Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pregnancy and Childbirth

For all of you mothers, soon-to-be mothers, and hope-to-be-mothers-soon, I highly encourage you to check out this Maternity Care Quiz.

You may also be interested in this article I found today about one woman's natural birth experiences.

And, if you haven't watched The Business of Being Born, you may want to watch it. It's powerful stuff.

Educate yourselves so that you can decide what the best kind of care is for you and your family. Be smart. Stay informed. And, remember that "knowledge is power." :-)


phreethynker said...

Just watched the "trailer" for The Business of Being Born, and it does look like a must see for all those considering having a baby at any point in the future! Thanks for sharing :)

bowerep said...

Education is a must! I very much wanted a natural birth (albeit in the hospital - no birthing centers here, not ready for homebirth) and read so much about it. I am very much against planned inductions and c/s (unless a life is truly in danger).

I was so READY for my natural experience!! However, that didn't happen...

I did go into labor on my own. (Luckily my doctors wouldn't even whisper the word "induce" in my presence.) I had an epidural b/c for a week before I gave birth I was in EXTREME pain of an unknown nature and just couldn't handle more pain on top of that. I must say, I could still feel everything but the "burning" (I had heard about) and I only pushed 5 times for 10 minutes and it was the most awesome, empowering experience EVER! :o) I enjoyed every minute of the whole experience and was actually sad that my labor and delivery was so fast! LoL!

I admit I used to be jealous of your birth experience - the kind that I had wanted so badly - but in the past 14 months I have finally come to realize that God planned MY experience for a reason. Had I not been in the hospital for that "standard" 2 days following the birth, I might possibly have died. My mysterious pains continued and I was finally diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome. The pain was my liver on the verge of rupturing.

Sorry this is so long but what I'm trying to say is that natural birth is wondeful - but it's not for everybody for many reasons and women should know that they shouldn't feel bad or guilty if they can't go natural. Education is important, but along with that goes faith and prayer, too. I always like to remember Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you..." It's one of my favorites. :o)

Great blog!! From the natural childbirth to the CDing - I live vicariously through you. :o)

-Elizabeth B., from Auburn, AL-

Mandy Mc said...

Thanks for your comments, Elizabeth. I was trying to convey some of the things you touched on in my brief post. I realize that natural birth is not always possible.

And, I know that we don't always get the birth we hope for. I can attest to this just from thinking about the four couples in our natural childbirth class. One of the four women in my natural childbirth class had to have a C-section, one's labor drug out FOREVER (as in over 50 hours) and she chose to go to the hospital and get some pain meds, and one had to be transported to the hospital but still delivered naturally. Three of us were supposed to deliver at the birth center, but that didn't happen. So, I agree that hospitals, C-sections, forceps, etc. all have their place. However, I don't think that they are "necessary" as often as the medical establishment would have us believe.

I just want to encourage women to be as informed as possible about their bodies and their options so that they can make the decision about what is right for them. Because the four of us (with our husbands) went through an 8-week course on natural childbirth, we were all able to do that when the time came. And, we all had the respect and space from our caregivers (which it sounds like you had as well) that allowed us agency in this process involving our bodies.

In addition, education can help us fight for greater options like homebirths and birth centers if that's important to us (or even if we just believe that other women should have those choices). I certainly hope that I'll be able to work for change in this area once I get back to AL.

Thanks again for your comments! It's fun getting to know you through cyberspace!

Mandy Mc said...

Megan, it really is a great movie. We watch it just a night or two before Cady was born. I'm so thankful that we did. I really had NO idea about so much of this stuff before moving up here and having some friends who delivered at the birth center.

Sheri said...

I was induced both times. I didn't want to be, but, because of two very different circumstances, I didn't feel like I had any other remotely desirable options. In retrospect, I now know I had a really bad doctor the first time. The second time, I probably still would have had to be induced or had a c-section.

Mandy Mc said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Sheri. I'm sorry you had a bad doctor the first time. As you've noted, sometimes it's important to know our bodies and understand the various situations that can arise. Thanks too for shedding some light for those of us single timers. It's important to remember that every birth is different...even for the same mother!

Also, like you've pointed out, we need to be able to trust our care providers. I think this is key. If my midwife had told me that I needed to go to the hospital, I would have gone to the hospital. And, if my little Dinkus had been breach, I would have had a C-section. I'm thankful I had access to all of these options. I do think that there is still a great need for education and options for women though. It's unfortunate that we have to seek out this information for ourselves...

suzanah said...

Mandy, this is a wonderful post and I love the community that formed around it. Maternal health matters!

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