Hospital Birth – The Good, The Bad & the Ugly

Hospital Birth – The Good, The Bad & the Ugly

I’ll be honest and say that hospitals aren’t my preferred venue for birthing babies or for attending births as a doula.

I mean, yeah, they’re great for treating sick people,

and some pregnant women are sick or have complications that need the sort of medical attention hospitals provide…

But pregnancy itself has never been considered a sickness.

So why are low-risk, healthy pregnant women birthing their babies in a place for sick people?

Even though it sounds safer to have your baby in a hospital because, ya know…”What if there’s an emergency?”

I often find myself wondering…

“How did that healthy, low-risk woman feel about being treated like a sick person for simply having a baby?”

And I never feel good about attending a birth at a hospital for a mom who I know will be treated like something is wrong with her for no good reason.

BUT I also know that hospitals are the standard for having babies – 99% of them are born there.

So, they play a big role in how we do birth in our culture.

And they’re literally changing how women give birth and how babies are brought into this world…

Mostly in anxiety and fear or for convenience or vanity’s sake

And plenty of women love it!

But, since the early 2000’s, out-of-hospital birth has been on the rise

So what better time than now to talk about it.

Not from a right or wrong standpoint, but… an open conversation.

People have strong feelings about where they should birth their babies…

it’s such a polarized topic and I’m honestly a bit scared to open up this conversation with you because I know how opinionated people are

But, I also know how important it is to talk about it.

Because 1 in 3 women report their birth to have been a traumatic experience.

And at the same time, plenty of women are super grateful and appreciative of hospitals with their life saving technology and interventions for saving them and their baby’s lives.

So, here’s my perspective on the good, the bad, and the ugly of choosing to birth your baby in a modern day hospital.

Hospital birth, in my opinion, became the status quo during first wave feminism not because it was safer, but because women realized they had the right to not feel pain in childbirth.

The midwives had stuff, but it wasn’t the gooood stuff.

And because of that, more and more women wanted the type of anesthesia in childbirth only available in the hospital.

So they flocked there where they could get knocked out and never even know the baby was born until hours later.

Eventually, doctors realized that such heavy drugs during childbirth weren’t safe and many women didn’t like them.

And on top of that, women wanted to be aware of what was going on, but they didn’t want to feel the pain.

Soon, the epidural was introduced for use during childbirth to reduce pain while still allowing the woman to feel the pressure necessary to bear down and be an active participant in pushing her baby out.

And ever since, the epidural has been the standard for coherent childbirth without the pain.

So, you could say that wanting to be coherent for your baby’s birth without feeling pain is a beautiful and amazing thing and that it’s possible with the use of the epidural in the hospital setting.

And we can’t forget how amazing the c-section can be for moms who really need it.

But, that brings us to the bad which is that epidurals and other unnecessary interventions in childbirth can go terribly wrong leading to a cascade of interventions that often lead to emergency situations.

And there’s no way to know if the epidural or any other intervention is going to negatively affect you or your baby.

It’s luck of the straw. Every body is different and you won’t know how you or your baby will react until you try it.

So, if you think of women giving birth in tribal societies even today, you see how hands-off most traditional midwives are.

They follow the laboring woman around and periodically check her and her baby’s vitals, but they don’t necessarily DO anything other than catch the baby when it’s time.

And over 90% of the time, everything works out and couldn’t be better without the need for any interventions.

But in most modernized countries, the story looks a lot different. Interventions are so common and widely used that women expect them and truly believe they need them.

And this only leads to confusion.

All the interventions create a huge misunderstanding leaving women feeling like they’ve got lemons and that their bodies weren’t cut out to birth babies.

Which is a total lie and misconception.

So…women praise the emergency c-section for saving themselves and their baby’s lives, but mostly only because an emergency c-section was needed AFTER receiving an unnecessary intervention.

Which leads me to the ugly…

The ugly is that the excessive and unnecessary use of interventions practiced in the hospital birth setting has resulted in the USA being the only country on Earth with a rising maternal mortality rate.

According to the World Health Organization, between 1990 and 2013 maternal mortality in the US has doubled while half of the maternal deaths could have been prevented.

Yes, hospitals are taking excellent care of high-risk women, but in the US, we’re leaving low-risk, healthy women behind with very few or even no options for birthing their babies in any other way than in the hospital…for sick people.

And that’s totally not cool.

Because we’re subjecting low-risk, healthy women to a technocratic model of care that sees pregnancy and childbirth as an issue instead of a normal, natural event that occurs in a woman’s life.

Women deserve the right to be treated as if there is nothing wrong with them…until there is. And by and large, that doesn’t happen in today’s average American Labor and Delivery Ward.

Instead, women are greeted with a needle for an IV, a continuous contraction and fetal heart-tone monitor that limits their ability to move, a vaginal exam, a drip of Pitocin, and an epidural and are then given a “trial of labor” to see if they’re going to “make it”.

