Chop Chop Salad

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Just a normal Sunday over here – a little bit of running, a little bit of working, and a little bit of relaxing. How’s your day so far?


I ran 3.0 miles this morning.  It’s cold but sunny out!  It was actually a great run, and I’m thinking that my knee and IT band is finally sorted out from my October 30th marathon, which is good news because I’d love to start introducing longer distances soon!  All in due time though.  🙂


Lunch was a chop chop salad of lots of different flavors.


In the mix:


  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cold roasted broccoli
  • Craisins
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Feta
  • Cold grilled tofu


With some hummus-y toast.


I’m watching a very interesting movie on You Tube right now called The Business of Being Born!  It explores how big business is impacting our nation’s concept of what a ‘normal’ birth should be like (kind of like how Food Inc talks about factory farming issues).


It’s such an interesting movie! I’ve been interested in home births for a while now, especially since That Wife has a home birth.  I love the part of the movie where a midwife says, “Most people put more effort into researching their new camera or car than they do for the birth of their child.”  I’m not 100% convinced that I’ll do a home birth, but I’ll definitely want to learn more when I’m actually pregnant.  Knowledge is power!  (Please note that I’m not judging anyone or any occupation by saying I want a home birth or to be educated about my options.)


Hmm…  a home birth on HTP.  Now, won’t that be something interesting to blog about? 😉



  • Kami December 19, 2010, 4:22 pm

    That movie is amazing. I’m interested in nursing and it blew my mind. I’ve heard of so many women with who intend on having a natural birth but are convinced by doctors to do a c-section.

  • Jaclyn December 19, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Yes that would be interesting to blog about!! Happy Sunday – yum looking salad lunch!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 19, 2010, 4:25 pm

    I like the concept of a home birth, but I’m not sure I could actually do it myself. I’m soooo squeamish and I feel like that would be a lot to handle in my own house! Definitely interesting that business has such an influence on it though…

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith December 19, 2010, 4:25 pm

    hmmm, I don’t know about the home birth on HTP, but I just wanted to share with you how we are living the same life (today at least!)…last night I ate enough sugar (in the form of wine and cookies) to last me several years so I nursed a sugar coma/hangover this morning as well, while also watching the Business of Being Born…random documentary my husband put on last night and we fell asleep to and finished today! Very interesting POV! My mom had 4 children and the last 3 of us were born at home because of her negative experience in the hospital, FYI!

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:28 pm

      We’re twinnies!

  • Martin Roberts December 19, 2010, 4:25 pm

    I love the quote, “Most people put more effort into researching their new camera or car than they do for the birth of their child.”. I think that this applies to so many aspects of people’s lives — especially those affecting their health.

  • Eliza December 19, 2010, 4:27 pm

    My best friend is a home-birth midwife, and really loved this movie. The most important thing is that you get to choose how you give birth. For some people, home birth isn’t the best option- but look into birthing centers in your area. Some hospitals have really nice centers that are staffed by midwives, and there are also birthing centers that aren’t connected to hospitals. As a survivor of sexual violence I have some concerns about how child birth will go for me, and I tend to get pretty nervous about things that feel “out of my control”, but I plan on finding a birthing center/ midwife who will respect my wishes to have a natural birth. My partner will be a doctor by the time I am giving birth, so I’m hopeful that his “power position” will be something we can take advantage of if we feel we are being pushed.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:31 pm

      I’m sure you will have an awesome delivery no matter where you choose to do it 🙂

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 19, 2010, 4:28 pm

    As part of my promise to keep chemicals and drugs as far away from my future children as possible, I hope to have a home birth so that no one can talk me into doing something I don’t want to do, at an extremely vulnerable time. I want to be in control and I want to experience what women were meant to experience the natural way. I would take all precautions for emergencies and make sure I had experienced, professional midwives there. That movie expresses it all so perfectly!

  • Eliza December 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Oh- and about the “business” aspect: we live in a society where all health care is a business. Health care should be considered a human right, and everyone should have access to quality insurance and care.

    • Natalie December 19, 2010, 5:53 pm


  • Sara December 19, 2010, 4:30 pm

    My sister recently had a home birth, and she had a wonderful experience. Both her and baby are very healthy and everything went very well.
    I am a nursing student and I just finished my maternity rotation- and, even though I’m not close to having kids, I am more considering that path for when (if) I have children.

  • Caroline December 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I’m a volunteer in labor & delivery at my local hospital, and frequently volunteer on the maternity floor and in the nursery as well. As you can assume, I’m probably biased towards hospital births. I’m sure that there are pros and cons to both sides of the decision. I’d like to mention that yes, hospitals are businesses, but none of the nurses/doctors that I have worked with have treated patients in a “get in, get out” manner. Hospital administration may push what’s best for the budget, but I truly believe that (most) healthcare workers do what’s best for the patient, mother and child. Also, it’s usually the patients rushing themselves out of the hospital, not the other way around. Anyway, I’m going to check that out on youtube now. Thanks for always bringing something interesting into your posts Caitlin!

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:34 pm

      Oh so cool to hear from a hospital worker! I was hoping someone would comment.

      Can you clear up some urban legends for me? Is it true that you’re not allowed to labor in any position you want in a hospital? Can you eat when you want? What about drinking?

      • Caroline December 19, 2010, 4:47 pm

        Well I can try! I should say first though, I’m not a nurse or doctor (one day, I hope!) so I’m not actually in the room during delivery. My understanding is that once a woman is in labor, she is not to eat or drink anything, but may have ice chips. This is due in part to vomiting/pooping (which yes, most everyone does during childbirth) but also can throw off dosing of any medication that may be needed later.

        As for positions, hospitals do have you lie on a table on your back. However, I have heard that it is becoming more common for hospitals to have other birthing options like water births etc. where a patient can give birth with the midwife instead of the doctor.

        • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:49 pm

          I live for the day I poop myself in delivery. 🙂

        • Amy December 20, 2010, 10:24 am

          I also want to point out a lot of hospitals now have tubs, birth balls, etc. – I’ve never heard of anyone having to lie on their back on a table during delivery. An epidural, of course, would limit your movement, but my sister had her last baby with no epidural and was only on the bed for monitoring from time to time. She also snacked throughout the day while she was in labor! I think her experience is probably more common than the old restrictive medical model.

      • Shelly December 19, 2010, 10:24 pm

        I am so worried about the no food thing. I can’t go more than 2 or 3 hours without something to eat without feeling really sick or awful. I have a secret plan to sneak Gu into the delivery room whenever I have a baby!

        • Susan December 20, 2010, 12:24 am

          My hospital let me labor in any position I wanted and I had a fantastic child birth experience. Then again, I live in San Francisco, and I suspect that SF is likely more progressive than a lot of other places. I was able to have hard candy but I didn’t eat for 24 hours and I’ll tell you what – I had no interest in eating with everything going on. When I took my childbirth classes, our teacher told us that the best attitude to have going into childbirth is a flexible one, and I liked having lots of options and being able to change my mind about things, since you never know how you’re going to feel when it comes down to it!

        • Anne December 20, 2010, 6:15 am

          I’ve never given birth (not even something I’m remotely interested in yet as I’m only 21), but from delivery tales I’ve read/heard about/etc it seems to me that the last thing one might think about during the labor process is food. I think my appetite would be nonexistent if I were in that kind of physical pain!

          Any moms want to give insight to this?

  • Krista (kristastes) December 19, 2010, 4:33 pm

    I liked that documentary – def a good one to watch for anyone planning to have children someday. I thought the most interesting part when they discussed the fact that being flat out on a bed is possibly the worst position a woman can be in as she delivers, yet what do we see in almost all hospital births? nuts!

