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(90 Posts)
PregnantGrrrl Sat 23-Jun-07 10:17:18

I saw a discussion on 'free-birthing' yesterday, which i had never heard of before.
It was bonkers (IMO) it involves no scans, no tests, no drugs, no doctors / midwives.

I'm all for doctor free, drug free, home births but going without even a scan or a single blood test seems madness (and so potentially dangerous) to me.

The woman who heads the movement has has 5 kids this way, and says we don't need medical intervention of any kind.

What do you think? Have you / would you?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PregnantGrrrl Sat 23-Jun-07 10:22:14

what was scary was that 2 women from the UK who had done it were speaking, although one had had a single blood test, and the other had a single scan.

Both were 'risk' catagories, (one anaemic and poss low placenta, one having her 1st at over 40yrs old) but still shunned any help and gave birth without a midwife at home- one of them in a pool.

I agreed with them saying that most complications are because of interventions in hospitals, but to avoid it all and do it alone seems so irresponsible to me.

Idreamofdaleks Sat 23-Jun-07 10:26:04

During pregnancy I refused routine tests like the triple test for abnormalities but I had the 2 routine scans. If I did it again I would refuse the scans and all routine invasive testing unless I thought there was a problem. But I wouldn't completely shun doctors and midwives, and would be prepared to have more tests and monitoring at the birth if necessary.

perpetuaphoenixfire Sat 23-Jun-07 10:26:11

i would not have gone that far, but after 3 normal pg and births i thought no 4 would be a doddle and was happy to have home birth in pool - when mw said they may be unavailable i thought i could prob do without them (mad hormones?). ds was 9lb11 undiagnsed breech, thank god i got to hospital. any of my other 3 would prob have been ok but the problem is you dont know. i wouldnt risk it

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

daisyboo Sat 23-Jun-07 10:34:08

midwives have been around as long as women have been having babies and tribal women have long been supported by other women in the tribe, so to shun any sort of company is, imo, madness. Those women are very lucky that there were no complications. i'm all for trusting ones body, and agree that all the checks may not be necessary in a healthy pregnancy, but without routine AN checks, the women who do have problem and high risk pregnancies wouldn't be detected!

daisyboo Sat 23-Jun-07 10:35:25

the strange american woman actually said on richard and judy that it was the medical profession who caused problems like placenta praevia ????

potoroo Sat 23-Jun-07 10:44:54

Just read some stats
In Sweeden 1 in 29,000 women will die from pregnancy/childbirth complications.

In Afghanistan, its 1 in 6.

Now granted, there are a lot more issues that need to be considered (basic hygene, war, no access to medical facilities)

But a fair ammount must be attributal to doing it alone? Madness.

PregnantGrrrl Sat 23-Jun-07 10:53:13

yep- she claimed it's because the medical profession 'stress us' and cause all the problems you can have.

I was reasonably impressed she delivered a breach child on her own, though it was alarming that she just sat there with one of babies feet out and did 'nothing' and just saw what happened.

i'm thinking about a drug free home birth this time, but i'm not forgoing a midwife and blood tests.

morocco Sat 23-Jun-07 10:58:00

def high risk of course but i wonder whether it is so popular in the us cos of the alternative, very high tech, interventionist approach. i can relate to it but haven't and would't - no more for me!! - but often wanted to run away and give birth by myself as the day approached it is deluded to think nothing bad could ever happen but some people are happier with higher risk than others.

fillyjonk Sat 23-Jun-07 10:58:35

oh yes its the usual crap here isn't it?

This perception that there are very low risks associated with chilbirth is actually in a large part due to the provision of medical supplies. Babies DID die in huge numbers-and still do in other parts of the world.


The OTHER side of the coin is that I know some women have felt pressured into this due to mw shortages.

morocco Sat 23-Jun-07 10:59:46

maybe she meant placenta praevia is more common in vbacs? mind you. don't know why i'm defending the belief that the medical profession cause all pregnancy related problems, some maybe

lisad123 Sat 23-Jun-07 11:00:42

Im all for home birthing, no meds, and maybe a personal midwife. this sounds mad!!
There are so many problems that can be there without you knowing. Pre eclampicia often has no signs, low iron, low placenta.
I agree hospitals are stressful and im sure half of c setions might not have been needed, but surely we need to work on becoming strong enough to trust our judgements and say no, or discuss, than just not go at all

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PregnantGrrrl Sat 23-Jun-07 11:13:43

does it not go manky? One way to stop annoying visitors constantly picking up your baby i suppose!

the 1st feed pic is adorable though.

