… and of course, take also care of your mothers, today.
This statement by Marianne Williamson is valid for every country on the planet:
… and of course, take also care of your mothers, today.
This statement by Marianne Williamson is valid for every country on the planet:
Text by By Anthea Thomas for hyonobirthing.com
You yourself may have experienced a difficult birth, and let’s face it, you only have to start talking to couples about their births, and the horrific stories start pouring out. Clearly the system around birth is not working, because it is not your body that is failing. Let’s look at how birth trauma is defined.
Birth trauma is defined as
What does it effect?
Can you ever forget?
Child Birth is a monumental and transformational event in a couple’s life, and whether it’s the most powerful, ecstatic, joyful experience or the most terrifying horrendous experience, the fact is that it is never really forgotten. Birth stories are written and videos are shared all over the internet, and no one birth experience is exactly like another. Every woman has a different journey. It is deeply personal and something she will carry always with her.
Can you heal? The great news is ‘Yes’!
Don’t suffer in silence, even if you don’t think that your birth was ‘bad’ enough to warrant getting help.
What we perceive as a great birth, can actually hold some deep trauma for women because of the way they were treated, or because of how they were feeling. In HypnoBirthing we teach that fears, beliefs and previous births experiences can have a profound effect on the way we give birth, and our couples go through a process of releasing the things that may get in the way of them having a positive birth. We see increasing numbers of women reaching out to us because they don’t want to experience another birth like their last. And the same techniques we use in HypnoBirthing can be used to heal your birth trauma, and help you find inner peace again. Doing that inner work is where it is at.
“Women need to know there is help and support out there if they have experienced a traumatic birth, and they all deserve the support. I believe even women who have had mostly positive births still need to debrief and process aspects of their birth as birth itself is such a huge process, physically, emotionally and spiritually!”
– Diana Fischer, Clinical Hypnotherapist & HypnoBirthing Educator
Top image: birth trauma tree by ‘unfold your wings’ in the UK. The roots represent some of the causes that may lead to trauma, and the leaves represent the symptoms you may feel. Bottom image: Sacred Healing, artist unknown
Written by Genevieve Howland (childbirth educator, bestselling author, breastfeeding advocate, mother of three)
Here are 14 benefits of having a natural childbirth.
Having an epidural, IVs or continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) usually means you will be confined to bed, unable to walk or change positions when it would be beneficial to do so. Many moms don’t realize that they’ll be given a catheter once the epidural is administered so forget laboring on the toilet!
Natural childbirth allows you to move freely and work with your body to birth your baby. Freedom of movement makes labor easier, and sometimes faster. Women who walk and change position during labor experience increased comfort, are more likely to give birth vaginally, and have a better sense of control over their experience.
Freedom to eat and drink during labor is another way that natural childbirth helps women have easier births. A woman who is well nourished and hydrated is a strong woman ready for the hard work of labor.
Each unnecessary intervention has the potential to lead to more interventions, including c-section. When birth begins on its own and continues on its own time, mom is less likely to need these interventions.
For example, if you have an epidural, labor is likely to slow which may mean that your doctor will give you Pitocin to push labor along. Likewise, if labor is induced and your body and baby weren’t ready you will not produce natural oxytocin to begin contractions. You will then need Pitocin to get contractions going.
Pitocin has the potential to create intense and frequent contractions that don’t allow mom or baby rest, which can reduce the oxygen supply to baby. If baby becomes distressed many doctors will recommend a C-section.
Natural childbirth reduces the risk of cesarean delivery. Simply planning a natural childbirth with trained professional midwives reduces your risk of having a cesarean section from 30% to about 5%. Hiring a doula decreases your risk of a cesarean by 60-80%.
There have been a number of studies addressing whether epidurals cause higher risk of cesarean section and none have found a direct link. Unfortunately, these studies are flawed because they compare epidural anesthesia to narcotic pain relief rather than unmedicated labor. However, we do know that epidurals increase the risk for forceps or vacuum assisted births, which are related to higher risk for C-section.
