Natural Childbirth

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Video: Actual Male Circumcision 8

Genital Integrity RibbonWould you cut off your daughter's breasts at birth so she doesn't get breast cancer? Would you cut off your baby's ears so they don't become infected? It is illogical and absurd to think of amputating any working, healthy part of your trusting, helpless infant. Why are most Americans aghast at female genital mutilations happening on the other side of the world yet they think nothing of mutilating and permanently disfiguring innocent infant boys right here at home? Circumcision crushes or rips off a healthy part of a human body. No medical or pediatric association recommends it because there is no valid scientific reason to engage in this practice. Your doctor does it for the money. As sick and abominable as that is, it is true. On top of charging for the procedure, the hospital will turn around and sell your baby boy's foreskin for profit. I get very fired up about childbirth. I believe in my heart that the atrocities visited upon women and children by the obstetrics community for profit is beyond deplorable. It makes me sick and I will do what I can in this lifetime to change it. Western women are able to read and research during their pregnancy however. They are able to rip out IVs, kick the doctor , check themselves out and run if they have to. They can, on many levels, protect themselves. A newborn boy cannot protect himself. He has to rely on his parents to protect him. This is the reason that I find the wholesale mutilation of boys so mind-bogglingly sick and wrong. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think of the horror that is seared into the brain of up to 70% of boys in this country. What a ghastly way to be welcomed into the world. Circumcision is a barbaric, cruel, unethical, morally reprehensible, sickening, irreversible, excruciating, human rights violation. Circumcision is a crime against the most innocent and helpless among us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmX6RdRNoqk