All this for healthy, low-risk women.

And for what?

In the end, all people ever want and really crave is a healthy mom and healthy baby.

And so many don’t end up with that even with all of our technology and interventions

many times, because of the OVERUSE of our technology and interventions.

The answer, in my opinion, is a total restructuring of maternity care that utilizes the skill and expertise of the midwife as the primary care practitioner who refers issues out of her scope of practice to a physician when indicated.

The biggest reason we are so far from this happening is because of the fear that’s been instilled in our culture around giving birth.

We have midwives, but few healthy, low-risk women choose them because…fear.

If young girls were taught from an early age that birth was a normal, natural event instead of some scary, painful, medical issue, we would eventually irradiate the fear.

Women simply believe that they can’t do it either because it’s too painful and they NEED the epidural, or because they believe their bodies aren’t capable.

With the right support, education, and self-care practices neither is rarely the case.

The case for hospital birth tends to shift then when we learn and understand how the midwifery model of care for healthy, low-risk women really is a safe, extremely cost effective, and viable alternative that would potentially lower our maternal mortality rates

But, despite the research, people don’t want to believe it because…fear.

What I see is that people have such strong, personal opinions and carry so much fear and anxiety around the reasoning for their opinion.

But having a conversation about it can lead us to possible solutions that will give us what we want for our births while making it safer at the same time.

Thank you so much for having this conversation with me.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below what you think about hospital birth and our rising maternal mortality rate.

But remember, let’s be adults here and talk about it, not judge each other.

With so much love,

Lacey

6 Keys to Reclaiming Your Power and Confidence in Birth

6 Keys to Reclaiming Your Power and Confidence in Birth

Has anyone ever rolled their eyes or looked at you funny when you told them you wanted a natural birth?

That’s because we’ve all been brainwashed.

If you’re like me, you’ve been told since you were a little girl that birth is painful and horrible and that you’re going to not only WANT the drugs, but also NEED them.

So, you do what everyone else does and let the doctor handle it.

Unless you’re hardheaded like me and decide from the get-go that it doesn’t have to be that way for you.

Good new is… it doesn’t.

Bad new is… you’re gonna have to put in some time and effort to learn what it takes to reverse the brainwashing and get confident.

If you want to get confident about having an empowering, ecstatic, natural birth, you need to watch the free masterclass I have for you here.

Cause in it, you’ll learn the 6 keys to reclaiming your power and confidence in birth.

Only when you know the “what” and “why”, can you practice the HOW to have the birth experience you’re really wanting.

Check it out here!

With so much love,

Lacey

p.s. Have you heard I’m hosting a postpartum event soon? If you’re in Lafayette, LA, check it out here

11 things to know for accidental or planned unassisted birth

11 things to know for accidental or planned unassisted birth

Whether it’s accidental or planned, unassisted birth happens. I’ve had one myself.

Yep, it was planned, but good thing it was because both of my labors were precipitous – meaning they were less than 2-3 hours long – leaving me unaware that I was actually in labor for much of my first birth. By the time I realized that “this is for sure labor”, I had my baby less than 30 minutes later.

Educating yourself on birth is simply one way to feeling empowered no matter what happens. You may not have a precipitous birth at home unassisted, but it certainly doesn’t hurt for you to know what to do if it does.

As a doula for 5 years now, I’ve witnessed some “close calls” making it to the hospital or birth center or waiting for the midwife to come and I know I’ve gotten really lucky to never have *had to catch a baby yet.

The point is, sometimes it happens whether you plan on it or not.

In today’s video I give you some basic ‘need to knows’ of things I would want to know knowing what I know now if I had to go back and do this thing all over again.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of things you ‘need to know’ to catch your baby as you can never be too prepared or know too much. It’s good to know everything, but if you’re looking for a list to get you started on the basics, check it out here:

Disclaimer: This video is not intended to convince you that unassisted birth is safe nor is it intended to persuade or encourage you to have an unassisted birth. This video is for informational purposes only. I am not a doctor or a health care professional so this information should not be taken as advice or medical advice. If you have any medical questions or concerns, you must consult a licensed health care professional.

Q&A week continues next week! Send me your questions anything pregnancy and birth related to lacey@laceybroussard.com and I’ll make a vlog specifically addressing your particular question. You’ll remain anonymous.

With so much love,

Lacey

“Should I Consider Changing Medical Providers During Pregnancy?”

“Should I Consider Changing Medical Providers During Pregnancy?”

Changing medical providers during pregnancy can feel like a lot of work and hassle.

You’re pregnant, maybe you have other kids already, you might be working and don’t have a lot of time to put into this and honestly, you hate change.

You’re not even sure if changing medical providers will solve the problem you’d like resolved in the first place.

