Pregnancy, birth and parenthood is an exciting time in one's life but it can also be a challenging time for many of us. Finding and creating your “village” has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a fast-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world and navigating pregnancy and parenthood can be a daunting undertaking. So what is the answer to building the necessary networks and receiving the proper support in todays world?
The Village for New Families is a new and fresh take on the modern day village. It strives to be a hub for programs and resources for the childbearing year. It is a collaboration of professionals and practitioners offering classes, workshops and holistic support for fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum in Edgemont Village, North Vancouver.
Learn more about upcoming classes, workshops, events and The Village team here.
I came across the above image on The Alternative Mom's website the other day. It got me to thinking about how overwhelming becoming a new parent can be. Vernix caseosa, RIC, lochia, placenta encapsulation? Most of these words and terms would have people scratching their heads but for a birth doula, these are familiar words that sit on the tip of our tongues .
Birth and postpartum doulas not only provide physical and emotional support throughout the childbearing year. They will also provide you with evidence based information on all birth related topics. Pretty much everything on the list above is discussed in one of the prenatal or postpartum visits included in our 'Birth Works' Doula Package.
The more knowledge we provide you with, the better informed you are. And the more informed you are, the more empowered you will feel about your birth experience!
Are you expecting soon or do you know someone who's expecting? Home birth and water birth are safe options to the hospital for a low-risk mom.
Our clients often have a lot of questions about the benefits, safety and guidelines around water birth. Mark your calendars now and join us at 6:30pm on Sunday, January 17th at Pomegranate Midwives to learn more about your birthing options.
What are the benefits of water birth?
Many women find that being immersed in water during labour and birth gives them an increased sense of control, comfort and relaxation. If you are the kind of person who enjoys spending time in water, you may enjoy the following benefits from birthing your baby in water:
If you're planning a home birth with us, we include all home birth supplies and the use of our Aquaborn Birth Pool in our Birth Doula package. Set up and take down of the pool is taken care of by us - no fuss and muss for you as we'd rather that you be focusing on the more important things during labour.
For thousands of years, women have been giving birth naturally but in the last 30 years that has changed. It appears that many women are no longer capable of delivering without medical interventions as a result of a small pelvis which simply can not fit their baby.
So, I have to pose the question, "what has changed in the last 30 years?" Is it due to our diet, calcium deficiencies, posture or stress levels? When I began to search for answers into this 30 year old epidemic I was alarmed at what I found....turns out our bodies aren't failing us after all. Rather, it's the medical system that is failing womens bodies.
The idea that a woman’s hip size has everything to do with her ease of birth is not a new idea. It’s been a way of thinking for centuries, and it’s hard to shake a long standing myth.
Women are told all the time that they have a pelvis that is too small. They end up with an automatic cesarean without a trial of labor, only to give birth to the next child - much bigger in size, vaginally. The diagnosis of CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion - meaning babies head is too big compared to the size of the pelvis) is given out way to often - sometimes before the birth, and sometimes after a long labour followed by a cesarean. A long labour, and even a long pushing stage is not an indicator of a small pelvis/big baby. Often these same mothers give birth to their subsequent children who are much bigger. Labours stall for other reasons. This diagnosis gives women doubts in their bodies and then through the sharing of birth stories they pass these doubts on to other women. A woman who is a size 20 and has a nice large hips is told she cannot give birth naturally to her 6 pound baby. She tells the woman who is a size 5, with ‘smaller hips’, and then this poor women doubts her ability to give birth. Next thing we know, we have women measuring their hips, and wondering if they will have a harder or longer labor - and they are scared of a baby bigger than X pounds.
What most people do not understand is that the pelvis is not an immovable structure. We tend to imagine the pelvis as something solid and some believe it is one giant bone. There are four joints that join different pelvic bones together. During pregnancy and labour the hormone relaxin softens and relaxes the ligaments that join the pelvic bones, allowing the pelvis to give and stretch. In between the two bones that meet there in the front lies a pad of cartilage. This is symphysis pubis. In some women there can become a decent size gap there.