  • HIP LIP (Lindsey) December 19, 2010, 4:34 pm

    I am a firm believer in “to each their own” when it comes to healthcare/child birth/etc…however, I just think there is too much risk for complication during delivery. I want to be in a hospital in the event anything goes wrong.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:39 pm

      You should watch the movie! One of the things they talk about (and I don’t know how true this is, obviously it’s a one sided documentary) is that most complications arise from a chain of events that are actually started in the delivery room in a hospital. What happens is an epidural makes it harder to push, so you’re given a drug (PIT) the increases the strength of contractions, but then you need more epidural, and then the contractions become so strong due to the added drugs that the baby starts to feel distress, which is when you end up getting a c-section. Interesting, huh? But yeah, I’d be feeling pretty horrible if I had a home birth and something went terribly wrong that could’ve been handled better at the hospital. It’s definitely a tough call!

    • Christena December 19, 2010, 4:45 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. I am also a hospital worker and have only heard good things about the hospital experience. In fact, I do not know anyone who has had a home birth. My best friend just gave birth in the hospital where we work and she said it was just a great experience. I will definitely have a hospital birth, but firmly believe to each their own. I am curious to check out that video, though.

      • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 4:47 pm

        Oooh can you answer the Q’s in #10 too?

        Congrats to your BFF for her new baby 🙂 So exciting

        • Christena December 19, 2010, 5:10 pm

          As a disclaimer, I haven’t ever been in the delivery room during a birth & have never given birth. Honestly, I’m not sure what would happen if a woman requested a different position than the standard position…? Re: food & drink, it is my understanding that they typically do not like for “high risk” women eat/drink during delivery due to the chance that they might need a c-section. Other lower-risk women (my friend) are allowed to eat & drink early in labor but I’m not sure how restrictive it is….also not sure if a woman (high risk or not) requested to eat in labor if they would let them….
          You mentioned that the documentary said that most complications start as a chain of events in the delivery room…was this reported as a percentage of hospital births vs. home births? Because if the vast majority of births are hospital births, one would expect numerically more complications in the hospital.
          Again, I’m very biased to the hospital because I work in health care, I work at the facility where I will give birth, and I will be surrounded by familiar faces during my experience…so I realize I have a different perspective than some one who may not have the same sort of familiarity & confidence with the hospital that I do. I can absolutely see how a home birth would appeal to a woman looking for a familiar, intimate, less-“sterile” experience. I’m still undecided on whether I will use an epidural, etc.
          Caitlin, You always bring up the best topics on HTP!!

        • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 5:25 pm

          Thanks Christena! I love to talk about stuff like this and hear different options. I always learn so much!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 19, 2010, 4:36 pm

    It’s encouraging to hear that your IT bands are starting to heal. After my half- marathon next month, I HAVE to take time to heal mine.

  • Michal December 19, 2010, 4:40 pm

    I think home birth is a good option for moms who have given birth at least twice before… a member of my extended family did home birth for her first and unfortunately when things went wrong they couldn’t get to the hospital quickly enough to avoid major damage to the child.

  • Mabelle@ Dance, Love, Dine December 19, 2010, 4:48 pm

    That salad looks delicious. I actually thought that was butter on your toast :D.

  • Lauren December 19, 2010, 5:02 pm

    Oh wow, I think a home birth would be tough but nothing tops my best friend’s story of the birth of her daughter. She had her in the bathtub after being sent home from the hospital. It was the craziest thing and the best birthing story I have ever heard.

  • Gwen O. December 19, 2010, 5:06 pm

    I gave birth to my first baby two months ago. I watched that documentary before giving birth and all of the other books, etc. that promote home births and natural births. I have to say that I think that the “dangers” of a hospital birth are pretty overblown. I went in to the hospital wanting a natural birth but had to be induced because I was overdue (I was also pretty uncomfortable at this point so I welcomed it). I needed an epidural when the contractions were really strong, and soon after that my doctor broke my water. This helped my labor progress faster than it would have otherwise and let me rest so I could be ready for the pushing. A lot of epidurals these days are put in so that they will wear off when you push so that you can work with your contractions to get the baby out. Anyway, when my daughter was born the cord was wrapped very tightly around her neck. I am glad that my obstetrician was right there to cut it and get everything out. And it was extremely comforting that have her handed over to the nursery staff who were able to look her over and reassure me that she was healthy. Even though I had an epidural my daughter has been very healthy and strong.

    I think that women who want natural or home births should go for it, but don’t buy everything that that industry promotes. Remember, midwives are businesses too! They promote themselves and their industry just like other businesses. Getting an epidural or going to a hospital doesn’t make you weak, doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of giving birth, and won’t irreparably damage your child.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 5:09 pm

      True that!!! Everything is a business and everyone is biased. Something important to remember!

      Congrats on your baby!

  • Baking 'n' Books December 19, 2010, 5:07 pm

    LOL at the disclaimer! Crazy how we have to “disclaim” everything nowadays to avoid someone jumping all over it and taking it to heaven and back…:(

    The documentary sounds interesting. Not so sure about the home birthing though…can’t say I don’t want drugs…or an adoption…? 😉

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 5:09 pm

      Yes! Re: disclaimer.

  • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run December 19, 2010, 5:07 pm

    I’m actually a Labor and Delivery charge nurse at a hospital where I have worked for almost 7 years. I love the movie the Business of Being Born. I find it really interesting and some of the information to be completely true. Saying that, I have seen with my own eyes enough situations where things have gone or could have gone terribly wrong and mother and babies would have died had they not be in the hospital at that very moment. Enough that I would NEVER EVEN CONSIDER anything but a hospital birth. I have never pushed anything on a patient that I know they don’t want. I want my patients to have the “birth experience” that they want to have. I have an open conversation with my patients at the very beginning and express this to them. I also tell them if they at any point change their minds about what they want I will never think less of them and I will adjust my plan of care to suit their changing needs. Some women go in to it with unrealistic expectations and then when they see what its really about realize what they thought was important to them at the beginning may not be and other things may actually be more important. I want my patients to get exactly what they want, starting with a healthy baby. My only problem I’ve had from this movie and TV shows is when people come in with the “medical staff is the enemy” mentality. There are bad doctors and bad nurses out there, but they are few and far between from my experience.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 5:10 pm

      Oh yay to hear from another nurse! 🙂 You sound like an awesome nurse. 🙂

      • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run December 19, 2010, 5:18 pm

        Oh, wanted to add re: positions, eating, etc.
        As long as you discuss with your doctor beforehand what you’d like to do in labor its almost never a problem. We do have certain guidelines for intermittent monitoring and things like that, but the patient has the right to refuse any treatment at any time. Positioning, not a problem as long as we can monitor the baby through a couple of contractions each hour. Eating, drinking … not a problem.

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes December 19, 2010, 5:14 pm

    I liked that movie!

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat December 19, 2010, 5:16 pm

    I had NO idea PIT existed. I had a huge WTF on my face when I they said it was a drug to induce contractions.
    I mean I’m sure when I’m older I’ll have my baby in a hospital but in my opinion if my ancestor’s have been popping out babies the natural way, why change? Both of my grandmas had 10 kids each and they survived! Though they probably wish they took some kind of birth control…

    • Cyclist Kate December 19, 2010, 8:04 pm

      I definitely get where you are coming from, but remember that the mortality rate for both mother and baby used to be much higher when home births without modern medicine were the norm. Women who were able to have 10 kids without dying were lucky!

    • Christine December 19, 2010, 11:00 pm

      Neither my mother or I were able to have normally progressing childbirth without it. Our bodies just didn’t start having contractions on their own. I, for one, was grateful for it!

