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Thread: Birth plans & drug-free birth - how much do you want it?

  1. #37

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    Lets hope the masseur can work magic Ros!!!!!!! I will definately be crossing fingers for Sebastian to make his way into the world on the 28th!!!!!!

    You are absolutely right, every birth is different, just when you think you've got it figured out, mother nature throws you a curve ball - like a posterior baby - ouchy mama!


  2. #38

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    Accupuncture is actually really effective too, there is an Obstetric accupuncturist in the city everyone raves about, if you want her details let me know.

    I am quite busy with things at the moment, I am setting up a branch of Choices for Childbirth in Balwyn. Where are you located? If you can get to one before your baby is born, you will truly be empowered. They run in Brunswick, South Yarra and Geelong, so I can highly recommend them for I think $25conc./$35 a session or cheaper if you do the cycle of 6. I have posted more details in the 'Recommend Private Childbirth Education' forum. Every time I go I am more inspired
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  3. #39

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    You've hit the nail on the head there Emma. Classes start so late in pregnancy, there is no time for ideas to develop and for you to go away and have a good think about it. Private childbirth eductation is a must.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  4. #40

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    Oh Kelly i would love to know where to go!!!! I will do anything, travel anywhere to make sure i can have a natural labour!

    Fro your info sessions
    I live in Bentleigh so i guess South Yarra is the closest to me.
    Yes would love to know more!!

    Thanks heaps
    Roslyn
    Last edited by kahmanya; July 21st, 2006 at 01:58 PM.

  5. #41

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    Roslyn - it starts on the 10th August you better hurry! One of the women I am supporting for her birth is going too. She's so lovely! It's run by Jules, you'll love her too! Here is the link: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...ead.php?t=7273 and I can't guarantee a natural birth, but I can guarantee an empowered one where you have the best preparation Let me know what you think of it!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #42

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    Thanks kelly will read it later have to go and do some errands!!!
    Really interested in it.

    It makes it really hard in my situation IYKWIM , to me to go into natural labour will be a sense of achievement that my body can do it! I am hopeing that all has been fixed in the tumour department so i can do this also it's a sign for me that all is ok!!! I want the feeling of a natural labour i want to compare it and i think i can handle it better than an induced labour even my OBS said that induced labours can be quite more painful, it can cause your body to go into shock!!! I think thats what happened to me because of the intensity of the pain!!!
    I do have to say that since my tumor has gone my periods have been on time every 33 days and i have never been regular so to me that is a sign that my body has finally amended!!!! So i have a good feeling that i will go into natural labour!!!

    Anyway talk later have to go!!!
    Thanks

  7. #43

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    I would probably do one, which would be more benefit fo my situation?

    Induced Labour’:

    1. Hold your hand out, clench, out, clench, out clench, out, clench, out, clench, out, clench, out, clench, out, clench, out – is your fist tired or sore yet? Imagine how this would feel for your uterus to do this for hours on end and what difference this could make during your labour and for your baby.

    So so true, atleast it was like that with Jayden plus add the posterior baby ontop!!!!

    But with James i had a good induction maybe he was ready to come just my body wasn't releasing the hormome!!!
    Last edited by kahmanya; July 21st, 2006 at 03:13 PM.

  8. #44

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    Emma - Yes, I think people need to have a decent education into birth, starting as part of the school curriculum. I'm very seriously considering doing a childbirth education course (to become a childbirth educator, that is). I figure, it's really only an extension of a doula course, in that it'd go further into anatomy and physiology...and into things that don't concern a doula so much, such as conception/umm...you know, troubles trying to conceive, etc, and such. Gosh, I've had one drink to celebrate a Friday night,a nd I can't think to save myself!

  9. #45

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    Interesting questions Kelly.

    I had done a hypno birthing workshop, and although it was very helpful, educational and empowering, I think it misled me as to how much pain there would be.

    I had been in labour for 36 hours when I went to the birthing centre (3cm by that stage). I cried when I walked in and saw my midwife, all because I was so dissapointed that I was not coping with the pain in the way I thought I would (was picturing a very zen Cathy just chilling out through contractions).

    I think what scared me most was that I knew the pain was just going to get worse and worse.

