this hospital, and at most hospitals.

 

I'm pretty mystified by people who think epidurals and scheduled c-sections are "going backwards." Many women prefer not to give birth in screaming pain, and an epidural gives them that opportunity. Many women prefer not to take the risk that vaginal birth brings in their particular circumstances (such as a VBAC, or pelvic abnormalities, or full breach), and that too is perfectly respectable. No one should be tied down and forcibly administered an epidural. But in many parts of the world, there's no option, and that's pretty awful.

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What I'm reading here is OP had an artificial rupture of membranes and an artificial "jump start" for labor which led to the use of artificial interventions (monitoring, etc.) which she is now railing against. In other words after the artificial procedures it is not acceptable to follow up with unnatural interventions. :confused: As for "WHY" such interventions may be used:

 

Pitocin can cause extremely strong contractions which can be unsafe for the baby, hence extra monitoring is advisable via belly bands that can show measurable intensity of contractions. The BP cuff is there so that when you suddenly feel light-headed and try to communicate that something is wrong yet you are unable to speak or even whisper because your blood pressure is falling the nurses can be there in an instant to administer help. Yes, it is annoying to have it on yet if your BP falls you will be very glad it was there. After the incident is over you might find yourself thankful to see the baby's heartrate printout (there because of those annoying belly bands) and know that baby's heartrate was not affected (because that is your first reaction: "Did it affect my baby? Is my baby still OK??"). If you go in and have your water broken (too often standard procedure for inducing) and baby's head has not engaged you have put your baby at great risk for cord prolapse - that's just the way it is. Fluid is coming out, baby's head has not engaged enough to block the opening and the cord can slip through. Having a laboring mom remain laying down is appropriate as is extra monitoring in case cord compression occurs. Annoying as those belly bands may be, they are the first indicator of distress for your baby.

 

 

Again, how natural should things go when unnatural procedures/steps have been taken from the get-go?

 

 

He has designed our bodies amazingly yet we do things to "help" sometimes. Things like rupturing membranes, administering pit, etc. There are obviously times for such things to be done and they can be helpful yet then do we not place ourselves in a position of needing/having to accept continued artificial intervention?

 

I've had horrible hospital experiences and I've had experiences that saved my babies' lives. I've accepted intervention and I've refused the same. I'm not going to rail against how unnatural hospital births are, however, if I walk in and use unnatural means to start my labor, keep it going, etc. I do believe women should have choices yet at the same time it might do well to realize that choices have consequences. ;)

 

I'm not sure why you are being so snarky and rude. You obviously missed my point. So be it. For the record, I did not actully have another option being 42 weeks over and the doctors I talked to not willing to wait. The head was engaged and this is why the cord prolapse business was frustrating. The pitocin was only 2ml when most women get about 20 and up! It did kick start my body into what felt like normal labor. I just wanted minimal monitoring after that.

 

For the record, I have had 4 births with no epidural and have NEVER screamed in pain. Ever. My body was doing what it was meant to do. Like I said, I would like to be done discussing this. If I'm attacked it is hard to ignore. I did not attack anyone personally. I just don't appreciate some hospital policy. Thanks to those who blew it out of proportion. Sheesh.

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