Home birth vs. hospital - page 5

I belong to another parenting board & one of the debates that surfaces every so often is home birth vs. hospital birth. There are so many pro-home birthers that talk about how natural home birth is.... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Exactly, ktwlpn. I believe in informed choices and consent as a nurse and mother. I do not wish to debate which is "better" cause that is best left to the women when describing their personal experiences.
  2. by   fergus51
    Quote from emhanojoli
    First of all, I wouldn't say they were "lucky." Healthy natural births could be the norm, and in fact, ARE the norm in home births.

    Secondly, of course pregnant women are experimented on. What is Cytotec? Certainly not developed for induction. Someone thought, "hey let's try this" and they did. That's experimentation. Everything we now do to pg women was done for a first time, and experimentally, and the list of things we do is growing almost daily. So, yes, they are experimented on.

    Stacey
    You're misunderstanding me. When I say lucky, I just mean they are fortunate and grateful to have had such good experiences. It isn't a statement on my beliefs about pregnancy. The vast majority of births are healthy, and I consider all those women and children lucky to not be in the minority, cause we all know it's the exceptions that are heartbreaking. It's one reason why my preference for myself would be a CNM delivery in a birth center, but I certainly don't begrudge women the choice to birth at home. The worst thing a nurse can do in my opinion is project her wishes onto her patients and I have tried very hard never to do that in practice.

    As far as experimentation, I am talking about doing something as opposed to doing nothing, and you can't set up an experiment to do nothing on a pregnant women and compare it to standard practices. A good example is fetal monitoring. There will never be an experiment done comparing EFM, intermittent auscultation and NO monitoring because we always have to err on the side of doing something whether there has been a study supporting it or not. Maybe you've seen such a study evaluating the safety of no monitoring? I've only seen big studies comparing different methods. I never meant to imply new drugs and technologies weren't tested.

    I can understand you preferred your home birth, but I do have to say women who choose the hospital can have just as much say in their experience. I have never worked somewhere that "required" IVs or internal monitoring or AROM or epidurals or hourly vag exams, etc. and even if they do, a woman has the right to refuse any medical treatment. I know I'm going to get flamed, but I think it's time to claim our power and stop blaming doctors and nurses for "subjecting" women to such procedures. I would hope a woman about to give birth would do as much research into it as she would if she were buying a car, and even if she didn't I would hope that her nurses and doctor/midwife would provide her the information she needs to make an informed decision.
  3. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Ah, and here is where INFORMED CONSENT IS SUPPOSED TO COME INTO PLAY!!!! Right? How many are truly "INFORMED"??! Think about it. So many are "cowed" to do what the doctor feels is best. It is incumbent on the healthcare community to INFORM these families what their consent really means and what the alternatives may be. Remember one thing, for many it is INTIMIDATING being in a hospital with the nurses and doctors "in charge"----- and some people who are normally assertive are NOT when in such an enviroment. A loss of control over one's situation is not unusual in such a place. And not all folks are well-educated in normal childbirth and hospital interventions and how they may not may NOT benefit them. I think EARLY ON people need to be educated so they can truly make the "INFORMED" decisions that are best for them and their babies. JMO.


    I had two at the hospital, and one at home. Wish I had talked to you first. No problems with any, but the more I think about what could have happened at home.....
  4. by   emhanojoli
    Quote from fergus51
    I can understand you preferred your home birth, but I do have to say women who choose the hospital can have just as much say in their experience. I have never worked somewhere that "required" IVs or internal monitoring or AROM or epidurals or hourly vag exams, etc. and even if they do, a woman has the right to refuse any medical treatment. I know I'm going to get flamed, but I think it's time to claim our power and stop blaming doctors and nurses for "subjecting" women to such procedures. I would hope a woman about to give birth would do as much research into it as she would if she were buying a car, and even if she didn't I would hope that her nurses and doctor/midwife would provide her the information she needs to make an informed decision.
    Maybe I'm jaded, but this sounds really idealistic to me. I love to think that it's true that women have the say you say they have. Yes, patients can refuse any treatment. However, most believe that their doctor is making decisions that are best for them, and that's simply not true. Occasionally a decision will be made for the good of a laboring woman or the baby, but usually they don things because they are in CYA mode, or because they want to plan their personal life. There are several studies that have shown that continuous monitoing does not improve outcomes. However, it's still done all the time. That way if something goes bad, the doc can say, "look, we watched that baby the whole time. It never showed signs of distress." How many of us have seen c-sections for distress and baby came out with 9-9 apgars? Or for LGA, and baby is under 8 pounds (women can have big babies, btw. They just often need to be in a position different than lithotomy).

