Thursday, July 24, 2008

Book Review: Don't Just Stand There - Birth Books for Dad

I read Don't Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-in, Supportive, Engaged, Meaningful, and Relevant in the Delivery Room by Elissa Stein and her partner Jon Lichtenstein a few nights ago. The book is available on Amazon new for about $10 and used for about $5.

I bought this book to add to my childbirth education library because I haven't found many selections for dads that I've liked. My top favorite is Penny Simkin's The Birth Partner (yes, there's a new edition!), which I highly recommend for dad and mom because it is packed with readable, excellent information. It is by far one of the books that I most frequently hand to couples when they ask which books in the library are the best. I also have The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash. The Expectant Father is okay but not overly impressive in tone or information provided and while it is in the library, I don't go out of my way to recommend it.

So I ordered Don't Just Stand There, despite a little nagging uneasiness because of the title includes the phrase "delivery room", because I was really hoping to have another book to offer dads. I'm glad that phrase didn't keep me from ordering the book: Stein and Lichtenstein pack a lot of useful information into a small, appealing book that I will happily recommend to dads looking for reading material.

Don't Just Stand There is divided into the following section: stages of labor, what to bring, what to say, how to comfort, what not to do, say, or bring, and then some "fill in the blanks" prompts to encourage discussion between the partners.

The book offers a lot of useful information:
**descriptions of the physical and emotional progress through labor
**specific suggestions of how the partner can be helpful in each stage
**the basics on what to bring to the hospital, plus a few new ideas
**specific affirmations, breathing prompts, and visualizations
**ways to physically comfort mom: position-change, water, massage & more
**ways to make the environment more comfortable
**how to "take charge" so mom can focus on laboring

I especially like that the book presents a range of options as normal: "There are so many options for where and how to give birth. Some women choose to be at home, others at a birthing center, and still others in the hospital" (45). The authors also encourage informed decision-making throughout the book, and specifically in a brief section called "questions to ask": "While your partner's in labor, there could be a lot going on that you might want to question. Go right ahead. It's your right to know what's going on and why" (36).

Although only the most basic information on a few labor procedures are discussed, the authors are clear about some of their drawbacks - "If she's hooked up to a fetal monitor, she'll need to stay in one position so that the band around her belly, which is monitoring the baby, stays in place. This can be extremely uncomfortable and also frustrating if she wants to try different positions or move around" (36). Stein & Lichtenstein also highlight the importance of discussing alternatives to common procedures with care-providers. There is very little detail about specific options, but I think that's ok - Don't Just Stand There is a slim, unintimidating book, focused on how dad can be supportive. There are lots of excellent books for moms/dads who want specifics about various procedures and medications, like anything by Henci Goer, for example.

Don't Just Stand There ends with a hilarious section on "Don'ts" - nothing like hearing what other, less enlightened, dads have said or done during labor to increase a dad's confidence: I can just imagine readers thinking "I would never say something that stupid!" Plus, they're hilarious.

A few of my favorites:
** "Don't flirt with the nurses." and
** "Don't socialize too much with the labor partner in the next delivery room."

Don't Just Stand There acknowledges the partner's importance during labor and birth "not a single trick of the trade will help as much as knowing that you are there with her 100 percent of the way. Just be present with her. Let her know that she is not alone and you love her" (9) while also providing dads with a wide variety of do-able ways to support his laboring partner. I especially appreciate that the book encourages informed choices, that it will be appropriate for moms planning to birth at home or in the hospital, with or without medication, and that neither the format nor the content is intimidating.

I will definitely be handing dads this compact, easy-to-read book that presents a variety of ways to be "helpful, clued-in, supportive, engaged, meaningful, and relevant" during labor and birth.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tandem Nursing and Colostrum

When people realized that I wasn't intending to wean my first child before my second child was born, I got a lot of questions. First there were the questions about the safety of breastfeeding while pregnant. Those questions were fairly simple because overwhelming evidence supports the safety of breastfeeding while pregnant (as long as there aren't complicating risk factors, like a history of pre-term labor). Second I got questions about supply - would the newborn get enough once he was born? Well, since I've always tended toward over-supply, and I didn't plan to limit nursing sessions, I wasn't worried. The answer to that question is simply logistical: let the newborn nurse first, for as long as (s)he wants, and then the older child gets the "leftovers".

