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{Poll} Birthing Methods

Ashley Evanson - March 08, 2012

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When it comes to children, everyone has an opinion. And the way you give birth to them is no exception.

We Mormons are in the business of baby birthing. It's not uncommon for a Mormon mom to give birth five, six, seven(?!) times in her life. It's a pretty big deal. There is no right or wrong way to have a baby, just different ones; and with all the moms out there, I'm curious to know which methods are most popular.

For me, I got an epidural before I even got my ice chips. Let's just say I'm a big baby. My personal philosophy (personal, ladies, not for everyone) is I would never ask to have a root canal natural, so I surely am not going to ask to have a baby natural. But I really respect women who do. Truly. That is some serious willpower. I also chose to go the traditional, Western medicine route with an O.B. and in a big, fancy hospital. But I've read that midwives and even home births are increasing in popularity among women in the United States.

Your turn: If you've had a baby, or plan to have a baby one day, what's your personal birthing style?

FEATURED SPONSOR Scripture Journal

For moms and future moms, which method did/will you choose when giving birth?







Where did/will you give birth?







Did/will you attend a birthing class?




How do you feel about being induced?






© LDS Living, 2012.
Comments 42 comments

jess27 said...

10:39 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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The only thing wrong with your root canal theory is when you get a root canal your only dealing with yourself. Do you think having a child naturally is about simply just proving you can or whatever? Its not fun but it is the unselfish way of doing things. Whats best for your baby. You spend nine months watching what you eat to make sure nothing harms your baby but when it comes time you have no problem filling your baby with tons of drugs that inhibit your babies ability to be aware and work with the mother and enjoy its first moments in life and even the next year just because your afraid of a little pain. The natural birthing process is truly a gift from God. Its sad you all give it away just so you can be comfortable. Educate yourselves

enjoybirth said...

10:59 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I have had a cesarean, a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with an epidural and then a VBAC natural using Hypnobabies, a hypnosis for childbirth class. A Root Canal is a surgery, I would use medicine for that as well. But birth is a natural thing, like losing a tooth. With the right tools you can do it easily without drugs! http://youtu.be/I0xyB-Ujy8s I made a video talking about this very topic. There is also a very spiritual aspect about giving birth, which all moms can experience, regardless of if they have a natural birth or medicated birth or cesarean. I have co-authored a book with some other LDS moms about spirituality and birth, The Gift of Giving Life which should be coming out in the next few months. http://thegiftofgivinglife.com

veritaserum said...

11:04 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Well, spontaneous root canals don't happen in nature. That's my problem with that analogy. :-) I love natural childbirth, but I hate pain and I absolutely medicate for actual problems or procedures (migraines, dental work, etc.). Normal birth just isn't that bad for me if I have good labor tools and proper support from my caregivers. I've had menstrual periods worse than labor. I had an epidural with my first. No pain with no effort was great, but I did not like the side effects. I gave birth to my next four children without any drugs at all. I used Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis, which allowed me to be MORE comfortable than I was with an epidural (no waiting for the anesthesiologist) and I didn't incur any of the risks that come with medications. It's a win-win. :-) I am expecting my sixth baby and expect that this will be my fifth unmedicated birth. I will be using Hypnobabies again. I've done doctor/really-medical-hospital, midwife/home/waterbirth, and now I'm doing midwife/really-relaxed-hospital.

wmc113 said...

11:06 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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AS far as being induced none of your choices available seem to fit our situation. My wife had to be induced to have the baby before it got to big to come out naturally, it wasn't really a choice for us. It turned into a blessing because the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck and it might not have survived if those first few contrations hadn't occured in the hospital.

bethanymom said...

11:11 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I have had both a natural childbirth, and an epidural childbirth. Honestly I MUCH preferred the epidural one. Both were an amazing experience, and I wouldn't have changed trying both methods. But I enjoyed the one with the epidural much more than the natural one. With the natural one I was unable to focus on anything but the pain. So I missed out on some of the other things happening in the room around me. There is one thing I would have done differently had I been more aware of what was going on. I felt much more in control of the situation with my epidural birth. I was able to ask better questions, and make a more informed decision when it came time to decide to continue pushing for a little longer and use an assistive device (vaccum extractor), or prep for a c-section. Personally I find that it doesn't matter how your child exits your body, or even if you child never comes from your body at all (adoption). Your connection to your child, your mother-ness, your spiritual experiance when it comes to being a mother is more than just the sum of your child birthing process.

jess27 said...

11:13 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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well i doubt your baby would have been to big to birth naturally thats just what they tell you i know i had a 11 lb baby at home naturally. ya eleven lbs. and my baby had the umbilical cord too most do its really fine and normal you just take it off.

londoner said...

