I just finished watching, “The Business of Being Born” and am now working on the 4 episode series “MORE Business of Being Born”.
I am thankful for these documentaries. I have tried to hold off on worrying about the birth process until now. It’s coming soon whether I am ready or not, so I would much rather be ready! I didn’t have a clue what this documentary was about before I turned it on Netflix, but I have seen the title twice in the past week and decided I needed to find out more. This documentary is highlighting midwifery vs hospital birth. Prior to watching this documentary I have said, that I will give birth at a hospital, I will accept an epidural, because as everyone says, “don’t be a hero”. I will admit I have felt pressured by everyones opinions around me regarding HOW I am going to handle birth. I have had people demand I get an epidural, completely frown upon a home birth and even birth center birth, water birth and so on. I felt like I almost didn’t have options, although that’s something that so many people remind you of, “YOU HAVE OPTIONS!” Well, damn right I do have options.
One thing I have known from the first day I got pregnant, maybe even prior to, is I want to labor naturally as long as possible. Massage with tennis balls, cool shower, walking, sitting on an exercise ball, prenatal massage, etc. I do not want to be tied to a bed, I do not want to be unable to move my legs and get up and walk if I felt necessary. Something I also said was “I am not going to write a birth plan”. You hear some many woman say over and over, “my birth plan went right out the window”. I think this is for a couple of reasons: One being there may have been necessary interventions and two there may have been unnecessary interventions. Also, they may not have had all of the answers, support, and resources necessary to keep with their birthing plan. After much thought and consideration, I will be writing a birth plan, not just for my over-planning mind to be at ease, but also for Leo. I want it to give us plenty of room to stop, evaluate and decide what is best for our family during this amazing, life giving, event!
Just a few definitions for anyone who is confused, because well, I was.
Midwife- Midwives handle all prenatal and postnatal care, they also assist through the birthing process. Midwives usually help you to have an all natural labor and delivery, but you are able to have things such as an epidural if desired. They often offer water births, home births and birth center births. Midwives usually spend about an hour with you per visit.
OB- Obstetricians are Dr’s and surgeons. They see you on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy, they usually spend 5-10 minutes in the room with you each visit. They will deliver your baby at the hospital they are affiliated with if they are working that day. Otherwise an on call physician may deliver your baby or perform your c-section.
Doula- Doula is a greek word meaning “woman’s helper,” and originated when women gave birth in their homes surrounded by other women. A birth doula provides informational, emotional & physical support and comfort to a woman & her partner throughout the pregnancy, birth, & postpartum period.
Misconceptions: There are many misconceptions to hiring a doula or seeing a midwife. Many people think they are unaffordable or your insurance won’t pay. It costs roughly $4,000 to have a midwife through your pregnancy, this includes the birthing center, birth, prenatal and post natal care. That is about $10,000 cheaper than a traditional hospital birth.
I am not 100% decided of what I will or will not do and allow during my labor and delivery, but I am quite a bit more educated today than I was yesterday. Something I have been hearing a lot about is hypnobirthing. This both intrigued me and made me standoffish at the exact same time. Something about it sounds so serene and maybe JUST what I need, but it also frightened me that I may be disconnected from my body or not in control. Truth is, I will be in FULL control. I just picked up a book and am going to spend time reading it and listening to the disc that came along with it, I may write more specifically on hypnobirth once I learn more. At the moment it is something I am highly highly considering and I think it will be just what I need to get control of my anxiety.
I am slightly undecided if I will share every detail of my birth plan once I decide and that’s because I do not want to be swayed from what feels right for me and my birth partner (Leo). I do not want to be scared by gory details, etc. I want to make the most educated, best considered decision for US!
I may add to this post in the future… stay tuned!