The one question that stumped me was - will the new baby get colostrum? If you're asking yourself "what exactly is colostrum" or wondering about its benefits, check out the La Leche League factsheet on colostrum. I thought the new baby would get colostrum, but I wasn't sure exactly how it would work.

In case you're considering tandem nursing and are wondering the same thing, I'm posting this information from email newsletters I received this week:

First, from the Mothering weekly email, one of the questions of the week was re: colostrum and tandem nursing. The reply from Kathleen Bruce explains that "When a mother delivers a baby and the placenta separates from the uterus, the hormones of lactation take over and lactogenesis continues with the production of colostrum, and later, mature milk as your baby and toddler nurse frequently."

A very similar question was highlighted in the most recent Midwifery Today email newsletter, which offered a similar response: "Typically the pregnant and nursing mother experiences a decrease in milk production sometime during second trimester, and then begins to produce colostrum sometime during third trimester. Colostrum production continues until about the third or fourth day after birth, when frequent nursing by the newborn baby brings in mother's milk. It is important during these first few days for the mother to limit the older nursling's time at the breast, to insure that the newborn receives plenty of colostrum."

Some of my favorite tandem nursing resources include:
Adventures in Tandem Nursing, by Hilary Flower
Kellymom's pages on nursing during pregnancy & tandem nursing
La Leche League's articles on tandem nursing

Just for a data point, here is my experience: I tandem nursed for just short of a year before my older child weaned. There were lots of benefits for all of us - I never got engorged (unlike my first breastfeeding experience), my milk production stabilized quickly (instead of leaking for almost a year, I had stopped leaking after about a month), I didn't have anything like the nipple soreness I had with my first, I didn't feel that I was depriving my older child of something she needed, etc. My older child was still able to reap the many benefits of extended nursing (now, at six years old, she still has never had an infection of any kind, or any antibiotics - yay breastmilk!), and occasionally share nursing time with her brother; weaning didn't play into sibling dynamics or resentment.

This is not to say tandem nursing is easy - I think it can be emotionally challenging to nurse two children, as well as physically draining. For us, though, I think it was easier to tandem nurse than to wean my older child who was so not ready, emotionally or physically.

Anyway, since there were two articles in my email newsletters in the same week, I figured I'd share... Anyone else care to share tandem nursing experiences?

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Mother-Baby Dyad

The other part of the Midwifery Today newsletter article on "Animal Birth" that really interested me was the last paragraph:
"In animal husbandry, the first line of defense for protecting the unborn is to protect and nurture the nutritional needs and comfort of the birthing female. In the case of institutionalized birth for humans, however, in spite of evidence to the contrary, the norm is to act as if the nutritional needs and the comfort of the birthing mothers are of concern to, at most, the marketing and public relations department! It's an affront to common sense that as a society we are currently more accepting of the needs of foaling mares, whelping poodles and high-producing cows than of our birthing humans. From the high rates of fetal distress, meconium staining and breastfeeding problems, the consequences are clearly devastating to our infants, just as any decent horseman would predict."

I have read in other places the term "mother-baby dyad", which is what this article reminded me of - that in animal husbandry, the dyad aspect of the motherbaby relationship is typically respected, while it may or may not be in human care.

Dyad is defined as "a group of two; couple; pair" and "two persons involved in an ongoing relationship or interaction", according to Birth is certainly an ongoing interaction!

Unfortunately, I think that some caregivers and birth-places set the mother and baby in adversarial positions - that mothers who want to move around instead of lying still for continuous fetal monitoring are putting their babies in danger... that mothers who want to wait for baby to send the signal that (s)he is ready for birth instead of scheduling an induction are putting their babies in danger... that mothers who pay attention to their own needs - for space, support, food/drink, information, etc. - are in some ways being "selfish" by putting their own needs above their babies.

I've flown enough times with my kids to have the whole "oxygen mask for yourself first" speech practically memorized. You know, the one where they advise people traveling with small children to put on their own oxygen masks first before attending to their children. For obvious reasons, that never fail to go through my head in near-panic-inducing detail (again with the labor breathing!).

Is labor that different? I believe that a strong, healthy, comfortable (in mind as well as body, as much as possible), well-fed and hydrated, supported woman is going to have a physiologically easier labor than if she had not taken care of her mind and body. By taking care of herself, she IS taking care of her baby.

