Are you a good candidate for a hospital birth?

Must not be scared of needles.

Must not be claustrophobic or uncomfortable in confined spaces.

Must be able to go for long periods of time without eating or drinking.

Must be happy to share a bathroom with others.

Must enjoy sleeping on a mattress covered with plastic.

Must not have a rebellious or questioning nature.

Must accept the possibility of contracting antibiotic-resistant infections.

Must be confident with caregivers who are overtired and overworked.

Must realize that a limited amount of time can be spent in a hospital room before it is needed for the next patient.

Must like and trust electronic equipment.

Must be comfortable with cesarean rate of 30%.

Must accept that the mood of the nurse on duty will be a large determinant of the birth outcome.

Must realize that someone you have never met before will likely receive your baby.

Must realize that the written birth plan will be ignored.

Must be willing to have fluorescent lights turned on at all hours.

Must be capable of birthing without making loud noises.

Must look good in a flimsy blue gown that is open up the back.

Must be willing to be a teaching subject for student doctors who are learning to do pelvic exams, surgeries, and suturing.

Hospital gown cartoon

About gloria

I live and work in Vancouver BC Canada. I've been in the childbirth business for 30 years. I teach midwifery and doula courses both online and in person.
This entry was posted in Homebirth, VBAC Very Beautiful & Courageous. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Are you a good candidate for a hospital birth?

  1. Mary Lynn Noll says:

    Don’t forget, must not mind having lots of people bothering you while you are trying to birth.

    Must not mind people bossing you around, telling you when to push.

    Must not mind needless interventions.

    Must not mind having unnecessary procedures done to your baby like the eye drops, vitamin k shot, hep b shots, unnecessarily bathing your infant.

    • Mommagina says:

      Thanks for including “Must not mind having unnecessary procedures done to your baby like the eye drops, vitamin k shot, hep b shots, unnecessarily bathing your infant.” That’s a big issue for me personally and why I am glad to be birthing at home this time around.

  2. Pingback: Birth « She lost her keys

  3. MargeC. says:

    Must not mind having your ” I do not consent” ignored.

    Must not mind having your partner’s judgement and loyalty compromised by scaremongering practitioners.

    Must not mind having a baby injured by non-therapeutic interventions.

    Must not mind emergency hysterectomies.

    Must not mind PTSD, PPD.

  4. Amanda says:

    That cesarean rate could be 40% or 50% depending on what hospital you are in. Also add, like jackhammers pounding above your floor starting at 7/8 a.m. in the morning, going all day doing construction. Yeh, that was one of the many gems of my first “birth.” Also add being “checked” vaginally, spread-eagled, for the umpteenth painful time, WHEN the janitor/orderly opens the door to check for trash in your trashcan. yeh

  5. karunamayi says:

    LOL! so true… all of them!

  6. are you kidding me says:

    Seriously? where do you people live? i would not stand for that treatment, nor would i take the huge risk of having a baby anywhere else! i am not so selfish that i would risk my baby’s wellbeing like that!

    many hospitals have improved their birthing centers so much in the past few years, SHOP AROUND! pick a good hospital and a doctor who listens to you. if you dont like your doc. get a new one!
    I got to use a birthing tub, until i decided i needed some pain releif (you cant have an epidural in the tub) so I gave birth in a dimly lit hospital room, with 2 very helpful nurses coaching us, NO episiotomy (my husband would have screamed at them if they even tried! but i did tear a little). my midwife and doctor made sure i ate the day i gave birth, about 16 hours beforehand (i was there for 55 hours before i gave birth)

    and the eyedrops are NOT UNNECESSARY. the rates of blindness dropped 50% after they started doing that. Bacteria in your vagina can cause blindness in a newborn who’s immune system CAN’T FIGHT BACTERIA.

    sight is so precious, that is not a risk i am willing to take.

    • Whittney says:

      Are YOU kidding me? Where did you get your statistics? 1. If what you say is true at all, erythromycin ointment has caused no such drop in the general population, only in mothers who have STD’s which are easily detected. 2. The other common excuse fo eye drops is MRSA- a hospital born illness. You can generally avoid it by avoiding the hospital. 3. There is signifigant research that dispels the myth that normal bacteria in the mothers vaginia are harmful to the baby, in fact, the exposure to the mother’s bacteria has been shown to be benifical.

