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Author Topic: Mothers of Hatrack tell me how to survive pregnancy
ludosti
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As you've already guessed by now, yes I am pregnant. Though I'm not having nearly the problems I know some of you have experienced, I'm really struggling. I am having lots of problems with so-called "morning sickness". Since I was about 6 weeks pregnant, I've had problems with 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week nausea that has now progressed to include throwing up several times a day. I'm now at about 11 weeks (I literally cried when my ultrasound discovered I was 3 weeks behind where we had thought I was - meaning at least 3 more weeks of this than I'd thought) and really, really struggling. I've tried munching on crackers, frequent meals, I almost always manage to take my vitamins (at night), but I'm really stuggling with eating and drinking. I've been unable to get B6 to stay down, Emetrol only works sometimes, and I can't take Benadryl during the day since I work. Does anyone know any other tricks to try other than just gritting my teeth (or resorting to prescriptions if my vomiting continues)?

I'm excited for our first baby, but I'm really not enjoying the experience thus far. How do millions of women do this all the time? [Razz]

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dkw
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Raspberry Sour Altoids.


Also ginger ale (the real stuff from the health food store made with actual ginger) mixed with lemonade.

And, not to be discouraging, but my "morning" sickness lasted halfway into my third trimester.

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ludosti
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I'll have to pick up some Altoids and real ginger ale.

Yeah, my mom had "morning sickness" all 9 months. I'm really really really really hoping I don't do that.

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Narnia
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Hugs to you ludosti. I'm not a mom, but my mother had seven children and swears by actual ginger tablets that they sell in the health food store. They're capsules of ginger and they really really helped her during the pregnancies where the nausea just wouldn't seem to go away. I hope you can find some relief, I can't imagine how hard it must be for you. (((ludosti)))
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advice for robots
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Hang in there, ludosti!
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the doctor
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Give the fetus a nick-name. It won't help the morning sickness, but it can give you a focus for your emotions.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I think dkw and her sweetie called theirs "Wyatt."

[Big Grin]

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ludosti
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I've nicknamed mine "Little Ninja". S/he likes to hide from the doctor, snuck up to hit me "BAM!" with the morning sickness, and is sneaky by being younger than they should be (on paper). [Big Grin]

I've seen some various ginger things - I'll have to look at them closer (heck, when I can, I actually munch on crystallized ginger).

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dkw
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Mom bought a laser-cut wooden picture frame that says "Wyatt" when they were on vacation last summer. She gave it to us for Christmas, but no one's called the little monkey "Wyatt" since he was born. I think she wishes she'd got one that said "John" instead.
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TomDavidson
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Altoids, ginger ale (and candied ginger), Saltines and Nutrigrain bars were all staples of both of Christy's pregnancies.

She also found that she could eat enormous quantities of spicy food, and it seemed to actually soothe her stomach.

That said, from the perspective of an outsider, it CAN get pretty bad -- to the point that, when I saw your subject line, my first thought was "Continue to not die."

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maui babe
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It's been a long time for me... my baby is 16, but this is what helped me through my ~3 years of (cumulative) morning sickness.

Try to never have an empty stomach. Like Ela said, keep a snack next to the bed and eat a tiny bit before you try to get up. If you wake up in the middle of the night try to eat something too. Saltines are okay, but I found high protein foods worked better for me. I kept peanuts or almonds next to the bed.

Keep a stash of food with you all the time. Some nuts, dried fruit, little crackers, hard boiled egg - again, eating protein helped me better than carbs. During one of my pregnancies, I craved fruit (during the winter of course) and I found a nice non-dairy, low sugar sorbet that made me feel better.

With every one of my pregnancies I had different food issues. With my first child, I couldn't even think about anything remotely Mexican, but with my 5th child (who's graduating from high school on Thursday [Eek!] ), Taco Bell tostadas kept me alive.

I hope you find something that helps you feel better. Congratulations. You're in for quite a ride.

