Hello. I'm Cristina from Austin and I just joined this site in hopes to gain more information on child birth. I'm 40 years old and expecting my first child in March. Many questions are going through my mind regarding home births, mid-wives, etc, as I'm a high risk mom-to be. Any other women out there give natural birth to their first child at 40 or over and if so, care to share your experience with me? Haven't watched the movie yet (came in on Netflix yesterday!) but I'm looking forward to learning more about our maternity care system here in the US. Thanks, and I look forward to getting to know some of you.

Tags: 40, First, birth, high, natural, old, pregnancy, risk, year

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Hi Cristina! Since you live in Austin I have no doubt you have some of the best birth resources in Texas, including some very good Ob/Gyns. I don't have a specific recommendation but I do know there are many birth centers and midwives in Austin. Regarding age, try to find a copy of "Gentle Birth Choices" which includes a mom over 40 giving birth at a birth center. Are you high-risk because of age only or is there something else? Good luck in your search!
Thanks for replying, Mandy. I am considered "high risk" due to age only. I'm actually quite healthy. I walk and run some, eat well, no alcohol, tobacco, etc, and have made sure I was healthy before we even started trying. I have my first appointment this Thursday with an OBGYN, just to get in and get some info. I'll ask about mid-wives and such and maybe she'll have some recommendations. Thanks for the suggestion of "Gentle Birth Choices". I'm looking for as many resources on this as I can get so I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks again!
I'm in Austin as well. There are 2 free standing birth centers that I know of: Austin Area Birth Center and BirthWise. Both have gotten very good reviews from what I have researched.

You also might check out the Yahoo group AustinMamas- lots of home birth and natural birth mamas are on there to offer info/insight.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AustinMamas/

If you want a hospital birth with a midwife I HIGHLY suggest Dr Sebestyen with OBGYN North at North Austin Medical Center as she has midwives on staff. I delivered VBAC with her (when she was solo) and she is *very* pro-natural birth (used hypno-birthing herself with her son's birth). I cannot recommend her enough- she rocks!!! I have had at least 6 friends also birth with Dr Sebestyen.

Her office staff can be hit-or-miss (at least they were a year or two ago) but I figure I can deal with them for a few months since they aren't the ones at the delivery! Wait times might be a bit long but it is because Dr S and the midwives take their time with each patient, answering questions and such and don't rush them off. I'm okay with waiting if I know I will receive the same treatment!

Many many OBs will say they are natural birth, but will push interventions when it is time to deliver. Also, Dr S has a bit of a specialty with "high risk" pregnancies, though I personally don't think age should be a reason to be "high risk", especially if you are in shape. Best wishes for whichever birth choices you make!

http://www.drchristinasebestyen.yourmd.com/

http://www.obgynnorth.com/index.htm
Wow, thank you so very much for responding and for the wonderful resources. I had my first OBGYN appt. yesterday and it was awful. Well, not awful, but I felt rushed, she didn't spend time really talking with me, just saying, okay, everything looks good, let's set up your next appointment. No talk about birth choices, nutrition, my weight, how I was feeling.... Just got me outta there and into the lab for blood work before I realized that I had come with tons of questions (my first child at 40, after all!) and I didn't get to ask but maybe three of them! So I appreciate your suggestion and will check it out. I really need someone who will listen and TALK with me. Sounds like this place you mention my be good. THANK YOU AGAIN!!
Just wanted to say "hello", because I am in Austin, too. Congratulations on expecting your first child!
Hi Cristina!

I just had to reply because I am in Austin, too. Lots of us here, it seems. We recently moved here from California, and we're trying to conceive our third child. We are pretty set on having a homebirth for babythree, but I've heard a lot of good things about Dr Sebesteyen, who I see was mentioned above. She is mentioned on every discussion board I visit, from mothering.com to local mom groups.

I am sure you will enjoy the movie-I just finished watching it for the third time. It's good stuff. Good luck with everything!

Jennifer
like I said below - just had my fourth here in austin with a midwife at home and it was amazing...she was great and I feel great about the decision...

Hi Sonja,

 

I love your quote for a Parenting Tip I am writing for ERGOparent.com. May I have your permission to include your quote....

I am a 34 year old mom of four (in austin) and I just had a home birth. I can't say enough about it, it was the best experience...my first two were in a hospital with meds. and the 3rd in the hospital natural (no time for meds) and we chose a midwife for the last birth. I learned more through this last pregnancy and birth than in all the previous births combined. You just have to be your own advocate because the healthcare system will try and make you feel like you are a bad person if you don't follow ALL of their advice...do lots of research and don't let anyone push you into doing anything you don't want...

Hi Cristina! I'm 41 (due in 3 weeks - conceived at age 40) and have had a very healthy, low risk pregnancy. I see a CNM who, every time the topic has come up, repeats the mantra, "age alone is not high-risk."
Of course it's true that there are obviously some higher risks for chromosomal issues with the child, but that has nothing to do with the pregnancy or birth itself.
It's also true, I think, that there are some higher risks for developing gestational diabetes (which I was diagnosed with at 32 weeks), but other than that my advice to you is not to sweat the age thing. Even if you should develop GD like me, keeping it in control as I have *should* keep your care providers from placing you in a high-risk category.

I am planning for a natural childbirth in a hospital setting with a doula & my CNM staff -- I'll try to follow up here with how it goes after the fact. Unfortunately Minnesota doesn't currently have any birth centers or else I would have gone that route. One is opening soon, but definitely not in time for my birth. Luckily my doula has had positive things to say about my hospital, and my CNM's practice has a sub-10% c-section rate so I feel my odds are pretty good barring actual complications.
I have to agree...age alone does not make the pregnancy high risk. The majority of my clients are in their late 30's and into their 40's...I even had one client that was 46 with her first (his 4th). I think you're on the right track with midwives and a birth center and would also recommend pre-natal or Lamaze classes that are not held in a hospital setting. Check out www.lamaze.org for an instructor near you...we are EVERYWHERE!!!
Good luck!!!
Hi Christina, I am a 34 year old mom of four (in austin) and I just had a home birth. I can't say enough about it, it was the best experience...my first two were in a hospital with meds. and the 3rd in the hospital natural (no time for meds) and we chose a midwife for the last birth. I learned more through this last pregnancy and birth than in all the previous births combined. You just have to be your own advocate because the healthcare system will try and make you feel like you are a bad person if you don't follow ALL of their advice...do lots of research and don't let anyone push you into doing anything you don't want...

At age 42, and 43, my friend gave birth to her 2nd and 3rd child! At home; 2 healthy, beautiful girls.

 

There are references in the bible of women giving birth in their 40s, and 50s, even. Not to mention Sarah giving birth at 70. The Wise Woman website gives lots of support for the deeper truths about birthing & steps to take to care for your body and baby and birthing well. There is much to be learned that is not the propaganda of the AMA.

Have confidence in your inborn strengths and beauty. You are woman!

Blessing & Cheers.

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