    Incidentally, my current hospital requires IV's, and pit is dumped into that IV after every single delivery. Other places I have worked required the hourly vag exams for epidural pts. And I have yet to see a place that does not use continuous monitoring on at least 90% of their pts., but that's probably because that many are on Pit for either induction or augmentation.

    Stacey
  5. by   MommyLauraRN
    Isn't it nice that we live in a country where we have choices I was very grateful that I had my son at the hospital. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy, went into labor on my own at 41 weeks, and was under the care of a CNM. I chose to get an epidural after about 9 hours of hard labor (plus going on 26 hours with no sleep wasn't helping!) I rested a few more hours until I was complete, did some passive descent until I was involuntarily bearing down. I wanted to push but still had an ant. lip. Another several minutes and that was gone. I started pushing (well I might add and my son was descending quickly for a primip! His heart rate had looked beautiful until about the third ctrx with pushing. All of a sudden he had a decel to the 70's then down to 50's. His heart rate was under 100 for 10 minutes. I was so grateful that I had doctors who come in and get him delivered with forceps (and that wonderful anesthesiologist who bolused my epi). As it was he needed help from peds, apgars were 6&7, cord pH 7.04. Turns out he had a short cord and it must have entangled in his legs or something. The delivery sucked on my end (fractured tailbone and 4th degree) but I am so grateful that I have a healthy beautiful boy Had he not been delivered so quickly who knows what a few more minutes without enough oxygen would have done to him.

    And just the other day we had a PT--primip uncomplicated term pregnancy, spontaneous labor and SROM, admitted and placed on monitor. Was having deep variables....SVE by a resident....4cm and felt a loop of cord by baby's head...very calmly said "I feel a cord, we're going to deliver you baby by C-Section, now you need to get on your hands a knees and I'm going to keep my hand in your vagina to keep your baby's head off the cord" They were able to get a spinal in her on her side, baby girl apgars 8&9! The dad had dropped to his knees and was praying as mom was wheeled to the OR. Mom and dad are both nurses too!

    My choice will always be a hospital delivery! Plus I work with a great bunch of nurses and docs--they can take care of me any day!

    I'm not against homebirths for other people, it's just not the right choice for me. I'm too afraid of of the bad stuff that can happen because I work in a high risk L&D and I see too many close calls!
  6. by   fergus51
    Stacey, you just haven't worked in enough places then. I am a bit of a wanderer and have worked in hospitals in BC and Ontario (Canada) as well as Washington state and now am in California. I have seen the bad, but I have also worked with some excellent doctors and nurses. Intermittent auscultation for low risk women, VBACs, different laboring positions, doulas, etc. were all accepted practice. And I am sure the lactation consultant would have taken me out back and shot me if I ever offered sugar water to a breastfeeding baby We bent over backwards to meet patients' desires in their birth plans whenever it was possible. Are you in the midwest by any chance?

    Women can and DO choose things for themselves in hospitals. They have that power and saying otherwise is... I don't know what word to use, but condescending or patronizing comes to mind. It might not always be easy, but that's not the same thing. Women do not need doctors or nurses or midwives to make decisions for them, and that goes for advocates of natural childbirth and those who see pregnancy as a disease. They don't need me to protect them from themselves. All I can do is say "here are the pros and cons, what do you want to do?" and if they choose an epidural or not, if they agree to forceps or not, if they want to labor in different positions or not, it's their choice. Believe it or not, I have had more than a few women INSIST on c-sections and episiotomies! I can quote all the studies I want, but some women want the medicalized experience and that's their business. By the time they come to me in labor, it's a little too late for me to change their views on pregnancy and birth.