  • Christy December 19, 2010, 5:44 pm

    I usually just read, but I had to comment on this one! I am thrilled that you watched the documentary. My first birth was 2.5 years ago, and it was awful. I saw the movie beforehand, but figured that it would never happen to me. Well a c-section later, my baby was in the NICU for a week with breathing problems b/c he didn’t go through the birth canal. Right before they cut me open I told the Dr to cut me so I could have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearan). His response, “Good luck finding someone who will give you a vbac. I was livid. I am now 30 weeks pregnant and am under midwifery care. My care has been amazing. My midwife recommended chiropractic care through out the pregnancy and accupunture close to my due date. My midwives have such a holistic approach to pregnancy and they continue to amaze me. Because I had a previous c-section, I will again be delivering in a hospital, but I would love a home birth or birth center birth if we have a 3rd.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 5:46 pm

      I am so glad your baby is OK now and that you’re having another 🙂 yay!

    • Christy December 19, 2010, 5:47 pm

      Check out the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. It’s fabulous and will get you even more excited for a possible home birth.

  • Sara December 19, 2010, 5:44 pm

    At the hospital I worked at as a student, the “birth orders” as they call it (when a mother brings in a list of things she wants/doesn’t want done during labor; ex: no medications, certain positions [birthing ball]), the nurses and doctors were very condescending and irritated. Of course, they did not state these attitudes to the patients and they were still friendly, but the biases were still there. I think it is important to pick a hospital that has doctors and nurses that are PRO- these birth orders. I know there are hospitals in my community that have midwives working alongside the physicians (the hospital I worked at was not one of those).
    Also, women are allowed to only eat ice chips because of the risk of complications and ultimate C-section– the stomach must be empty or anesthesia can cause nausea –> vomiting and then aspiration (choking).

  • sarah December 19, 2010, 5:46 pm

    I loved this movie and while I gave birth to both my sons at a hospital (because I knew I would want pain medication), I love the concept that you are in charge of your birth. Even though I knew I wanted pain meds, I also knew I did not want any other interventions. I didn’t want to be induced, I didn’t want to be rushed into a c-section, I trusted my body to do its own thing. And I think if people take anything away from this movie, it should be that you can trust your body, it knows what to do.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 19, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Homebirth is a beautiful choice…I am a lactation educator (among MANY other things and roles I have in life) and I think that birthing naturally, in whatever surrounding can help to facilitate that for the mother/baby dyad, is a great goal!

    Birth is about you and your whatever YOU feel is right when that magical moment arrives in your life.

    I only have one child and her birth was beautiful, 100% natural, I nursed her for 3 years, and believe in the power of our bodies. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had as a mother and know that not all women have these same experiences, options, and paths based on a variety of circumstances so in no way would I ever say that what I did is the “best” or “only” way. Just the way things unfolded for me.

    I think it’s great that you’re open to thinking about all your options for when the time is right… 🙂

  • Amanda (Eating Up) December 19, 2010, 6:11 pm

    Man, there are documentaries about everything! I also like to educate myself about BOTH sides to things. I hardly ever believe there’s a clear right way to do things when it comes to controversial issues.

  • Claire December 19, 2010, 6:12 pm

    I have three children, all born in hospitals with midwives (no obs, we have that option here in Australia). All three were 100% natural. My first was pretty traumatic and had I not been in a hospital, I would have died from blood loss. My second and third were straight forward, easy deliveries (all three boys were over 10 pounds, my middle was almost 12) and I went home a few hours after giving birth. I’m a firm believer in birth choice as long as people are aware of all possibilities. Birth isn’t illness, so there is no need to spend great lengths of time in hospital after birth, but as someone who has been there, done that three times and has 100% faith in my body and it’s ability, I’d still birth in a hospital.

    That said, the movie is excellent and anything that gives women the opportunity to discuss birth openly is a good thing.

    Good luck when you get there! Parenting is an awesome journey, pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding/early years are just the beginning and people beat themselves up over the perfect birth, the perfect this, the perfect that. What works for you and your baby to ensure a safe, healthy delivery is a successful birth regardless of others opinions. Same with all parenting choices, each child is different, each experience is different.

  • Verna December 19, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Knowledge is power! I was leaning towards homebirth with my first son but I found an OB that I felt very comfortable with, and in the end am very happy with my birth. Learn as much as you can, though! Knowing as much as possible will help you feel more in control! Childbirth is an amazing thing! We are so fortunate, as women, to be able to experience it!

  • Justine December 19, 2010, 6:33 pm

    I’m a NICU RN (neonatal intensive care) and have seen a few cases of home delivery gone wrong…one of the cases occurred where the baby wasn’t getting enough oxygen and came in basically brain dead (worse than dead because he’ll be in a coma-like state the rest of his life). Another one got an infection and the parents refused an IV for antibiotics and asked us to instead give the baby muscular injections (“shots”) every 6 hours (ouch!!!) I guess they didn’t care about the risk of infection from constant shots??

    The thing about interventions in a hospital is that you have to look at the culture behind it. Does part of it stem from a doctor being on-call for hours on end? Sure. But another significant part of it that the movie doesn’t mention (although I’ve seen it just the one time) is that our culture is one that we will sue if anything at all goes wrong.

    Take a look at the no-eating rule. Say hospitals routinely allowed women to eat/drink while in labor. Then when one case goes badly and a stat c-section is needed and the anesthesiologist does the epidural or general and the woman starts vomiting because of the medications. Aspirates the vomit into her lungs and she dies. The OB doc gets sued because he allowed her to eat.

    The OB’s focus is getting the baby out and keeping the mother alive to save his butt from being sued. In this culture of being sued for much less than a baby, I can’t blame the OB docs too much because their careers and family’s financial stability are at stake. Why do you think that malpractice for OBs are among the highest, if not the highest premiums out of any other medical field?

    That being said, mothers are under a lot of pressure during the birth and most of them, as the movie said, have no idea about birthing (which is pretty darn sad). If women were better educated, they could choose the battlefield more wisely and ask to delay the pitocin for a bit. Labor at home longer. the list goes on and on.

    Personally, I’m not against home births or birthing centers in general. I could never do that because I’ve seen too many times what can go wrong with the worst results…plus I’m not the kind of person to stay in pain willingly. Give me the epidural!!

    Anyone’s thoughts on elective c-sections? Did a paper on it in nursing school a few years back…I’m mostly okay with it as long as the kid is at least 39 weeks along (worry about the lungs and the possibility of having the dates off). I wouldn’t want to force a mother to have a vaginal delivery.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 6:39 pm

      Interesting comment Justine! They talk a lot in the movie about how much of hospital labor is driven by the fear of being sued, which is sad and says a lot about America in general.

      Personally, I would never select a c-section. It’s such MAJOR surgery. I don’t know why Americans are so casual about surgery these days… it freaks me out.

      • Justine December 19, 2010, 6:45 pm

        oh good, they mentioned the sue-happiness? I couldn’t remember, it has been a long time since I’ve seen the film.

        I wouldn’t elect for a c-section, especially for the first one since you rarely find an OB who is comfortable doing a VBAC.

      • Shelly December 19, 2010, 10:29 pm

        One thing that I’ve learned recently is that epidurals can actually increase your chances of having a C-section, which really surprised me and made me rethink my stance on them.

        • meagan December 19, 2010, 10:57 pm

          I think the epidural statistic is based on when they’re placed and what level of “ripeness” the mother is at. For some women (like myself) the epidural speeds up labor. For others, it slows it down and begets the Pitocin-epidural cycle.

    • Ella December 19, 2010, 7:04 pm

      I feel like medical malpractice has a lot to do with VBAC, because its slightly more risky so many doctors don’t want to do it because they don’t want to be sued if something goes wrong. It minimizes any chances.
      I really hate the idea of elective c-sections, I’m in nursing school now and I actually just wrote a final paper on it..Your body knows when its ready to deliver, you should listen to nature on these things. If the date of conception is miscalculated then the baby can be born prematurely and its such a major surgery. If something goes wrong and a c-section is needed I believe they should have it but in my mind its a last resort kind of thing. But if my patient wanted it I would obviously listen to them, everyone has the right to their own opinion..but I personally would never get one myself. People just like to control and plan things too much.

