I'm not sure if i am a candidate for having a natural birth.

I was diagnosed with diabetes 3 months before i became pregnant and my doctors are already planning on inducing my labor at 38 weeks. I am now 29 weeks and just saw the movie and it is a relief to see that there are other women out there that were questioning why so much intervention was needed in what should be a natural process for our bodies. My sugars are under controll and have been for the duration of my pregnancy but they are still thinking i will have a very large baby. My question is has anyone with similar health issues been able to have a natural birth without intervention or being confined to a hospital bed with IV's stuck in them?

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Well, I can't speak from personal experience, but I can tell you about my sisters pregnancy and labor. She was very dedicated to keeping her sugar under control by eating healthy and she had to take insulin. After she had an ultrasound to check the weight doctors told her that her baby would be at least 9lbs. They did induce her due to this reason, but she still had her baby natural. Turns out he was only like 6lbs 9oz and the doctors were shocked. Hope this helps.
Thank you, that gives me hope that i will be able to do the same.

Laura Tackett said:
Well, I can't speak from personal experience, but I can tell you about my sisters pregnancy and labor. She was very dedicated to keeping her sugar under control by eating healthy and she had to take insulin. After she had an ultrasound to check the weight doctors told her that her baby would be at least 9lbs. They did induce her due to this reason, but she still had her baby natural. Turns out he was only like 6lbs 9oz and the doctors were shocked. Hope this helps.
The diabetic moms I have worked with have all had normal sized babies. And I have seen women birth very big babies before, so I personally don't think size should be an issue in whether or not we induce women, but most doctors disagree with this. Labor changes everything, though, with sugar levels, so it is important to be able to monitor you levels and have medications available quickly. I personally feel like having an iv is important to have, but that doesn't mean you need to be induced or have an epidural. Even if you aren't able to fight off the induction battle (I'm pretty sure, the doctor won't want to budge on that one), you can still go without an epidural. You can walk around even if you have an iv, and you can walk with monitors on also. Get a doula, and make sure you have a supportive nurse. If you don't request a different one. Good luck. BTW, I had a 9lb 13 oz baby and I am only 5'6" and 120 lbs..hence my believe that big babies are not the end of the world.
Have you had a ultrasound or are your Dr's just suspecting your baby will be big? I have seen many diabetic women do well throughout pregnancy as long as they were comitted to good diet, exercise and keeping blood sugars in line. I have also seen a natural home birth with a 12 lb 3 oz baby that did very well. It's up to you. It takes more comittment and attention for you but if it is something you want it is do-able. I would seek out a experienced midwife comfortable with natural births. Consider someone well reccomended by others who have had natural births. After going over your medical history you and the midwife can decide if a natural birth is something you would both feel comfortable doing. I would also recommend reading everything you can get your hands on about natural birth. If this is what you want you can do it. Don't allow anyone else freighten or strong arm you into doing something if you feel it isn't right for you and your family. You will have to become an expert in your own care but that is always a good thing and if you want to do a natural birth...do it.
Hope this helps.
Having Diabetes deserves closer attention during the pregnacy and labor but it does not preclude you from having a natural birth. There are a few things that can go wrong in a small percentage of diabetics which is why modern obstretric protocols recommend early delivery after documentation that the baby's lungs are ready. So, it boils down to how you define "natural". It is likely that if you do not go into labor by 38-39 weeks your doctor's plan for induction is the standard recommendation. There are steps you can take to try to be as non-interventionist as possible and the first would be sure that your doctor is amenable to them. There is no reason you need IV fluids as you should be allowed to drink. You would likely need IV access (called a heparin lock) in case medicines such as pitocin, cytotech, antibiotics or insulin are required. You can certainly move around in labor and would benefit from supportive family and a doula. Remember, if your diabetes is well controlled it is really not a hindrance to labor and your baby should be just fine if your blood sugar around delivery time is between 70 and 100. I agree with the other writers that estimated fetal weight is notoriously unreliable and not something that should prevent you from making this as natural an experience as possible. You are doing the right thing by looking to reliable resources to learn and develop good questions to put to your doctor. Enjoy these days. Dr. F
I think your provider will likely push for induction, no matter what. The only problem is that who knows whether your cervix and pelvis will be ready for labor, at just 38 wks. Its likely the induction will fail, anyways, and lead to a section.

In my opinion, its much better to labor spontaneously, without induction, and without pain-relief (so you are free to be mobile, which helps with bigger babies) in this kind of case, unless the baby is beginning to have trouble in the womb from placental decay.