    So I started talking to my midwife about the pain options again. However, I think just knowing they were available was enough, as I held out and had no pain relief until 8cms dilated, when because baby was breech and descent had slowed I needed to have a cesearean (so of course then had a spinal block and morphine).

    So yes, I was very adamant in not wanting drugs, and although the pain was a shock, with my DH's support, and fabulous midwives, I did manage 2 whole days of labour with no pain relief, and am very proud of that.

  10. #46

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    Cathy, my course warned that birth wouldn't necessarily be pain free, but that i would deal with everything in a calm way at least, to bring my boy into the world peacefully even if not painlessly. i too was surprised at the intensity of the surges, but the HB definitely taught me to give control over to my body and I knew I'd make it. I had actually only really worked on visualising and reconceptualising the birth part (to great effect), but have recommended HB to everyone since.

  11. #47
    Aleanbh Guest

    Default normal physiological childbirth!

    Dear Kelly
    I am in NSW and I had a normal physiological birth in every sense. In the labour ward (had to coz obstetrician doesn't do birth centre any more as it is so understaffed and chaotic) with husband and doula. Age 37, first child, 41 hours, but I did not go to hospital til I was 5cm. So I must be in the minority I reckon. Anyway I will write heaps more offline and send you a Word doc of my birth plan (ridiculously long-typical first time mum!) if you want. I have lots of feedback for what you wrote. We are NOT prepared for the pain - if it wasn't for the doula I would have crumbled and begged for gas at least. I did however read all Ina May G's books so knew about the Law of the Sphincter
    The only thing I would change this time (due Dec) is to have the oxytocin to help placenta as my body was so tired that it wouldn't push it out so it was "retained" and I had PPH, light GA (better than an epidural I figured) and it came out easy. This was after waiting 45mins for it to come out naturally. Yes my obstetrician is very flexible!!
    Alanna

  12. #48
    Aleanbh Guest

    Default Drug-free birth in Sydney hospital - no problem

    I have thought about this more overnight.

    Pre-natal education
    I had the good fortune to have Marie Burrows (featured in Saturday’s Good Weekend) for 10 weeks’ prenatal classes in my 3rd trimester. She acts out the labour with all the noises and swearing, with a doll that makes its way down a life-size human pelvis (bones). So I understood the whole toilet cistern thing and the absolute necessity of staying upright or on all fours to help mother nature.

    At no point did she assume any of us would have drugs and most of us didn’t. I had labour ward birth, one woman had a home birth and the rest the birthing centre. Most of us in our very late 30s and first-time mums. This is Bondi in Sydney.

    Our lifestyles
    Re sedentary lifestyle, the knowledge that it could cause a posterior baby got us all moving around!!! Most of us have friends who have endured back labours and we know how hard they are to do drug-free.

    To me there is no point comparing the pain with having your feet cut open (or as my sister put it, having both arms chopped off), because it is not a 10minute torture session. It is like a long-distance marathon. If anything, the pain is like gang rape of the most violent kind. But I haven’t been gang-raped so that is equally dumb and insensitive to say. It goes without saying that for the majority of women, labour will be the most violence they have ever experienced in their lives. That is labour. It is excruciating and you can’t control it. It is less excruciating if you distract yourself by walking, rocking etc, and kill time however you can, but I think the most important thing is to relinquish all control – and therein lies the rub for us 21st century “intelligent” women. We don’t want to do that.

    Sexual assault survivors
    For those women who have been sexually abused as children an therefore have body issues to put it mildly, I don’t think they should try to be heroes and go with a natural birth. I am speaking knowing friends in this situation. The whole letting your body take over thing is way too frightening for someone whose body has been violated/held down at a very young age. If they choose voluntary c-sections, so what. They know c-sections are more dangerous for mum and baby but they go for it anyway. I don't think others should judge them harshly for it.

    Crisis of confidence
    One midwife told me that at Liverpool hospital (in a predominantly non-anglo part of Sydney, lots of muslim women from middle east), women arrive knowing they can do it, rather than the anglo women who arrive wondering if they can do it. Enough said. I am anglo, over-controlling, eldest child, capricorn etc etc. no wonder it took 41 hours!!!

    Birth plans
    Midwives also say that the longer the birth plan, the more likely the woman crumbles and gets aboard the intervention rollercoaster! Mine was way too long but because I had a doula, we did in fact stick to it. (no drugs, everyone out of room once bub born etc etc). I guess I was a Category 5, Kelly!