Pain Relief During Childbirth 3

Pain Relief During Childbirth Giving birth can an extremely uncomfortable and painful experience for many mothers, and while for some women labor goes quickly and relatively easily, for others it can turn into a real ordeal. Where our grandmothers had to go through the pain barrier more or less unaided, there are quite a few options available for today's pregnant women that can lessen or even completely remove the pain, allowing the joyfulness of giving birth a much greater chance to be appreciated. Birthing Pool Being in water during the early stages of labor can greatly relieve the contraction pains in some women, as the buoyancy takes some of the pressure off the muscles of the lower back. Some women prefer to stay in the water right through to the later stages of labor, and some even choose to complete the birth in a birthing pool. Birthing pools have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they are seen as a natural way of reducing pain, in line with today's widespread preference for keeping things simple and as close to nature as possible. TENS A TENS machine is a small electronic device which you attach to your lower back with electrode pads. The machine passes a very slight electric current through the pads, which is intended to interfere with the pain signals, reducing the extent of the discomfort. The level of current can usually be increased during contractions, and then lowered back down as the pain subsides again. Some women find TENS machines to be highly effective, while for others the effect is minimal. The devices can usually be hired from the hospital, but are relatively cheap to buy yourself if you want to be sure that one will be available. Gas and Air This is also known as entonox, and is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen that is breathed in via a pipe whenever the mother-to-be feels the need. It is a very light method of pain relief, and is enough on it's own for some women, especially in straightforward births. The effect is more of a distraction from the pain than an actual reduction, but doesn't feature the drawbacks of the two more heavy-duty pain relief drugs below. Epidural An epidural is an injection of pain relief drugs direct into the lumbar region, and is extremely effective at blocking pain. The initial injection must be performed by a doctor, although the drug levels can then be subsequently topped up by the midwife for as long as it is required. Early epidurals also interfered with movement, and so the entire birth had to be carried out lying down, but more advanced versions of the drugs used now allow the mother to walk around a little to relieve discomfort. Pethidine This is the strongest pain relief option available in most cases, and is extremely effective in stopping pain over a 3 to 4 hour period. Unlike an epidural, it can't be used indefinitely, and only two doses are usually allowed, meaning it is less than ideal for labors lasting longer than 8 hours or so. The drug can also pass through to the infant, in some cases delaying the start of breathing. Antidotes are, however, available should this occur. Although the choice of which method of pain relief to use is usually left up to the mother, most midwives recommend starting with the less invasive choices such as TENS and gas and air, only moving up to drug treatments if necessary later on. Sheryl's comment: A few pain relief options that the author failed to mention are acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, meditation, massage, hypnobirthing and other childbirth preparation methods such as The Pink Kit, Bradley and Lamaze. Pain relief during labor is a charged topic. Obviously no one should suffer unnecessarily and that is why pain relief for childbirth is considered civilized and humane. While I do not feel that women in a hospital setting should be denied painkillers, I would hope that women explore options to avoid needed the pain relief in the first place because many commonly used pain relievers such as epidurals are dangerous to the baby, the birth process, breastfeeding and bonding. Fear is a primary component in childbirth. It activates your fight or flight response and prevents your body from doing what it is meant to do. Simply reading some books such as Childbirth Without Fear [affliate] by Grantly Dick Read or The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth[affiliate] by Laurie Ann Morgan can make the difference if you understand that there is nothing in the natural birth process that you should be afraid of, and in fact many women experience great pleasure even mind-blowing orgasms when left to give birth the way nature intended. The second component in pain during childbirth is interventions. Interventions, by their very nature are meddling in the natural process of childbirth. Pitocin, for example, which usually necessitates an epidural, blasts the baby out of its the uterine home with (bovine strength) chemicals before it is ready to come out on its own. If you can avoid the Pitocin or the Cytotec you can often avoid pain relief during childbirth. Many women who reach spontaneous labor because the baby is ready to come out, report having contractions that "give them pause" or they have to stop walking and lean against the wall but they all report that the contractions were bearable and the worst part was the humiliating, degrading, dangerous and often excruciating things that the doctors or midwives were doing to them to "speed things along". That said, if you are going to attempt to have a "natural" hospital birth, (good luck with that by the way), then make sure to have a birth plan and lay out in advance what pain relief you want. If you want acupuncture or TENS then make sure you have the resources lined to up make that happen. Also make it very clear that they cannot deny you pain relief just because you are getting close to delivering. The only reason they tell you no at that time is because they do not want to wait for an anesthesiologist to get there. Sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Letting you suffer because they are in a rush is just not acceptable. If they put you in that position with their hexes and potions then they can wait a few minutes while you get some relief. Threaten to sue if they don't. Please remember to get off your back and squat. (Threaten to sue if they do not want you to) Your baby will come much quicker and end your suffering. Want to avoid pain relief during childbirth? Find yourself a Trust Birth group near you, join an unassisted childbirth online community, trust the birth process, stay at home and let nature do its job. Author: Simone Butler About the author: Simone writes for a parenting information, a site where you can read more about pregnancy and birth, plus advice on choosing baby products such as cots and cribs. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/majikfaerie/2583013314/

Childbirth and Your Pelvic Floor 8

The pelvic floor is a large hammock of muscles stretching from side to side across the floor of the pelvis. It is attached to your pubic bone in front, and to the tail end of your spine behind. The openings from your bladder, your bowels and your womb all pass through these muscles. What does the pelvic floor do?
  • Your pelvic floor supports your pelvic organs and the contents of your abdomen, especially when you are standing or exerting yourself.
  • Your pelvic floor supports your bladder to help it stay closed. It actively squeezes when you cough or sneeze to help avoid leaking.
  • Your pelvic floor is used to control wind and when "holding on" with your bowels.
  • Your pelvic floor helps to increase sexual awareness both for yourself and your partner during sexual intercourse.

What weakens the pelvic floor muscles?

Pelvic floor muscles weaken for similar reasons to other muscles in our bodies: natural aging and inactivity. But these particular muscles are also often weakened through hormonal changes in women's bodies, and through pregnancy and childbirth. Factors such as being overweight, ongoing constipation and a chronic cough can put extra pressure on them and pelvic surgery can also have damaging effects.

Why are pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegel exercises) important?

