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Giving birth alone(9 Posts)
As my fast approaching birth of my baby is heading my way, I'm looking at giving birth on my own, not something I really want to do. How "normal" is it for women to be alone, and would you rather be alone when in labour?
Do you mean completely alone, or alone as in no official birth partner (DP, friend etc) but still with midwives?
Still with midwives, just no partner
I laboured alone with DC1, not through choice but because I was induced and MWs sent my family home and told me I wasn't going to go into labour. I did not enjoy the experience. The MWs didn't have time to support me and so I felt very alone and a bit lost - I had no idea about what to expect, especially as I was told repeatedly that I was not in labour . When I finally got them to check me I was 8cm!
That being said I would actually quite like to labour alone this time (DC3) because I think I would like to just be left to get on with it - I am extremely irritable when I'm in pain! I think the problem with DC1 is that I felt the process was a little undermined by being told that what I was experiencing was just a side effect of the induction gel (the biggest side effect of prostin gel is having a baby so quite what they expected I don't know) and so I continually questioned what was going on with my body instead of trusting the process. I think if you can trust your body and remain quite calm then you'll be fine - at the end of the day it is your body that is labouring and anyone else is there to support you as you wish, but they still won't be able to do your 'job'.
Obviously I don't know your specific situation but do you have anyone you could ask as a back up in case you feel you need some support? Are you planning a hospital birth or a home birth? I think if I was going to choose to labour alone again I would rather do it at home, or to stay there as long as possible.
I've had DP both times, he did practical stuff like phone midwives and get me snacks, filled pool for homebirth. People often talk about a birth partner as an advocate to help you consider information and make decisions, but for me I completely trusted my midwvies and spoke to them directly not through DP. I didn't want to look into DP's eyes or really to be touched at all in labour so he didn't really have that role during labour.
I would say if you have a friend or relative that could be on call for you if you decide you do want someone it would be worth setting that up. You can always call them immediately after - in fact after baby is born might be a more valuable time to have support, someone to watch baby when you go for a shower, pick up anything you need, someone to find staff if you need help. I imagine post labour ward staff do look after you if you are on your own anyway but just in case.
I wanted to be alone and almost engineered it with dc3. It was nice to have a bit of company early on but only really because I had older dc's and felt a duty to keep DH informed and prepared but when it came to active labour I didn't really need or want him there.
If you don't want to be alone could you book a doula? The NCT have birth companions and may offer a discount if you can't afford the full price.
I gave birth alone the 2nd time and loved it! For my first exdp was just in the way. For dd2 it was just me and mw and it was fab. I felt totally in control and used a position I wouldnt have if exdp had been there.
I had all five of my children with just the midwives there through choice. Dh is squeamish in the extreme and a bit of a flapper who would have driven me mad when I was in pain. My mum died before children and I never wanted a friend there. It was lovely every time. The midwives were lovely and very attentive because I was alone. Dh looked after the others and arrived soon after they were born giving me time to say hello first. It hasn't hindered his ability to bond with the children and we've been married almost 25 years so it hasn't harmed us as a couple either.
Actually, now you mention it I remember the mw was in the room with me the whole time with dd2 as I was on my own. I was 8 cm already when I got to the hospital though! With dd1 they only bothered when I was 10cm! I had a lovely chat with the mw of dd2 and felt completely comfortable with her.
I feel very proud every time I think about dd's birth
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