Doulas on The Today Show 0Doulas are a wonderful addition to the modern, medical birthing environment. They are proven to reduce a number of unnecessary interventions, including cesarean. They offer emotional support and in many instances, doulas will gently remind a woman who is being coerced into unnecessary procedures about her original intentions and birth plan. Doctors (and CNMs) hate this. The following clip is from the Today Show which aired on November 20, 2008 and in which mother and doula's opinions were downplayed while the obstetrician got the lion's share of the interview and the woman basically blamed doulas for less than favorable outcomes which is absolutely and utterly ridiculous. They (the cogs in the medical model) have no one to blame but themselves, their wallets and their watch for less than favorable outcomes.
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Emergency Childbirth: You Need To Know What To Do 10Author: Anne Childs When it comes to childbirth, most women are able to make it to the emergency room or their prearranged birthing centers; however not all are. While there is a good chance that you will make it to your intended destination before your baby arrives, what would you do if you couldn't make it? Unfortunately, a large number of expectant parents have no idea. That is why it is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with emergency childbirth, just in case. Perhaps, the best way to familiarize yourself with emergency births is by speaking to your pregnancy care physician, whether that professional be your primary care physician, an OBGYN or a certified nurse midwife. There is a good chance that your pregnancy care provider will briefly touch on the subject of an unexpected birth, but it is important that you know as much as you can about the situation, including what you can and cannot do. For that reason, you may want to make a list of questions that you should ask him or her. One of the most important questions that you need to ask your pregnancy care provider is where you should or shouldn't have your baby. Depending on the situation, you may not have a choice, but you might just have one. For instance, if you are going into labor at your home, you may want to know where the best delivery location would be. From a medical standpoint, you will want an area of your home that is safe and clean, but also one that will be comfortable. Your OBGYN, primary care physician, or certified nurse midwife should be able to give you the most accurate answer.* During emergency childbirths, it is recommended that the births occur on clean surfaces, at least a surface that is clean as it could possibly be. Although you might not have enough time to make it to the hospital, there may be enough time to sanitize the area in which you plan on giving birth. The only problem with sanitizing your birthing area is that not all cleaning products are safe for you and your child. That is why it is advised that you seek professional assistance. If cleaning supplies need to be used, it is important that you know which ones are safe and which ones are not. Cleaning supplies are not the only items or supplies that you need to be concerned about. As beautiful as childbirth is, it can also be messy. That is why it is often recommended that you wear protective clothing, such as gloves, and have a number of towels or blankets on hand. You should ask your pregnancy care provider what items, as well as how many, you should have on hand. In fact, your healthcare provider should be able to provide you with an emergency birthing checklist or you could easily make your own. Although it is best to get your information directly from your own pregnancy care provider, you can also familiarize yourself with emergency childbirth by using the internet or by buying a pregnancy book from one of your local retail stores. These books and online resources may not provide you with as detailed or as personalized information, but they can do in a pinch. If at any point you find that you have unanswered questions or need further assistance, you are advised to seek assistance from a professional healthcare provider. Whether you learn about emergency childbirth through your physician, the internet or a printed resource guide, you are advised to follow all of the information and directions given to you. It may also be a good idea to take additional precautions. For instance, it will likely be recommended that you have the above mentioned supplies on hand; however, you may want to take it a step further. It may be a good idea to keep the materials needed for an emergency childbirth in number of different locations, such as your car or your workplace. Despite the fact that your labor and delivery may go exactly as planned, there are no guarantees. By asking the above mentioned questions, you should be prepared for anything that happens, whether it be expected or not. The information you will learn may come in handy; however, it is important that you share it with those that you will be around. Since you will be occupied, you will need to rely on assistance from those around you, whether they are medical professionals or not. About the author: Anne Childs is a contributor to Healthline who has also conducted many seminars focusing on childbirth and other issues related to women's health. Sheryl's comment: A. Childbirth is not an emergency for the mother or baby. If your baby is ready to come out, it is exciting and thrilling! B. Childbirth