A poorly toned, weak pelvic floor will not do its job properly. Women with weak pelvic muscles often experience incontinence and reduced sexual response. But research has shown that these muscles respond to regular exercise. With regular exercise, it is possible for most women to reduce or completely overcome the symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, no matter what their age. A regular exercise regime, introduced early in life, will also prevent many of the problems associated with weak pelvic floor muscles emerging later. It is never too early or too late to begin to exercise these important muscles. A woman whose muscles are already badly weakened may need the advice of a health professional before embarking on an exercise program. But many women with milder symptoms prefer to try a simple exercise regime for themselves initially. Easy-to-use and affordable exercise aids can provide feedback on correct exercise technique and provide ongoing support.

How to do pelvic floor exercises (kegel exercises)

Slow contractions: Tighten the muscles around your back passage, vagina and front passage and lift up inside as if trying to stop passing wind and urine at the same time. It is very easy to bring other, irrelevant muscles into play, so try to isolate your pelvic floor muscles as much as possible by not pulling in your tummy, not squeezing your legs together, not tightening your buttocks and not holding your breath. The effort should be coming from the pelvic floor muscles themselves. Hold the contraction for as long and as hard as you can. Build up to a maximum of 10 seconds. Rest for 4 seconds and then repeat the contraction as many times as you can up to a maximum of 10 contractions. Try to simultaneously pull in/tighten your abdominal. Try to do these exercises in a slow and controlled way with a rest of 4 seconds between each muscle contraction. Practice your maximum number of held contractions (up to 10) about six times each day. Quick contractions: The ability to work these muscles quickly helps them react to sudden stresses from coughing, laughing or exercise. Practice some quick contractions, drawing in the pelvic floor and holding for just one second before releasing the muscles. Do these steadily, aiming for a strong muscle tightening with each contraction up to a maximum of 10 times. Try to do one set of slow contractions followed by one set of quick contractions six times each day. If you do these exercises regularly, you will see optimum results within 3 to 6 months, but you should continue them for life to keep your pelvic floor muscles as fit as possible. Sheryl's comment: First of all, if you are going to deliver in a hospital, please avoid episiotomy at all cost. This unnecessary and harmful procedure shaves approximately 15 minutes off of labor which once again benefits your OB or midwife but will cause you permanent, disfiguring damage to your pelvic floor. (They will also charge you for a surgical procedure). Be aware that they will try to perform one particularly if you are a first time mother. Some studies show that 70% of first time mothers who deliver in hospitals undergo this outdated genital mutilation. If you care about your pelvic floor, then just say no. Do not let them bully you into the procedure after doing horrific chemical & physical things to your baby to blast it from your body too soon. If they claim "fetal distress" then get off your back, tell them to "go _____ themselves", rip out your IV and squat or kneel to facilitate a faster delivery. Click here for common episiotomy myths. Lastly, you can (and should) do kegels daily for life whether you have children or not. Many pre and post natal yoga or pilates DVDs will make a point of incorporating Kegels into your workout and not only does this kill two birds with one stone but it makes it much more likely that you will actually do your Kegels. Author: Linda McClelland About the author: Linda McClelland is the founder of Pelvic Floor Exercise, providing information, links and products to help women and men worldwide improve their pelvic fitness. For more information on how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, visit her at pelvicfloorexercise.com Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/uterusquesetperils/627652865/

