The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
My dh and I had our first intense chat about the idea of home birth. It did not go well although he listened to all I had to say. He has me thinking that the hospital is best "just in case".That's exactly why we chose homebirth! "Just in case" our labor didn't follow some perfect classroom example of what it "should" be. And in our case (asynclitic presentation, several hours of transition and throwing up, swollen os near the end), it's a good thing we weren't in a hospital or I'd have been sectioned most likely or at least high forceps! Instead, since I had two GREAT DEMs there I had a really nice homebirth!
Here are some of the issues that bother dh and now they bother me: (Please remember that I had thought home birth was a good idea, but he has me doubting myself. We are good people seeking to be educated so please do not think bad of "us" for these questions.)How would he feel if he saw some doctor maltreat YOU or your baby? How would he feel if some doctor did something stupid like do a forceps delivery to get the baby out because the cord's wrapped around the neck or some other stupid and not really necessary reason, erroneously claiming that the baby MUST come out NOW, causing the baby to almost die and need to be in an incubator, when he simply could have slipped the cord out of the way like they did with my daughter and often do at home in 1/3 of all births? (Sorry, I just heard this one that happened to my mil's friend).
Wouldn't you feel terrible if something happened to the baby, such as not breathing, and the baby died? Even if you make it to the hospital in time to save the baby you would still blame yourself for trying to have him at home. Could you live with that? (we are only 5 mins from the hospital I stated)
Yes, homebirth means the parents take on more responsibility for the birth, but whose baby is this going to be anyway? Yours or the doctors? Why are people so willing to hand over all responsibility to doctors and hospitals, anyway? And besides, even though it's MUCH less likely to have a baby even need resuscitation at home most midwives I know of know infant CPR, carry oxygen, etc. etc. Most "emergency" c-sections take about 20 minutes to get started anyway.
I could go on and on with stories I've heard, many from my neighbor who used to be an L&D nurse in a hospital who confirmed that yes, doctors will section you, simply for their own convenience and many many mistakes happen due to staff being overworked, careless. A DEM has a much more personal relationship and the four that I've worked with in two pregnancies are by far more conscientious than any medical staff I've ever met.
What about hospital acquired infections? They're running rampant! No
healthy baby belongs in a hospital! In Boston four infants have died because
of an antibiotic resistant germ (not staph); you can read some news stories
about it on the Illinois Midwives Homepage (URL in my sigfile).
**All of the extra equipment is at the hospital and they can work on the baby immediately if there is a problem. What would we do at home as we waited...babies are not as strong as adults and there is not much time to be wasted.(see above) plus you answered this yourself you're only 5 minutes away. And babies die in hospitals, too. Place of birth is far far from a guarantee, and stats show it's more likely that you and/or your baby will die in a hospital environment than at home.
***Sometimes babies do not come out easily and you have to have the right tools to get them out.First of all, real 'problems coming out' are very very rare IF the mother is allowed to labor naturally ... and having those tools (not the right ones, in my opinion) on hand for the last 30 or 40 years at almost all births in the U.S. has created a rampant ignorance on the part of hospitals staffs about what spontaneous birth is all about and how it's achieved! The way hospital staff and doctors in the U.S. view childbirth is so warped, it's ridiculous. One example is internal exams, which, unless the mother wants to know her progress herself and can't tell herself, tell you not one good bit of information, since you can dilate either really slowly over a period of hours or really quickly you could pop open -- it's so widely varied that to even try to put a normal 'range' on it is ridiculous!
Due to the cultural warping of birth and labor, many of the reasons that babies in hospitals have problems coming out is due to the now routine procedures in hospitals, all of which began really b/c it's easier for the hospital staff to manage you and your labor, rather than b/c it would be better for you:
Please note that he often makes reference to his experience with farm animals as that is his primary experience with birth. He suggests that even with a second calf, sometimes he needs to hook the tractor up to the cow. With that in mind he says that even if it is our second child...we cannot predict that it will come easy enough to do at home.I assume he's saying 'wild' animals have problems too? Well, domesticated animals bred for specific characteristics who have their labors tracked by farmers are not wild animals allowed to have their instincts take over, which is so very important for birth! Again, he has this backwards: you should be concerned about whether or not the baby comes easily enough to be born safely in a hospital.
