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CONSCIOUS BIRTHING INDIA

Holistic Perspectives & Directory For Northern India

Perfect Hands Off Breech Birth!

Screenshots of video, posted by “Mães & Babys” on fb:

Quoting the video description:

“I never imagined a birth like that would be possible. The realization of natural #childbirth with pelvic presentation is possible? The answer is #yes! Before clarifying the reasons for this possibility, we will define what the pelvic presentation is. Between the 36th and 40th week gestational occurs the intensification of uterine contractions and the baby begins to adopt a position to be born, most often with the head down (presentation presentation) which is considered the most appropriate For birth. However, it does not always happen and there are cases that the child remains sitting in the mother’s belly, so this posture is classified as a pelvic presentation. Pelvic labor is not an absolute indication of caesarean section! Many people believe that this type of presentation prevents a natural and safe birth by associating with anomalies and / or gestational disease, which in fact is a great #myth! In this type of delivery we need a team prepared to understand all the processes involved and do not intervene unnecessarily (pulling, compressing, compressing, etc. ), one of the most indicated positions is support with knees (of four), which may still have ball or shower aid. Pioneers in this area as researcher dr. Frank in points out that it is essential to wait for the baby to come naturally because physiology will be responsible for driving birth. In The Brazilian public health scenario it is essential that this subject is disseminated in the perspective of reducing the submitted of an elective caesarean section without indication because there are several studies that point to natural childbirth as the safest, the surgical conduct indicated only in births with dystocia. #Curiosity : the only anomalous presentation that is considered absolute indicative of caesarean section is transverse / Oblique (crossed in the uterus). However some professionals still choose to adopt this conduct only after the start of labor because they also consider the possibility of the baby adopting vertical position. 👶 #Health #woman #mother #sus #nursing #birth #obstetrics #neonatology video: the arrival of thayla – Youtube. The video features scenes of a labor. It’s not porn!”

Why not to clamp the cord early

“There’s something important parents need to know about that moment when the umbilical cord is clamped. And that is that at the moment a baby’s born, 1/3 of their blood, the blood that’s been going through them for all of pregnancy, is still outside their body. And what happened for all of human history is that after the baby is born, the cord would pump. It would pulse. It would push blood into the baby. They’d get 30% more blood. They get 60% more blood cells. They get iron to last them through their first year. They would get white blood cells to fight infection. They would get antibodies. They would get stem cells to help repair their body. But what happened in the 20th century is we got the idea to immediately put a clamp on the cord. To clamp it, cut it, and lock out the oxygen, lock out the iron, lock out all those wonderful things. If you wait just an extra 90 seconds or so, you get all the good stuff in your baby. Immediate clamped kids are 10x more likely to get iron deficient in the first year, which can affect their brain. So the campaign’s called TICC-TOCC Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping to Optimal Cord Clamping.” – Dr. Alan Greene

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To have children, or not to have children?

Conscious birthing embraces also the understanding that not every woman (and every couple) has to procreate. To be fertile and to consciously give birth can also mean to bring something other than a baby to the world: writing a book, expressions in art and music or any other project and venture that comes from your heart… there are so many ways to bring love, life and aliveness onto this planet, to people, animals and nature.

This post is an invitation to rigorously and ruthlessly check your self before ‘making a baby’. Below some inspiration for your investigations. After all, a child is a 20 years + project. Are you and your partner prepared for and integrated to it? Do you have the energy and commitment? Are you sure it serves your soul’s calling?

Good reasons for not having kids:

Bad reasons for having kids:

6 terrible reasons (Psychology Today):

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201512/6-terrible-reasons-anyone-have-child

AND: 10 Things to Know Before Having a Baby 

WHO: Individualised care is key

WHO has issued new recommendations to establish global care standards for healthy pregnant women and reduce unnecessary medical interventions.