outside of a hospital is only an emergency for the OB-GYN's car payment C. You should be familiar with how birth works no matter who (if anyone) is attending the birth. D. You can give birth in any room in your home including your bathroom. If it is clean enough for you and your newborn to live in or to conceive the baby in, then it is clean enough to give birth in. E. You will be catching your baby so the surface that you are kneeling or squatting on is somewhat irrelevant. Clearly you are not going to give birth in your cats litter box or in a obviously unsanitary location. We are talking about western civilization here people, not the third world. Think "reasonably clean" or "company is stopping by clean" F. Lay down a shower curtain or some old towels. Childbirth without incisions and episiotomies is a lot less bloody. There will be amniotic fluid however, so be prepared for that. Some women give birth in the bathtub, over the toilet or on a tiled floor for easy cleanup. If you are at home, fill the tub, climb in and get ready to meet the new love of your life. Location is really not that big of a deal. G. Don't welcome your baby into the world with latex gloves. That is insane. You will be holding your baby for years in your bare hands. Why is this crucial moment any different? H. Try a lotus birth and you wont have to worry about cutting the cord. If you do want to cut the cord (PLEASE only cut if after it is done pulsing) then cut it with a clean/sterile scissors. You might want to have a large bowl on hand to place the placenta if you do not do a lotus birth. If you were in fact planning a hospital/birthing center birth, then the doctor or midwife will want to examine the placenta to make sure it is intact. (Otherwise how can they get paid?) Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/ouij/50115629/
How to Avoid Cesarean Delivery 5Author: Kara Spencer, LMT, CD A Cesarean section is major abdominal surgery performed in order to deliver a baby from its mother, through an incision in her abdomen. Cesareans are a vital emergency surgery for mothers and babies who are at severe risk. However, C-sections are on the rise in US and around the world, and it is reaching epidemic proportions. In the 1960's, only 5% of babies were born by Cesarean, in the 1970's and 1980's the surgery increased to 25% of women delivered their babies through surgery. Now, in the US, one in three women deliver their babies via Cesarean. You are having a baby and you want to avoid a cesarean - what do you do? The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of Cesarean is to hire a midwife for your prenatal care, labor and delivery. Midwives have dramatically higher rates of successful healthy vaginal delivery than obstetricians. A new research study by Sutter Health, shows that the two factors in hospital birth that most lead to a Cesarean are active management of early labor and medical induction. You can avoid active management of early labor through hiring a doula to support you through labor. A doula can come to your home in early labor, and is familiar with signs and behaviors of the different stages of labor, and may help you to cope at home, so you don't show up at the hospital too early. Try to stay at home until you are in active labor to avoid unnecessary interventions which may lead to iatrogenic complications. Increase your awareness of the realities of medical induction. Along with Cesareans, there is an epidemic of inductions happening in the United States. The baby's due date is an estimated due date, yet there is increasingly a medical and cultural belief that babies should be born on or before the due date. In fact, only 4% of babies are born on their estimated due dates, and most first time moms go about a week over due. Also, due dates can be tricky to calculate due to variations in women's menstrual cycles and the timing of ovulation. The Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth has a position paper on inductions, which I feel is a must-read for pregnant women. At one of my local hospitals, 70% of women who are medically induced end up delivering via Cesarean section. Also, choose your place of birth carefully. Midwives have lower c-section rates than doctors. Non-profit hospitals have lower c-section rates than for-profit or teaching hospitals. In Seattle, the non-profit Group Health has a c-section rate of 16%, while the nearby profit and teaching hospitals have c-section rates of 36%! Cesarean surgery is a hugely profitable industry, and 80% of cesareans happen Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. While surgery may be more convenient for the doctor, the increased risks are not convenient for mom and baby. Education increases your chances of a healthy informed birth. Hire a midwife, a doula, make informed choices, and trust in your body and your baby! Research and practice techniques for optimal fetal positioning, to encourage your baby to be in the best position for labor and birth. For more resources on Cesarean awareness and prevention, check out the ICAN website of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. About the author: Kara Maia Spencer envisions the birth of a peaceful humanity through midwives, doulas, gentle birth, conscious parenting, and sustainable living. She is the founder of the Birth Ecology Project and the owner of Maia Healing Arts Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/chimmy/911626776/
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