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pooka
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Hurrah, you're expecting! I am guessing that since morning sickness is the most whine worthy problem, this must be otherwise good news.

Something I didn't learn until before my 4th pregnancy is that the nausea is a symptom of low blood sugar. It's kind of like how you get headachey after not eating for too long. So while it's the last thing you probably feel like eating, a balanced snack of protein, complex carbs, and some fat is good. Like Triscuits and cheddar cheese. Simple sugars literally kill the pain in the short run, but create a sharper energy crisis within an hour.

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Dan_raven
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quote:
Mothers of Hatrack tell me how to survive pregnancy?
Adopt.
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pooka
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And this adoption, she made your life so easy, neh?
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Tatiana
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Congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm so excited! That's awesome! [Smile]
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dkw
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I forgot the watermelon. Eat lots of watermelon, especially now that we're coming into summer. It keeps you cool, keeps you hydrated, and a lot of the time it was the only thing I could even think about eating without feeling sick.
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rivka
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I second the candied ginger. I used to carry it around with me and nibble on it. Sipping water sometimes helps too. I think mostly because slight dehydration tends to worsen the nausea.

And they weren't around when I was pregnant, but Preggie Pops and Preggie Drops seem to help lots of women I know. dkw says they have an aftertaste, IIRC, but the friend I bought them for last month says she hasn't noticed one.

Good luck! It might help to keep in mind that "morning sickness" is often a sign of a healthy pregnancy -- the only time I wasn't miserably sick in the first trimester was with the pregnancy I lost.

Congrats!

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Mabus
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Oh my goodness! Ludosti's having a baby?!

Congratulations!

Sorry...can't really contribute here, but I have not seen or spoken to her in ever and am excited. [Wink]

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Dead_Horse
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Wyatt? Because she was gonna Earp at any moment?
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dkw
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Yep.
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ketchupqueen
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Crackers 10 minutes before getting up and at 1-hour intervals during the day helped some days. Sucking on ginger or drinking sips of ginger beer helped others. My "all-day sickness" with my first went on until 7.5 months; I had one week of freedom before it changed to heartburn. SEVERE heartburn. [Frown] So I commiserate with you. If it gives you any hope, it was not nearly as bad with my second.

I know women who swear by Preggo Pops and some who use Sea Bands or whatever they are called, but neither works for me.

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ludosti
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Lots of good ideas for me to try. I really appreciate them (and all the support and commiseration). [Big Grin]

It's really kind of funny that I've developed my own list of foods that tend to stay down (or at least aren't horrible when they come back up [Razz] ). I seem to do pretty well with fruit and carbohydrates, so I've been eating lots of watermelon, strawberries and mashed potatoes. One of the most frustrating things is when I don't necesarilly feel too bad, but accidentally gag, and it happens a lot for no reason (if I do it more than once I'm pretty much guaranteed to lose it).


quote:
Adopt.
I keep teasing my husband that if this feeling lasts through the whole pregnancy I don't know that I'll want to do it ever again. [Wink]
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scholar
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I told my husband that if we ever want a second child, he needs to switch my birth control secretly since I don't think I could ever willinglhy subject myself to that again. [Smile]
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Derrell
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Congratulations. [Hat] Trader Joe's has the best ginger candy I've ever tasted.
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Lissande
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Congratulations! Our baby is a ninja, too (though it may be slipping - we saw it on the ultrasound yesterday). Maybe we could have a support group - I mentioned to my husband yesterday that we should find some books on Parenting a Ninja. Good luck with the morning sickness and other unpleasantness. [Frown]
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Belle
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I was going to suggest mashed potatoes, because it's one of the only things I could eat when I had severe morning sickness.

Unfortunately, the only way to know if a food is going to work for you is to try it. I would not recommend eating something you really love right now...you may never want to eat it again if you have a bad day.