    • DadHTP December 19, 2010, 9:27 pm

      Obviously, I’ve never been pregnant, but the several times I was hospitalized where there was a chance I may need surgery it was ice chips only – and in an emergency, having to deal with vomit/poop is one more problem.
      America’s poor showing in birth outcomes is the result of poor pre-natal care and inadequate infant care (because we can’t afford it), not hospital births.

      • Justine December 20, 2010, 12:27 am

        it’s also partly due to the fact that we try to save anything that comes out…other countries won’t try to save the 22-23 weekers, they would not count those as live births because they aren’t as aggressive as we are in trying to resuscitate them.

        So, we have an artificially higher number than other countries due to that. There’s no “standard” of what a live birth counts as in the world. Of course in the third world countries, no way would they save anything lower than a 33-34 weeker, which is very sad : ( because they usually do super well given some time to grow in an incubator.

  • Chelsea December 19, 2010, 6:35 pm

    I always thought it was crazy not to want to give birth in a hospital, but I then I read an article by Robbie Davis-Floyd in my ritual studies class that completely changed my mind. I’m a long way off from having children, so I haven’t done any more research, but I will definitely be considering home birth when the time comes.

  • Ella December 19, 2010, 6:38 pm

    If only I had heard about this movie a couple of weeks ago..I just wrote a final paper on childbirth (I’m studying to be a nurse practitioner) and all the contriversy of home births versus in hospital, cesarean sections, and how the doctors and the medical model see pregnancy as an illness. Would have been perfect research!

    I’m only 20 so there are NO babies in my immediate future (I still have 5 years left of school!) but I think I’ll want to have my kids in a hospital setting just because as a nursing major I know all of the things that can go wrong but I’ll probably want to keep it as natural as possible because of all the research showing the new technologies can cause unnecessary stress to the little babies!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 19, 2010, 6:46 pm

    I don’t know how I would feel about having a home birth. I’m a total worry wart so I would be afraid something bad would happen. AND well, I don’t like messes… although babies are very messy.

  • Sonja December 19, 2010, 6:55 pm

    Had to comment because I was born at home (in my parent’s bedroom no less) with a midwife! My parents were kinda hippies, so needless to say, they were stoked about the idea of doing a home birth. They also chose to do it that way because my mom had a horrible hospital birth with my older brother… very sterile and impersonal. No offense to doctors or nurses… I think the crappy ones are few and far between, but that was my mom’s experience, so she wanted the complete opposite the second time around. I definitely think the most important thing (whether home or hospital) is to be INFORMED and comfortable with your choice.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 8:37 pm

      Super cool that you were born at home!!! I love it.

  • Carin December 19, 2010, 6:57 pm

    Just thought I’d add in my exprience! I was VERY pro-natural birth – I know I’ve got a high pain threshold and really wanted to avoid an epidural, thought I’d love to move around etc., so that’s what went into my birth plan. I did decide on a hospital delivery, though, as I wanted to give my baby the best chance if anything went wrong and we needed assistance.

    Well… at 37 weeks my blood pressure went up. Not to a dangerous amount, but enough to warrant further tests. I had a scan and the baby hadn’t grown in the past 2 weeks. I was advised that babies at that point have a better chance of growing and thriving once born rather than in utero (“better out than in”) so I agreed to be induced at 38 weeks. It didn’t work… my baby wasn’t growing, but she wasn’t ready to be born, either. I was very very resistant to a section but my midwife said “Look. I want this baby to be happy and healthy and going to university”. That did it for me – the thought that any stubborness or decision on my part, going against medical advice, would impact on my daughter’s wellbeing was awful – after all, I was there to have a happy, healthy baby.

    As it happened, I had nothing to worry about – the section went smoothly, my baby was born and even though she was only 4pounds 13oz, she thrived straight away and I had no problem breastfeeding (other than having TOO MUCH milk that poured down her little throat!). The cord was around her neck (this hadn’t shown up in scans) and a natural delivery would have been extremely stressful (and worse, extremely dangerous)for her.

    With my second pregnancy, I really wanted to try VBAC – I felt a bit “cheated” out of my natural delivery and wanted to try out “proper” childbirth. However, because I had a previous scar and was older, I was advised to go for a second C-section… I was worried that my scar would rupture and again, didn’t want to endanger my baby. Obviously it was my choice, but I did think “What if I dig my heels in and demand a natural delivery and then something goes wrong?” The medical professionals ARE professional, after all and they have the patients’ (mum & baby) best interests at mind. I didn’t want that responsibility.

    Thank goodness I took their advice – like That Wife, my son had a true knot in his cord which may well have tightened during a “natural” delivery and cut off his blood/ air supply. I know that it’s rare, but a nurse at the hospital told me about a baby who’d died from this only the week before.

    It’s easy to get very caught up in picturing a perfect delivery – how empowering it’ll be, what a special experience it is, how you can focus on the baby, how you’ll cope with pain etc.etc. – I definitely did. In fact, in our antenatal classes, when they covered C-sections, I thought “this has nothing to do with me – there’s no way that’d happen to me…”!

    I’m so grateful that my children are both happy and healthy – almost 2 years and 4 years down the line, I’ve got over my feelings of “missing out” on the birth experience I wanted and can look back on the really relaxed, safe, professional birth experiences I got. It’s not about the birth. It’s about being responsible for another life and making the best decisions you can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your baby.

    • Carin December 19, 2010, 6:58 pm

      Sorry about the lengthy reply – you know how it is when you get mums talking about birth stories!!!

      • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 7:25 pm

        I loved this comment Carin. Thank you for sharing! I am so glad your children are happy and healthy, too!

  • Ali December 19, 2010, 7:13 pm

    I gave birth in the hospital with my daughter, but I would totally do it at home next time – the rules and limitations within the hospital bothered me…I felt like a child rather than an adult i.e. I wanted a TV in the room during labour because it calms me down but I was not allowed; I wanted to walk around while in labour but wasn’t allowed
    I live in Ontario where women can choose to give birth with an OB or a midwife (both are fully covered by provincial health care- yay universal health care!) and midwives can attend at home births. I was apprenticing as a midwife for awhile, and thought you’d enjoy this link to a research study one of my professors did – she studied the outcomes of midwife-attended home births for a period of 5 years, and during that time, there was no difference in outcomes for neonate death (of the 1001 women who started out giving birth at home, one baby died after the woman was transferred to the hospital during labour and one died at home). Just a piece of info in case anyone tells you that giving birth at home is more dangerous – it’s not! Here’s the link:

  • Kelly December 19, 2010, 7:24 pm

    On man, you just got me in an hour long spree of reading mommy blogs and all these comments haha- I’ll have to save this for the time when I actually want to have kids 🙂

  • Sarah December 19, 2010, 7:26 pm

    Oooh, this is a big topic! My mum had me in hospital because she’d never heard of home births at that stage, and being her first child, I think she would have been too scared to try it. Healthwise, nothing went wrong, but she felt like a lump of meat (her words) and didn’t enjoy the experience at all.

    When my little brother was coming along, she heard from someone else about home births. Our doctor wasn’t keen on the idea, so she switched to a different doctor who had plenty of experience with home births. He felt that there was no problem (as she’d had no probs with me, she had good pregnancies and she was not high risk)so she had my brother and all my other siblings at home (4 in total). She preferred being at home: having us all there afterwards, and just being able to have a cup of tea in her bed with her new baby.

    With regards complications, the only problem she ever had was with my sister who had the cord around her neck, but the midwives were very experienced and took care of it.

    I think it’s worth noting that just because you have a home birth it doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily have a good experience with the midwives. For two of my mum’s home births she had midwives who acted like they were inconvenienced by the whole thing. But my mum found it easy to ignore them in the comfort of her own home.

