My inspiration this week:
“Women’s bodies are NOT broken, the system is broken. Their bodies have not failed them, the system has failed them.” ~ Cindy Collins
Yet another eye-opening session! If you think you have got all things covered about pregnancy and childbirth, attend a HypnoBirthing lesson to be amazed. To be more specific, attend WH’s class as I didn’t feel the same way with the other HypnoBirthing educator. The vibes surrounding the atmosphere and people in the class has been consistently positive so far, and I have always left the lesson feeling more inspired than ever.
During the first session, all five couples said they will be birthing in the hospital. As of the third session last weekend, three are considering homebirth and making plans for it. The other two were a couple who lives with their mother/in-law and us. We are still sticking to our hospital waterbirth plan. I want my big pool, warm water and Dr C around 🙂
Contrary to my initial thought that there may be constant homebirth preaching throughout the course, I was proved otherwise. There weren’t any “give birth at home!” or “you’re a loser if you don’t homebirth!” kind of messages coming from WH at all. She dutifully explained our body’s capabilities and workings, what happens during labour and birth, and what’s possibly gentler for mom and baby. In short, she feeds us with lots of information and mostly details that makes you think, “Hey, I didn’t know that!” and “Oh now it makes sense!”
The lesson started off with the screening of several waterbirth videos taken at a birthing centre in Guatemala. These women laboured calmly and took each surge – one at a time – in a stride. A husband of the birthing mom cried tears of happiness upon receiving his newborn. It was beeeeeautiful. As usual, I was moved to tears by the end of it.
6 MYTHS OF LABOUR INDUCTION
To begin with, the surges experienced through artificial induction are a lot more intense than the natural surges where labour starts on its own. Induction doesn’t work for everyone – many a time we hear moms having to go through C-sec after their induction attempt doesn’t bring about the ‘expected’ dilation within the ‘expected’ timeframe. That’s because our cervix isn’t thin enough and our body is not ready to birth yet (just like pooping, we can’t force ourselves to go if our system is not ready right?). Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth mentioned that those with successful induction usually had ripen, paper-thin cervix where labour was just around the corner.
WH explored the reasons of induction and explained each myth in-depth, which I will share in summary:
Induction reason #1: Baby too small/big
Our bodies don’t grow babies that are too big for us to birth. Afraid that the head is too big to pass through the birth path? Fret no, there’s a soft spot on baby’s head called fontanel that enables the bones surrounding baby’s skull to flex during crowning – minimising the head circumference for an easier exit. As long as you resist the urge to push and slowly breathe baby out (using birth breathing), the risk of tear is minimal.
Say at 35 weeks, doc says, “Your baby is not developing at the expected growth. You should consider inducing at week 37“. If it’s a risk that baby is small/not growing, why is it NOT a risk to let baby stay in mommy’s womb for a couple more weeks? Why not remove baby immediately but wait until full term? Every unborn baby – like every child – develops at a different rate.
Induction reason #2: Amniotic fluid level is low
Our amniotic fluid is replenished three times a day. If your doctor said that your AFL is low and baby needs to be delivered immediately, ask for some time to think about it first and drink lots of water. Ask for a re-scan after that. This ‘condition’ is usually solved by increasing your water intake and resting more.
Induction reason #3: Baby has passed meconium
Babies breathe through placenta, not mouth or nose. Hence there’s no risk of drowning for waterbirth babies, unless the mom accidentally stands up during crowning and exposes baby to the dry air, then get into the water. Babies won’t be able to ingest meconium in the womb unless they open their mouths to gasp for air. Additionally, how do we know how long has it been since baby passes meconium? We don’t/won’t know until we see our waterbag releases. Were we worried or did we panic prior to that? What’s inside our body is sterile, including poop and meconium until it’s exposed to air.
Induction reason #4: Amniotic sac (waterbag) has ruptured but labour has not started within 24 hours
By now, we should know that no surges = no baby. Why most doctors set a time limit for expectant moms with broken waterbag is due to risk of infection. Bear in mind that unborn babies are protected from external exposures through a mucus plug (show). That’s why it is safe to have intercourse and swim during pregnancy. Bacteria don’t travel upwards. It is when midwives/doctors insert their fingers into the cervix to check for dilation that infection is introduced in a situation where mucus plug and waterbag have released. Just wait it out, drink lots of water, and wait for labour to begin.
Induction reason #5: Overdue
EDD is purely an estimation and calculated based on the average 28-day cycle. For some of us with irregular or 30 to 31-day period cycle, the EDD may differ vastly. Taking into account missed or late periods, some babies arrive later than ‘expected’. WH mentioned that the record held by one of her students so far is a mom who gave birth naturally to a healthy baby at 43 weeks 3 days. Nobody stays pregnant forever, so why rush? Allow your baby the time to grow and develop to his/her fullest potential in there; let him/her decide his/her auspicioyus birthdate.
Induction reason #6: Good/nice/auspicious date
Which is more important – your baby’s birthdate or development in the womb? We will never know what we are compromising on if baby is made to come earlier than he/she is ready to. Enough said.
WH also went through a gentle birth plan with us (and I thought my previous one was detailed!). Buzz me if you would like to refer to it.
Two more sessions to go before we wrap this up! 🙂