If mother is frightened or anxious, her baby is exposed to adrenalin... or baby could receive the positive, long-lasting benefits of endorphins. Mother could feel more comfortable moving around, which helps baby slip into the most advantageous position for traveling down the birth canel...or the baby of a mom lying on her back will have to squirm uphill to be born. The deep breaths a mother's body tells her she needs to breathe in while pushing her baby out provides extra oxygen for the baby... or the breath-holding 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 PUSH HARDER "purple-pushing" scenario stresses baby's system. I could go on & on! What happens to the mother, the decisions she makes to take care of herself (and her baby), truly affects the baby's experience of birth.

Speaking of baby's experience of birth, I love Gayle Peterson's description in An Easier Childbirth:
"the baby’s sensation is one of healthy stimulation – stress but not distress. Your baby is massaged by your uterine contractions, and you may think of your contractions as hugging your baby as he or she moves through labor. Your contractions serve as a firm resistance for your baby to push off from as she or he presses into your cervix . . . your baby presses with his or her feet against the force of the contraction, pushing its head down on the cervix. You can think of it as a child learning to swim, first crouching with feet on the wall of the pool, then pushing forcefully toward the center of the pool. In this way you and your baby work together during labor.

Your baby’s head molds easily, fitting through the cervix as it opens. You might imagine how pleasant it can feel to have hands cupped around your head, as often happens during a massage. It feels good to have a certain amount of pressure on your head as the person’s hands open and slide around the crown of your head, down over your ears, massaging your neck. And so it is for your baby.

Labor is naturally designed to stimulate your baby in preparation for breathing. As the baby comes down the birth canal, mucous is massaged out of the lungs so they will be ready to take in air at birth. The baby’s circulatory system is stimulated by the friction of moving through the vagina, much as you stimulate warmth by rubbing your hands together on a cold day . . . It can be comforting to visualize the normal labor process as a stimulating massage for your baby” (97).

How fantastic is that?

Back on the topic, though, is one of my most favorite sections of Jennifer Block's book Pushed:
"‘Our country has created a mythology of women who are irresponsible and don’t care,’ says Paltrow. ‘We talk about welfare queens, crack moms, and murderous women who have abortions.’ A culture that allows such language to permeate our national subconscious inevitably dehumanizes all women, including mothers. Lyon argues that this thinking perpetuates a phrase often invoked in exam rooms and delivery rooms: The goal is to have a healthy baby. ‘This phrase is used over and over and over to shut down women’s requests,’ she says. ‘The context needs to be that the goal is to have a healthy mom. Because mothers never make decisions without thinking about that healthy baby. And to suggest otherwise is insulting and degrading and disrespectful’ . . . What’s best for women is best for babies. And what’s best for women and babies is minimally invasive births that are physically, emotionally, and socially supported. This is not the experience that most women have. In the age of evidence-based medicine, women need to know that standard American maternity care is not primarily driven by their health and well-being or by the health and well-being of their babies. Care is constrained and determined by liability and financial concerns, by a provider’s licensing regulations and malpractice insurer. The evidence often has nothing to do with it" (271).

I am so fascinated by all of this... If you are too, here's one last interesting link, to an organization I didn't even know existed until I did a search in preparation for this blog entry: the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization and their International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine


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Friday, July 11, 2008

What Choice?

I loved the section on "Animal Birth" in this week's Midwifery Today newsletter:
"The protocols in the world of animal husbandry to protect an offspring at the time of birth—no strangers, dimmed lights, freedom of movement, familiar environment, unlimited nourishment, respectful quiet, no disruptions—are done without hesitation because to do otherwise invites "unexplained distress" or sudden demise of the offspring. These thoughtful conditions are the norm, along with careful observation to determine when to use the technological expertise in true emergencies. When we have veterinarians in our childbirth education classes, they always start to smile and nod when I tell this story. These are givens—instinctive givens, even, for animals of all descriptions! Yet what are the "givens" for the human who births not in a barn, but in a "modern and advanced" hospital? In many cases, 100% the opposite!"