11:17 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Having lived in both the UK and the USA, I have to say that the USA is extremely removed from the whole birthing process. Much fear is placed into the minds of women. Firstly, you go to the hospital because you are sick, not to have a baby. Birthing centres would be IDEAL but I don't see this changing for decades in the USA.... Most of the ladies requesting an epidural, if they were actually shown how women are meant to give birth (either standing up and leaning, squatting on your knees, or on all fours) rather than plonking them down on their back with their legs up in stirrups, there would be NO need for an epidural. An epidural masks the very thing that your body naturally is trying to tell you to do, push! Instead, more drugs given drugs to speed up the delivery once the epidural slows it down, and have a doctor and various nurses yelling when you are to 'push'. I've also seen that having a c-section seems to be the norm rather than the exception, apparently it's become trendy to have SURGERY before your due date so that the birth doesn't interfere with ones social life or whatever else is deemed far more important. My eyes have been opened as an expat and you know, I don't ever want to give birth in a hospital again. Give me a birthing pool in a calm environment where my birth plan is followed and giving birth on your back is laughed at because the doctors and midwives know how awful this approach is. Where delayed cord clamping is standard practise because the blood actually DOES belong to the baby...... I wish everyone could come live in Europe and see how women actually listen to their bodies and do what nature always intended, rather than allowing doctors to dictate what 'they' believe is the correct (Translation: what is convenient to them) way to birth a child. :o(

may2012 said...

11:18 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Having a child is a gift from God. I have never read in scripture or have heard any Prophet say that giving "natural birth" is a gift from God. Those are the only sources that can speak for God. I have had an epidural with all 3 of my children. All were born over 9 lbs. and healthy and are to this day very healthy. I had no side effects from any of my epidurals. Those are also a blessing. They have not had more then a handful of sick visits to the doctor and my youngest is 6. If you chose to have a "natural birth" great, but please stop telling those of us that chose to have an epidural to educate ourselves. We have and we like to be comfortable and have a low stress birth, which is also good for a baby.

jess27 said...

11:19 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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awesome awesome love your comment londoner!

jess27 said...

11:23 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Did I say God said that? no. like everything in this whole dang magazine its an opinion just like yours. but seeing as how you've never done it you wouldn't know it was a gift.

foytix said...

11:28 AM
on Mar 08, 2012

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While I agree with the other two comments about a root canal being very different thank natural birth, I have had all the above. My first was an unexpected home birth where I delivered my daughter by myself. We had been to the hospital and they sent us home (an hour away) 2 hours after getting home I was catching her in our guest bathroom while my husband slept through it all. My second was a planned water birth at home with a midwife. My midwives were very hands off and never touched me or the baby until 2 hours after the birth. I too caught my second. My third pregnancy ended in a Missed Miscarriage at 12 weeks. They were twins and I went in for a D&C around 13 weeks. With my 4th and final pregnancy we got twins again. I had all the offers to help with a home birth again, but something told me no. I thought it was fear b/c A) I had miscarried twins and B) twins were a "higher risk" for something to go wrong. Despite my belief in home birth and natural birth, something kept pushing me for a hospital birth. I found a great midwife and OB team. I told them I had no problems going past 40 weeks and they both laughed but were very supportive. Everything kept looking great, babies head down, growing fine...no issues. I started to doubt my choices and thought more about home birth...but once again something screamed no. At 38 weeks I was told "if I wanted to be induced they would". I jumped right on it and not sure why...I never supported inductions. Well I went in and was induced. Baby a was heads down and baby B was breech. No issues though and we were set to deliver vaginally. I was never in any excruciating pain, but something made me ask for an epidural. The midwife came and left 3 times before she finally said "are you sure?" "are you in pain" and I told her yes I was sure, but no I wasn't in any horrible pain. She reminded me of my plans and I told her "I know, I never would ask for this, but something tells me I should". With in 5 mins the Anesthesiologist was in there. The initial needle hurt far worse than any of the labor pains I had been feeling. Epidural went in and in a matter of seconds I could no longer feel contractions just pressure in my rib cage every time I had a contraction. ^ hours after induction, 2 hours after Epi I was being rolled in to the OR (had to deliver there b/c of twins) as I was complete and ready to push. Two pushed out came A, 6 mins later and one push out came B (who had been breech, but flipped after her Brother was born). After a fast and easy labor and delivery I did think why in the world did I give in. I should of been at home and I could of done this all with out an Epi. That was all true. However, the next day at 10am my son started throwing up bile, he needed to be transferred to a children's hospital almost 2 hours away for emergency surgery. It was then I realized why I had a hospital birth, why I was induced and why I had the epidural. Home birth is not legal where I live, an issue like this would of been fun trying to explain to a hospital. The surgeon who operated on my son said my son's intestines had flipped only 2-3 days before he was born. Had I waited 2-3 more weeks to give birth his intestines could of totally tied off and killed his intestines or him. Immediately after this birth I was up and able to move around, I felt like I hadn't given birth at all...no tears, no pain what so ever. Even with my natural, drug free labors I needed a few days to heal and just get over that I just popped a baby out feeling. I was discharged 15 hours after delivering twins so I could go with my son to the Children's hospital. I have always been a supporter and pusher of home birth, natural birth, BUT there are exceptions and there are times for "a little help". I have always been told I have a very tolerance to pain, and I know there are those out there that have a very low tolerance to pain. I think the most important thing is that the mother is Educated and get to birth where and how she wants to. Whether it be at home all natural, in the hospital all natural or in a hospital with pain relief. We have to learn to support and educate each other not tear each other's birth stories apart. Before my twins birth, I was one of those that would of tore any story apart that wasn't natural. Voluntary c-sections are a completely different topic for me though...lol!

bjdoc425 said...