      Most of us who decide on homebirth do so for our sake AND our babies sake. I am so tired of the medical propaganda think that suggestes that homebirthers don’t care about thier babies. It’s rediculous. Women who homebirth are generall highly educated and well informed, and we make these decisions based on the facts that everyone else seems to be ignoring while they blindly follow medical dogma.

    • Kristy says:

      The antibiotic ointment applied in a newborn’s eyes isn’t b/c of “bacteria” in mom’s vagina! It is given b/c gonorrhea can cause blindness in the newborn if they are exposed to it while passing through the birth canal. So… unless you have gonorrhea or are at high risk for contracting it before the birth there’s no medical need for the antibiotic. And having an out of hospital birth is not selfish at all. Moms and babies fare just as well if not better (that’s a fact) in out of hospital births than in-hospital births. I was an OB nurse for years & I knew that unless I had a true medical problem, that I would not be birthing in a hospital. I had wonderful midwife attended births at a midwifery center.

    • Achelois says:

      LOL! Eye drops are not used here in New Zealand. We’re not going blind. We don’t cut up our kids’ penises either. Crazy Americans…

  7. admin says:

    Who are you quoting when you say “the rates of blindness dropped 50% after they started doing that”? Eye treatment of newborns is not done routinely in Britain or Australia—I’m sure if their babies were going blind they would start putting antibiotics in the eyes, too. Gloria Lemay

    • Achelois says:

      Perhaps it’s a necessity in the USA due to high rates of unprotected promiscuous sex; also the reason for routine partial penile amputation. /end snark mode

  8. Pingback: I’m Thinking Not « The Trial of Labor

  9. Pingback: I’m thinking…not so much « Oh my, Twins!

  10. Cassandra says:

    apparently where you live 50% of babies are born to mother’s that have actives STDs.

  11. A. says:

    the eye drops are NOT necessary, unless you have ghonnorrea (sp??) that’s what it’s for!! NOTHING is better then breastmilk, i’d much rather squirt some of that in my baby’s eyes then silver nitrate or “vit. E’ eye goop.

    as for vitamin k shot, it has over 20,000 times more then what baby needs, so i got my baby the oral vit. k instead.,
    no vaccines, hep b is NOT needed unless you yourself or a close family member has it, there are NO studies of hep b on infants! hep b passes from multiple sex partners and needle sharing, so unless your newborn is a prostitute or a druggie poke away!

    as for the bath, the nurses BUGGED the crap out of me and handled my little one like a ‘bio hazard’ until he was bathed. i’m expecting my 3rd baby in March, and will follow the same routine as before, EXCEPT, he will receive a bath if/when i choose and I WILL BATHE my own baby, those nurses are too damn rough!

  12. A. says:

    some good reads!!
    vit. k. shot info :
    http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/newborn-vitamin-k.html

    newborn procedures link:
    http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/newborn-baby-care.html

    i also HIGHLY recommend a newborn procedure plan ALONG WITH your birth plan, thankfully my requests were met, i just had to repeat myself a lot :0)

  13. A. says:

    now i’m sorry, but i had to forward this, because if this doesn’t cause you to research vaccinations more, or at least DELAY, not poke up your just born baby…then i don’t know what will.
    HEP B vaccine: just a short story and a few pictures. poor little guy :(
    http://iansvoice.org/default.aspx

  14. Elisabeth says:

    I have lived in large cities and have had seven hospital births and not seen even a fraction of what you have on this list actually occur. (And that is in two different large cities.) I would never stand for this type of treatment and I think it is harmful to make women think they will receive the type of treatment this list includes.

    In addition, I now work at a tiny rural hospital in the middle of nowhere (northern Idaho). Let’s re-examine your list in this setting:

    If you’re scared of needles, don’t ask for an induction or an epidural. Problem solved. Of course, if you start bleeding to death… which is very, very rare but not impossible, we’re going to save your life even if it involves needles…

    We have a large labor and delivery room and large hospital rooms and encourage mom to be up and about both in the room and outside of the room.