We also know that, though continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) is not evidence based, even with high-risk moms, most OBs will require you to be continuously monitored while on an epidural (and in some other cases too). In a Cochrane review, continuous EFM was associated with an increase in pain medication use, cesarean sections and instrumental vaginal births including forceps and vacuum extraction.
In natural childbirth oxytocin signals the uterus to begin contracting and signals the brain to send endorphins, nature’s pain killer. It also signals the brain to continue sending oxytocin which will reach a peak during the pushing phase.
Epidurals interfere with this normal cascade of labor hormones and can slow labor significantly. Often Pitocin is recommended to get labor progressing.
When you have an epidural you can’t feel your lower body so you can’t change positions when it would be beneficial. Also, if you can’t feel your contractions you can’t push at the right time and with the right force to help baby out, resulting in a harder, longer labor.
Epidural use can cause sudden blood pressure drop for mom which means less oxygen rich blood pumping to baby. This can result in fetal distress and many practitioners will recommend a C-section.
After an epidural, babies are less alert, less able to orient themselves, and have less organized movements for as long as a month after birth. Your body and the placenta help the baby to eliminate toxins while he is in your uterus. However, once he is born, his newborn liver will need to do it alone, which means it sometimes takes longer for babies to get rid of drugs and toxins in their system.
Narcotic pain relief medication can cause additional side effects in baby as well. These include:
Because of these side effects, baby may need additional medications.
Narcotic pain relief can cause mom and baby to be groggy and “out of it.” Forgoing this kind of pain relief will help you to stay present during the birth of your baby. Even epidural pain relief can make you feel disconnected from your child’s birth. Though the medication may not make you feel groggy, the lack of sensation and connection to the physical act of giving birth may make you feel disconnected from the experience. Some moms have to be told when to push because they can’t feel the urge. Moms may also have an epidural “hangover” or feel itchy as the result of the procedure.
Unmedicated, natural childbirth, on the other hand, requires your full attention. Some women describe it as “other worldly” because of the connection between mind and body that has to occur during birth. With the rush of natural endorphins, some moms even enjoy giving birth rather than just suffering through it.
Natural childbirth supports the idea that childbirth is a rite of passage. Because of the blood, sweat and tears that you put into birth, there is something really transformational that happens. Some like to say that you go into birth as a maiden and come out the other end as mother. Natural childbirth advocates know that this journey to motherhood is a necessary one. They know that it is empowering for a woman to give birth on her own terms. To make choices for herself and her baby without coercion, guilt and ridicule. The mother needs to feel empowered and encourage as her birth unfolds.
A sleepy baby doesn’t breastfeed as well. The less he eats, the more sleepy he becomes and the less he will nurse. This can start off the nursing relationship with some bumps in the road. Pitocin can cause jaundice in some newborns, which makes babies lethargic and sleepy as well. Narcotic pain medication can also cause sleepiness in baby, while there is some evidence that epidurals are associated with reduced rates of breastfeeding success.
According to La Leche League International pain relievers or anesthesia can contribute to breastfeeding problems:
The most important time for establishing a breastfeeding relationship is in the minutes and hours just after birth. If mom and baby are sleepy, groggy or disoriented, they are much more likely to miss the opportunity to begin breastfeeding at the optimal time.
C-sections have also been associated with difficulty in breastfeeding (mostly because of hospital protocol getting in the way), and also with delayed onset of milk production due to the blunt in hormonal cascades that normally occur in natural birth.
Without the haze of drugs or the soreness of surgery, moms who experience natural childbirth are able to recover quickly and be present right after birth. Moms experience an oxytocin high which gives them a boost of energy to cuddle their baby and begin skin-to-skin touching, breastfeeding and eye contact, which in turn enhances the oxytocin cascade. Many moms are up and walking around shortly after natural birth.
Natural childbirth benefits babies in their gut. Gut bacteria plays an important role in building and sustaining a strong immune system and proper digestion. Vaginally birthed babies have more diverse gut flora that they acquire in the birth canal.
Research has shown that babies who are born via cesarean delivery have less diverse gut flora and are more likely to have harmful skin bacteria like Staph and Strep that is usually present on the skin. This may be that babies born via c-section don’t come in contact with vaginal bacteria but instead gain their first colonization in the operating room from mom’s skin or the skin of practitioners.