    Personally, I’d have my first in a hospital. I don’t know what MY birth experience would be like, nor how safe it would be, and as it’s a complete unknown, I think I’d feel safer in a hospital. After that, it would depend on the first experience. I’m open to home births (they’re kinda normal to me after my mum!)

    But that’s all way off … I have to find me a babydaddy first! 😀

  • Karen December 19, 2010, 7:29 pm

    There is a lot of good advice here already, but I wanted to put my two cents in:)

    I’m a nurse and a mom of two. (I’ve never worked in L&D though.) I liked the idea of a hospital birth because of the “what-if’s” — knowing I was in the right place for problems to be dealt with.

    I highly recommend finding a Bradley Method teacher in your area when your time comes. They teach TONS of great stuff to prepare you for child birth, no matter where you labor and deliver.

    Make a birth plan — even if you and your husband never actually print anything out and give it to your doctor. This way, you have in mind what youd like ahead of time and can discuss your options with your OB. But, of course, be willing to be flexible and allow for the possibility that you’ll change your mind about something(s) along the way.

    We planned that I would go “natural” in the hospital. My water broke at home, but I was only, like, 2cm dilated when I got to the hospital. I held off on an epidural because my contractions weren’t bad, but I wasn’t progressing. Since you need to deliver within a certain amount of time after your water breaks, they wanted to start pitocin (PIT) to help me along. I went with it. Of course, my contractions became very strong and before long I chose to get the epidural. I was able to sleep for the better part of my labor and have the anasthesiologist turn it down along the way; so by the time I was ready to push, I could feel a lot – but not so much that I was in pain. Just enough to do a good job pushing. He was out in 45 minutes! (Unheard of for a first delivery!)

    We were all happy and healthy, which is what matters most in the end.

    My 2nd baby was completely haywire. My water broke the same night as my last night of work! I worked until 1am; my water broke at 4am. So I got no maternity leave time prior to delivery and basically NO sleep before I had to deal with the work of L&D. I chose the epidural right away thinking I could sleep for a while, but his heart beat kept dropping so they had to keep repositioning me. When it was time to push, I couldn’t feel much, so it took an hour and a half to get him out!

    But, again, we were all happy and healthy:)

    So, learn and plan for sure. But be ready to be flexible and try to enjoy every bit of it — even the pain!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit December 19, 2010, 7:45 pm

    I think everyone who is planning or hoping to be a parent should see that movie, at least for the sake of being aware of birthing practices and trends in the U.S. So interesting!

  • Shah'ada December 19, 2010, 7:47 pm

    I’ve birthed my three children at home (two assisted and one unassisted) and would personally have it no other way. I am definitely a not a “high risk” pregnancy and therefore cannot speak to that, nor will I speak to the horror stories of what can go insanely wrong from both a hospital OR a home birth.

    I doula both home and hospital births and have seen my share of the hospital being a far more unfriendly environment for myriad reasons. I do know that in most situations both doctors and hb midwives know of potential risks before labor begins … as women, it is our responsibility to be educated about our bodies and those we ask to care for it.

    I do truly believe that interviewing both midwives and doctors while trying to conceive and understanding the pregnancy and birthing process will help you reach your personal decision. Good luck!! I look forward to your post about it!

    • Shah'ada December 19, 2010, 8:34 pm

      Oh, and I did want to add a little . . . one of the things we hear a lot is “the baby would have died if he was born at home/mom would have died if” etc. I believe these are potentially inaccurate statements. Who’s to say overly invasive medical intervention didn’t prime the birth for a negative outcome? I’m uncomfortable when people argue that aspect of home birth with me.

      • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 8:36 pm

        I love your first comment and have to agree with your second one! 🙂

  • erin fugal December 19, 2010, 8:03 pm

    I had to chime in here. All 3 of my births were planned homebirths. I researched, prayed, prepared and had wonderful EMPOWERING experiences. I loved it. That being said. I’m so greatful we all have options. While home birth may not be for everyone, it is a perfectly sound and reasonable way for a healthy (read not high risk) woman to have her baby.

  • Cyclist Kate December 19, 2010, 8:15 pm

    What I would really like to see is midwives becoming a more prevalent presence in the United States, and birthing centers in every hospital. I think that western medicine has been an enormous blessing to women who are giving birth and children who are being born. Just within the last year, I had one friend who had previously birthed a dead baby in a home-birth give birth to another almost-dead baby in the hospital, where he was able to be revived and is now healthy; another friend hemorrhaged after birthing a healthy baby girl and came very close to dying–she would have if she had been at home. Two other friends had pretty serious complications after home births, resulting in health problems for their babies. I know that a lot of women successfully home birth, but I feel that the most responsible choice I can make for myself and my child is to provide immediate access to the medical interventions that might save our lives, should it come to that. Would I sacrifice my ideals for that? Yes. I honor without judgment others’ choice to birth at home, but I would rather birth in a hospital birthing center, just in case.

  • L December 19, 2010, 8:17 pm

    As an anesthesia provider, please check out this webpage dedicated to patient knowledge, from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
    It is much more accurate than a google search or what other bloggers may be saying.

  • Amanda December 19, 2010, 8:17 pm

    As an obstetrician I feel as though I should chime in here. I strongly believe that women should be aware and educated about their bodies, but many times this can be a blessing and a curse. I have had numerous patients who come in with a set birthing plan, and when something goes wrong and that birthing plan is no longer safe for mother or baby the mothers are resistant to change.

    Although you can research for months on the internet and read numerous books about childbirth, your knowledge is NOT going to be equal to the knowledge of your OB/GYN. We have completed med school and interned and trained in order to deliver babies. I know every mother wants to think they know what’s best for their child, but you NEED to trust your doctor.

    • Carin December 19, 2010, 8:32 pm

      Well said, Amanda – I think that it’s possible to read so much beforehand that you almost feel like an expert, when all you are really is an individual who has absorbed lots of other individual – and inherantly subjective – stories. There’s a fine line between feeling empowered and being arrogant – I know that I made it difficult for my midwife to get the message across that what she was proposing was the safest and best course of action. I think that expectant mothers shouldn’t have birthing plans, just birthing preferences – which acknowledge the need to change and adapt in what is a stressful, albeit exciting, time.

      You’re not thinking straight at that time – I commented on my male anaesthesiologist’s luxuriant hair to my husband and midwife, who cracked up – to them (and to me, looking back at the video)it was really obvious that it was a wig!

      • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 8:35 pm

        Well, I can certainly appreciate education and experience! 🙂

        Carin, I like what you said about birthing preferences. You’ve got to be willing to be flexible, I suppose!

    • Samantha @ Mama Notes December 19, 2010, 8:45 pm

      I agree with this, obviously a doctor is more educated than me, HOWEVER, you (the pregnant mom) has to remember that it is HER body and HER baby. In an emergency type situation, I think this is much different. But in a natural, healthy deliever, the mom knows best. For example, my doctor wanted me in certain positions, I didn’t listen. My doctor wanted me to have a hep lock (with 1st baby) I didn’t listen… I know my body and my baby are going to do what they need to do.

      … it’s sort of hard to explain, I guess. 🙂

      • Justine December 20, 2010, 12:15 am

        Not sure how an IV is going to help/hurt your body?? It’s just there in case, like insurance.

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes December 19, 2010, 8:42 pm

    My review on this movie is here

    I have a drug free natural hospital birth with both my babies. I would love a home birth next time, I just need to convince my hubby 😉

  • Anna December 19, 2010, 8:48 pm

    This is definitely a fascinating topic- so much to consider. I’m also really interested in what motivates someone to have a home birth vs. a hospital birth. It’s not always the super crunchy hippie types that you’d expect. On the flipside, my super crunchy hippie boss on the farm where I worked this summer went straight to the hospital for both her kids’ births. I would have expected the opposite! But she is kind of on the older side I can see how she’d want to be in the hospital were complications to arise.

