Why I've Chosen a (Very) Low-Intervention Pregnancy - Modern Alternative Mama
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Why I’ve Chosen a (Very) Low-Intervention Pregnancy

admin February 4, 2015

If you haven’t heard the good news yet, we’re expecting our fifth baby early this summer.  We’ve chosen a low-intervention pregnancy (see what that means for our prenatal care).

This baby will be our fourth home birth and third mostly “hands-off” pregnancy.  But we’re taking that even a step further this time by refusing almost all forms of intervention in pregnancy.  As this is still not common even among “natural” mothers, I want to share with you a bit about what this means and why it is.

Please know that this is just *my* experience and choices.  My obstetrical history is totally uncomplicated, with no losses, no complications in any pregnancy or delivery, etc.  And it is my fifth baby, not my first or second.  I’m not recommending to you that you do what I do, but merely offering this as information and possibly support.  Some women do not know they have a choice about these things.  Other women do not know why people would refuse because they have never heard any of the downsides to these interventions.  And still, other women are making similar choices but feel alone, because not that many people do these things.

Always consider your history before making any decisions.  But, here are mine.

Starting Out Mainstream

I didn’t always do pregnancy this way.

My first pregnancy was pretty much by-the-book.  I went to all my normal OB appointments, starting at 8 weeks.  Yes, I saw an OB, not a midwife.  I did the recommended blood tests and internal exams.  (I did refuse the quad screen for genetic issues as well as amniocentesis, but as I was 22, these weren’t really offered and I wasn’t in a high-risk category.)  I had a GD test complete with the bright orange drink.  I got swabbed for GBS (I was negative).  I had ultrasounds at 8 and 20 weeks and the doctor used the Doppler at every appointment, starting at 16 weeks to check baby’s heartbeat.

In labor, I had an epidural.  I had pitocin.  I had my water broken.  I even had a narcotic early in labor to try to avoid an epidural, which didn’t work (I learned later that the risks of narcotics are higher than those of epidurals…grr).  After birth, the cord was cut immediately, the baby was whisked away and not brought back for 45 minutes, and was given the usual eye ointment, vitamin K shot, and so on.  We did refuse the Hep B shot, but that’s about it.

I’ve done “standard” American pregnancy.

Guess what — that baby is now 7, and has some sensory issues and other problems.  Largely related to all that crap, although also to our poor diet at the time.  That won’t ever change.  That’s something we all (my husband, myself, my daughter) have to deal with every day.

In my second pregnancy, I did a little more research.  I decided I wanted more “alternative” care.  I wanted to refuse more things.  I selected a practice that offered both OBs and midwives who worked under their supervision.

So, with baby #2, I had ultrasounds at 8 and 20 weeks.  I allowed Doppler use at each appointment (until 28 weeks).  I did the blood tests.  I did internal exams.  I did refuse the GD test, which led to me leaving the practice I was with because I was basically told that if I didn’t take the test I’d get kicked out anyway.  I switched to home birth midwives (something else that would have gotten me kicked out).  Then, there was no more Doppler use (until labor), no more internal exams (until labor), no GBS test.

Since I delivered at home, there were no interventions during birth, other than Doppler use and a couple internal exams.  No medications.

This baby has had some sensory issues too, although not as much, and seems to be outgrowing them.  He is 5.  You can read his birth story here.

With babies 3 and 4, I walked even further away.  I had the same midwives’ practice with both of them.  I didn’t have any ultrasounds, no internal exams (not even in labor), no blood tests.  No GD, no GBS.  I did have some fears during pregnancy that were completely irrational (that baby #3 would be born with some massive fatal birth defect,  and that I would have a ‘missed’ miscarriage with #4 and not know he was gone — unfortunately this happened to several people I knew around the time I got pregnant).  I did see the midwives on schedule starting at 8 weeks and had the Doppler to hear baby’s heartbeat until 20 weeks when the fetoscope worked.  And I did allow a finger prick for anemia and the typical fundal height measurements, weight checks, and urine tests.

Neither of these babies have any sensory issues.

With baby 5 though…I’m doing even less.