    The only time mom would go without food or drink for any period of time would be after a c-section. (Those are very rare. Because we are a small rural hospital, we don’t fit state requirements for a vbac. Since moms would have to leave our community for a vbac, our docs do everything they possibly can to avoid a c-section. Our c-section rate is only about 12% and the majority of those are repeat c-sections.)

    There is absolutely NO time that one of our mothers would be sharing a bathroom with anyone else (well, unless dad uses it).

    I’ll grant you the plastic covered mattress (seriously, it’s a health necessity) but by the time we finish covering them with multiple fitted sheets and heavy quilted cloth pads you’ll never feel it.

    I don’t think “rebellious” is even a valid term. Questioning? That we encourage. Ask away. I think rebellious only fits when questions aren’t encouraged. That would make anyone with any spirit in their nature at all rebel.

    We have never had a mom pick up an antibiotic resistant infection. We have very, very low rates of MRSA, almost non-existent rates of the others. We are meticulous about infection protocols and isolation of antibiotic resistant infections well away from the L&D area.

    As for overtired and overworked… at our hospital we have staff on call 24/7 for OB only. That staff is on for 8 hour shifts at a time (but will usually stay over for a longer delivery to see it through to the end). We only have about 60-70 babies a year, we almost never have more than one laboring patient at a time… and if we do, we call in an additional OB staff member for the additional patient. We LOVE doing OB… for those of us who do primary OB it is the only time we only have to take care of one patient. That one patient is our entire world and our only responsibility during their entire labor.

    Electronic equipment is a tool only that cannot replace a trained and skilled labor assistant. And in our hospital it certainly does NOT. We don’t even HAVE central monitoring… we monitor the patient…. not the equipment.

    Our c-section rate overall is well below 30% and that is mostly repeat sections. If you get a csection in our hospital and you didn’t already have one… you or your baby was in imminent risk of death, or you requested one for some reason. It just doesn’t happen otherwise.

    I fail to see how the “mood” of the labor assistant in the hospital is any more or less a determinant the the “mood” of a midwife would be. Or are you implying that hospital nurses dislike birth unlike the happy midwives? You don’t get to be a primary OB nurse at our hospital without loving labor and delivery… no one would go through the requirements necessary, otherwise (our primary OB nurses have similar training to the midwives I knew in Arizona…. we have to… snow can easily prevent a doc from making it in time and it is not unheard of for the nurses to be the only birth attendants. Just did one of those last week, actually… two nurses, no doc.)

    There is no chance that the person at the birth is someone you don’t know… we only have six doctors. Most of the time the doctor delivered the mom or dad of the baby, too! As for the nurses, we all live in this small community together. We have kids in the same classes at school, we see each other in the tiny little grocery store, and everyone in this town is related to someone else at some point in some way.

    Our moms don’t tend to do written birth plans, but if they did we would go over it with them so that we knew we understood what it was they were wanting to have happen. Again, everybody already knows everybody so we pretty much already know which moms have their hearts set on going completely natural and which ones would like their epidural right-now-thank-you-very-much.

    We don’t keep the overhead lights on most of the time even during the day for deliveries! Our hospital staff feels that more muted lighting to mom’s preferences is a more appropriate birth environment. If there is some sort of emergency then we have spot lighting we can turn on just to light up the area in question if we need to see better.

    Who on earth asks women to birth without making noise? That’s totally counter-productive and unnecessary. The only time we would intervene is if mom was clearly panicking and needed to be calmed down in order to not hyperventilate.

    As for the gown, okay, it isn’t the most flattering garment in the world. If mom wants to labor in her own clothes that is fine, we just recommend ours so if they get stained they aren’t ruined. We do have really, really pretty pink floral print nursing top post-partum gowns that pull over your head rather than tying up the back, though.

    We don’t have student docs, we almost never do episiotomies, suturing is done for women who tear naturally if it is large enough to need suturing (but if it’s little, they probably will just let her heal naturally) by the same doc mom has seen through the whole pregnancy and for delivery… (99.9% of the time our docs do their own deliveries rather than having a colleague do it.)

    Bullying? Bossing around? Not in our hospital. We have to live with these moms closely in our community for the rest of our lives. They are our friends and neighbors and in some cases our relatives.