Worldwide, an estimated 140 million births take place every year. Most of these occur without complications for women and their babies. Yet, over the past 20 years, practitioners have increased the use of interventions that were previously only used to avoid risks or treat complications, such as oxytocin infusion to speed up labour or caesarean sections.

“We want women to give birth in a safe environment with skilled birth attendants in well-equipped facilities. However, the increasing medicalization of normal childbirth processes are undermining a woman’s own capability to give birth and negatively impacting her birth experience,” says Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents.

“If labour is progressing normally, and the woman and her baby are in good condition, they do not need to receive additional interventions to accelerate labour,” she says.

Childbirth is a normal physiological process that can be accomplished without complications for the majority of women and babies. However, studies show a substantial proportion of healthy pregnant women undergo at least one clinical intervention during labour and birth. They are also often subjected to needless and potentially harmful routine interventions.

The new WHO guideline includes 56 evidence-based recommendations on what care is needed throughout labour and immediately after for the woman and her baby. These include having a companion of choice during labour and childbirth; ensuring respectful care and good communication between women and health providers; maintaining privacy and confidentiality; and allowing women to make decisions about their pain management, labour and birth positions and natural urge to push, among others.

Every labour is unique and progresses at different rates

The new WHO guideline recognizes that every labour and childbirth is unique and that the duration of the active first stage of labour varies from one woman to another. In a first labour, it usually does not extend beyond 12 hours. In subsequent labours it usually does not extend beyond 10 hours.

To reduce unnecessary medical interventions, the WHO guideline states that the previous benchmark for cervical dilation rate at 1 cm/hr during the active first stage of labour (as assessed by a partograph or chart used to document the course of a normal labour) may be unrealistic for some women and is inaccurate in identifying women at risk of adverse birth outcomes. The guideline emphasizes that a slower cervical dilation rate alone should not be a routine indication for intervention to accelerate labour or expedite birth.

“Many women want a natural birth and prefer to rely on their bodies to give birth to their baby without the aid of medical intervention,” says Ian Askew, WHO Director, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. “Even when a medical intervention is wanted or needed, the inclusion of women in making decisions about the care they receive is important to ensure that they meet their goal of a positive childbirth experience.”

High quality care for all women

Unnecessary labour interventions are widespread in low-, middle- and high-income settings, often putting a strain on already scarce resources in some countries, and further widening of the equity gap.

As more women give birth in health facilities with skilled health professionals and timely referrals, they deserve better quality of care. About 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day – the majority could be prevented with high-quality care in pregnancy and during childbirth.

Disrespectful and non-dignified care is prevalent in many health facilities, violating human rights and preventing women from accessing care services during childbirth. In many parts of the world, the health provider controls the birthing process, which further exposes healthy pregnant women to unnecessary medical interventions that interfere with the natural childbirth process. 

Achieving the best possible physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes for the woman and her baby requires a model of care in which health systems empower all women to access care that focuses on the mother and child.

Health professionals should advise healthy pregnant women that the duration of labour varies greatly from one woman to another. While most women want a natural labour and birth, they also acknowledge that birth can be an unpredictable and risky event and that close monitoring and sometimes medical interventions may be necessary. Even when interventions are needed or wanted, women usually wish to retain a sense of personal achievement and control by being involved in decision making, and by rooming in with their baby after childbirth.

source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2018/positive-childbirth-experience/en/

Conscious Child Birth in India

Conscious birthing is as much about conscious conception and parenting, as it is about the actual natural birthing process. Although one would expect India to have holistic doctors and natural birthing  facilities available en masse – given its rich yoga and ayurveda traditions – the reality is far from it. When searching for clinics for water birthing, midwives for home birthing and experienced, holistically thinking gynaecologists in Uttarakhand (North East India), there are NONE to find.

While Mumbai and Hyderabad offer already some good alternatives to the standardised allopathic birthing procedures, the region between Delhi and Dehradun are way behind.

India, the largest democracy on the planet with 1 billion people, is going through big changes with the new government. While ambition and strength are needed for the country’s development and expansion, balance and discernment are equally crucial.

