Google+ Authentic Parenting: Birth Preparation: What I Did This Time Around

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birth Preparation: What I Did This Time Around

Along the way, I have picked up lots of things and have adopted ways to prepare for birth I did not know about when I was pregnant with my daughter. Back then, all I did was read lots of mainstream parenting magazines and one excruciatingly bad pregnancy and birth book, eat a sugar free diet, stop drinking coffee and sleep lots and lots.
This time around, I prepared in a totally different way, so I thought I’d share all of the little things I’ve done.

Nutrition

  • I started drinking a pregnancy blend around 24 weeks, which contained nettle and red raspberry leaf (I drank nettle tea off and on at the start of the pregnancy). It’s this one from Sands tea. For the birth, I got red raspberry leaf, nettle and chamomille to make a herbal honey sweetened labour infusion.
  • I was already eating paleo, so diet-wise, nothing much changed, except that I got even stricter (to avoid any possibility of going down the GD road again) and stopped drinking coffee (except for the occasional cup at friend’s houses) - I didn’t drink alcohol before I got pregnant, so that was a non-issue.
  • I took no drugs whatsoever this time around. I treated ailments I had naturally (through aromatherapy and herbal/natural remedies).


Excercise

  • I did prenatal yoga whenever I had the time (which sadly isn’t often enough with an active toddler running around).
  • I went for walks with my family during the weekend.
  • I also took the occasional dive in the Kasai river


Mental Preparation

  • I read extensively... but this time great pregnancy books: Unassisted Childbirth (Laura Kaplan Shanley); Birthing from Within (Pam England & Rob Horowitz), Orgasmic Birth (Elizabeth Davis & Debra Pascali-Bonari), Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years (Susun Weeds). And of course on top of this, the oodles of great blog posts (I’ve shared the best ones on Sunday Surf, so if you’re looking for something specific, you can browse through the previous editions).
  • I asked for support online when I needed it.
  • At about 6 months, I started listening to the Birth Relaxation kit, and read it’s booklet.
  • I researched and wrote about pregnancy and birth a lot - you might have noticed if you’re a regular reader.
  • I took a parenting coaching session to deal with some issues I was going through. Especially anger. While it didn’t resolve the anger issue entirely, I did bite through some things that were making me feel miserable. I cannot recommend this enough.


Creativity
I think being creative during pregnancy is really important, specially if one picks projects specifically geared towards the newborn, as it helps in channeling this great anticipation. With my daughter, I knitted and crocheted half a wardrobe and this time around I felt the creative bug too, yet time was not so much on my side. I knitted a bonnet for the baby and made the birth announcements cards by hand.

What I didn’t do

  • Even though I notched up birth preparation a couple of levels, compared to when I was pregnant with my daughter, there are a couple of things I wish I could have done.
  • start drinking pregnancy brews earlier on
  • get some sort of counseling, since I dealt with lots of anger issues and mental blockages I did not manage to work through on my own.
  • sign up for a group pregnancy program, preferably prenatal yoga, or maybe pilates (sadly, I don’t get to do this, because I spend my pregnancies between two different countries... and even so, neither of them have an array of these kinds of programs).
  • work out more often, ideally go swimming, but I don’t like doing things on my own and this pregnancy I have been alone all the time.
  • have a real-life community. I really missed female companionship this pregnancy. I had none whatsoever and this was really a big issue.


What did you to prepare for birth? What would you do different?


Share/Bookmark

3 comments:

  1. My four babies have all been born in a seven year period. I have changed such an incredible amount from my first babe to my latest. All babies come to you at different points in your learning journey. My wish with my guys would have been to have read Ina May Gaskin's books sooner, to have done my Doula training sooner, since I've met some really great people through it, and learnt sooo much amazing stuff that would've been nice to know back then.