    I love that when a baby is born I get to finish up by helping to get baby to the breast… that I have all the time in the world to help guide mom to comfortable breastfeeding positions that work for her and for baby… to encourage her and remind her that breastfeeding is a learning process… to teach her about newborn care if it is her first little one and guide her through what to expect so she isn’t surprised by cluster feedings or baby preparing for a growth spurt by a period of increased nursing frequency.

    I love seeing mom later in the community and talking to baby and just loving them… that’s how babies are birthed in OUR hospital, with love… we know that the birth process is one that happens outside of human control…. we’re there as lifeguards and since all but one of our primary OB nurses is also a mom (the one is a nun) and in some cases a grandma, we’re there as guides through a process that mom usually hasn’t been through before.

    It sounds like a lot of you need to lobby for better hospitals!

    • Sonya Ferris says:

      Love that you have such a great community hospital- wish we all did. As a mom & doula I have seen nearly all of Gloria’s list, and the added comments. Most who hire me are looking to minimize all those things, yet we still see some of them in most births. & the things we do avoid, is after reminding, talking & educating staff & sometimes laying heavy on “I do not consent to xyz” Yes, the better staff & better locations are better.. but when dics/hospitals have to back up what they do & get mountains of grief if they step out of “the standard of care in the community” it is slloooowwww going to shift policy. There is a place or 2 near me I routinely suggest families switch away from- whenever they can… too many are stuck there.

      Always lobby for better! Always! This is what’s behind the global movement now… folks who want & demand change, eventually if enough support it, it tends to come along. Meanwhile when those of us who choose alternatives (be it in birth or politics!) are chastised for being selfish, uneducated, lazy or reckless progress slows to a snail stuck in mud pace.

      Rejoice in the places who are getting it ‘right’ or better at least! (my home didn’t meet acog vbac guidelines either…. but it was perfect!) & Tell the places who don’t get it we expect better & don’t intend to birth where we get railroaded! :)

  15. Cassaundra says:

    Elisabeth, your hospital sounds idyllic. I wish we could convince most hospitals to act like that, but the reality is, your experience is VERY VERY RARE. and you are COMPLETELY correct, we need to lobby for better hospitals. even if only for those of us who are high-risk and must birth in hospital, women need evidence-based standards of care that respect their human rights. most of the time, in most north american hospitals, that just does not happen.

  16. Shannon says:

    I did not experience any of these things with my hospital birth. I gave birth at a large hospital in Phoenix with a midwife, never saw an OB (although their practice has one on call), no episiotomy, was not in bed (gave birth in the bathroom!), no shots/IV, was able to eat/drink whenever I wanted, baby was not bathed, no eye goop, no shots, only taken once the whole two days we were there for hearing test/heel prick, was in birthing suite which has nice soft light and comfortable place for Dad to sleep.

    I think it is important to choose a midwife you trust and tour the hospital before choosing to go there, but I enjoyed my stay and didn’t have any issues. I am one who stayed at hotels a lot growing up and even now LOVE staying in them, so perhaps this has to do with it, lol.

    From what I understand Vitamin K shot is really only needed if you are going to be circumcising your son (or another surgery), which I encourage NO ONE to do any ways, so hopefully that shot is not needed.

  17. @ are you kidding me.
    How is choosing to birth at home with a skilled midwife selfish? I had a great experience, no plastic on the matress my baby was concieved and delivered on. No unnecessary vaccines or shots or drops and one year later baby is still healthy. I never liked the idea of needles without necessity (although I have plenty of tattoos) so I didn’t want to go to a hospital AND I didn’t want a c-section. When i did research from legitimate books and studies I founf a homebirth for healthy moms was my best bet for reducing the need, although my midwife would have gotten me to he hospital 5 minutes away if necessary. She has NEVER had a baby or mom die in transport ti the hospital so I’m not sure what youre talking about with the selfishness comments. I think you’re confusing selfish for self aware.

  18. There is absolutely nothing selfish about choosing a home birth. Most women who choose to birth at home are more educated and the actual benefits and risks of birth place then that average woman who presents herself to the hospital (that isn’t an opinion, it is statistical fact that most homebirthers are of higher educational status than the average population).

    Physiologically birth happens much better in the environment in which the mom is the most comfortable and least disturbed. Just the act of transporting a laboring mom can slow or stop labor and lead to unnecessary interventions. How often have you heard of moms in full labor arriving at the hospital and everything has stopped.

