Want a good birth?

As a doula, I’m not allowed to tell women what I think they should be doing regarding their forthcoming births – I can only let them know what their options are and what the pros and cons of certain things might be. Even when I have presented things to the best of my abilities, occasionally women will still choose the “option” that I KNOW isn’t the best one! I would like to use this space to tell it like it is – if there is something that I really think you would be mad to do, I will say so. If there is something that is pretty much guaranteed to improve your birth experience, I will say so.

I have a handful of children myself and after much research, soul searching, and truly awful “advice” from the medics, I chose to VBAC after multiple caesareans. I didn’t explode, and my baby and I didn’t die. I have witnessed many births since then and I have helped many more women to achieve births that were memorable in a GOOD way.

Our culture is such that most women seem happy to go along with whatever their doctors tell them they have to do, without taking the time to do their own research into what is best for them. We are shown images of horrific childbirth (mostly huge works of fiction) on tv, and the competition between women to see who has had the worst/longest/most painful birth seems to be growing all the time. Caesarean section is NOT the safe easy option that is portrayed, and vaginal birth does NOT have to be an experience filled with fear and pain. We do NOT have to be drugged up to the eyeballs to get through it and big babies are nothing to be afraid of.

Let’s reclaim our rights! Say NO to unnecessary induction, NO to unnecessary caesareans and YES to giving birth in a better way and let common sense prevail

I am not anti-caesarean, far from it. It is a brilliant operation that is an essential tool for skilled obstetricians to use to save the lives of the small percentage of babies that require it. However, if it were used simply for those who really need it, our CS rate would be between 1 and 5%. The average in the UK at the moment is more than 1 in 4 births which includes “emergency” and repeat caesareans. ONE IN FOUR!!!! That is ridiculous!!!!

In some hospitals, whole wards are devoted solely to the women who come in daily for induction of labour, most of whom are only there because they are “overdue”. 40+10 is NOT overdue! Unless there is a good medical reason for induction, stay at home ladies. The Guidelines state that a woman should be able to choose regular scans instead of induction to check on her baby’s well being, placental function and amount of amniotic fluid. So why doesn’t this happen? It doesn’t happen because it hospitals have more control over their intake if women are induced. God forbid that they should all wait till labour starts naturally and come in without having made a prior appointment…….. of course, the party line is that your placenta will stop working at 42 weeks and your baby will die. But this is why regular scans are recommended in the guidelines, so that everyone KNOWS what is happening……..but still women go in every day, like lambs to the slaughter, because they “have” to.

If just one woman reads this blog and thinks twice about what she has been told she “has” to do by her doctor, and that woman takes the time to educate herself a little more about childbirth and goes on to make a truly INFORMED decision about her care, I shall consider my time well spent

About Pippi Longstocking

Pippi has had one emergency caesarean and two elective caesareans, followed by a VBA3C (her uterus did not explode and she and her baby did not die, as previously predicted by two consultant obstetricians). She has attended many births in her role as a doula and is also verging on the fanatical when it comes to making birth better for all.
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8 Responses to Want a good birth?

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    I had a doula for my first birth and I’m SO glad I did. My waters broke 6 days before my baby was born and from then on, I was under pretty much constant pressure by the NHS to be induced, however I instinctively knew that everything was fine and that I wanted to deliver my baby naturally.

    Without the support of my doula, I know that I would have given in to the pressure to be induced – but she provided me with valuable information and support to help me counter what I was told by the medical professionals. 6 days later my baby was born without any intervention or drugs, was in good health and I was able to start life with my baby on a natural high rather than in an artificially induced haze (or worse!!)

    Doulas do a fabulous job and I would heartily recommend one to every pregnant woman!

    • Rembes says:

      my first 4 children were born nartually, though they were all induced early, but the damage to my neither region got progressivley worse from the epeziotomy with bub number one, to the point where it didnt heal completley, so my doctor offered me a cessar with my 5th, 6th and 7th children, which i agreed to as i believed the pain would be less then the stitches and problem healing below, sadley i was very wrong, my first cessar was ok, everything seemed ok with a little infection, but the following two cessars were excruciating, in the third the pain was so bad that i went into convulsions and my blood pressure went threw the roof, i was so scared, i am now pregnant with our 8th precious child, and i want to do it at home nartually, im a little scared but i believe that it will be a lot safer and a lot less painful then attempting another cessar, sadley i can say that doctors dont all encourage natural births, infact some will happily give you a cessar or in my case 3, it has taken me 9 months to feel recovered from my last cessar, they have been very hard when caring for a young family, i guess my only question now is,are there any midwives in the coffs harbour area that will deliver vb after 3 cessars at home?

