Using Sports Psychology for Childbirth

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/well/family/using-sports-psychology-for-childbirth.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20190116&nl=well&nl_art=12&nlid=59957724emc%3Dedit_hh_20190116&ref=headline&te=1

Any woman who has ever carried and birthed a child, in whatever fashion, deserves her own ESPN highlight reel — blood, sweat, tears and the eventual triumph of holding her newborn baby. To be clear, childbirth isn’t a game. You can’t plead with the referee when you don’t like a call or leave the field when you’re tired. 

Still, as a lifelong athlete, I saw childbirth, especially an unmedicated one, as the ultimate challenge of physical endurance, mental stamina and my ability to handle pain.

When I became pregnant in January 2018 and set about preparing for the monumental task of birthing a human, I loaded up on prenatal vitamins, kept a daily routine of birthing stretches and exercises, and endured an eight-week birthing course. An image of the lead female competitors in the New York City Marathon, who bring me to tears when they run past my Brooklyn apartment each year, filled me with confidence for labor. Washboard-like abs. Lean legs showing off every strand of muscle. Calm, focused and confident expressions on their faces.

However, as my due date came near, I clung to a fear of pain and the unknowns out of my control. How long would my labor be? Would my mind fall apart? What if my pelvis wasn’t the optimal shape or I stopped dilating?

(Click to read on NYTimes.com)

10-Year-Old Catches Newborn Baby Sister In Viral Birth Photos

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sister-catches-baby-birth-photos-paulina-splechta_n_5c48de82e4b0b66936767905?wc&fbclid=IwAR2uzjf5WvqqnWr04RZE6XSpmQeGty2I_eGWZcdKTHmd6UnJKr9GXpXxWCo

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Photo by Paulina Splechta

A powerful series of birth photos is highlighting the beauty of sibling love.

Paulina Splechta has been documenting childbirth as an on-call photographer for four and a half years. Last month, she had the opportunity to capture a very special moment for the Cook family in Boca Raton, Florida.

When Catherine Cook prepared to deliver her third child, she invited her 10-year-old daughter, Kayla, to be present at the birth and catch the baby. The big sister happily agreed, leading to an emotional experience that Splechta photographed.

(click link on Huffpost to see the entire series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Birth: How Motherhood Changed My Relationship With My Body

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/opinion/pregnancy-babies-birth.html

I love my baby. But I was unprepared for how childbirth would change my body.

I thought I was pretty well prepared for the birth of my son. I had loads of friends with kids, I was an aunt, I’d attended a prenatal course, read (bits) of the many books recommended to me. And yet I discovered afterward that I was completely unprepared for the physical changes my body went through in pregnancy and the recovery that would follow. Obviously giving birth is one of the most extreme things your body can ever go through. So why was the aftermath also such a shock?

(Click link at top to read this op ed piece on nytimes.com)

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING

http://thenaturalparentmagazine.com/postpartum-depression-in-the-age-of-social-networking/

It’s estimated that worldwide, some 10 to 15 per cent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. According to studies, having a strong social network – both online and in real life – can help mothers cope with this common medical concern.

A DARKER SHADE OF BABY BLUES

Postpartum depression is not to be confused with what’s come to be known as the postpartum “baby blues”, which is common to 80 percent of women after giving birth, usually beginning within the first three days after delivery and sometimes lasting as long as two weeks.

The baby blues are typically characterized by mood swings, anxiety, crying spells, irritability and insomnia, and while undeniably unpleasant, the condition is temporary, very common, and doesn’t present any long-term health concerns.

Postpartum depression, however, is a different story, being a more severe, long-lasting affliction linked to the chemical, social, and psychological changes associated with having a baby. While similar to the baby blues, its symptoms are considerably more intense and can eventually interfere with a mother’s ability to take proper care of her newborn or simply perform basic daily tasks.

(click link at top to read the entire article)

Why Listening to Other Parents On Your Child’s Sleep is Often A Complete Waste of Your Time

http://evolutionaryparenting.com/listening-to-other-parents/

Parents today have often been bombarded by other parents telling them the things they need to do to improve their child’s sleep.  Often these things are based on cultural norms which inform on things like sleeping location, sleep training, feeding surrounding sleep, and so on.  Many families end up worried they are doing something wrong because so many others tell them they are.  They hear families telling them how happy they are and how much sleep they are getting and all these behaviours that felt so normal, so instinctive, and so right suddenly seem questionable.

The problem is that there are many scientifically-backed reasons to just flat-out ignore these families.  So before you let one more person worry you, let’s look at why these people’s statements mean absolutely nothing.

(Click link above to read the rest on evolutionaryparenting.com)

This Midwife Is Fighting to Make Vaginal Breech Births a Thing Again

https://www.healthline.com/health/betty-ann-daviss-midwife-breech-births

Betty-Anne Daviss travels the world training healthcare providers in vaginal breech birth, which often isn’t attempted when a baby is breech, or feetfirst.

In the 40 years since she attended her first birth in Central America, Daviss has traveled all over the world — from the Northwest Territories in Canada to Germany to Afghanistan — to study, among other things, childbearing practices.

Aside from her unique journey to becoming a midwife, what sets Daviss apart from many other healthcare providers who specialize in childbirth is her expertise in vaginal breech birth. That means delivering a baby that’s feet- or bottom-first instead of headfirst vaginally instead of by cesarean delivery, commonly known as C-section.

In fact, Daviss has made it her mission to mainstream vaginal breech birth again

In some ways, Daviss, who also teaches in the women and gender studies department at the University of Carleton in Ottawa, might be considered a bit of a radical.

Last year, she helped publish a study that found there were significant benefits to a woman giving birth to a breech baby in an upright position — kneeling, on hands and knees, or standing —compared to lying on her back.

“We know now from the studies we’ve done that the pelvis is dynamic, and the baby winds its way through as the pelvis changes shape. How is it that we ended up with women flat on their backs and people actually thinking that was normal?” Daviss muses. “That’s totally an abnormal way to have a baby.”

(click link at top to read more about Daviss and breech births on healthline.com)

15 Signs That It’s Time to Fire Your OB, Now! | Mother Rising

https://www.motherrisingbirth.com/2018/10/fire-your-ob

OBs play very influential roles in women’s lives during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.  Having the right or wrong person at your birth can make or break your vagina.  Literally.  Unfortunately, sometimes the doctor or midwife a woman chooses in the first trimester turns out not to be such a great fit as pregnancy progresses.  But how should you know when it’s time to fire your OB or midwife?  Glad you asked.

(Click link at top to read on Mother Rising blog)