We’ve also all heard expressions of exhaustion and relief from the mother and seen a temporary lack of interest in her baby. The exclamations might sound more like these: “It’s over! I can’t believe it’s over!” “Can I just lie here for a minute?” “I can’t hold the baby right now. You take it.” ”Please just leave me alone right now.” “I’m so glad it’s over.” “We’re never doing this again!” Sometimes it takes a while before the mother can turn her attention from the intensity of the birth to her baby.
The fourth stage of labor, the time after the baby has been born (second stage) and after the placenta is safely delivered (third stage) has been defined medically as one to two hours postpartum. Culturally, I define it as the first 42 days following childbirth. I believe the fourth stage never really ends, as a postpartum woman is forever transformed by the significant rite of passage of childbirth.
Midwifery Today’s graphic designer shares her thoughts on the importance of birth photography to the normalization of gentle birth around the world.
Many people have noticed that some portion of waterborn babies seem a bit slow to come around. They aren’t stressed and they seem well-enough oxygenated, but still their transition to breathing air sometimes seems a little slower. They may be alert, have good tone and a strong heart rate (or maybe it is a bit slow as well) or sometimes they almost seem to be asleep, and they just don’t seem interested in breathing for a while.
Midwifery Today’s editor-in-chief celebrates MT’s 30-year anniversary by honoring 13 of the magazine’s most loyal contributors and gentle birth advocates.
A female doctor with a shaven head and beautiful eyes stood between Lily’s legs, studying the monitor. We all heard the slow thudding. In an even tone, a Mary Poppins-like midwife said, “Get peds.” A pediatrician and a gaggle of pediatric residents entered the room as if they’d been standing at the door waiting for an invitation. The doctor picked up the vacuum and quietly announced that the time had come to use extra force. “The baby is so close,” she told us as she readied her equipment.
A thought-provoking article about the biases found in birth research.
“Is the head out?! Oh, MorningStar, is the head out? It has to be out because I feel it out!”
This past year, two labors I attended benefited (meaning we avoided a cesarean each time) from a technique shared over a hundred years ago by Dr. Walcher. The first of these mothers labored for her third homebirth after four previous cesareans. She’d had a hard time getting her first baby into her pelvis (lying in bed) and was given a c-section at 3 cm and then she had three more cesareans in following years. Umm hmm. So, I was honored to help at her first homebirth, her fifth child. He also took a long time to engage. Beginning posterior, a variety of positions eventually got him through. Her second homebirth occurred after a long latent phase but before her midwife arrived.