Choose the birth that you want and believe it will happen. What’s motivating you to have the birth experience you desire?
In the U.S., we have fallen into a “one size fits all” approach to caring for women in labor. Upon arrival at the hospital when she’s in labor, a mom is given a dull open back hospital gown to change into, she’s hooked up to a monitor, blood pressure cuff and given an IV. She may then be instructed to stay in bed to make continuous monitoring of her baby’s heart rate more convenient for the staff caring for her. These protocols (and many others) will be carried out routinely, in the absence of your birth plan. Routine procedures and interventions carried out on an otherwise healthy mother and baby, can have many negative affects on the progress of your labor and may possibly cause the very problems and emergencies we are hoping to avoid through the use of medical interventions.
It is rare that the birthing mother is seen as an individual who is undergoing an incredible life transition as she brings forth life from her body. Medical providers are very caught up in the physical act of getting baby out and often take little time to assess mother’s emotional needs and her own specific physical needs. In creating a birth plan, we are asking everyone to take a step back from the regular protocols, and treat us according to our specific medical and emotional needs. As we know, mom’s emotional state is directly related to her physical comfort and progress in labor.
So how can parents ensure a natural flow of labor?
Discuss your birth preference early and often with your care provider.
Approach your care provider with sincerity and assure them that if there is a true medical emergency that warrants intervention, they’ll have your support. If you don’t get the feeling that your doctor or midwife is going to support your wishes (in the absence of medical problems) or that your provider does not share your same philosophy about birth, consider switching to a provider who will.
Ask your doctor or midwife to sign your birth plan, and bring it with you to the hospital on your birthing day.
Items to Include in your Birth Plan:
- To allow labor to start on its own (read more about induction of labor)
- No IV unless medically necessary (birth partner will help mom maintain fluid intake and output) Read more about routine IV use in labor
- Intermittent Fetal Monitoring (rather than continuous). Generally docs will support 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off of the electronic fetal monitor.
- Freedom of movement
- Few or no vaginal exams, always with explanation of need and mother’s consent
- To eat and drink as desired
- To forego medical interventions, including breaking water and augmentation (with pitocin etc) without clear medical need. Membranes to remain intact until baby is fully born.
- To exercise patience if labor slows or rests
- Mother directed bearing down instead of coached pushing
- No episiotomy unless there is an emergency and only after consultation
- Allow time for placenta to be birthed naturally without the use of pitocin (in the absence of emergency)
- Delay clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord, until pulsations have cease
For Baby :
HypnoBirthing : Philosophy of Birthing
The HypnoBirthing® philosophy is based on the belief that birth is normal, natural, and healthy; that birth is not a medical event. It’s based on the belief that birthing is about mothers, fathers, and babies–not science, anatomy, doctors, nurses, or hospitals. It’s based on the belief that families’ rights and wishes to bring their babies into the world in a calm, gentle way should be respected and facilitated. The HypnoBirthing® method is based on the belief that when a woman is given the proper preparation for childbirth, she and her birthing companion can experience a safe, serene, and satisfying birthing, free of the fear that causes tension and labor pain. It’s about making birthing “better natured” for women and their babies.
The Advantages of HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method
It gives you the essentials of pregnancy and birth information and focuses heavily on building up the positives of birth, your ability to give birth safely and gently, and releasing fears and limiting thoughts you have about birthing.
It teaches very effective relaxation techniques, which allows women to give birth more comfortably and easily. Some women have painless births using the techniques, although HypnoBirthing doesn’t promise pain-free birthing.
No matter what turn your birthing takes, your HypnoBirthing skills allow you to stay calm and focused on your baby. It allows you to give your baby the safest and most gentle birth possible.
HypnoBirthing helps you learn how to create the birth that you want rather than the birth others may expect you to have.
Because HypnoBirthing moms are so relaxed, their labors are often shorter.
It is compatible with mothers who are open to using medication or who have already decided that they want medication at a certain point; HypnoBirthing helps them labor more comfortably until they can receive medication or it can be used as a “back-up” plan.
HypnoBirthing emphasizes bonding during the pregnancy and birth and acknowledges that babies are aware even before they are born.
It can be done with a birth companion or alone.
Breech presentations are less common with HypnoBirthing moms due to their frequent relaxation sessions and visualization of optimal fetal positioning; if a baby is breech, hypnosis can be used to safely turn the baby.
Due to deep relaxation, HypnoBirthing moms experience fewer labor and birthingcomplications and easier resolution in the event of complications.
It allows moms to be awake, refreshed, and energized.
It creates a calm, peaceful birthing environment.
HypnoBirthing results in happy parents who experience a serene, joyful birthing rather than a tense, stressful ordeal.
Hypnosis is a natural state. It’s that deeply relaxed place between sleep and awake. We all experience hypnosis every time we go to sleep and every time we wake up. We experience hypnosis when we watch TV, drive a car, do repetitive tasks, or daydream. We are awake and aware of what’s happening around us–we just tune it out because we’re focused on something else.