Psychological Pain of Childbirth 2

Psychological Pain of Childbirth Birth is an extraordinary event for families and for the whole community. We have come a long way, and it is now rare for women to die in childbirth. There are still, however, many unanswered questions. Why is birth still perceived as dangerous, when it is such a natural event and there has never been a safer time in history to give birth? The physical pain of childbirth is well known but the vast majority of women suffer from the rarely talked about psychological pain of childbirth. Were we truly cursed by God in Genesis? These are questions that can become important for a woman, particularly after undergoing a particularly traumatic or surgical childbirth. Birth is a rite of passage into womanhood and if unplanned major assistance is provided it is not uncommon for a woman to feel that she has perhaps failed. Unresolved relationship issues may also surface which can be detrimental to the birthing process while also being distressing. "What happened?" a woman may ask, or even "Am I fit to be a good mother?" My own beliefs regarding child birth have developed from a life long interest that began for me in rural England, as a small child, watching farm animals as well as my own pets give birth. I was likewise drawn to the local women who regularly shared stories, not meant for my young ears. This of course only whet my appetite further! Telling one's story has, in psychology, always been the beginning of understanding and of healing. In my practice, in my research and now on my website I encourage women to share their birth stories. By sharing our words we open new possibilities for the entire community. A growing body of research together with my years of experience, including working with post birth trauma, has led me to predict a swing back towards natural birth, and indeed a new psychological model for birth is now emerging. The emphasis for those wanting a natural birth has been to be physically and mentally prepared. Caregivers often lack a psychological viewpoint and because of this I am often invited and consistently welcomed training and supervising medical staff in understanding the deeper emotional needs of mother and child at this significant transition. Being psychologically prepared for the birth of a child is as important as the physical preparation! Your well-being in both areas requires planning and preparation. This will benefit both you and your child. Hypno birthing, calm birth and an experienced Doula are all beneficial tools to consider for yourself. I will share with you my five golden rules of natural child birth; 1. Birth is a inward experience, such as meditation or prayer. Don't have anyone present while you are birthing that you don't feel totally comfortable ignoring or who is going to distract you. Your partner may be better helping with preparing food for the next few days, answering and making phone calls cleaning house or keeping company with other friends and relatives. Can you meditate comfortably for an hour or more with your partner present without being distracted by their presence or them being hurt by you ignoring them? Even if you don't meditate, try doing something like this with your partner to see if it feels comfortable. This can be a useful guide. Hypnobirthing is becoming very popular now and is very good for preparing both partners for the kind of state that a woman will deliver the most positive outcome for all involved . This can and should be part of your childbirth education or childbirth classes. 2.Adrenaline slows and disrupts (and can even put a brake on) the sequence of natural body chemicals necessary for a smooth delivery and bonding between mother and child. Any issues of fear around the birth (experienced by either partner) needs to be addressed well before time. The doctor, midwife or support person that you choose should be trained to help keep you calm and focused "inward" if you should be-come agitated or afraid. 3. Practice positions for first and second stage labor that you feel comfortable meditating or relaxing in. In the bath, in Open Lotus position, sitting up in a chair etc. Follow your bodies signals about what is comfortable. Feeling totally relaxed and no pressure on you to perform or give attention to others is powerful pain relief. Accept totally that your body knows what is happening and knows what to do. Birth is a neurochemical process, trust your body and let the process unfold. 4. Have a good relationship with your doctor or midwife who will be present at the birth. Make sure that they are aware of your intended approach. Not all caregivers have had training in the positive psychology of birth, these ideas may be new to them and you may need to take some time choosing the right support. This is vital to you feeling safe and secure. 5. Resolve emotional issues with yourself and your partner before the birth. Do you long for more attention from your partner? The birth process is not a good time to look for this. Do you feel resentment or fear about your partner controlling or possibly abandoning you? These issues can arise during birth bringing unwanted adrenaline into the equation. If unresolved they can get worse after the baby is born rather than better. There is wonderful help available for these and other unresolved emotional issues and needs. Start preparing psychologically for the best birth experience for yourself as soon as you plan to become or become pregnant. For those who have suffered an invasive or traumatic birth in the past, understanding what happened and how it might have been different can be very healing. For Childbirth education and childbirth classes visit www.newbirthways.com for more information. For those with unresolved emotional issues from a past traumatic birth experience help is available and will make you a stronger and more confident woman and mother. Happy new beginnings. Susan

Sheryl's comment:

Susan's five golden rules of birth can all be addressed with an unassisted childbirth.

