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  1. #25
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNT View Post
    Back to the original poster (the actual poster not Thanka2!) - all of those things support a natural birth and in theory should be easy to achieve. In Hong Kong (which is where we are living so the context in which I am reading it) it is EXTREMELY difficult to achieve even one or two of these things, let alone all of them. There are many benefits to natural birth (as there are to c sections and pain relief) but it is not an option in most circumstances for women giving birth here, which is truely ridiculous. Thanka2 managed to achieve it with a lot of hard work, but many people who want it - particularly first time mothers who have not been through the process and have to rely on caregivers that in most instances have no interest in ensuring the mother has a natural birth- cannot access it. That is what is truly wrong; that it is not an option available in hospitals in Hong Kong and no alternatives to hospital eg birthing centres,govt supported home births are available.
    I wish I knew how this could be changed but I am still struggling with that one....
    I agree. Well, some of the points are achievable in public hospitals without a fuss but it's so random what is and what isn't.

    Like, on another post, Koan mentioned how they actually delayed cutting the chord and went with her birth plan in Prince of Wales. Queen Mary, I believe, allows rooming in of baby without a fuss.

    When they say eating during labour, do they mean "active labour" or from start of labour. I was chomping away right until I was wheeled down and induced because my contractions though intense were not regularly spaced. The nurses were amused becuase I wouldn't let go of my banana even as they dumped me in the wheelchair (someone had told me I should eat till the last minute so I had strength to push). They also got me water in the delivery suite and said I could drink.

    So seems like some of the points are in place but spread across different hospitals and very random in terms of execution. Overall, far from ideal I agree.
    thanka2 likes this.

  2. #26
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I was just reading this birth story today. It made me think of the profound experience med-free childbirth was for me. Because I had such a deep experience (not saying easy or wonderful start-to-finish but definitely deep), of course I would advocate that if a woman can choose this, she would. Unless medically indicated (need for c-section etc.) it ends up being a healthier option to not expose mama and baby to drugs in labor. Another interesting post I was reading has to do with natural childbirth fact and opinion.

    Birth, this way, for me was a beautiful, memorable event-much like my wedding--that sort of thing. Of course, there are couples who choose to go to the government office (and we did that too--then later had another marriage ceremony), sign a slip of paper--no fancy dress, no reception and that's it for them--they accomplished the goal of getting married. So, to draw an analogy to birth...But, for me, I wanted something more--something I felt it was my right to experience--it was a rite of passage for me in many ways. To give birth on my terms as my body has been designed to do. I wish I could allow women who really doubt the validity of intervention-free, med-free (unless medically indicated) birth to step "inside my skin" and experience what it was like.

    But, the practical point that I and others have pointed out is choice. It's hard, and indeed, often impossible to choose what is not supported if your only choice to give birth in a hospital. If you want to be induced, have an epidural and/or a c-section there are plenty of ways to get that done here in HK. Not so true about what it takes to go through natural childbirth. I'm not saying it's impossible to go through it without extra support but the chances of success are greater with support (proper facilities, aids/tools, trained professionals, allowance of doulas, preparation classes).

    As the birth story above illustrates--the power of warm water to ease contractions, for example--is not available. That is seriously what got me through two labors. Warm water. Something so simple. Not asking for huge technological equipment. Access to a tub of water in labor took my pain from a level 8 (of 10) to a level 4-5 instantly. Very effective pain relief. Counter pressure. My husband stood behind me and I was standing for 95% of my 12-hour labor (not laying down, strapped to a bed) and shoved his fists into my hip sockets during contractions because I had such bad back labor (and sciatica) and that made my labor bearable (and his arms sore!)

    Someone asked about eating in labor--the woman in the birth story shared in the link ate throughout almost her entire labor! I think the point is, that eating is NOT DANGEROUS in labor. The biggest risk is that you'll throw up. Many surgeon OBGYN's don't want you to because they are visualizing you going in for an emergency c-section and don't want to deal with vomit at that time either (which, can be a problem but not likely a fatal one--just need a suction hose). So, whether one eats or not depends on individual comfort level but there is a practical reason to keep fueling your body with easily digested food--to keep your strength and stamina--it's not a quick sprint, this labor thing, it's a marathon (or at least, it has been for me).

