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Category Archives: Water Birth

Lowering the Risks of Interventions During Birth

Childbirth is a collaborative effort.

As the different elements of the process work harmoniously, there is often a safer and more productive outcome. Compassionate emotional support and comfort measures hold the power to dramatically reduce certain birth risks and even surgical interventions. The birth community is now publishing more research on the benefits of birth support and how a strong support system can actually affect your birth experience in a positive way.

What’s the verdict?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has published their research on birth support and how midwives are making strides by improving the birth experience nationwide. After establishing that a woman is low-risk, she may benefit from less medical intervention that could prove stressful for her or her baby during labor.

In this research they have also identified that it’s not all about experiencing less pain.

With an epidural alone, mothers might feel less physical pain but can still be significantly affected by anxiety and birth trauma without access to a support system. Continuous emotional support, affirmations and comfort measures have been shown to dramatically shorten the duration of labor and lower the risk for operative deliveries.

When midwives, medical staff, and doulas work cooperatively with a woman in labor, they are able to focus attention on empowering them through the experience and finding natural ways to comfort and encourage the progression of birth safely. Changing positions, massage, intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring and pushing at the mother’s comfortable pace reduces cesarean risks and can also reduce birth trauma and stress during birth.

This is important news for babies to be.

As hospitals and birth centers shift toward this holistic way of thinking, it normalizes birth practices that shy away from medical interventions and pain management. Acknowledging the importance of a strong support system in the birth space will empower women to make their own decisions for their baby’s birth and create a birth plan that is more attune to their specific needs.

When you have a carefully assembled team in place, you can feel confident that you’re receiving all the attention and care you want and nothing you don’t, without compromising safety.

A strong support system matters!

As you prepare for birth, assembling your support system is just as important as deciding your birth preferences. Talk to your care provider, your birth center, and birth support professionals about your options and resources that will customize your birth experience to it’s fullest potential.

Birth Story: Elijah

August 18th, 2011 Birth Center Water Birth
A Mother’s Birth Story of her Second Son

I was driving to work on my last day of work. It was two weeks before the baby’s due date. I felt a few contractions on my way to work but they stopped when I got to work. I got off work thrilled that I had two weeks to relax, clean and prepare for the new baby. At least I thought so, but the baby had other plans.

I got home at about 7:30pm and, like any other pregnant woman, went to the bathroom again for the millionth time that day. While in the bathroom, I noticed that I started spotting and knew that the baby will come sooner than I planned. I went to pack my bag with the baby clothes and few items that I needed. I called my midwife and told her that I was spotting so that she would be prepared to wake up at night if I went into labor. I went up to go shower and prepare a few more things while I told my husband to prepare some snacks and call the babysitter for my older son.

Right after I got out of the shower, my water broke and started leaking out. It was at about 11:45 pm and at first I was not sure if it was my water but when the contractions started coming quickly after that and strong, I knew that I was right. After my first contraction, the next one came in ten minutes. The one after that in seven minutes. After that they were coming every 3-5 minutes and getting stronger and more intense with each contraction. I told my husband to call the babysitter and get them to come over ASAP and to call the midwife again. I was lying down most of the time on my side. I still felt like I needed to pee every 5 minutes and was irritated by it but went anyway. I was even more irritated every time I went because I would get a contraction on my way to the bathroom, a contraction while I peed and then another contraction on my way back to the bed or couch. So in other words, if I moved, my contractions came every 30 seconds to a minute and if I was lying down, they would come every 3 to 5 minutes. When the baby sitter came, we left right away to the birth center knowing that the baby was going to make me work extra hard after working all day and didn’t want to wait. So much for relaxing for two weeks, I thought.

2 We got to the birth center at 2:30am and by then I was moaning to get through every contraction. Before I was in labor, I told my husband that I wanted him to massage me and showed him a list of things that I wanted but once I started labor, all I needed was him to hold my hand. If he tried to massage me, I could not concentate on relaxing during the contractions and felt worse in the process. I told him that he can squeeze my hand and nothing more. Once I was in the birth center at 2:30am, the midwife checked me and said that I was 8+ cm dilated and that I can get in the tub. I thought that when I was in the tub that I would feel better but because my labor was progressing so quickly, I was in just as much pain and it kept getting worse.

My other midwife came to help with the delivery and within minutes told me that I can take my bottoms off. I asked her if she really thought that the baby would come that quickly and she said that the baby could come in the next contraction. I was like WHAT!! I just started my labor! I am so not ready for this!

She was not joking. Within the next few contractions, that were now coming every minute, I felt the baby start crowning. When I had my first son, I was cut and then I tore 3rd degree. It took 45 minutes to stitch me back and it took months for me to start feeling normal again. My biggest fear with my second was that I did not want a tear. I expressed this fear to my midwife during my prenatal visits and she told me that when the baby is crowning it will be intense and it is 3called the ring of fire because it really feels like it. She also told me that if I feel it, it’s a good sign and that it means I did not tear yet. If I don’t feel it, it means I had a tear. SO, when I felt the baby crown and I felt the ring of fire, I was telling myself that it’s a good thing, I did not tear. I just kept repeating it in my head during the pushing phase till he was born. My midwives kept reminding me to breathe. I knew that with him coming so fast that I should not push hard like they say in the hospitals. I knew that the faster he came out, the higher my chance of getting a tear was. May I say that it was hard not to push hard because all my body wanted to do was push as hard as I can.

I gave birth to my second son at 3:24am in the water and my husband got to catch him. He was a small 6 pounds 6 ounces and only 19.5 inches long. He was born two weeks before my birthday. He was not breathing and his heart rate was in the 50s, my midwife later informed me. The midwives stayed so calm and started giving him oxygen and rubbing him to get him crying. He did and is now the healthiest baby ever.

And guess what, I did not tear. I did get a skid mark because he came out so fast but it healed on its own and it did not need stitches. Boy, was I thrilled. And my blessing was that my labor started at 11:45 pm and I had him at 3:24 am the next morning! The labour was less than 4 hours! I did not relax for two weeks but I did have a very good experience at the birth center with my birth. I had all the privacy that I needed and great midwives. Big brother was excited for his new brother and runs to him first thing every morning. Thanks to my wonderful midwives, Christina and Kristin, at Birthways for making my experience wonderful! And thanks, Chantal, for helping us be prepared!

Happy Parents

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