Breastfeeding is another way that baby develops a healthy gut, so breastfeeding becomes even more important after a cesarean delivery.
As we mentioned, gut health is vital to overall wellness. Early healthy gut flora seems to be key in teaching an infants immune system what to attack and what to allow, meaning that autoimmunity is learned early.
Recent research, published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that c-section babies are more likely to develop obesity, asthma, and type 1 diabetes when they get older.
We also know that C-section babies are hospitalized more often for asthma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorder, immune system defects, leukemia, and other tissue disorders during their lives. They also have a 20% higher risk of developing asthma and an approximately 40% greater risk of developing immune defects.
Though not directly linked to cesarean delivery, unhealthy gut flora has been linked to allergies, autoimmunity, vascular disease, some cancers, depression/anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders and type 2 diabetes, so it makes sense that early unhealthy gut flora could contribute to these diseases later in life.
All is not lost if a child has to be born via Cesarean. These medical interventions can save lives and are absolutely necessary in about 10% of births. A mother can optimize her surgery by electing for a Gentle Cesarean. This practice will help to boost the health of her newborn and create some of the positive benefits of a natural childbirth.
A team of researchers found that natural childbirth triggers the release of a protein in a newborn’s brain that improves brain development and function in adulthood. This protein (UCP2), which regulates behaviors related to memory, learning, spatial awareness and stress response, is released as the hippocampus is stimulated in the birth canal. Alternately, The brains of cesarean babies may have impaired expression of the same protein.
Additionally, the protein help cells metabolize fat, which is a main component of breast milk, suggesting that triggering of the UCP2 protein through vaginal birth may help newborns transition to breastfeeding. Therefore, the lack of this protein may also contribute to cesarean babies and moms struggling more with breastfeeding.
As if lower risk for blood transfusion, anemia and low blood volume weren’t enough reason to demand delayed cord clamping, research has found that there is another, surprising benefit to this natural childbirth choice.
One study found that babies who experienced delayed cord clamping had better fine motor and social skills at age 4 than those that had early clamping. This was especially true for boys. Researchers speculate that girls are more protected by the high levels of estrogen in utero.
With healthcare costs rising finding a way to save money isn’t a bad idea. Natural birth is far less expensive than a birth that has many interventions. Giving birth at a birth center or at home is also much less expensive than giving birth naturally at a hospital.
Original article posted on: mamanatural.com
In addition, 5 more benefits according to Sabrina Rogers-Anderson, writer / author
While there are certainly cases in which a cesarean is necessary for the safety of the mother or the child – such as prolonged labor, abnormal fetal heart rate and problems with the placenta – there are many more in which this major surgery could be avoided. If you have a low-risk pregnancy, your baby is in the head-down position and you’re at least 37 weeks pregnant, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends attempting a vaginal birth. Even women who have had a previous cesarean and those who are expecting twins are encouraged to try to deliver vaginally if the conditions are right and their obstetrician gives them the green light.
Here are 5 benefits of a vaginal birth for you and your baby:
1. Your baby will receive beneficial bacteria
As your baby passes through your birth canal, it ingests bacteria that contributes to its gut health and boosts its immune system. Although a baby’s microbiome – or collection of microbes – begins to form in the womb, vaginal delivery is an essential part of the process. Some studies have found that babies born by C-section who miss out on these crucial bacteria are more susceptible to health problems such as food allergies, asthma, hay fever and obesity later in life. Researchers from the Department of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine were successful in partially restoring the microbiome of C-section babies by exposing them to their mothers’ birth canal bacteria at birth, but it remains to be seen whether it will have a long-term impact on their health.
2. You’ll squeeze fluid out of your baby’s lungs
While your baby is in the womb, its lungs are filled with fluid. Hormonal changes that occur during labor start to clear the fluid and much of the rest is squeezed out as your baby passes through your birth canal. Any remaining fluid is coughed out after the birth or absorbed by your baby’s body. When fluid remains on the lungs or is cleared out too slowly – a condition known as transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) – breathing problems can occur and oxygen might be required. Babies born via C-section are at higher risk for TTN.
