Rebecca's Corner: Support for Natural Childbirth
After doing much research and interviewing maternity care providers in Utah while I was expecting my first child, I chose to give birth at home with a professional midwife.
Experiencing natural childbirth was the hardest, most painful, intense, yet empowering thing I have ever done. It changed me forever.
When I became pregnant the second time, there was no question in my mind about having another home birth. Both were utterly incredible experiences.
As a prenatal massage therapist, it is not my place to advise my clients or make judgments about their choices in birth. I think birth is incredible any way you do it. I respect any informed choice and honor any women for the courage and strength it takes to carry and deliver a child!
However, as a woman who has personally experienced homebirth and waterbirth, I am happy to share information with friends and clients who want to know more!
(IT WAS AMAZING!)
Sadly, it has been my experience that many women who choose natural childbirth, out-of-hospital birth, or homebirth in Utah these days are often met with much adversity, misunderstanding, or cynicism. I have had perfect strangers flat-out tell me I’m crazy or say things like “Oh, yeah, I tried that. I gave up halfway through.” Not only is this not helpful; much of it is based in fear and lack of information.
Don’t do anything just because somebody tells you to. Take your mind back. Think for yourself and choose what is best for you. I believe in making conscious choices in childbirth – no matter what your choices are.
So….I’ve created this portion of my website as a resource to support women and couples making informed choices about giving birth without drugs or giving birth at home.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask about natural birth in Utah, I’m so happy to answer them. Just contact me here. I also have been asked by several of my prenatal massage clients to attend their births as a massage therapist/doula, to support mom and partner during labor and delivery. I love it, and I’d love to support YOU in having a natural birth if that is something you are personally committed to experiencing.
Natural Birth is hard, terrifying, and painful? Are you sure about that?
This video is the birth of my friend Olya’s third baby, at home, in a birthing tub. There is nothing graphic in this video. I like to share this with my pregnant friends to show that birth can be peaceful and enjoyable, free of stress and trauma. What that takes is preparation, confidence, and trusting your body. Never hurts to have a fantastic midwife either! This is wonderful imagery for any expectant woman! I watched this repeately while in labor with my second baby.
Olya is using the Hypnobirthing (Mongan) Method, staying very relaxed and working WITH her body, allowing birth to just happen. Shows you what a little preparation will do…
Thanks, Olya and Mark, for sharing your beautiful birth with us!
HERE are the most beautiful water birth pictures ever… (OK, I’m biased… they’re MINE!)
Click here to view several photos of the home birth/water birth of my (Rebecca Overson’s) second child. (Nothing graphic.) These photos were taken by Olya Nelson and belong to me, Rebecca Overson. Please do not copy, save, download, distribute, or link directly to them for any purpose. (Feel free to share them with others by linking to THIS page though). They are precious to me and I share them here to show how beautiful and natural homebirth can be.
This “little” fella was 9 lbs 8 oz at birth and had shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulder) during delivery, which is considered a very risky situation, but all went just fine. I ended up completing the delivery while standing up – a necessary/effective maneuver for shoulder dystocia, and one that is literally impossible in a hospital with an epidural. While it was very intense, I can honestly say I did not experience pain during this birth. But that’s a whole other story…one that I’m happy to share with anyone who feels they need some positive natural birth stories.
Trailer: The Other Side of the Glass – a film to empower fathers to protect their babies
Article: Labor Pain – What’s the Point? This article at www.budapest-doula.com offers an beautiful viewpoint on the benefits of feeling childbirth fully. She talks all about labor pain, where it comes from, what it feels like, and of course, what the point is! Linked by permission.
DVDs I recommend:
The Business of Being Born: a great overview of the history of birth in America, and very pro-natural birth. My favorite segment of this film is the “Cascade of Interventions” – it describes how one intervention (i.e. Pitocin) leads to another, and another, and another, and suddenly you have an “Emergency C-section” which was in fact, caused by all the interventions. Fabulously eye-opening and dead-on. Watch the trailer here.
What Babies Want: An Exploration of the Consciousness of Infants is a wonderful DVD that talks about birth and early stages of development from the view of what is best for the baby.
