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.
Watch Jada Shapiro, doula & boober founder, in conversation with Jill Blakeway, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and founder of the Yinova Center. New York Times described her as a “fertility goddess” and named her as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists. They cover various pain perception and management techniques during pregnancy and labor including breathwork (including tips for coping with required mask use), acupressure points, and positions that can help. Acupuncture, visualization, and doula care (both in-person and virtual) are discussed.
Pain-coping skills are life skills, not just labor skills. The more they are practiced, the more easily they can be accessed and used during labor.
Acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along the body’s meridian system. A number of recent studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for making labor a little shorter and reducing pain.
Watch the “All about homebirth” webinar moderated by boober founder, Jada Shapiro in conversation with Certified Midwife, Shawna King, CM, LM.
They shared what expecting families needed to know about homebirth. COVID-19 has caused expectant parents to think differently about what options they have when giving birth, in light of concerns about birthing in a hospital in the presence of a pandemic. While homebirth has always been specifically sought out by some parents, and while homebirth is a safe, viable, and supported option in many countries, only 1% of US births are currently planned at home. We have seen a huge uptick in interest in the possibility of homebirth during this time and want to give our community an opportunity to learn more about whether homebirth is available or even a possible option for them. We honor the homebirth midwives who provide their expert services to our communities. Recorded May 2020.
While there have been virtual doulas for a while now, the appearance of the novel coronavirus has transformed this once largely in-person role into a remote and critical one. We are living in unprecedented times, and many of us have been ordered to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. As hospitals work hard to reduce the possibility of transmission, extra people, including doulas and, in some cases, partners, are currently not allowed in several hospitals to support laboring people. We must protect healthcare workers and flatten the curve, and we empathize with how challenging it will be for partners to not be there physically.
Both doulas and midwives support people during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, so it’s unsurprising that many think their jobs are similar. But the truth is that doulas and midwives actually have entirely different skillsets and training. Here’s what you should know about the differences between these types of professionals:
A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to a birthing person (and, if applicable, their partner). Similar to hiring a broker to help you buy a home, a hiking guide to help you find your way up a mountain, or a consultant to help you plan your dream wedding, a doula helps an expectant family navigate its way through the often-intense, physically and emotionally challenging birthing process.
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