There is one more element to be considered - the baby. A baby’s head is made up of several bones - and they are made to overlap during birth. This is what causes molding. No one, not even a doctor, can tell a women how much the babies head will mold - or how much a woman’s pelvis will relax to accommodate that baby. The only way to find out is to try it.
A woman's pelvis can and will open naturally if given the chance, except in rare case of deformity or certain illnesses. It's important that we (doctors, midwives, moms, dads and doulas) trust in the birth process and wait patiently while the birthing body carries out what it inherently knows to do.
For further reading on this topic, please visit the links below.
What would happen if sex was interfered with as we interfere with birth? Both are a natural, biological function so why in the world do we choose to mess with one but not the other?
This satirical video sheds light on the issues women face in childbirth but it is no laughing matter. Women's bodies are not lemons and so should not be tampered with as though they were!
Birthing families are faced with a ridiculous amount of interruptions and interventions throughout childbirth. Women are rarely given a chance to birth naturally. In fact it's often something that has to be fought for. A woman and her partner should be allowed to birth in peace so that her body is given the opportunity to open up naturally.
As a part of our Birth Doula Package, our clients are welcome to borrow books and DVDs from our ever-expanding library of pregnancy, birth and parenting resources. Below is a sampling of the titles we have available.
Pregnancy, Home Birth and Hospital Birth Resources:
Are you pregnant and trying to decide if you'll take a childbirth class? Educating yourself is an excellent way to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, an amazing birth and a healthy new baby. It doesn't matter if
Top Five Reasons YOU Need a Childbirth Class
1. Knowledge is Power. Classes can help moms and dads truly understand what to expect during pregnancy, how to confidently prepare for birth, and make informed choices. Many childbirth education classes educate couples about what to expect during pregnancy and birth, such as, prenatal testing options, eating nutritionally, exercises to help prepare for birth, understanding body changes during pregnancy, stages of birth, breastfeeding and even how to prepare for the unexpected. Knowing your options and having good childbirth preparation can empower you to make the right choices for your pregnancy and as you prepare for the birth you desire!
2. Accountability. When you take a childbirth class and attend for several weeks, it helps build your accountability to stay up with the information you are learning such as eating right, exercising and researching your birth choices. Your fellow classmates can often become friends that support you during this exciting time of pregnancy, in preparing for the birth and for the journey of motherhood.
3. It's a Date. Childbirth classes help set a specific night each week that you and your partner have to get away. Couples often learn a lot about each other when taking a childbirth class. It can help build intimacy, support and communication for one another too. Life after kids will not be the same, so make time for each other while you can.
4. Childbirth Educators Work for You. Childbirth educators are specifically trained to know a lot about pregnancy and birth. A childbirth educator is one that works for you as the couple and not for an organization or care provider. Having an educator can be helpful when prepping for a birth in any setting because the education she is providing isn't necessarily influenced by care providers or birth places. Many childbirth educators may also be doulas, midwives or work in another area of pregnancy which gives them an even greater wealth of knowledge for their students.
5. Curriculum and Information for Success. Childbirth classes are structured to help mothers and fathers learn...A LOT. Classes come with workbooks and are designed to help parents fully understand what happens during pregnancy, the process of birth, and breastfeeding and parenting information. Teaching tools, such as, birth videos, handouts, charts, and games help couples to interact and learn from one another. Some mothers feel that reading books about pregnancy and childbirth are enough, but I have found that not all dads are as "gung ho" about reading as the mother is and he often feels a bit unprepared and overwhelmed come birthing time.
It doesn't matter if you plan to have a home birth, a water birth or a hospital birth - there are a variety of classes to support your choices. Below are a few classes that I've had great feedback from my clients . Book yours today and remember that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
Many maternity care providers continue to clamp the umbilical cord immediately after an uncomplicated vaginal birth, even though the significant neonatal benefits of delayed cord clamping (usually defined as 2 to 3 minutes after birth) are now well known.
In some cases this continued practice is due to a misunderstanding of placental physiology in the first few minutes after birth. In others, human nature plays a role: We are often reluctant to change the way we were taught to do things, even in the face of clear evidence that contradicts that teaching.