Posts Tagged ‘childbirth’

So You Want a Natural Birth

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I can’t tell you how many first-time moms I’ve heard say they want a natural birth.

“Great!” I say, “How are you preparing? What’s your plan?”

And you know what the most common response is?

A shrug. A confused look and, “I don’t know. I’m just going to wait and see how it goes when the time comes, you know?”

Every time I hear this, my heart breaks a little. Maybe you will get the birth you want, but chances are you won’t. About 25% of women giving birth say that they want a natural birth. Less than 2% actually get them.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to push you in the direction of natural birth. But I do want you to have a good birth, and if that means a natural birth to you, there are a few things to carefully consider.

The first, and perhaps most important, is preparation — childbirth education classes, discussing birth with your care provider, watching birth videos, reading, researching, anything that informs you. Before I proceed, however, allow me to acknowledge (and refute) some common arguments against thoroughly educating yourself.

Objection #1: “It’s just birth. I can learn what I need while I’m in labor. I’ll just… see how it goes.”

Know what? You’re absolutely right. While a highly intricate biological process, it is “just” birth. Women and babies do have the instinctual knowledge necessary. Here’s the kicker — for the past few hundred years, our culture has been progressively moving away from trusting a woman’s body and placing its faith in medical technology instead. In ages gone past, a woman’s friends and family came to help her labor. This meant that women saw births. They got to see what worked and what didn’t. Just as importantly, the process was normalized in their minds.

In today’s society, most women haven’t ever seen a real birth, much less a natural birth. The normal sights and sounds of an unmedicated woman giving birth aren’t accepted or acknowledged as normal, good and necessary. So, no, today it’s not a good idea to just “wing it.”

Labor takes preparation. Labor takes practice.

Objection #2: “I don’t have time to spend studying about all this!”

Would you go into an important interview without first preparing? A marathon? Your wedding?

Your baby’s birthday is one of the most important of your life. You will remember that day forever. Don’t you think that’s worth spending a little time to prepare, even if it means missing a few episodes of your favorite show or spending a little less time on Facebook?

Objection #3: “All that breathing and relaxing stuff is just a bunch of crazy, natural birth mumbo jumbo. It doesn’t actually work.”

You have a point. The whole “relax and breathe… put yourself in a happy place” thing is pretty cliche in the birth world, and I totally understand healthy skepticism. If you are skeptical about the benefits of breathing techniques, visualization, vocalization, relaxation or massage, look into the science behind them to understand why they work. Not only is the science behind it absolutely fascinating, but once you understand why certain comfort measures can be helpful, you are more likely to remember and use them when the time comes. And yes, there is science behind many comfort measures!

Objection #4: “My doctor will tell me what to do. I’m not a medical professional — why should I think I know better than one?”

Again, you’re right — you aren’t a medical professional. But you are a unique person with your own beliefs, desires, goals and needs. No two people think exactly alike on a subject, and your doctor may have different preferences than you do. You want a natural birth, but maybe your doctor doesn’t mind so much how your baby comes, as long as it’s healthy. Maybe he/she will recommend things that may make natural birth harder, such as induction.

For example, many doctors get nervous when a woman carries a pregnancy past 41 weeks and begin to suggest induction. However, if you know that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines a full term pregnancy as 39-42 weeks, you know that it is normally safe (with proper monitoring) to let your body naturally go into labor.

Another example: many doctors and hospitals have restrictive policies on “how long” to “let” a woman labor before diagnosing her with failure to progress and recommending a c-section. However, as ACOG says in their paper entitled “Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery”, “it may be necessary to revisit the definition of labor dystocia because recent data show that contemporary labor progresses at a rate substantially slower than what was historically taught.”

The important thing here is to know that you need to collaborate with your provider. You need to know what you want and under what circumstances you can safely achieve those goals.

Doctors are human, too, and that means they sometimes make mistakes, act out of habit or convenience or otherwise place obstacles in your path. All you have to do to prevent this from happening is to know your facts and stand up for yourself to achieve a satisfying relationship with your doctor.

End Story?