The (Very) Low-Intervention Pregnancy

As you can see, I started out pretty mainstream, and I’ve done less and less with each pregnancy.  This time, I feel a strong sense of peace about everything in my low-intervention pregnancy.  I don’t have any irrational fears.  I feel confident in my baby and my body and like I just don’t need any intervention — unless or until I experience any issues, of course.  But that’s not been the case.

I didn’t start prenatal appointments until 12 weeks this time, and my second was at 18 weeks (and after that, I might need to “cooperate” for 22 weeks, but I’d be fine waiting until 24).  I’ve had no blood tests or internal exams.  I have continued to refuse ultrasounds and have also refused the Doppler this time — we didn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat until 18 weeks (but then we heard a nice, strong one with the fetoscope).  But I still don’t worry!  I’ve had plenty of “morning sickness” (nausea that strikes at random with no warning), sleepiness, and everything’s changing as it should.  External measurements were good at 12 weeks!

Plus, by 16 weeks I could feel the baby move, and by 18 weeks could feel it several times a day.  I know there’s a healthy baby in there!  And yes — I had to wait longer to know for sure than someone who used a Doppler or got an ultrasound at 8 weeks, but that’s okay.  I felt very peaceful about waiting.

The thing is, all of these interventions aren’t really to ensure a healthy baby.  They are to detect a problem.  That difference is pretty important because many women think that by getting all of these tests and measurements done that they’re ensuring a healthy baby, but that’s not true.  If your baby is healthy, then it will be healthy with or without these tests.  If it is not healthy, then a test will detect that situation — but not prevent it.

In my opinion, if and when there is any indication of a problem — if you are dizzy, have any swelling, severe morning sickness, spotting or bleeding (that lasts more than a short time — sex and constipation can cause very brief spotting and this typically isn’t a problem), high or very low blood pressure, extreme fatigue, feel no movement for hours after 20 weeks, faint, have frequent headaches, etc. then you should follow up and get a test to help figure out what is wrong.  There is a time and a place for testing and other interventions.

However, there are studies to indicate that these tests come with risks, too, which is why I won’t get them “just because.”

My personal history is extremely uncomplicated (no issues getting pregnant, staying pregnant, during pregnancy or birth) so I don’t feel that the benefits of most interventions would outweigh the risks, for me.  I refuse:

  • Internal exams (during pregnancy and labor)
  • Blood tests
  • Doppler and ultrasounds
  • Gestational diabetes test
  • Group B strep test
  • Hospital birth (and all that goes along with it)

Getting into the details of why I refuse each specific test is really beyond the scope of this post.  But in (very) short, there is no evidence to suggest that internal exams are ever beneficial outside of problems and sometimes in labor (but I know how to check myself, and I do, and I let others know what’s happening).  Blood tests are only needed if you suspect an issue or a problem actually crops up — but you don’t need to know your immune status to anything.  (I do actually allow a finger prick at 28 weeks to check for anemia but that’s it.)

Large-scale studies show evidence of brain damage from early ultrasounds or Doppler use and also show no improved outcomes in pregnancies.  GD test has a high rate of false positives which can lead to all kinds of unnecessary interventions in late pregnancy and labor.  GBS is not really a risk if you deliver quickly (my water usually breaks as I’m pushing, and I push for two minutes), fermented foods can help prevent, and testing positive can lead to pushing antibiotics and seriously messing up your/baby’s gut flora.

We’ll be having this baby at home, just like our last three.  For me, home birth is definitely the lower-risk situation.

Look, there are times and places for certain interventions.  If you have a problem or if you are high risk.  And yes, “anything” could happen, but it’s very unlikely.  I look at the risk/benefit from likely outcomes, not the remotest possibilities.  I feel very peaceful about my choice to be very low-intervention right now.  If that should change, then maybe I’ll make different choices.  Right now this is how it’s going down.

How do you handle pregnancy — do you have a low-intervention pregnancy?

