Unassisted Birth

Share what’s on your mind and what is going on in your communities.

Unassisted Birth

Postby brynnepotter » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:22 am

I am curious to know if others are seeing a rise in unassisted births in their communities? Maybe I am just hearing about more of them, but it seems like it is becoming more common. Anyone else noticing this?
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby midwifeanji » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:34 am

I am. I keep friendly with unassisted birthers, answering questions giving guidance. I have since my Doula days, and I am seeing a huge increase especially amongst the VBAC community.
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby brynnepotter » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:23 am

What is the situation for VBAC in your community? I am curious to know how many of the unassisted birth are because there is no other option. I have worked with some women who just want to check in with a midwife once or twice during their pregnancy, but feel that having one at the birth is too interventive (potentially). I understand and respect their views. What concerns me are the women who are going without a midwife because they can't find one or they feel that the midwives are too restricted by regulations or medical bias.

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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby midwifeanji » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:56 am

None of the hospitals "do" VBACs, and there are certain conditions for Midwives. There was a big mess at one point because a CNM had done a VBA2C, and the woman did fine, but then came back for a fourth child and somehow that changed things. Next thing you know many of the hospitals changed their policy giving regard to the ACOG statement that says there needs to be "immediate" surgery available. CPMs have a list of guidelines that are from the research done by the NNEPQUIN research
http://www.nnepqin.org/ViewPage?id=3
No one seems to take the rise seriously, but I don't think any other midwives are really involved with the unassisted community. What concerns me is not the real true UA Moms who have educated themselves and take complete responsibility, but the ones who are doing it without education, because they are either afraid, or resilient. We also have many groups in this state that would be seen as "communes" but that call themselves "villages" or a "church". With them it is more about government and not wanted their children to have birth certificates. What has helped my conscience here is to befriend them, meet with them on middle ground, like a grocery store parking lot, and to give them brief "classes" on childbirth. Some are even afraid of that even though others have spoken highly of me. I worry about them and am always relieved when they call me to meet them in the parking lot and sign the paperwork for them to get a passport rather than a birth certificate. :o
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby aprilkline » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:17 pm

There is definitely an increase in Ohio. I started an education and support group for pregnant women and new moms (daraluznetwork.com), so even though they don't always contact me about midwifery, I get contacted regularly through Dar a Luz Network.

Part of it is that women are so incredibly disillusioned with the medical model of birthing. Here in Ohio, it is almost impossible to have a VBAC in hospital, and the intervention rate makes having anything like a birth on your own terms a huge fight most of the time. Another part of the issue is that homebirth midwifery is illegal in this state and homebirth midwives are being hunted down and prosecuted here. Therefore, it is difficult to connect with a trained homebirth midwife. And, if you can accomplish that, there is always the expense of paying out-of-pocket for midwifery services since insurance doesn't cover any of it.

And, of course, there is just the fact that "freebirthing" is getting so much more press lately. It is a "movement" and there are as many reasons for choosing it as there are women. It seems to me like the opposite extreme to a planned c-section.

That's my two cents from the strange state of Ohio. ;)
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby MotherNurtured » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:32 pm

I am seeing a slight increase perhaps, but not a really noticeable one in my area. In the area south of me (no CPMs for 1-2 hours south of me) many families have to choose between a CPM that lives 1.5-2.5 hours away, a really underground DEM, UC or a hospital birth... it seems like too many choose hospital birth for safety concerns since the CPM is so far away. I am hoping I can move a little south once I get my CPM and fill in that gap a bit.

I really do see an increase in unassisted online... like a PP said, it's a movement.
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby JennTheMomma » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:22 pm

I have not noticed an increase in my area. But I am in a very small town in southern MN, only a thousand people in my town. However I have been talking to a lot of women online who are seeking a UC. I also have family members who took that route either by accident or planned.
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby mwpamela » Wed May 20, 2009 4:08 am

I am seeing more here in Washington since VBAC was banned. The State is also actively trying to take attending VBAC out of our scope of practice (among several other issues) and persecuting midwives who do them. So very few still do them.
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Re: Unassisted Birth

Postby Heartland Midwife » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:19 pm

Ohio: I have lived in two locations in Ohio.... both with the same description: wide expanse of rural landscape dotted with small villages, small towns and far between small cities. 25 years practice.

Unassisted childbirth has been a growing child here in Ohio, as elsewhere, born not that many years ago and concieved and fed by books, websites and chats we all share awareness of.

Ohio families have good access across the state to homebirth practices. While it is true that Ohio has a HL-vbac allowance problem, all around the state there is adequate access to midwives assisting vbac mothers.

Legality has nothing to do with UC here in Ohio. We do not have prosecutions abounding. We have had, in 30 years of homebirth midwifery existing and being advertised/promoted across Ohio, 2 cases. They each have extenuating circumstances VERY pertinient to the filing of complaints to the state medical board.

There is nothing in statute that creates illegality for midwifery in Ohio, and the fact is, in Administrative Code are found definitions for the following terms: certified professional midwife, lay midwife or traditional midwife, apprentice midwife, and midwife ("means a certified professional midwife, a lay midwife, or a traditional midwife"). Administrative Code spells out the State oversight and regulation of the exempt birth centers (the Administrative code allows for and addresses therein unlicensed midwifery provision to religious communities' birth centers). I am Ohio's first employed CPM, first CPM to stand beside a governor signing a bill ensuring access to CPM, lay and traditional midwifery care and the first CPM regulated by the State of Ohio for birth centers, but I am no longer the only : )

I really believe the factors of Ohio unassisted childbirth include: 1) parental trust issues with practioners as experienced through the big teeth of maternity care policies and/or pressures 2) cost of engaging midwifery care seen as not-optimal for the family to take on and for some that it is downright unaffordable, and 3) a new-era of desire and belief: that the family/parent's childbirth experience have their maximium engagement and ownership with high expectancy that this chosen 'pureness' may assure that the intrapartum course will be golden.
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