    Now, for me, I would not enjoy eating so much in labor-after a certain point my tummy just shuts down. The woman in the birth story above threw up twice but there is a lot to be said for keeping up your strength. Like I said, I labored, standing for nearly 12 hours--you can't do that if you don't have fuel. In fact, toward the end, I was getting weak because I did all of that on a bowl of soup I had eaten as soon as I knew I was in real labor. If I had felt comfortable eating later on in labor (I spent 8 hours of my 12-hour labor at home) I may not have had to lay down on the bed at all. Laying on the bed made my labor pain spike off the charts. It was excruciating to lay down during labor--or sit down--the only thing that helped was standing and circling my hips.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #27
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by miran View Post
    nb: birthing was a very neutral expereince for me. i dont remember much nor did i care about pregnancy / delivery. my single agenda the whole of those nine months was that my baby be safe and as healthy as God wills him to be. so we chose and still would whatever was the safest option presented to us and advised by a doctor we trusted. am not saying this is the ideal way to be. change comes because people question existing mindsets. am just putting accross another mindset to you on why women like me are not buying into birthing without interventions.
    When I read about your experience I thought of what this author wrote. I respect that this was/is your own experience and viewpoint. I think the divergence is that when doctors/medical facilities, from the outset hold the same mindset and sort of thrust that upon the pregnant/birthing mother--that, in my opinion, is a problem. If the mother considers all things and has that mindset, it's a completely different thing. Although, I personally believe pregnancy and childbirth are important as they are all tied to the "end result" (baby). That's why we take the time to eat better, take multivitamins, get prenatal checkups, abstain from alcohol/drugs, get more rest etc. --because we do believe that what happens in the womb is important for the health of our child. So, I really can't see how there can be a disconnect.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #28
    miran is offline Registered User
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    thanka - no disconnect there. ofcourse we did all we could to see the baby grew well in the womb. what i am saying is we did not have a preference for either normal or c-sec. we were very clear not to have an elective c-sec without genuine medical grounds. but apart from that we did and would in future go with sound well explanined advice from a doc we trust, for our particular circumstances.

    i can completely see where you ladies arecoming from. if we did have a particular preference. and there were no medical grounds against it, i would be very annoyed if they were not even willing to listen to reason. just because of convention.

  5. #29
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    thanka - no disconnect there. ofcourse we did all we could to see the baby grew well in the womb. what i am saying is we did not have a preference for either normal or c-sec.
    But, not having a preference for a normal or c-section birth, to be seems like a disconnect to me. Because, in a c-section, the child is still in the womb and the child is exposed to heavy-duty drugs. Yes, they are in their final moments of being inside the mother but they are getting a large dose of chemicals via the mother.

    So, while I'm pregnant I don't drink coffee, drink wine or eat tuna because it might have an effect on my child's development--and even if it doesn't it probably isn't going to be a healthy choice anyway. But, how can we say that there is basically no difference between a c-section and med-free birth? Now, in an emergency case, of course everyone wants to save the child's life but we also can't say it doesn't come at a cost. Those tough decisions have to be made at that time. But, to go into childbirth saying that one has no preference between a c-section or med-free birth seems to say that one believes there is no difference between them. Is this true in your case? Birth is a critical moment in a child's life--it's more than just "get the baby outta there"--birth can set the stage for that child's life in many ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by miran View Post
    i can completely see where you ladies arecoming from. if we did have a particular preference. and there were no medical grounds against it, i would be very annoyed if they were not even willing to listen to reason. just because of convention.
    I think it goes beyond being "annoyed" for me. I would get annoyed at a restaurant if they only had orange juice but instead I wanted to drink apple juice. I feel almost to the point of being violated if I was forced to "perform" ("lay down, get strapped in, do as we say because we know best...") by the medicalized model when I am genuinely convinced it's not the best for me or baby and being spoken down to or worse treated like a bad mother because of my preferences--it's a lot to deal with in the throes of labor. And if one knows anything about med-free labor--it has to be tension-free labor as well--your whole body freezes up with the fight/flight response when you are harassed in those conditions--and the way many women are dealt with adds up to harassment. It's a power struggle that doesn't need to go on.

