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Freebirthing - Doco on Channel 5 tonight 9pm

(27 Posts)
Mintpurple Wed 09-Jul-08 18:44:59

...should be interesting...

Thankyouandgoodnight Wed 09-Jul-08 19:45:27

Ah yes - I was just about to start a thread on this grin.

I'm going for a homebirth (with MWs) and hope it doesn't put me off!

dizzydixies Wed 09-Jul-08 19:48:39

the girl thats on it was on Phillip and Fern today, wasn't over impressed with the way they were kind of badgering her about it and I heart Phillip and Fern too

Evelynsmum Wed 09-Jul-08 20:35:55

Very pro homebirth, but wanted (and would want) a midwife / someone experienced there just in case anything went wrong.

Will be watching this with interest.

Foxymolly Wed 09-Jul-08 20:41:37

I don't think she could answer them though dizzy, phil had good questions and she was at a loss.

To be honest I think freebirthing is a very selfish act. I'm all for home births but not to have a midwife is a dangerous and unnecssary risk IMO.

When I had dd (my first) friends were saying I should have a home birth but I wasn't confident. As it happened I'm glad I never as dd got stuck and my labour wouldn't progess. I had to have emergency c-section and lost a pint of blood.
If I had been having a homebirth with midwife things would have been difficult but I honestly believe if I had been freebirthing DD wouldn't be here now.

Don't flame me, its just my opinion!

dizzydixies Wed 09-Jul-08 20:50:57

foxy I haven't a definate opinion on it either way - I haven't been particularly competent either times I've given birth BUT I did feel they were all chatty chatty with her and then kind of turned on her a bit

maybe she wasn't ready for them but it was her choice and it worked out fine for her and she said at least a few times she knew it wasn't for everyone and that there were risks attached etc

am always playing switzerland me blush

Evelynsmum Wed 09-Jul-08 20:53:30

Foxy that would be my concern too.

When I had DD we planned a homebirth but transferred to hospital and I think without the midwife present we could have been in trouble...

Foxymolly Wed 09-Jul-08 20:55:05

I just think Phil didn't agree with what she did and wasn't happy that she couldn't answer the questions about the risks involved. She kept saying it was the right choice for me, I thought if something had gone wrong you wouldn't be saying that.

Foxymolly Wed 09-Jul-08 20:58:45

Thats why I think its a selfish act Evelynsmum, its not right that you can deny your baby the right to medical attention if it needs it

lucysnowe Thu 10-Jul-08 09:08:32

Twas v. interesting and the births did look lovely, esp the South African lady's. Shame for various reasons I could never have that kind of birth.

I was a bit worried about the American one with the dodgy placenta tho but that turned out ok as well. I wonder how the documentary makers felt about it - they weren't at the births but if someone died they would be partially responsible, wouldn't they?

BetsyBoop Thu 10-Jul-08 09:21:32

I just think all the women were very luck as they had relatively straight forward births (retained placenta aside)

There is a reason that the number of women & babies dying in birth has dropped in the last few decades in developed countries - that's due to the medical care provided by midwives & doctors when things go wrong.

I'm all for home births if that's what people want, but have a midwife in attendance PLEASE. I just think the women involved were very foolish & very selfish.

I suffered a severe PPH after my son was born & lost 2.4L of blood over 2 hours despite the excellent medical care I got - 50years ago I would have probably been a statistic & that is a very sobering thought hmm

babalon Thu 10-Jul-08 11:06:46

I watch and just thought it was unnessary to put themselves and their babies in danger. I am very pro homebirth and had my 2nd and 3rd babies and home and it was truely wonderful. But why would you not want a trained midwife with all equipment with you? There is a very good reason why there are mean't to be 2 midwifes at the delivery one for mum and one for baby. It's all very well knowing how to do basic resusitation on a baby but how are you going to do that if you are also going off!

I'm very glad all the babies and mums in the program had uncomplicated deliveries and healthy babies but I really think it is dangerous and why would you want to put your darling baby at risk

ellideb Thu 10-Jul-08 13:17:59

I watched it last night and both myself and my partner think its an incredibly risky, selfish and stupid act. To give birth without a midwife is crazy. If anything were to go wrong you could be very quickly out of your depth. You have absoloutly no idea how things will progress and there are so many things that could go wrong.

Yes we are designed to give birth and yes many women give birth entirely without comlications but none of those mothers would have had a clue what do if they started bleeding really badly or their baby's got stuck or came out not breathing/inhaled meconium or they had placenta praevia etc. It is such a selfish act as they have put their own lives and that of their baby's at risk.

If they really did not want a midwife then they could of reached a compromise and asked for a midwife to be present but to wait in another room so tey would have had somebody who knew what they were doing should anything have gone wrong.

Crazy crazy people.

girliefriend Thu 10-Jul-08 13:58:01

hello was going to start a new thread having watched the programe last night with jaw on the floor! The births did look lovely but my brothers gf, a midwife, pointed out that the english ladys baby was born with the cord round his neck with is potentially fatal (my nan had twins one of whom died due to exactly that) Scary really and who in their right mind would want a dead baby on their conscience?! I couldn't live with that! Agee with all the above threads xXx

motherhurdicure Thu 10-Jul-08 14:18:42

Message withdrawn

ellierob Thu 10-Jul-08 14:29:12

Watched the programme with gob wide open!!!
Agree with ellideb, its really quite understandable to not want strangers at the birth, but have a midwife in the house at least!!!!!!

