Positive Birth Stories
Women can overcome the fear surrounding labor and birth by hearing or reading Positive Birth Stories. I have asked a number of my Bradley Method® and Prenatal Yoga students to write their experiences down to share with other couples. Most of these stories on my blog http://prenatalyoga.wordpress.com are stories of natural birth. A couple of them are not, but these mothers were able to turn their baby's birth into an empowering experience and bring their babies into the world in the best, safest, and gentlest way possible.
"Women need to hear positive birth stories. Sadly, women who have positive, transformative, challenging but amazing births usually don't tell their stories. They may think it's not normal, or may not want to make other women feel inferior. Women need to share their birth stories, both positive and difficult, and when they're difficult, we should examine why and what could have changed. These stories have the power to transform how society looks at birth, to dispel the myths and relieve the fear." Debra Pascali-Bonaro
BY LIZA JANDA
- If it hurts, it’s working just right.
- Good job.
- You’re doing just what you’re supposed to be doing.
- It’s okay. Remember this is good for your baby.
- Each contraction is a hug of love for your baby.
- Try to completely let go with this next contraction.
- You’ve got it! You are strong!
- You are capable.
- You’re such a good mommy.
- This is hard work and you are doing it.
- You are beautiful!
- You are amazing!
- I’m so proud of you!
- You are right on top of it.
- I love you!
- This is so important for your baby.
- Keep breathing. Stay with it.
- You’re doing so well!
- Each contraction brings your baby closer and closer.
- You’re going to meet your baby soon.
- Wow! You are so strong.
- Now take a deep breath and just relax into it.
- Visualize what is happening inside of you. Picture it in your mind’s eye.
- Trust yourself!
- Trust your body and allow it to open.
- You’re a sexy birthing mama.
- You should be so proud of yourself.
- What a wonderful mother you are!
- You’re doing such a terrific job.
- Thank you for doing such an awesome job for our baby.
1. Lack of belief in the process of normal natural labor and birth
2. Having someone in the room during labor who makes the laboring mother uncomfortable
3. Having an audience at home or in the hospital during labor
4. Being spoken to unkindly by any care providers-nurses, midwives, doctors in the hospital
5. Having a care provider who has little experience or knowledge about the natural process of labor
and birth but who has knowledge about the pathology of labor and birth.
6. Having unresolved issues in the relationship with the father of the baby.
7. Previous sexual abuse
8. Previous loss of baby
9. Previous bad labor and birth experience
10. Having a controlling personality/unable to let go/unwilling to take suggestions from birth team
11. Having a people pleasing attitude and not communicating true wishes to birth team
12. Unsure about becoming a mother-feelings of inadequacy
13. New role with spouse-will I still be sexy, attractive, etc.
14. Focused and worried about mother’s, sister’s, or friend’s bad labor and birth experience.
15. Belief that a surgical birth would just be easier.
16. Second or third (or more) baby-Knows how much work is ahead and hesitant to let go and make it happen
17. Career woman may be resentful that baby is going to hamper career goals
18. Poor nutrition during pregnancy-not taking it seriously enough
19. Baby’s position-mal-presentation, posterior
20. Cervix has not effaced or moved from posterior to anterior position before labor begins
21. Exhaustion-not sleeping or resting in early labor
22. Not eating and drinking in labor
23. Going to the hospital in early labor and not going back home if she’s not 5 CM dilated
24. Going to the hospital soon after water breaks
25. Fear of hospital
26. Cervical scar tissue
27. Being stuck in bed
28. Having bright lights on
29. Strangers walking in and out of the room
30. Nurse shift change can unsettle a mother who has grown to trust her nurse
- Get in your bath tub (or rent or buy a birth pool). A local midwife calls it an “Aqua-dural” because submerging yourself in water in labor reduces pain significantly without the negative side effects of an epidural. The relaxation that happens in the tub helps to speed up your labor. The water level should be to just above your chest, so you fully submerge your belly.
- Prep your tub before labor begins. This is a job for your coach/birth-partner/husband. Clean the tub with bleach. Then clean the bleach out by thoroughly washing with soap and water.
