PREGNANCY IS NOT AN ILLNESS

Hospitals are made for sick people.  Pregnancy is not an illness.

Almost every woman who walks into a hospital today is faced with acquiescing to hospital policies – or suffering the contempt and fear that accompanies her refusal to "comply."  Women get  any number of excuses when they ask (rather than demand or simply decide) to birth naturally: We've never done it that way; we tried it once and it didn't work out; you won't make it and you'll be begging us for help before it's over; it's not our responsibility; you'll disturb other patients . . .

People have been being born for as long as there have been people.  Many objections to homebirths, or even natural births that take place in hospitals, cite misinformation or throw around fear and shaming emotional ammunition.

In cultures where the process of birth is trusted and respected, in places where pregnancy is not feared, in women who see themselves and the their bodies as sacred and trustworthy, birth happens naturally, easily, joyfully, and even pleasurably.

Our bodies are not broken.  Our ancestresses upon ancestresses have known how to birth naturally and successfully, or else we would not be here.  Trust your body, trust your birthing.

 

THE EMOTIONAL COST OF MEDICAL TESTING

When a woman who swims at my Y heard that I was writing a book on pregnancy, she asked me if I planned to include any material on prenatal testing.  She said that when she was pregnant, she had had a routine AFP test done.  The test showed that she was carrying an anencephalic baby.  She insisted that the test be done again.  This time the test came back with different results: the baby had Down's Syndrome.  The third test?  "Not completely normal," said the doctor, "but close enough." (whatever that meant).  Judy said once you get the results, and there's any question at all, you are no longer waiting for a baby.  You are waiting in the delivery room for the doctors to tell you if they were right or wrong.  She said that her husband was great throughout the pregnancy: he said to her, "Don't worry, honey.  If the baby is this or that we'll deal with it."  But he fell apart afterwards (the baby was perfectly fine).  Judy said, "He never played with the baby.  He just kept testing him."  Her relatives concerned that the initial diagnosis might be right, continually asked, "Do you think he looks alright?  Don't you think his eyes are funny?"  Clearly, they had been prejudiced by the results of the test.

excerpted from Open Season: A Survival Guide for Natural Childbirth and VBAC in the 90's, by Nancy Wainer (Cohen), 1991

 

NUTRITION FOR PREGNANCY

Q – I've never been anemic before, but I'm early in my pregnancy and more tired than I remember being with my previous pregnancies.  I'm planning a homebirth, but I was thinking of going in to the Dr. to get the iron test done, though I really don't want to go see my OB because I know the scolding I'm going to get about my previous homebirths.

A – There is no point scheduling the test until you decide what you would do differently if the numbers are low – and – why not assume they are – and do that stuff anyway. Floradix with Iron and Herbs is great, eating every three hours( hey, I eat every two or so!) with lots of foods with iron – get a list on line…. No sugar, white flour, caffeine except for rare treats and before you eat one, you know the deal – eat a fresh fruit or a fresh veggie combined with a whole grain and a protein first so that the baby gets all the GOOD stuff first. 

Remember, a second, third, or fourth baby requires care and feeding – even more attentive than the others -as when you plant tomatoes in the same garden every year, in order to get good tomatoes, you need to really take extra care of the soil !!! 

CHANGING TO A PLANNED HOMEBIRTH AT THE END OF PREGNANCY

Another beautiful birth this past Friday!  This dear woman birthed a ten pound two ounce baby! She hired me three weeks ago — she was told she had too much amniotic fluid and the cord would prolapse. The ultrasound said she was carrying a ten pound baby and they wanted to section her.

The woman who hired me a month ago on a Friday night and who birthed the very next day, was told she did not have ENOUGH fluid and the baby would strangle on the umbilical cord — she'd had two sections and birthed quickly and easily.

I also attended a woman in Connecticut last week, who had a beautiful 8 pound 12 ounce baby – a "lightweight"!

No one has faith anymore that women can birth – they don't even bother to palpate ( FEEL) the woman to assess the fluid levels – they have no idea what feels right and what doesn't any more – and they wanted to induce all of these women for a variety of reasons, which would have resulted in three more cesareans for sure.

SHOULD I GO TO THE HOSPITAL FOR AN INDUCTION?

Q – I am past my due date and I am starting to hear about scheduling an induction.  Can I have an induction and still have a vaginal birth?

A – Women have the best chance of having their babies naturally when their bodies go into labor naturally … induced labors ( some doctors will induce VBACs and some won't) increase the chances of having another section as the body is not ready to have the baby — if the body was ready, it
would be in labor!

Many of my VBAC mothers are past their "guess dates"  - and that's all it is, a guess. Remember to stop drinking milk, if in fact you have had it during the pregnancy. There are natural things that can help a woman go into labor ( IF the body is ready) – including acupuncture and homeopathic remedies, etc. but faith and trust are also natural things that go a long way. All your ancestresses had babies naturally and I believe that under the right circumstances, you could as well.

FIRST-TIME VBAC AT HOME?

Q – Can I really have a vaginal birth at home after a cesarean?

A – Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a couple who called me on a Thursday afternoon. They came to  see my that night and we talked for two hours.  Their medical midwives, who had supported a VBAC in certain ways throughout the pregnancy, were beginning to pressure her and to talk about having a section after all. The next night, Friday, at 8 PM, they called and said they had decided to  have a birth at home and asked if i would attend them. The next day, Saturday, the woman went into labor and birthed at home. So you see, it is very possible to have a natural birth after two  - or more  -  cesareans. If you go onto the ICAN website, you will see that women with three, four and five have natural births. But it is imperative that you be with care providers who are relaxed, who are not "knife happy," and who are not fearful — and who want a natural birth for you just about as much as you want one for yourselves. Otherwise, you get cut again…. which is less time or the staff, less anxiety for them, and more $ for their pockets and for the hospital ( I am writing my third book and so I am "in" to all of this stuff again, big time!).