Friday, October 24, 2008

Birth "in place"

I wanted to make mention of a great blogpost and resource I just read. While most women plan ahead of time where they will give birth, sometimes birth happens too quickly to make it to the planned location or before a birth attendant can be present. There are also natural disasters or other emergency situations where women may be unable to reach or find space in a hospital. Though these situations are rare, they are still possibilities, and the best course is to be prepared. The American College of Nurse Midwives has a great resource-"ACNM Giving Birth in Place"--explaining how to give birth under emergency circumstances or wherever you may be--"in place."

My first labor went fairly quickly (less than 6 hours from start to finish). My second was a curve ball because my baby was posterior (27.5 hours start to finish with periodic stalls in labor). So I'm feeling fairly anxious about this next birth because I have absolutely no idea what to expect. It could be extremely fast. My sister's third child was born an hour and a half after the first contraction! Or maybe this one will also be posterior and take its time? I have no idea once the first contraction hits whether I need to rush or relax. It's nerve-wracking now... I can't even imagine how nervous I'll be in late March/early April.

But I plan to study up on "giving birth in place" and take whatever precautionary steps I can to prepare for the possibility that we have to give birth unattended. Maybe I'll even get us an "emergency birth kit" like this one--it'd probably be good to have around anyway for emergency preparedness in general. I hope these precautions will bring me at least a little peace of mind. I think they will.


Fig said...

I can attest to the importance of being prepared for birth in place! Not because I have any experience with it, but because it was one of the main concerns during the huge ice storm blackout here last winter. While the hospitals had some backup power sources, they were also extra full of injured and sick patients, under-staffed, and transit TO the hospitals was dodgy because of all the stoplights that were down. There was a lot of talk about sending nurses and midwives out to help women who went into labor, rather than trying to get them into the hospitals.

Also, is posterior the same as breech?

Buscando la Luz said...

No, fortunately, posterior is much less serious than breech. Posterior just means the baby's facing the wrong direction. So, facing my stomach instead of my back. Facing mom's back is the ideal birth position because the head can maneuver the pelvis much more easily than when they're facing "sunny-side up."

Liz Johnson said...

Good call. This is really interesting stuff! I like that article from the ACNM. It's probably important to always have on hand, huh?