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  #46  
Old Feb 22, '12, 4:01 pm
LongingForLight LongingForLight is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

I've only skimmed the thread, so sorry if this has already been suggested - but have you looked into either hospital midwives, or a birth center?

I've had a C-section, a hospital VBAC with medication but no epi, and am now going for a homebirth VBAC. I'm trying to reduce my odds of a repeat C-section, plus reduce the stress of trying to figure out when I'm going into labor vs. when I'm just having my normal boatload of Braxton-Hicks. I had a pretty good experience in the hospital - they worked with me when I realized I was getting tired and needed to sleep to find options short of an epidural that might work and try those first (and they worked!). However, I did do a ton of research first on my OB to find the most VBAC-friendly OB in the area. I would prefer a birth center to either a hospital or a homebirth, but in this area, birth centers are not allowed to perform VBACs It's pretty ridiculous, VBACs - especially ones who have given birth since the Cesarean - aren't really high risk for complications, just high-risk for litigation in the rare cases where something *does* go wrong. *Sigh*.

On pain relief - a plain water IV can actually go a *long* way towards reducing pain if you are getting dehydrated. I also got some morphine and used an oxygen mask for a while. I really wanted to maintain the majority of sensation (that is, no epidural), since I believed (based on my research) that lowering sensations would put me at greater risk for more interventions as a VBAC patient. I also found that how relaxed I was had a huge impact on my levels of pain, and how rested mattered - when I was able to snatch a few minutes of sleep between contractions, my pain went down (and the effectiveness of contractions went up, actually, going by the rate of dilation!)

I agree with researching your doctors, hospital, and so on. Try to check C-section rates at the hospitals! ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) might be able to help you locate these for your region.
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  #47  
Old Feb 22, '12, 4:13 pm
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SummerSmiles SummerSmiles is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

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Originally Posted by SavedByHim View Post
I am going to link to an external site that is probably going to shake things up for some people.

http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/2010/1...-touching.html

It's a really great article... and personally, I feel an important one. There are so many decisions a young, first-time mom is going to make. These decisions start with birth. People say: It doesn't matter how you birth your baby. The only thing that matters is a healthy baby.

I respectfully disagree. Birth is one of the most important, significant, momentous things a woman will do. And while, yes, of COURSE we all want a healthy baby, if we treat the birth process as something that doesn't matter, we are seriously short-changing women.

Now, in regards to natural birth. There are some real physiological benefits to natural birth. Google them. God designed our bodies so beautifully and the chain of chemical reactions that take place in a birthing woman work together so perfectly and PURPOSEfully. If one link in the chain is broken (via various medical interventions) it can alter the entire process.

Before anyone jumps in and says "but medical interventions save lives!!", I am not talking about THOSE instances. Indeed, there is a place for modern obstetrics. But I believe these should be the exception, not the norm.

My tips for you: (if you care to hear from a crazy, crunchy, natural-birth fanatic)

1. Read!!!! Read books, read birth stories, read research papers, read midwifery Facebook pages, read blogs. IMMERSE yourself in birth. Become a student of birth.

2. Watch YouTube videos of natural birth. Seriously. You will need an account to watch the more "graphic" ones, but those are the ones you want to watch so you are exposed to what birth REALLY looks and sounds like. (Hollywood has it all wrong!)

3. Hire a doula. Make sure she knows and respects your wishes and will be a vocal advocate for you while in labor so you can lose yourself in the birthing process. (Oh, and call her once you think you are in labor. She can help prevent you from going in too early. )

4. Don't be afraid to switch providers or place of birth. Research their stats, get a feel for the provider's (and his/her partners') philosophies on birth. If something doesn't match with your own philosophies, switch. The doctor is not going to change the day your baby is born.

5. TRUST your body. TRUST birth. God made you to do this. My midwives once made a comment about how safe home birth (and I know you're not looking into that) is because they don't do the things that can make hospital births unsafe.

Artificial rupture of membranes = increased risk of cord prolapse
Multiple vaginal examinations = increased risk of infection
Artificial inductions = increased risk of fetal distress
(etc. etc. etc. hopefully you get my point, but there are many more.)

So, your family is right: a natural birth won't get you any glory or a gold star. But I can guarantee you, it will make you revel in the glory of our God by whom you are so perfectly and wonderfully made.

