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)

Avoiding These 4 Things May Help You Have the Birth You Want

http://www.mothering.com/articles/researcher-advises-stop-thinking-avoid-4-ls/

(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)

I had a home birth and I’m not stupid. Or brave.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/04/07/i-had-a-home-birth-and-im-not-stupid-or-brave/

 

One Friday morning five years ago, I peed on a stick and a pink plus sign appeared. I didn’t know anything about babies, pregnancy or giving birth, but finding a respectable doctor and a good hospital seemed the most appropriate course of action. If someone had ever suggested having a home birth to me, I probably would’ve rolled my eyes or thought they were just a little too “out there” for my taste. This was, after all, my first birth and I wanted the safest option for myself and my baby. Clearly, that meant giving birth in a hospital with doctors and nurses and the opportunity to be numbed up to my neck if I needed that. Right? (click link to read)