I know there is a lot of debate about being able to birth naturally in a hospital, and that each hospital is different but a conversation I was having with my friend who's pregnant got me thinking.
She was showing me where her IVs were put in as she was induced (high risk situation for a blood condition) and I said how I hope I never need one when I go into labor because I have notoriously small veins and even the phlebotomists have a hard time with me. Her hubby was under the impression that you're given an IV no matter how you birth. We haven't taken the birthing classes with our hospital yet (they're for 3rd tri) and I don't have another MW appt for three weeks so I wanted to know what other's experiences have been. This couple also has to give birth a another hospital because of her condition.
If you've given birth in a hospital and done it naturally, did they automatically have you hooked up to an IV for hydration or anything like that? I guess I can understand if you're in a higher risk situation, but if the baby is fine and I'm fine, I don't see the point.
many ... and i mean the majority... of hospitals require an IV for NO REASON.... but most can be talked down to a heploc instead. either way they are going to drive you nuts. Despite the fact that my daughter was born 14 hrs after entering the hospital, and 5 hrs after my water actually broke (AROM that i consented to after i went in at 11 pm at a 4 and was admited and given a sleeping pill even though my constractions kinda petered out.... and then at 9 am i was at a 7 with no contractions so the Dr broke my water. why did i consent? because it was an even numbered day ) and i never NEEDED anything through the IV, they did it anyway.
but it paved the way for them to accidentally give me antibiotics even though i was not GBS+ and give me a pit drip after she was born... for NO stinkin reason.... i showed no signs of excessive bleeding and my uterus was contracting just fine on its own.
ok... translation.... yes, you will probably be given an IV for no reason, and only if you're lucky will you be able to talk them down to a heploc, which will still be a PITA if you have difficult veins. i have great veins and they still blew one. i had bruises on both arms for 2 weeks.
there is a strategy for avoiding it though. besides discussing it with your MW, go in as late as possible and dont give them time to harass you about it... cant complain about an IV if they are busy catching a baby!
GOOD LUCK. the only mom's i've heard who didnt have to deal with it were homebirth mamas. one of the reasons i'll be considering home birth for my next child whenever that comes along.
I just gave birth in a hospital 4 weeks ago, and I did not have an iv or even a hep-lock. It was on my birth plan that I did not want one, and my MW was respectful of that. In fact, the medical staff respected everything I had on my birth plan- I only did 20 minutes of initial monitoring to make sure the baby was ok, and then they did doppler after that, I got to move around, eat and drink during labor, choose my own pushing position, didn't wear a gown (I was going to wear my own clothes, but ended up just doing it all naked)... I would not recommend a hospital birth class for much... if you're really thinking about a natural birth, I would try to find a natural birthing class outside of the hospital.
Mara & Joel, 2009
We are hoping to use the birthing center at our hospital (there are a lot of ways to risk out, plus there are only 3 rooms, so it's not a guarantee), but if we wind up on L & D (depending on the reason) my m/w said that I wouldn't need an IV or even a heplock, I would still be able to eat and drink etc. It depends on the hospital and the caregivers though. I chose the hospital first because it was known as one of the most NCB friendly hospitals in my area, then found our provider that way.
It's definitely something you should discuss with your MW and I also agree with Mara - you should definitely look into classes outside of the hospital that are definitely geared towards preparing you for a natural birth!
Thanks for the advice everyone. I do agree that I need to get on things about prepping for a natural birth up here. The staff at my practice is made up of two OB's (one I'm meeting at my next appt, the other seems fine with my natural plans) and the MW (who I see the most and had a long talk with about my birth ideas at about 16 weeks along).
I would love to do a home birth later on (when we aren't sharing a way too small house with DF's cousin and his wife). There is a MW run natural birthing center about half an hour away, but I hate the hospital they have privileges at. The hospital I'm at is small and I know a lot of people who've had success there.
Gypsy-I completely agree about going in as late as possible. My best friends just went through a lot of over management bs at their hospital and I am dead set on not being sent home when I go in.
Each hospital is VERY different. Martie13's hospital birth seems kinda rare. Your caregivers must have been awesome!
At, I'd say, MOST hospitals, you are at the mercy of the doctor and the hospital's policy (And of course, the clock). In a huge amount of births, the phrase "Natural birth at the hospital" is, IMO an oxymoron. They want you in and out.
FYI, a heplock is an IV that's not hooked up to anything.
Also, I recommend the book "Pushed" by Jennifer Block and the documentary Business of Being Born.
Dylan 4/22/04, Devon 6/24/06,Dorothy 9/13/07, Derek 12/19/09, Daniel 12/18/10, Daphne 2/24/12
Mindie and Mark, 5/16/09
I know that getting an IV as soon as you are admitted is policy at my hospital. I talked to my OB and he okayed a heplock instead. But I don't mind needles and I have good veins. I've never had trouble with an IV before. My objection is more about not having my mobility restricted or them putting something (even hydration) in the IV without my consent.
I would talk to your care provider as they may be able to okay you going without an IV or heplock - then make sure it's in your birth plan.
At the hospital I used, a heplock is "required" for all admissions, including L&D. But even if it wasn't required, I would have one put in. My veins are extremely hard to get! Usually it's the anestheologist that is finally able to get it in. Not something I want to mess with in an emergency! If I had better veins, I don't know if I would fight the policy...