He is really strong on this and I feel compromise in the works..maybe a hospital birth with a really good birthplan and midwife. he would feel safe in the hospital and now I think I would too.I don't want to scare you or cause too much of a division in your marriage (and I'm not really arrogant enough to think that anything I write could, anyway!), but even if you do go with a midwife in a hospital consider the following. Most hospital-based midwives are CNMs who are under control of a doctor and a hospital that may or may not know diddly-squat about natural birth unless it follows a textbook perfect progression. And even the best written birth plan can make a hospital staff feel like you're an adversary instead of a compliant 'good' patient.
Check out the URLs below for references for most of the above and read the following books that will educate you on what's really happening with birth:
I just got off the phone with my midwife...I'm due in May (with our second) and have planned and prayed for a homebirth since our hospital experience with our first. This week the hormone roller coaster has been on high and at the same time I've been confronted with the "Isn't a healthy baby what you want?"When I hear this I usually respond "YES! That's why I'm birthing at home, so my baby doesn't have to suffer all the unnecessary b.s. that the hospitals impose on newborns!"
from a friend that I respect. I'm used the dealing with the typical "person on the street" giving me "attitude"--I give them the research and interview line. But this time it's someone that I respect. Someone that (mostly) thinks like I do.Not everyone we respect who has similar values like all of our choices, especially homebirth! It's a very foreign idea to many people. One good way to approach a friend is: "this is what's right for me; I'm doing it b/c it's what right for my baby. Please respect that. I don't need to hear all the what-if's I know what they are, and my midwife is perfectly qualified to screen for those. Thank you for your concern, but I'd really appreciate it if you can keep a positive attitude about this."
I'm a wreck. I actually started on all the "what if" stuff that I know could happen but very probably won't. (It doesn't help that I'm working on some probability stuff for work and I've discovered that I'm definitely NOT a risk taker).I consider it more of a risk to birth in a hospital. [grin]
Hormones? Temporary uncertainty (insanity ;-)? I can do all the academic stuff . . . I know all the arguments. How can I be questioning myself at this point?Considering the total lack of societal support, it's not uncommon for us to question our choices. But even women who are going to a hospital often have doubts (usually about other issues, like will the doctor live up to his promise not to cut me? can my body really do this?). Don't let it get you down; it's probably hormones, and a positive attitude works wonders in making sure everything is okay!
An excellent book that really affirms our instincts regarding birth
that I've read 3 times this pregnancy is Unassisted
Birth by Laura Shanley Kaplan. It's excellent whether you want to have
a midwife attend or not! You can get ordering information by emailing her
(BTW I have no vested interest in her book; I just really love the affirmative
tone and the analyses of hospital procedures and the risks they often create.)
She also delves into some esoteric things like dream interpretation helping
you in birth, listening to your body, and affirmations. Quite empowering!
I just got off the phone with my midwife . . . I'm due in May (with our second) and have planned and prayed for a homebirth since our hospital experience with our first. This week the hormone roller coaster has been on high and at the same time I've been confronted with the "Isn't a healthy baby what you want?" from a friend that I respect. I'm used the dealing with the typical "person on the street" giving me "attitude"--I give them the research and interview line. But this time it's someone that I respect. Someone that (mostly) thinks like I do.Of course you want a healthy baby. That's WHY you're staying home! Hospitals are for SICK people. Remember, you're pregnant, not sick :) You're friend may not understand the deal about hospital germs being deadly and home germs being the ones that we're used to. My daughter had to have 3 days of IV antibiotics because of an infection caused BY the hospital.
I'm a wreck. I actually started on all the "what if" stuff that I know could happen but very probably won't. (It doesn't help that I'm working on some probability stuff for work and I've discovered that I'm definitely NOT a risk taker).Have some chamomile & red raspberry tea, and visit The Farm's (in Tenn.) website. They published a great study on the safety of homebirth. Believe me, you're doing the safest and sanest thing for you and yours!
Hormones? Temporary uncertainty (insanity ;-)? I can do all the academic stuff . . . I know all the arguments. How can I be questioning myself at this point?Because you're a Mommy. Worry is our lifelong job!
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