You want a natural birth. Maybe you’re a first-time mom, tentatively facing the new world of birth that’s suddenly opened up before you. Maybe you’ve already had one or two with an epidural and you want to try another way. Unmedicated birth can be intensely empowering and fulfilling, but it is also very difficult — that’s part of why it is so rewarding when it is achieved. Plan, prepare and educate yourself and you’ll be on the road to a wonderful birth experience.

Happy birthing!

Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth

Woman holding her newborn baby

Lieve Blancquaert

Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth. However, across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.

WHO Statement

A new WHO statement illustrates a commitment to promoting the rights of women and to promoting access to safe, timely, respectful care during childbirth. It calls for greater co-operation among governments, healthcare providers, managers, professional associations, researchers, women’s advocates, international organizations and women themselves to end disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth.

HypnoBirthing Classes compliment

Got a great compliment at a network meeting tonight when I introduced myself

and said I was a HypnoBirthing practitioner. 

A local midwife said I’ve had birthing women that have used your service and you’re good.

I was very happy  & hopefully some more referrals

Hypnosis that can make childbirth pain-free

Hypnosis that can make childbirth pain-free


WASHINGTON —  Experts have claimed that a specific method of hypnosis, supposedly used by the likes of Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian during childbirth, could make labor pain-free.

Cynthia Overgard, founder of HypnoBirthing in Connecticut, a prenatal education center, said that pain during labor is caused by fear and tension, Fox News reported.

Overgard explained that during labor, oxytocin causes contractions, but if the expecting mother is afraid or anxious then her body stops producing the feel-good hormone and adrenaline starts to rise.

Adrenaline redirects blood flow away from the cervix and the uterus, preventing the cervix from dilating and this slows down labor.

Overgard asserted that this is where hypnosis comes in with deep breathing, visualization and relaxation techniques that can help the woman maintain a calm body and mind.

During the hypnosis program, women also listen to guided relaxation to condition the mind and body to be calm and relaxed.

According to the HypnoBirthing Institute, mothers who used the method were less likely to have c-sections, interventions and pre-term babies.

Hypnosis is becoming more recognized not only for Childbirth

Hypnosis the future of pain relief: doctor

By David Weber

Updated May 12, 2012 13:25:58

A New Zealand psychiatrist says he expects hypnosis will be used more widely in the future as form of analgesia and anaesthesia.

Auckland Regional Pain Service pain specialist Dr Bob Large says in some parts of the world, hypnosis has been used prior to major surgery.

Dr Large, who is speaking at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists conference in Perth today, says some people could even have surgery under hypnosis.

“Some people are capable of very, very impressive anaesthesia and analgesia with hypnosis,” he said.

“There are case reports of people having major surgery under hypnosis going way back.”

Dr Large said being hypnotised before an operation had advantages as opposed to using gas or a needle.

“I think in the first instance it helps them feel less apprehensive about the process,” he said.

“And within the procedure itself it doesn’t negate the possibility of using chemical anaesthesia, but it reduces the dosages that are required and that’s pretty useful as well.

“Women who use hypnosis for childbirth are able to be much more comfortable through the whole process, they have a good time, the baby comes out less sedated because you’ve not used as much morphine or other analgesia along the way.”


However, Dr Large said many in the medical community were sceptical about the potential of hypnosis.

“I think that one of the things that always comes up is the time factor; it’s considered that hypnosis is very time-consuming,” he said.

“In fact you don’t have to spend a long time hypnotising people; if people are in the right space, if they’re motivated, if they’re interested, and if they have some basis hypnotic capacity, then it can be done very very quickly.”

College of Anaesthetists president Professor Kate Leslie says hypnosis would not totally replace drugs but can form part of a multi-modal approach.

“It’s a great adjunct to medicines and to nerve blocks and physio and psychotherapy,” she said.

“It can be used as an adjunct to make people feel more comfortable when they’re having a procedure under local or regional anaesthesia, but it would never be used as the only type of anaesthesia for an operation.”

Topics:health, alternative-medicine, doctors-and-medical-professionals, medical-procedures, perth-6000

First posted May 12, 2012 13:19:20

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