1. Birth becomes an inward experience when you trust the process and allow your primal self to do what it already knows how to do. 2. Humiliating, painful and invasive procedures and interventions done by doctors and midwives is one of the primary causes of adrenaline surges during childbirth as a woman's fight or flight response is engaged. This can be avoided by avoiding the cause of the "attack" and only seeking medical attention if there is a problem. 3.Doctors and some midwives will force you into unnatural and damaging birthing positions particularly during the actual delivery. You need to allow your instincts and your body to naturally choose the best positions to labor and deliver in. The easiest way to ensure an optimal birthing position is to avoid birth attendants. 4. You will not have to try to educate or enlist the support of a doctor or midwife who are used to doing things in a way which benefits them and their schedule if you do not use a doctor or midwife. 5. An unassisted birth requires a greater amount of preparation and responsibility and this includes preparing mentally, physically, psychologically and naturally engaging the full support of your partner. By: Susan Dalby About the author: Birthing options/Birth classes/Parenting classes/Hypnobirthing/Post Natal Depression/Creating a Birth Plan/Positive psychology/Birth related PTSD (post-traumatic stress -disorder) and it's effect on relationships and sex/Individual, couples and group counselling. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/xymox/156973810/

Cohosh for Labor Induction 0

Cohosh for Labor Induction If swollen ankles, puffy fingers, severe back pain, lack of sleep and cervical pressure are what you have been enduring for the past 37 weeks or so, you are probably considering natural ways for inducing labor. There are so many hyped up ways out there, that it is easy to get confused. Many of the methods you will read about are only 50% or 40% effective, such as sex and castor oil. And with castor oil, comes the risk of severe diarrhea and dehydration. Many midwives and doulas will tell you that using something to help with the onset of labor is a good idea, as long as you are at least 38 weeks. Many women seem to struggle to labor on their own, without the aid of medical intervention, herbs, old wives tales or acupressure. Using the most basic methods for inducing labor naturally, such as; sex, castor oil, nipple stimulation and red raspberry leaf tea (to name a few), are all good ideas for most women, but not typically very effective. However there is something you can use which is extremely effective, and that is cohosh for labor induction. What is black and blue cohosh? These are roots from 2 different plants, and are extremely effective in bringing on steady labor contractions and also easing the pain as well. Many midwives support its use (both oral and topical), and recommend it to their patients. Although this herb can be taken orally, many pregnant women seem to prefer the topical application instead. With both types of applications, the herb (cohosh) enters the blood stream, and will in most cases bring on good strong contractions, speeding the labor process and reducing the pain and suffering of prolonged labor. One of the most effective and best smelling labor creams is called LaborBoost Labor Cream. LaborBoost Labor Cream uses black and blue cohosh, calendula, vitamin E and jasmine (which give it a wonderful smell). This cream is so effective in augmenting slow, prodormal labor, and has helped so many women that the results really speak for themselves. As one woman wrote, ""Thank God for LaborBoost! I had been in early labor for several days. After one application I went into labor 1 1/2 hours later and gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy 3 hours after that! "-Carri G. Doula & Mom, Berthoud, CO. Another lady wrote, ""I used Labor Balm when I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions at 38 weeks. I rubbed the balm on my belly and 4 hours later I was having mild contractions. After two hours of steady contractions, we went to the hospital. I was 4 cm. I couldn't believe it! "- 1st time mom Denver, CO. This cream comes highly recommended, because it is a non-toxic, non-invasive, non-medical alternative for inducing labor naturally. LaborBoost was designed by a certified doula, and is used all across the United States. It is an excellent buy for any woman looking to end the suffering of prolonged labor, or to begin the process for others. When it comes to labor induction, there really is no other way. Author: Jenna Garvin About the author: Jenna Garvin- Founder of The Pregnancy Health Center, the webs #1 resource for expecting women to get the information they need to insure the healthiest pregnancy possible. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/urtica/190316396/