Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Help for a VBA2Cer

I found this article on a another blog, where she had taken it from a labor and delivery nurse who was going back to school to be a nurse midwife. I found out the original writer is www.atyourcervix.blogspot.com. I have been frantically reading her blog and I love it!

How to have a natural birth in a hospital setting

Natural births are my favorite "type" of birth. However, giving birth in a hospital and giving birth naturally seem to not co-exist on the same plane sometimes. As an L&D nurse, I can give you some handy hints and tips on how to achieve a natural birth in a hospital setting, if that is what you desire.

1. Find a good practice that has midwives. Ask for referrals from pregnant friends for natural birth promoting midwife and/or obstetrician practices. Yes, there are some awesome doctors out there who promote natural birth.
2. Do not allow your doctor or midwife to talk you into a medically unnecessary induction. Most inductions are medically unnecessary (post dates, baby is too big, baby is too small, blood pressure starting to rise but you're not preeclamptic, advanced maternal age, maternal exhaustion, convenience, elective inductions, social inductions, diabetic mother, hypothyroidism, etc....I could list more).
3. Educate yourself on pregnancy. Read books about pregnancy. Join a support group online.
4. Take childbirth education classes that focus on preparing you for natural childbirth.
5. Practice breathing techniques.
6. Learn how to preform self-hypnosis (also known as Hypnobirthing).
7. Learn about focal points and visualization. Pick some focal points or have some images handy to focus on during your labor. (My personal favorite was imagining a rose slowly opening with each contraction, the rose symbolized my cervix.)
8. Although you have pain with contractions, the contraction are over in about 60 seconds. You can do anything for 60 seconds.
9. Each contraction brings you closer to seeing and holding your newborn.
10. Plan to labor at home as long as you possibly can. The sooner you arrive at the hospital, the greater chance you have of medical interventions.
11. Formulate a birth preference list that is sensible, and reasonably thought out. Do not just cut and paste a cookie cutter birth plan from the internet. Be open to changes as deemed reasonable. Your birth preference list should be no more than a half page of paper.
12. Let your provider know of your intentions for a natural birth as soon as possible. If they make you feel uncomfortable in any way of your choices, find a different care provider.
13. Learn ahead of time what the "standard protocol" is on your labor and delivery unit for laboring patients. Usually, they require a minimum of a reactive non-stress test on external fetal monitoring, which can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes.
14. You can refuse anything offered to you, but be reasonable - periodic fetal monitoring is for your baby's well-being. Continuous fetal monitoring is more for your care provider's ease in doing their job (because your nurse is usually caring for more than 1 laboring woman at a time).
15. An IV is not needed to give birth naturally, provided that you do not need IV antibiotics for being group B strep positive. Even with antibiotic treatment, make sure you are unhooked from the IV fluids and left with only a "hep well" or "saline lock" left in place.
16. Ambulation in labor is important. Keep moving in early labor, with periods of rest. Stay upright as much as you can in active labor.
17. Use of hydrotherapy helps with labor pains, and can also help make your labor progress. Use the shower or tub (if available). Stay hydrated with oral fluids (water, juice, etc).
18. Believe in yourself and the power of your body!
19. Make sure that your partner supports you emotionally, as well as physically for your plans of a natural birth.
20. The birth process is a very empowering time period in a woman's life, and it can and will leave lasting impressions in your mind.
21. Speak up for what you believe in. Don't be afraid to say no if you don't agree with something. Ask questions.
22. Hire a doula, if so desired, to help you achieve your natural birth.

What do you all think? Any other helpful tips? Are any of these suggestions unrealistic? Have any of my other readers had a VBAC?Align Center

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