So is it worth the hassle and time?

In today’s video, I give you the top 4 reasons you should consider changing medical providers if you’re wanting a natural, empowering birth experience.

And, one common reason people change medical providers but probably shouldn’t.

Check out the video here!

If you’re not feeling it with your current medical provider, I’ve made a .pdf full of awesome questions to ask a potential medical provider to help you find someone who’s a good fit.

When you ask great questions, you’re much more likely to find and build a birth team that serves you and supports your desire for a natural, empowering birth experience.

Raising the bar for the standard of prenatal care will only happen when YOU require it.

Being passive about a less than ideal provider, thinking, hoping, and wishing that you’ll get the treatment you’re hoping for when you’ve received none of the sorts up till now is wishful thinking.

Don’t let being too busy or feeling like it’s a hassle keep you from finding the better care you deserve.

Pop in your name and email here and I’ll send you the .pdf to get you started along with some other amazing freebies that I only offer via email.

With all my love,

Lacey

p.s. If you’re still not sure whether you should change providers, let’s chat. I’ve got some time slots available to talk with you and help you get clear about your birth team. Hit reply to this email letting me know and we’ll set up a time for me to call you.

3 Reasons You’re Holding Back and How to Build Your Dream Birth Team

3 Reasons You’re Holding Back and How to Build Your Dream Birth Team

Why is it so hard to find a medical provider to support your desire for a natural, empowering birth?

I meet and talk to so many women who feel that they aren’t supported in having the natural, empowering birth they want simply because their medical provider doesn’t seem 100% on board.

I hate to brake it to you mama’s, but what you’re missing is that if you’ve hired a doctor to be your medical provider for the natural, empowering birth you want and you’re not feeling supported, you’ve hired the wrong person.

It’s that simple.

You need to find someone else.

I totally understand why you might be hesitant to change providers though. Let me guess your reasons:

1) Your partner, family and/or friends would think you’re crazy for wanting to hire a midwife and have a homebirth or birth center birth and you’d rather not deal with the flack

I want to tell you something very important: YOU are the only one that has to birth YOUR baby ever. Not anyone else. Not your partner, not your mama, not your sister, not your best friend.

This is your body and baby that you have to care for in the way that is right for you, not the way that’s right for anyone else.

YOU are the only expert on your body. Not even a doctor, a midwife or a doula will know your body better than you unless you don’t want to know it yourself.

If you’re holding back on entertaining the idea of having a home birth or birth center birth simply because you feel like it will be a hassle to get your family and friends on board, you need to stop right now and go call one.

Not calling and talking to a provider that you KNOW would be a better fit for you is like having a winning lottery ticket and not cashing it in.

Don’t hesitate any more because you’re worried about getting everyone else on board. That stuff WILL work itself out in due time.

Right now, you have to stand up for you and what’s right for you and your baby. You are NOT being selfish for wanting a natural, empowering birth with a midwife at home or in a birth center.

You have the desire for a natural, empowering birth for a reason. If you trust your intuition and desire and go with it, things will work out for the best for everyone involved.

Leaning into your divine desire is never selfish!

2) Money. You’re with your medical provider simply because your insurance covers the cost of the visits. You don’t think you’ll find anyone else in-network that’s any better, or you don’t think you can afford a midwife

Using money as an excuse is the easiest thing anyone has ever done, like ever! Trust me, I know.

I’ve done it for years and still continue to catch that pattern from time to time. It’s so easy because everyone accepts it and understands.

But, is using money as an excuse to not have the birth you dream of ok with you?

I’m sure most of you would say “no” and understand that you will likely go on to have a hospital birth with a semi-supportive doctor simply because money really is a very real issue. I totally understand that and feel for you.

For some of you though, money might not be as much of an issue as you think simply because you don’t realize how cost effective midwives are or because you haven’t actually done the homework to find a doctor in-network that’s a better fit.

The average cost of a midwife is between $2-3,000. Come on Mama’s, $2-3,000!

The average cost of a wedding in the USofA is $26,444!

AND…most midwives accept payment plans. And even some accept insurance!

If you’re holding back on the midwife route because of money, please contact a local midwife to see if you can work something out. It’s probably not as big a deal as you think.

If finding a midwife isn’t your thing and you haven’t contacted any other doctors in-network with your insurance, you need to get started by asking questions – specifically, the questions I give you in my new .pdf to Build Your Dream Birth Team.

In the .pdf, I give you questions to ask doctors, midwives and doulas so you can build a birth team that truly supports you. You can get a copy of that here.

3) You’re not 100% committed to having a natural birth even though you say you want one.

Women have at least as many reasons for wanting a natural birth as they have pairs of shoes in the closet.

But, there’s a HUGE difference between wanting a natural birth and getting one. The bridge to that gap is commitment.