This excerpt reminds me of the opening line of the big book of birth by Erica Lyon:
"In the 1930s, my father-in-law was born on his family's kitchen table in New York's Little Italy . . . We hear a story like this and think: we've come a long way. Back then how a woman would navigate labor was fairly simple. She had very little choice: perhaps she had access to prenatal care, perhaps she did not; and her options for where to have the baby were limited to either the kitchen table or her bedroom . . . These days, thankfully, we have many more choices" (xiii).

As I read this, I noted "Do we??" in the margin. Because while many of us do have access to technology that can be life-saving when used appropriately, I believe that Lyon is looking at this issue of "choice" in a somewhat limited way.

When homebirth was the norm, women could choose to have the kind of birth that respected their needs as women mammals - see the list above from the Midwifery Today newsletter.

In 2008, laboring women can choose technology, but does the same choice exist for women who want to limit the use of machines and procedures and medications during labor? Can a woman eat when and what and where she wants to during labor? Can she choose any position she wants to labor or birth in? Can she birth in water, if that feels comfortable? Can she choose to have fetal heart-tones monitored intermittently (which, according to the ACOG themselves is just as safe), or will a nurse insist on electronic fetal monitoring because the hospital's "birth center" is understaffed? Is she encouraged and supported in trying highly effective non-drug pain-coping strategies before Nubain or an epidural?

I believe that in some very important ways laboring women have less choice than Lyon's grandmother-in-law way back in the 1930s, who birthed at home in her own space, where she could move how she liked, eat what she wanted, etc. & etc.

Some hospitals to this day still do the ice chips for laboring women, with NPO (nothing by mouth) as the standing order. Many hospitals prefer/insist women birth on the bed. Lots don't do waterbirth (in the Central ME area, St. Mary's is the only one that offers waterbirth - to my knowledge, neither hospital in Brunswick or Waterville, nor Augusta Maine General or CMMC offers waterbirth). According to Listening to Mothers Survey II, 93% of women surveyed in 2005 had continuous electronic fetal monitoring. The number of women continuously monitored suggests that few were in the bath or shower ("the midwives epidural") or frequently changing position etc. - all non-medical ways to take some of the intensity out of the discomfort of labor and birth, and all virtually impossible to do while hooked up to the lines of the EFM machine.

The issue of choice itself suggests that women have access to true, informed consent - a clear explanation of the risks and benefits to themselves and their babies - and, whenever medically possible, the time and space to make a decision. Does this happen? Again from Listening to Mothers Survey II: "Despite the very broad array of interventions presented and experienced, widespread belief in the value of avoiding unnecessary interference, and a high degree of understanding about the right to informed refusal, just a small proportion (10%) had refused anything during this period. Of concern, the great majority of mothers who had experienced episiotomy (73%) stated they had not had a choice in this decision.

"We asked mothers about knowledge needed about side effect of labor induction, epidural analgesia and cesarean before deciding to have these interventions. In every case, virtually everyone felt that all (78-81%) or most (17-19%) complications should be disclosed. However, whether mothers had had the specific intervention or not, they were poorly informed about a series of complications of labor indicution and cesarean section; most had an incorrect understanding or were not sure."

I would like to think that informed consent happens during pregnancy, labor, and birth, but honestly? For whatever reason(s), I truly don't believe true informed consent is the norm in hospital birth.

Homebirth-advocates might say, if you want the best of the 1930s and 2008 - freedom of choice and life-saving technology, plan a homebirth, with transfer to the hospital if medically indicated. Well, plan that homebirth as long as you live in a state where it is legal... or you can find a homebirth midwife who practices illegally.

For women who want to be able to make true choices about labor and birth - for technology to be used as individually, and medically, indicated - I suggest beginning by choosing the practice you receive care from, your caregiver, and your place of birth very, very carefully. I had two fantastic hospital births, where I was truly supported by my caregivers and the nurses in giving birth like a mammal, so obviously it is possible! But in 2008, in the United States, I think choice has to be consciously pursued and protected; it is not something that comes as an inherent right to all birthing mothers.

Which brings me back to my question - do laboring women truly have more choices than in the 1930s, or are our choices still limited, just in different ways?

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine


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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Aromatherapy for Birth and Parenting

Mothering included this gem of an article in its latest newsletter, "Scents of Childhood". The article offers information on using essential oils as "kid soothers", for "tummy troubles", "colds and coughs" and more. They also recommend two books for additional information, Valerie Gennari Cooksley's Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils and Valerie Worwood's Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child. I bought both on yesterday - they look fantastic.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Not Just for Childbirth!