  • JenRD December 19, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Very interesting documentary! I have not had a baby (yet) but several of my friends have. One of my friends was very much in favor of having a doula and/or midwife during her delivery. Unfortunately, she developed gestational diabetes, and therefore was considered “high risk” (there are more potential delivery risks to mom and baby for a gestational diabetic), so she was told that she had to deliver in a hospital. So she saw a midwife and OB throughout her pregnancy. She actually found a hospital which was willing to let a midwife assist in the delivery, and if something went wrong, they only had to call her OB (or a OB in the hospital) to assist.
    Out of curiosity, I just checked my insurance company’s website to see if a midwife is covered, and it is not even an option in selecting a practitioner for pregnancy & delivery!

  • molly December 19, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Hi Caitlin!

    It is definitely an interesting movie and one we actually watched at my med school (future doctors getting differing perspectives). I think that the whole debate on home delivery vs hospital is something fairly personal so I cannot judge either way (I’d probably do hospital but that’s because I’d feel more comfortable there ironically because I would know that if things went awry I would be in good hands). That being said, one option (not sure if in Charlotte) is that a lot of midwives are actually affiliated with different hospitals so that should something go awry in home birth, you have immediate access to hospital care. Its nice to have the option of home delivery with the piece of mind that there is support if something should not go smoothly.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 8:59 pm

      Cool that you watched it in med school!

      I will definitely look into hospital-supported midwives!

  • Nikka December 19, 2010, 9:08 pm

    I am so glad you got to watch this!!!

  • Jenna December 19, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the link my dear! I always see a huge spike whenever you link to me 🙂 The comments here have been really interesting. I’m so passionate about what I believe that I always pick fights. You do a great job of responding thoughtfully and intelligently to everyone who takes the time to write something. I want to be more like you!

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 9:10 pm

      Haha you’re welcome.

  • Charlie December 19, 2010, 9:09 pm

    I don’t think I’ll want a home birth but I do want (in an ideal world) a birth plan & natural birth. I had a developmental psychology class last year AND an infancy & toddler hood class this year and we talked about birth in both – convinced me not to use medication.

    I think everyone should make their own decision but I also think a lot of women don’t inform themselves enough about this. A lot just listen to one doctor and do what he says. The first gynecologist my mother had when she was pregnant with my brother wanted to schedule her delivery with an induced delivery and she had to change her doctor!

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 9:11 pm

      YES – it worries me that people just accept what one institution says.

  • Ellie December 19, 2010, 9:12 pm

    As always this is a very interesting discussion. I have what seems like a quite different view to a lot of people who have already commented. I find the idea of a home birth unbelievably terrifying. I definitely want all the pain killing drugs imaginable – I hate pain!!! I admittedly find the idea of an epidural rather freaky not so much because of it itself but because the idea of having a urinary catheter is so awful to me that I literally tear up just thinking about it. Anyway, I guess when I have kids, I’ll want to learn more details about the process in general but I would definitely never want to do a home birth.

  • twiseman December 19, 2010, 9:26 pm

    **Sorry about the incredibly long comment…

    For the delivery of my daughter i went to the hospital, worst experience i ever had, i cant remember much, but i wasnt on any drugs.
    It started 2 am in the morning when i got up for a 2 hour bathroom wake up call on the morning of feb 21st 2008, i went to the washroom and sat down and then wooosh my water broke out of no where, i was there for a good 10 minutes waiting for all the fluid to come out, and went to my moms room and told her my water broke (i was 17 at the time so i lived with my mother naturally) she jumped out of bed and started rushing around trying to gather up the necessities like tooth brush and such that had been left out of my hospital bag, and i called my boyfriend/baby’s daddy, and him and his mom came and got me and drove me to the hospital, there was no wheelchair to be found so i had to walk from the ER to the maternity ward elevator i was not having any contractions at this point but they told me as soon as my water breaks to go the hospital, i was in the ward for about 2 hours just waiting for them to decide what to do, they poked and had students flowing in and out constantly (our hospital is apart of the university so there are students everywhere it was super annoying) and after those long hours where they forced me to lay down on my back even though it cause me a huge amount of pain (my Pelvis bone broke about 1 1/2 and it was painful to lay on my back)
    they said i had atleast 24 hours ahead of me and they sent my family home and sent me to the place with all the people with babies to sleep, and no more then 18 mins later i had awaken everyone and their babies in the room with my gasps of pain and suppressing the crying, i was expecting pain so i didn’t bother to call the nurse cause they just said i had 24 hours, well someone pressed the red button and they took me to the delivery room right they asked where i wanted to sit down or lay down to and so i sat in the shower with the water hitting my back for ago hour or so, by then my family had all been called back i wanted drugs really bad, for 5 hours they said i went along to fast for any type of pain meds, i asked for water they refused only offering me a few ice chips every few mins just to wet my mouth, my boyfriend hugged the wall basically scared to death, my sister was with me the whole time cheering me on and after 5 hours of natural child birth and screaming to die my daughter was born, they said she was a perfect example of a healthy baby, and let my boyfriend hold her while they stitched me up(with out any needles to dull the pain of the stitches. i went home 2 days later. but that wasn’t the end of the story, 3 weeks later i was getting ready to go back to school, and i hemorrhaged at around 3:30(i would of been on the school bus going home if i had went that day like i had planned to) i went to the hospital they poked probed and sent me home saying there wasn’t anything wrong with me, 5 hours later it happened again, after a day they found a piece of my placenta had been left inside me after 2 days waiting for sugary and not being allowed to eat anything. i was put under and had surgery. i woke up alone for about 1 hour just waiting for someone to come see i was awake i could barely move i had so many tubes hooked up to me and i was groggy, they took me to a recovery room, where the other patents were extremely rude cause after about 50 blood test i’d actually cry when time came for another one i could hear them say “jeesh its only a blood test” mean while they weren’t they ones covered in bruises but anyways they sent me home after a night there in recovery.

    so the moral of my story is that, bad experiences happen in all situations just research before you choose which option is best for you, i never even bothered researching home births cause it wasn’t my home to give birth in , i wish i could of have a home birth, i would of been allowed to control my experience, and not have one of the worst
    experiences of my life(and i have had many)

    **Once again sorry for the long comment

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 9:28 pm

      Ohmigod you POOR THING! And to be so young – that must’ve been terrifying.

      • twiseman December 19, 2010, 9:42 pm

        it was, i bounced right back though, 2 weeks later i was in gym playing hockey and accidentally broke someone to the hospital with a broken finger… but yea, i think it would be awesome to see your take on pregnancy and a the birthing experience.
        I’m not planning on having another one till I’m done school for LPN (about 2- 3 years). but after that i might totally try a home birthing experience, being able to bake a birthday cake like that wife did sounds like a wicked idea and drinking water till i have to push will be a godsend.

  • Lisa December 19, 2010, 9:37 pm

    I’m currently 13 weeks pregnant with my First Baby:)
    I have a midwife. I’m opting for a hospital birth with the Midwife. There are special birthing suites with full tubs for water births too. My Midwife allows Mothers and Their newborns to come home within 3 hours if the have a hospital birth. I chose the hospital and not at home for the just in case moments. I’d never be able to forgive myself if something wrong did arise. Also, I’m glad I get to leave the mess there! I can only imagine what comes out!

