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a question for any American mumsnetters

(16 Posts)
Freyah Sat 30-Aug-03 01:45:45

I was chatting with an American friend of mine on the computer earlier and she is nearly a week overdue. I suggested that fresh pineapple or a hot curry might start things off. I know this doesn't work with everyone but I mentioned it since it is sometimes recommended here in Britain.

She didn't believe me and has never been advised to do either of these things. Before I had a chance to ask what sort of things they recommend in the states the computer crashed and when I got back online she had gone.

So my question out of curiosity and interest is, what do they recommend in the states for trying to start yourself off if you go overdue?

pie Sat 30-Aug-03 08:37:38

I'm not American, but my husband is and his grandma and mother have both worked in Labour wards there so I asked him...

He says they don't have any advice like that, you go a week over and they just induce you...you have to remember that a homebirth is only legal in 2 states over there, so a completely different approach.

pie Sat 30-Aug-03 08:40:49

I'm sure someone will say something different though

pupuce Sat 30-Aug-03 19:49:42

Castor oil and sex.... i know that from "Friends" and I then checked with US doulas who confirmed.

bunnyrabbit Sun 31-Aug-03 00:43:19

Castor oil is a bit drastic from what I hear... definitely leave that as a very last resort.

BR

pupuce Sun 31-Aug-03 08:19:23

I am very much against castor oil - I am simply answering the question

pie Sun 31-Aug-03 08:31:30

Yesterday I heard that 80% of all babies in the world are delivered by midwives. In America only 7% of all births are delivered by midwives.

JJ Sun 31-Aug-03 12:08:59

My vague memory is being told about nipple stimulation and sex. Ante- and postnatal care will vary wildly from ob to ob and hospital to hospital. My ob was my best friend during the pregnancy and helped me find classes, breastfeeding support, a paed for the baby and just generally kept me calm and sane (as much as that was possible ).

The hospital in which I gave birth was a community hospital affiliated with a large teaching hospital about 30 minutes away. It wasn't at all posh, but I had a private room (they tried to keep all mothers in private rooms and mainly succeeded) and stayed in that room throughout labour, delivery and until we left the hospital. Either my husband or my mom was with me the entire time. The nurses were great -- even though I was being given pitocin (discussed beforehand and I was strongly in favour), I could walk around, up and down the halls and basically do whatever I wanted.

After my son was born, he had trouble breastfeeding. The nurses were great in helping and not judging my decisions. I had, luckily, already arranged for a lactation consultant to come to the hospital after the birth. (It did take 5 days and many many hours of help from those women to get breastfeeding established.. I'm very thankful that they were available and that my ob had pointed me to them.)

Anyway, that was my experience. I think that it's not unusual in the least. I don't know anyone in the US who hasn't had a private room during labour/delivery/postnatal recovery (not from having such great healthcare, but because the hospitals were set up that way). Having a baby in the hospital in the US is vastly different than having a baby in an NHS hospital (from what I've heard).

(And let the horror stories about American hospitals begin! I've no doubt those exist, too.. )

WideWebWitch Sun 31-Aug-03 12:31:58

Anyone who does want the horror stories about the American way of giving birth should read Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf.

tabitha Sun 31-Aug-03 13:50:20

Don't personally know anything about about birth/pregnancy in America but as I've said on another thread, I'm a bit of a sad Discovery Health labour/birth obsessive and one thing that has struck me about watching the Amercian programmes is that all the women, without fail, give birth lying flat on their backs with the obstetrician very much controlling what is going on rather than the woman or even the midwive.

Linnet Sun 31-Aug-03 20:06:27

I've noticed that as well Tabitha. I noticed that some of them seem to walk around a lot during labour but end up giving birth lying on their backs. And all the episodes I've seen lately have nearly all resulted in a section.

SueW Sun 31-Aug-03 21:09:38

Another Discovery Health addict here. Even more so now we have Sky+ and can video without leaving my seat or searching for a second remote! I can mostly fit the baby programmes around bouts of insomnia or mid-morning tasks such as ironing, folding laundry or similar but I have taken to recording Student Midwives, the Baby Whisperer and anything else I might find interesting. A couple of weeks ago 'The Operation' showed a c-section in pretty much tutorial detail. Of course I taped it - it was on at midnight!

I have a good excuse though - I am training to be an antenatal teacher so I can put all this TV addiction down to 'studying' After all, I am sure some of my future clients will watch some of it and I need to be up-to-date with what they are seeing!

JJ Tue 02-Sep-03 06:25:34

Just so that no one gets the wrong idea about my lovely ob. I didn't deliver flat on my back -- delivered like this (um, I guess you can't see me, but I'm all squenched up, kinda leaning forward in a little ball) and she managed to get my fairly large (9lb 4 oz) son out even though he was back to back and wouldn't flip.

So not all American mothers deliver on their backs. Maybe just the ones who decide to have their birth filmed....

rainbow Tue 02-Sep-03 11:57:38

In America about 25-30% of deliveries are by c-section. Apparently it's because more can go wrong during a natural labour and the ob was to reduce the risk of being sued!! Ob's are far more involved with the care of the mother in the US. My cousin came over while I was pg with DS3 and attended an antenatal check-up with me. She was horrified when she found out I had only met my consultant once when pg with ds1.

bunnyrabbit Tue 02-Sep-03 15:37:25

She'd be even more horrified to know that I have never met my consultant and I'm 40+4 with my first.

BR

tinyfeet Tue 02-Sep-03 15:58:38

I'm an American in America. There are a lot of myths or old wives' tales about how to spur on delivery. The ones I heard when I was pregnant with DD were walking around - that is the most common one. Some doctors recommend that you walk around the block a few times or even walk around the hospital corridors, etc. My doctor did say that he thought sex did help to make things go faster. Friends of mine recommended spicy foods, like Chinese or Indian (your curries). I was over 1 week late, and my doctor advised that I should be induced since he didn't want the baby to get too big. I did give birth lying on my back, which does seem quite common here. I also know lots of people who have had c-sections. It does seem to be more common in the US than in the UK, from what I can tell. Anyway, you all seem to have good statistics on all of this - more information than I have, anyway. My doctor delivered DD - I didn't have a midwife or doula. I was opposed to having a c-section unless absolutely necessary, but I have friends who have 'opted' for c-sections. It seems popular here.

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