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Birth choices

August 31, 2010

Ugh. I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep at the moment so feeling rather groggy. How is everyone else doing? Even though I’m tired, I’m feeling rather proud of myself that I managed to do the  City to Surf 4km walk on Sunday. DH is my hero as he completed the marathon in about 3 hours! Crazy!!

Anyway, since I have only 8 weeks to go, I’ve been doing a lot of research on birth and labour.  I’ve found this debate (courtesy of  Ms Curious) about Australian birth choices which aired on SBS last year. Videos can be watched here: or read the transcript here:

I’ve found this debate to be quite interesting as I’ve learnt that the private hospital I’ve chosen, has a caesarean rate of 50% with over 80% of women also opting for epidurals. The statistics for caesarean are a worry for me personally, as I’m wanting a natural birth and wondering if I’ve chosen the right environment which will provide support and commitment to my needs?

I believe how we give birth is a critically important decision.

I believe that women should have the choice and be respected to however they want to give birth, given that they have made an informed decision and were provided with the necessary information and risks by their caregivers.

I believe that medical intervention is necessary when the mother and/or baby is at risk and therefore mothers need to be flexible with their birth plans.

However, as pointed out in this debate, are our medical systems and caregivers giving mothers enough respect and choice to make informed decisions on how they want to give birth? Or are we destined for a ‘one-size-fits-all-geared-towards-a-medical-emergency-protocol’?

Image courtesy of SBS Insight

What have your birth experiences been like? If you had medical interventions, did you feel the decisions were well justified and your views were respected? If you are pregnant, what type of birth experience are you planning and why?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 1:52 pm

    Don’t worry too much about the high caesarean rate at the hospital.
    I have been told that hospitals really don’t like to do them unless they really really have to. And people are always more likely to go to a private hospital if they know they will have complications etc…
    If everything os ok ,then I am sure they will do their best for a natural birth for you.
    Only 8 weeks! How exciting!!! Maybe you will give birth and I will find out I’m pregnant? There’s some positive thinking for me!

  2. August 31, 2010 6:00 pm

    It’s an interesting debate though as with my own personal experience, I was rushed by my GP and Sonographer to book an Obstetrician and I didn’t hear or get any other advice to the other options.

    Nicola Roxon (Health and Aging minister for Australia) has admitted the health system doesn’t always make it easy for women to understand all the options in order to make informed decisions on the type of birth which is best suited to their personal needs and circumstances.

    With regards to caesareans, my hospital did admit during my antenatal classes, that the rate was high (I think the national average is under 30%), but did say a lot of their patients are having repeat caesareans. I also agree with you that people tend to choose private hospitals when they are experiencing complications.

    Yes – it is VERY exciting that I have 8 weeks to go. It seems like yesterday when I found out I was pregnant at around 8 weeks gestation and literally walked out of the scan with Obstetrician numbers on speed dial and a list of pregnancy vitamins to take LOL!

    I’m sending lots and LOTS of positive thoughts out to you!!!


  3. DesertDarling permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:46 pm

    Your post is soo timely because I’m feeling super confused about this at the moment!!!

    When I first found out I was preggo everyone (including my lovely GP) was saying Go private! so I got an obstetrician and booked in at a ‘good’ private hospital.. but since doing a bit of reading and chatting with different people I have similar niggling feeling as you.. the ceasar rate is a bit high for my liking.. and I get the feeling the labour will be medically ‘managed’ as the doctors see fit.. My preference is for as little medical intervention as possible for birth of my child.. (though I do realize there are many circumstances where intervention is necessary, I want to know that whatever the outcome I have given myself the best possible odds of having a natural birth)

    So.. I have now also registered with the Family Birth Centre, which is public facility run by midwives.. they encourage active labour and the women to follow whatever birth plan she comfortable with, it is set up like a home away from home, but is adjacent to the public hosptial so if any complications develop and you need to see obstetrician its only 2 mins to transfer you..
    However! the disadvantage is that they dont offer epidurals (you can transfer to hospital if you want one- I like to think I wont need one but also want to keep my options open!) and the maximum stay afterwards is 24hrs.. being public you dont get to hang around!
    Whereas with the priavte hospital you have a lovely room you stay in for a few days afterwards which would be good, especially as everyone says its important to establish breastfeeding before you go home…

    SO feeling VERY torn, I have been speaking to so many people and getting mixed reviews on both places and its all just left me more confused.

    Phew! ANyway sorry to go on and on but when I read what you wrote its like you have taken the thoughts out of my head.. Im very interested to know what you end up doing..!!
    Its so hard to know with your first pregnancy what the right thing to do is!!

  4. September 2, 2010 10:14 am

    Hi DesertDarling

    Firstly, I’d like to say it’s super that you are thinking about your birth choices now. I think I left it too late and at your stage I was too busy reading ‘Up the Duff’ and ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ still!!

    I’ll write you a personal email and will also do a post this week about what I’ve chosen. x

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