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34 Comments

  1. I love reading about your pregnancy. I am 10 weeks and will have my first midwife appointment next week. Like you I had my first 3 the traditional way and my last one was at home. This one will also be at home and I also will be low intervention. I did have 2 ultrasounds with my 4th before I switched to my midwives and I won’t have anything with this one. I also have had completely uncomplicated pregnancies, no problems staying pregnant, and very quick births. My body was so traumatized with my 3rd I had to do something else. I had an epidural that didn’t work, plus we lived 45 min from the hospital I was birthing at and we almost didn’t make it. I had 11 stitches from tearing and was in pain for weeks afterward and was scared to be intimate with my husband for 5 months because of the pain. After my 4th and my homebirth I was back to almost normal within 3 weeks and felt great.

    Congrats again, and maybe I’ll see you at the midwives, I too live in Ohio and I bet we go to the same place. I love my midwives and am looking forward to another homebirth. Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply

  2. Congratulations and thanks for sharing you story. It took me a while longer to learn to ask more questions, research more, and reevaluate “normal”. I’m still learning and appreciate what you have shared of your journey. You’ve been a great encouragement to take better care of myself and my family.

    My one piece of advice to you and others is don’t take it for granted that what works in your 20’s and early 30’s will necessarily be the same later on. My experience has been similar to yours: easy conceptions, easy pregnancies, easy deliveries. I didn’t really start to rethink the standard protocol until my 6th baby. My 5th was breech and ended up as a C-section. I had had 4 easy deliveries previously and knew I didn’t want another C-section “just because”. It was very difficult to find a practice that would consider VBAC. I ended up blessed with a good doctor and nurse and a quick delivery. At that point we were 35, had 6 kids 10 and under and we were tired. It took me a few more years to realize I wasn’t really “done”. I had lots of helpers and frequent “when are we going to have another baby?” I was excited to find out I was pregnant at 40. I found a great midwife and planned a home birth. A few days after a normal 24 week appointment, I wasn’t really feeling him move anymore. We were crushed to find the baby had no heart beat at 25 weeks. I had another miscarriage 6 months later and just recently another a year after that. Now I’m anxious to see a healthy ultrasound or hear a heart beat or find out what my hormone levels are. I’m discouraged but hopeful that there is still another little one in our future.

    Obviously this is just my experience and I want to encourage women to continue to research alternatives and ask questions and share their stories. I wouldn’t want anyone else to find themselves 40 and wondering why it’s not as easy as it was when they were 25 or 30. I believe you can have healthy pregnancies even at 40, but it may look different.

    Thanks so much.

    Reply

    • Hi Lara,

      Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, we should re-evaluate as we get older or our circumstances change for any reason. And they can, and do. I have no reason to make different decisions at this time — and I’ll be 30 when baby is born — but everyone is different. (Anecdotally my mom had babies at 35 and 38 and had no issues at all, so maybe I’ll be “lucky” and I won’t either. Family history is on my side!) But yes — as things change, we should re-evaluate. We just shouldn’t do it based on scary stories or “what ifs,” only our own actual needs.

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  3. You really think your kids have sensory issues Because you had a few ultrasounds? Come on now!!! That’s ridiculous. I’ve had 2 csections and will be having a third in May. My kids are perfectly healthy. If I would have refused the Doppler and such with my first she would have died.

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    • It’s not really necessary to say that your experience is something that should inform mine. We are different people, with different histories. My choices do not in any way judge you; don’t judge me. I encourage you to look into the studies on ultrasound, if you think they are perfectly harmless….

      Reply

  4. Would you mind sharing what you mean by “sensory issues?” I had my first baby 7 months ago; we had planned on a homebirth, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up in the hospital with pitocin and an epidural. Baby seems fine, but your article makes me wonder if I’m missing something in watching his development…. I’d just like to know what I might need to look for…. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Rebecca,

      Sensory issues — she has a hard time with certain things. Anything new can cause a major meltdown. When we introduced her to a new area at our local science museum she wouldn’t even go in to look at it, even with me holding her hand. Major crying and freaking out. If people touch her unexpectedly she might scream and smack them away. She looks for sensory input by constantly wanting to be in motion and singing. Her reactions to stuff are above and beyond what’s normal for someone her age (7) and not something I’ve seen in my other kids.

