I know you want a powerful and positive birth experience, and that your goal is to go unmedicated in the hospital setting, usually easier said than done because the hospital isn’t always set up to support us unmedicated moms. So I am sharing my two biggest birth tips for going unmedicated in the hospital. Plus- why the 5-1-1 rule doesn’t apply to you AND why you need to start thinking about your sac of waters now.
Learn more about the cascade of interventions in episode 10.
Download your free DIY Research checklist
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What I want to talk about is my top two birth tips, specifically for the mom who wants to go unmedicated and unmedicated in the hospital. Okay, I have to preface this by saying that like duh, the best tip is to get educated. But getting educated is such a broad tip. You know I am team “knowledge is power”. That’s how I teach you to take control of your birth and have a really positive and powerful birth experience. But getting educated is so broad it includes like all these little things and all these other tips that once you get educated make sense, right? Like once you actually understand the physiological birth process. You get educated on that and then it’s like, oh, yeah, okay, these tips make sense because I’m educated on birth. So these are the two, top tangible tips. And surface level, they don’t have as much value to them. But once you get educated, you really understand why and it just all clicks, it all makes a lot of sense. So let’s just go over them.
And this has everything to do with the cascade of interventions because you can have the best intentions but the longer you are in that clinical medicalized setting, the more opportunities for interventions will present themselves. So if you can show up, ready for the second stage of labor, and the second stage is the part where the baby comes out. Otherwise called the pushing stage. Inside of Unmedicated Academy, we call it the no push pushing stage because I teach you how to not push your baby out. Or sometimes it’s called intuitive pushing versus coach pushing but anyways, if you show up in that second stage of labor, then there’s literally no time for interventions, not at all. And the problem is that the typical rule in a typical childbirth education course, or the typical article on the internet, if you Google, when do I go into the hospital, you’re going to get the 5-1-1 rule. Sometimes it’s the 4-1-1 rule. Even if you download an app for timing contractions, it has the 5-1-1 rule coded into it, and it will tell you like oh, you should go to the hospital. Now. Your contractions are picking up.
The 5-1-1 rule gets you to the hospital in early active labor. It’s created for the typical hospital birth. It gets you to the hospital, usually with plenty of time to get all the interventions in place before your baby comes out. So if that’s not what you want, you can’t follow that typical rule, that typical advice. If you’re low risk and you’re wanting a hands off birth, you’re going to be doing the same thing in the hospital to manage labor that you’d be doing at home to manage labor. So what’s the rush and going in? You are going to be a lot more comfortable if you are at home. Your hormones are going to work better and are going to support the progress of your labor better if you are in a familiar, safe and comfortable environment like your home. Not to mention no one at home is pressuring you to have a cervical check to get an IV to have an epidural. No one’s telling you you can’t get in the shower. Nothing like that is happening. So it’s also just much less stress at home as you just do your thing and you let your body do its thing. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t go to the hospital too early. So it’s twofold. One, you’re more comfortable, you’re more likely to progress at home. And two, you are less likely to fall victim to the cascade of interventions if you labor as long as you can at home. If you check out episode 10, I go over what the cascade of interventions is and how that works. But basically, one intervention, interrupts birth enough to require more interventions and then more and more and more. It’s just a cascade effect. And this is how we end up with birth being super medicalized.
Okay, so tip number one. Do not get to the hospital too early.
And so you’re like well Lizzie, what? What am I supposed to do then? How do I know when to go in to support unmedicated?
I have a whole lesson on this and it’s like a 40 minute lesson. It’s so good. I teach you all about early labor and the progress that labor makes so you can better identify when you’re in late active labor. And the trick that I use is called tips. And it’s the acronym TIIPS. So instead of relying on the 5-1-1 rule, which only incorporates timing, we are going to incorporate yes, the timing of the contractions. We’re still going to time contractions, but we’re going to wait till they’re a little more frequent closer together than 5-1-1. We’re going to do timing, that’s the “T”. “I” is intuition, you’re going to trust your intuition. And this can go both ways. It can be like your intuition that like, it’s just not time, I’m not feeling like it’s time yet. Or it could be your intuition saying like, it’s time we need to go and intuition sometimes is a lot more accurate than all the other things. Although, I will say first time moms tend to go in too early. And it’s not necessarily that their intuition is telling them to. It’s just like that’s how they’ve been taught and they’ve been primed and they’re so excited. First time moms are so excited to meet their babies. They don’t really know what the rest of labor looks like. So they go in to get confirmation. Yes, your body’s doing what it’s supposed to do. But I promise your body’s doing what it’s supposed to do and you don’t need a cervical check or an outside source to tell you that and part of getting educated is that you really connect better with what your body is doing. You understand it more and it’s easier to make decisions in your birth when you understand exactly how it works. So intuition is the first “I” the second “I” is intensity. So measuring the intensity of contractions is a good way to determine when to go in. “P” stands for pressure if you’re feeling any pressure or if you’re feeling pushy, that’s a sign to go in. And then “S” is situation and this part is individual to every every mom and every situation, like How far are you from the hospital? Do you have kids? Are you waiting for a doula? Everyone’s situation is different. So in that lesson, we go over a few situations and things to consider in terms of like timing and getting to the hospital based on some of those different situational circumstances.
Alright, so that’s number one. Don’t get there too early. Use TIIPS instead of the 5-1-1 rule to help with that.