As I've been teaching childbirth classes for a while now, it has occurred to me how many of the skills we practice and discuss in class are really "life-long" skills that can be used in many contexts outside of childbirth.

For example, in Birthing Your Baby classes we discuss and practice a variety of pain-coping skills that are also good for anxiety: focusing on the breath; mantra; visualization etc. When I get hurt or am experiencing intense emotions like anxiety or anger, I do the "focus on my breath" thing to remain calm. When my kids get hurt, I remind them to take big deep breaths and to listen to their breath - it's AMAZING to me how well this works - it's second-best to mama-milk in calming children at my house (and first-best for the weaned kid).

When I fly, which I do fairly often with my children, I have worked very hard to not show the (irrational, but still present) anxiety that I have about flying, especially take-off and landing. I don't want them to be anxious about flying, and so far, my mantras and breath-focusing, and noticing/releasing tension in my body, efforts have really worked - I don't dread flying as much and my kids have no idea that I'm working hard to overcome my anxiety.

Another life-long skill is understanding the value of informed consent - medical or otherwise - and knowing the questions to ask to obtain it. We talk about the BRAIN acronym in class - benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition, and nothing as a quick way to remember the kinds of information you might want to have before making a decision about motherbaby's care during birth. But these same questions work both in the medical realm of child and adult care (antibiotics for baby? vaccinations? one test or another? one medication or another?) as well as decisions we need to make as parents (where baby sleeps... weaning... which school/homeschool...) and even just life decisions (jobs, moving, etc.). The whole idea of "not making a decision is making a decision" is also an important one, in my opinion.

We do a lot of partner work in class - both parts of the couple make a list, or sort things in order of importance, etc. and then we discuss as a class. Frequently, the couples generally agree, but sometimes I suspect there are some interesting conversations in the car on the way home. Some couples communicate more, and more constructively, than others - all the choices to make around pregnancy/birth certainly give the opportunity for practice. But that's nothing compared to actually raising children together. Some people have the whole "my parents did ___________ this way, and I turned out ok, so I think we should do _____________ this way too" - and that could work out, but if the parents were raised differently (say, from spanking and non-spanking households), constructive communication is one of the best ways to avoid conflict. Birthing classes can give parents the opportunity and encouragement to open/continue constructive conversations about birth and parenting.

Communication doesn't stop with the parenting partner though - many couples come in and share what's happening in their larger family - who agrees with what they plan to do re: birth/parenting, and who doesn't and we discuss ways to cope with differences. For example, some parents take a change in parenting the next generation as a criticism (breastfeeding, unmedicated birth, etc.), and respond to their now adult children from a place of guilt or frustration or even anger. Birth classes can be a good place to brainstorm how to deal with this, and other, common challenges.

Birthing Your Baby classes also stress the importance of communicating with caregivers. Doctors, midwives, nurses, etc. cannot read people's minds, so communicating with them about birth preferences, early and often, is one of the best ways to increase your odds that your caregivers offer you individual care. The same things that work with caregivers around birth, also tend to work with other professionals encountered during parenting - pediatricians/family doctors, teachers, specialists etc. None of them know what you want unless you tell them! Of course what someone wants isn't always practical, or even possible, but there's no way to know unless you try.

I believe that good birth classes can teach and encourage a set of skills that are great for birth, and also for life beyond birth.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine


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Hypnobirthing, anyone?

One thing I teach in my classes is that whoever you are, you take your personality into labor with you - this isn't surprising, but I think it can lead to some interesting and worthwhile observations. That's why I have women brainstorm how they have coped with pain in the past (and partners write how they've been helpful) - because how they've coped in the past is a clue to what might work well during labor. Women who like to be distracted might have lots of people in the room; women who do not want to be touched while they're in pain are more likely to be the ones hissing "Don't TOUCH me!" through clenched teeth. Of course it doesn't always work out like that, but like I said - it's a clue.

So, it wasn't surprising to me that, since I tend to be an "in my head", introspective-type person, I coped with my labors using a lot of "invisible" coping skills, that I did by myself: focusing on my breath; focal point; visualization. I used a bunch of others too, but my labors were fairly calm and quiet (for labor), because I was doing most of the coping work in my head.

