(Photo by Meg Wintory)
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”
– Barbara Katz Rothman, Birth Sociologist and Author
(Photo by Meg Wintory)
(click link above to read on Mothering.com)
For those of you who don’t know, Michel Odent is a world-famous researcher and obstetrician who ran a maternity unit in France for, I think, 86 years. Yeah, he’s that good. He is recognized for his extensive research concerning how we are born. All the stuff that midwives and women have known for generations, he is putting the science to. All of the interventions and procedures that have come about in the last few generations, he’s questioning if they’re best for women and babies.
Much of his work is concerning the fact that how we are born matters. Reading his books changed the way I think about birth and the way I teach about birth.
Your own mind gets in the way.
Of supreme importance is that a woman can STOP THINKING. To birth easily and quickly, you have to turn off the human part of your brain–the neo-cortex. We are the only animal with such a huge thinking part of our brains. We’re pretty smart.
The problem is the the neo-cortex inhibits physiological actions. When you are thinking–when your neo-cortex is in control, you don’t release the right hormones, your body can’t relax. Birth is harder and longer.
It’s like sex. (Isn’t it always?) You have to turn off your brain first in order to enjoy it. You have to be making the right hormones and the right brain waves to get into it. You can’t orgasm if you’re full of adrenaline and cortisol. You can’t birth, either.
It’s like how some people don’t poop on vacation. Sphincters don’t open in the presence of adrenaline. You have to feel relaxed and totally safe.
Who feels totally safe and relaxed giving birth these days? Almost no one. We’ve socialized and medicalized birth too much. Birth is not inner work anymore. Instead of softening into the birth process, we spend most of our energy avoiding risk. Birth is a reason to be on high alert.
Michel Odent says that is to our detriment.
“To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” She needs to turn off neo-cortical control.
Here are four things that turn on the neo-cortex and make birth hard: (click link above to read the blog)
(click to read)
Your baby has an active role in her birth. She must rotate and tuck, hold and kick her body in certain ways to be born.
These movements, called cardinal movements, are instinctive to babies and differ for babies in different positions. Our babies and bodies birth quickest and safest when the baby is head-down, facing the mother’s back, crown first. But, sometimes babies need help taking up the most ideal position. Breech babies have their own cardinal movements to be born safely.
Babies who are lined up optimally for birth come out faster and easier than those who aren’t positioned perfectly.
Many cesareans happen because the baby is not able to get in the best position for birth.
There are a few different pelvic shapes or types. Some pelvic shapes require that the baby take a certain, optimal position, while others can accommodate a number of different ways out. Don’t worry too much about pelvic shape unless you already know yours is unusual or your babies have trouble descending.
For many women, their babies can be born backwards (posterior), upside-down (breech), face first, or with with their head tilted a bit (ascynclitic), but it’s typically a harder or more complicated labor and birth.
Modern life has us using our body in a way that confuses or restricts the baby’s movement.
Here is what you can do during pregnancy to provide for the best chance and good alignment and faster, easier birth…
(click link above to read this helpful article)
Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women. The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue, but here are a few more:
1. The high black infant mortality rate: Black babies are dying at twice the rate (in some place, nearly triple) the rate of white babies. This is a fact. The high infant mortality rate among black infants is mostly to their being disproportionately born too small, too sick or too soon. These babies need the immunities and nutritional benefit of breast milk the most. According to the CDC, increased breastfeeding among black women could decrease infant mortality rates by as much as 50%. So when I say breastfeeding is a life or death matter, this is what I mean. And it is not up for debate or commenting. This is the only reason I have ever needed to do this work, but I will continue with the list anyway.
(click link above to read the entire article)
(click link to read the blog post)
We’re not meant to “bounce back” after babies. Not physically, not emotionally, and definitelynot spiritually. We’re meant to step forward into more awakened, more attuned, and more powerful versions of ourselves. Motherhood is a sacred, beautiful, honorable evolution, not the shameful shift into a lesser-than state of being that our society makes it seem.
The very notion that we are meant to change as little as possible, and even revert back to the women we were before we became mothers is not only unrealistic, but it’s an insult to women of all ages, demographics, shapes, and sizes. It makes a mockery of the powerful passage into one of the most essential roles a human can live into, and it keeps women disempowered through an endless journey of striving for unattainable goals that wouldn’t necessarily serve us even if we could reach them.
The world needs the transformation motherhood brings about it us. The softening, the tenderness, the vulnerability, the shift in prioritization, the depth of love — these are some of the qualities our hurting world needs most.
(click link to continue reading this beautiful post on revolutionfromhome.com)
Sweet. (Click link above to read the whole post on beautythroughimperfection.com)
I’m sorry about the New Baby.
I’m sorry that since he’s been here, things have been totally different for you and for us.
I’m sorry for those days/weeks/months where Mommy wasn’t quite herself because if you only knew what my body went through to give birth to that New Baby…
Creating a new life is not an overnight process, as we all know. Women’s bodies work hard to provide a safe and nurturing environment in order to grow a baby. The nine-plus months, or 40(ish) weeks, of pregnancy are split into three trimesters, each about 12-14 weeks long. Many women will track the milestones of their unborn babies in the womb as the weeks and trimesters go by, as well as the seemingly endless changes to their own bodies as their little one grows. Less talked about—and planned for—are the few months following the birth of your baby, often referred to as the fourth trimester, which is an important part of your pregnancy experience for both you and your baby. While you might be preoccupied figuring out how to care for your in-the-flesh newborn or getting your birth plan in place, it’s just as important to understand what your body will go through after the delivery and how you will need to care for it. To help address this special (and intense) 12 weeks post-delivery, we’ve rounded up some must-read tips to help a new mom navigate the beautiful and brutal fourth trimester.
(click link at the top to read on mothermag.com)
**Currently St. John’s in Santa Monica and GraceFull Birthing Center in Silverlake are the only facilities in the LA area that offer nitrous oxide during labor, to my knowledge.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) —
Many women have turned to laughing gas as a drug-free alternative to get through the pains of childbirth.
New mom Megan Edmonds gave birth to baby Asher with the help of laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide.“My goal was to, to try to get through with no drugs and no epidural. It just takes the edge off. I would say about 35 to 40 percent of the edge in the beginning of contractions and everything,” Edmonds said.
It changes and alters the perception of pain for patients, according to Dr. Albert Phillips at the Providence Saint John’s Health Center (PSJHC).
The PSJHC is the first hospital in the region to offer nitrous oxide for birthing moms.
“Nitrous oxide is actually being used all over the world, but here in the United States it didn’t seem to get as much favor as it did in other parts of the world,” Phillips said.