1. Refuse medical care
Home births – with or without a doula – are chosen to protect yourself from unnecessary medical interventions and obstetrical aggression. Probably, giving birth in a familiar atmosphere with loved ones is indeed more comfortable than in a delivery room, but the risks are hardly worth it.
Some countries, such as the US and the UK, have specially trained midwives who can be involved in home births, but even there the complication rate is higher than in hospitals. A midwife can notice bad symptoms in time, but will not replace the operating room and intensive care. Moreover, a doula or a woman in labor cannot cope.
How could it be dangerous
The mother may start bleeding that cannot be stopped at home. It happens that healthy women bleed and die in less than two hours. It is the most common cause of maternal death.
The baby can also die during and after childbirth. In addition, there is a high likelihood of serious neurological problems and low Apgar scores, which indicate the condition of the newborn .
2. Give birth in water
The point is that part or all of the process will take place in the water. This method is chosen not only for home, but also for hospital births – for this, some maternity hospitals are equipped with special baths.
Warm water can really help during contractions. According to some reviews, she calms the woman in labor and reduces pain, so it is often possible to do without anesthesia. But, of course, this method is only suitable for uncomplicated pregnancy.
There are also options for giving birth to the ocean and other natural bodies of water, but it is better never to consider such extreme practices.
What could be dangerous
In water , there is a higher risk of infection for both the baby and the mother, as well as an increased likelihood of distress when the baby is unable to cope with childbirth. Because of this, he may empty himself of meconium and swallow water with it, or he may have a heart rhythm during or after birth. This may be due to hypothermia or overheating.
Therefore, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology advises against being in the water during childbirth itself. But if you still decide on this, remember: without a qualified midwife, you can’t do it here. The fact is that in water it is easier to skip heavy bleeding after the separation of the placenta and it is more difficult to remove the child so that the umbilical cord does not strangle or break.
In addition, the midwife must ensure that there is not even a small air gap between the vulva and the water. Otherwise, the baby will begin to breathe ahead of time and, with further advancement and contact with the liquid, will accidentally inhale it.
3. Choose a lotus birth
This is the name of the practice when the umbilical cord is not tied after childbirth. After 3-10 days, it dries up and breaks off, and before that, the child remains connected with the placenta – an organ that is needed for gas exchange and nutrition of the child in the womb, the formation of its immunity.
Perhaps the adherents of this practice, like representatives of some cultures, endow the placenta with mystical spiritual properties. Perhaps they hope that after childbirth, the placenta will have time to make the child healthier. And perhaps this is how they interpret the WHO recommendation that the umbilical cord should not be tied immediately.
The fact is that while the umbilical cord is pulsating, there is blood in it that it can transfer to the baby. For a newborn, even this volume means a lot, so if you wait even a minute, you can reduce the risk that the child will develop anemia in the first year of life. In addition, studies have shown that premature babies who have their umbilical cord tied after a couple of minutes survive better.
What could be dangerous
Leaving the umbilical cord and placenta for several hours, and even more so for days, is dangerous for the newborn. As soon as blood stops flowing in these elements, they begin to deteriorate and become a target for microorganisms. If an infection develops in the placenta, it will threaten the life of the baby.
For example, in 2016, doctors reported an infection that was accompanied by severe damage to the liver of a newborn. And in 2018, information was published on three other cases: infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart) with damage to the tricuspid valve, sepsis and omphalitis (inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous fat around the navel and umbilical cord vessels).
4. Eat the placenta
Someone eats the placenta raw, makes smoothies or fries. But more often food additives are made from it: they are cleaned, cut, dried, ground and packaged in gelatin capsules.
It is believed that eating the placenta prevents anemia and postpartum depression, improves the mother’s well-being, improves lactation. And powder or organ shells can even treat burns and wounds. But scientists are not sure if any beneficial substances are retained after encapsulation.
What could be dangerous
Fresh or cooked placenta can contain its own germs, drugs, and toxins. Especially if the mother smoked during pregnancy, took certain medications (including anesthesia during childbirth), or she developed lactostasis and mastitis.
The situation with capsules is not much different. They only seem to be purified, safe and useful. While there are no laws for the production of supplements and they can be made by anyone and in any way, viruses, bacteria and fungi can get into them. Even supporters of encapsulation talk about this. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is of the same opinion. One of the reports was about a child with late neonatal sepsis caused by group B streptococcus . After investigation, the attending physician determined that the source was in capsules.
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