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  5. I always love hearing your thoughts! I made the same choices the 3rd time around, I stopped using the Dopplar around 20 weeks with my 2nd baby but did have 1 ultrasound at 20 weeks right before I decided no more u/s technology. He does have a few sensory issues now even tho my diet was great for the most part, no vaccines etc. I did have a few dilation checks, one at 39 weeks with 2 and 3rd babies (both my home births), and then a few while in labor. Is there evidance of this causing harm? I know it can push bacteria up where it’s not meant to be, and I also do not like the ingredients list of the lubricating gel that my midwife used, I don’t know if there’s a better alternative or not. Anway, just curious! I am thinking I’d like to do a lotus birth next time, just for fun really, to say I did it lol! I’m also considering an unassisted birth, but am wondering if that is me being rational and realizing the real risks are so slim, or if that is me being stupid and I SHOULD worry about the “what if”. Or is my wondering about the “what if” just my cultural conditioning and the fear we’ve all been brought up with surrounding pregnancy and birth. I have read all the relevant books, I feel pretty dang good about everything lol. Anyway, just thinking, it’sbeen on my mind lately. Be sure you’re drinking your nettles and red raspberry leaf infusions daily! 🙂

    Reply

    • Interesting thoughts!

      The only major harm from internal exams is that they can introduce infection — so if the information that can be gained from doing them isn’t necessary, then it’s better to skip them. I learned how to check myself (and I’m not going to introduce infection into my own body, at least as long as I’ve washed my hands) and I let others know what is going on if needed!

      I’ve considered an unassisted birth as well but my husband does not want to — he thinks it is too much pressure on him, if something should go wrong, because he would have to know what to do and who to call. So we’ll have trained midwives there but they’ll stay pretty hands-off unless needed. Plenty of people DO go for an unassisted birth though. There are groups on Facebook that discuss this subject if you’re interested.

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  6. Glad you have such easy pregnancies, Kate. My first was fairly uneventful, but I chose to go to a certified nurse midwife for all checkups.

    GBS is not something to mess with, Kate. Strep B is a leading cause of meningitis in newborns and can be fatal. Any supposed gut flora disruptions from antibiotic use are miniscule when you have a sick or dead child.

    A friend of mine went to her 36 week checkup, feeling fine. Nurse listened to baby’s heartbeat, which suddenly dropped out of nowhere. She was admitted immediately. After being induced with no progress, the next day baby’s heart rate kept dropping. There were only POCKETS of amniotic fluid left. She had an emergency C section at 36 wks 5 days. Baby Lukas would have been stillborn were it not for that routine 36 week check up.

    Sometimes we don’t always know if something’s wrong, and modern medicine can help intervene.

    Reply

    • These stories are just that — stories. Other peoples’ experiences. They are RARE. I do not make my decisions based on the worst-case scenarios, the major “what ifs.” What if I wake up tomorrow and my baby dies and is still born tomorrow night? It could happen. What if my uterus ruptures suddenly at 38 weeks and my baby dies? What if my baby is born with a defect incompatible with life — or with one that could have been corrected surgically before birth, except we didn’t know because we didn’t have an ultrasound? These things all COULD happen. But they are crazy unlikely.

      So, I look at the likely outcomes when I make my choices. Not the most worrisome outcomes. They are rare.

      And GBS? Sure, it can be serious. But it’s unlikely if you are taking regular probiotics. And, it’s not likely to pass to the baby if your water doesn’t break early in labor (and mine always breaks as I’m pushing — maybe 2 minutes before the baby is out). I’m extremely low-risk there. And disruptions in gut flora aren’t “supposed,” they are fact. Why do you think that diarrhea and opportunistic infections are side effects of antibiotics?

      Go ahead and make the decisions that you feel most comfortable with. I will do the same.

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  7. I had a hospital birth with my first (was induced b/c I was “overdue”). I managed to do it without an epidural but it wasn’t pleasant. With our 2nd I knew I had to have a homebirth. It was awesome! I had a midwife who was wonderful & my birthing experience lasted 4 hrs. I pushed for 10 minutes and my water broke with my first push. My contractions never got closer than 45 seconds apart & we were laughing and joking right up to the final push. I never raised my voice or cried and I feel like the Lord blessed me tremendously with this birth. I hope to have any more babies this way 🙂

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  8. I don’t understand how you can attribute your first born child’s sensory issues directly to the choices you made during your pregnancy? It seems simplistic to create such a direct cause and effect relationship between your choices during pregnancy and the sensory issues you observe now. There are so many other potential sources for those sensory issues, I’d think.