  13. #49

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    Aleanbh - probably more appropriate to say that that is labour for you. My labour was intense and a bit of a surprise, but I did not feel it was violent, it was not unnecessary or even traumatic. For me, labour education was minimal and every man and his dog was ready to tell me the birth is the killer and to take the drugs etc etc. Birth for me was a really wonderful experience, the labour was the biggest challene I think I've ever had in my life...but I DID give it over to my body, knowing I could do it (like most non-Anglo/Celtic/Saxon women, even though I'm half Celtic!) because I knew my body (in a normal pregnancy situation and so far normal labour scenario) would not put me through more than I could handle. I had no fear. The muslim women you mention have no fear. "Westernised" women have learned to have fear of the birthing process. This is one of the biggest keys to birth complications. Fear=Tension=Pain is the main culprit and I learned techniques to avoid that, as well as just educating myself as to what happens during birth. Also, without the fear and in a hypnotic state, I had no need to scream or swear. I literally 'hummed' Oscar out (HypnoBirthing says to 'breathe the baby down', but I went one better, being a singer!) and felt no compunction to add any violence to the process. Sure, most women verbalise when giving birth, and that's their way. But whenever I projected myself, during the pregnancy, to the time of the birth, not once did I see myself screaming or shouting - I pictured myself in a serene state, guiding the baby out and into the water. I don't think I fluked an easy birth. I prepared for it, knowing that I was having a normal pregnancy and that there was no reason for me to have anything but a normal birth. Many women present with risk factors or problems and I could have easily been one of these, but I would have known in advance of the birth itself. I just don't believe birth or labour need to be presented as something to steel yourself for, nor is there any need, in most cases, to anticipate it as a violent process. I do have to disagree with you there. Birth is not supposed to be violent, we have made it that way by medicalising it and creating fear.

  14. #50

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    I think (and as Rhea says) at the end of the day if you want a natural / drug-free birth you have to set yourself up for one, through the right support, choice of carers, birthing environment, pre-birth education - the works. It's all good rocking up with a birth plan for a natural birth, but you have to do the footwork first and really believe you can, to truly get there.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  15. #51
    Aleanbh Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by IK
    Aleanbh - probably more appropriate to say that that is labour for you. My labour was intense and a bit of a surprise, but I did not feel it was violent, it was not unnecessary or even traumatic. For me, labour education was minimal and every man and his dog was ready to tell me the birth is the killer and to take the drugs etc etc. Birth for me was a really wonderful experience, the labour was the biggest challene I think I've ever had in my life...but I DID give it over to my body, knowing I could do it (like most non-Anglo/Celtic/Saxon women, even though I'm half Celtic!) because I knew my body (in a normal pregnancy situation and so far normal labour scenario) would not put me through more than I could handle. I had no fear. The muslim women you mention have no fear. "Westernised" women have learned to have fear of the birthing process. This is one of the biggest keys to birth complications. Fear=Tension=Pain is the main culprit and I learned techniques to avoid that, as well as just educating myself as to what happens during birth. Also, without the fear and in a hypnotic state, I had no need to scream or swear. I literally 'hummed' Oscar out (HypnoBirthing says to 'breathe the baby down', but I went one better, being a singer!) and felt no compunction to add any violence to the process. Sure, most women verbalise when giving birth, and that's their way. But whenever I projected myself, during the pregnancy, to the time of the birth, not once did I see myself screaming or shouting - I pictured myself in a serene state, guiding the baby out and into the water. I don't think I fluked an easy birth. I prepared for it, knowing that I was having a normal pregnancy and that there was no reason for me to have anything but a normal birth. Many women present with risk factors or problems and I could have easily been one of these, but I would have known in advance of the birth itself. I just don't believe birth or labour need to be presented as something to steel yourself for, nor is there any need, in most cases, to anticipate it as a violent process. I do have to disagree with you there. Birth is not supposed to be violent, we have made it that way by medicalising it and creating fear.
    Thanks IK - you're right, it was my experience, I can only speak for that one. My birth was in fact v like yours - like I said, everyone says it was textbook, I didn't cry out once (let alone swear), it was all v peaceful for baby. I was just referring to the intensity of the pain (not afraid of it, embraced it), and how the metaphors (incl. mine) are all inadeqaute. My philospohy wasain is not a dirty word, it is part of life etc. Life isn't all beauty and tranquility, it contains violence and that is part of how we have survived as a species etc etc. I think we all come to view things differently with time too - mine is still quite fresh in mind!
    A