12:03 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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My compliments to Londonier. As a small town Doc, with international exposure, this is how I look back on my years in active OB experience. America has been dictated by legal induced excessive control of a beautiful natural experience. A system does not exist in America that provides both choice and safety. Dutch birthing centers, with 24 hour coverage for possible surgical invention give natural calm home like setting, with intervention care always available. Total home care, without immediate surgical care is not safe in this country, because the two systems collide. Please look at the Dutch system for bringing the two camps of care together.

sariahw said...

12:24 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Want to open a can of worms - ask women about giving birth! Especially LDS women! :) Not too long ago in sacrament meeting a woman got up and said that natural home birth was the only way we should ever give birth, and equated learning about the benefits to discovering the truth of the gospel. (She failed to mention however that low-risk women who do home births have a 2 to 3 times higher infant mortality rate because they simply can't get to a hospital fast enough.) I don't care how women want to give birth. I'm one of those voluntary C-section people - because my first was 12 lbs. 12 oz. (not a typo, and not gestational diabetes). Had I insisted that "my birth plan" take precedence over my son's life and health, I could have done some very serious damage to both of us. No "experience" was worth his life. I've had four C-sections with children that were every bit as big as their oldest brother, and I don't regret it for a second. In giving birth my priority was the health of my child and my health. The safest way for these very large children to be born was via C-section. I didn't feel disconnected during their birth, I don't feel like less of a woman/mother because I didn't push them out - I gave birth to them. Before I knew I had to have C-sections, I elected to give birth in a hospital. Odds were everything would be fine, but I wasn't willing to gamble my children's health on those odds. If something DID go wrong, I wanted that safety net. I wanted doctors and specialists and ORs and nurses and equipment and everything to be in place JUST IN CASE. Even a 20-minute ambulance drive can be too long when your baby is dying or when you've started hemorrhaging. I'm another who has tired of of advocates telling me how I should have given birth and that I need to "educate" myself. I'm very well educated, and I made the best decision for me and my children and I have absolutely zero regrets.

sariahw said...

12:26 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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P.S. The natural method has cost millions of lives over the centuries - both mother and child - and I don't see it as some ideal that we should be held to. My body may "know what to do," but that doesn't mean it will do it well or do it right.

altorock13 said...

12:55 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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@ Jess27: My sister almost died because her baby was too big for her to give birth to, but the doctor didn't realize it until after 27 hours of labor. They called for an emergency C-section. Even though the baby was released from the hospital when it should have been, my sister had to stay for a week more. So perhaps your body was able to handle giving birth to a large baby, that doesn't mean that all women's bodies are created equal. Maybe you should do as you so eloquently put in your first statement and "educate" yourself before you post something that can very easily be disproven. But, that's just my opinion. :p

rowtie said...

12:59 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Let us not forget to be Christlike here. We certainly cannot judge another's use of agency. What I do know is that in making choices that involve giving life we ought to take them to the Lord after doing all we can to research our options. After taking it to the Lord, we may feel inclined to an epidural or to a home birth. Throwing stones will not accomplish anything here. Closing our minds to the options is limiting our use of agency and compassion. I do wish that I had learned more about the risks of epidurals before I chose one with my first birth. It led to a slippery slope of interventions that ended in unnecessary surgery. I thought I could have the uncomplicated painless birth experience that other women had described to me but it was not that way. I have since had 4 very uncomplicated natural births at home. We made that choice after a lot of research, prayer and fasting. (My first birth at home was unplanned, the baby came so fast we had to catch him at home.) It is important to be prepared for a variety of possibilities. It is also important to use our agency in a way in which we take accountability for our choices whether that leads us to the hospital, home, or a birth center, medicated, natural or cesarean birth. I enjoyed reading Pregnancy, Birth and Your Growing LDS Family by Sandra Bardsley RN. Along with that I read lots of other birth books and studied the scriptures in detail. Making these choices based on FAITH not fear is the approach I try to take.

justmeandyou said...

