Tag Archives: birthing environment

DS’s birth revisited (part one)

I was so proud of how much time and energy I put into preparing for my birth and my baby. I was making choices that I felt were in informed. I was certainly more informed than my peers around me, but in retrospect I was hardly informed beyond 1st and 2nd stages of labour, and what to do with a newborn other than breastfeed.

I was doing the unheard of – I was birthing my first baby in a homebirth, with the option for a waterbirth. I was not administering vit K, no HepB vaccine, no drugs for me or baby. I felt that what I was doing was so radical anyway, that it didn’t matter too much that I kept having ultrasounds, that I agreed to the glucose screening test, that I agreed to more and more blood tests. I would do anything to ‘be allowed’ to birth out of the hospital.I even felt like I could compromise on the eye goop, and let them have ‘something’. It seemed the least dangerous of all the intervention offered, and I could not  be called fanatical.

During our pregnancy, me and DH bounced between health care providers, interviewing two midwives, a private OB and seeing a number of OB’s through the National Health.

I could not give birth in a hospital. I knew that I just would not be able to. DH was very worried, and had a huge amount of pressure from his medical father and step mother. Homebirth was seen as the ultimate in selfishness on my part, with all the risk on the homebirth and all the advantage on the hospital birth (this has become a theme I am all too familiar with now when it comes to this side of the family. Technology and modern medicine only ever seem to do good and natural is to be mistrusted).

We settled on the OB when I was about 33 weeks pregnant. We had looked into every hospital birthing option available, even considering travelling to Jerusalem (about an hours drive) as they had the best rooming in options for newborns. However, when I understood that if I needed the loo while in labour, and I was attached to the fetal monitor, I would be given a bedpan, and not allowed to go to the loo – any hope of me birthing in a hospital folded. If I could not go to the loo in private (and lock myself in there if the medical team were being interferring with my birth ), I was not birthing in a hospital.

My fear of requiring a transfer during my homebirth helped settle us on the private OB. I ignored his love affair with his ultrasound machine, his crass humour and his egotistical way of managing to talk almost exclusively about himself whenever we came for a checkup. I was getting to birth out of the hospital, and that was my bottom line. Should I require a transfer, I would be with a doctor who knew me and who would not harras me for trying to birth at home. This also reassured DH who was worried about birthing without an experienced doctor.

I hired a doula (well, she was part of the package with this OB), unsure as to just what I was paying for, and too shy to ask her to clarify. Not wanting to bother her, I took her lead and spoke to her when she initiated it. I did not feel comfortable calling her. She was very sweet, supportive and encouraging.

Everything was set for an amazing birth.

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Some wandering through Pubmed…..

And it is quite fantastical what is being researched when it comes to the gut and the immune system.

Believe it or not, it actually makes a difference whether a baby is born C-section or not when it comes to populating the sterile gut of the baby. A vaginal birth in a home environment actually makes the most sense if you want to colonise the babies gut with the best flora, considering the mother is healthy and has the ‘right’ flora to pass on. It seems that C-section babies are more at risk for allergies This idea is not in the conclusion of the linked in study, but it is an idea I came across here, and it makes sense to me. This study describes the colonization of the gut from the mother to the baby during birth. My conlusion is to optimise the birthing environment with health flora, not put a mother into a hospital brimming with germs and nasty ones at that. Perhaps in a couple of generations, this too will be the conclusion that the medical establishment come to.

And research is showing the potential cost benefit of prescribing probiotics in hospitals and overall health. Imagine that?

Not so long ago my SIL, the medical student, dismissed any concern about overprescription of antibiotics claiming that anitbiotics can’t do any harm and may do some good. At least in some medical circles this opinion is being challenged. The only potential harm, in her opinion, is the creation of superbugs from indesriminate use of antibiotics. But children suffer no side effects. While it is still a bit of a leap to say antibiotics kills all bacteria, we have some good bacteria that are the backbone of our immune systems, lets not use antibiotics unless it is a life and death situation, that is my present thinking. I cannot imagine undermining my child’s health for something as simple as a cough, unless it really makes the difference between life and death.

Eat fermented foods, avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely needed, avoid antibaterical soaps in the home…. and give birth at home if at all possible. Keep your gut and skin flora in tact and healthy.

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