Given the speed in which India’s population is growing, shouldn’t the  provision of an environment where babies, India’s future generations, can enter life naturally, in peace and calm, without time pressure and trauma, be amongst the top priorities? (Short and longterm implications for mums and children after stressful, hurried, medicated and invasive births are well documented.)

Women who were used to natural births (for example Garhwali women in Uttarakhand), started believing that it is unfashionable to do so. They have to be encouraged to return to their natural ways, which might take a generation of education and training.

Democracy is about choices. And in this fast paced world it is more urgent than ever to ensure the fullfillment of the basic needs of women giving birth. To become aware and understand their physiological and psychological processes, and to give women knowledge and the freedom of choice.

“Being from Europe where natural birthing, home births, waterbirths and trained nurses have long ago started to be widely available – just check Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland–, I see a massive lack of such options in India. The caesarean rate is 98%, presence of midwives maybe 2%. And even if clinical doctors promise to support expectant parents in their natural birthing process, they more often than not change their minds last minute because higher hospital fees can be charged for c-sections.”
HypnoBirthing Practitioner, 2014

Vision for Uttarakhand, the ‘Land of the Gods’:

  1. To have a reliable network of holistic birthing professionals and experienced midwives for home- and hospital births in Uttarakhand.
  2. To have reliable support from committed staff in well-equipped hospitals.
  3. To ultimately have established a holistic integrative birthing sanctuary in Uttarakhand – between Rishikesh and Dehradun – with skilled midwives and doctors (trained under international standards incl. alternative medicine), facilities for natural birthing (e.g. water pools, private rooms, calm atmosphere) and a state of the art ob/gyn department for emergency interventions. To have the space and facilities for parents to stay well in advance of the due date, and stay as long as needed. Focus: Treat expectant mothers with respect, acknowledge their individual needs and allow them to experience birthing without time pressure and enforcement of medicine or invasions. This sanctuary would balance the best of all worlds – mum’s and baby’s body wisdom, naturopathy, spiritual science and healing modalities as well as conventional medicine.

If you are interested in supporting the realisation of such a sacred birthing home, please get in touch.

Beautiful Video: Home Water Birth

Thanks to Maraya Brown & Family.

 

Where to Walk?!

Conscious ‘conception-birthing-parenting’ are part of conscious living. What about conscious city planning and landscaping? Shouldn’t this also be an integral part of our considerations and social responsibility, in order to prepare the ground not only for the well-being of our children but also for creating sustainable infrastructures for generations to come? Increasing traffic, the related bad air quality, noise and lack of safety are major concerns that need to be addressed – urgently and wholeheartedly.

I am German and love India. In fact, I also live in this magnificent country with my beloved (who is Indian). One of the things I really do miss here though, is an environment that allows an exploration of land and cities by foot with ease.

It is impressive how people have adapted to the apparent road chaos and creatively move around (remarkable how accepting citizens are), but I have also observed how challenging it is to go for a walk in public, without risking health and life. There’s no denying that the traffic situation, services and facilities, are characterised by a significant neglect and attitude of indifference.  

The below videos show the situation in Rishikesh (Tapovan/ Laxman Jhula) for example, and unfortunately it is emblematic for many roads in the country. Just see for yourself in the second film how a mother shields her son from all the speedy traffic. But then, the parked motorbikes force her to step on the road…

A simple stroll turns into an unnecessarily risky adventure. The current infrastructure is frustrating and worrisome – not only for mothers and fathers with their kids, pregnant women and dog owners, but for everybody who wants to go for a walk, or must walk in order to get from A to B.

Where is the walking space? How to navigate a walk when there is no pedestrian and footpath? Buses, trucks, cars, autorikshas and motorbikes have taken over. Vehicles pop up from all directions, oftentimes super speedy. Rubbish, stones, loose bricks, gravel, dog poo, cow poo and what not, create additional obstacles on the narrow sidewalks.