01:00 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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jess 27 stated: ..my baby had the umbilical cord (wrapped around it's neck) too, most do its, really fine and normal you just take it off... Actually, it's not really fine. My brother in law suffered severe brain damage due to that very circumstance. When my second child was due, I woke with an overwhelming inspiration that something was wrong and I needed to see my doctor immediately. Fortunately, he was also LDS and took my feelings seriously and had me come right in. Everything looked OK, but he decided to induce me as he, too, felt something was not right. Everything went fine until I was in the final stages of pushing, and suddenly my son's heart rate began dropping. The doctor was able to reach in and feel the cord around his neck, and with every contraction it became tighter. He slipped his fingers under the cord and was able to help alleviate the pressure during the last few contractions and helped keep his heart rate close to normal. I know the outcome could have been very different if he had not been as close to the spirit and listened to what most would have called a 'nervous mother'. Having the cord loosly wrapped around the neck may be OK in some circumstances, but certainly must not be casually dismissed. As in all things, staying close enough to the Lord to have His spirit guide you, and being in tune enough to know when to listen, is the best possible guide to many of lifes 'unknowns'. By the way, I hated being induced and would only do it if necessary. The labor is a lot harder and you feel much less in control. My first came on his own, and I had a pericervical; form of local anesthesia not given much anymore which had no affect on the baby, and it was great!

veritaserum said...

01:07 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Giving birth is not risk free. Period. It is up to each woman to research the benefits and risks of all of her options and then choose what makes sense to her for her situation. The risk analysis breaks down differently for each woman. What I hope is that each woman makes decisions she is informed about and comfortable with--even if her choices are different from mine. :-)

mamamarsha said...

01:18 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I've been researching a lot recently about the different opinions regarding birth and how any mother chooses to deliver that little person. We have: Opinion A. You are an uneducated and irresponsible person if you choose to give birth at home. Opinion B. Let them choose and Opinion C: You are an uneducated and irresponsible person if you choose to give birth in a hospital. (These opinions are a bit oversimplified, but just hear me out). I have had four in hospital births. Epidural's were not available. My Lamaze class was a joke. I felt this was my only option and so I grinned and bore it (...them I guess :) ). Before I became pregnant with my #5, I started learning about other options. I have watched video after video on Youtube about ASSISTED at home water births. I have spoken to friends who have done it. I CHOOSE to try another option. It is not a medical condition, and shouldn't be treated as such. Women around the world deliver healthy happy babies without medicated births. I am a good candidate for an at-home water birth because I haven't had any serious complications before and I am healthy. Not everyone can do it and I respect that. So back to the opinions. A and C are basically unrighteous judgments. You are not the person choosing to deliver the way you disagree with. You have not walked in their shoes (be it and epidural, at-home birth, or standing on your head in a supermarket isle etc etc). Personal revelation is just that...personal. I loved foytix's comment. I think it says it all. Following the guidance of the spirit is more important than advice you can get from a midwife or a doctor...or the grocery bagger.

momofmanykids said...

01:22 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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too bad you left out c/s off the poll....I mean it is another method of GIVING Birth... :/

mysticmayhem said...

02:27 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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Some of the comments make my heart hurt. Bringing a child into this world, no matter the method, is precious. Being a mom is hard enough without anyone making us feel "less than" because of how we choose to give birth. As a mother of 6, I have given birth both ways, with an epidural, and without. I'm not sure there is one right way, and as all pregnancies can be very different, even the birthing process can be as well. Be careful to judge. I gave birth way faster with the epidural. The birthing process hurts the little one, their brains can bleed, their little bodies are contorted to help get them out, but it isn't painless for them. I enjoyed the epidural birth, I was able to mentaly be there, enjoying the process, I was excited and filled with anticipation for the littl one. Without the epidural, I was only focused on one thing, giving birth as fast as possible because that meant the pain would stop. In the eternal scheme of things... does it really matter? Bringing a child into the world through love, and then raising the child in love is what matters. All this other stuff is just something for others to argue about.

mrs.griesmyer said...

03:13 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I have had 4 natural child births and I am expecting my 5. I am grateful for modern medicine. I only use it if I need it. God made our bodies to be able to withstand childbirth. Some women just don't have the proper health to withstand it naturally. Most women can labor and deliver naturally with proper education. Unfortunately our society, the AMA and our peers don't teach it or dont know enough about it.

megtaylor said...

03:55 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I think the very best thing we can do as mothers and sisters in the gospel is mind our own business!!! We feel (hopefully) a sense of privacy concerning how our babies are made. I think the same sense of privacy should extend to how those babies enter into the world, how they're fed and cared for, and how others make those choices for themselves. Why? Because mothering is the hardest job out there, and nearly every mother would agree that what makes it especially hard is being judged for our choices! By other mothers, no less! Every mother is different! Every child is different! We all need love, support, and a healthy sense of when to keep our opinions to ourselves. I believe that's one of the most valuable lessons Relief Society can provide: how to put our differences aside and love each other as sisters. I suffered a yeaof PPD after the birth of both of my daughters, and that awful darkness has helped me to realize that so little of the minutiae of parenting really matters. Natural vs. an epidural? Breast feeding vs. bottle? Cosleeping vs. a crib? Honestly, when you're fighting simply to make it through each day, these arguments lose their urgency. All you want is the love and support of the women around you who've been there and know you'll make it, too. And we can't feel that when we're busy criticizing each other.

djljejmnesbitt said...

