Natural Birth Resources

I had a recent request for what I used when I interviewed my midwife, so this post will be dedicated to my top labor resources. Also, I know SO MUCH MORE now than I did during that time. It’s a shame you can’t go through birth class before you pick your provider.

**This was actually written a couple months before I gave birth in early October of 2011. Unfortunately after 12 hours of active labor I was unable to have the natural birth I prepared for. Luckily, I avoided a c-section.

It’s also worth noting that I received the list of midwives to interview from a local Le Leche League chapter.

Blogs: Not that I suggest that you get all your educated information from blogs, but I find these pretty educated and informative.

Banned from Baby Showers – this woman is a Bradley Method instructor and posts information that I find informative. When I first got pregnant, the reason why I pick St. Vincent to deliver is because it was close to my house. Huge mistake.  This is one of many posts of what to NOT do.

The Feminist Breeder – She had a recent VBAC home birth and LIVE BLOGGED while it was going on (ok, someone else did the blogging, but it was cool to see).

That Wife – I can’t say I’m a fan of hers, but she documented every part of her home birth, midwife visits, interviews, etc, etc. I would use the link I listed to avoid the crap and just read the birth stuff (it starts on page 6 and click “newer entries” at the bottom which will start you from oldest to newest).

Books:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth-This is the book that helped me finally realize the path I was currently on wasn’t right for me. Ina made me feel powerful and gave me the confidence that I can deliver naturally.  I actually might read it again before my due date.

Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods– This book helped me get over the “omg, I can’t do ANYTHING” feeling early on in my pregnancy. She’s also a natural birth advocate.

Mayo Clinic’s Guide for a Healthy Pregnancy – I chose not to read “what to expect when expecting” book for many reasons, but mainly because it’s more of a troubleshooting guide of “is this normal” at the reading level of a third grader. Here is an interesting NPR article of the book.

Facebook:

If you’re interested in natural birth, follow “The Bradley Method of Childbirth” because they post some great articles. Some of my favorites include:

NPR:

Right now NPR is doing a special series of “Beginnings: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond” which is proving to be very informative.

The Baby Project: This summer they picked 10ish people to blog about their last month of pregnancy, child birth and first month of life with baby. I like these birth stories because then you can say, “yes, I want that” Or “no, not that” or most importantly, “how can I avoid that?” For example, if you want to have a natural childbirth, I firmly believe avoiding Pitocin is the first step. Your contractions will be harder, faster and hurt more with this drug (I’m happy to talk about why, if you REALLY want to know) and will probably drive you to an epidural.

Podcasts:

 Pregtastic: I L-O-V-E these!

  • Here is a nice post of some informative sessions worth listening to.
  • If you’re looking to create questions for your OB/midwife or pick a birthing method (Bradley is what I did) check out the “birthing options” section of the main page.
  • Even if you’re not planning a homebirth, but want to go natural, I still suggest understanding midwives processes so you can ask your OB what their stand is on it (for example, cutting the cord after it’s done pulsating instead of right away).

Movies:

The Business of Being Born: This movie is pretty one sided, but if you’re interested in the specifics of why early intervention has higher chances of leading to a C-section, it’s totally worth a watch. I’ve watched it twice and saw completely different stats each time.

  • Suggestion: Watch it the first time BEFORE you’re pregnant. It might be too overwhelming when you first find out…so much info at one time.

Babies: Women in Africa wipe their baby’s poopy butt with their knee. Whatever it is that you’re doing, it will be fine.

My Midwife Questions: I got a lot of my questions from “That Wife Blog”. To be honest, I wished I was a little more educated before the interview, although these really helped me get a feel for the two midwives I interviewed. I only asked about 3 questions to my OB before I knew she wasn’t the right provider (and that’s all we had time for because she made me wait for 45 mins, ironically enough).

–          Am I allowed to see stats from your practice?

–          How many births do you attend per month?

–          How long is the average prenatal appointment? What does that schedule look like?

–          Can I call at any time with questions?

–          Do you let us do whatever we want during labor? (Food, positions, water, privacy for intimate time with my husband, etc.)

–          Do you have guidelines or restrictions about who can give birth at home?

–          Non-emergency transfer rate?

–          If I transfer, how long will you stay with me at the hospital?

–          C-Section Rate?

–          Episiotomy rate? Do you stitch onsite after birth if i tear?

–          Do you attend breech births?

–          Augmentations used to initiate or during labor?

–          Do you wait until the cord has stopped pulsating before it gets cut?

–          How much time do you allow for the delivery of the placenta? What methods do you use to encourage delivery of the placenta if there is a delay?

–          How many attendants will be at the birth?

–          Do you recommend a doula?

–          How long do you stay after the birth? What cleanup do you do?

–          Belief about postdates?

–          What are your guidelines concerning weight gain, nutrition, prenatal vitamins, and exercise?

–          What are your standards for high blood pressure?

–          Require any prenatal tests?

–          Have you ever had to resuscitate a baby?

–          Experience with Bradley Method?

–          Postpartum visit after birth?

–          Do those organizations have any requirements that you must follow in relation to my care?

–          How do you handle post partum hemorrhage?

–          What hospital do you recommend? Assuming mine is corporative, can I use mine?

–          Who is your midwife backup? What are their qualifications?

–          What’s the plan if someone is in labor when I am?

–          Cost, insurance, etc.

–          What happens financially if I end up delivering in a hospital because of complications?

–          For what reasons would you suggest I go to the hospital?

–          Thoughts on natural plateau?

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