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ludosti
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Hubby got me both raspberry and mango Altoid sours so I'm munching on those today. I plan to stop at TJs on my way home today to pick up some of their ginger chews. [Smile]
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pooka
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I bought some ginger Altoids, but they're really painful. Just sayin'. I'm not pregant.

Which foods work varies from pregnancy to pregnancy. I couldn't abide ketchup my first one.

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PSI Teleport
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Ummm....I left a post here. Where did it go? Anyway, it basically said congrats and good luck! ???
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Tatiana
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I wish I were pregnant... [Smile]
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CaySedai
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Congratulations and good luck.

With my second pregnancy, I had nausea for about the first 5-6 months. I didn't throw up, but just felt sick and nauseated. If I smelled the food, I didn't want to eat it. So, my suggestion is to try not to smell food. [Dont Know]

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Perplexity'sDaughter
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Ugh, my first three months of pregnancy were horrible. Basically, I just slept and threw-up all day. I can't remember an exact food that I ate that made me feel any better, but I can tell you that not eating only made me feel ten times worse.
I can also tell you that crackers and toast( or anything else made of bread) did not help me. Neither did Sprite, which some people say is supposed to help.
My sister used the preggie pops that someone else mentioned, and she says they helped.

Anyway, I don't know if I've been of any help, but good luck to you! Just remember, it's all worth it in the end.

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divaesefani
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Congrats on being pregnant! I am as well, 20 weeks along. We just found out yesterday that we're having a boy!

I've just gotten over being sick all day every day. I've now hit the really bad heartburn phase where my stomach is in serious pain and I don't want to eat anything. (Milkshakes work wonders for heartburn!) Nothing really works for me to calm my nausea, this pregnancy or last. The best advice I can give is if something stays down, eat it. I had to quit worrying that I wasn't sticking to the "What to Eat When You're Expecting" diet, because the thought of most of the stuff they were telling me to eat made me want to throw up.

Things that generally stay down for me are peanut butter, mashed potatoes, and anything juicy (since water makes me throw up when I'm having morning sickness). Things I try to avoid because they are disgusting coming back up are meat products, milk, dark sodas and anything too acidic.

I wish you luck getting through this phase. My mom and grandma were both sick for 9 months of every pregnancy, but for both of my pregnancies, the morning sickness has tapered off around 18 weeks. Hopefully that will give you some hope!

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jeniwren
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I didn't try this, but it worked well for a friend of mine: her ob suggested that she eat cheese to minimize her morning sickness. For myself, I almost had to give up brushing my teeth with my second pregnancy as it always made me throw up. And with the first, one of my more vivid memories was throwing up all over myself and the table at a restaurant when the waiter took food past our table that for whatever reason smelled really bad to me. It eventually subsided.

Congratulations ludosti, I'm very happy for you, and empathizing for you as well. *hugs*

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ketchupqueen
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On the toothpaste: that makes me gag when I'm pregnant, too, but I've found if I use the kids' fruit-flavored toothpaste it's not nearly as bad, it still has fluoride and works just as well, but without all the puking.
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dkw
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The kids' toothpaste worked for me for a little while, then I started gagging on that too. By the third trimester even just water on a toothbrush made me gag. I brushed my teeth in eight stages -- front of left top teeth, pause to gag, front of right top teeth, pause to gag, back of left front teeth, etc. By doing it that way I usually avoided actually throwing up.
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Jenny Gardener
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Just remember that this, too, shall pass.
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ludosti
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Yeah, I've been brushing my teeth with water for about a month now (and using lots of mouthwash). Something about the act of spitting out the toothpaste makes me gag (and gagging more than once is guaranteed to make me throw up).

So far I've been doing pretty well going with the "have something in my mouth at all times" diet - altoids, ice cubes, ginger, etc. I'm still not able to eat much, but at least I'm not throwing up as much and am at less of a risk of dehydrating. Now if I could manage to function on less than about 12 hours of sleep, that would be nice. There've been several mornings when I've gotten up to get ready for work, only to be completely worn out by going to the bathroom and throwing up. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Just remember that this, too, shall pass.
When I'm having a really hard time, this is what keeps me going.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by ludosti:


Now if I could manage to function on less than about 12 hours of sleep, that would be nice.