    There will always be a lot of CYA medicine (and a lot of that is BECAUSE of patients, btw. I've seen 2 women insistent on no interventions sue because of a bad outcome and "the doctor didn't do enough to convince me"), but there are doctors and nurses out there who care about their patients and do practice accordingly. I have worked with them, I like to think I am one of them I work NICU now, and see a lot of the same issues come up.
  7. by   klone
    I haven't read any of the responses, but I can tell you about a situation where a HOSPITAL birth would probably have ended up with a worse outcome.

    Long story short - my daughter was wrapped up in her umbilical cord and would not descend far enough for me to feel the urge to push. As a result, I spent 8 hours in transition, and 4-5 hours fully dilated. My midwives monitored us both closely - heart tones, etc. Had any of us, including myself, felt that either of us were at risk, we would not have hesitated to transport.

    Anyway, during those 8 hours, my daughter spent her time unwinding, and she eventually descended. We were all very convinced that had I been in a hospital, I would have ended up with a C/S for FTP.
  8. by   fergus51
    Kerry, you would still have had to consent to that c-section. I have never seen a woman strapped down against her will. I have no doubt that if you have the strength to go through labor and childbirth, you have enough strength to follow your heart.
  9. by   klone
    Quote from fergus51
    Kerry, you would still have had to consent to that c-section. I have never seen a woman strapped down against her will. I have no doubt that if you have the strength to go through labor and childbirth, you have enough strength to follow your heart.
    You may indeed be right. However, I have heard of many stories of mothers being scared/pressured into C/S. Laboring mothers are in a very vulnerable state, and if there is a suggestion that your child MAY be at risk (and in general, I find OBs in hospital settings to be a bit more conservative and alarmist than midwives in a home setting), I imagine most mothers would consent.
  10. by   emhanojoli
    Yes, I am in the midwest, and I realize that's 90% of the problem. Worse yet, I'm in Illinois, home of the AMA.

    I totally agree with you that women have choices. But it makes me sad to hear how many women don't realize they have those choices. When I had a new admit her bill or rights, I ALWAYS point out that she has the right to refuse anything. I further say that if we recommend anything that she is not comfortable with, tell us. Women in labor are vulnerable. They are in pain, often scared if they are told their baby is at risk, and are willing to do whatever is suggested to them.

    Although I am a big advocate of natural birth, I realize that many women don't desire this. My goal as a nurse is to give women the birth they want. They are the one's who have to live their lives with their birth memory. I want them to be very happy with the way it went. I also realize that it's more of a fight to get the natural, intervention free birth, if that is what is desired.

    Stacey
  11. by   fergus51
    Maybe they would Kerry, and in some cases they'll be right and in others they'll be wrong. The important thing is they would decide one way or the other. I may be a bit of a radical feminist, but I don't believe women are helpless victims of the medical profession. Women are amazingly strong and have incredible power. Just seeing women in labor has convinced me of that.

    OT-Anyone remember the name of that French doctor who thinks women are perfectly capable of giving birth on their own?
  12. by   fergus51
    Now, how did I know that Stacey I can say, I am not interested in moving to the midwest with the stories I hear about L&D there. I am fortunate to be able to honestly say the vast majority of docs I have worked with have been genuinely interested in providing their patients with choices and giving them all the facts before making recommendations. And recommendations are all that they are.
  13. by   fergus51
    Here it is: Michele Odent. I would be interested in knowing what you all think of him. I find some of his views a bit odd, but one thing I agree with is this quote. I do believe women are instinctively able to give birth in most cases:

    http://www.parentsplace.com/pregnanc...114897,00.html
    To say that the basic need in giving birth is to feel secure and well protected is quite clear. But for the birthing woman, it isn't always so black and white. What makes one woman feel secure may be very different from what another needs to feel protected. Some women feel secure in an operating room with equipment surrounding them while others are only secure in the comfort of their own bedroom.

    A birthing woman does not need guidance or help or support. Most of all, she needs to feel secure and protected. This is universal.

close