When we’re in a hypnotic state we are still in control of our mind and will. We cannot be forced to do anything we don’t want to do. If someone suggested that we reveal confidential information or act in a way that goes against our personal moral standards we would come out of hypnosis.
We cannot get “stuck” in hypnosis because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis–we are always in complete control of our thoughts and actions. We cannot be hypnotized if we don’t want to be. We aren’t in a strange trance or “another realm”. We are simply in that natural, deeply relaxed state that we all go through every day.
Because hypnosis is a natural state–one that we’ve all experienced every day of our lives–it’s easy! Anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be.
By: Mandie C Medford, BA, HBCE, LE
Your breast milk will be one of the most precious gifts that you give to your baby. The time you spend nursing your little one will create a strong bond between you and your child that will last a lifetime and will help your baby to be healthier, happier and better able to form relationships and bonds with others later in life.
The benefits of breastfeeding are endless. Children who are breastfed have an average of 11 points higher IQ levels, lower cholesterol in adulthood and fewer cavities and allergies. These children are less likely to develop obesity, cancer, asthma, intestinal diseases, diabetes, heart disease, MS, arthritis and countless other diseases. Mothers who nurse have a lower risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis; they have a lower risk of hemorrhage during their postpartum period, and burn 500 calories per day breastfeeding alone!
ENJOY this time and enjoy your baby. Nurture and respect yourself rather than being critical of yourself as a parent. You brought human life into the world and you are amazing! Here are some tips and valuable information about breastfeeding that will help you to get a successful start and promote long term breastfeeding.
Your milk: Breast milk is easily digested and is made especially by your body to meet the specific needs of your baby. You will have colostrum for the first three days of your baby’s life. Babies receive about one teaspoon of colostrum during each feeding and it doesn’t take them much time to eat. Your baby’s stomach is about the size of a marble at birth, so your colostrum fills them up well. Colostrum is full of protein to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and immunity properties that seal the gut lining to protect against pathogens. Around day 3 of your baby’s life, your breasts will feel “full” and your transitional milk will arrive. This milk is creamier and higher in volume. It also contains lactose, calories and vitamins. When baby is 10 days old, and their stomach has grown, your mature milk will arrive. It will be higher in fat, protein and carbohydrates. Milk is never “too watery.”
Feed baby on demand. Do not worry about schedules. Your baby will be eating about every 2 hours and this is normal. Babies need to be fed 10-12 times per day, which averages out to be about every 2-3 hours. Your milk is the PERFECT food for your baby; it metabolizes quickly and then baby is ready to eat again! It is perfectly fine to let baby pacify at the breast; allowing him or her to spend time skin to skin with you will only serve to bring your milk in, in a timely manner. Babies will lose about 5-10% of their birth weight and will likely be back to birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Keep feeding through it, on demand.
The best way to build milk supply is to feed your baby. Breastfeeding is the model of supply and demand. The more baby demands, the more milk you will make, thus making it important to feed when your baby shows early signs of hunger.
Sleep: Your baby will wake up at night to nurse; this is normal. Your baby will likely wake about every 2 hours at night and throughout the day to eat. It takes breast milk about 90-120 minutes to metabolize, thus explaining why babies wake so often. Your prolactin (the hormone that makes you make milk) levels reach their peak between 1 and 6:00am and it is very important to feed during those hours to maintain a healthy milk supply. Your milk is the PERFECT food for your baby! Sleeping in the same room or co-sleeping with your baby is optimal for a healthy and long term breastfeeding relationship. Sleep when your baby sleeps!
Be sure to wake baby and feed at least every 2 hours during the day, until he or she is back to birth weight. The rule of thumb with my own babies is that we offer the breast every 2 hours or when they ask for it, whatever comes first!
Spend a lot of time skin to skin with your baby. It organizes them for nursing, encourages growth and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Most importantly, it encourages bonding between mother and baby because of the oxytocin that is produced. Partners should spend time skin to skin with baby too! Nurse baby skin to skin, with your shirt off and baby just in his or her diaper.
Babies will lose about 5-10% of their birth weight and will likely be back to birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Keep feeding through it, on demand.
Wear your baby in a sling or carrier. This promotes bonding and effective nursing.
Limit visitors. If people want to come by, give them a job! Ask them to do a load of laundry or dishes for you or bring a meal. If you are uncomfortable nursing in front of others while you get the hang of it, then limit who comes over, but never ever feel like you should have to leave the room or cover up when it is time to feed your baby!
Mom should consume 2500 good calories per day and a gallon of water.
Listen to your instincts. We cannot be perfect parents 100% of the time but when we are coming from a place of love and understanding we can’t do it wrong!
I hope that you enjoy, and snuggle your new baby! The time flies faster that you can imagine and soon enough they will be strong, confident children.
Mandie Medford, HBCE, LE