Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Business of Being Born

So tonight I was wanting to just sit on my couch, listen to the rain, and hope for the phone to ring from the client I have who is postdates.  Decided to rewatch  The Business of Being Born.....probably not a good idea because it made me anxious to be on a birth again!    Seeing so many moms pull their newborn to their chest, and realize that the sky's the limit as to what they could do  next - they had just birthed their babies!

This experience is minimized by so many today - people who feel they are supporting an expectant mom by reassuring her that there is no need for her to "feel" anything - yet at the end of the road of interventions, won't there be feelings?  Will they all be positive? Is it necessarily feeling pain in labor that is to be avoided at all costs?  Or feeling that no one is listening to you?

I've attended over 700 births and watched so many moms and dads meet the challenge of labor and come out the other side feeling empowered and excited and joyous - even the families who had to make tough decisions and wisely chose in some cases that interventions were the right choice..

It is not the use of medication or even surgery that is the problem, it is not being given choices in the first place.  So as I wait for the next birth to begin, I'm thinking happy labor thoughts for all those expectant families who are hoping to have choices in their births.....come on birth - I'm excited to see you again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mom's Intuition

Who knows the best about the baby - than the mom-to-be.  She has an instinct about her baby that no one else shares.  So when a mom-to-be feels something is wrong, we take it seriously, check it out - hopefully with the result of a reassurance that all is well.  Some moms worry more than others, this is their own nature.  But we still should take it seriously.

So when a first time mom goes into labor -  she feels unequipped to know what is happened.  She feels, "I've never done this before, I don't know if this is labor, I don't know if I'm progressing....."  Those feelings are very normal, but stop for a minute.  You have just spent 9 months with a baby growing inside of you and each day you have learned your baby's habits, sleeping, waking, which side they like best.  You have had a 9 month learning experience to use in understanding your labor.
I learned this lesson years ago while on a birth with a first time mom. The midwife walked in, observed for a short time and then asked the mom - "how far dialated do you think you are?"  The mom clearly replied, "I think I'm about 3cm."  The midwife said, "I agree" and never did an exam.  Later the exam was done - mom was 3cm.  This mom truly knew herself.  It didn't really matter, honestly, if she was 2cm or 4cm, the fact was she realized she was still in early labor.  That was the point - she KNEW what was happening. She trusted her instincts.

So with each first time birth, I try to emphasize, "trust yourself", "find your path"....labor is a journey that has exciting twists and turns, tap into your own instincts and trust them.  Just because you have never been through labor before, does not discount that you do know your own body and your baby's habits.  Don't hesitate to speak up when you have concerns or think you need help.  And speaking on behalf of doulas, just know that we are ready and willing to listen and support your needs.