In my practice, I find that for the mama’s that aren’t committed, nearly 90% of them end up with a medicated birth.

But those who are committed, about 80% of them end up with a natural birth.

When you’re committed to doing something one way or another, you’re going to put in the work to get it and people are much more likely to support you when you’re not being wishy-washy about what you want.

When you’re not committed and wishy-washy, it makes putting in the work feel like hell – so you don’t!

Wanting and having a natural birth takes a lot of planning, preparing and learning.

You can get a medicated birth without planning, preparing or learning anything. Easy.

But, having a natural birth isn’t the norm in our society and so it takes work to go against the norm and do it.

When you’re committed, it makes doing the work enjoyable and fun rather than just another thing you have to do. Who wants that anyway? Eww.

If you’re not sure about your commitment level, I encourage you to decide asap because knowing what you want is half the battle to getting it.

So…if you are not feeling totally supported by your current medical provider to have the natural, empowering birth that you desire, download your free .pdf of Questions to Ask to Build Your Dream Birth Team right here.

You’ll feel sooooo relieved to find someone who truly supports you.

With so much love,

Lacey

p.s. Craving some support and encouragement from other like-minded women wanting a natural, empowering birth? Download your .pdf and you’ll automatically be a part of the Empowered Birth Revolutionaries Email Tribe where you’ll get access to stuff I only offer via e-mail.

p.s.s. If you’re local (in Lafayette, LA) and are having trouble building a birth team that supports your desires, email me your struggles and let’s see how I can help you!

Use This 3 Step Process to Take Back Your Birth Options and Choices

Use This 3 Step Process to Take Back Your Birth Options and Choices

Not having a choice… It’s by far one of the most excruciating feelings ever. Like for real. It’s like your freedom being taken away only for disappointment to take its place… Ouch!

I’ve felt that way multiple times in my life from simple shit like buying that PERFECT dress and they’re all out of your size, to purchasing your dream house and it gets bought up right underneath you, all the way to choosing to love who you want to love and then they disappear.

So much of our experience is determined by the options available to us. So what do we do when what we want is no longer an option?

I often hear women say they feel powerless in birth because someone told them they don’t have a choice or that they have no other options. Here are some of the scenarios they give…

I have a breech baby.

I have twins.

They’ll only “let me” do a c-section.

Or, I have pre-eclampsia.

I have high blood pressure.

I have gestational diabetes.

They’re “making me” get induced.

Well, I’m here to tell you that, first of all, no one can “make you” do anything one way or the other in your birth so you ALWAYS have the option of not doing what’s suggested which means you ALWAYS have a choice.

There are options and then there are choices and when it comes to birth or anything in life in general, it’s super important to learn the difference between the 2 and how they relate.

So here it is:

An option is a noun and means all the possibilities available to you.

To choose is a verb. And it means to pick out from the possibilities available to you.

So as long as you have an option of doing something or doing nothing, you have a choice too.

The ugly thing is (and a common reason women get upset and disappointed with their birth experience) is because they have a problem with the options available to them. If what they really want is no longer available, they get bummed because they just don’t like the options that are left if they feel they have any at all.

So how do you make an empowering choice for your birth when you don’t like your available options?

1) Write down a list of ALL your options no matter how ridiculous, insane, or absurd they sound. This is a no-excuses, no holds barred game so get rid of the “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the money”, “I don’t have the guts for that” and lay it all out unfiltered.

Let go of judgment and just write as fast as you can every option you can possibly think of without filtering through the “but that’s crazy, I could never do that” filter. When you don’t filter your answers, you’re more likely to find a nugget-o-gold in there somewhere.

2) For each option available, ask yourself the following questions:

B – What are the benefits of this option?

R – What are the risks of this option?

A – Are there any alternatives to this option?

I – What does your intuition tell you about this option?

N – What happens if you do nothing and revisit the matter later?

3) Make a choice based on facts, not emotions.

When you base your choice on facts and not emotions, you open up yourself to empowerment. And that’s what empowered birth is about…letting go of a specific who, what, when, where, why, how and focusing instead on how you want to feel through it.

Do you want to feel supported, loved, cared for like a queen or goddess, empowered, or healed through your birth experience? Or do you want it to happen a certain way?

When you let go of the certain way and focus on how you want to feel through it, you let go of attachment to an outcome and allow birth to happen for you not to you.

Using the B.R.A.I.N. acronym is a process of inquiry that I give my clients for those tricky births where unplanned and/or unexpected events happen because it helps you see that you really do have options even if what you really want is no longer available.

This process of inquiry helps you let go of the “how things are supposed to happen” and move forward in an empowering way regardless.

Have you been in a situation where you where told that you don’t have a choice as to how to birth your baby and you chose something different anyway? How did you come to the decision to go against the grain and take back your options and choose differently instead? Let us know in the comments below.

With so much love,

 

Lacey