June 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

“I don’t believe that midwives deliver babies. I believe that midwives help women deliver their own babies into this world.” —a midwife

This labor and birth was SO much harder than I expected

April 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s hard for the entire birth team (mom, dad, midwives, doula) when the labor and birth become unexpectedly difficult, or complicated, or long.

No one likes it.

If we could choose, most of us would make all labors 4-6 hours long, with a fairly short pushing time, and a tear-free delivery. Baby pinks up nicely right away, and calmly (but not too calmly!) transitions to breathing and suckling, and doing all the things that normal healthy babies do on earth. Mother would feel a happy after-labor glow, be delighted and totally in love with her baby, bond and nurse very successfully, and without much difficulty…and they all live happily ever after.

Often, things do go fabulously well, especially when mothers are well-informed, well-prepared, and well-nourished. 🙂

But life is not always that smooth—or simple.

So when a labor or birth goes differently, or MUCH differently than a mother was expecting, even if she did what she needed to do, and successfully birthed her baby, it can cause feelings of disappointment. A mother may feel like she failed because she didn’t labor how she thought she should have.

Leslie Spradlin has written a beautiful blog post about “Healing from the Birth That Should’ve Been“. Discover ways to encourage, support, and build up a mother after her birth, or how to get a new perspective on your own [difficult] birth.

What do labor and birth feel like?

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Rixa Freeze, blogger at “Stand and Deliver”, asks mothers to share in their own words…

What do labor and birth feel like?

When making a decision about your health care…

February 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I found this little acronym on Rixa Freeze’s “Stand and Deliver” blog. I thought it was good, and might be helpful to some mothers and fathers. So often the “routine” procedures, tests, and ways pregnancy and birth are managed are viewed as absolutely essential—when actually, they aren’t always necessary. So for the thinking mothers and fathers who truly want to be involved in their care…here are some questions to help you determine (along with your care provider) what tests and procedures are truly of benefit, and those that are just “routine”.

(Disclaimer: Although she does have some excellent articles on various pregnancy and birth topics, I do not endorse everything on her site.)

Trying to make a decision? Get BRAINED!

Ask yourself, and your caregivers, these questions:
Benefits – How could the recommended course of action help me or my baby?
Risks – How could the recommended course of action harm me or my baby?
Alternatives – Are there any other courses of action I could consider?
Intuition – What are my gut feelings about this?
Nothing – What happens if I do nothing?
Evaluate – Can you give me some time to consider my choices? Then…
Decide – Now that I have the information I need, I’m ready to make a decision.

Benefits- How will this procedure benefit me and my baby?
Risks – What are the risks to me and my baby?
Alternatives – What are some other things we might try instead?
Instinct/Intuition – What is your gut telling you?
Now/Never/Nothing – What if we don’t do the procedure right now? What if we never do it? What if we do nothing?
Safety/Satisfaction – Will this procedure increase the safety and satisfaction of the birth for me and my baby?

(At the end of her post, she adds this addendum.) To give credit where it’s due: the BRAINED acronym comes from a handout that someone gave me from “Lucina Birth Services.” The BRAINS acronym was passed around on a doula list serve.