Trying to have a home birth in Evansville, Indiana…

I apologize for not posting over the weekend, I know it is the most popular time of the week for this blog. Things have just been a tad bit frustrating and I lacked the energy to do much other than pull my hair out.

Here is a little background for you, N and I want a natural child birth with limited interventions. I have done extensive research and am very opposed to hospital birthing because they run the delivery much like an assembly line at a manufacturing plant.

Every mother is expected to deliver within a certain time frame, to progress at a certain speed and if that doesn’t happen the doctors feel the need to medically intervene and to control the birthing situation with drugs like pitocin, IV’s, fetal monitoring and so on.

Unnecessary labor induction often results in a more painful labor and can lead to the need for a c-section and episiotomy. They can also cause breast feeding issues and can even cause postpartum depression. Those labor inducing measures are basically forcing your body to deliver when it is not ready to, this is not preferable in my opinion.

Also, continuous fetal monitoring, the use of IV’s and epidurals result in you being confined to the bed for delivery which is not the most optimal birthing position. The confinement and labor interventions are linked to the rise in c-sections throughout the country. Oh and c-sections make more money for the hospital… Lots about the system is just not right and I want a say in how I deliver my baby.

I believe childbirth is a natural normal thing that our bodies already know how to do and that we should trust that and allow labor to play out as normally and naturally as possible in low risk pregnancies. Sure I want a trained professional to be there to monitor it all and jump in if a life threatening complication arises but only after I have been allowed to try things naturally. I could go and on about my reasoning but that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I am outraged by the lack of choice a woman has when delivering her baby. When you are at the hospital and you have a life threatening issue that can be remedied (like heart surgery) you cannot be forced to have the surgery. If you decline heart surgery and are fated to die as a result the doctors MUST honor your decision.

When you are in delivery and have certain views or wishes regarding what is or is not done to you the doctors do not have to honor you wishes as it is their responsibility to keep the baby alive. They’ll do what ever it takes to protect themselves from possible malpractice claims which often means getting the baby out as fast as possible however they feel is best, this is managed birth.

Unfortunately there is much debate about the real benefits of managed births. Women experience much more pain during labor and often are left with awful birth memories and depression as a result of managed birth techniques. Many women are pressured or forced to do what the doctors think is best regardless of what she really wants which results in both emotional and physical scarring.

For example, I don’t want to be hooked up to an IV, a continuous fetal monitor, a catheter or pain meds because I don’t want to be confined to the bed for delivery. Upright laboring positions are better and I want to have the freedom to try them out. Being connected to all those machines prevents me from doing that and many hospitals wont allow you to birth “unplugged” because “what if you need to be rushed to surgery and you aren’t hooked up?”, it is all a liability issue for them.

I basically determined that hospital birth isn’t really for me and that I would be better off doing a home birth and having a midwife attend. Problem is I can’t find a midwife in Evansville that will attend a home birth, because there are certain laws here preventing the traditional practice of midwifery.

You see direct-entry midwives (those midwives who are not registered as a certified nurse midwife) are illegal here in Indiana as they are in about 12 other states as of 2006.

Indiana prohibits the practice of midwifery by individuals other than licensed doctors and nurses (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 4/4).”

I have found a few nurse-midwives that are listed on my insurance plan provider list that are practicing legally but they are working in a hospital setting under doctors and must comply with the hospital and doctors wishes. I have also contacted past patients of these nurse-midwives and have been told of how despite their midwife title they are practicing just as any other nurse in a hospital would with regards to managed birth.

So if I don’t like the managed birth philosophy of doctors and nurses and direct-entry midwives are illegal what options do I have? I can have an unsupervised, unassisted home birth but that is not preferable considering this is my first delivery and I don’t know what I am doing, I can try hiring a birth advocate (a doula) and delivering in a hospital where I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get some of what I want or I can hire an illegal direct-entry midwife to attend my home birth. Perfect! Reminds me of the days of back alley abortions. I am just not a happy lady right now!


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