Is this even possible? Yes. Today, “fetal distress” is a leading cause for a c-section. So how can it be avoided?
How to Avoid Fetal Distress
1. Refuse EFM, Electronic Fetal Monitoring. This is your birth. This should be your choice. Many hospitals may ‘require’ you to be monitored using EFM; however, you have the choice to refuse! If you don’t have to guts to refuse a health professional, then I advise hiring a doula to speak for you. Why is this important? There is significant data that shows the increased risk of c-section with an increase of EFM use. Here’s a quote from the 2005 Practice Bulletin #70 of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
“Despite its widespread use, there is controversy about the efficacy of EFM. Moreover, there is evidence that the use of EFM increases the rate of cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries. Given that the available data do not clearly support the use of EFM over intermittent ausculation, either option is acceptable in a patient without complications.” (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Intrapartum Fetal Heart-Rate Monitoring 106 (6), 1463-1561.)
Ditch that 40-week estimated due date that you were given, even if they measured using an ultrasound! A study that came out in June of 2013 showed that the gestation period for normal, unassisted pregnancy through birth can vary up to five weeks. If this is the case, why aren’t more midwives and consultants giving ‘overdue’ mothers more information?
The study found that though the average length of pregnancy for these 125 mothers was 38 weeks and 2 days, the range of the data has a variance of 5 weeks (to be exact, 37 days). This study included 6 preterm births and 1 scheduled cesarean section, so the data is still not as untouched as I would like to find; but even with these few outliers, the conclusion showed that normal pregnancies are not limited to the 40-week gestation that we’re all used to.
If you look in the bradleybirth.com directory, you’ll find that I am the ONLY Bradley instructor here in the United Kingdom! I received my training in Chicago, Illinois, USA and soon after, my husband took a job here in Hamble, so here I am now!
I have noticed how many HypnoBirthing teachers there are in the area and wanted to help inform you as to what the Bradley Method® is in comparison. Continue reading