Monday, August 30, 2010

Mama to Mama Wisdom: The First Birth, What You Need to Know

 On occasion  I like to ask for words of wisdom from Mama Birth's  Facebook community.  From the ladies themselves, here are some tips for preparing for a natural birth.

Enjoy! 

Hide in a bubble.  Work through fears placed on you by society, family, media, doctors, etc.
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Make a birth plan, choose the ones attending carefully, be prepared for things not going the way you dreamed them.

Don't be afraid by all the things that 'they' say 'could' go wrong. Trust in your bodies ability to birth. Research the hospital's procedures and your OB or midwife's preferences, ask the c-section rate, when they induce, when they start pushing amniotomy, IV protocol, episiotomy rate and what circumstances they feel warrants needing one. Research research research, decide what you want, make a birth plan, and find out if they support your birth plan before you show up in labor.
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Simple - go with your instincts. If it doesn't feel right then don't do it. I don't regret a single decision because of that. 
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EDUCATE yourself!!! that is your best comfort in birth! KNOWING what's going on.... and hire a doula in case you forget cause your pushing a baby out... that does happen so don't be surprised when it hurts! it's normal!! your body is not the only one in labor! YOU ARE!! and if YOU are active in your labor your body will be able to do a better job!
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Trust your body. The process is intense, amazing, powerful, and personal. Enjoy it for what it is :)
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Do your research!
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Choose a midwife..and birth at home.
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Start your research BEFORE talking to a doctor... they may have your best interest at heart, but much of the teaching they receive is flawed & can set you up for failure.
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Get all the back issues of "Mothering Magazine" and empower yourself to have the kind of birth that you want. Takes wisdom and confidence to go against what "conventional" doctors want you to do. I birthed my first daughter at home 25 years ago this summer (frank breech at that). You can do it!!
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Educate yourself on ALL aspects of pregnancy and birth. Knowledge is power. Know your rights. Personally, I think that anyone who fully educates themselves would choose a midwife attended home birth. Home birth is just as safe - if not safer than a hospital birth.
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Read. See Business of Being Born. Check out Gentle Birth choices from library. Don't circumcise. Open your jaw and moan Ahhh during labor, helps open pelvis. Take 5W two weeks before due date. Have Coconut Water on hand at home or hospital to drink.
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(An explanation of what 5W is:  5W is a traditional herbal tonic taken during the last five weeks of pregnancy - to help tone the uterus, help prevent excessive bleeding, help to make the muscular tissue of the uterus more "elastic" to help prevent tearing.
Facilitates child birth. It is reported to give elasticity to the birth canal and vaginal area. It helps aid in the control of postpartum bleeding and helps speed the delivery of the placental afterbirth. It eases stress and the duration of labour and delivery. An excellent formula for expecting mothers to take during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy.
Black cohosh, Squaw Vine herb, Dong Quai root, Butchers Broom root, Red Raspberry leaves.)


Warning, bad pun to follow) Go with your gut! Do your homework and go with the ideas that YOU believe in and trust your body to do what it needs. If the practitioner (whom you hopefully have chosen because they share your beliefs) says one thing but you have a really strong feeling to the contrary, voice it.
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Your body knows exactly what to do. Don't let your head get in the way. 
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