3. Your hospital stay will be shorter and your recovery time will be faster
You should expect to stay in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and two to four days after a cesarean. While you should avoid any strenuous activity for six weeks after a vaginal birth to allow your body to heal, you should be able to perform your regular daily tasks within a couple of days. Because a C-section is a major abdominal surgery, recovery is longer and more difficult. You should rest as much as possible and avoid any heavy lifting or driving a car for the first six weeks. It can take six to 10 weeks for your scar to fully heal.
4. You’ll avoid the risks of major surgery
All major surgeries carry risks, including a bad reaction to the anesthesia, infection, hemorrhaging and blood clots. There are also additional risks with a cesarean, such as inflammation of the uterus, surgical injury to the bowel or bladder, and amniotic fluid embolism (when amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream and can cause a serious reaction).
5. You’ll be less likely to have life-threatening complications in future pregnancies
A major review of 80 studies published in PLOS Medicine earlier this year found that women who gave birth via cesarean had an increased risk of serious complications in subsequent pregnancies, including miscarriage, stillbirth, problems with the placenta (placenta previa, placenta accreta and placental abruption) and uterine rupture (a tear in the wall of the uterus).
India has an irrational fear of midwives. To some, it is a reminder of ancient times with their unhygienic practices and unscientific opinions. Understandably, therefore, many women are unsure of the quality of care they might receive from a midwife, compared to a doctor.
But there is growing evidence that trained midwives are as good as doctors in taking care of pregnant women and in overseeing uncomplicated births. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there is a recognition that “all women need a midwife, and some need a doctor too.”
Our singular focus on just the outcome (of reducing deaths) has sadly led to a gross neglect of the right methods to achieve it, with the health system forgetting that a pregnant woman is a human being (and “not a birthing machine”) who deserves to be treated respectfully and provided all information honestly. Midwives are an important part of the answer here as maternity systems with midwives tend to be more humanistic and personal, more respectful of women, and less interventional.
Midwifery might not be a comprehensive answer to India’s maternity mess, but it is an important and necessary part of the answer.
Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates from the navel, 3-10 days after birth. Please research this process yourself to make an informed decision. There is a lot of material available on YouTube, blogs, websites and in books.
Holding the Space for Human Birth
TED Talk by Saraswati Vedam:
1.) Birthing can be calm, gentle, painless and even pleasant for a woman.
2.) A woman and her baby have their own timing which is perfect for them. No “pushing” is needed and no nurse or doctor should interfere, know better and try to shortcut the individual birthing process (“Let me give you an injection and your out of here in no time.”).
3.) If a woman gets her time, space and support, which means she feels safe and can move as she wants, and if she is mentally well prepared (positive affirmations, visualisations, hypnosis, relaxation training and breathing techniques) she can give birth without any synthetic hormones (epidural etc) and without getting her perineum cut.
4.) After the baby arrived “outside” it is best to place the child immediately on the mother’s chest – without slapping its backside, without much wiping, without sucking out liquids from its nose/mouth and without cutting the umbilical chord. The baby will do what is called “breastcrawl”, which means it will find its own way in its own time to the breast of the mother.
5.) Once the newborn latches on mum’s breast another wave of hormones surges within the mother which helps to release the placenta.
6.) When the pulsation of the umbilical chord stops, the baby is able to breath on its own and only then the chord should be cut.
7.) If doctors interfere with the natural process e.g. “forcefully break the water” or introduce artifical hormones, the whole natural cycle is destroyed, especially the mother’s sensitive/delicate yet powerful hormone production which is required for a smooth delivery, and birthing has to be continued and finished with the artificial procedures.
8.) The birthing partner (e.g. husband, friend, mother) plays an important supportive role to the mother during the birth preparation and the actual delivery.
Dr. Michel Odent talks about the biochemical explanation for why birth is and should be an erotic and sometimes orgasmic event: the main hormone in both sex and birth is the same (oxycontin). And we need as good conditions for good labour as we need good conditions for good lovemaking. Because if a woman produces adrenaline (related to fear) she cannot produce oxyocin, which is the hormone not only needed to deliver the baby but also to deliver the placenta.