Woooozle100 Sat 23-Jun-07 11:18:18

Loons! Its not as though accepting medical care here during pg equates with having no say in the matter. Ditto I'm all for people making choices about not having screening tests etc and opting for home births.

My dd would deffo not be here if it wasn't for these interfering medics restricting me with their evil monitors and neonatal care! Prior to all of this, I may have been more sympathetic to these free birthing ideas - believing that women know best / have been doing it for years / do so grand elsewhere in the world etc(being a bit fuzzy and romantic and overlooking the fact that maternal / neonatal deaths were /are far more commonplace) In my last pg, I did envisage the birth along these lines - home comforts, candles, soft music, just a midwife guiding me through. What I actually ended up with was far different but hey ho. At least I can appreciate now that none of this really matters - my baby was born and survived and so did I. My attitude now is far more 'whatever it takes'

Grr - really winds me up when people with the luxury of healthcare lambast it like these people..

lulumama Sat 23-Jun-07 11:19:13

you can salt the placenta , i think , and it does dry out.....and it is wrapped in something

not something i would personally want to do , but i guess for some women it is the right conclusion to a natural birth

PregnantGrrrl Sat 23-Jun-07 11:29:39

i wouldn't be here without intervention, and i'm aware of so many things that can be going 'wrong' inside you, that i couldn't go through pregnancy without a single scan. I'd find labour terrifying, worrying if my placenta was ok, was there more that one baby...

I had no idea the placenta would naturally detatch after 1-3 days though. Not that i'm planning on trying it. When i had DS i initially said i didn't want to injection to speed up it's delivery, but when i'd had DS they asked me again and i said just give it to me- i just wanted to have a shower and cuddle my boy by then!

And all this talk has reminded me to start my birthing plan for this time round!

alicet Sat 23-Jun-07 13:21:14

I think its mad. Although home birth is not for me (just would be too stressed about what could go wrong) I don't have any issues against it if its right for you. But to do so without at least having a scan is mad. Perhaps the blood tests and rest of the antenatal monitoring could be forgone if the mother was well in herself. But if she gave birth at home on her own with an undiagnosed placenta praevia both she and her lo could bleed to death before help arrived. A completely insane risk to take in my opinion.

My son would probably be dead if I hadn't had a midwife with me (would have needed transfer to hospital if it had been at home) as he was extremely distressed and needed to be born by an emergency c-section. Thankfully we are both fine but it makes me quite angry that people would take such a stupid risk

maxbear Sat 23-Jun-07 13:54:03

I had a homebirth very keen to avoid intervention, would have been happy to accept any lifesaving treatment for myself or my baby however and did actually call the midwife early. Judging by comments here it must be a very small minority who do something so totally irresponsible.

Blandmum Sat 23-Jun-07 14:27:40

The American woman who thinks that doctors cause placenta previa has her head up her arse.

D Unvle in law is a doc in the developing world. He is currently working wit a group in Indonesia where the maternal death reate in child birth is one in 8 pregnancies.....not one in 8 women!

Now granted that some of these are caused by malnutrician. But these woen have never seen one of those stressful western doctors, and still they die. And along with them often the baby and the toddler who is still being bf.

Low intervetion is great and sould be the aim. Byt there are times when it is life saving.

I had pre eclamsia twice. I'd have died if it wasn't for the medics, and along wth me, the baby

clop Sat 23-Jun-07 14:37:50

Going it alone is a major cause of *obstetric * fistula in the developing world -- in cultures where it's considered unacceptable for a woman to have any helpers present, or maybe only her (naturally inexperienced) husband might be allowed to attend her -- no one else.

For the unaware, obstetric fistula results in the following scenario:

1 (or more) dead babies stuck in the birth canal....which eventually squeezes out after days of labour.

The constant pressure on the perineum and "down below" means that blood supply gets cut off to flesh between the vagina and anus. This results in:

Tissue death and rot, gangrene, and a passage opening up between vagina and anus.

In abscence of medical care, the woman ends up incontinent, poo-ing out her vagina constantly, and shunned by other people (often abandoned by their husbands, too).

The highest risk group for obstetric fistula are mothers under 20 having their first child, but it can happen to anybody.

I'm all for minimal intervention, homebirth and informed choices, but it's awful when some people try to make out childbirth is an inherently low risk experience.

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