Friday, August 20, 2010

Labor Pain

One of the most common mistakes made by childbirth educators is the tendency to understate the pain. Many couples gain a false confidence as they draw near to labor only to find they were poorly prepared for the intensity of the pain. I certainly felt that way in my first labor.

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." -M. Kathleen Casey

One should never understate pain, rather plan, prepare, and work with it. If you want to achieve an unmedicated birth you must exercise regularly, practice relaxation and breathing techniques, define roles of your birth attendants, and create a strategy with your coach. If you're not willing to commit to regular practice, you'll want to consider the epidural as an alternative coping tool.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Non-Alcoholic Strawberry Dacquari

3/4 Cup Fresh Strawberries
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1/2 cup Strawberry Daiquiri Mixer
2 Cups Ice
1 Cup Water

Blend until smooth. Absolutely Delicious.

Peach Colada

3 Peaches, cut up with pit removed
2 Cups Ice
1/2 cup canned Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1/2-1 Cup Water

Blend until smooth. Beat the Heat with this delicious treat! This makes 4 Small Servings or 2 Large Servings

Benefits of Water in Labor & Birth

The use of water during labor has been studied and documented sufficiently to determine that there are many known facts. Few medical professionals fear that a baby will drown when born in water although it is widely accepted that babies must be lifted to the surface promptly to initiate their first breath. The cord continues to pump oxygen into their bloodstream after birth, however, the amount of oxygen decreases each minute that follows the delivery. Many hospitals have adopted specific policies and codes regarding how soon the baby should be removed from the water. Many hospitals do no permit water birthing. The reason has more to do with the expense of liability and insurance regulation than professional preference.

Here are some of the benefits of a water birth:
  • Water has a relaxing effect on mother and baby

  • Water displaces gravitational pressures of contractions

  • Water reduces the need for pain relief

  • Water softens the skin on the perineum prior to birth

Find out what the policy is on water birth in the hospital where you plan to birth your baby. Even if you can't deliver your baby in water, you can still enjoy all of the above mentioned benefits until it's time to push.

Notice the cord visible from under the towell to the exterior of the tub? This is a doppler or external fetal monitor that allows my birth team to listen to the baby's heart beat continuously or intermittently as your provider requires. I am holding the monitor in place without the discomfort of bands secured on my abdomen.

Exercising the Birth Muscles

Energy follows thought. Concentrating on birth muscles increases awareness, circulation, and brings movement & control to those areas.

Using breath control intensifies the muscular development. Using proper breathing during muscular contractions changes the mechanics of the exercies. You can use the breath control simultaneously with the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. By using them together you can tone in a unique way that allows you to practice the way you want to perform in labor. Contract the pelvic floor muscles deep inside as you draw the breath inside your body. Release the pelvic floor muscles as you slowly exhale with perfect fluid control.

Practice this technique in various positions. Some positions to consider:

Taylor Sit (cross-legged)
Cat Pose (Knees spread wide kneel on floor bend over and lean forward on elbows)
Hugging Rest (Kneel down and hug a supportive pillow, bean bag, or cushion)

All of your stretching and breathing practices will come in hand when labor begins!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Relaxation Exercise for Labor

Although there aren't very many ways to "simulate" labor practice at home, never underestimate the power of relaxation exercise. You must first learn to how to be calm in the calm if you want to successfully be calm in the storm. To begin you must be aware. Ask yourself the following questions.

How well do I control my thoughts?
Is my self talk positive?
Am I effective at self-medicating?
Am I generally up tight?
Do I have a high pain tolerance?

Now ask yourself:

How would I like to be?
What would I do differently?

Be honest with yourself. Lay down. Get comfortable. Imagine your favorite place in the world. Take note of the temperature and just control the environment in your mind for 20 minutes. Band all distracting thoughts. Stay completely focused on filling your mind with intended imagery.

When you get good at controlling your environment mentally in a quiet room. Practice the exercise in a room with mild distractions until you master your ability to stay focused. Eventually, allow others to be present and learn to tune them out.

Twenty minutes of focused relaxation is more powerful than 1 hour of R.E.M. Sleep. It's worth it. If you think your too busy or tired--you can't afford to not do it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Withholding Food & Drink in Labor?

There is a wide range of policy and practice on this topic varying from hospital to hospital. Find out what the policy is at the hospitals near you. Read more here.

Pregnancy Related Nausea

The most common concern of women in their first tri-mester of pregnancy is pregnancy induced nausea AKA morning sickness. The most effective solution is nutrition, but I've listed a few additional tips:

1) Avoid food with flour and sugar
2) Eat small meals
3) Wear Bio Bands (Usually under $15)
4) Get fresh air
5) Use Peppermint oil for aromatherapy
6) Try Ginger Chews/Hard Candy or Preggie-Pops

Preggie-Pops are lollipops made with all natural ingredients including herbs and peppermint. They can help settle an upset stomach.

MyBirthClass recieves The New Parent Guide Seal of Approval

The New Parents Guide - Seal of Approval

The New Parent Guide recently recognized MyBirthClass with their quality Seal of Approval. You can read more in this article.

Our Demo

I've received a few requests for a demo of our product. We've considered streaming as an option, but haven't gone that route yet. However, you can take a peek here.