Ate Fri 11-Jul-08 00:41:45

What about fast birthers?

If woman tends to birth quickly yet becomes pregnant again, with the full knowledge that a midwife quite possibly wont make it to the birth, would those of you who've been highly judgmental consider her to be "stupid" "selfish" or accuse her of putting her "darling baby at risk"?

chocbiscuits Fri 11-Jul-08 01:24:15

"Mostly due to the perils of childbirth, it was not unusual for a man to outlive two, and sometimes three wives in the first half of the 19th century."
Yet even in those days they had MW

HappyNewMum2Be Fri 11-Jul-08 10:22:06

I really enjoyed the program, but thought that it didn't do enough to separate the two concepts of free birth and home birth.

I didn't let my hubby watch it, recorded it instead as I have just managed to persuade him that if the rest of my pg is safe and without risk, that my birth should be as well, which means that we can safely consider a home birth.

I agree with many of the posters who comment on the selfishness of the mother about doing it without a MW present, especially as from what I understand each of the births was pretty darn quick and a MW would have been able to stay pretty much hands off and not interfere if they didn't need to.

The fast birthers thing confused me as well - I know of a very experienced mom of five, who had each of her babies in less than an hour. With one of them, she had a false labour and knowing that it could happen very quickly called an ambulance for everything to have stopped by the time she got to hospital. She was berated by the midwifes at the hospital for calling an ambulance!! "Surely you should know what labour is by now" is what they said to her!

As for the legality of things ... struck me that the NHS as usual are more worried about the liability issues rather than what is right for mom and baby...

ellideb Fri 11-Jul-08 13:30:12

Highly judemental or just incredibly sensible? These mothers made a definate choice not to have any medical professional present at all. That is the difference. Fast birthers are not making that choice, and they don't say no to medical assistance, in fact they make the medical profession aware of their history so that they can act quickly when they do go into labour. It is a totally different kettle of fish because of what these women choose to do despite the risks. If the help is there then most women will take it.

scottishmum007 Fri 11-Jul-08 13:37:36

haven't read all the posts, but I watched it and couldn't help myself ranting at the TV. It's one of the most selfish acts I've ever seen (to deliberately choose not to have professional help on hand). I have absolutely nothing against homebirthing, that's fair enough, but at least have help on hand??? The midwife could be at a distance if they wanted to be left alone to labour. Better to have help nearby than to regret it if something went wrong.
I had a difficult labour and if I had chosen to go it alone, like a few others have said, my baby may not be with me today.

scottishmum007 Fri 11-Jul-08 13:41:00

I was relieved that all the babies in the programme were born without complications, it could have went the opposite way. They were all extremely lucky.

Lemontart Fri 11-Jul-08 13:45:31

My opinion on their actions is coloured by my personal experience.
If my MW had not been at DD2’s homebirth, we would never have known to call an emergency ambulance transfer when she did and dealt with the complications with no training between DH and I. In short, if my problem free pregnancy and early stage labour could go so wrong so quickly, then any labour can with no warning. Without intervention in a hurry, DD2 might not be here today. Thank goodness I did not exercise my rights and refuse a MW to be present. I was tempted too but DH and MW gently worked on my confidence and restored my faith in NHS via compromise of a home birth.

BetsyBoop Fri 11-Jul-08 13:49:03

Ate - there is a world of difference between CHOOSING to give birth alone and therefore deliberately putting themselves & their unborn child at increased risk & a woman having a fast birth & therefore not having anyone get there to support her, of course the latter is not stupid or selfish.

chocbiscuits - yes there were midwives of sorts in the C19th, but I think medical expertise has advanced a bit since them & there are such things as assisted deliveries & c/s now (too many of them most would say, but that's a whole other debate grin)

A friend of mine had a fast second birth. Her husband (who worked 15mins away& was told "get home NOW") got home just in time to see the head crowning & the friend who was coming over to look after her first DC arrive 10 minutes after the birth, as did an ambulance with m/w on board grin

She felt guilty for ages after that she's ignored what she thought were early twinges (she's had a 14hr first labour, so no reason to suspect a quick one) & with virtually no contractions/pain her waters broke & she got the urge to push & realised just how far along things were. She said she was terrified in case anything went wrong with no support there. (She went on to have a 6hr "normal" labour with 3rd DC, so no idea why second one was virtually pain free, contraction free & quick)

Dondletella Fri 11-Jul-08 14:20:38

What I thought was interesting was the complete breakdown of relationship between the the british woman (an ex-nurse no less) and the NHS system.

She managed to come out of St Thomas's with no support or anyone trying to build a relationship with her - to try and find some sort of workable solution - was a very sad state of affairs.

It is absolutely her choice how she wishes to birth her child - but I just don't believe given the right MF approaching her in the right way FOR HER wouldn't also have worked out. There are plenty of lovely MF's out there who have a gentle, natural, hands off approach - who's to say one of those couldn't 'reach' her. Its a shame the hospital couldn't have gone some way to finding a solution that way - rather than sending her off with a flea in her ear and no home birth pack!

I'm planning a homebirth and a gentle hands off approach is definately part of my birth plan - I'm sure with my husband's help as advocate we can achieve that.

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