    The place you have have the most physiologically normal (unmedicated) birth without any unnecessary interventions is THE best birth for …. YOUR BABY!

    There is nothing unsafe about homebirth for low risk moms, in fact it is safer because you avoid having a lot of things done to your baby unnecessarily, you avoid exposure to infection, and create a better environment for bonding which lasts a lifetime.

    Most people don’t realize the lifelong implications of the unnecessary interventions that are done in birth and just accept them as if they were needed. Why is it that 90-95% of women can physically give birth without intervention, yet we do something to interfere (even if its just an IV) to over 95% of women.

    Normal physiological birth is so extremely rare in our culture because we are buying into the fear the birth is dangerous. No it is not. Yes, like anything, there are risks, and cases that do need help. Making choices when you fully understand the real risks and do not give in to fear mongering is not selfish. Generally birth will happen without a hitch IF you let it. It;s just so rare that we let it.

  19. Carinw says:

    As a doula I have to say that I have seen at least one if not more of these things with each client and probably all of them overall… It’s very sad, but it is the reality even here in Ontario where we also have midwives in the hospitals.

  20. Meg says:

    It’s insulting to me that several of the comments say “That didn’t happen to me” as if all the many many women who it DID happen to are either imagining it, incompetent, or blatantly lying about how their “birth” occurred.

    If I go to the supermarket and the staff are rude, they don’t offer me the items I want, they’re slow, etc etc no one feels the urge to dive in and say “But I LOVE that supermarket! They aren’t like that to ME”. So why do it to a woman who has experienced a less than satisfactory birth in a hospital? Are you a shareholder!? Let women define their experiences for themselves.

    I had ALL of these things (excluding the eye drops because they don’t do that in Australia – and no, I don’t have blind babies!?!?!) . Watch a show on TV about hospital birth and chances are you’ll see ALL of these things happening.

    I would add to your list:

    Must like having stranger’s hands in your vagina constantly
    Must like food that is unrecognisable

    and

    Must like being told you’re CRAZY by complete strangers who think you should like all of the things on this list.

  21. Christy says:

    There’s so much I could say! I’ve never had a hospital birth (first at birth center, then next three at home), but most people I know have babies in hospitals. My state, WV, has one of the highest c-section rates in the country, and most of the items on the list are “normal” birth around here. The only one I don’t think happens is the shared bathroom. Most women are induced, often prior to 40 weeks.

    Only one friend successfully fought for and achieved a “natural” birth, meaning spontaneous labor, no pitocin or epidural, and she had to battle the staff. A nurse even injected her with a rubella vaccine while she was verbally refusing! Interventions are the norm, and the staff can be very bullying to those who want to refuse.

    Separation of mom and baby is routine. I stayed with my best friend through her induced labor and birth. It was horrible. She was confined to the bed and not allowed to eat. Her baby had low blood sugar at birth. She was NOT ALLOWED to nurse, and the baby spent 15 hours in the nursery given formula and glucose in an IV. I’m leaving out many other horrendous details due to space, but it was an awful thing to watch, and this passes for normal to most.

    I personally know two people who contracted MRSA during a hospital stay for birth, one mom and one baby, not related either. I met another local lady whose baby contracted some type of bacteria in his heart during his hospital birth, and the mom said the baby may need a heart transplant because of it.

    I could say much more to further illustrate my local hospitals are like your list. I’ve heard many horror stories from friends and relatives. I’m very glad there are some great hospitals to birth in, but none around here, and from what I read online, there are very few anywhere in America.

  22. Jennifer says:

    I agree with many posters….I had a decent LABOR in the hospital, but my birth was HORRIBLE (flat on my back, yelled at to push and for how long, cord clamped ASAP, episiotomy, etc. My worst soreness the next day was my left knee & right hip from being cranked so far back).

