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  #1  
February 4th, 2010, 09:41 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Loo-uh-vull, KY
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I'm seriously considering trying to have a drug-free birth. But I have state medicaid insurance and I have to have my baby in the hospital (I would prefer that anyway for peace of mind) and I can't really afford to pay for any kind of classes or Doula services. My ideal birth would probably be a waterbirth but that is not an option either - I'm sure the hospital doesn't do them and if they allowed me to bring in a birthing pool I couldn't afford to rent it. Basically I need to avoid any out of pocket expenses, but I really would like to deliver without an epidural or other interventions if at all possible. But I get the feeling that without special classes or a doula, my chances of doing that are slim. Will I be able to do it and what should I do to prepare?
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  #2  
February 4th, 2010, 09:56 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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Location: south eastern Mass
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Hi Michelle nice to see you here!

There is a lot you can do on your own. First off- you probably can find a Doula who will attend your birth for free or a very very low fee. Students often do this to get their certification. It's very do-able for you.


I suggest starting off by reading "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" By Henci Goer. Excellent book that goes over all the aspects of birth, interventions etc.

Do you know what the hospital you will be delivering at is like? Their policies, C-Section rates? etc. What about your doc? Can you switch to a midwife practice? Just because you have state insurance doesn't automatically mean you are stuck with the doc you have now if you don't feel they support natural birth, does it?
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  #3  
February 4th, 2010, 10:00 AM
BobbityBoo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would try to read as much as possible. There are several books out there with different natural child birth methods. Try to find one that makes sense to you or read a few of them and use some of each!

I think you biggest obstacle is to be sure your doctor and hospital are supportive of natural child birth. After doing some research and finding out what is important to you, talk with your doctor. Ask them questions about where they stand on things or if they have certain protocall they have to follow. Also try to talk to other women who use that doctor. Sometimes a doctor will "spin" their answers to make you happy but when push comes to shove they have their own agenda. So talking with other women might give you an idea of how they are in action.

Also make sure your partner is on board with natural child birth. Having a great supportive coach is one of the best resources! They can encourage you when you think you can't do it anymore. They can also be your advocate during labor if you doctor/nursing staff is less than ideal. When you are in labor you might not be able to concentrate on or voice you opinions on any suggestions your doctor has for you in terms of interventions. So your labor coach can know your plan ahead of time and stick up for you.

It is 100% do-able. But you just have to make a choice and stick with it. And make sure you are knowledgeable about your choice. Since you don't have a ton of resources available to you (birthing classes or doulas) you gotta do it yourself! I did it by myself with my DD with a very unsupportive doctor and hospital. I say go for it! You can do it!

Good luck!
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  #4  
February 4th, 2010, 10:05 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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where in Kentucky are you?
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  #5  
February 4th, 2010, 10:16 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm in Louisville.
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  #6  
February 4th, 2010, 10:40 AM
lilflower
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Have you looked into any birth centers? medicaid usually does cover those too.
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  #7  
February 4th, 2010, 10:41 AM
frugality=reality
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First-I had two natural births in a hospital. One of those hospitals even had a labor tub, so you just never know.

Second-I was on state Medicaid when I had my fourth-a birth center birth. Medicaid in many states will cover this. I don't know if you have access to one or not, though-but if you do, you can check to see. Here, birth centers are so much less expensive, that it is actually spoken of as "great" when they find out I'm going to a birth center (I have told my advocate each time she's called me).

Third-I never had a birthing class in my life. Ever. What I did do, was talk to my mother-who'd given birth four times and my sister-who'd given birth five times, and read everything I could get my hands on. I watched birth shows on television. I just totally absorbed myself in learning exactly what to expect.

I read one particularly helpful article while pregnant with my first, and I so wish I had kept the magazine! I've looked and looked and looked online, and I can't find it. It started out saying that if you see a cat giving birth, they do it with such ease... It talked about how a woman having a natural birth simply can NOT allow birth to take over her (like animals don't). She has to control it. It had tips to keep yourself focused and on top of labor. Like, when the contractions were more intense, remind yourself (and have your support remind you as well), that your body is made for giving birth. It absolutely isn't more than you can handle, as your body was made to do it. Self pep-talks. It helped me so much...