An induction is a surefire way to go straight into unmanageable labor, like zero to 100. And that’s because Pitocin is synthetic oxytocin. So oxytocin is the hormone that our bodies create to birth our babies and our body creates it naturally in multiple circumstances, but one being to cause contractions. So we can have our baby, move baby through the birth canal, dilate our cervix- all thanks to oxytocin. Pitocin is the synthetic form of oxytocin. So while it does cause contractions, it can open your cervix, it can birth your baby. Those contractions are really strong. And it’s not- well it depends how responsible and what kind of dosage you’re getting from your provider. But it can ramp up super fast and it becomes unmanageable. Super fast.
And the other downfall of Pitocin is that Pitocin does not pass the blood brain barrier. Oxytocin does. So oxytocin can help lower your stress and your pain levels. And Pitocin doesn’t do that. So oxytocin has this extra benefit to it, which is why our bodies really want us to birth unmedicated and the Pitocin will not do that. So you’re getting very strong contractions without the benefit of having that lower stress, lower pain level benefit of oxytocin, birth is getting really unmanageable here.
Not to mention that inductions should never be taken lightly. Because an induction that doesn’t work or an induction that takes too long. That’s called a failed induction. When you have a failed induction, that means you’re having a cesarean, so an induction shouldn’t be something we resort to, just to keep birth convenient. Like so that you can have the provider that you want, so you can avoid a holiday, just because you’re at 40 weeks. It should be reserved for medical emergencies, medical situations. Complications only, there should be a medical reason for all inductions. Because why? Why would we intervene with something that was going to happen on its own in the first place? And the thing is, the closer that you are to labor starting the more successful your induction may be but we don’t really know when that best time is for sure. When we have moms that are 40 weeks and the provider is wanting to induce or maybe they’re tired of being pregnant and they are thinking about doing an induction- it could work just fine for them if they were going to go into labor in the next couple of days anyways. But maybe they’re naturally a 42 weaker and they have no idea and you start that induction process and their body was not ready to go into labor and now they’ve had a failed induction. And this is why you hear some women say that their induction was fine and some other women say that their induction was like the worst thing in the world.
I can’t tell you how many moms come to me and say I absolutely will do anything to not have to have Pitocin again to not be induced again because it’s the worst. And I mean, honestly like the moms that are saying their induction was fine. Those might be the moms that were planning on getting an epidural anyways, so it doesn’t really apply. Their opinion doesn’t apply to this situation of wanting an unmedicated birth like those are apples and oranges you cannot compare them. So, there are many variables that dictate which way an induction will go. And the timing is one. Like I kind of mentioned already. How the provider doses it is another one. It’s just not worth it outside of a true medical reason to induce it is not worth it for convenience sake. It it will possibly ruin your goal to go unmedicated now, I mean, there’s plenty of moms who had Pitocin and still had an unmedicated birth but there’s many many many moms who wanted to go unmedicated ended up medicalizing their birth and needing Pitocin and were not able to have the birth that they wanted, that unmedicated birth.
This just kind of circles back also to getting really educated. Pitocin is definitely one to research because it’s not just what the provider says it is. I feel like it’s so casually mentioned and suggested. It shouldn’t be so it’s really important to know the side effects and what it does and what it doesn’t do, and really understand so you can make an educated decision on Yes, I want Pitocin No, I don’t want Pitocin. I want Pitocin in this case, but not this case. That sort of thing. Which is exactly why I created the DIY research checklist for you. So if you are DIYing your birth education, you’re tuning into The Birth Class Podcast to get yourself educated, and you’re ready to dive into knowing about the interventions. Then you need this list. It’s going help you a ton when you’re writing your birth plan, because you’re already going to have researched everything that you need to check yes or no on your birth plan. And if you’re like, Lizzie, I don’t have time to do all this research. I don’t know how you research all of this and get the information dissected and it can be kind of confusing. I am not going to lie I have read many research articles. Multiple times before I have understood that. It’s a lot of work and I’ve been doing it for a lot of time, which is why I created the Informed Intervention Workshop which lives inside of Unmedicated Academy, and in that workshop, I break down the interventions for you. And I give you the research so you can just click and you don’t have to go digging through the internet to find that research. So inside the workshop, you get a checklist already researched for you and we go over how to advocate for those things that you want. So it’s really perfect for the mom who’s having an unmedicated hospital birth that really needs to know all about what’s happening in the hospital and how to advocate for what she wants.
And Unmedicated Academy includes everything you need to feel really empowered and powerful walking into your birth walking into your hospital birth. But Informed Intervention Workshop is also available as a standalone, which really makes it the perfect addition to like a traditional birth ed course or like a hypnobirthing course. Or maybe you already had an unmedicated birth, you already have a really strong belief in birth, you just need to know about the interventions and how to advocate for what you want. Then the standalone workshop is perfect for you. You can find out more about the informed intervention workshop and exactly what’s inside at lizziebolliger.com/IIW for informed intervention workshop and I’ll link it in the show notes for you as well.
So that’s it. Those are my two tips. Super easy, super simple. Of course, there’s a lot more that you should get educated on before you go into your unmedicated hospital birth. But these two are two really simple, easy, tangible tips to avoid the interventions and have a successful unmedicated birth.
Don’t go to the hospital too early
Avoid Pitocin induction at all costs and just let labor start on its own
Alright, that’s all I have for you today. As always, if you found this episode helpful if you enjoyed it, screenshot it, share it and tag me. I love seeing that you are listening to it.