Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Five Facts Your Care Provider May Not Tell You About Labor and Birth


Because medical professionals have achieved a certain degree at a college or university, we generally believe that they know everything about their field of speciality. But we are human and we cannot possible know everything.  

Take labor and childbirth for example.  There are four things a care provider may not tell you about labor and childbirth.  It is not that they are keeping information from you.  They just do not know the current medical evidence.

Here's what you may be missing ~

1) Childbirth Education classes are important.

You need childbirth education classes regardless of how you intend to birth your baby.  Let's face it, situations change.  No, unless you hire a Doula, no one person knowledgeable in maternity care will be with you during the entire labor and birth.  Neither the nurse nor the physician will be there all of the time.  It is so important to know the guideposts of labor and how to handle the contractions.  Your partner/spouse will need this information also in order to better assist you. Knowledge is power - and birth is a normal biological occurrance.

To find a childbirth educator near you, look to these sites for referrals:

2) Fear about childbirth is normal and completely understandable.

So you've been watching childbirth shows on TV.  These are not accurate depictions of childbirth - they are purposely made sensational to see commercial advertising.  If they televised a real birth, it would be boring.  Over 85% of childbirth is normal and physiological.  But the fear of the pain and fear of the birth is normal.  By reading good books, visiting quality website and attending childbirth education classes, you will be able to overcome the fear of birth and make it more enjoyable.  The key is in the understanding - if you are fearful, your body is more tense, and the tension hormones make pain more intense, which makes you more fearful....and so on.

3) All medications given during labor and birth cross the placenta and affect your baby.

Independent research confirms that any medication given during the pregnancy, labor or birth does cross the placenta and affect your baby.  Yes, the medications they use to induce labor affects your baby.  Yes, epidural anesthesia affects your baby.  Knowing the facts before you need to make a decision is the best way to enter any situation.

Speaking of induction, independent research also demonstrates that women should not be induced prior to 40 week gestation.  What happens? If a baby is born too soon, there could be multiple complications and this could mean weeks in the NICU.  Play it safe, go the full 40!

4) Formula is not optimum nutrition for your baby. 

Chemicals, insufficient nutrition and lack of ideal instructions for feeding are just some of the reasons why formula is not the optimum nutrition for your baby.  Formula does not change with the change and growing needs of the baby.  What does have the best nutrition and does change to meet the babys' needs?  Breastmilk.  

5) Cesarean childbirth is major abdominal surgery with a long and often painful recovery period.

Even though the United States cesarean rate is over 33%, that does not indicate that is is always a necessary or safe procedure.  While in many situations cesarean birth saves lives, in too many other instances it is done for convenience of the parents or care providers or because a planned induction was done too soon and the mother's body did not respond.  Cesarean childbirth is major abdominal surgery with a typically longer-than-vaginal-birth recovery and definitely a recovery with more limitations and pain.  Thoroughly research about cesarean births before deciding.

Resources for this article include:

Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS) The Pregnant Patient’s Bill of Rights.
Coalition for Improving Maternity Services [CIMS]. (1996). Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative. Retrieved May 1, 2013 from MFCI_english.pdf.
Hotelling, B. and Gordon, H. (2014) How to Become Mother-Friendly: Policies and Procedures for Hospitals, Birth Centers and Home Birth Services. Springer Publishing.

ICEA Position Paper.  (2014) Family Centered Maternity Care.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2012) Informed Consent. Free PDF download.

Arms, S. and Harper, B. (2011) Gentle Birth Choices. Healing Arts Press.

Childbirth Connection (2013) Understanding and Navigating the Maternity Care System.

Childbirth Connection. The Rights of the Childbearing Women.  Free PDF download.

Goer, H. and Romano, A. (2012) Optimal Care in Childbirth: the Case for a Physiologic Approach. Classic Day Publishing, Seattle WA.

Jukelevics, N. (2008) Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions. Praeger Series on Contemporary Health and Living.
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) Position Statement on Shared Decision Making and Informed Consent.
Simkin, P. et al. (2010) Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide. Meadowbrook Press.

Wagner, M. (2006) Creating Your Birth Plan: The Definitive Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birth. Perigee Trade.

Dick-Read, G. (2013) Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth. Pinter & Martin.

Gabriel, C. (2011) Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds. Harvard Common Press.

Goer, H. and Romano, A. (2012) Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach. Classic Day Publishing.
Lothian, J. and DeVries, C. (2010) The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence. Meadowbrook.

Bardacke, N.  (2012) Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond.  HarperOne.

Delisle, M. Guide to What to Do When Pregnant.  Free.

Romm, A. and Gaskin, I.M. (2014) The Natural Pregnancy Book (3rd Edition): Your Complete Guide to a Safe, Organic Pregnancy and Childbirth with Herbs, Nutrition and other Holistic Choices. Ten Speed Press.

Sears, W. Et al. (2013) The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts.  Little, Brown, and Company.

Avery, M.D. (2013) Supporting a Physiologic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth: a Practical Guide.  Wiley-Blackwell.
Douglas, A. (2012) The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. Wiley; 2nd Edition.

Frye, A. (2014) The First Stage of Labor: A Collection of Articles from Midwifery Today Magazine. Amazon Digital Services.

Kitzinger, S. (2011) The New Pregnancy & Childbirth: Choices and Challenges. D.K. Publishing.

The Midwifery Group of Canada.  The Birth Process.

Dye, J. (2011) Aromatherapy for Women and Children: Pregnancy & Childbirth. Ebury Digital.

Frye, A. (2014) The First Stage of Labor: A Collection of Articles from Midwifery Today Magazine. Amazon Digital Services.

Hodnett, E.D. et al. (2011) Continuous support for women during childbirth.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.  Issue 2, Art No. CD003766.

Jowitt, M. (2014) Dynamic Positions in Birth: A fresh look at how women’s bodies work in labor.  Amazon Digital Services.

Morelli, K. (2012) BirthTouch® Shiatsu and Acupressure for the Childbearing Year. Amazon Digital Services.

Morton, C. (2014) Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Women Supported Birth in America. Praeclarus Press.

Odent, M. (2014) Water, Birth and Sexuality: Our Primeval Connection to Water and Its Use in Labour and Therapy. Clairview Books.

Simkin, P. and Ancheta, R.  (2011) The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia. Wiley-Blackwell.

Simkin, P. (2014) The Birth Partner – Revised 4th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and all other Labor Companions. Harvard Common Press.

Sprague, A. (2011) Water Labour, Water Birth: A guide to the use of water during pregnancy, labour and birth. Published by Annie Sprague.

ICEA Position Paper. (2014) Cesarean Childbirth.

ICEA Position Paper. (2014) Episiotomy.

ICEA Position Paper.  (2014) Induction.

ICEA Position Paper. (2014) Delayed Cord Clamping.

ICEA Position Paper. (2014) Infant Feeding.

Mohrbacher, N. (2014) Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple. Praeclaus Press.

Odent, M. (2012) Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the needs of women during pregnancy and childbirth. Clairview Books LTD. 2nd Edition.

1 comment:

Connie said...

This is great. Concise and up front.