04:26 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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My babies are no less human having an epidural during their births than all the "natural moms" out there. Nothing wrong with natural but nothing wrong with epidurals, either. My big beef is how any loving mother can possibly risk her baby's life by having him/her at home. So what if the risks are low? If you are that one percent that something goes wrong,it's a total shame that a life was lost when it could've possibly been prevented. I am no less woman, and my kids are no less children, with having epidurals and hospital births. We are given the BLESSINGS of modern health care.

5daisys said...

04:47 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I have also given birth in England! It was my 5th. 1-4 were born in the US. I was in a hospital bed laying on my back in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. A midwife, wearing wooden shoes, delivered my baby and clamped the cord just seconds after delivery, then my husband cut the cord just like they do in the good old USA! There were 4 other British ladies in our ward who all delivered in hospital with similar experiences, much like the US. The only real difference was the NHS! National health care provides NOTHING!!! Obviously it doesn't matter where you live on how babies are born. I bet you could find some places in the US that would have you on all fours too and waiting to cut the cord . My sis used a squat bar in Washing State. One thing for sure is, there are several ways to get them here but the most important, in my opinion, is to get them here alive and kicking! What one women chooses over the other is up to her and we should all respect each other for what they decide to do and support them and be happy for them. Babies are a blessing and a whole lot of fun, regardless of how they were born!

looking-up said...

05:55 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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The most important thing to me was that ME AND BABY DID THIS TOGETHER! I've had four, two in birth centers, and two in hospitals when no birth centers were available. The hospitals made me lay in the position they "required", which was awful. The birth centers let me squat, be on all fours, whatever I needed and that was great! The saddest thing to me is when birth becomes a "medical procedure", or is treated like a sickness. Birth is a miracle! The pain of birth ends in a life that can come in no other way! Birth is a combined effort of the mother, the baby, and hopefully the father! You do this together! No woman should feel isolated or like she is either a victim of the birth process, or that she is doing this alone.

texan10 said...

06:17 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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I find all the comments very interesting about birthing and it is so needful to have this discussion. I really appreciate foytix's remarks. I too have birthing experience from both sides. I have birthed 8 children, with the 1st being induction/c-section(baby was 7days over due and almost 9lbs, followed by six successful induction/epidural births. My last baby was a homebirth, with a certified Nurse midwife. I think the most important aspect of birthing is following your instincts concerning what is best for you and the baby. I call that personal intuition combined with guidance of the Holy Ghost. I also firmly believe that women need to get educated on this subject and NOT surrender their brains and body over to their OB especially living here in the USA. The medical attitudes toward natural birth have become increasingly hostile and intolerant over the last ten years. I am seeing too many elective c-sections from women in my church and in the community. I am concerned that many of these new OBGYN's are limiting their natural delivery experience b/c they lean so heavily on C-sections and can't support women who seek natural birth due to their lack of experience and are pushing women more and more to c-section outcomes. C-sections are also becoming a booming business for hospitals and doctors. (At one time this procedure was only considered or warranted for emergency situations.) My number 7 birth experience in the hospital impressed upon my mind that I could never birth another baby that way again in the hospital setting. It was a typical induction/epidural birth. My baby was fine but the recovery nurse administered a powerful vasoconstrictor called hemabate b/c she couldn't stop harping about how many kids I had.(in her mind I was a freak of nature for having so many kids and didn't properly inform me about this medication) I was not hemmorhaging, my vitals were stable(by the way I am a RNBYU GRad and had a clue what was going on)but b/c my OB had pre-stat orders for this med the nurse gave it to me just b/c I had had so many children. Immediately after this medication was given to me, I had a horrible reaction in which I honestly thought I was dying. It left me utterly exhausted to the point I couldn't even take care of or nurse my baby for almost a day. I didn't have the strength to lift the baby from the bassinet and the nurses hardly checked on me. When I was discharged I had a voice in my head say,"you can never do it this way again" I am not downing the hospital experience because I agree with "foytix" above comments that we should be always open to that voice in our head/heart to guide us of the best way to bring children into the world. When #8 pregnancy came along, I immediately felt this uncomfortable feeling about going back to my OB(you have to understand he was an awesome OB, one of the very few who will still deliver VBAC)and I was scared b/c I wasn't completely convinced of the homebirth option. I did go talk to my OB(who by the way had delivered my previous 6 children)and he was even emotional and worried that I was considering homebirth. There during the visit I got that same uncomfortable feeling that the hospital experience was not the way to bring our 8th child into the world. I struggled b/c I was wrestling with my nurse brain and personal fears toward birthing. Thankfully I had other friends at the time who had planted the seed for me to be open to unmedicated natural birth and home birthing. I iniatilly wanted to go to a birth center with midwives but because of the very strong legal prejudice toward VBACs, I was turned away. They gave me some names of midwives in the area and I starting interviewing different women. It was very important to me to find a midwife who was a RN, highly skilled in hanging IV's, administering basic medications,etc., and with extensive inside Labor/Delivery hospital experience and homebirth experience. I was led to a midwife with the criteria I required and my baby was birthed the way he needed it to be. I was 12 days over due and homebirthed a healthy 11.4 lb baby. I was also blessed with a six hour labor and a highly skilled midwife. During those last few weeks I was constanstly checking my feelings and felt peace about going forward with the homebirth.(and past my due date) My midwife was supportive of my feelings and the possible change of mind if I felt we needed to move the birth location to the hospital. She also monitored me closely and would have immediately instructed me to change my birth plan to the hospital if my pregnancy presented that need. During my pregnancy, my Midwife required me and my hubby to attend birthing classes and I must have read over 40 different medical studies concerning VBAC natural births, Inductions, Epidurals, Cord Clamping vs delayed cord clamping, survival stats of babies/moms from Homebirth compared to Hospital birth outcomes. And to set the record straight it actually is safer to birth at home for mom's who are considered low-risk especially in countries like Canada, the UK and Holland, just to mention a few. Also VBAC's delliveries that are performed naturally are safer than induction/epidural births and repeat c-section births.(Something my OB/Gyn had never explained to me) The research hands down supports this but most OB's out there are not informed and push the C-sections basing it on a very small number of medical studies compared to a large amount of research that supports it being safer for VBAC to seek natural birth outcomes. I was fortunate to have an OBGYN who only induced when conditions were favorable which means full effacement and dilation at least 4cm. He also always administered very low pitocin rates and turned it off as soon as there was a good labor pattern. There is so much more I could share on this subject but it would take too much time. We live in a day when we have access to the best and worst of information. When it comes to birthing, we have a responsibility to get educated, study it out and make prayerful decisions when considering what is the best for ourselves and our children. I also believe we need to stop judging each other's choice of birthing. Many of our choices are based on negative attitudes towards birthing passed down through the generations, lack of education and lack of access to skilled medical professionals. Many of us come from different backgrounds and circumstances which influence our attitude toward choice of birth methods. In the end we need to learn from one another, share our stories to help us become more informed and ask the important questions that ultimately help us make the best decisions.