If you truly want a natural birth and you prepare yourself, there is no reason to not accomplish it-even if you're in a hospital. Just practice telling nurses off when they tell you that you "need" an epidural. Sometimes you'll get one that isn't very smart-they'll even tell you it will make everything go faster (while I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, they generally slow things down).
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  #8  
February 4th, 2010, 10:52 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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As far as I can tell there are no birth centers in or close to Louisville. I think birthing options here are just somewhat limited. I also just read that there are no Certified Nurse Midwives with hospital privileges in the city of Louisville. I can't find any information about the c-section rates for the hospitals or doctors here, but maybe I just don't know where to look. (I will definitely ask about it at my next appointment though.) And from what I can tell the best hospital to deliver at if you want a more natural birth and more personal attention is across the river in Indiana.

I did find a website for a network of doulas in the area so I think I will send out an e-mail to those listed and see if I can find someone who will provide services for free or at a reduced rate and maybe i will get some responses.
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  #9  
February 4th, 2010, 11:59 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thank you all for your input! I'm really going to try to make this happen and read and prepare the best I can. I just sent out an e-mail to some local doulas but I was so nervous to do it, although I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because I haven't really talked to DH about it yet, but I'm the one giving birth so we'll do it my way anyway. Hopefully I will be able to find one who can attend the birth for free.

I will start talking to my doctor at the next appointment about delivery and hospital policies, etc. I'm a little nervous because it's an all female group practice and I don't really have one doctor right now. I will meet with all of them and then I can choose one that I feel comfortable with or continue to rotate for the rest of my appointments. Whichever doctor is working when I deliver is the one who will deliver my baby. So I'm thinking a doula would probably be a good asset in this situation. I'm hoping all or most of the doctors will be supportive of my wishes and that the hospital policies will allow me to have fewer interventions as well.
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  #10  
February 4th, 2010, 12:06 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Definitely get your husband and doctor on board! Relay your desires for this birth and the reasons for them.
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  #11  
February 4th, 2010, 01:22 PM
Tiff802's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Georgia
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Whenever I need to find a doctor for anything in my area I usually visit the Mothering.com site.

Here is a link to a post in your area that has a suggestion for an OB and midwife. They have tons of good info on your area and the girls there are usually extremely supportive and helpful.

Louisville OBGYN - MotheringDotCommunity Forums
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  #12  
February 4th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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You can do it! Like someone else said, get DH and your doctor on board. I'm proud of you for planning a ncb. I've had 7 natural births, and am hoping for number 8 in May. I've delivered in hospitals for all of them and had a great experience. A big thing is getting DH on board and make up your mind you can do it. Also, try not to go to the hospital early, especially since it's number 1. I checked into the hospital with number 1 when I was 8 cm. I had a great birth experience, but they did end up using the vaccum. I pushed for 4 hours until finally she came. I'm glad my OB didn't start talking c/s after a couple of hours of pushiing, that seems to be pretty common. He hung in there with me.

Education is the key!
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  #13  
February 4th, 2010, 03:04 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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Location: south eastern Mass
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I'm going to direct Britt to this thread- she is in my playroom as well as in our DDC and posts here sometimes. She is shooting for a NCB as well, I know she found a small hospital that is about a half hour away that is very NCB friendly. She will be able to help you regionally.

Make sure you stick around, ok!! Support is your best friend.

eta: she lives in Louisville too
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Last edited by moon~maiden; February 4th, 2010 at 03:06 PM.
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  #14  
February 4th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You've gotten some great advice! I definitely agree with the suggestion to look for a doula in training. They are often free or will do a sliding scale payment. My Doula needed births to get her certification and while I did pay her I know she probably would not have requirement payment if I couldn't

I think everything else I would have suggested has already been covered. Knowing your hospital's policies will be a big help as will being comfortable to saying "No" to routine interventions like breaking your water, giving pit to "speed things up", etc. Since this is your first baby and first time Moms on average go to 41 weeks and a few days of pregnancy I would definitely ask your OB what their general guidelines are for Moms who go past their due date. Some will recommend a sonogram, others will want to induce and a few don't think you're post dates until past 42 weeks (which is great!).

