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Thread: Home vs Hospital

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Adelaide
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    Default Home vs Hospital

    DH wont let me have a home birth, and besides we cant really afford it anyway we don't have any kind of health insurance. Problem is, the more i read, the more i really want to stay the hell away from a hospital. Last night i was even considering just staying home unassisted and then getting DH to call an ambulance when baby was half hanging out lol. Not sure what to do.
    I actually still haven't even spoken to the hospital yet about my decision to have a VBAC, they still think i'm doing the c-section. I've been waiting for my next appointment to tell them which is still in another week.
    My biggest concern is i'm so worried that i'm going to have problems with the hospital staff when i don't need it, like for example if some nurse keeps coming in trying to keep my strapped to monitors or keeps offering me an epidural. I want to be taken seriously and i've heard so many stories of women who have just had nurses and doctors patronising them and thinking they know best just because they are qualified.
    I read one story of a lady who used self-hypnosis to cope with the pain and because she was in control and calm the midwives didn't really believe her when she said she was ready to push.
    Its like they all just assume that no one can take the pain so everyone must want an epidural and if they don't then they should be writhing about in agony. That kind of attitude would just stress me out to no end and i can see the need for medical intervention if that were the case.
    I don't know, maybe i'm just being paranoid about it but i just dont know what to do.
    Independant midwives aren't covered by medicare by any chance are they? lol


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default

    No, unfortunately, independent midwives are not covered under medicare.

    There are some things you can do to better equip yourself for a hospital birth if this is what your limitations restrict you to. Read, read, read! There are a variety of websites on the internet (this one included) that have lots of information about VBAC, as well as some books. And ensure your partner also does the same research. In the hospital setting, if you are both well educated about your choice, you stand a much better chance of being able to advocate for yourselves if midwives or medical staff attempt to force medical treatment on you you have previously chosen not to have. It is important for your partner to be well-educated on the topic as well as he will be able to be your adovcate in a situation where you are being given advice in the midst of labour and may be finding it hard to focus on alternatively, need to focus on your labouring and don't have time to deal with outside concerns.

    Another options, which is usually less expensive than an independent midwife for a home birth, is to see if there are any independent midwives who will allow you to retain them for the birth only (they may want to see you for a few appointments, but this may turn out to be a cheaper option) or a doula. Doulas are not nursing or medically trained, but many in Australia have completed a course and have an accreditation of some sort. As well as being a great support during labour, they will also often assist you or your partner in advocating for the sort of birth you want.

    Your biggest obstacle with VBAC is that all of the generally accepted research recommends close monitoring - ie. continuous CTG monitoring, which as most of us here know now is a recipe for disaster during labour, when you need to be free to move around. However, the research that does exist is sketchy at best, so there is plenty of latitude for you to simply refuse.

    When we were going late with our last pregnancy, our local hospital (where we had some of our antenatal care) were quite concerned with our decision to wait past 40 weeks and 10 days for labour to start. We had the advantage that we both work there, and we are both in the industry (my wife is an independently practicing midwife) but it was still confronting. In the end, we found the easiest way was to simply tell the staff that we had considered our options, researched the relative pros and cons, that we were happy to hear their point of view, but that we disagreed and would be willing to have that documented in our notes, and even sign the notes ourselves to that affect, if it "absolved" them of their responsiblity. They were agreeable to that.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Default

    I am no home birth expert, nor have I had a VBAC.

    BUT, I have been "lucky" in as much as I have had minimal intervention whilst in hospital. (All 3 of my births have been vaginal, no epidurals, no gas, no pain relief etc.)

    I don't know whether it was luck of the draw in relation to the midwives that I had, or because I had a very clear birth plan, or whether it was because i discussed (sometimes through contractions, LOL!) my needs with them.

    My DH was totally prepped too, so he know what I wanted/what I didn't want. He was also aware of all the things in my birth plan, and also knew and supported all the random instinctive choices I made whilst in labour. (Take my jewellery off, let me stand, let me kneel, get my in teh shower, can I have a banana, get me some lemonade, no I don't want any @#$%^&* gas, get me off this @#$%^&* bed etc etc etc.......you get the drift.........)

    A lot of the other girls have a lot more experience with home births and with birth attendants and with VBACS, and I am sure they will pop in to give some suggestions.

    My suggestion would be to write down what you do want and what you don't want, go to the hospital and really explain to your midwife your position and fears. Show her a copy of your birth plan, make sure it gets filed in your file. Then at least you can share your concerns NOW, rather than it all getting lost in the intense time of labour?

    From my experience in 2 different hospitals (and obviously a variety of midwives, but certainly the 3 that assisted my babies entrances to the world) the midwives approach was indeed hands off, and they DID listen to me, and they were all really supportive of my not wanting an epidural/pain relief, or to be cut, or to have any pain relief or intervention etc.

    GOOD LUCK!

  4. #4
    SamanthaP Guest

    Default

    Hi Jade,

    It's actually not up to your husband to 'let' you do anything. It's your body, your choice. Obviously money is a concern for you and that makes things hard. Have you considered using your baby bonus to pay for an independent midwives fee's? Whilst it sucks that women who want to birth at home are made to use this money, it is an option. Unfortunately in the hospital system you will find it hard to have a VBAC. Yes, there are stories out there of women doing them successfully, but you will find that battle just a little bit harder. And why should you have to battle for something that is your right? Maybe you could discuss with your husband why he thinks hospital is safer and have some articles on hand to show him that it is not always the case.
    To be honest, you sound really stressed out already about going in to face the hospital staff and all that adrenalin will just be a disaster for labour.
    I wish you lots of luck and clarity with your decision making. Look into a doula or a midwifery student if you really think that a independent midwife is unattainable - but IM's really are the gold star!

  5. #5

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    As others have said it is very difficult to get a VBAC in a hospital. I have seen hospitals promise to “allow” women to try for a VBAC only to push them into another C/S during labour.
    I suggest that you have a chat with some independent midwives, some of them will let you pay by instalments.

  6. #6

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    Apr 2007
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    Thankyou very much for the replies guys! It's given me more to consider. I spoke to my MIL about all this who is a senior nurse at the hospital i'm registered at and she seems to think that they'd be good about doing what i want. Though she's in another part of the hospital and wouldn't know any of the antenatal people. I'm gonna do some more digging and enquire further at my next appointment there.

    ooh! i just had a thought.. my sister in law's sister in law (or something like that), i've heard is a registered Midwife at the same hospital... still not in the same ward because she's a nurse too BUT she may have more info about the staff there

  7. #7

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    Which hospital by the way?

  8. #8

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    Default

    Flinders Medical Centre

  9. #9

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    I had a VBAC and as the others have said it was hard slog. I think reading & gathering as much information is fantastic. I also did calm birthing or hypnobirthing & it helped tremendously. Birth Support, YOU NEED IT! Have a look around for a doula or a trainee doula to help vocalise your preferences while you are in labour. It takes a tremendous amount of stress away.

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