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Posts Tagged ‘Unassisted childbirth’

Lovely Links I Like!

Dou-la-la writes about lactivists, and issues that arise when asking and offering breastfeeding advice.

“When a woman is unwilling to breastfeed, but tells people she was unable, it inflates statistics and seeds fear in other women that breastfeeding is an unreachable ideal for most women.”

Yes.

Thank you.

There IS a flip side to that – and I can already feel the murmurs. In order for women to feel safe about publicly admitting that they were simply not willing to breastfeed, and that it was a choice, not some failure of their anatomy or – another frequent claim – “refusal” by their child*, we, as a breastfeeding advocacy community, need to be able to accept those choices and not condemn or harass these mothers who have made different choices.

Also, along the lines of breastfeeding, HERE is the info on the new law that provides pumping breaks for breastfeeding mothers.

Employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”  Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”

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Going along with my previous unassisted childbirth post, here are a couple more!

Preparing for an Unassisted Homebirth

Don’t Condemn Unassisted Births Because of 1 Tragedy by Rixa over at Stand and Deliver.

I’m not saying unassisted birth is perfectly safe, just think happy thoughts and nothing will ever go wrong, la la la. But condemning all unassisted birth–childbirth, after all, is a normal, inevitable physiological event, not a medical procedure–because of one tragic “dumpster baby” is way off the mark.

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Don’t Judge Pregnant Women Based on Junk Science

This is especially true when it comes to pregnant drug using women. For nearly two decades popular media claimed that any illegal drugs used by pregnant women would inevitably and significantly damage their babies.

The actual scientific research contradicts this assumption. Carefully constructed, unbiased scientific research has not found that prenatal exposure to any of the illegal drugs causes unique or even inevitable harm. This research is so clear that that courts and leading federal agencies have concluded that what most people heard was “essentially a myth.” As the National Institute for Drug Abuse explains, “babies born to mothers who used crack cocaine while pregnant, were at one time written off by many as a lost generation. . . .  It was later found that this was a gross exaggeration.”

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The Feminist Breeder writes “A Birth Plan is More Than a Wish List”:

The birth plan may not be a legal document, but mother’s desires during her birth are her legal right. Yes, a mother can Just Say No to anything she is uncomfortable with during her labor, and the Birth Plan is the first draft of that assertion.

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Finally, Placenta Encapsulation Instructions with Pictures!

Doulas and Unassisted Births

July 1, 2010 28 comments

Having an unassisted birth can be a hard journey to take for many women. Often, if you discuss your plans with family and friends, you are bombarded by arguments trying to sway you into having an attended birth, talks of “what if”, or they may choose to avoid any contact with you for the duration of your pregnancy. There are very intense feelings regarding unassisted birth, and many do not want to listen to why you are going unassisted, and definitely do not want to support it in any way. “What if the baby dies?!”

Women who choose to have a UC sometimes want to have an extra support person there, just as they would want one there for an attended birth, but they are afraid to ask around. Most doulas do not feel comfortable serving women who are going unassisted. Some doulas do not believe that women should be able to have unassisted births at all. That, to me, is a sad thing to see in a community of birth workers who support women, yet deny and criticize those who choose a different way. We should giving unassisted birthers respect, just as we give respect to all other women who are giving birth. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to say that you support women, yet only if they do it “the right way”? If you feel uncomfortable with someone else’s birth choices, you can still give them the respect that they deserve as a person.

How can a doula serve a women at an unassisted birth?

A doula can provide all the services she normally provides at any other birth. She can be there to offer support for you, a possibly nervous partner, and siblings. She can prepare food, help set up your birth space, and just be there, present and calm. She will understand when you want to be alone, especially during the birth. Having a doula at your UC means having someone there who truly believes in you and your decision, and is there to help you have the birth you want. Having that trust and relationship with another person can be a great thing at a UC, when often you are left alone to fend for yourself.

After birth, she can help clean up, make sure every one has what they need and help with settling in. She can be a person to look to for resources, advice and postpartum support. Having a doula on your side can ease the worries about not having anyone to turn to postpartum, because you are afraid of what they will think of your decisions. Women should not have to be afraid after their births, because they have no outside support.

Is it still unassisted?