I think it's great that you are already looking into your options. I didn't really know much about NCB until my 4th baby and I wish I had done research sooner.
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  #15  
February 4th, 2010, 03:55 PM
Husher's Avatar B & E complete me.
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I hope you can find a doula in training and that you get your ncb. You can absolutely do this without the classes but you have to keep your mind made up and don't let them sway you with the drug offers. Tell them to not even offer it to you! Once you achieve the birth you want you will be so proud and happy you didn't back down!
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  #16  
February 4th, 2010, 05:03 PM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks for all the advice! You ladies are so helpful. I have received a couple of responses from some of the doulas. One gave me a number where I could call to get referrals for some student doulas, so I'll check that out. Another said she would love to meet with us and discuss some options, so it sounds like she would try to work something out. And another doula let me know that she hasn't had too many women who have had good experiences with the practice I am currently at and suggested trying to find a more natural childbirth-friendly provider and recommended someone.

Tiffany - Thanks for posting that link. One of the doctors that was recommended on there was also highly recommended by one of the doulas who replied to my e-mail, and the other doctor that was recommended is in the same practice. I will be looking into possibly switching practices and that will probably give me more peace of mind.

Mari - thanks for the advice about not going to the hospital too soon. I did some reading this afternoon and every book said to labor at home as long as possible, so that is what I will plan on doing. If I can get a doula I'm sure that will help as well.

Cheryl - Britt is in my DDC and I've actually spoken to her about the area hospitals. The hospital she is using is the one in Indiana. I have heard very good things about it but unfortunately they do not accept my insurance.

Alison - I'm definitely going to find out about how my doctor (or the new doctor, if I switch practices) handles women who go overdue. I feel very strongly about not being induced if its not necessary.

Cindy - thanks for the tip about telling them not to offer me the drugs. Hopefully that will work!

Edited to add: Cheryl - I must have had pregnancy brain for a moment. I should have said Brittney is in our DDC, but of course you already know that, lol!
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Last edited by MaggieLizer; February 4th, 2010 at 05:49 PM.
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  #17  
February 4th, 2010, 08:18 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I'm still working on the doula situation myself, so I'm not too much help in that area.

But as far as state insurance that should be a factor in how you have your birth. Because it's not so much the hospital being covered as the doctor you see being covered.

I had state insurance when I had my pregnant with my son and the doctor I used actually could have delivered my son at the hospital in Indiana but I just never really looked at it as an option. I didn't do much research. So as long as you are using a doctor that state insurance covers that's all that matters. You may want to look into Louisville Physicians For Women Dr. Penta
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  #18  
February 4th, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Welcome! Just wanted to say that I didn't take special classes OR have a doula. Just me and my husband and I had a great NCB experience IN a hospital. It is possible. The hospital was smaller, the midwife was very supportive and I had a fantastic NCB friendly L&D nurse. The only thing I didn't like was they took the baby out to do all assessments and since I was hemorrhaging I couldn't do anything about it. Other than that, it was a very good experience. It can be done. I read and read and read! I checked books out at the library. "Birthing From Within", "Natural Birth the Bradley Way"- didn't end up doing any Bradley stuff, but it really helped me to relax and think naturally. Reading those books and studying just kept it fresh in my mind and kept me focused on my goal. That was the most important part. Good luck!
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  #19  
February 7th, 2010, 09:29 AM
lttle_one's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had a situation very similar to yours. I was able to find a doula for free (although I ended up not calling her, but that that was my bad, not hers Lol) and I also was able to get NCB classes for free. Oftentimes then women who do these classes will hold a scholarship position for people in our situation. Everyone pretty much covered everything else I would say, but I also wanted to add that when you get to the hospital, let them know you want a NCB-friendly nurse. I actually had a nurse stay 4 hours after her shift was over to support me and I never would have made it as far as I did w/out her! Good luck, you can do this!
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  #20  
February 7th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Sounds like you are off to a great start! I am using a student doula for my birth in June and am excited to have her there. I think that checking out the other doctors suggested to you and the student doula opportunities sound like the best first steps. There is also a lot of great reading materials out there that you should check out. Check out the Reading List that is stickied on this board!
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