  2. I was a doula, a childbirth educator and a birth photographer for hundreds of women before I became a homebirth midwife.

    • Asanda says:

      no. I always remmcoend to have natural child birth, also not to take the apideral. I had my six children with no pain medication. I believe its the best way the way it was intended before doctors found it easy for themselves. Women should try the natural way the best way do not let doctors push you into getting a csection just to hurry their time schedule. Honestly i would diffently remmcoend midwifes they stay with you at all times and help you during your most prescious time for you and your husband. I had my csection and my 5th child with regular drs thinking it would be better. I was wrong midwifes are so caring and helpful. I remmcoend this to my daughter in laws but they look at me wierd. When my daughters marry and get pregnant i hope they go with midwifes i sure will encourage them. Its so beutiful to see what comes out of your womb after nine months of morning sickness,stretch marks and big basketball as one of my kids discribed my belly with my last child(7th one). THank You,Patty

      • Rocky says:

        I am crying as I read this. This is an oturage and I hope you hold those responsible accountable legally. So very sorry this happened to you. I am now a grandmother expecting my ninth and tenth grandbabies in the next half year. In 1984 I had my first of three homebirths after three cesareans. I had inquired about VBACs with both the second and third babies but I was accessing the wrong practitoners, MDs, and places of birth, hospitals, to realistically expect that to happen. After my third cesarean, the doctor visited me in my hospital room and told me that he had used a classical incision on my uterus, therefore, I better not entertain any further thoughts of VBAC. I wasn’t well informed at the time and feeling powerless and did not even question him. Later, when planning my first homebirth, we accessed my medical records and found that the incision on my uterus was a low transverse over my previous incisions! That doctor lied to me to intimidate and control me. What a joyous empowering triumph the homebirth of my son was after a long posterior labor.Of course you are terrified to think of having another baby in the hospital and I hope you will find a midwife to assist you. So glad you are telling your story, for your own healing as well as for the education of others. Please do update us on your journey in the future.

  3. Laras says:

    I am crying as I read this. This is an ouatrge and I hope you hold those responsible accountable legally. So very sorry this happened to you. I am now a grandmother expecting my ninth and tenth grandbabies in the next half year. In 1984 I had my first of three homebirths after three cesareans. I had inquired about VBACs with both the second and third babies but I was accessing the wrong practitoners, MDs, and places of birth, hospitals, to realistically expect that to happen. After my third cesarean, the doctor visited me in my hospital room and told me that he had used a classical incision on my uterus, therefore, I better not entertain any further thoughts of VBAC. I wasn’t well informed at the time and feeling powerless and did not even question him. Later, when planning my first homebirth, we accessed my medical records and found that the incision on my uterus was a low transverse over my previous incisions! That doctor lied to me to intimidate and control me. What a joyous empowering triumph the homebirth of my son was after a long posterior labor.Of course you are terrified to think of having another baby in the hospital and I hope you will find a midwife to assist you. So glad you are telling your story, for your own healing as well as for the education of others. Please do update us on your journey in the future.

    • Petras says:

      I had a doula for my first birth and I’m SO glad I did. My waters broke 6 days bofree my baby was born and from then on, I was under pretty much constant pressure by the NHS to be induced, however I instinctively knew that everything was fine and that I wanted to deliver my baby naturally. Without the support of my doula, I know that I would have given in to the pressure to be induced but she provided me with valuable information and support to help me counter what I was told by the medical professionals. 6 days later my baby was born without any intervention or drugs, was in good health and I was able to start life with my baby on a natural high rather than in an artificially induced haze (or worse!!)Doulas do a fabulous job and I would heartily recommend one to every pregnant woman!

      • Luluu says:

        Well what you went through back then, is me right now execpt it’s the head flu with fever and congestion. I’ve been trying to figure out my window of ability to attend my 2 on call mommas. As you count your kiddos, My thing 2 got the flu on March 12, then #3 on the 20th, #4 on the 24th #5 seems to have flu lite sooo . do I count the 7 days for me from the first exposure, or the last? lol[] Twitter: Reply:March 26th, 2011 at 4:05 pmHope you feel better soon![]