momw said...

06:39 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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As a labor and delivery nurse, I know that no two births are ever alike. If a mom thinks that her first birth went easy and may try to have her baby at home, there may be complications that they are unprepared for at home. Today there are many option, including birthing centers with Midwives etc. These come prepared with oxygen and all the medical equipment that might be needed if things go wrong and believe me they can. I have seen many failed home births that have put the life of the baby in jeopardy. No mother should claim that natural birth is the way to go because she has not walked in your shoes! Each birth has an entire new set of circumstances for each mom. There is a saying that states" everyone has an opinion and they stink."

ksunshine said...

10:46 PM
on Mar 08, 2012

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In the 1970's I gave birth to all four of our children naturally with no medications. However, I wanted to be in the hospital in case of emergency. We lived in three different states for these births - UT, MT, and CA. Since I paid the bills, I told my OB doctors how it would be: Them catching the baby but me sitting up (head of table/bed raised), stirrups down flush with end of table (to rest my feet on in between contractions), husband rubbing my back as I relaxed, eating ice chips occasionally. GRAVITY helps and not being on your back makes your blood circulation more efficient! My four babies were all over 8 pounds and posterier ie facing the "wrong way". (I am 5 feet 3 inches and before pregnancy weighed ~ 112 lbs.) A Bradley Method childbirth class assisted me in learning how to relax. The focus is on relaxing with open mouth and breathing deeply while thinking of favorite vacation spots. A simple exercise during pregnancy helped me learn to relax totally so my uterine muscles could do their work unimpeded by extraneous, fear induced stresses in my body. The exercise: As I practiced relaxing in side sleep position with pillows under head and between my knees, my husband squeezed my achilles tendon for a minute ie simulating a contraction of increasing then decreasing intensity. Rest a few minutes & then repeat. At first this really hurt but I soon learned to relax and not even feel it. We practiced about 10 minutes, several times a week for multiple weeks prior to our first baby. (For the other three, I didn't need to re-practice. I was just able to click into relaxation when the labors began.) I sent my mind to my favorite vacation spot. For me this was in the Philippines were we had lived for a year. In my mind, I could again see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the smells, taste the fruits, feel the sand and water on my favorite beach. This self-induced state (almost like hypnosis) allowed me to be totally relaxed, yet feel my body telling me when to push. I truly felt great joy, power and pressure but no pain. It was delightful to be totally aware afterwards yet, of course tired. All the doctors and nurses could not get over how alert, calm and active my babies were after birth as they immediately nursed. Most cultures around the world give birth surrounded by loving family members or friends, in a spirit of joy while standing using a pole, or sitting up in a special birthing chair or on all fours. I don't understand why our American culture turns birthing into a terrible scary event.

drw said...