- Get in the tub once your contractions are well established. Or do a test. If you get in the water and your contractions slow down, get out and move around. And vice versa. If you get in the water in labor and contractions speed up, that’s great! Stay put for a while.
- “Aaaaahhhh!” is what you should say when you get in the water in labor. The water temperature should be comfortable-somewhere between 95-102 F degrees or 35-38 C. You don’t want to start getting chilled and you don’t want to overheat either. Let your body be the judge of what’s comfortable for you.
- Move around! Try different comfort positions in labor, just like when you are out of the water: hands and knees, squatting; lying on your side, sitting or kneeling leaning forward over the edge of the tub, leaning against the back of the tub, or just sitting upright. Change positions when you get back in the tub after you go to the toilet.
- Have someone feed you. Just relax and let them treat you like a queen, spooning food into your mouth, or holding a water bottle while you drink from a straw. This is your time to be pampered and cared for while you work hard to birth your baby. Eating and drinking can shorten your labor by up to 90 minutes. Eat easy to digest foods: scrambled eggs, broth, soup, toast with honey, applesauce, or anything that appeals to you.
- Drink at least 8 ounces of water, preferably with electrolytes, every hour. Empty your bladder once every hour too. Staying hydrated helps maintain your energy, blood pressure, heart rate, comfort-level. All these factors can help your baby stay healthy and safe too.
- Add some drops of aromatherapy oil to the bath water in labor, but only if you like the smell. Lavender is my favorite to help moms relax in labor. Before labor begins, go to the store and test the different scents. Choose what feels good to you. Lavender, chamomile, lemon grass, peppermint, Ylang Ylang, geranium are all good to calm and relax you in labor.
Whether you choose to birth your baby in the birth tub or just labor, you can have confidence that the water in labor will be calming, relaxing and will help your contractions be more effective. Submerging yourself in a tub can reduce your blood pressure, and reduce stress and anxiety. These are all beneficial to your baby taking into consideration mom and baby are both healthy to begin with and no complications exist.
So go ahead, relax and enjoy your labor!
When you are recovering take some time for yourself to soak in a postpartum bath. Your perineum will thank you.
by Liza Janda AAHCC, E-RYT 200, RPYT and Birth Guru
You don’t have to suffer with constipation in pregnancy! There are some easy solutions to this problem.
- Lemons are your secret to a happy to start to every day! Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water. It’s best to squeeze about one or two tablespoons. You can heat the water or drink it room temperature. If it’s too bitter for you, add a little Stevia to taste. Before you eat or drink anything else in the morning, drink this concoction down and you’ll soon be sauntering to the bathroom to start your day off just right.
- Another drink to get things moving is a tea made with Dandelion Root. You can buy this tea anywhere teas are sold. If you start your day with this tea, it stimulates a slow digestive system and constipation in pregnancy. It can tend to be a bitter tasting tea, so just add some Stevia or some good Maple Syrup to taste. Another great benefit is that it can help reduce any swelling or water retention.
- If you’ve got a juicer, a Vita mix, or a Ninja blender, throw in some green veggies like a handful of kale, 1 cucumber, and an apple. Add some fresh grated ginger and yum! Drink it right away for the best taste.
- Fruits and vegetables are 90% water and that helps your digestion whether you’re pregnant or not. So eat up! Try citrus fruits, apples, peaches, and grapes.
- The simplest solution, of course, is to make sure you are drinking enough water daily. The general recommendation is 64 ounces-more if you exercise-about 8 oz. for every 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Drinking water with electrolytes in it will help your body absorb what it needs. You can buy packages of electrolytes and add it, or some waters already have it added. That extra fluid can help end that awful constipation in pregnancy, so you can enjoy this special time growing your baby.