Reducing Infant Mortality: This is an excellent, free video that explores the problem with unnecessary medical intervention during pregnancy birth in the United States. Makes you think twice about elective inductions, c-sections, epidurals, and really any other kind of intervention. This video talks about the benefits of the midwifery model of care as opposed to the medical model.
Here are several good links to articles about midwives and home birth vs. hospital birth:
- Little-known facts about Pitocin and induction (on BirthFaith’s blog)
- Alarming facts about the rising National C-section rate
- Midwife-attended births have better outcomes than obstetricians for same-risk patients. (Fewer episiotomies, lower infant mortality, etc.) http://www.globalmidwives.org/files/Article-homebirth-safety.pdf
- Ina May Gaskin- Midwife Q&A: Are we having babies all wrong? Time Magazine Article May 2011
- ABC4 News: More Women Choose to Give Birth at Home. Home birth is on the rise, increasing 20% between 2004 and 2008
The following articles discuss how home birth is as safe and in many cases safer than hospital births:
- Article: Study – Homebirth with a midwife as safe as hospital birth
- Article: Planned home births have better outcomes than hospital births
- Just for the Dads: http://betterbirth.com/site/just-for-dads
- Safety of Home birth vs. Hospital birth
- Should Women Learn to Give Birth at Home? Article by Dr. Mercola, natural health expert, on how home birth is safer than hospital birth
Other important things to consider while making choices about your birth:
Article: Doctors Need Midwives by Ina May Gaskin, addressing the maternity care crisis in the USA
Article: The Lie of the Due Date Did you know that “full term” babies can arrive between 38 and 42 weeks? Do you realize that is a FOUR WEEK DISCREPANCY? Due dates are estimates, not set in stone. Getting attached to them can be frustrating, like waiting for a scheduled flight that is delayed. 40 weeks is an estimate only. (I carried my first baby a full 42 weeks. Had I given birth in a hospital, he would have been induced for sure!)
Best let babies come when they are ready – PR Newswire article that introduces study showing that babies should NOT be induced early.
Article: The Untold Risks of Epidurals I wonder how many women would still choose an epidural if they were fully informed of the risks.
Article: Why are Women Giving Birth in the Dark? This is an eye-opening article on C-sections and intervention rates.
LA Times article: C-Sections contribute to maternal mortality (death) rate.
Wow… an unreassuringly condescending 1950s educational video about childbirth. Favorite quote:”By all means, leave the decision up to your doctor!”
Here’s an article that invites you to question the routine obstetric procedure of umbilical cord clamping.
Car Seats are for Cars – an article addressing the rise of babies spending too much time in car seats
Drug Information: Drugwatch.com is a comprehensive database featuring extensive information about thousands of different medications, including drugs that are unsafe to take during pregnancy. The most recent drug alert comes from the Side Effects of Accutane, which include birth defects, premature births, and death in babies whose mothers took the drug while they were pregnant.
The Dangers of Routine Ultrasounds article by Sarah Buckley, MD
Article: The Hidden Risks of Labor Induction
Article: The Truth about Pitocin and Labor Induction
A good page about Cesarean Prevention and VBACS: here
Video: Natural Childbirth of Twins and Triplets! This is a photo montage of several moms and their births of twins and triplets – naturally, full term, past due, VBAC, etc. It will make you think twice about the myths perpetuated about multiple births, such as “All twins have to be born early” or “All twins have to be born by c-section” or “You can’t have twins at home” etc. Fun!
Here’s a great website all about Water Births. Having had two water births myself, I highly recommend them As far as I understand (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), if you want to have a water birth in Utah, you can’t do it in a hospital. Some hospitals will let you LABOR in a tub, but not actually BIRTH or deliver in the tub. If you want a water birth in Utah, you are going to have to seek out a direct-entry midwife for home birth, or a certified nurse midwife who delivers out-of-hospital. (See our Utah Birth Pages for some great options for home birth and water birth in Utah.)
A Joyful Birth Video (GRAPHIC) – but lots of Laughter!
Someone sent me this video after I had given birth to my first child. It is graphic – shows everything, and if you have never had a baby before, this can be a little freaky and overwhelming to think of your own body doing this, so DON’T WATCH THIS if you are pregnant with your first, unless you’ve seen birth in person before or aren’t surprised by stuff like this!
Do you have a great birth experience that you’d like to share with my clients?
Any other resources you think should be on this page?