  • Amber December 19, 2010, 9:39 pm

    I am also a labor and delivery nurse. In my practice, I strive to accomodate whatever my mama’s want to do. As long as the baby’s okay, I don’t care what they want (i.e. jacuzzi tubs, intermittent monitoring, saline lock (not being hooked up to iv fluids), birthing ball, walking, beating on drums haha). This is the same for all of my colleagues, MD’s, and midwives. We want, and encourage you, to make labor and delivery your own. We don’t force pain meds and epidurals on patients like trolls out of hell. : ) We’re not allowed to do that. We provide the options and education, and let you take it from there.
    As for home births. I absolutely would not go there. Knowing what I know, and seeing what I’ve seen, it’s just not the safest choice. There have been plenty of times when immediate intervention was needed to save a baby’s life (as well as mom’s), and without the availability of meds, OR’s, and medical equipment, the results would have been death. (I would like to add that these things do happen in normal, unmedicated labors) There have also been times when mama’s have shown up after attempting home delivery to only end up with a dead infant. Obviously, those are not the results of every home birth. I’m not saying that if you choose to deliver at home, your baby will die. That’s ridiculous. But, if the goal is for mom and baby to be healthy, I truly believe a hospital is the place to be. If,heaven forbid, something goes wrong, you want to be able to have the experienced staff and equipment readily available. There are plenty of times in life to take risks, but the birth of your child is not one of them.

    • Caitlin December 19, 2010, 9:41 pm

      You sound like a nurse I would want in my corner!

      • twiseman December 19, 2010, 9:47 pm

        wish i had a nurse like you during my childbirth. mine barely talked to me besides telling me not to scream out in pain because i was disturbing other patients or denying me water.

        keep up your awesome nursing!!

  • Holli December 19, 2010, 9:49 pm

    I love that movie! I am a firm believer in every woman having the right to choose the birth that is best for her, but for me, a natural birth was very, very important. I did have my daughter in a hospital, but with a doula present and advocating for my needs. Luckily I labored at home long enough that I didn’t even get pressured for an epidural. If you’re interested, the birth story is at

  • Jessica December 19, 2010, 9:49 pm

    I have not had kids and probably won’t be for a few years, but I can tell you this as someone who has had medical problems in the past- I most likely wouldn’t consider anything BUT a hospital birth. I think the main thing is for expectant mothers to find an OB-GYN they are comfortable with and trust and who respects and listens to their concerns and so on, as well as a hospital they have toured and feel comfortable with for their birth.

    Childbirth, so much can go wrong. we have so much technology now to help prevent things from going wrong. If I start bleeding out or if my baby isn’t breathing, I would want doctors and nurses there, not a midwife and not waiting for an ambulance.

    I think hospital are beginning to realize they need to provide more options for childbirth for mothers and in the next few years I think a lot of hospitals and doctors will have things like water birth options, etc.

    But, ultimately, it’s up the the mother and father of the baby.

  • Brandy December 19, 2010, 9:57 pm

    I had a planned home birth about four months ago. It was a truly amazing experience. I was a “no-risk” patient (27, no health issues) with a normal, boring pregnancy. I had a great labor and delivery and a beautiful healthy baby boy. I wouldn’t do it any other way from this point on. Be happy to answer any questions you may have about the experience. 🙂

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska December 19, 2010, 10:03 pm

    I would love to see this film! I hope to have a home birth with a midwife when we plan to have children. My husband isn’t so sure of this idea, but all I’ve heard from people that have done both home birth and in a hospital swear that the home birth was easier and much less scary. We’ll see in 2 years or so if that’s true for me. 🙂

  • Lisa December 19, 2010, 10:06 pm

    What a great topic! I love reading the comments. Definitely stuff to keep in mind for the future (however far off that may be!) Thanks!

  • ida December 19, 2010, 10:10 pm

    I thought Heather’s (HEAB) post on her delivery was fascinating. It seems like it’s possible to make requests to have a hospital birth on your own terms. And honestly I wouldn’t want to have to deal with the laundry after a home birth:)

  • Katie December 19, 2010, 10:17 pm

    I watched that documentary a few months ago. Definitely something to think about, but I thought it was really biased, I think so many documentaries are and that kind of sucks! I just want to know what’s going on! 😉

  • Lacey @ Lake Life December 19, 2010, 10:34 pm

    My day has included too much cookie making and frosting and reminded me why I hate baking lol.

    Love the idea of cold roasted broccoli on a salad!

  • Meghan December 19, 2010, 10:54 pm

    For my first child I had an unmedicated hospital birth (arrived when I was 8cm and had my son an hour after arrival). I had my second child at home with a midwife and a nurse. It was a wonderful experience and I am planning another homebirth for my third that is due in April.

    Naturally you will hear horror stories regarding either option. I believe it is best to educate yourself and meet with professionals on both sides prior to making a decision. I personally believe a planned homebirth with midwives is as safe (if not safer) than hospital births for low-risk moms and babies. It frustrates me when people say infant deaths could have been prevented if born in a hospital. It is extremely rare for infants to die because of homebirth. Birthing your baby in a hospital does not insure your baby will be born healthy..

  • alli December 20, 2010, 12:11 am

    this is quite the topic! 🙂 i can’t not comment, though too 🙂
    i just had my first baby 11 weeks ago at home and it was wonderful!!!! i had a water birth and it was great.
    im not going to say one place is better to deliver at than another, i think it depends on the person, pregnancy and other circumstances.
    i do think you are being so smart about this by doing research ahead of time!! it took us 4 years to get pregnant and i spent that time researching and figuring out what type of birth i wanted. i feel blessed that i got exactly the birth that i wanted. but most importantly, i got my beautiful baby boy.
    is your husband watching it with you? my dh and i watched it together-i did wish i could have warned him ahead of time about ricky’s boobies! haha- i had no idea it’d show *that* much. i should have known, i mean it is a movie about birth!
    good luck when the time comes, i think no matter what method you choose, it will be right for you 🙂

    • Caitlin December 20, 2010, 10:43 am

      He didn’t watch it with me but I bet he would’ve liked Ricki Lake’s boobies!

  • Emily December 20, 2010, 12:46 am

    OK, I know home births are topical since this is a health blog, but sooooo much baby talk lately! I hope this doesn’t turn into a mommy blog. 🙁

    • Caitlin December 20, 2010, 10:45 am

      I solemnly swear that when I become a mommy, my blog will not become a mommy blog. I like reading mommy blogs but I personally would not want to do one. This blog will always stay a health and foodie blog!

      • Emily December 21, 2010, 9:21 am

        You’re so sweet for replying! And good, I’m glad. 🙂

  • Amanda December 20, 2010, 1:02 am

    Seeing as how I work in a hospital, the blood bank actually, I don’t think I could deliver at home. Knowing what I know and all the emergencies that have happened at work. But I certainly would never question why somebody would want a home birth. I think it’s rather empowering : )

  • elaine! December 20, 2010, 2:44 am

    Really interesting discussion going on here in the comments. On one hand, I don’t want to give birth at a hospital because the way ours handled my niece’s birth was a near disaster. On the other hand, something terrible could have happened had they not been at a hospital. And my one friend who intended to deliver at home ended up having to go to the hospital anyway.

    And then you always hear about the women who unexpectedly go into labor and deliver a totally healthy kid in a public bathroom or something. Or there’s that show, “I didn’t know I was pregnant” — WTF!?

    If I had a choice, I’d probably want to find a birthing center. But since there’s nothing like that in my area, I’d look for: a certified midwife who could help me deliver at home with an emergency plan for a quick trip to the hospital; or a hospital and obstetrician willing to work with me and a certified midwife.

  • Sarah December 20, 2010, 7:29 am

    I have had two children by c-section. Not elective…I was in labor and my son was in distress. If I had not been in a hospital both him and myself would not be here. I’m all for choices and exploring your options. When I see a homebirth…all I can think about is my situation and it could happen to anyone. A healthy baby and mommy is the most important thing.

  • whit December 20, 2010, 9:06 am

    My mom was a hippie before it was cool, because myself and all my sisters were born at home and she subsequently homeschooled all of us. Fun facts.

    Anyway, just like anything else, it is something to research and to be sure you feel comfortable with. I know some people that use a birthing center vs. home birth, because you have somewhat the same atmosphere, along with a midwife and all, but it is in close proximity to a hospital or doctor, in case of ’emergency’.

    • Caitlin December 20, 2010, 10:45 am

      I didn’t know you were born at home and homeschooled!!!