Go to Birth Class Online to download your FREE Healthy Birth Guide-6 steps to a safer birth
Want a Safe, Natural Birth? Avoid These Common Mistakes
1. Pay attention to your labor.
The best thing to do when labor begins is to IGNORE YOUR LABOR! Believe me, your labor will get your full attention when it kicks in to high gear. For now, if it is the middle of the night, go back to sleep. If it’s dinner time, eat dinner. If you were going to a movie but labor began, go to the movie. If you were heading out to do some shopping, go shopping. In other words, whether your contractions start out 4 minutes apart or 10 minutes apart, ignore them.
2. Time your contractions
As I said in the previous paragraph, no matter how close your contractions are, they should pretty much be ignored. It’s the emotions of labor that you need to pay attention to. If you can still chat between contractions, or continue to do what you would normally do at that time, then you should do it.
3. Don’t learn about the emotional signposts of labor.
Doulas, midwives, and childbirth professionals all know that moms emotions, how she’s feeling, the way she’s acting, and the sounds she’s making can tell you exactly where she is in labor. If you can say, while in labor, “ I think it’s time to go to the hospital or birth center.” THEN IT’S NOT TIME TO GO YET! It’s time to go when the moaning begins, mom can’t carry on a conversation between contractions, and she is totally focused on each contraction.
4. Go to your birth place when you’re first tempted to go.
Most first time parents go way too early. When you arrive at your birth place too soon, you risk slowing down your contractions, delaying progress, making labor many hours longer, and getting exhausted. You also add the risk of getting medication for pain relief, then getting artificial hormones to speed up labor, having time limits put on you by your birth place, and lastly an unexpected and unplanned cesarean section.
5. Don’t eat and drink during labor
I’ve heard it so many times. “I’m not hungry. I don’t want to eat anything.” Well, imagine running a marathon, or going on an all day hike and you don’t eat or drink anything. How do you think your body will respond to the lack of nutrition and water? Well, labor is a huge physical task and your body and your baby need food and water. Even if you eat a spoonful of yogurt, or a couple of bites of toast and honey, or a popsicle, it will help. Drink water with electrolytes ( Smart Water Coconut water, Gatorade G2). Your body will absorb it and perform a lot more efficiently.
6. Don’t Take A Bath
A local midwife I know calls the use of water in labor and “AQUA-DURAL” You get the pain relief, relaxation benefits, and more progress. So if you wake up in the middle of the night and contractions are keeping you awake, get in the tub. You can even pour in 2-4 lbs of Epsom Salts to relax you and slow your contractions enough so you can get back to sleep. During active labor, standing in the shower feels great. Don’t want to stand? Fold towels so you can cushion your knees and lean on a birth ball. Or sit on the birth ball. Throw a towel on top of the ball so you don’t slide and roll another towel to put around the base so the ball doesn’t roll. If you have a tub USE IT! If you don’t you can rent a birthing tub or use a blow up pool filled with warm water by attaching a hose to the faucet.
7. Go to Your Birthplace If Your Bag of Waters Breaks Before Labor Begins
Studies show that your risk of developing infection comes when you insert anything into the birth canal ie: checking cervical dilation. Most women will begin labor within 24 hours and a smaller number will begin within 48 hours. So stay home, walk, sleep, eat, drink, take a shower and continue to do what you normally would do. If you want to get things moving along, try acupressure, acupuncture, and other natural techniques to induce labor. Just don’t put ANYTHING in the vagina. Read more about why it’s best to stay home when your membranes rupture before labor begins. What to Do if Your Water Breaks: Is Your Baby Coming Quickly if Your Membranes Rupture? http://childbirth-labour-delivery.suite101.com/article.cfm/what-to-do-if-your-water-breaks#ixzz0rc88vXKS
8. Don’t Ask Questions and Leave The Decisions To Your Doctor/Midwife
There is one thing you can always count on when it comes to labor and birth-THE UNEXPECTED! But when faced with a choice or a decision it is very helpful and empowering if you know the right questions to ask. Penny Simkin came up with her “Key Questions About Your Care” and in a nutshell it’s important to “Bring Your Brain To Your Labor and Birth”.