    As far as going with sound well-explained advice--having a non-medicalized birth and listening to reason of medical professionals are not mutually exclusive. Meaning, there are well-trained doctors, nurses and midwives who simply operate by a different model (i.e. not seeing pregnancy and birth as having a root in pathology--something to be "managed" like a disease but instead as a natural thing that womens' bodies are designed and capable of going through). The problem is that very few of these types of professionals can be found in HK (if anyone knows of any, please let me know!) as the system majority is the way it is.

    Finding a doctor who is not only "pro-natural childbirth" (med-free, intervention-free) in word but also is practically prepared to attend such a birth is truly a feat.--especially if one doesn't have a quick labor or goodness knows, if there are any minor complications--it's like there is a total panic if this happens. There are no other alternatives as there are no birth centers here and home-birth attended by midwives is forbidden.
    bridiemexico likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #30
    catan is offline Registered User
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    I support normal birth and believe that it's difficult in HK due to the way the medical system is set up. When I first got pregnant, I never gave childbirth much thought, but once I started doing research, I became determined to have a normal birth without interventions. I educated myself on all aspects of childbirth and tried to prepare myself as much as possible. My family thought I was too extreme, because what did it matter? We know a bunch of women who gave birth via elective c-section with healthy and happy babies.

    During my pregnancy, I was always asked whether I planned to deliver naturally or via c-section. It surprised me that method of birthing is presented as a choice-- I always thought c-section should be reserved for absolute emergencies. And when I mentioned my plan of natural birth, I was asked why in the world would I choose to bear pain when I don't have to with today's medical technologies? Although my stance was why should I have to go through a major surgery (the idea which terrifies me) when I don't have to?

    I feel very strongly about natural birth and do think that a lot of people are talked into unnecessary interventions and c-sections that have reasons not related to health and safety. The idea of it angers me. But then I find there are people out there who simply do not care about these issues. They put their trust in doctors and hospitals. It doesn't seem like such a big deal to do whatever.

    I had a natural birth without interventions. But labor was awful and if my labor hadn't been as fast as it was, I'm not sure I could've endured without some form of anesthesia. My baby and I got off to a great start with breastfeeding, and she was so alert when she came out, which I attribute to the normal birth. That makes it all worth it, imo. Even though I sure don't blame anyone for wanting an epidural.
    thanka2, TNT and genkimom like this.

  7. #31
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    thanka, i understand completely what miran is saying, especially since neither of my pregnancies were simple and straight-forward. from almost the very beginning of my pregnancies, i had decided that whatever was deemed safe, appropriate, and with as little harm as possible to both mum and baby would be the best for us. i didn't care if it was a "normal" birth or a c-section.

    my views on this topic are similar to my views on breastfeeding. while both "normal" birth and breastfeeding are perhaps the "best" choice.... they are NOT always the best for each case for a myriad of reasons, be it complications or living in a country where the care may not be readily available.

    i, personally, think that women put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect. they often feel that if they don't have a natural birth, they are a worse mother, if they don't breastfeed (for whatever reason), they are a bad mum..... and it just continues.

    i think that it should be up to each and every individual to choose what is best for them and their situation. i DO think that all options should be open to them and proper information provided so that they can make an informed choice. but that choice will differ from woman to woman. and who am i to question their choice/decision?
    Gataloca likes this.

  8. #32
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    Zeroing in on 'informed choice':

    Its not possible to make an informed choice without all of the available information - making a choice without information is either uninformed choice, or simply consent.

    The difficult part is that its almost impossible to provide information on such sensitive issues as childbirth and breastfeeding without being accused of judging mothers or 'making' mothers feel guilty.

    There is a very big difference between making a nasty accusation such as "you're a bad mum if you ......", and "here is all the information, weigh it up with your circumstances and decide for yourself what is right for your family".

    Withholding information on the side effects of drugs in childbirth, or of baby formula, is extremely unethical.

    For example, I am disappointed that my doctor didn't disclose that there is a statistical link between pitocin in labour and autism. I am equally disappointed in myself for not being more informed. With a few strokes on the computer keypad I would have found this out myself before I was administered it (very briefly thankfully) in labour.
    bridiemexico likes this.

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