Monday, April 30, 2012

Introducing Eleanor Jean!

Easter Sunday: Big and incomfortable
Friday the 13th: After only 8 hours of active labor and only 2 hours at the birthcenter, Eleanor arrives.
Two weeks later: Awesome friend wants to practice photography. Aren't they cute!
Birth stats: Born 6:44am April 13th Weight: 9 lbs 8 oz Length: 21.75 inches Head: 13 inches Birth: complete natural and drug free For those that are interested, I do plan on posting a birth story when I get it written.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Musings of a Pregnant Mom: Home birth vs. Hospital birth

Today I was reading an article online about a home birth advocate who died during childbirth. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to read the comments below the article and, of course, they made me mad. So mad that even though I am not one to post comments where they can be dragged through the mud, I need to get my thoughts out there before I go insane.

First and formost, I have absolutely no problems with home births. Also, with some qualifications, I have no problems with those who chose to have their babies in the hospital. But it really gets me when people say that those who chose a home birth are uninformed and endagering their lives as well as the lives of their children. So here is my response to those people.

Yes, it is important to be informed when making a decision regarding the birth of your child. And yes, those that have tragic experiences with home birth may have been uninformed, but not in the way that you think. Those who have hospital births may be just as poorly informed as those home birth moms. When choosing where and with whom you want to have your baby, the most important thing about which you should be well informed is your health care provider. There are good doctors and not so good doctors. There are good midwives and not so good midwives. Whatever kind of birth experience you choose, you must be well informed on the person overseeing your birth.

When choosing a midwife, you need to know their record. How long have they been attending births? What is their maternal/infant mortality rate? What is their hospital transfer rate? Are they licensed? Can you get references from previous birth moms who have used their services? Is the midwife sensitive to your needs and concerns? What is your midwife's plan if something seems to be wrong? In my opinion, you need to find a midwife who meets your needs and desires as well as being careful to observe warning signs and get you the care you need before it is too late.

While those in the medical field stress how important it is to be informed when it comes to our care, how many future moms do you know that know anything about their OBs and hospitals? Just like for midwives, moms need to closely examine their OBs and the hospitals they work at. How long have they been practicing? What is their maternal/infant mortality rate? What is their cesarean rate? Are interventions like Pitocin, episiotomies, forceps, epidurals etc routine or are they only used when necessary? Do they talk to you about the risks of each procedure before they perform it? Are they sensitive to your needs and concerns? Do they involve you in the decision process or do they just tell you what is going to happen? Just because you are giving birth in a hospital does not mean that everything is going to be safe and perfect. However, by choosing a good provider, you can minimize your risks just like you would by choosing a good midwife for a home birth.

Now, what have I chosen for my next birth experience? I am going with a group of midwives that operate a birth center. My main midwife has a fabulous track record (25 years worth) and the birth center as a whole has amazing stats
(ie very low hopital transfers, very low cesarean rate and no maternal/infant mortality). I feel very comfortable with the care that I receive there and know that they will get me the help that I need if warning signs appear. I do NOT feel like I am uninformed and while I am not choosing to have a home birth (they suduced me with talks of massages and meals brought in to me which I would not get at home), these same midwives do attend home births and I would feel comfortable having them attend any future home births I might plan.

Ok, I'll step down from the soap box now. Have a great day!