Natural Childbirth — Cesarean Section


Doulas on The Today Show 0

Doulas 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.

Birthing Around the World 7

birthing around the worldSince ancestral times, birthing around the world was showed off in different customs based on varying beliefs around the miracle of life that birthing means. Birth has been also associated to fertility of the earth, and is the symbol of construction that rules the universe. In Egypt, mortality of both babies and pregnant women were regarded so high that a plea for divine intervention became a rite on the day of childbirth. Hator, Aset and Tawaret were invoked to protect the life and discover the destiny of a newborn. The Roman obstetrician Soranus (98-138 AD), wrote a book used until the 16th century describing childbirth care and common customs to observe before and after delivery. In the Middle Ages, European women were whipped to induce labor. During the 18th century, things would change. In 1739, the first obstetric wards in Great Britain were opened, and shortly after the Scottish obstetrician, William Smellie would publish his Treatise on Theory and Practice of Midwifery 1752. Midwives attended pregnant women and changed old customs, particularly during the next century when modern times began. In 1849, a doctor in Manchester reported three mothers and babies death after experimenting with five cases and because anesthesia was involved, a new superstitious belief was born. The turn of the century brought more studies on pregnancy, but people kept some custom even until today. In Germany, pregnant women visit a midwife before or instead of consulting an obstetrician. Doctors are considered "optional" on the birthing day. In several German cities, local government keeps a list of acceptable names for the newborns. Parents must choose a name from it, otherwise file a form compelling their reason asking for a non-listed name, a custom that is kept in an effort to protect children from potential ridicule after parents choose exotic or misspelled name. In Brazil, pregnant women are meant to have a Cesarean childbirth, because it is a delivery custom, although the government is making efforts for encouraging other childbirth methods with the hope to reduce the public expense that Cesarean surgeries cause to the state. In Turkey, there are no baby showers or special celebrations before or after the birthing day. The new mother and baby remain isolated for 20 days, after which they go from home to home visiting family and friends on an individual basis and celebrating with a special beverage. Japan is a nation with a cultural custom that dictates 21-bed days for women after giving birth, as in Mexico old time traditions make a women stay 40 days in bed, custom which only survives in a few remote rural communities today. The United States is multi-cultural nation where some of these customs are continued by immigrants, and others are resulting from the fusion of local and country home traditions. Author: Nicky Pilkington About the author: For more information about understanding childbirth and other childbirth information you can check out Image Source:

How to Avoid Cesarean Delivery 5

Avoid CesareanAuthor: 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:

The Benefits of Waterbirthing 0

Considering a waterbirth? Think about it this way.....Wouldn't a peaceful and serene birth, with a relaxed and focused mother be a wonderful way to bring a baby into this world? Having a waterbirth is an option for moms who want to give birth naturally. Childbirth is such a powerful experience for a woman. But, too often, women totally give up their power and gift of childbirth over to other people to control. Having a waterbirth gives the woman a feeling of empowerment and pride in being able to choose how she delivers her child. What about what the baby goes through? Just imagine that your little one is as cozy and warm as can be for the past 9 months. You have given that little wonder a warm and secure environment only to have him arrive in a cold, bright and noisy world. That is why waterbirthing is such a beautiful way to bring your little wonder into this world. Imagine the having your baby arrive in a warm, quite, safe and inviting environment where the first touch is your arms. I can't think of a more beautiful way to start a relationship. The benefits of waterbirthing is so numerous... here are just a few
  • ease the pain of labor where only 10% of mom's ask for pain relief
  • relaxation of mom
  • can facilitate a slow labor
  • relaxed pelvic floor
  • relieve anxiety
  • empowers the mom
  • can increase blood circulation
If you decide you want to use water to help you labor, you need to have a few things in mind. The water temperature should be around your body temperature. Be careful when entering the tub and try to enter between contractions. Make sure the tub is large enough so that you can move freely and be able to change positions to what makes you feel comfortable. Women usually enter the tub when they are about 5-8 cm dilated. Check with your caregiver, but you should not need to worry about infection if your membranes have ruptured, as long as you are following proper hygienics. The following are some interesting statistics about waterbirths
  • The women had shorter labors.
  • Cervical dilatation was more efficient- 2.5 centimeters per hour compared with 1.25 centimeters per hour for mothers who did not take advantage of water during their labors.
  • The descent of the babies was twice as fast.
  • The women reported less pain.
  • The cesarean section rate was one-third that of traditional hospital births.
  • Mothers labeled "high-risk" because of high blood pressure showed a dramatic reduction in their blood pressure within minutes of immersion in the pool.
(see end note #1) Whether you decide to just labor in water, or have an actual waterbirth you can still take advantage of what water has to offer. Waterbirthing can be not only a gentle way to bring your little one into the world, but as you can see, it is also a SAFE alternative. Also, remember that being educated is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy throughout your pregnancy. #1 Sears, William,Martha Sears,and Linda Hughey Holt. The Pregnancy Book. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997. Author: Heather Hill About the author: Heather Hill is the author of several natural childbirth articles. Read more about natural childbirth at