Birth by Design

Bringing the support you need to surround your birth experience with joy!
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Respecting the process...
I had another great birth this week and it made me think about how every birth is different.  I guess that is one reason why I love this work so much is that I can never get bored!  I love new challenges.

My client this week had a wonderful birth with about 7 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing...tops.  That sounds easy enough.  But, she had to be patient to get there.  Three days earlier, we spent 6 hours together having regular, progressing contractions.  It looked like labor and even went to about 2 minutes apart.  It just didn't feel right to me though, so was in no hurry to rush to the hospital.  Indeed, it slowed and sputtered to a stop.  This client could have been very bummed out, or anxious, or mad, but she was just accepting.  She could have gone to the doctor and demanded to be induced.  But instead,  she trusted that labor would come at the right time.  She was tired.  She had some unresolved issues about having baby number two.  She was ready, but just didn't feel READY...

Well, three days later, after Grandma had arrived from out-of-state, her water broke early in the morning.  She went about her morning getting ready for her birthing day.  She trusted her body to do what was right at its own time...and it did.  In about 5 or 6 hours, regular contractions started.  Three hours later we were getting to the hospital and 2 hours after that her beautiful 9+ pound baby was born, naturally and easily.  Right after birth, mom said, "That wasn't as hard as I thought!"  Wow!

So, I am learing to trust the process.  Labor is not a straight, paved road, but a winding path that is sometimes covered with rocks or bumps or even stop signs.  The body can stop when mom doesn't feel safe or ready.  We need to respect the process and watch in amazement as it unfolds before us.

10:10 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thoughts on home birth...
I have to say that I am supportive of home birth, but I am not a militant home birther.  I don't think it is the best choice for every family, but as a doula I want to do what I can do to help home birth to be available as a choice.  It can be a beautiful choice, but not one that is supported by our medical community or society.

I've attended a few planned home births and I loved being a part of each experience.  It is almost a different experience than a hospital birth, even though birth itself doesn't change.  Even though I usually help my clients avoid unnecessary interventions, the lack of intervention at home makes me a little nervous and I must admit that I am indeed tainted by the medical establishment.

My latest experience with unintended homebirth has made me think about it even more.  If I could go back and birth my babies, I would choose home birth.  I would have to drug my husband, but I would at least want to try it.  Should women have the choice?

It was interesting to hear people's comments about the unintended home birth.  Many were amazed that everyone was alive!  I did remind a few people that this was the norm less than 100 years ago.  Women know how to give birth instinctively and babies know how to get out.  How amazing!

Interestingly enough, my mom saw an article for me in the Indianapolis Star, Sunday 9/6.  Here is how it starts out:

"Having a baby at home with a registered midwife is just as safe as  conventional hospital birth, a new study says.  In fact, planned home births of this kind may have a lower rate of complications, according to a Canadian study published in the Sept. 15 issue of CMAJ."

Wow!  It goes on to say that the study from British Columbia from 2000 to 2004 included almost 13,000 births.  That is a huge study!  The mortality rate was .35 per 1000 births for homebirth with midwife, .57 per 1000 for hospital birth with midwife and .64 per 1000 for hospital birth with doctor.  Women who gave birth at home needed less interventions and babies were less likely to need oxygen or resuscitation.

The author, Patricia Janssen, director of the Master of Public Health program at the Universtiy of British Columbia said she hoped "this article will have a major impact in the U.S."  She also stated that there is a definite establishment bias against home births.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is officially opposed to home births...hmmmm
2:51 pm edt          Comments

Monday, September 7, 2009

Birth blog begins...
Welcome!  This is a new venture for me and I invite you to join me in it too.  As a doula, I am a birth junkie; I just love all things about birth.  If you do too, then you may enjoy my blog.  Send it to your friends if they love birth too!

I would love to tell about my birth experiences while protecting the identities of my clients, so my posts will always refer to "mom", "dad", "doctor", "baby", etc.  I hope to write about what I am learning in my experiences.  If you are a client and you want to write your birth story to my blog, I would welcome your input.  We birth junkies love to hear birth stories.  I will view and edit, if necessary, all comments before they are posted. 

My last birth was my first unintended home birth.  This was a second baby who just came very quickly.  Since mom pushed over 3 hours the first time, I thought she would have to do a little work to get this baby out.  But, two contractions after her water broke, the baby was crowning.  So, I coached dad and the baby was born on the bathroom floor into the loving hands of her father.  I learned that I do really trust the body to do this work we call labor.  It was so amazing to watch this mom do her work so quickly and efficiently.  What a loving bond was formed within this family.  Their story will be told and retold.  Maybe women will trust birth more from hearing it.  I hope so; I know I will.  I love my job!  Thank you God for a beautiful birth experience...again!

10:56 pm edt          Comments

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