    Reply

    • Yes. But that was one of the glaringly major differences between that pregnancy/infancy and the ones that followed. I can’t prove it’s related, and certainly can’t say it’s the only factor, but I believe it plays a role.

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  9. I’ve only had one child, but my pregnancy was extremely low intervention as well. No doppler, no ultrasounds, no internal checks, etc. Basically, I approached pregnancy with the mentality that my body will tell me if there’s a problem and if there’s nothing wrong, let it be. I was born at home myself and come from a family of home birthers so it was never a question about where my children would be born. In fact, I’d say that if I had any stress in pregnancy it was that I would somehow get risked out of home birth (being my first I had no idea how my body would do things). Alas, all went fine and baby was born at home healthy as can be. Doesn’t really make for a good reality tv story. 😉

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  10. Just wanted to encourage you! I just had my seventh baby (sixth at home, second in a birthing pool) – the only intervention I had was blood tests to check iron levels. I am 46 so this is perhaps our last baby (became quiverful only in my 30’s) so I had to ignore “well meaning advice” from most people except our midwife! Our children have Asperger’s Syndrome – all except the baby – perhaps he does, God knows, but we are not to know yet! Also our oldest (21yrs) and our 4 year old have Sensory Processing Disorder. I did the research on how to prevent Autism in pregnancy, and it was stuff I was already doing – not drinking town water, not using plastics for eating or drinking, using a pro-biotic, Caprylic Acid supplement etc … We know this darling little baby boy has been chosen for us, and we thank the Lord for this baby, for all our children, and for showing us this healthier “out of the box” way of living (not vaccinating, homebirth, natural education at home etc etc etc …)

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  11. We just moved from the US to Bahamas and I found out there are NO midwives!
    I had my first by the book and second at home with a midwife. I want another baby but I’ll be 40 in almost 2 yrs. I really don’t want a hospital birth if we do get pregnant again. I had a miscarriage in 2013.
    So between my age and a previous miscarriage, I wonder if I would have been able to go with a midwife again even if they had them here. Stinks that hospital is my only option.

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  12. Thank you for sharing your stories of each pregnancy. I really tend to go through the comments section with my breath held on these kinds of posts because they usually turn into a free for all of hate.

    I was pleasantly surprised with these. Especially the easy, no nonsense way that you answer those that appear to be commenting only to be hateful and judgemental. It’s really refreshing to read commentary from a woman that knows her own heart and isn’t afraid to show her convictions.

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  13. I’m so thankful that I have a great OB. My first was a (unnecessary) c-section, due to me being too trusting of my doctor. When I got pregnant with my second I found another doctor who was 100% supportive of a VBAC (none of this “trial of labor” stuff either. I went fairly lower intervention with that birth, but not completely. I was diagnosed with GD during that pregnancy, but have since found out that I’m pre-diabetic (major diet changes for me!!). I refused most test with my 3rd baby- including the GD test. I get very, very large when I’m pregnant- So my doctor didn’t measure my belly during the monthly exam. I didn’t need to refuse a late ultrasound since I wasn’t offered one. If I have anymore (which hopefully we do) I plan on a homebirth.

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  14. I always said that I didn’t need to know of “potential” problems with my unborn babies — especially if there wasn’t any symptoms or indications that there was a problem. I wasn’t going to abort in ANY circumstance. I was confident in my body, in my nutrition and in my health. Why do all these tests on a rapidly developing yet fragile fetus? It is growing inside mommy because it needs the protection of the womb. Why invade that protection?

