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I love nothing more than sharing what I have learned about pregnancy and birth with new mamas. I have had the privilege to mentor several of my friends that had children after me and saw them blossom into beautiful, strong, confident mothers. I have noticed that the sacred female connection and guidance has dwindled since men took over as obstetricians in this modern day. There are a lot of resources and knowledge out there but sometimes the obvious ones from woman to woman are looked past and unfortunately nowadays most women's outlook on anything to do with having a baby is negative. Maybe it is because their experience lacked any sisterhood or spiritual value. My experience was so magical that it literally transformed me and I get excited about the possibility of being able to do it again.
Here I share some things that your doctor may not tell you about having a baby.
1. Make sure you decide what is best for you and your baby based on you and your babies health, because there is a financial benefit for your doctor. Hospitals and Doctors make more money off cesareans and planned cesareans give them an opportunity to plan it in their schedules, which let them control an otherwise uncontrollable situation.
2. The hospital will take your placenta unless you direct otherwise. Most people don't care about their placenta, but to me and to many others we believe the placenta replenishes all that you lose during birth. I just blended it up and drank it but you can dry it out and put it into pills or bury it under a tree or plant and have a spiritual ceremony for your babies birthday. Bottom line is, that it is yours and you birth it after you birth the baby so arrange with the hospital or birthing center as to what you want to do with it. Placenta is full of nutrients and is used in tons of beauty products like hyaluronic acid. They extract the hormones that promote new tissue growth to help remove wrinkles. So before you get too grossed out about your own placenta, at least it's yours and you know where its coming from:)
3. Hospitals love to have you stay put in bed, but laying there makes it almost impossible to dialate without medication,which in my opinion is what they want. You have to get up and move around. Belly dancing originated centuries ago to help woman stay comfortable and encourage the natural birthing process. My midwife always said ,"if you walk the baby will slide right out!" And he did. I had 6 hours of true labor.
4. Having a baby naturally while laying down is like taking a shit laying down. It's awkward and very uncomfortable but convenient for most doctors. Squatting is usually what the body naturally wants to do but each woman is different. The point is that you want the freedom to decide what works for you. Hospitals do not usually encourage this so be sure to have a doula or midwife with you, especially if you chose a hospital so that they can help you have a beautiful birthing experience the way you want to do it. Not having the freedom to move, if you decide too can make or break a birthing experience.
5. Clenching or bearing down is actually closing off your vaginal canal. Your mouth symbolizes your vaginal canal so you need to relax and open your jaw so that your vaginal canal can do the same. However, when the baby is coming out and you are on your last couple pushes your body naturally tenses and convulses, similar to the feeling when you are dry heaving. This can not be avoided but the goal is to relax your jaw in between and go with the flow of your body. If you are medicated then you can not feel anything and then of course you will follow when your doctor tells you to push.
6. Hospitals are in a rush to get you in and out so that they can make as much money in as little of time possible and that includes rushing to cut the umbilical cord. Cord blood is usually about a 1/3 of the babies total blood volume and it is wise to wait a couple of minutes until the cord is done pulsating and most of the blood has gone back to the baby, where it belongs. This has many benefits to the baby especially if the baby was born early or is on the smaller side. It guards against anemia and irregular breathing because the cord blood is able to reach all the babies major organs for when it takes its first breaths, making it stronger. The cord is the connection that kept the baby breathing so it makes sense for it to be a slower transition. This however will not be possible if you choose to do a cord blood bank for stem cell or donation, as they will most likely clamp it right away. Here is some more information to help you make your decision.
7. The baby pushes all your organs to the sides, so after your labor your stomach will be hollow and loose. This can be a very weird feeling when you go to lay on your side. Get yourself a velcro waist band supporter to keep everything in place and to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of your organs sloshing around. This will also help get you back into your pre baby shape quicker. Click here to go to baby baboosh.
8. Kegels, kegels,kegels....before, after and for the rest of your life. Its a muscle so keep it strong. After you give birth it will take some time for everything to look normal again so don't freak out. Everything will go back to place!
9. It is common for hospitals to give your baby antibiotic eye drops seconds from being birthed. It is a precaution that is meant to prevent bacteria from std's infecting the babies eyes but most of us don't have such diseases so it shouldn't be just routine. If you think you might have been exposed or have gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis or are just unsure then the benefits may out way the risks but If you know you are clean then this can be avoided and you should discuss it with your doctors before your babies birth. The natural remedy is to just squirt some of Mother's breast milk right into the eyes.
10. You are responsible for the kind of birth you want to create for your baby and yourself. You are in charge! Each woman is different and each baby is different. There is no blue print for how all births go. You may change your mind frequently about what kind of birth you want and that is ok. The main idea is to stay true to yourself and what you are comfortable with. Woman were born to birth children so accept that with confidence and you will create a magical experience for you and your baby.
*You can read all the books you want but at some point you have to put the books down and listen to your Motherly instinct.- Jesse Golden
Disclaimer- I am not a doctor nor do I claim to heal or cure anybody. I simply share my own experiences with pregnancy and birthing. It is always wise to talk to your doctor or midwife before you make any decisions.