I teach all of the above in Birthing Your Baby classes, and really encourage participants to practice at home, with and without their labor support helping them (and we practice in class). Of course we discuss lots of other methods, because the more tools in the toolbox during labor, the better.

Anyway, I'm wondering what overlap there is between these "in the head" methods of coping and hypnobirthing?? What specific techniques are used to create the self-hypnosis? I suspect that Birthing Your Baby classes do use a lot of hypnobirthing techniques, but I need to do some research to find out for sure.

I've never been particularly attracted to hypnobirthing, for a few basic reasons: I like to call a spade a spade - no "rushes" or "surges" - they're contractions, to me. I also have wondered if some teachers focus too much on the promise of "no pain", to the point that women who do experience pain might feel like they're not trying hard enough, or are doing something wrong... Finally, I've talked to a few women whose hypnobirthing instructors didn't want to "scare" them by discussing possible (very common) procedures... this feels a little paternalistic to me - I want to give moms/dads information so they can make their best decisions, not encourage them to stick their fingers in their ears and sing lalalala "I don't need to know this because it won't happen to me" lalalala.

But that's just me... I've read enough birth stories to realize that hypnobirthing works marvelously for some moms, and that's awesome.

What started me thinking more about this is an article I read recently "Overcome the Fear and Pain of Childbirth Using Hypnosis" by Angela Monti Fox, LCSW. I really, really liked what she said in the beginning of the article:
"The first goal in the process is to overcome the fear of childbirth that has been embedded in each woman's consciousness, a natural consequence of cultural conditioning. Probably from before a woman has even thought about having a child or becoming pregnant she has been taught to believe that childbirth will be the most painful experience of her life. This is what we call being negatively hypnotized. This is not to say that giving birth is easy, it certainly is not—it probably will be the hardest work a woman will ever have to do with one of the most sensitive parts of her body—that is why it is called “labor.” However, it can also be one of the most fulfilling, wonderful and ecstatic events in a woman’s life, one that can impact many aspects of her life for years to come. How a woman gives birth can have a powerful effect on many aspects of her sense of self, her feelings of self confidence and personal power, her feelings toward her body and new born; and her feelings toward her sexuality as well as the resumption of her sexual life with her partner."

I read that and I thought - wow! I need to check out this hypnobirthing more closely - maybe what/how I teach has more in common with it than I thought...

But then this sentence: "Learning to birth with hypnosis—especially for first time moms—means learning to birth without fear and pain" makes me go - huh? what does "learning to birth without pain" mean? If I learn the right things and try hard enough, I shouldn't feel pain during labor? I feel very uncomfortable with that statement. Some women don't feel pain in labor - hypnobirth insturction or otherwise - and that's awesome... but I'm not sure learning something (anything, in particular) directly equals birth without pain with any true consistency. Lots of techniques can help, sure, but so does having appropriate care and good support and a baby in a good position, and... and... and - these are not necessarily things that we "learn" - they're things we try to make happen, or not, and that work out, or don't. There's only a certain level of control that can be exerted - and birth is notoriously something that is it's own thing, that I think works best if we don't try to control it - much better to just be with it, to be in the moment, to let things flow & see what happens (as long as motherbaby is doing well, of course).

I also really liked the paragraph that explains hypnosis as a "natural cognitive function" or state of "focused concentration" and how hypnobirthing "teaches [laboring women] to relax and divert her attention away from each contraction".

But that paragraph ends with "She may wish to experience a surge as a sensation of pressure, or a pulling up or stretching, but not pain. In addition, when using hypnosis, time can be condensed. Moms that birth with hypnosis, are trained to experience each new surge as lasting no longer that 15 or 20 seconds" and those statements just don't make sense to me.

The article continues with a bunch more great information about hypnosis (this author clearly believes in informed consent, as well - yay!).

So, I am now definitely motivated to learn more about hypnobirthing - what it is, what it isn't, how instructors teach it, etc. I just bought that book Birthing in the Spirit, so that might give me some insight.

Anyone have any experience with hypnobirth? I'd love to hear it... as well as any recommendations for good books, articles, or websites about hypnobirthing.

Anyone... anyone...???? ;-)

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine


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