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Labor and Birth

Preparing for a VBAC

Preparing for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) isn’t a whole lot different than planning for a natural birth. Tell people you want to push a baby out of your vagina without drugs, they may look at you like you have three heads…the same goes for VBAC.  There tends to be a lot of fear surrounding VBAC and a woman who is planning one may unexpectedly invite opinions from dozens of people around her, most of them negative.  People often want to spread rumors about the very worst scenario because it’s far more interesting than what is normal.

There are some things you have to take really seriously in order to accomplish your goals.  Below is a list of some of the most important steps you should take when planning your VBAC. Read more

5 Simple Reasons You Should Take a Birth Class

Anyone who has experienced the joy of pregnancy knows that as soon as that little blue line appears, so too does a seemingly endless list of expenses.  From the fun things, like decorating the nursery and buying baby clothes, to the more serious preparation for childbirth, everything just seems to add up.  Which, of course, begs the question, “Must I really take a childbirth class?”

Well, we might be a little biased, but we would answer with a resounding YES!  You should take a birth class.  Here are five simple reasons why the money spent on a great birth class is money well spent. Read more

Yes, my dear, you do need childbirth education, even if you have a doula!

Let’s start with what a doula is.  A birth doula provides physical, emotional and informational support for a family through pregnancy, labor, birth and early postpartum.  Doulas usually meet with birth clients for an interview and two prenatal visits prior to birth.  We have a lot to cover in these meetings.  We have to develop a relationship and I have to get a feel for what our rhythm will be, how you like to be touched, comforted, spoken to. And how your partner plans to help and is best supported as well.  Imagine how long it takes to find this stuff out while dating. . . . at best, I’m doing this in six hours.  Yup, doulas are awesome!  Read more

Rules for Talking to a Laboring Woman

Preparing for birth is a unique time in a woman’s life. Many women spend their lives looking outward, seeking to serve others. But in labor and birth a woman has the opportunity to be at the center for a brief moment, and to have those around her serve her, listen to her, and help her in any way they can.

Occasionally, however, those close to a birthing woman use it as an opportunity to fill their own needs or express their own fears to the mother or those closest to her. While it may seem obvious to most, dumping our own emotional baggage on a pregnant or birthing woman is actually inappropriate. Sadly, there are many who have missed the boat on this particular subject.

How many birthing women are surrounded by people (including family) at their birth that they didn’t even want present? How many pregnant women must listen to the horror stories of others simply because they have a round belly and are, obviously, expecting? Birth, however, is not about making those that surround a woman happy and comfortable. A great birth team seeks to make the mother and her closest loved ones happy and supported so that they and the baby can have the best experience possible both physically and emotionally.

The Goldman and Silk “Ring Theory,” as discussed in this LA Times article, explains the idea that during times of extreme stress (such as turmoil or illness) the person most affected or at the “center” has the privilege of receiving emotional support, and the ability to “dump” outward. That is, the person at the center can ask for help, and the people outside can offer.

The idea that “support goes in, needs expressed go out” doesn’t just apply to illness; it works beautifully in labor, too.

When a woman is in labor she should be at the center of the circle, the center of attention, and the person who is focused on. She can request anything from those around her. Support should always flow towards the center from the outer circles, and requests should flow outward. For example, random strangers should not act as though the birth is theirs or that their needs are more important than those of the laboring mother. The mother should not have to support her partner, doula, or family. When the focus
of support stays on the mother, the entire labor goes better and she feels safe and secure.

Remember this simple rule of birth etiquette when attending a birth. Remember, also, that very soon that laboring woman will be a mother and all of her attention will be focused outward on her precious child. We can focus our love and support on her for a few hours to help ensure that both mom and baby receive the best start possible.

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