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  15. I love reading your stories! I think it is amazing that you have had such great experiences, and I would have loved to have had a home birth. Unfortunately my history is not uncomplicated, and that fact in addition to midwifery being illegal in Alabama make home birthing impossible for me. I do have great OBs that even though they aren’t as hands-off as I would like still allow me leeway. I still learn so much from reading your stories and it gives me so much to research and look into! Congrats on your new baby too 🙂

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  16. I started out fairly low intervention…had a home water birth…all was fine and dandy. Two miscarriages and three years later I was pregnant with my second son and at the routine midway ultrasound (which I just about opted out of) we found out that the babe had some serious issues that needed intervention ASAP. He had fluid drained from his lungs in uterine twice and I had an amnio. Then went back for next round of intervention as he was 100% a o k. They don’t know why it happened or why it left. I know though because we had a lot of people praying for us. I did continue to have ultrasounds every couple few weeks and I had to have him in a hosptial so they could check him out right away. He was born 100% healthy and was over 2 before he had his first non natural medicine. He’s 2.5 and I’m pregnant with our third. I’m going low intervention in some ways and not in others. I won’t get GD test. I will get ultrasounds. I will hopefully have another home water birth (or birthing center water birth. I’m in canada it won’t cost me anything either way) I probably will avoid internal exams. I’ve had 3 miscarriages now and since the last one last April I have been seeing a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. I fully credit his accupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutrition counselling (as well as mental health counselling) to me being so at peace with this pregnancy because my others were rough go’s. It’s always refreshing to see people who don’t have any issues regarding child bearing! Go Katie go!

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  17. Interesting read.. Thank you for sharing your story.. I think all moms stories and paths can help educate us.And I think the most important thing is to find what works for you.

    My experience is quite different from yours. My only super low intervention baby.. She is the one that died at 6 from a brain tumor. A year Feb. 12th.

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  18. I had my first son (against everything I wanted) c-section after a 42 hour labor, 24 at home, 24 long intervention filled hours at the hospital. I did everything they wanted and so no appearance of baby boy! (He was malposition! If I could only go back and read read read!) So even though I begged, “Can’t I wait till morning and try again?” And even though baby and mom were fine just beyond exhausted after so many hours of back labor, they pushed for surgery because, “weren’t we all getting tired?” And I love this one, “the anesthesia tech is leaving so we need to do it now” so my next labor? No blood taken no pelvic exams no testing one ultrasound and a five hour hbac (home birth after c-section) with a healthy happy baby girl as our reward! I never went back to the doctor but did call to let them know what they told me was impossible had happened even more smoothly than I’d ever hoped or planned. moral of this story? Don’t let anyone tell you they know your body better than you do! If you think they do, research! Knowledge dispels fear 🙂

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  19. I always wanted to have a home birth, my husband was very against it though. At turns out I’m high risk anyway so… But I had three caregivers when I was pregnant with my daughter so I saw the differences in all of them. First half of pregnancy I had a traditional ob. She was fine, but told me I had to have a c section because I had fibroids, which was not true I had her 100% naturally. She also brought up that she wanted me to get the pertussis and flu shots at every appt and I kept putting it off because it didn’t seem like a good idea. We moved half way through and I switched to a natural ob/midwife team. Which was amazing best of both worlds! Ob was very respectful to all my wishes (no internal exams until labor and I did the gbs test myself). My midwife told me to try for natural childbirth since I had originally planned on that, and my ob noticed my placenta was wrapped around a fibroid weeks before baby was due and insisted she deliver rather than midwife and saved my life from that major bleed after birth. It was actually a very happy pregnancy and birth when it could have been much worse considering I had bed rest for a few days, gestational diabetes and fibroids. Sorry that was long. But my point was look for a midwife/ob team if you are unsure. They do exist!

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  20. […] week, I shared Why I’ve Chosen a (Very) Low-Intervention Pregnancy.  The reaction was mostly positive, but some people did have some questions about my approach. […]

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  21. This was awesome to read, thank you for writing it! My pregnancy was very hands off till the end- I eventually had internal exams and a quick natural hospital birth. It did seem like for each ‘normal’ thing I did, there was a definite physical reaction I would notice (from him or me). If I ever have another baby, we’ll be doing the midwife/ob setup in a birthing center (there is a lovely one directly across from our local hospital.)