Don't count on it. Some women apparently get a rush of energy in the second trimester, but I didn't.
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ludosti
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quote:
Don't count on it. Some women apparently get a rush of energy in the second trimester, but I didn't.
Yeah, if nothing else, I figure if I can stop throwing up, my body would have a little tiny bit more energy. [Wink]
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ludosti
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I think I've even got some cashews at home I can try putting on my nightstand. So far crackers and altoids have failed me as "eat first thing" items. Hopefully I will fare better with protein. [Smile] In retrospect I probably should have gotten the box of mini-peanut butter sandwich crackers I saw at Trader Joe's today.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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What Jenny Gardner said! Hurray for Grandchildren. (Sorry, Roni)
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DeathofBees
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Congrats to you, ludosti! I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned Morning Sickness Magic powdered drink packets by Baby's Bliss company (available at www.blissbymom.com ). My midwife gave me some of the peach-ginger ones and they were indeed magic for me! Like you, I was having nausea 24/7 and couldn't find a snack that would ease the discomfort. I tried ginger ale, but it felt too swishy in my stomach and made me belch (I don't normally drink sodas, as a rule). The great thing about these drink packets was that my midwife recommended just dipping my finger into the powder and pressing it into the pocket of my cheek to let it absorb, so I didn't have to actually mix the drink and have all that liquid in my belly. The powder worked almost instantly, and I could use one packet for days, applying more as needed (sometimes every 30 minutes).

My nausea only lasted until about 19 weeks, and now at almost 26 weeks, I feel fantastic!

A word of caution: If this stage of nausea does pass (and I sincerely hope for you that it does), and you start to feel like digging into your favorite foods, DON'T OVEREAT! It will give you much ickier stomachaches and heartburn in addition to nausea and possible up-chucking. I was so happy to be able to eat cold cereal and pizza again, I made myself very uncomfortable. Don't let your stomach get too empty OR too full.

Another note about nausea: Before you deliver, talk to your doctor or midwife about whether or not your birthing facility will allow you to eat and drink during labor. During my son's birth, I became very nauseous from a combination of lack of food and hyperventilation from those silly breathing exercises (Lamaze is not for everyone! This time I'm going with the Bradley method of total relaxation.). Fortunately, I was at a birthing center and not a hospital, and was not on any drugs, so my midwife told me to eat just a little and to drink juice and, for heaven's sake, stop with all the hee-hee-hoooo. After breathing normally for a bit, my stomach settled and I could concentrate again on the labor. Avoiding as many interventions as you can (IV drips, fetal heart monitor machines, drugs that don't let you move around, etc.) will allow you much more flexibility during your birthing experience so you can change position, sip juice, walk, or whatever you feel like you need to do to be comfortable. If you decide you need a painkiller, you know your body. But don't let anybody, even the top OB in the hospital, tell you that your body doesn't know what it's doing and they should step in with some interference method. Your body was MADE to do this, and you're the one listening to it. If you come to a point, especially after hours of intense labor contractions, where you feel "I just can't do this anymore--what do I do now?", know that it is a "signpost" of every labor and it means you are almost to that final, rewarding, pushing stage. You need a calm support person (husband, doula, coach) who will tell you "You're doing great! Keep it up, and soon you'll have that baby in your arms!" You most certainly do not need some nurse looking skeptically at you and offering you more drugs, a C-section, or any of the array of interventions they push on moms who really need some support and encouragement. Your birth plan should be flexible, yes, but it is 100% YOUR birth experience. Enjoy it to the fullest!