Feeling safe and comfortable while walking in the street is naturally given in almost any other country. In India it’s a dream and one wonders where the responsible street and city planners are. There seem absolutely no regulations for protection of public space. Least concern for pedestrian safety. 

I do not even dare to wish for public parks and green areas for doing sports, walking, socialising or to simply enjoying mother Earth, although such facility is an indisputable must have in most cities on the planet. Here instead, the main focus seems on commercial spaces which pop up by the minute. The city landscape tends to be a mess and eyesore. Big old trees get ruthlessly cut and supposed height limits for buildings are blatantly ignored. And it pains me even more, when I notice the lack of maintenance of India’s ancient spiritual treasures and sacred powerspots like Rishikesh. An Indian friend also pointed out that the open loos for men and garbage dumps are a violation against public hygiene and global efforts for environmental sustainability

Just shortly after recording the above videos, I saw a car from Delhi bumping into a woman holding a baby in her arms. She walked on the stingy path beside a busy road. The driver caught her from behind, just laughed (!) and drove away. Supported by family members, she was ok, but shock and disbelief stood on her face. While it is hardly possible to control the driving behaviour of individuals, it is possible to control the development of road structures.

Time to take a strategic approach and bring awakened consciousness, humanity, sustainability and beauty into public space-planning and infrastructure implementation.

In the following 2 mins. recording, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev eloquently describes that a new attitude is indeed needed to secure India’s development and survival (original: “Sadhguru & Baba Ramdev at Rally for Rivers event at Haridwar” on YouTube):

Midlife mums: Pregnant over 40

Given that in India the average marriage-age for men is 26 and 22 for women*, and in rural regions even earlier, the median age at first pregnancy is 20. In Western countries the average age for women to have their first baby has risen to 29 and above – and with that an increase in books, blogs and other media featuring women getting pregnant in their 40s can be observed. In contrast to India: the fact that women can have healthy happy babies also at a later stage in their lives seems doomed unrealistic (by most doctors) and undesirable**. 

Time for an awareness and paradigm shift amongst Indian women, couples and above all amongst Indian doctors, gynaecologists and nurses.

I’m very much in favour of exploring life and getting to know yourself and the world in your 20s and 30s before settling down, getting married and starting a family. Expand your horizon, be whole and complete within yourself, your body-mind-soul, first. 

Apart from humanity struggling with excess population, this world has enough children who were conceived accidentally and un-lovingly. India has enough couples that follow blindly what everybody else is doing, what their families expect and what society dictates, without checking what is their own real calling. 

Starting a family and having children takes a long term commitment and spiritual maturity. Ideally we have mothers and fathers who choose conscious conception, conscious birthing and conscious parenting. However, this does not tend to be on one’s radar when only 20 or 25 years old.

I am neither in favour of a late pregnancy, nor am I against it. I just want to point out that conceiving a healthy happy baby later in life IS possible. And we have to acknowledge that society in the East and West is changing, and more women are having babies at an older age, for a variety of reasons.

Here a small selection of the inspiring material that is already out there:

BLOGS

Wonderfully honest, hopeful and important blog by Tracy Slater. Read also her article: Why It’s Not So Rare to Get Pregnant after 45.

Mush brained ramblings is a blog by author Ellie Stoneley. Read also her article in the Huffington Post and the post In the Beginning about the journey of being a first time mother at the age of 47 1/2.

BOOKS

ARTICLES

YOU TUBE:

Interview Lauren Hanna & Lilou Mace, “Pregnant at 46!” (35 mins):


*Source: WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India, 2011 report.
Image: unknown photographer
** 
Once a 40+ woman is pregnant or once the baby is delivered, hardly anybody raises an eyebrow though. Pregnant women and mothers are adored and honoured in India.

Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin is the famous midwife who founded The Farm, an inspiration to birthing women worldwide, and an advocate for normal birth. She is the author of several books: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, and Spiritual Midwifery.

book

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