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  22. When you’ve had more mainstream births it’s hard to read that some of these things aren’t exactly good for your babies or necessary…
    My first, I went over my due date and developed pre eclampsia.I had been having terrible braxton kicks, I dilated to 6cm, I had gone into labor earlier and they stopped it. When pre eclampsia took over, they did pitocin but I never had any contractions. I had an emergency c section once my blood pressure reached dangerous levels. My son got all the vaccines and all the crap. He weighed 9 and half pounds. He now is 6, with celiac disease, horribly underweight, ADHD, and sensory issues.
    My second, I did a little less. I planned for a natural vbac. But after 34 weeks, they said he was too big. My husband was deployed. I loved my OB. He said I had to have a c section. He weighed 9.2 and is now 4, with an auto immune blood disorder, and sensory issues.
    We stopped vaccinating with him and his brother- the auto immune disorder led us into finally looking into diet, vaccines, doing our homework rather than just living like our parents.
    My third, I miscarried at 12 weeks.
    My fourth, I had alot of early ultrasounds BC I kept spotting and I was still grieving. I tried to find a midwife to do a vbac but no one would, and after some time I didn’t feel peace about pursuing it. After 20 weeks, we tried to be hands off. I started having badly low blood counts and low bp, I went into early labor 34 weeks. I dumbly accepted meds to stop it. Completely fear based, and my husband was deployed again. So I was alone with my older boys, and making panicked decisions. Baby was born 40 weeks- 9 pounds, c section. No vaccines or postpartum stuff. He’s only 6 months but we’ll see.

    All of this to say, it seems accurate that c sections, vaccines, ultra sounds, all the crap they do ‘just because’ messes with our little ones. It’s hard to hear when you do it. But it doesn’t change the facts.
    I hate hearing parents say “my kid turned out fine”. Mostly BC my mom and dad say that all the time in response to how I raise my kids, but I have sensory issues(big ones) celiac disease that wasn’t diagnosed despite all the healthy and digestive issues I had has a kid

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  23. […] secret back in December, when I was about 15 weeks along.  I talked about why I’m planning a (very) low-intervention pregnancy this time.  And I’ve shared several prenatal and postpartum tinctures, tutorials, and so on. […]

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  24. I so wish that a birth similar to what yours will be was possible for me. Unfortunately, due to my own pregnancy and childbirth history as well as the laws of the city I live in (in Asia), it is impossible to do this. You women living in the States are actually spoiled for choice. It might not seem that way, but you are. Here, it is illegal for midwives to perform homebirths and they can be prosecuted for doing so. If you do have a homebirth and do not go to the hospital within a certain number of hours, the police will come to your house to ‘investigate’ and make sure the baby is really yours and wasn’t stolen–imagine that for stress after giving birth! Personally, for me, I feel like the tests I’ve done were all reasonable for my situation. I refused all genetic testing etc. because it bears no relevance on the major choices we would make regarding the baby and it can be invasive. I had a rough pregnancy with my third (hospitalized a couple of times). I had to be on medication throughout my third trimester. So, I had to be monitored closely by the doctor. I hemorrhaged with my first birth and lost so much blood that I lost consciousness and was in a state of physical shock for a very long time. I also lost a lot of blood with the second birth–even though with my history they knew to give me pitocin as soon as I delivered the baby to help my uterus contract. Same procedure needed to be done with the third birth. So, giving birth outside a hospital would never be a viable option for me. Having said that, all of my hospital births, my husband was a my birth partner and advocate and we pushed to do things our ‘own way’ which meant no augmentation of labor, no pain medication, no fetal monitoring, little or no internal exams, whatever position I wanted in labor. It wasn’t easy to get that in the city we live in and we had to fight and stand up for ourselves but we have given birth to all three of our children in hospital with good outcomes. It would be so nice if we could have just stayed home to do so but no choice with that. I don’t mind submitting to blood glucose testings or strep B testing as in the end, I have the choice to choose what I do with that information. I think as long as you have a strong head on your shoulders and aren’t easily bullied or pushed around, you can get what you want no matter where you give birth.

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  25. What large scale study are you quoting???

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  26. […] week, I shared Why I’ve Chosen a (Very) Low-Intervention Pregnancy.  The reaction was mostly positive, but some people did have some questions about my approach. […]

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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