BRAIN is an acronym for the questions to ask before any procedure, medication, test, or any kind of treatment is proposed. Remember that you’re asking about how it will affect both you and your baby. B stands for: What are the Benefits for me and my baby of this procedure/test? R stands for: What are the Risks for me and my baby? A stands for: Are there any Alternatives to this procedure? I is to remind you to use your Intuition after you have gathered the information. N stands for the option that most people don’t think of: Do Nothing. Wait! As long as this is a safe option, take the time to think about it, talk about it, and trust your instincts.
9. Have An Audience
Having people around watching you try to labor and birth will have the same effect as if you had an audience while you’re trying to do a poop. If you don’t feel a sense of privacy, quiet, safety, and support, your cervix will never open. So choose carefully and wisely who will be with you during labor, and stay in the privacy and safety of your own home as long as you possibly can-longer than you probably want to!
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice |
Below is another natural birth story with some valuable opportunities to point out lots of things Michelle did right that helped her achieve the natural birth that she wanted.
I want to thank you so much for the great Prenatal Yoga class that you offer at Babies In Bloom. I took your Wednesday and Saturday classes to help with my varicose veins in my left leg, and consequently, I also found out how much I enjoyed yoga and all of its benefits. I had pressure and pain in my leg due to my pregnancy related varicose veins, until I discovered your prenatal yoga class.
I felt improvement after the first class that I took and the pain went away after the second week of classes. There was one week that I had to miss two consecutive classes and I could feel the pain and pressure in my leg come back due to being on my feet all day at work and missing those classes. It was really amazing how the stretches and breathing practices helped my circulation.
Your prenatal yoga classes definitely helped me with the actual natural birth of my daughter, as well. I used your breathing techniques to ease and get through my contractions, your helpful natural birthing advice gave me knowledge and confidence to reach my final goal of a natural birth. And your pregnancy-catered yoga positions gave me the strength in my legs to squat during the actual birth. We had an amazing birthing experience with the help of you, Dr. Nick Capetanakis and the Scripps Memorial Encinitas staff!
Liza- Prenatal Yoga allows expectant mothers to relax and explore their emotional selves. By getting in touch with our emotional selves in preparation for labor and birth, we can learn how to view pregnancy and birth in a less factual or rational way. It opens the door to the idea or concept of trusting their bodies to not only grow their babies but also to birth their babies. Give my free 25 minute yoga class a try. The physical benefits are a nice bonus too.
Here is a short version of my birth story… I woke up at 2:30am with menstrual-like cramps and the contractions progressed from there. We labored at home as long as possible and we checked into the hospital at 8am.
Liza-Dr. Sarah Buckley says a laboring woman needs three things to progress in labor. She needs to be in a private place, like home, where she feels safe, and she is unobserved, yet supported. As you’ll read in the next sentence, Michelle was able to relax at home and let her body open up so she could birth her baby girl.
Dr. Cap was already there and checked my dilation right away. I was 9cm and he broke my water while checking. The nurses grabbed a squat bar for the table and I had our baby girl exactly eleven minutes after checking into the facility!! I barely had to push, since gravity and the natural contractions guided her out. Dr. Cap was amazing and coached me through that final pushing stage. He helped me to slow down and massaged me with mineral oil so that I would not tear like I did during my first labor. I only had one tiny minor tear that healed within a couple of days. Dr. Cap was patient and let my husband, Jeff, catch our daughter and hand her to me right away.
Liza-What a thrill and honor for a father to be able to “catch” his own child, and be the first person to hold her…He did not have Jeff cut the umbilical cord until my placenta was out and the nurses let me hold and bond with our daughter for a couple of hours until they finally took her vitals in our labor room. It was amazing!
Here is a picture of Anna Mary Raiatea Logandro (I mentioned to you that we were going to give our daughter a Tahitian middle name…we gave her “Raiatea” because of its significance to us. Jeff and I went to Raiatea on our Honeymoon and my friend, Riya (“Raia”), introduced us on a blind date.). Anna was born on April 26th at 8:11am. She weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 18-1/2″ long.
