If you have had a cesarean birth, consider yourself one of many families who have done the same. In the United States in 2019, cesareans made up for nearly 32% of all births. It was once commonly accepted that if a person birthed their baby via cesarean, each subsequent baby must then also be a c-section, but it is now becoming more widely known that repeat cesareans are not always medically indicated and can sometimes present more risks than benefits.
Birth Preferences, more commonly known as Birth Plans, are a wonderful way to communicate your wishes with your support team and a great way to dive in, learn more about what your birthing options are, and to clarify what is most important to you during birth. Any uncertainties you have will make great talking points with your medical providers and with your doula. Birth Preference Sheets can be brought to one of your prenatal appointments to make sure that you and your midwife/OBGYN are on the same page about setting expectations for your birth. If, after a discussion with your provider about your Birth Plan or Birth Preferences, you feel like your provider or place of birth does not fit with your wishes, you may want to consider hiring a new midwife or OBGYN.
What kind of touch do birthing people want in labor? If this is a question you’ve ever asked yourself as a loving partner or spouse, here are a few tips from an experienced doula and massage therapist who’s helped many couples like you find their way during labor.
In some ways, the kind of touch birthing people want during birth is different and in many ways it’s similar to the kind of touch they appreciate when not in labor. Here’s what you should know.
You’ve heard all about the wonderful benefits of hiring a doula, such as a decrease in cesarean birth and the use of pain relieving medications and an increase in positive birthing experiences. You have decided that it makes sense for you and your family to hire one! Now what? It’s time to start interviewing doulas who will potentially support you during an extremely exciting and nerve wracking time. This is why hiring a doula who you trust and like is so important.
The term natural childbirth can mean different things to different people. For some people it simply means a vaginal birth even if they are using pain medication and other interventions. For others it might mean a vaginal birth without pain medication but other medications or augmentation (like pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin) could still be part of their experience. And for some a “natural” birth is a birth without any intervention. There is no one right way for a birthing person to give birth and every person should have options and autonomy in choosing what works best for them and their particular needs and wants. The term natural is inherently complicated, but the term natural birth is so common, we wanted to address this term.
So you’ve read the blogs, you talked to your friends, you saw all the chatter about switching to a homebirth early in the pandemic. Maybe you’ve seen the popular birth documentary like The Business of Being Born? You’re pregnant and you have come to the conclusion you want to give birth at home. Or maybe you’re pregnant and you have no idea where you want to give birth. Maybe you assume you’ll go to the hospital like most everyone else you know. But you keep hearing these stories of friends who had C-sections, who had to lie down for most of the birth, who couldn’t hold their babies right after giving birth and you wonder if there’s an alternative option. What about giving birth right in the comfort of your own home?
Whether you’re scheduled for a C-section by choice or due to medical necessity, there are things you can do to have the birth experience possible.
The “natural” or “family-centered” cesarean can help increase initial bonding, increase skin-to-skin contact, make breastfeeding easier, increase early milk production, and reduce the chances of postpartum depression.
If you are pregnant, you may be wondering, “Should I take a childbirth class?” If you are an expecting parent, childbirth education classes will help you feel empowered and confident as you move through your labor, birth, and new parenting experiences. You will feel prepared for the big day and beyond with an evidence-based understanding of physiologic birth, the stages of labor, pain coping options and tools, postpartum adjustment and recovery, and so much more. During a pandemic period, you can safely take childbirth classes virtually and reap the benefits of childbirth education from the comfort of your couch, while learning about how to have a positive and confident hospital birth during covid-19.
You may feel like you have been pregnant forever or you might feel like the experience has flown by, but almost universally toward the end of your pregnancy, you may start wondering “when will I know I am in labor?,” “what are the stages of labor?,” and “what can I expect?”. Just like every pregnancy is different, experiences of birth can vary greatly. While your experience will be uniquely your own, there are some patterns to physiological labor and birth that can be helpful to know as you prepare.
While giving birth has always included many unknowns for expectant parents, COVID-19 has created more questions and confusion for many parents-to-be. Educating yourself about what to expect during labor in the pandemic will help you feel more positive, confident, and ready to bring your baby to this world. This may not be what you envisioned, but you can do this! These COVID-19 birthing tips will support you in having the best hospital birth possible given the uncertain circumstances.
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