A huge factor in going epi-free with pitocin induction is the ability to move around. Most hospitals (and more are getting on-board) require (and I do mean REQUIRE) constant fetal monitoring for pit-induced moms, which confines you to the bed and mostly on your back...the worst way to labor, no matter what. You should check with the hospital and your doctor about this particular issue.
Well, I do think if you are induced at 38 wks it won't necessarily mean c-section. Lots of moms do ok being induced at 38 wks. Not that I think they should, but I wouldn't want you to be too frightened about it. Also, if you have pit you should be monitored continuously as it can be more stressful on baby and that needs to be picked up, but that doesn't mean you have to be in bed (though some nurses will say you do). You are absolutely able to move around, do the birthing ball, take a bath or shower with monitors on. Your nurse just may not want you to because it means more work for her in trying to keep baby on. If your nurse refuses to let you move around, ask for another one! You don't have to accept a nurse that is not wanting to do what you want.

Kayla Dolan said:
I think your provider will likely push for induction, no matter what. The only problem is that who knows whether your cervix and pelvis will be ready for labor, at just 38 wks. Its likely the induction will fail, anyways, and lead to a section.

In my opinion, its much better to labor spontaneously, without induction, and without pain-relief (so you are free to be mobile, which helps with bigger babies) in this kind of case, unless the baby is beginning to have trouble in the womb from placental decay.

A huge factor in going epi-free with pitocin induction is the ability to move around. Most hospitals (and more are getting on-board) require (and I do mean REQUIRE) constant fetal monitoring for pit-induced moms, which confines you to the bed and mostly on your back...the worst way to labor, no matter what. You should check with the hospital and your doctor about this particular issue.
I just had a freind with the same issue. It was her first baby and she was also told by her Dr. that she would be induced at 39 weeks. She listend to the doctor only to have the epidural fail and an emergency c-section. Everything I've read supports holding off even with diabetes if it's well controlled. My friends doctor told her the same reason; she was going to have a big baby. Ridiclous! Her baby was 7lbs 12oz! That's perfectly normal for 39 weeks!! I would seek out other opinions if you really want miminal interventions. Good luck ;)
Its hospital policy, in many cases, to perform constant fetal and maternal monitoring in the high risk mom, especially if she's induced with pitocin. Its for malpractice purposes. As is the hep lock (and probably the IV). I promise, I didn't make this up. You might get lucky to have a hospital (or a physician) that is on-board with intermittent monitoring in the pit-induced mom, but you should definitely check ahead of time before you consent.

Risk is something like 50% for failed induction (from scratch), which is where you'll be. And, most likely, your cervix will not meet readiness guidelines outlined by the Bishop score, which is a system that was adopted to maximize successful inductions years ago. I'm not sure what the success rate would be for a mom delivering a 9lb baby as a first-timer, spontaneously. I'd have to guess, better than 50%.

Rachel Leavitt said:
Well, I do think if you are induced at 38 wks it won't necessarily mean c-section. Lots of moms do ok being induced at 38 wks. Not that I think they should, but I wouldn't want you to be too frightened about it. Also, if you have pit you should be monitored continuously as it can be more stressful on baby and that needs to be picked up, but that doesn't mean you have to be in bed (though some nurses will say you do). You are absolutely able to move around, do the birthing ball, take a bath or shower with monitors on. Your nurse just may not want you to because it means more work for her in trying to keep baby on. If your nurse refuses to let you move around, ask for another one! You don't have to accept a nurse that is not wanting to do what you want.

Kayla Dolan said:
I think your provider will likely push for induction, no matter what. The only problem is that who knows whether your cervix and pelvis will be ready for labor, at just 38 wks. Its likely the induction will fail, anyways, and lead to a section.

In my opinion, its much better to labor spontaneously, without induction, and without pain-relief (so you are free to be mobile, which helps with bigger babies) in this kind of case, unless the baby is beginning to have trouble in the womb from placental decay.

A huge factor in going epi-free with pitocin induction is the ability to move around. Most hospitals (and more are getting on-board) require (and I do mean REQUIRE) constant fetal monitoring for pit-induced moms, which confines you to the bed and mostly on your back...the worst way to labor, no matter what. You should check with the hospital and your doctor about this particular issue.
I think one thing that is *really* important to remember is that your doctor works for YOU. You have hired him to perform services and it is your body, your baby and your birth...it will be YOUR way. If you do not agree to an induction (and I certainly don't think you should agree especially weeks before a supposed "need" might be found) then you simply tell your trained surgeon you do not want one. If he insists, berates, or threatens you...is it someone you want at your bedside during the most amazing time of your life? Lots of other great advice and info here, like the fact that your controlled diabetes should play no part in how you birth, that u/s are notoriously inaccurate so late in the game and that induction includes a set of risks all it's own so take that information with you and start researching things now. Make sure you tell your doctor that even the ACOG does not consent to pitocin induction unless the risk of being pregnant outweighs the risks of the induction (and it typically does not).

Good luck and remember that you are in charge, your doctor can offer his medical advice and opinion, but he most certainly cannot coerce you into anything you are not comfortable with, especially when you have a solid case against it.

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