It is absolutely necessary for a woman during labour to feel at ease and comfortable (unobserved and not judged), that she is uninhibited to follow intuitively her blue print for labour and encouraged to trust her body to complete this ancient and mystic process. Unfortunately, few women ever have such conditions of privacy, safety and non-disturbance, which is the fundamental problem for why women need so much help when giving birth.
These days it seems more “natural” to replace natural oxytocin with drips of synthetic oxytocin and natural endorphins by epidural anaesthesia. So most women give birth without relying on the release of their own natural hormones. The downside of the readily available synthetic hormones is, that they do not have the same behavioural effects as the natural ones. Synthetic oxytocin for example inhibits the release of natural oxytocin from the woman’s pituitary gland. And the artifical drug will be effective at stimulating uterine contractions, but it will not reach the brain, meaning it will not have the „bonding effect“ as the natural hormone.
Natural methods also require the woman to be an active participant in the birthing process, which involves empowering her to listen to her body and being able to change positions (walking, squatting, rolling, hovering in water or just resting) – in contrast to a woman being stuck in a hospital bed on her back with feet strapped, which has consistently been shown to slow down and complicate labor.
“The same movements that get the baby in, get the baby out.”
From Birthing From Within
We’d like to share the most important facts about natural birthing and HypnoBirthing® as it reveals a whole new perspective on birthing (including a new, much gentler language for the process), which every woman – and man – should be introduced to. Natural birthing methods help to resolve limiting social norms and to recover a healthy confidence in the female body, in its natural instincts and in the harmonious orchestration of the mother’s and baby’s bodies at birth.
“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change.”
Marie Mongan, Founder of HypnoBirthing®
The answer to the initial questions is actually rather simple: Fear. For most of their lives, women have been inundated with the negative stories of other women’s birth experiences. Everyone, from their mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, and even strangers, wants to tell them the horrors of giving birth. They have been conditioned to believe that excruciating pain is associated with the delivery. And because of this, women today hold an unprecedented fear of giving birth. Where there is fear, there is tension, where there is tension, there is contraction, and with it come limited perception and limited physiological functions.
This extreme fear not only causes women‘s bodies to become tense with the approaching birthing date – and that tension prohibits their bodies from easily performing what should be a normal natural birthing procedure, resulting in exactly the feared long, painful „labour“ or unnecessary intervention – but also, even before conception, in a lack of confidence in their body‘ inherent capacities to birth. Most women who give birth by the vaginal route rely on pharmaceutical drugs and technologised treatments in the clinical labour rooms, because they fear they cannot manage birth by themselves.
Holistic prenatal classes such as the HypnoBirthing® program are built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, clearing of subconscious limiting beliefs, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Expectant women learn to dismiss fear-based stories, misinformation and birthing myths. And they are helped to see birth as normal. They learn to trust that their bodies know how to bring their babies into the world in the calm and gentle way that nature intended.
„Wow, this is what I was looking for. Deep within I always knew natural birthing methods must exist. Now I feel truly empowered. Even ready to birth alone in a forest, if necessary.“
First time expectant mother after HypnoBirthing® course.
Everywhere in the world, the number of women who give birth to a baby by themselves – which means by their own hormones (e.g. oxytocin and endorphin) – is getting smaller and smaller. While the conditioning of women‘s minds plays a significant role, our society‘s standardised, and by expectant parents mostly unquestioned, “take over” by doctors/ nurses/ gadgets/ medication is the other major influence. Good news is, that a movement of natural birth (meaning without any medical intervention) is gaining more and more momentum, whereby women stop to accept limiting mainstream conditions for their childbirth.
Giving birth can be easy and calm for women. It can even be a pleasurable and highly erotic as well as a deeply spiritual experience. And if a woman is well prepared (positive affirmations, visualisations, hypnosis, relaxation training and breathing techniques) she can give birth without any synthetic hormones (epidural etc.) and without getting her perineum cut.
„To those who say it is just not possible to birth naturally without pain, I say, “But what if we’re right? Wouldn’t it be wonderful?“
Lorne R. Campbell, M.D.