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Laboring at home and Dr. Question

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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January 27th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 60
Hi Ladies,

I haven't posted much on this board, but fear not I'm still committed to doing everything that I can to have a NCB. I have an appointment to meet with a doula in the coming weeks and am about done reading through the Bradley Method book. I have a couple of questions though:

1.) How long is it safe to labor at home? Being a first-timer, I'm really going to try and avoid the whole scene of going to the hospital and being sent home because I'm not ready yet. And also because I don't really like hospitals that much, I want to spend as much of my labor at home as possible. Will I know when it's time to go to the hospital? Is there some sort of sign?

2.) Is it possible to have a NCB with a doctor and hospital staff that is not fully supportive of a first-time mom going through it naturally? I've really been having issues with this one and this is part of the reason why I've been hoping to have a doula with me. And even though everyone says that the doc only shows up right when the baby is going to come out, I still feel that the doc has a lot of control in the whole birthing in a hospital picture and if he's not on the same page that I am, then I don't know what the outcome may be. Maybe this is just me dragging my feet on a hospital birth. I watched the Business of Being Born when I was 9 weeks pregnant and I really wanted to give birth at a birthing center only to find out that I live in such a rural area that the closest one is 4 hours away. So it's a county hospital for me. But for some reason I just haven't felt like my doctor's office really cares about what I want out of the birth. I get the impression that as long as they give me a healthy baby, no matter what steps were taken to get there, then that's all I should be concerned with. And I know a healthy baby is of number one importance, but is that all that should matter? Whew...sorry for the ramble. That one has been swirling around my thoughts for quite awhile.
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January 27th, 2009, 12:17 PM
PixieQueen's Avatar Hi-Tech Hippie
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 6,038
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Health of the baby and health of the mother are both number one. And I mean mentally as well as physically. A mother shouldn't have to grieve her birth experience. I think a doula is a spectacular idea. As far as knowing when to go in, there are places online, and your doula may be able to help you with this, but they teach you how to check your own cervix. If you can check yourself, it will give you a better idea of your progression. Another advantage to that is that if you aren't moving very fast initially and you stay home, you aren't going to have to deal with the dr likely wanting to give you pitocin to speed things along.

A NCB is always possible, you just have to know your rights ahead of time. I would research you local laws and the hospital's standard of care and patients rights. Also, have you gone to the hosptial to register yet, or get a tour? When you do, I would interview a head nurse and find out what their views and procedures are for labor. Make a birth plan and get your Dr to sign it, then take a signed copy to the hospital to put in your file. The Dr's signature isn't quite a prescription, but it does let the nurses know he knows what they should be doing, and your nurses are going to be who you end up dealing with the most. Ask if they have a nurse experienced adn /or supportive of NCB and request her/him.

Sorry so long. You can do it!

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January 27th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Ask if they have a nurse experienced adn /or supportive of NCB and request her/him.[/b]
I second asking for a nurse who has experience with and supports NCB. In my opinion the nurse makes more of an impact on your while you are there than the doctor.
Getting a doula sounds like it will definitely be worthwhile for you.
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January 27th, 2009, 02:37 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
Hi I'm Cheryl, co-host here. Thanks for joining us!

Have you considered switching docs? If you feel this way about the office now, that's not likely to change. I felt like the OB office I was originally using was too impersonal and I switched at 18 weeks. It's never too late for you to switch! I used midwifes and they were so much better. I would call around and interview some docs or midwives and find ones that are NCB experienced and friendly. In fact, asking your doula who she recommends is perfect too.

I can't recommend a doula enough. I loved mine and her presence was so important it inspired me to become one! I am training now. We also took classes with her right in her home.

eta: most doulas will come to your house to be with you if you want to labor at home, so she will know when the best time for you to move to the hospital will be.
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January 27th, 2009, 03:34 PM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 13,080
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As far as how long to stay home, a lot will depend on how far you are from the hospital. If you are only a few minutes away I'd wait until you hit the "I can't do this anymore" stage by the time you get to the hospital you'll be having the baby. But if you don't want to rush THAT much (lol) wait until contractions are 2-3 minutes apart for a while.

Another option is to try to learn how to check your own cervix (or have your DH/SO check for you) and go when you are at least 6cm dilated or more.
Kellisa, Mama to:
Courtney, Nola, Kya, Whitney, and baby girl #5 coming soon!
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January 27th, 2009, 09:41 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 9,159
A doula who is experienced can really help you decide when to go to the hospital.

I reccomend that you don't check your own cervix in labor- you can rupture your membranes accidently, and a care provider is highly trained for a reason. But you really just have to decide this one on your own.

A Dr who is unfriendly to NCB is a huge roadblock to natural plans, and while a doula is a large benefit, no one can fix broken glass, if you catch my drift.
Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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January 28th, 2009, 08:47 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Maryland
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Well, I don't know if I can help much, since I went to the hospital WAY too soon. But, I was 2 - 2 1/2 hours away from the hospital, so...

I knew it was too soon. It was all too calm. I didn't feel an urgency about it. It seemed surreal to be heading in already. The second time I went in, I could just tell it was time to go. (Although, looking back, I would have liked to stay home just a few hours longer, but we had no car, and had to call a cab, so that made me nervous)

So, I guess, other than having a doula to help you out...tune out everyone, and what they want for you. Internalize and listen to what your body is telling you.
Wendy, Mom to
Kyron, Porter, Donovan, Jocelyn, Angel Baby Bernadette, & Alice

My Ovulation Chart
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January 28th, 2009, 10:23 AM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20,689
You can always be the way I was last time. I used my doctors annoyingness and anti-natural birth attitude as motivation. I was SO going to prove him WRONG. He did not know me and did not know what I was capable of. Guess what? I proved him wrong and delivered her without pain meds just about 50 minutes after he gave me pit...ha, I proved him WRONG, and it was GREAT!

When they persisted in questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7
Sail Back to Me
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January 28th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 60
Thanks ladies for all of the advice! I always end up feeling better after I read your positive and reassuring posts. :-)
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