Your Birthing Choices and Planning Your Beautiful Birth
My absolute favorite section this week focused on pregnancy and birth being viewed as a consumer/supplier relationship. So many choices seem to be dictated by insurance, doctors, and other influencers with non-healthy mama/baby agendas. Beginning with pregnancy there is a massive amount of research to be done in regard to planning the best birth. Best is totally a subjective term - what is best for you and your situation might be very different from what I deem as best. That's why it is important that each mama do her own research and discover her personal best based on the information she finds.
Many of this research and the subsequent decisions are about birth intervention. The World Health Organization say, "In normal birth there should be a valid reason to interfere with the natural process." Therefore, it is key to know the benefits, risks, and advantages of things a mama might encounter during birth. Things to consider are:
- Routine Vaginal Exams
- Stripping the Membranes
- Vaginal Exams During Birth
- Artificial Rupture of Membranes
- Not Eating During Birth
- IV Use
- Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring
- Internal Monitoring
- Epidural Anesthesia
- Coached Pushing
- Lying Flat During Birth
In most cases, keeping interventions out of the plan by pursuing a natural approach will reduce what Hypnobabies calls The Domino Effect. For example ...
Continuous fetal monitoring ---> restricted movement ---> slower descent of baby ---> more discomfort for mama ---> leads to pain medication ---> can cause progress to stall since drugs are muscle relaxers and the uterus is a huge muscle ---> leads to Pitocin (synthetic contractions) to kick start the stall ---> fetal distress ---> c-section
That's just one example. After reflecting on Jemma's birth I definitely see the trickle down of interventions. When I agreed to an epidural due to my long labor exhaustion I could no longer get out of bed, I was tied to an IV, and I wasn't able to push in a comfortable position.
Next on the agenda was developing a birth plan and understanding helpful verbiage to use when discussing my and baby's care. I'll be sharing our birth plan soon ... I have a few adjustments to make since we recently switched from our birth center plan to a homebirth plan.
Hypnobabies focuses on the responsibility that parents have when making choices for their and babies care. Not that we don't have to (or want to) trust our care providers, but ultimately the consequences of decisions made (or things we allow or don't allow) falls in the parent's lap. Hence, the importance of researching potential interventions, issues, and options.
I've outlined the below BRAND method in our birth plan as it is a easy way for Dominic and our doula to assess potential interventions after asking:
"Why do you suggest this procedure? Is there an emergency right now?"
"Is mom ok?"
"Is baby ok?"
- Benefits - What are they?
- Risks - What are they?
- Alternatives - Ask that they be listed
- Nothing - What if we do nothing?
- Discuss and Decide - Ask for a private moment and thoroughly consider the options
Remember that it is always ok to ask for documentation in writing or a second opinion from another expert. Your chosen care provider is just one of many experts and there are obviously differing opinions out there or there wouldn't be so many options!
If someone is being super insistent you can always ask to sign a waiver which usually quiets things down. I did this with Jemma and the Hepatitis B vaccine. Looking back, I should have asked for a different nurse too ... I think it was her goal to tell me every horror story she could think of when I made a "bad" decision according to her.
That about wraps up the highlights this week. I picked up an old school boombox to listen to my Hypnobabies CDs in bed this past week. I think that will help me stay on my listening schedule. This week, "Creating Anesthesia" and "Deepening" are my focus - two tracks that will be uber helpful come brother's birthday! Which is around the corner. Oh my!