Doula support is increasing in popularity among new families and for good reason. There is evidence that suggests doula support can increase satisfaction in birth and laboring parents report experiencing less pain. While using doula support cannot guarantee a birthing outcome (e.g. vaginal birth or no epidural), you’ll be happy you have an experienced birth professional by your side no matter what kind of birth you end up having, and especially if you end up needing a C-section, also known as cesarean birth.
In most cases, a pregnant body will begin the process of spontaneous labor on it’s own and there will be no need for any interventions to get things going. But for some people, there may be circumstances where the health of either the birthing parent or baby is in jeopardy and induction techniques are necessary to start labor and to ensure that every one remains healthy.
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.
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.
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?
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.
One of the biggest decisions you will make when you are pregnant, in addition to who will help you deliver your baby, is where to give birth. Where you give birth will influence the type of care you receive and the likelihood of medical intervention.
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.
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