Midwifery assisted births

So, I just saw a documentary about natural birth and the whole time I was wondering if this could be an option for me since I am T1 Diabetic. I am not and will not be for some time planning to be pregnant, but at age 31, this is on my mind. Are there any diabetics out there who are or have tried in-home birth, water birthing, or any other more natural attempt at the birthing process?

I haven’t, but I have heard that they won’t assist a Type 1 with an in-home birth etc.
Let me know it you hear otherwise. But with my daughters birth, I would have been in big trouble if I wasn’t in the hospital.
I had a difficult birth.

Hi Jana!

I’m so glad you asked, as I often wonder if I’m the only one…That is to say, I didn’t have a homebirth or even a midwife but strove for a “natural hospital birth,” oxymoron that that is. I’ve found that the medical community treats every pregnant diabetic as though all the complications that COULD happen WILL–which of course is not true but is pretty scary nonetheless. Of course these doctors are lifesavers when things do go wrong but I found that I had to be the one to know what was normal and not and really try to avoid their…fearmongering, for lack of a better word, and with all due respect. I had great control and absolutely no problems and they really just didn’t know what to do with me.

I don’t think a lot of homebirth midwives would take a first-time T1 diabetic mom…they usually are most worried about the FIRST-TIME part than the diabetic part, so maybe there is hope for me if we have a second child…but it never hurts to ask! Just remember that if you end up going to a doctor in a hospital, pick your doctor and hospital very carefully and remember that YOU are your best advocate. It’s not their job to provide you with the birth you want–only with information and oversight, and you have to do the work yourself, if that makes sense.

Again, this is not to denigrate the medical community, because I think it’s not helpful for everyone to just draw a line in the sand and say you have to stand on one side or the other…but in my experience, I’ve just learned that it pays to be the most well-informed you can be, and try not to let the fear in our society surrounding birth get to you. Stay away from birth shows on tv too!

And if you ever do get pregnant, I’d be happy to chat with you about whatever. After I had my son, I ended up becoming a doula and am pretty involved in “the birth community” and I wish there were more diabetics involved, but usually they just end up with “high-risk” doctors around here. Which, there’s nothing wrong with that if you need it! Ya know.

Oh, and I highly recommend HypnoBirth/HypnoBabies as a way of learning to release your fears about pregnancy and childbirth. It’s not great for everybody though…which is why you have to know yourself! Best of luck in the future!

I will have to do lots more research. I am sure I will have to be at the hospital, but maybe I could still strive for little to no meds! We’ll see.

I gave birth in the hospital, the midwife was very busy when I was having my second child, no meds either. I didn’t need any medical assistance. First time I felt safer in the hospital though just in case, still everything went perfectly, although the little one did have a bit of jaundice so they kept a close eye on her because I was D as well.

So what did you blood sugars look like while you were in labor? Did you keep your pump on? I am so curious about all of this. Does anyone know if there a book about being T1 and pregnant?

When I was in labor, my blood sugar was low, and I had to make myself eat something because it was going to take 45 minutes to an hour to get “approval” to get something in my IV…which, THAT made me pretty mad, since they would’ve MOVED on it if I had, say, fainted or something, but they can’t do anything fast to prevent that? Argh!

Generally, in the hospital I was in, the deal was that I was in charge of all things diabetic and they were just there for the labor and baby, but that if anything went wrong then they would step in and have an expert to help with that too…they did ask me about my blood sugars occasionally and wanted me to report when I took insulin and how much and stuff, but yeah. You’d keep your pump on and just probably let them know what you’re doing in case they needed to know in case of emergency.

Oh, and there’s a website where a lot of this might be answered…Diabetic Mommies? I think it’s called.

I’m so glad you’re learning about all this NOW while you have a chance to do a lot of research and be well-informed! Cheers!

You are a duala? Where are you located or do you know of a diabetic duala in Dallas, Texas?

I would manage your expectations when it comes to pregnancy and delivery as a diabetic. We are considered “high risk” and although we all have our owns dreams of how our pregnancy and birth with go, sometimes things don’t go our way.

A good compromise would be to have a midwife or doula assist in your pregnancy and birth and assist you in making good decisions about your care. I believe there are a lot of unnecessary interventions into birth these days.