  • Jess December 20, 2010, 9:47 am

    I’m pregnant with my first baby. I picked a OB that partners with a midwifery practice. So I can choose to use either service. I’ve seen the Business of Being Born several times now, and while I understand while people choose to do a home birth, I would never, there are just so many things that could go wrong.

    Right now, I’m trying to decide if I want to continue with the OB or go with a midwife. Either way I go, I’ll be in the hospital birthing center just in case something happens. I can still have my delivery exactly how I want it, just not in my own house. Luckily I have 6 more months to decide what I want to do.

  • Amy December 20, 2010, 10:44 am

    Caitlin – Thank you so much for starting this discussion. I’m not super-close to having babies of my own yet (although baby-fever has set in, BIG time…), but I’m learning all I can now, just like you. I find this stuff fascinating– knowledge is power 🙂

    My SIL just gave birth to her son yesterday morning (woohoo!)– and she had planned a home birth, but ended up in the hospital (Mama & baby are doing fine!) She always said the most important thing for her was that she could trust midwife to know “when to make the call” … for the safety of her and the baby. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole story, but we are all just so thankful for a healthy baby!

    • Caitlin December 20, 2010, 10:46 am

      Congrats on the birth of your nephew!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats December 20, 2010, 11:14 am

    This is such an interesting discussion and it’s so great to hear from people with such wide-ranging opinions and experiences. I am becoming more interested in birthing stories and learning about delivery options because I found out that I would have to have heart surgery to repair my aorta and a heart valve (a congenital defect) before having kids in the next 3-5 years. This puts a totally different spin on what I’d like to have vs. what I might actually have to have, i.e. a vaginal, natural birth vs. a c-section to prevent strain on the heart.

    It’s really interesting and I’m trying not to think about it TOO much at this point (because I’m not even engaged yet!), but I think the main thing is to prepare for the best and worst case scenarios, and try to be flexible for my and my baby’s health – like many people have mentioned. It helps that my mom is a nurse practitioner and my boyfriend’s stepmom is a doctor – so important to find medical professionals that you like and trust!

  • Hannah December 20, 2010, 11:52 am

    I just watched the Business of Being Born last week and it was amazing to see. Very eye-opening and interesting. I don’t plan on having kids for a while, so I was relieved to have some time to think about this, but it is terrifying how the birthing process seems to work.

  • Cinemarie December 20, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Wow what a great topic and how cool it is to see all the replies!
    I wanted to chime in and offer my opinion, since I had a healthy and happy home birth myself, my first baby was born 12 weeks ago, on September 24th, 2010 🙂
    There are positive things and negative things about home births just the same way there are positive and negative things about hospital births so I think it really comes down to each woman’s personal choice.
    And regardless of where the birth happens, one must remain flexible – things don’t always happen the way you plan them and also, the day of the birth, you might even change your mind about certain things you were absolutely firm about. I know I did! 🙂
    Things I liked about my home birth: I was able to be in a familiar and quiet environment, I was able to labor the way I chose (in a birthing pool – soooo good!), using the relaxation techniques that I chose (Hypnobirthing!!! worked SO WELL for me! I suggest you look into it if you are interested in all things birth – it’s really interesting, not for everybody but interesting nonetheless:)
    I had midwives I was familiar with taking care of me…
    The whole time I was quietly going through contractions, requesting that people shut up when I did – I was concentrating on them and the quiet was helping, hee hee Contractions were just like bad menstrual cramps and I knew they were only 1.5 minutes long, so I would say to myself, just a minute and a half and then you get a break… 🙂
    Once baby was born, I was home! That part was awesome. Our boy was born at 6h19pm, so at around 9pm our little family was comfortable and at home, staring into each others eyes realizing that OMG there was a birth in this house just a few hours ago, woah! 🙂
    We were lucky enough to live right by a hospital so I knew that if anything happened we could quickly go there…
    There were minor unexpected things like the baby coming out with a hand behind his head – but I didn’t even tear!! I was so afraid of that:)
    Anyways, I just wanted to say that I had a great experience, O have the most beautiful, healthy and happy boy in the world and I would do it the same way again for sure!

  • Heather December 20, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I would never judge anyone for their decision (I have a very dear friend who just had a great at home birth this weekend!), but I would just say please think long and hard about it! Our son ended up having to stay in the NICU for 2 1/2 weeks and we were so thankful we were 1)at a hospital and 2)at one that had an awesome NICU. We had some good friends who had their son a few months later and he didn’t breath for 20 minutes…again, they were very thankful to be at the hospital! (both kids are well and healthy now – so thankful!!).

    Just some things to think about. This topic is near and dear to my heart. Of course you could always plan an at-home w/ a back up plan being the hospital! 🙂 Good luck in your reasearch once it gets closer! I’ll be looking forward to reading about it. 🙂

  • Amber K December 20, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I have to agree with another comment. While I like the idea of a home birth, I just don’t think I could do it.

  • LadyLara December 20, 2010, 2:16 pm

    TBOBB is good, but there was a great article in the New Yorker a few years ago about the same subject if you can find it. Their main point was that Cesarians are more recommended now because they are a surgical procedure with standard steps you can teach (and defend should things go awry and there is a lawsuit). However Caesarians are usually more dangerous for the mother. Traditional birthing methods are more of an “art” and rely on the skill of the deliverer. With this context I can understand why things have changed.

    The article also mentioned the danger of idealizing a “natural” birth. Births in nature are brutal and dangerous, and not always successful.

  • kristin December 20, 2010, 2:39 pm

    i love all the comments on this, such an interesting topic. I love the way you always bring up topics in a neutral way so everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinion.

  • Wendy December 20, 2010, 5:53 pm

    Joining the conversation a bit late – I am a mom to two babies, now almost-4 and almost-6 years old. Both of them were born in a hospital setting, and I chose to have an epidural with both.

    I had great experiences both times – the doctors and nurses were very caring and attentive. The epidurals relieved my pain, but did not make me totally numb – they actually turned it off 10-15 mintues before I started to push so I could feel the pressure and push more effectively. The only side effect I had, both times, was that the epi caused my BP to drop and my labor to stall, so I did have to have the pitocin. However, it really wasn’t an issue, and both my babies were healthy, strong, and ready to nurse.

    I live in a relatively rural area, so my options were limited. We had to drive about 25 minutes to the hospital where I delivered, and if we’d had wanted a birthing center option or pre-natal midwife care, we would have had to drive well over an hour. So where you live and the resources available to you also have an impact on the birth choices you make.

    Although I’ve only delivered with an epidural in a hospital, there is one thing I think you have to keep in mind if you are thinking about a drug-free birth. You have to be ok with your mind losing control and your body taking over the process. I think I could have handled the pain, but being a type-A, I was not ok with not being in control. I enjoyed laughing and joking with my husband during the delivery, and even took a nap in the late stages of labor with my daughter (a blessing – I had been awake for over 24 hours).

    I could go on for days, but I’ll leave it at that! Good luck with your future BabyHTP decisions!

    • Caitlin December 20, 2010, 9:17 pm

      Oh man! I would’ve been so scared to get in a car and drive 25 miles while in labor! 🙂 Even as the passenger!

      • Wendy December 20, 2010, 9:33 pm

        lol not as bad as it sounds, really. Contractions 5 minutes apart = about 5 contractions in the car. And these were early labor contractions, not the OMG, I’m having this baby NOW contractions. 🙂 Some of my local friends actually DO drive over an hour to have their babies b/c we only have a handful of local OBs and no midwives closer by.

        My best friend had a midwife-attended hospital birth with no meds in WV. Sounds like a great option to me! I don’t think hospitals are as restrictive as you might think, so I guess the take-home point is do your homework and check out ALL your options!

  • Kori December 20, 2010, 10:33 pm

    I love The Business of Being Born! I’m so into home birth it’s ridiculous.

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