unassisted homebirth

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Doula.Com General Discussion : One Thread

Sorry this is going to be long but I need HELP! I have had 3 babys. 1 at a hospital and 1 at a birthing center but had to go to the hospital cause I was bleeding alot(2 cups)cause the baby had the cord as tight around his neck that it pulled the plantca(?)away and some was still attached and I had to have a d&C and with the 3rd I tried to have at the same birthing center but had to go to hospital and have a c-section(found out I had srep B)and the babys heart rate was 213. In Alaska you can't labor and deliver at a birthing center or at home with a midwife after having a c-section. I don't want to deliver at a hospital so we are going to have a unassisted homebirth with just my husband and me. My question is that what can a doula do for me? I was hoping to have atleast a midwife there but they can't do that. Does anybody have anything that could help me?? THANKS SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!

-- Dorothy Miller (sbmiller11@yahoo.com), September 29, 2001


Hi Dorothy, I was reading your concern and questions regarding an unassisted homebirth. This is a very delicate and important moment for you and your partner, and only after doing all the reasearch should you make such a decision. As a doula, I can tell you that we don't do any clinical work. We cannot be there to replace your midwife, nor would I place myself in that position. A doula will be there for you to offer emotional support and encouragement, physical help with pain management and of course, knows the course of normal labor and delivery well enough to know when things are not OK, but you cannot rely on the doula to provide this part of your care. In an unassisted homebirth, this is your responsibility, you are your own midwife. I believe it can be done, but it is a very personal desicion to make and one where you need to know that anything that happens, whether good or bad, is your responsibility. Good Luck and keep us updated!


-- Ximena Bennett (Ximena@doula.com), October 19, 2001.

I am not a doula but i think its commom sense that with all the complications you've experienced in the past you should go to the hospital but still have a doula present.

-- (carmsonline@attbi.com), August 20, 2002.

Just an update. We are expecting our 4th in November, and yes we are having an unassisted hbac. We have decided not to have a doula there cause that would just be another person there that doesn't need to be. We have done so much reading and found it much safer to birth at home and not in a hospital were doctors cause problems. Why would I want anybody looking at my body that isn't my husband? Birth works just fine if left alone, I feel that my last 2 would have been great if I would have had trust in my body and not put myself in anybodys hands. I trust my body to birth the way god made it and I trust my baby to let me know how things are going. Dorothy

-- Dorothy (sbmiller11@yahoo.com), September 19, 2002.

Hi Dorothy. I have had one hospital birth, one homebirth with midwives and one UC. The unassisted was long, but the best. The hospitals would never have waited for a much larger baby to come out...He weighed 8'13 oz, and was fine. Just read a lot about normal birth,and i would have a copy of Myles midwifery, or Heart and Hands available, to refer to if you have questions. I also would have a fetoscope or toilet paper tube to hear the baby's heart rate while in labor...there are some other items it is good to have on hand. Both books mentioned have a list of items you might need. Keep us posted. and congratulations!! if you have any questions feel free to email me...and if you want to check out a group who does UCs on a regular basis, check out www.birthjunkie.com .It is a neat group of ladies...and many of them have been thru what you have and gone on to have several successful UC after Csec...

-- Cathi Wimmer Cogle (cathiwim@hotmail.com), October 21, 2002.

Dorothy! I would love to hear how your birth was for you. :) I have two boys and my last son was born unassisted. :) Would love to chat with ya. :) Chelita

-- Chelita Lundell (Clundell111@cs.com), June 27, 2003.

Hi Dorothy, My name is Laura and I was born and raised on the north side of Chicago although that isn't where I'm currently living. I came over to Europe almost twenty years ago as a high school foreign exchange student, finished my undergraduate work back in Chicago but have so far made my home here in northern Spain, close to the border of France. My husband and I have one 4 year old boy who's been so active that he's kept us from jumping for more children at the present but that might change soon. I'm just under 5'8" and have always been a size 14 no matter how thin I've been as an adult. I have a large frame and stand out somewhat in the part of the world where I'm now living. Anyway when I was pregnant they changed my "date" and said that due to the last ultra sound that I must have gotten pregnant "early". I knew when I had gotten pregnant but had no idea at the time that if our baby didn't follow there "new date", that they would use that as grounds to force him out of me. The doctor and general atmosphere was always kind of intimidating and seemed to look down upon this "woman who got herself pregnant". I was 30 at the time, loved the idea of having a baby with my husband and had been married for over 4 years, but none the less this just happens to be the way that the medical establishment in this part of the world sees pregnant women, or women in general, for that matter. I was oblivious back then to the whole "medical" world of birthing and against my will ended up having a c-section because our baby "was late". They gave me a c-section 8 days after my natural due date, which of course had been changed because I had gotten pregnant "early". Although I knew exactly when I had gotten pregnant I never wanted to discuss such personal matter with intimidating and tending toward arrogant people. Turns out they like to jack up birth dates when big babies are coming. Our son weighed in at just a few ounces short of 10 pounds. My negative hospital experience led me to search for something different. I'd talk to any women out there who were willing to tell me what they had experienced. Turns out a cousin of mine up in Minnesota had the exact same problem. She has five children, all were 9 pounders. The first baby's due date was also changed due to its size and ended up a c-section. She told me that she never let them change her due date again and ALL the rest were born vaginally. She's basically my height and frame and moreover something she said, I guess her plain honesty really made me feel good. She said Laura, it (giving birth) is the most humiliating experience you will ever go through. I really appreciated her honesty. I think about the majority of women that are out there and begin to think...Am I the ONLY one out there who doesn't want some stranger, no matter how "experienced", in between my naked legs? At the hospital I had to do all I could not to let my leg kick these people right in the jaw every time they came up to probe me. I had to keep talking my body into the whole thing. My body fought it all tooth and nail. You know what, I'm proud of my body. It taught me and keeps teaching me. Your comment about wanting to stay home and not go to a hospital and have doctors look at your naked body really hit home. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one out there. Also you mentioned the midwife scene in Alaska. Do you know what a midwife in this area told me? She said, and I'm quoting, "it's a 'world' rule (of thumb) to never attend a cesarean woman at home." I remember thinking "what about all the books on the internet that deal with home birth 'after a cesarean'?" Anyway, just another intimidating birthing assistant out there. I had never heard of "unassisted" birth until, after much looking around (my husband never stopped encouraging me to "look on the internet"), I came across an article titled "Do It Yourself Childbirth" by Laura Shanley. I remember thinking "finally!" I looked no further, but rather deeper. I felt relieved. Finally, no more probing! I, like you, decided to look around even though I wasn't pregnant yet. I'd like to have another child but not with all the nonsense that the medical establishment put my husband and me through. I came across Laura Shanley's article in June of 2002. Last fall I finally got up the courage to contact her directly and ...ask her why her info. wasn't available in Spanish. There is a lot of Spanish and Spanish speaking individuals in the U.S. whom I SURE would benefit from her experiences and research and more over I would like to show her stuff to people I know over here. She said that she didn't speak Spanish but that if I wanted to I could translate her site. So that's what I'm currently doing. I've got two sites up presently. Both have her own experiences, her and her husband's "beliefs" about birth and her definition of an unassisted birth.

Anyway I wanted to write and say thanks for your honesty about your experiences and your feelings towards them.


-- Laura A. Szczech (inilaura@hotmail.com), May 27, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