Friday, September 4, 2009

Umm, I Dunno About That

We had our second birthing class on Wednesday night and I felt a little less enamored with the instructor after this class. I'm very excited about the prospect of a natural birth and am taking this class to give myself the best possible chance of delivering naturally. At the same time, I understand that giving birth doesn't always go as planned. If this baby's breech or his heartrate shows signs of distress in labor, I'll sacrifice my natural birth for his health in a second.

There were a few instances during this week's class when I felt like the instructor and most of the students were bashing the medical establishment. Granted, there is plenty of evidence that many C-sections are unnecessary and that episiotomies are performed way too often. Despite all this, I don't want to approach my delivery like it's me vs. the hospital. A lot of the discussion almost seemed to villainize hospital personnel, suggesting they're just waiting at the front door to pounce, induce, and cut every pregnant woman who walks through the door. I am going to take this with a grain of salt and approach my delivery with a sense of optimism and respect. I trust that my body will do what it needs to do to deliver this little guy naturally, but I also recognize that I'm not a medical professional and will need to rely on the professional opinion of my midwife.

One of the weirdest parts of Wednesday's class was when we were discussing inductions. The instructor seems to be very against them, which is fairly understandable since they make your labor harder and less likely to be natural. Also, if there's a miscalculation in dating your pregnancy, the baby could actually come too early. Despite all this, if I go a week past my due date, I plan to use every natural induction method available to get this show on the road. If that doesn't work, I'll consider a medical induction. I'm due December 12th and really don't want my baby born too close to Christmas.

The instructor says that if your provider suggests induction, you should only consider it if you or the baby is not doing well. Someone asked how to know if the baby is doing well and the instructor suggested that nonstress tests and other medical tests are designed to find a reason to induce and therefore not very reliable. Instead, she said that moms should ask their babies how they are doing. According to her, the baby will usually give mom a little kick to let her know that he/she is okay. This was the part where I started thinking I might've gotten myself into a bit of a cuckoo birthing class. Ah well, like I said, I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. I like learning about the birthing exercises and relaxation techniques, but will leave the conspiracy theories and belly-talking behind.

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