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
If this stage of nausea does pass (and I sincerely hope for you that it does), and you start to feel like digging into your favorite foods, DON'T OVEREAT! It will give you much ickier stomachaches and heartburn in addition to nausea and possible up-chucking.
Or *ahem* despite the worse nausea and heartburn when you overeat you'll continue to do so and gain 53 lbs. during your pregnancy. [Blushing] Yes, I'm speaking from experience here-- I've still got 15 to lose from my last pregnancy.
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Mrs.M
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Mazel tov, ludosti! Nausea was about the only pregnancy symptom I hardly had and plain old saltines and ginger ale took care of it for me.

I'm sorry, but I feel compelled to point out that measures such as fetal heart monitors and i.v.s are often necessary to save the life of mother and child (as they were with me and my daughter). I think it is inappropriate to counsel a pregnant woman to avoid them unless you are a medical professional who is familiar with her medical history and current status.

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DeathofBees
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quote:
I'm sorry, but I feel compelled to point out that measures such as fetal heart monitors and i.v.s are often necessary to save the life of mother and child (as they were with me and my daughter). I think it is inappropriate to counsel a pregnant woman to avoid them unless you are a medical professional who is familiar with her medical history and current status.
You are so right, Mrs.M. I assumed (never a good idea) that ludosti's pregnancy has been classified by her doctor or midwife as normal or low-risk. I should have been clearer that I was recommending avoiding as many interventions as she can with the end goal of keeping as much flexibility of movement as possible. When it is wise to use an intervention, do so by all means! Medical technology is a marvel and saves lives in emergencies, but normal birth is not an emergency. It's...normal.

It is often the case that one intervention easily leads to more, in many cases merely because of hospital protocol. A woman comes in in her first stages of labor (I recommend laboring at home for as long as you think you can--that's as long as you think it's wise.), and she's dilating slowly, so she's given something like Pitocin to speed things up. Standard operating procedure at her hospital states that with Pitocin comes an IV, a fetal heart monitor, and fasting. Out the window fly all plans for changing position, which may result in severe backache or other difficulty for the mother who then decides she can't do this without painkillers. She's given a spinal or epidural, and, not only can she no longer work with her contractions because she can't feel them, her labor begins to slow again. Once more, SOP for the hospital is to intervene after what they deem is the maximum number of hours for labor, so the nurses tell mom that she's going to have to have a C-section after all due to "failure to progress". That's MAJOR SURGERY. That's having your womb sliced into! Not to forget that many OB's won't allow patients with C-section history to attempt vaginal birth with subsequent pregnancies. If that first intervention just to "speed things up" could have been avoided and replaced with something like patience...would mom have been able to deliver normally and without any scars? Likely so.

This is but one example of an initial intervention. There are many, many offers--amniotomies, early painkillers, even stripping the membranes which by some is considered a "natural" induction method, that are frequently performed only because they seem like a good idea to the doctor. If they aren't actually necessary for emergency reasons...why are they being performed? Is it to benefit the mother, the baby, or the medical staff? Hear me, please, that I understand that every birth is unique, and that many doctors are caring and act with professional integrity. The truth is, however, that in many cases, but not all, hospitals intervene to save their own behinds. Malpractice lawsuits are common, insurance is expensive, and doctors are operating with fear in the forefront of their minds. A birthing mother with low-risk pregnancies is not sick, and therefore does not in fact need more intervention than she herself asks for. Doctors and even some midwives are quick to step in with all kinds of suggestions (frequently phrased as orders) about what they think is a better procedure, but if there truly is no emergency, it's up to mom to decide how her birth is going to continue. I know I sound like one of those wackos who doesn't trust modern medicine and doctors, but really, I'm just recommending trusting your body's own ability, because everywhere you turn, medical personnel will give you a vote of no confidence. I wouldn't accept that or advise anyone else to.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
You are so right, Mrs.M. I assumed (never a good idea) that ludosti's pregnancy has been classified by her doctor or midwife as normal or low-risk. I should have been clearer that I was recommending avoiding as many interventions as she can with the end goal of keeping as much flexibility of movement as possible. When it is wise to use an intervention, do so by all means! Medical technology is a marvel and saves lives in emergencies, but normal birth is not an emergency. It's...normal.
While I respect the midwifery model of care and the low-intervention birth very much, I feel that statements like this belittle or marginalize those of us who choose intervention. I have had two inductions, both "elective" (although I feel that if they were not medically necessary at the time, they would have become so, and I am very glad I had them when I did), both with epidurals, and I will probably continue to choose the same level of "intervention" in my future births. I respect women who choose the natural route very much, but it is not for me. (I should also note that while both of my births were "low risk" and "normal", I almost bled out after my second, and my daughter, who had been transverse-lying with the cord wrapped around her neck, had to have some pretty intense suctioning to get her to breathe and prevent pneumonia, because she had aspirated large amounts of amniotic fluid; if I had had the home birth I used to dream of, one or both of us might have died. So I feel very much that I have made the right choices FOR ME in my birthing choices.)