Sure, you can talk semantics about what unassisted birth really is (some will even say that having your partner there means you did not really have a UC), but in the end, almost any UCer I have met online or in person is not really worried about having a UC just to say she had one. Personally, as a doula and someone that has had an unassisted birth, I believe that if a doula is there to serve you and your family at your UC, then yes, you can still say you had an unassisted birth. A doula is not providing any medical care. She is there as a support person, just as she would be at any other birth. A doula does not hold any responsibility for the outcome of your birth, you and your family do.

Options and Local Support for UCers!

March 23, 2010 3 comments

I have written briefly about unassisted childbirth before here. I have always meant to write more in depth, but hey, life gets in the way, doesn’t it?

Midwife Pamela Hines of Salem, OR has been a long-time supporter of women who choose to go unassisted, and she recently wrote a post including her own ‘Unattended Birth Contract’. She writes:

“A non-refundable midwifery care deposit of $500 ensures that Pamela Hines-Powell will be available to answer questions or concerns, order desired labs or ultrasound, collaborate with other healthcare providers during the course of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This fee also ensures that she will be on call for the birth, whether or not she attends the birth.

Prenatal and postpartum care: Individual appointments are $75. The client decides how many, when and what type of appointment they need/desire.

I think it is a great option for those who want to open up their options when it comes to UC. Having an unassisted birth can be a long and lonely road, and I think that if a woman feels she needs some feedback/tests done/a midwife as a backup in case of an emergency or just as a line of support, then that is GREAT.

I do not think that having a midwife as a resource or as possible back up  means that you are abandoning your UC. Not all UCs are the same; some women have unassisted pregnancies, and some do not. Some women are completely alone, and some have doulas, friends, family, and/or their partners there. A wonderful midwife that supports UCs can be a great resource and partner on a woman’s road to going unassisted. There are many ways to have a UC!

Birth story | Amelia’s Unassisted Birth

November 21, 2008 1 comment

I wrote a month ago about my experience at my first unassisted birth, and I was given permission to post a link to Laura’s personal story of the birth of her daughter, Amelia, here. Definitely check it out! I love reading uplifting birth stories, and they helped me immensely when I was pregnant with Oliver.

HERE is her story 🙂

Amelia’s Unassisted Birth Story

October 24, 2008 4 comments

I am a big fan of unassisted births. Hey, I had my own! Many birth professionals look down on women who choose to go unassisted, believing them to be taking birth ‘too far’ or being selfish. I personally believe that every woman should be able to birth how she feels she needs to. I find it very sad that even those surrounded by birth, women who say that they trust birth,  are so quick to call unassisted birth irresponsible.

All of the women I have come across who have gone unassisted know their stuff. I know I read a million books about birth before I had Oliver. Most of these women are not going blindly into birth. It is a tough road to travel; you must defend your choice to everyone who finds out about your “plan”.

As a doula, I am proud to say that I support any woman who wants an unassisted birth. Surprisingly, when I began researching doula work, I discovered that most doulas will not attend an unassisted birth. Most fear that if something goes wrong, that they will be prosecuted.

So, as I was saying, I love free births! I was extremely excited when I was asked to attend one in September.

I got the call early on September 25. She was in early labor, but definitely progressing. Once I got there mid-morning, I was really pumped! She was doing great, and her partner was there by her side. I was happy to be able to provide relief for him, so he could rest and take care of a few things. She was having back labor, and I was lucky to have brought along my new little massage ball.

It really helped, and through the rest of her labor, both her partner and I took turns massaging her lower back.

Although really tired from lack of sleep, she did so fantastic. She changed positions when she needed to, and was really amazing. I felt so lucky to be able to be apart of something so great 🙂

During transition, she thought she had more time to go, so she wanted to get in the tub. Before the water even rose high enough, the baby was crowning! She stood in the tub, and with the support of her partner, gave birth to their beautiful daughter.

I felt a bit useless at the time, so I did what I knew I could: take some pictures! She was kind enough to give me permission to post this:

Amelia was born at 3:15 in the afternoon, just a little under 4 hours after I arrived! It was a beautiful birth. Brought me back to that excitement and awe of having my own birth. I am usually not a gushy person, but I definitely had tears in my eyes when she was born.