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When asked about their upcoming birth, some first-time moms respond with, “I’d like to go naturally, but I’m going to play it by ear.” As someone who said the same thing before my first birth, I get this.
We don’t want to commit to something when we’re utterly unsure of the process – what it will feel like, how we’ll respond, what might happen. In truth, we don’t commit because there’s a chance our plans might fail.
And with a first-time birth, the possibility of failure feels big. It’s not like you can practice being in labor!
I was listening recently to an episode of Fresh Air on NPR in which the show's host, Terry Gross, interviewed journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal on the high price of healthcare, and in which the two women spent quite a lot of time discussing US childbirth costs.
Last weekend I hung out with a student just beginning her journey through nursing school. She’s planning on working in labor and delivery when she graduates and had a few questions. Not surprisingly, her questions are ones I’m asked a lot.
Pregnancy is full of changes. Your body changes, your emotions are all over the place, and even your house changes to accommodate all of the “necessary” baby accessories. One of the less common changes – but one with potentially big impact – is changing your doctor or midwife. If the prenatal care you’re receiving isn’t meeting your needs or if your care provider doesn’t support your preferences for birth, consider switching to a new practice. Finding a new doctor or midwife, even if you’re in your third trimester, isn’t as difficult as you may think.
The idea of getting an epidural freaked Jane out. So while pregnant with her daughter "B", now 3, the Greenwich, Conn., woman took a natural-childbirth class, practiced yoga and switched from an obstetrician to a midwife. But when Jane’s water broke, her labor did not progress, even after she was given Pitocin at the hospital to try to jump-start it.
My prenatal yoga class was filled with bright, educated ladies in possession of the lunatic belief that they could create and fulfill natural “birth plans.” One woman anticipated a jungle-themed delivery, complete with bird song recordings. Rather than feeling inspired, I found myself turned off.
Is the hospital you’ve chosen totally supportive of the six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices?
Once you educate yourself on the elements of a healthy birth, there may be times you need to advocate for yourself and your baby.
Hopefully you’re able to choose a birthplace that largely supports your goals for birth, but if that’s not possible, here are some suggestions that might make negotiating easier.
People are shocked—SHOCKED!—at the news in a recent study that spells out one of the glaring reasons why our Cesarean section rate is so ridiculously high. According to a new study conducted by the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and published in the journal Health Affairs, C-section rates vary tenfold throughout the United States—ranging from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent.
When I found out I was pregnant, I chose my OB-GYN for two reasons: She came highly recommended and I had heard through other moms that she was supportive of natural childbirth.
The fact that she also shared her practice with a midwife didn’t play a part in my decision. At the time, I thought you only needed a midwife if you were having a home birth. I knew I was having my baby in a hospital, so what did I need a midwife for?
It’s a big week for mothers, children and midwives. That’s because two events are coinciding this week that celebrate girls and women: