The conversations I have with women, during pregnancy, tend to focus on three areas: staying healthy & comfortable as pregnancy progresses, preparing for labour & birth and preparing for postpartum & breastfeeding.
When it comes to preparation for labour & birth, there are six posts that I’m often referring to, to facilitate these conversations & to support them in making informed choices:
#1 Repurposing the Birth Plan.
I’ve always had a hard time putting the words ‘birth’ and ‘plan’ next to one another. This post describes why that is and recommends how to shift your mindset from planning to preparation, with the Labour & Birth Learning Guide. And, some of the topics covered in the guide are explored in detail in the following must reads.
#2 Getting to Know Your Pelvic Floor.
A toned pelvic floor that can also fully relax is key for optimizing baby’s position during birth. For babies in a head down position, the healthy tone of these muscles helps them tuck their chins towards their chests, so the smallest part of the head (the crown) moves through the perineum first. Get to know your pelvic floor during pregnancy, with this great post from Motherhood Link.
#3 The Three Principles of Spinning Babies in Preparation for Birth.
We often celebrate the news that baby’s in a head down position. Did you know that there’s more to optimal positioning than just head down? Beginning in pregnancy, you can support the positioning of your uterus & your baby, using balance, gravity & movement, for improved ease during labour & birth. There’s a lot of fantastic information over on the Spinning Babies website – this is a great article to start with.
#4 Eating & Drinking During Labour.
Labour & birth are physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually intense processes, with high energy demand. And, guidelines published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Canada recommend that women at low risk for needing general anesthesia have the choice to eat & drink, as desired or tolerated. Why then, do most hospitals recommend limiting (or avoiding!) food & drinks when women are in active labour? Explore the history behind these recommendations along with the current research, over at Evidence Based Birth.
#5 IV Fluids During Labour.
Remaining hydrated during labour is vitally important, so when it became common practice for health care facilities to restrict oral fluids (& foods), it also became common practice to provide intravenous (IV) fluids. While this helps women remain hydrated, it can impact the length of labour, the type of birth (vaginal or Cesarean) & early breastfeeding. Explore the research on this topic & a great summary over at Evidence Based Birth.
#6 The Saline Lock During Labour.
A possible alternative to a continuous IV, a saline lock (or hep lock) allows for an IV catheter to be inserted into a labouring mother’s vein, without the need for her to constantly be connected to an IV pole. Explore the benefits & risks of this possibility over at Evidence Based Birth.
Nourishing Knowledge & Your Connection with Inner Wisdom
As you can tell, I have a particular fondness for the Evidence Based Birth website! There’s so much information out there these days, it can sometimes be difficult to sort out what’s reliable. When you’re moving through your Labour & Birth Preparation Learning Guide, I encourage you to bookmark the Evidence Based Birth site – use the blog search as your ‘Google’ search engine for labour & birth.
And, as you progress through your learning, nourishing your left brain, remember that another crucial part of the preparation process is nourishing your right brain – your connection with your unique inner wisdom. Why?
Because labour, birth, breastfeeding & mothering are rooted
in instinct, intuition & inner knowing.
Begin nourishing your connection with inner knowing with the (*free*) Labyrinth Meditation for Mothers package.
Need additional support sorting through information in preparation for labour & birth? Let’s chat. Prenatal consultations include these discussions along with preparation for early postpartum & infant feeding.