Peace to you mama!
Thanks for the link, I found it fascinating!!! Since having my first baby, I've become more and more of a "nature girl," with more than just the birthing process. I just overall think that when God designed nature, He had it right and in many cases we don't need all of the new chemical advances that we have in all areas of our life. Anyways, I plan to do as much reading as I can so that I can have as natural a birth as possible. I doubt I'll do a homebirth this time around, but it does give me something to work towards!
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  #48  
Old Feb 23, '12, 7:19 am
Articous Articous is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Wow, well, thanks everyone for making me feel a lot less anxious. I'm not sure why on all the basic pregnancy websites it didn't give all of the options you have said. I've read pretty much epidural or nothing. It's good to know that I can have lower dosages of things and still be able to feel and control my own contractions, which is the main thing I want. I will have to look more into the gas thing...that sounds a little scary to me .

I can definitely talk to my doctor now that I know it isn't so black and white and ask her what options are available at the hospital. I'm glad to know there are some things I can do to relieve pain! HUGE sigh of relief.
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  #49  
Old Feb 23, '12, 7:30 am
samcarter samcarter is offline
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Smile Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

You are not wrong. And it's important that you find out NOW if your doctor is supportive. My first doctor pretended to be, but really wasn't, and I ended up with a C section after what they call a 'cascade of intervention." (Badly done induction, refusal on the doctor's part to attempt vacuum extraction, et cetera.)

My second birth was much better because I sought out a doctor who had a high rate of success with VBAC births. He was highly recommended by the other moms in the Catholic homeschooling group I was attending at the time. Since then he's added another doctor to his practice, one who shares his belief in natural childbirth when possible. We've had three babies with this practice, and it's all been unmedicated (I did have to be induced with Pitocin twice, and the last time the new doctor induced by just pricking the amniotic sac--that was the best induction EVER, actually).

There is a wonderful book I read that really helped me with my last birth, and I wish I had had it for my first. The title is "Natural Hospital Birth," i believe, and I would get it and read it.

Definitely hire a doula. I was very lucky to find a doula who was also training to be a midwife (and she is a certified midwife now, but still does doula work, yay), and a certfiied massage therapist. My husband felt comfortable about leaving me during labor to go home and check on the kids (with his parents) because she was there and he knew I had another advocate.

Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor, and change providers if you need to. Talk to other moms in the area, find out your doctor's success rate with VBACs (even though this is your first, I find this statistic is very telling about their attitude about birthing in general, and natural birth in particular!). Ask if he or she knows how to use and is willing to try vacuum extraction if neccessary. If my first OB had been willing to do that, at a critical time, I doubt I would have had a c section. She claimed it was because my baby was 10 pounds, but I went on to birth another 10 pounder, a 12 pounder, and an 11 pounder vaginally, with no pain meds, so I doubt size was the issue.
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  #50  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:48 am
Jennifer J Jennifer J is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Savedbyhim said everything I would have I've had 7 unmedicated births in hospitals. It can be done. Just be warned, your provider may be behind your choices, but the nurses at the hospital often aren't. Sometimes they'll think you are crazy. Natural birth is often more work for them and you are often noisier and moving around and more difficult . They will offer you drugs every chance they get. Make sure you have a good support person who will back up what YOU want and help you make decisions if the going gets rough. Prayers for you!
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  #51  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:52 am
Serap Serap is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer J View Post
Savedbyhim said everything I would have I've had 7 unmedicated births in hospitals. It can be done. Just be warned, your provider may be behind your choices, but the nurses at the hospital often aren't. Sometimes they'll think you are crazy. Natural birth is often more work for them and you are often noisier and moving around and more difficult . They will offer you drugs every chance they get. Make sure you have a good support person who will back up what YOU want and help you make decisions if the going gets rough. Prayers for you!
DOULA!!!

Husbands are not support people I thought my husband was going to faint a couple of times
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  #52  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:10 pm
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

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Originally Posted by Serap View Post
DOULA!!!

Husbands are not support people I thought my husband was going to faint a couple of times
I don't know if I was on the verge of fainting but there were times with our first that I was nearly immobilized in shock at my wife's agony. Fortunately, we had a doula.

For our second, I was better prepared. Unfortunately, the pregnancy went 2 weeks past term and we decided to induce. The pain was so bad, she needed an epidural (she was already on full strength IV pain meds and still couldn't bear it). Now our second is a preschooler and DW still gets back pain at the epidural site.
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  #53  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:49 pm
jilly4ski jilly4ski is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonCatcher View Post
I don't know if I was on the verge of fainting but there were times with our first that I was nearly immobilized in shock at my wife's agony. Fortunately, we had a doula.

For our second, I was better prepared. Unfortunately, the pregnancy went 2 weeks past term and we decided to induce. The pain was so bad, she needed an epidural (she was already on full strength IV pain meds and still couldn't bear it). Now our second is a preschooler and DW still gets back pain at the epidural site.
This is what scared me away from the epidural. I had initially been pretty open to all kinds of pain management, but they had us watch the video on epidurals in my hospital birthing class. When they went over what could go wrong and what the side effects were, I almost immediately decided against it.

I did have an IV drug with my first, but I will stay away from those in the future, because of my special reaction to the drug. Painkillers tend to hit me pretty hard anyways (1 extra strength tylenol has been known to put me to sleep), but I was given an IV drug and the nurse had to then coach me to breath. The drug was effective enough at least on my diaphragm and/or my brain that it literally shut down my breathing. I either wasn't breathing enough or deeply enough to get air to the baby, so the nurse had to tell me when to inhale and when to exhale. (I was also observed sleeping in the >30 second gap between contractions). So with my second I didn't have any drugs, not that there was time, and will hopefully do that again with this one.
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  #54  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:57 pm
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SummerSmiles SummerSmiles is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

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Originally Posted by Serap View Post
DOULA!!!

Husbands are not support people I thought my husband was going to faint a couple of times
My husband was a champ both times--best birth coach I could have wished for. When we got done delivering my first baby, the nurses actually asked him if he'd coached a birth before because he was so cool under pressure. He stepped up to the plate to get me through the hardest bit of it when I got scared that I wouldn't be able to live through the pain. The nurses couldn't believe that it was his first time through it.

That being said, not everyone can handle the blood/guts/pain like he did, and I'm glad that doulas are around for the women who need them. So many of my friends have absolutely loved their doulas.
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  #55  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:08 pm
mini_me640 mini_me640 is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer J View Post
Savedbyhim said everything I would have I've had 7 unmedicated births in hospitals. It can be done. Just be warned, your provider may be behind your choices, but the nurses at the hospital often aren't. Sometimes they'll think you are crazy. Natural birth is often more work for them and you are often noisier and moving around and more difficult . They will offer you drugs every chance they get. Make sure you have a good support person who will back up what YOU want and help you make decisions if the going gets rough. Prayers for you!
My nurses (for both births - different nurses) encouraged me to wait as long as I could if I decided to get an epidural because it can sometimes slow contractions) do again it is something that varies a lot from hospital to hospital and from professional to professional.
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  #56  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:32 pm
Jennifer J Jennifer J is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

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Originally Posted by mini_me640 View Post
My nurses (for both births - different nurses) encouraged me to wait as long as I could if I decided to get an epidural because it can sometimes slow contractions) do again it is something that varies a lot from hospital to hospital and from professional to professional.
I only have my experiences to judge from, 3 states, 4 different hospitals and all the nurses tried to push drugs. Didn't matter what my birth plan said, what I said or what my husband said. They asked more than once. I suppose it's one of those things they want to make sure about.
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  #57  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:34 pm
Jennifer J Jennifer J is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerSmiles View Post
My husband was a champ both times--best birth coach I could have wished for. When we got done delivering my first baby, the nurses actually asked him if he'd coached a birth before because he was so cool under pressure. He stepped up to the plate to get me through the hardest bit of it when I got scared that I wouldn't be able to live through the pain. The nurses couldn't believe that it was his first time through it.

That being said, not everyone can handle the blood/guts/pain like he did, and I'm glad that doulas are around for the women who need them. So many of my friends have absolutely loved their doulas.
My husband is the same way. He was always a great labor coach!
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  #58  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:50 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

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Originally Posted by Articous View Post
Wow, well, thanks everyone for making me feel a lot less anxious. I'm not sure why on all the basic pregnancy websites it didn't give all of the options you have said. I've read pretty much epidural or nothing. It's good to know that I can have lower dosages of things and still be able to feel and control my own contractions, which is the main thing I want. I will have to look more into the gas thing...that sounds a little scary to me .

I can definitely talk to my doctor now that I know it isn't so black and white and ask her what options are available at the hospital. I'm glad to know there are some things I can do to relieve pain! HUGE sigh of relief.
I had midwives for my first. I went to a birthing center in a regular hospital. There was a tub that I spent a good deal of time in, they just left me alone which was what I wanted. The midwives were really good at getting the baby out without tearing me up. I loved the experience. But I was in active labor for about 7 hours. Before the labor, I had a birth plan and drugs were not part of the plan, ever. I felt all of the pain, and I also forgot it as soon as I held my son in my arms.

The 2nd time, I went to a regular OB, still told him I wasn't going to need drugs, he was OK with that. That labor happened so quickly there really wasn't any option even if I had wanted drugs. I almost had the baby kneeling, backwards, holding onto the back of the raised hospital bed. At the last minute, the nurses flipped me over right side up, in the middle of a contraction. I had no birth plan per se. I figured things would go quickly and they did.

I think you should screen your doctor and see if he/she is cool with birth plans. If not, and you're not too far along, consider switching to a midwife. They always practice under a doctor's umbrella so if things look sketchy, you can still get care (that's why I was in the hospital instead of a separate birthing center). (But I was an old lady when I had my 1st - 34.)
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  #59  
Old Feb 26, '12, 1:29 pm
ThyKingdomCome ThyKingdomCome is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Articous,

Congratulations on your baby! It will help if you have support. You said that you would like your mom to help you - is she the person who will be bringing in the delivery room with you? Since you didn't mention a husband, I'm not sure if you are married, or if the father is involved...if he is, then is HE likely to be able to stick up for you? It doesn't sound like your mom is necessarily going to fight for your preferences in this situation, so as another has said, a doula might not be a bad idea.

Regardless of who will be with you on delivery day, this is what I recommend you do:
1-Put all of your preference down on paper. Take them to your OBGYN and talk about them. Ask questions. Talk about your fears. Try not to sound like you are accusing the doctor ahead of time. Remember that (s)he is on your side, and wants you and your baby to be healthy. You might find that your doctor is perfectly ok with what you want.

2-Type up a birth plan. Put each of your wishes in writing. The first section should be about what happens while you're in labor. Put the most important wishes first. Then the second section should be about your wishes for after the baby is born. Again, put your most important preferences at the beginning of this section.

If possible, keep the birth plan all on one side of one page. Number your wishes, and put spaces in between them. Have someone look it over and make sure it is easy to read and understand. The easier it is for a busy nurse to read, the more useful it will be when you are in labor.

3-Make several copies of your birth plan and distribute them as follows:
---During your third trimester, bring one copy to your OBGYN, discuss it with him/her and have them keep it.
---Keep at least two copies of your birth plan in your hospital bag. When you go to the hospital, hand your birth plan to the nurse who is caring for you. Ask her to look it over and discuss it with you.
--Keep the other copy of your birth plan for you and your helper (husband/mother/doula). Keep it right out on the nightstand, or some other easy to see place, so that you can refer to it if needed. If you want a third copy in your hospital bag as a back up (in case something spills on the other one, or in case it gets lost in the shuffle), go ahead.

4. Don't be afraid to be outspoken. If someone at the hospital wants to do something that you disagree with, or even that you're not sure about, question them. Ask "why this? why now? Why can't I ___ instead?" There are times when it is necessary to deviate from the birth plan, but in most cases, there is time to discuss it ahead of time, so that you can have a chance to understand why. And there are times when the staff would LIKE to deviate from the birth plan, but if you are vocal about what you want, they won't. Don't worry about whether or not they like you, but remember that they are not the enemy. Start out assuming they will follow and respect your wishes, and if you need to keep reminding them of what you want, so be it.

Good for you for thinking about it ahead of time. You've got time to ask a million questions, read books, take a childbirth prep class (find one that teaches the method that you are interested in), get help online, etc. You'll do great. Don't be afraid. God bless you!
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  #60  
Old Feb 26, '12, 5:10 pm
Serap Serap is offline
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Default Re: Natural Child Birth Stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerSmiles View Post
My husband was a champ both times--best birth coach I could have wished for. When we got done delivering my first baby, the nurses actually asked him if he'd coached a birth before because he was so cool under pressure. He stepped up to the plate to get me through the hardest bit of it when I got scared that I wouldn't be able to live through the pain. The nurses couldn't believe that it was his first time through it.

That being said, not everyone can handle the blood/guts/pain like he did, and I'm glad that doulas are around for the women who need them. So many of my friends have absolutely loved their doulas.
well your hubby is in the minority. consider yourself lucky.
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