I think it is more appropriate to say that "normal birth is not a medical emergency in itself. Every woman should feel free and unpressured in her choices and be able to make informed decisions about what interventions, if any, and what setting(s) are right for her and her baby."

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DeathofBees
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quote:
I feel that statements like this belittle or marginalize those of us who choose intervention.
Golly.

I surely had hoped that my encouragement at the end to follow what you feel is right for your body would emphasize that I don't mean to belittle ANY woman for her choices! You did exactly what you felt was needed for your births and you should be 100% supported. Even worse than a doctor pushing an intervention on a mother would be someone standing there telling her that an intervention she feels is necessary somehow colors her as "bad". I will firmly second and even quote you in agreement that Every woman should feel free and unpressured in her choices and be able to make informed decisions about what interventions, if any, and what setting(s) are right for her and her baby.

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rivka
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quote:
It is often the case that one intervention easily leads to more, in many cases merely because of hospital protocol.
I have heard statements like this before from the "natural is always better" crowd. It does NOT concur with my experience or that of most women I know. It also does not concur with the majority of the studies I have seen.

A labor that requires one intervention is indeed more likely to require others -- because of whatever caused the first need for intervention. (For example, a woman who cannot deliver normally will likely first be induced, and then end up having a C-section. The surgery is not a result of the induction; both are a result of the underlying problem.)

And in my experience, finding a hospital that will allow a woman who does not have contraindications to attempt a VBAC is not terribly difficult. I understand that is less true if you live in an area that has only one hospital, and you are therefore stuck with their policies.

Should women make themselves as educated as possible beforehand? ABSOLUTELY! Knowing what is likely to happen, what may happen, and what is really unlikely but could happen is very important. Having thought about possible ways of handling such situations is crucial. So is having a doctor or midwife who you trust and get along with, as well as having a support person (spouse, mom, friend, doula) to advocate for you.

But I know of some pretty serious tragedies (and almost-tragedies) that were partly caused by women who had been convinced that anything less than a fully natural and unmedicated birth was unacceptable. In one case, my friend and her baby being alive is due almost solely to the fact that her husband and doctor eventually overruled her, and she had a C-section. (Afterwards, she agreed that she had been insane. [Wink] She went on to have a second child, and when the same situation came up, opted for a C-section before she and the baby were in serious respiratory distress.)

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ludosti
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There are so many different option for childbirth that it can be truly overwhelming. I am really glad that there are so many different options out there to choose from, even if the task of choosing seems daunting. I really appreciate everyone's advice as I work through researching the many options available and trying to decide what would be right for me.

Thus far I've not been classified as anything other than a normal pregnancy, though I know that can change as things progress (I am at risk for gestational diabetes because of a number of factors and though I am not "old", I will be having my first child just after turning 30). Some of my options will be limited by the area in which I live (though there is one urgent care center in the city I live in, the closest hospital is approx 40 mins. away) and of course by the options my health insurance offers. It's almost a good thing I have so much time left, so I can carefully consider and decide what to do. [Smile]

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