12:41 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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I'm too cautious to have a baby outside of a hospital. There's just too much that can go wrong. Although I did use a Certified Nurse Midwife instead of an OB and loved it! There's a reason that infant mortality rates are so much lower now that they were for all the centuries before ours. It's called modern medicine and it is a blessing from heaven just like many of the other advances of our time. No woman needs to feel like 'less of a woman' because she gets epidural. Long before I had my first child I was convinced I could do it natural. Natural childbirth was far from a spiritual experience for me. It was the only time in my life I wanted to die and I just begged them to get her out. It was awful. By contrast, I did have an epidural when my son was born. I truly enjoyed his birth, watching him in the mirror and THAT was a spiritual experience! Neither one of my children seemed to have any great benefit or ill affect based on whether or not I had an epidural. I have many foreign friends who chose to have their babies natural. Most often I find that their choices are based on bad information. Often they come from countries where there is socialized medicine and epidurals are not even offered, I assume as a cost saving measure by the government. And the men? Nowhere to be found during childbirth, you know, because that's a 'woman' thing. At the end of the day it's a completely personal choice. No woman should be held up as more heroic because she did it 'natural' or considering selfish because she used modern medicine. EVERY mother risks her life and sacrifices her body to lovingly bring her child into the world.

londoner said...

07:41 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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@wmc113 what you've said is exactly what is being taught as 'doctrine' to new mothers. A Nuchal birth is actually quite common and is perfectly SAFE. You see the cord is still delivery oxygen to the baby's brain during the whole birthing process. Only in rare circumstances where the cord is wrapped several times around the baby's neck and severely depriving the baby of the oxygen from the cord is this serious. If you go Google and find the article entitled: "Nuchal Cords: the perfect scapegoat" you will see how much misinformation is plaguing new mothers. It is so sad to see fear associated with birth...

londoner said...

07:45 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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@bjdoc425 I'll check it out, thanks :-)

londoner said...

08:02 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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@justmeandyou most likely the doctors clamped the cord during the nuchal birth of your Brother in law, it was standard practise up until very recent, thus the baby had its oxygen supply removed... I say this because my sister is suffered brain damage at birth. No it was not a nuchal birth, but the same principle applies. The doctors gave my mother pethadine at the time and the drugs went straight to the baby. Then when my sister was born, they clamped the cord and took her over to an oygen tent. Because she was 'asleep' she didn't breath for 8 minutes, thus brain damage. *IF* they had left the cord and waited until she started breathing on her own (i.e. woke up from the drugs) she would 98% likely to have not been brain damaged. You see we constantly learn all kinds of things about the human body and why things are the way they are. Back in the 1960s they did not realise how crucial delayed clamping was for babies born. They didn't know that a baby will be stronger and healthier if you wait until the cord runs clear and stops pulsing. They didn't realise that even though her lungs weren't moving, she would have still received oxygen from the cord. It is why you see 'blue faced babies' all the time when they are born. The doctors quickly clam and then shove oyxgen over their mouths to get them to breathe. All of this is intervention that has gone 'too far' and that is why you will find more doctors are going back to the basics, and studying why the body does what it does, and guess what? A major study just came out proclaiming delayed clamping. They're starting to realise that less intervention is actually a good thing.....

londoner said...

08:07 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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@5daisys A big wave from the UK! :-) re: NHS, Sadly NHS hospitals are also 'quality determined by post code'. It depends on where you live whether the hospital experience is a 'nothing' experience or whether it's more like a birthing centre or in a private medical facility. All experiences in NHS hospitals will be different. That's one area that lacks greatly, thus the push for birthing centres where standards can be enforced.

milliemumof7 said...

08:39 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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I have given birth to seven live children and one dead. And in all ways possible. When living in the US, I finally received an epidural even though we really couldn't afford it. Without it, I could not have done any pushing and he still, with the epidural, had to be dragged out with forceps. The rest of my brood were born in Sweden where you are supposed to experience pain! You can get a lousy epidural that do not make you paralyzed. But it doesn't take away all pain. I screamed for that as soon as I got in to the hospital but they could not make it work. So laughing gas and pain, and then midwife heaving herself on the stomach since the children got stuck. Number 2-4 got out this way. Number 5 went totally wrong so emergency C-section with me totally under so I have a black whole in my memory of that entire day. Nr. 6 and 7 were the best deliveries. Planned C-sections. No fear. Babies were fine and not stressed. When something has gone wrong five times, you don't dare to give birth any other way. Finally, our dead baby girl. There they forced me to give birth naturally with all the pain, and at the same time grieving that she was dead. Society has no right to tell you what to do. Swedish midwives are of the opinion that if you don't get to feel the pain, you will not bond with your child. Ha! Why then not perform all surgeries with a stick between your teeth like in the 1700- and 1800s so you can appreciate surviving the surgery and being alive. We develop as human beings and as a race. Some progress lead to mass destruction of the human race. But some lead to good things. Infertile couples can have children. We can survive most diseases and prolong life. Why then would we say no to pain relief during labour. Insane! And whether to give birth at home or in hospital? Well, if I had given birth at home in Provo, with my first child, he and I would have died a most painful death. The other children would have remained in the pre-existence!

happylittleme said...

