Where does the first stage begin and where does it end?
I walk into the house and this particular mother has a history of abuse. I will not be surprised if something during this birth arises from that experience … or doesn’t arise. We have decided as a birth team to arrive one at a time and ease our way into the space, keeping our distance as needed. We are tracking the birth and the effects of our presence. Privacy is a priority even more than usual.
Read more…. First Stage: The Division of a Labor
As an expectant mother stands in the light of the sun, her baby is bathed in a golden rose-colored, energizing, and soothing light. It is as if the sun above is telling the baby how beautiful this life will be. The sun communicates warmth and, as the mother smiles, the baby receives her bliss. Flowers communicate with the language of aroma. When a mother, pregnant with promise, sniffs a frangipani, she communicates her pleasure to baby.
Read more…. Baby Is Listening…
Photo by Lena Bell
When I make a presentation on conception/pregnancy/childbirth/postpartum, I generally have about 30 minutes to speak. According to UNICEF and United Nations (UN) reports, within this time about 7500 babies will be born in the world, while about 29 mothers will die as a result of pregnancy and birth (United Nations 2017). As ibu and lola, midwife and CNN Hero of 2011 Robin Lim said, “And I ask you to help to change this.” I was blessed to meet Ibu Robin and kiss her hands in Bumi Sehat, while spending a couple of days in her Bumi Peace Kitchen.
Read more…. Increasing Networks on Five Continents: The Primal Health Continuum of Pregnancy/Birth/Breastfeeding
We know that how a pregnant woman experiences, evaluates, and copes with labor depends on: where and with whom she is during labor; her personality; her past experiences dealing with love, empathy, compassion, depression, anxiety, and stressful life events; as well as her partner and providers—whether midwives, doctors, or doulas. Read more…. First Stage of Labor … My Reflections
Photo by Sabine van Erp
Modern society has effectively stolen from us very important and vital parts of life: birth and death. We’ve allowed both to be taken out of the family home and sanitized, sterilized, and hidden from the very family members who need the celebration of a birth and closure of death to bond as a family unit.
Read more…. Life Passages
Photo by Danielle MacInnes
Traditionally, women in labor have been able to eat and drink as they desired. Most birthing women still eat and drink in parts of the world where Western medicine hasn’t yet transformed traditional birthing practices. In colonial times, as Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America informs us, “female attendants provided food and drink for the laboring woman to keep up her strength, offering such things as toast, buckwheat gruel, mutton, broth, and eggs”
Read more…. Eating and Drinking in Labor: A Step toward Reclaiming Autonomy in Birth
For a long time, many women have noticed that they are not as mentally sharp as usual at the end of their pregnancies. They mention anecdotes of memory loss and, occasionally, poor concentration. Their topics of interest become different. Their need for socialization may be reduced and reoriented.
Read more…. Preliminary Phase of Labor: What Does It Mean?
Most of you probably read the trilogy Call the Midwife years ago. I am a little late, but I just finished all three books. The stories of people, mostly from the East End of London, seem more unreal than fiction, yet they are all true, according to the author, Jennifer Worth. She writes about the midwifery services, mostly homebirths, provided by the nuns at Nonnatus House for 99 years—from the 19th and through most of the 20th century. Read more…. Call the Midwife
Photo by Josef Juchem
Childbirth. Straightforward, simple; complex, and variable. Essentially stated, it is the mammalian way to continue life down through the generations.
Years ago the “Four Pillars of Safe Motherhood” were developed. They are antenatal care, birth in a clean safe place with skilled attendant, access to emergency obstetrical care, and family planning.
Read more…. Interventions in First Stage