    As for the bathroom sharing, it’s only your private bathroom, while YOU’RE the patient. Then someone else gets it. No, you’re not sharing at the same time, but it’s still a bathroom being used by multiple people. :(

  23. Genevieve says:

    I really believe it depends on the hospital and OB (or midwife group) you choose that determines your hospital experience. I have no doubt that the things on that list happen and I did have the not being allowed to eat happen to me (not cool with a 20 hour labor). However, overall I had a fantastic hospital birth. My OB’s practice requires that all pregnant patients meet all the dr’s and midwives in the practice at least once before giving birth so you know the person who is delivering your baby. I also discussed0 my birthplan with each of these people during appointments so when I got to the hospital, they would know what to expect. I have to say that my birth plan had to be ammended at the hospital because there was meconium present, and because I had good communication with the staff and my OB, we came up with a healthy alternative. I also had my birth plan put into my chart so anyone coming in to see me would read it (only 1 person ignored it and they were TOLD that they were not allowed back in the room until they read it and were prepared to follow it-never saw that one again). I was allowed to move around as I pleased and I had control of the lighting in the room. I was never told to be quiet, but a nurse did suggest a different method of noisy for me to do that might work better for me (and it did!). I did have new nurses come in when shifts changed, so no one was overtired and they were all very supportive and impressed that I was doing a natural childbirth. I even had a nurse congratulate me because it’s not common. I definitely wouldn’t have put up with even half the stuff on that list because I AM THE BOSS OF MY BODY! If anyone tried to do something to me without my consent, they’d have some legal issues and one ANGRY momma to deal with afterward. I did have more pelvic exams than I would have liked but I am discussing that with my OB at my appointments before hand for this baby. I am also staying at home longer (we went to the hospital right away because of a generations long family history of FAST labors), and I would like to try a home birth. My husband is uncomfortable with that idea, however, and if he’s uncomfortable then he won’t be able to be the best coach he can be, and my labor and birthing will already be in trouble. So we compromised by getting a doula and agreeing that when I’m close to pushing, we’ll head to the hospital. I am going to do a little more research on the eye antibiotic and other vaccines though because I don’t feel like I was educated about them as much as I would have liked for our daughter. Home births are a wonderful way to give birth if it’s the right thing for the family, but I wouldn’t knock hospital births completely either because there is time to find the right dr and hsopital before you give birth and if you educate yourself, you should have a great birth experience either way. I’ve done my research, vetted my dr and hospital and trust them to follow my lead and I feel that I am doing the right thing for my family as a whole to labor mostly at home, but give birth in the hospital. People who live in areas where the hospital environment is not conducive to a proper birth experience need to fight for it if they feel it’s so awful! I know I would!

    • Meagan D says:

      It sounds like you had a good birth experience. One thing, you are not a patient. Pregnant women are not patients. You are not sick. There is nothing wrong with you. Quite the opposite, actually – you are bringing life into this world.

  24. amy says:

    Must not mind being asked 7 times if they can circumcise.

  25. Amy says:

    must not mind being asked if you’re ready for your epidural yet during every contraction.

    must not mind the nurses holding down your terrified baby to perform an unnecessary blood test hours after the birth while youre telling them to let him go.

    must not mind being put in a hallway with only a curtain for privacy and not even a pillow on your teensy gurney/bed and using an actual public bathroom while you’re weeping and dripping blood nine hours after giving birth.

    yeah I birth at HOME now. call me selfish if you want, but Im going to call you an ignoramus.

  26. Stephanie Dasher says:

    It’s interesting that as such a multifaceted species we are so single minded. I was intrigued by the comments of the nay sayers because they included little, if any, fact based evidence. People laugh off midwives and home-birthers as though they are uneducated quacks. Being a rational person I can understand how the thought is conceived. Many midwives (especially those that are deemed “radical”) dress differently, have nose rings, wear Birkenstocks, and generally march (or sway rather) to the beat of their own drum. These midwives fully embrace a side of the human psyche that cannot be quantified by rational thought, and yet it exist. It’s existence is undeniable, and it must be nurtured during birth in or for the mother-baby to have a successful experience. Midwives fulfill this need through embracing and understanding the emotional intelligence of birthing women and their babies. That sad, this is far from a complete picture of a midwife, these woman are just as scientific and learned as any doctor I know. They pride themselves on keeping abreast of the current knowledge and applying in both efficiently and correctly (not for experiments sake). They don’t call it science, because that doesn’t fit their mojo, they call it being educated and taking responsibility, and sometimes they come up with even better earthy names for their quest for knowledge; i.e. the Sage Femme.