10:38 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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This decision should be made just like every other major life decision. We should learn what our options are, carefully consider (with our spouse, if possible) our options, decide which we think is best, then take it to our Heavenly Father. My first birth was induced, I had an epidural, pushed for almost 2 hours and I couldn't walk more than a few steps for almost a week or sit properly for 5 weeks. My second delivery was natural, I pushed 3 times, and I was up and around within a couple hours. With my next I want a midwife and I'd love to try a birthing inn or maybe even a home birth. Here's the thing, though: My husband and I knew and considered our options and prayed about them both times. We were assured and reassured both times that the courses of action we chose were right for me, our babies and our family. We will do the same next time, as long as there is a next time. I would have loved my first birth to go as smoothly as my second, but it didn't. That was the way it was supposed to go and I learned many things from it, about the birth process, about myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and about my wonderful husband who took care of our newborn and me when I wasn't really able to. The right choices in parenting are different for everyone, and giving birth is a part of that. It is between you, your family (whoever you decide to include in that), and Heavenly Father (with the aid of medical professionals, of course).

teecee said...

04:22 AM
on Mar 10, 2012

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I have given birth to 3 children. The first my waters broke at home, we went to the hospital, my baby was posterior (facing front instead of facing back) he tried to turn as he was coming down birth canal, and got stuck, I had to have an episiotomy, and forceps. I only used gas for the whole experience, also for being sewn up!! Our baby had reflux, would only sleep a couple of hours at a time, screamed a lot! very exhausting for the first few months. The second was a long labor, so the OB, who was on his way to the hospital, suggested to the midwife, (who had called him), again at a hospital (different one to the first) that they break my waters, again, baby was posterior, a few minutes after breaking my waters, the midwife says, "Oh no!" This was also happening at the change of shifts, so new staff starting, so telling new midwife what had happened all night, etc. They then tell me not to push or anything, bit hard when your body tries to automatically do so, when it's at that point. So after hearing the "Oh no!" we wonder what is happening, and the midwife tries to stop my baby coming down the birth canal with her hand. I had prolapsed cord, which is the cord comes down the birth canal before the baby, then as baby tries to come out, the cord gets crushed, and baby receives no oxygen or blood supply. So first midwife's fingers go numb, so new midwife changes over, I then get told they are taking me to surgery for emergency c-section. Because our baby had 20 minutes of no oxygen or blood supply through the cord, he only survived 11 hours. My third baby, I asked for a c-section. I wanted to take a live baby home. I had an epidural with my c-section, and baby was happy, slept wonderfully. So yes, all babies are different, so are all women. I have a sister that can pop babies out no problems at all, yet another doesn't have hips wide enough for her babies to birth naturally and had to have all c-sections. I live in Australia, and lately all options are available for birth, home, water, hospital, & birthing units. I think as long as you and baby are happy (and alive) all is good!

sellersmom said...

11:40 PM
on Mar 10, 2012

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We have 10 children. I had the last 4 at home and the last one with Hypnobirthing. I do recommend it to all my daughters! It was a beautiful experience and virtually pain free. My recovery was amazing too (not bad for 42 year old!) Happy Birthing!

mlol said...

06:54 AM
on Mar 12, 2012

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I think that every woman has a right to her opinion and trusting what her body can/can't take when she has a baby. For me, the recovery was so much faster when I gave birth naturally (24 hours), compared to when I had an epidural (2 weeks), that I would never choose an epidural again.

lizardtail_1999 said...

10:19 PM
on Mar 14, 2012

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I had 2 children under the care of an OB, in Utah and it was a great experience wonderful doctor, nurses and hospital. My 3rd child I had under a CNMW (Certified Nurse Midwife) The last experience was even better experience, it was in a hospital in the midwest, where there are more CNMW's in practice or at least this is what I noticed, each OB's office has 2 at least and sometimes 3. (If there was an emergency there was a doctor on call which I appreciated that they were prepared)

arp59 said...

08:41 PM
on Mar 30, 2012

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Ashley Evanson, I appreciate how you worded your opinion when you emphasized how it was your PERSONAL philosophy. And my opinion is that I like your personal philosophy. A lot of women would make the best mother in law if they relized that just because it happened a certain way for them doesn't mean it is the best way for others. Now having said that I will throw in my personal feelings which are "amen to modern medicene!!"

arp59 said...

08:57 PM
on Mar 30, 2012

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please take note that I am emphasizing the word PERSONAL when I speak my personal feelings. It is really all about how we choose to respect and love others.
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