Below is the natural birth story of Emily, Tyson, and Cambria Lee Perez. I’ve added comments, highlighted, to emphasize things they did that were very helpful in achieving the birth they wanted for their daughter. If you want t learn more, click here.
(This is a wonderful thing to do to help you ignore your labor and to get the staff support you’ll need in labor) Throughout the day the cramping slowly became a little more intense and closer together. Nothing painful, just annoying. The Stage One App(This a good reason to practice relaxation in many different positions and scenarios)I baked cookies for the staff and cleaned around the house.
laying on my exercise ball,
leaning against Tyson, and standing in the shower. Tyson was SOO good at getting me to change to different positions at this point and keeping my energy up. ( If you want to be as good a birth coach as Tyson, read:The Birth Partner, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions (Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, &)
(Sometimes in situations like this, having a doula to support the mom in labor can be helpful so mom feels supported and dad can handle decisions, questions, anything that needs to be handled.)
(If you get a nurse who doesn’t see things the way you see them, ask for another nurse. It’s a simple solution)
Thank you again!
Take online childbirth classes at Your Place, At Your Pace!
Travel a lot? Busy schedule? Spouse deployed? On bed rest in pregnancy? Can’t find a childbirth class that fits your schedule? Our online childbirth classes are the perfect alternative to an in-person childbirth class!
IF YOU CAN’T COME TO A CHILDBIRTH CLASS, WE WILL BRING THE CLASS TO YOU!
Online childbirth classes are the solution!
Go to www.birthclassonline.com or www.birthclassathome.com. For only $75.00 you get award winning online childbirth classes, access to a certified childbirth educator, bonus information about pregnancy, labor, and birth. All this will help you create the healthiest and the safest birth possible for both you and your baby.
WHAT DOES EVIDENCE BASED MEAN?
This online childbirth class is evidence-based. That means that the information you learn in the online childbirth class is backed up by medical research and analysis.
So how can you avoid things like an unnecessary cesarean birth? Learn about natural pain relieving techniques in labor? Know all your options and what questions to ask in unexpected situations? Get educated and informed. Being prepared is the best way to keep you and your baby healthy and safe!
Taking this online childbirth class gives you valuable information so that you and your partner can make informed decisions. You can have confidence that the information you learn in your online childbirth class is based on documented facts, and based on proof of the best medical practices, for the safest and the healthiest births possible, for both mothers and babies.
WHAT DO EXPECTANT PARENTS THINK OF THE UNDERSTANDING BIRTH eCLASS?
Most expectant parents have a lot of fear about labor and birth.
Who wouldn’t want to feel confident about labor and birth?
Who wouldn’t want to feel relaxed and prepared?
99% of parents polled said that the time and effort it took them to complete the class was just right. And they felt confident going into labor and birth.
90% of parents polled said the ease of learning and following along was Outstanding or Very Good
” The videos in our online childbirth class were a reality check and let us know what we can expect during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The class/exercises gave us a lot to think about and helped us prepare with checklists and things to ask our providers.”
“I like being able to go at my own pace over a couple of days time period, and re-watching or going over information again with my husband at a later time. This online childbirth class is so convenient!”
- Learn about your changing body
- Recognize signs of labor
- Watch real-life birth videos
- Discover helpful comfort techniques
- Get an overview of medical procedures
- Understand cesarean birth’Prepare for your baby’s arrival
- Know what to expect after giving birth
By Liza Janda AAHCC, E-RYT, RPYT
a. Have been proven safe for babies during labor and birth
b. Are necessary because the pain of labor and birth is unbearable
c. Can cause drops in blood pressure, fetal distress and fever in the mother
d. Can cause difficulty suckling and sleepiness in the newborn which interfere with breastfeeding
e. Can be quite effective in relieving labor pain
f. Increase risk of Cesarean
g. All of the above
h. C & d
2. Induction of Labor
a. Is necessary 60% of the time
b. Fails 50-60% of the time, ending in an unplanned Cesarean
c. Is necessary when you go past your due date
d. Is necessary when your baby is too big
e. Is necessary only when medically indicated
f. Can cause babies to be born late-term premature
g. Should always be done if your water breaks before labor starts.