    No matter what you call it, the quest for education and rational thought still exists (and co-exists with emotional intelligence), and they encourage their clients down this path as well. I have had two births, both at home, both with a skilled midwife, both very successful. The reason they were successful was 50% midwife and 50% me. My midwife was 100% successful in giving me the tools to be educated and know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about birth and newborn. I was an able and capable participant in my birth, and I am educated enough to know and understand all the decisions that [i]I[/i] made.
    Ok, flash forward (well backward, we hadn’t met yet) to my best friend’s first birth, 100% hospital with midwives (and a few OBs sprinkled around the delivery room floor for “safety’s” ). These hospital midwives operate under the direction of hospital policy, created by an OB. Her due date was changed a few times during her pregnancy, and when she went two weeks overdue she was induced. It took 18 hours for her to have a single contraction after the pitocin line was inserted. She was not allowed to eat during those 18 hours (except for the occasional lolly pop and ice chips), nor was she permitted to eat for the subsequent 18 hours until her baby was finally delivered. Several times throughout the birthing process she was told she needed a C-section, and eventually she had to get an epidural because labor pains with an induction were too much to bear. Finally when she was able to push she reached the three hour limit and they told her “either push the baby out (while your laying on your back) or it’s time for a section”. Her third option was an episiotomy, the worst kind which ran the length of her entire perineum, at which point they gave her thirty extra minutes to birth her baby. Finally, her sweet babe was born, covered in blood from that vaginal c-section and handed over to mom who had been on an IV so long she was swollen to the size of the Michelin Man. After that breast feeding was a downhill battle that ended poorly.

    My point you ask? This could have all been averted had she not been as reliant on the medical community to give and provide all the answers. Is she wrong for this, and should we blame her? I don’t think so, and the reason is that we don’t live in a utopian society where everyone thinks for themselves. We live in a world where a few lead many, without questions or debate. The rules come down from above, and they are rarely questioned or rewritten by the masses. The issue is that midwives are the smaller majority of the few leading the many. They do not have the resources or the money to campaign and spread their propaganda the way the medical community does. The majority of citizens believe what the medical community says because they have the most money, and this phenomenon does not apply to the birth community alone. Money=power, and will always be that way, unless the general public decides to put on their thinking caps and become the sentient beings I know they can be.

    The truth is not all hospitals are bad, and not all doctors operate the way most do. But the truth is that most hospitals and doctors do, and therefore most mothers get the majority experience. Even still, the truth is that a utopian hospital that could provide a dream birth is not necessary for laboring woman. whether you believe in evolution or creationism there is one undeniable fact; the vagina and birth process has been around since the beginning. It would be pretty crazy (and completely worthless for the continuation of the human race) if either evolution or God made a birth process that was more likely to kill off its new members during their entrance into this grand place than to make it a successful event. Like I always say “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” When was the last time you saw a birth go better for an animal when they were hooked up to IV’s, and don’t say humans are more sophisticated, last time I checked we still have a part of our brain that is purely primal.

    Facts are facts people, rational thought and logic drive my brain (nuclear engineering will do that to a person) and there is no convincing me a normal woman needs to be in a hospital for the sake and safety of their survival and the propagation of the species. Doctors on the other hand DO need them in hospitals for their survival.

    ….off my soap box

  27. Toshia says:

    I get that some people do want or need to birth in a hospital. I have been a doula for 8 years and fighting for what you want in the hospital is NOT conducive to a good birth experience mom or baby. It tends to make the staff angry and they take it out on the mom. Mom’s who are high risk are in the worst spot of all because they can’t see anyone else they have to work with the high risk OB’s. I have worked with some pretty vengeful OB’s and their nurses let me tell you.

    Birthing mothers who are low risk and can birth at home are fighting for what they want. They are voting with their dollars the most painful vote of all to a hospital.

  28. Wendy H. says:

    We’re expecting our 3rd baby this summer, and it will be our second home birth. Not only was my first home birth thousands of dollars cheaper than my hospital birth, but the care and birth time was thousands better at home!

  29. Louise says:

    Must be willing to deal with a baby for the next year or so with separation anxiety from being separated at birth for 6 hrs or so due to unnecessary interventions, like have a placenta manually removed because the midwife had no idea about physiological 3rd stage labour and pulled on the cord.. etc etc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>