    One really positive thing I learned early on was to trust in my body, and to not be afraid to fight for the birth I wanted, however annoying the authorities found my requests!!!! I didn't declare myself to them till I wa five months gone with number four ( ooooh panic!), only wanted one scan ( ooooh panic!), declared I wanted a home birth (having had two problem free, home births already - ooooh panic!) I wanted to use herbs and oils recommended by the uk's leading herbalist (ooooh panic!), I wanted to birth with minimum intervention ( ooooh panic!), I opted out of vitamin k injection for baby ( ooooh, panic), I birthed the placenta naturally after the cord stopped pulsating, and then opted out of vaccinations ( ooooh, panic).

    My baby was born in 2 hours 10 minutes at home, no problems at all, with a very fidgety flustered midwife, who I and my husband humoured but basically we did what we needed to do and she was really a bit of a spare part. After the birth she said it was a shame they didn't film it because it wouldve made a great training video.

    I could've given up on my alternative birth at all the hurdles the small-minded authorities had thrown up, but I held fast and it was SO worth it!!!!

    So if you want a radical birth as far as local thinking goes, research it well, get strong, and go for it!!!

    Be brave and if it's possible for other women, remember its possible for you too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ditto motherfunker in educating yourself and striving for the birth experience you feel is best for you! My first pregnancy is a twin pregnancy so lots of 'ooohs and panic'! I started writing my birth plan at about 28 weeks for a hospital birth (grudge), but free of unnecessary intervention - that included no automatic cannulation, intermittent monitoring only, minimal VEs etc. I guess when it's your first time you really dont know what to expect... but with research, looking within yourself, and visualisations of your birth, your instincts will tell you what you need to do and what feels right. I am my body's expert, and IF anything takes a serious turn, I trust that the experts will do a marvellous job in what they do best.

    I love that you've posted about getting creative. My mum encouraged me to listen and look at beautiful and inspiring things during the pregnancy. She said I should imagine that everything feel - the baby feels. For instane, she urged me to spend less time at the computer because it puts strain on my eyes - 'would you do it if you knew your little baby's eyes were hurting like that too?' It helped me take positive action.

    Other things not mentioned that can be done in preparation:
    - hypnobirthing,
    - hiring a doula or mentored doula,
    - attend a breastfeeding workshop (for first time mum like me this was a revelation)
    - avoid negative or horror stories,
    - visualise your happy and positive birth experience every day,
    - perineal massage,
    - drink a probiotic - I drank water kefir each day and suffered no ailments (obviously this cant be proven but it was my experience),
    - massage 100% organic virgin rosehip oil into the tummy, hips and thighs - pull the skin upwards and rub vigorously so it heats up to give elasticity to the deeper layers.


    ReplyDelete
  3. Ditto motherfunker in educating yourself and striving for the birth experience you feel is best for you! My first pregnancy is a twin pregnancy so lots of 'ooohs and panic'! I started writing my birth plan at about 28 weeks for a hospital birth (grudge), but free of unnecessary intervention - that included no automatic cannulation, intermittent monitoring only, minimal VEs etc. I guess when it's your first time you really dont know what to expect... but with research, looking within yourself, and visualisations of your birth, your instincts will tell you what you need to do and what feels right. I am my body's expert, and IF anything takes a serious turn, I trust that the experts will do a marvellous job in what they do best.

    I love that you've posted about getting creative. My mum encouraged me to listen and look at beautiful and inspiring things during the pregnancy. She said I should imagine that everything feel - the baby feels. For instane, she urged me to spend less time at the computer because it puts strain on my eyes - 'would you do it if you knew your little baby's eyes were hurting like that too?' It helped me take positive action.

    Other things not mentioned that can be done in preparation:
    - hypnobirthing,
    - hiring a doula or mentored doula,
    - attend a breastfeeding workshop (for first time mum like me this was a revelation)
    - avoid negative or horror stories,
    - visualise your happy and positive birth experience every day,
    - perineal massage,
    - drink a probiotic - I drank water kefir each day and suffered no ailments (obviously this cant be proven but it was my experience),
    - massage 100% organic virgin rosehip oil into the tummy, hips and thighs - pull the skin upwards and rub vigorously so it heats up to give elasticity to the deeper layers.


    ReplyDelete

I love comments! Drop me a line