When thinking of the partner’s role in childbirth, there are always tips and tricks you can learn to be “prepared.” But in all honesty, birth is not something that can be rehearsed and memorized. Every birth is unique. And just like every birth is unique, so is the type of support each mother needs during pregnancy and labour. Some mothers need their space to focus and put their energy into birth. Other moms need lots of comfort and support whether through words of encouragement or physical massage. That being said, there are a few key concepts that are consistently helpful throughout most births. Continue reading
When I meet with clients one question I often ask is “why do you want this type of birth/birth plan?” And one of the most common answers is “I just want to do what’s best for my baby.” Though this answer is completely understandable and reasonable, it is my belief that it should not be the goal. In my practice I offer my clients lots of articles and information about the benefits to the baby when the mother eats and exercises healthily during pregnancy, the baby is born unmedicated vaginally vs caesarean, or when they breastfeed for x-amount of their life. However birth is just as much, if not more, about the mother as it is about the baby. Continue reading
The process of birth is all about cycles whether they relate to pleasure, pain, or intervention. The physical aspect of birth is highly dependent on our emotions. The two main cycles have to do with our emotional and physical being: love/pleasure and fear/pain. Once one series begins, it can continue all the way through your birth. However, it is just as easy to change cycles as it is to continue with another. With some help from your birth team, you (the birthing mother and birth partner) are able to guide yourselves emotionally to determine which path your birth will follow. Continue reading
I believe that it is important for people to have the knowledge of how birth works in order to make informed choices and opinions; whether they are parents-to-be or third party members of the birth. Being aware of how a natural birth works is a stepping stone towards acknowledging your thoughts around non-natural practices for birth. One of the most well-known acts involving birth is labour. Everyone knows that labour exists, but do we fully understand what labour is or how it works? There are three main stages to labour and birth: blossoming, pushing, and placental. Here is a basic introduction to the stages of labour.
I have had discussions with many women about their views on natural birth. Their comments were similar to what many women think of natural birth: it is an interesting concept, but not for them. One opinion that struck me recently was when a woman stated “[d]eep down I hope that when I am ready to produce babies, I can do so naturally in my home, standing up.” She knows that she wants to have a natural birth experience, and yet she views the possibility of having her own birth being natural as “just like a fantasy story in [her] brain…” Another woman expressed how she believes that it “takes a strong set of people to go through childbirth au-naturale.” It is amazing how some women today are aware that natural birth is their ideal plan, but when the idea of their capabilities is brought into question, they do not believe they can do it. Every mother-to-be wants a positive birthing experience: one where she feels safe and in good hands. But what does this look like and how can a mother actively give herself a positive experience? When it comes down to it, yes; an experienced birth team is highly helpful. However, the birthing mother and partner have more power than they often believe. Here are a few tips for labouring women and their partners to consider during their big day. Continue reading