h. Can cause admission of babies to the neonatal ICU (intensive care unit)
i. Can cause the need for epidurals and narcotics for pain relief.
j. None of the above
k. All of the above
l. Only b, e, f, h, i
3. Most women avoid caffeine, medications, alcohol during pregnancy. What they don’t know is that hospitals use opiates for pain relief. Opiates:
a. Are derivatives of cocaine
b. Cross the placenta
c. Cause central nervous system depression in babies
d. Can cause altered neurological behavior
e. Cause nausea, dizziness, and itching in the mother
f. Start working in less than five minutes
g. Have been proven safe for baby and mother
h. All of the above
i. None of the above
j. A through f only
4. The number one worry for most pregnant women is:
a. Pain during labor
b. Getting to the hospital on time
c. Getting to the hospital too early
d. A and b
e. A and c
f. None f the above
5. Good nutrition during pregnancy affects:
a. Your baby’s health, today only
b. Your baby’s development from nerves to muscles to bone to brain
c. Ha been shown to reduce incidence of preterm labor and bed rest
d. A only
e. A and B
f. B and c
6. Choosing your caregiver
a. Can affect your risk of having procedures such as cesarean surgery or episiotomy
b. Can affect your baby’s health
c. Is not important. They are all the same
d. All of the Above
e. A and b only
7. When a treatment or intervention is suggested, you should always ask
a. What is the problem? Why is it a problem? How serious is it?
b. Describe the treatment: How is it done? What are the risks/benefits?
c. What are the alternatives? What are the risks/benefits to the alternatives?
d. What if we wait and do nothing?
e. Can we have time alone to talk about it?
f. All of the above
How many answers did you get correct?
0-3 You definitely need to take a childbirth class
3-6 Better ,but…You still need more education and relaxation practice.
7 Pretty good! But you still need to practice relaxation, and learn all you can about the emotional sign posts of labor. Get ready. It’s like training for a marathon. It’s never too late to start! Go to www.birthclassonline.com and download your free healthy birth booklet to get started on your way to the safest and healthiest birth possible for you and your baby!
by Liza Janda AAHCC, E-RYT, RPYT
What exactly is the cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy?
A lot of pregnant women suffer from a dull, aching, a sharp, painful, or even a prickly, tingling feeling in their wrists and forearms. It often appears in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy can be caused by increased fluid retention and edema, or swelling.
There are solutions to carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy.
Rid your body of fluid imbalance reducing inflammation in wrists and the rest of the body.
· Your kidneys maintain fluid balance in your body. Start every day by drinking hot or cold water with two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. This purges the body of extra fluid and stimulates elimination. Sweeten with stevia.
· Nettle tea is a safe diuretic because it doesn’t deplete your body’s calcium and potassium balance but gets rid of excess fluid. Drink nettle tea hot or cold-2-3x a day. Add stevia or honey to sweeten.
· Add dandelion greens to any salad-a delicious way to help lower blood pressure and flush fluid.
· Drink dandelion root tea.
· Eat bananas or apricots for added potassium.
· Add 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, daily, to water sweetened with raw honey.
· Take omega 3’s .
· Add turmeric and ginger supplements to your diet.
Acupuncture relieves carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy
· An experienced acupuncturist will know just what to do to help relieve your pain
Wrist support helps
· Get a carpal tunnel wrist brace to stabilize your wrists.
· Wrist Assured Gloves or Yoga Paws help on the yoga mat.
A little ice and a little heat go a long way
· Alternate ice on your wrists 10 minutes
· Take a bath in Epsom salts-2-3 lbs.
Take these simple steps and you will find quick relief from your carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy.
Everything you need-just a click away:
Liza Janda does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided in this fact sheet or incorporated into it by reference. We provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.
Tags: carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy, dandelion root, diuretic, edema, fluid, inflammation in pregnancy, nettle tea, pregnant, swelling, wrist support
Posted in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy |