Hello friends! How is everyone today? Well, I am addressing something that frustrates me. Before I do, I just want to say that however you choose to birth your baby, is of course, YOUR CHOICE and I would never discourage that. However, I have come across blogs that repeatedly put down hospital births, medicated births and the medical profession. I don’t know what happens around the rest of the country, but where I have worked the nurses and physicians are compassionate people. If people bring in a birth plan (more on that in a minute), I respect it as much as I can. However, you have to realize, that there are certain things that I HAVE to follow, if I want to keep my nursing license and/or follow my hospital’s standards of care. I have to monitor you, though I can do it intermittently. I have to check your temperature and your blood pressure. Many woman are upset because of all the interventions and requirements in hospitals. Many say that the physicians and nurses are just trying to “cover their ass”. And that is true, to a point. But why do you think all these things came along? It certainly isn’t because people are NOT suing.
On birth plans. First of all, I came across a comment from a doc who said birth plans should be able to fit on an index card. And that is true. You should have the things that are most important to you on there, and nothing more. As an FYI, nobody does routine enemas or shaving anymore. I just hate seeing that on there. What is it, the 1970’s? We know you don’t want a c-section. Nobody does. Most of all, if I can stress anything about birth plans is to be FLEXIBLE, because childbirth is not something you can dictate, it can change in a heartbeat, and you have to sometimes roll with the punches.
Lastly, here a few tips for those of you who might want to keep your birth as intervention free as possible:
1. First and foremost, stay HOME as long as possible. Now, if your water breaks you should definitely call your hospital/birth center and they will tell you when you should come in. And if you are GBS positive, you should go in right away so you can be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise, the longer you can stay home, the better.
2. Stay upright. Of course if you are in early labor and you need to rest, by all means do so. But when you are in active labor upright is best. Use gravity to your benefit. It doesn’t necessarily mean walking, but walking, birthing ball, just standing and rocking. All of those things help your baby maneuver his way down the birth canal.
3. If you are lucky enough to have a tub at your disposal, use it! Whether it be at home or in the hospital. I once had a patient go from 4 to complete in an hour in the tub. I ended up delivering that baby. But many women find the water relaxing. Try it. As an alternate, if you don’t have a tub, a shower often works quite well.
4. Lastly, inductions. I personally have no problem with inductions, within reason of course. If you are one of those people that already has one child and your inlaws live out of town, you might need to schedule an induction. But a word of caution. It is best not to have an induction before 39 weeks unless medically necessary for blood pressure, diabetes issues, or issues with the baby. After 39 weeks it helps if you have a cervix that is “ripe”. Meaning that it is soft, slightly dilated and thinning out. This will make the induction go easier and faster. If you have a cervix that is long, closed , firm and posterior, your induction will most likely take a day or more. You also increase your risk of a c-section if you induce with this kind of cervix.
I hope this makes a little sense. I am in NO WAY putting down home births, water births, medicated or non medicated births. I am just hoping that this will shed a little insight into how things run in the hospital.