  16. #52
    Aleanbh Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellyBelly
    I think (and as Rhea says) at the end of the day if you want a natural / drug-free birth you have to set yourself up for one, through the right support, choice of carers, birthing environment, pre-birth education - the works. It's all good rocking up with a birth plan for a natural birth, but you have to do the footwork first and really believe you can, to truly get there.
    I could not agree more - if I had not set myself up for it I would have caved as so many women you have seen Kelly. I had had major abdominal surgery in pregnancy (ovarian cystectomy with a mid-line laparotomy), plus the previous pregnancy was ectopic! AND I was 38. Yet I did not get medicalised or even patientised, thanks to my doula and husband. We all knew what we wanted - it was all about the baby, keeping him happy, and that focus really worked!

  17. #53

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    I haven't read this entire thread yet... kids here need my attention... but I just wanted to agree with this:

    "When I was going through transition with my daughter, I said "I want an epidural"...now, I was in a birth centre, and would have had to be transferred to have an epidural in any case, but I really didn't want an epidural at all, not even when I was saying it. What I wanted, and needed, was to express my tension, to let go of it, to release some anger and exhaustion."

    This was also my experience, and luckily Kelly knew what I was on about! LOL

  18. #54

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    I haven't read the whole thread yet, but find the comments I did read very interesting. My experience during pregnancy was one of maturation - when I got pg I straight away wanted an OB to deliver my baby - I bought into the whole culture of fear thing. My DH didn't question my choice (much!) save to say "hang on, if women have been doing this for thousands of years why the big deal". But during pg I decided to take my childbirth education into my own hands and attended the Maternity Coalition seminars in Brunswick and heard Rita speak on "Natural Brith - Is it possible?" plus a few other topics they presented. While Ithough I was "motivated" for a natural birth I found myself in the high risk category for intervention - private hospital (one of only two in the room!!), OB attending, educated, over 30, etc etc.

    I must say I was impressed with Rita's knowledge and passion for the natural brith process, but my DH and I did leave her session feeling like we had watched "a current affair" for two hours - lots of dire warnings and stats. OK, so I was high risk - I didn't want to be - what could I do now? As the answer was "surround yourself with people/choices that are conducive to natural birth", I appeared "stuffed", from the picture Rita painted. (BTW, that would be my criticism on that session Rita runs - a little more on how to find resources to get yourself out of the stuffed situation would be good - maybe something you can do, Kelly, when you run your sessions?)
    So DH and I did alot of talking and we hooked up with a student midwife (who unfortunately couldn't attend Flynn's birth cause she had the flu!!) who did more talking and attended a few OB visits with me. I read "Active Birth", started thinking about a birth plan, read heaps on bellybelly and wrote a birth plan.

    Luckily for me, my birth process seemed to work in my favour - my waters broke naturally the day before my due date, and while my OB wanted me to stay overnight in hospital I was confident to refuse his persistent insistance and stay at home. I got to 9cm dialated at home before I even went to hospital (OB later said "next time don't wait so long" - yeah, I had a tape measure out and did it deliberately!) and at one point in early labour I said to my DH that I was sorry I was booked in for hospital because home felt the most natural place to be. Things slowed down, of course, when I got to hospital, but as DH was aware of the risk of this he was careful to distract me from the monitoring, remind me to be calm, etc. In the end I delivered Flynn without drugs (I had gas just as a distraction - I'm told when you are fully dialated nothing helps the pain) and wihout manual assistance, though cause I hadn't slept in 24 hours an oxytocin drip helped contractions get him out - he was corkscrewing for 3 hours which felt like an eternity. My only regrets were a snip suggested by OB (one stitch) and pushing with holding breath (not how I will do it next time). My final words to my OB before he left me in hospital a few days after Flynn was born was "you don't do home births do you?" LOL!

    So basically, my comments are that even if someone starts off scared and unsure, a little clear thinking, self-education and confidence in the natural birth process can do wonders. Plus handly little assistances from your body, like a natural start to labour, a non-breech baby, and so on, never goes astray.......

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