A Doula’s Call For A ‘Culture Of Consent’ During Childbirth

http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/05/11/doula-culture-of-consent

I gave birth seven years ago in a Boston-area hospital where I generally consider the care to be excellent. I arrived near the end of my labor, my cervix almost fully  dilated. After an hour of moving freely around my hospital room, my midwife and labor nurse said, “It’s time for you to get into bed now.” And then they said, “Let’s have you get onto your back.”

Even though I had read the medical research that found that lying supine carries risks to a fetus — which is why pregnant women are advised not to sleep on their backs — I behaved like any woman in the suggestible state of labor: I did what I was told, though it went against my instincts and my preference.

(click link at top to read the blog post on wbur.org)

Jessica Biel Opens Up About Her Perfect Birthing Plan Gone Wrong

https://www.vogue.com/article/jessica-biel-emergency-c-section-recovery-natural-birth-psychology

“The birthing plan: Whether it’s set at home with a doula or in a hospital surrounded by family members, many expecting women have their perfect version in mind. And the location and company one keeps during delivery are just the beginning—with highly curated extras like pressure-relieving birthing balls and soothing “push playlists” growing in popularity. But the reality is that when it comes to child birth, there’s only so much you can control.”

(click to read link on vogue.com)

 

 

 

New Guidelines Establish The Rights Of Women When Giving Birth

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/03/01/589860155/new-guidelines-establish-the-rights-of-women-when-giving-birth

 

For more than 60 years, it has been the standard of care to try to speed up childbirth with drugs, or to perform a cesarean section if labor was seen as progressing too slowly.

Now a new set of recommendations is changing the game.

A little history is required to understand the importance of that one recommendation, says Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, who did not work on the report. In 1955, Dr. Emanuel Friedman studied 500 women and concluded that labor is normal when, during the intense phase of contractions, the cervix opens at a rate of at least one centimeter (about 0.4 inches) an hour. “Dr. Friedman showed that 95 percent of women progressed” at this rate, says Caughey. “And that became the standard of care.”

(click to read on npr.org)

Your Biggest C-Section Risk May Be Your Hospital

https://www.consumerreports.org/c-section/your-biggest-c-section-risk-may-be-your-hospital/

Consumer Reports finds that your risk of a cesarean section can be more than nine times higher depending on the hospital you choose.

The most common major surgery performed in the U.S isn’t to remove an appendix or replace a knee. It’s to deliver babies by cesarean section, or C-section.

Roughly one out of every three babies born in this country—or about 1.3 million children each year—are delivered this way, instead of vaginally. Yet the vast majority of women prefer to deliver vaginally, according to a January 2017 study in the journal Birth.

So what’s going on?

(click link above to read on consumerreports.org)

4 HUGE BENEFITS OF AN UNDISTURBED FIRST HOUR AFTER BIRTH

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/05/02/4-huge-benefits-of-an-undisturbed-first-hour-after-birth/

The first hours after a baby is welcomed into the world may have short- and long-term consequences. Evidence has shown that newborns who are placed skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth have better  respiratory, temperature, and glucose stability, and significantly less crying that stipulates less stress.

“Because the first hour after birth is so momentous, we have named it ‘The Sacred Hour’ at our hospital,” explains Raylene Phillips, MD.

(click link at top to read the rest of the article on collective-evolution.com)

Don’t Tell Women There’s No Point Making A Birth Plan

http://www.mumfidential.com/dont-tell-women-theres-no-point-making-birth-plan/

 

Don’t make a birth plan, it’s pointless, because birth is completely unpredictable.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard a woman being given this crappy nugget of pseudo-wisdom, I’d be rich enough to start my own luxury birth centre in St Lucia.

It’s fabulously convenient to tell women this, actually, because not only does it totally discourage them from researching their birth options, making a plan and thus becoming one of those ‘tricky customers’ in the birth room who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask.

But also, once birth is over, if the birth was difficult or even downright unpleasant, you can ask her, “Did you make a birth plan?”, and if she says yes you can shake your head and say, “Oh dear”, in a way that basically implies, “I told you so”, and bingo, the whole sorry mess is her fault and everyone else is off the hook.

Actually, making a birth plan is one of the very best moves a pregnant woman can make.

 

(click link above to read on mumfidential.com)

Fearing childbirth may prolong labor

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fearing-childbirth-may-prolong-labor/

Dr. Stuart Fischbein chuckled when he read the title of the press release: “Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor.”

The release was promoting a study published this week in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Researchers at Akershus University Hospital in Norway found women who feared giving birth were in labor for 1 hour and 32 minutes longer, on average, than those who had no fear.

“I’m glad there’s now evidence to say that,” Fischbein said, “but it’s obvious.”

For those of us who aren’t OB/GYNs, it may seem more like a cruel joke. Women who are afraid of the pain and the possible medical complications associated with giving birth have to suffer through it longer?

(click link at top to read article on cnn.com)