My inspiration this week:
“A pregnant woman is like a beautiful flowering tree, but take care when it comes time for the harvest that you do not shake or bruise the tree, for in doing so, you may harm both the tree and its fruit.” ~ Peter Jackson, R.N.
The fourth class started off with a video screening of “What Babies Want” – Part #2. The documentary elaborated on the importance of immediate bonding after birth, and that babies do have memories of what happens in the womb, during/after birth as well as during early childhood. A case study by BEBA showed a six-year girl who was brought into the centre by her mom for ‘lack of connection’ therapy. She had a history of being ushered quickly to the nursery upon birth. During the therapy, the girl was given a selection of toys, where she chose some miniature hospital figurines and began laying them out one by one. She then created a hospital scenario similar to the labour room she was born in. None of the details – from the exact spot where her mom placed her slippers and where her father was standing to the location of the IV drip and newborn warmer – were missed. Shortly after that, the girl moved the baby on the warmer to the female adult figurine lying on the bed, who was supposedly her mother. The barrier between her and her mom was instantly broken. Again, amazing or spooky?
Based on the documentary – and knowing that Hubby and I are still rather disturbed by E’s NICU episode after birth – WH suggested us to talk to E about what actually happened. It never occurred to us to talk to him up until that day.
Among the TOPICS discussed during the class were:
1. What have you learned from the course so far? – Me: (a) Importance of pre-birth bonding; (b) Staying calm and confident during labour; (c) Letting go and allowing my body and baby to work their magic.
2. Any concerns, doubts or fear? To which Hubby said: “More of the medical team cheering wife to ‘Push, push, pushhhhhhh!’. That was really stressful and unnecessary. Also on letting go of what happened to our firstborn last time.” And we both agreed that our biggest concern now is the logistical details on D-day. WANTED: Husband replacement cum birth companion. 🙂
3. Fear-release therapy – We were asked to relax and close our eyes as WH read a fear-release script. The 10-minute session was really good as it helped me to call out many unpleasant memories which have burdened me for years. We were then guided to crush them up and burn them away. My mind was so determined to eliminate these histories that I even imagined mincing the memories with a high-voltage blender. Vrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
4. Baby’s optimal position in the womb for easier and smoother delivery – The left occiput-anterior (LOA) presents the best position with 9.5cm circumference for exit. Keep telling baby to put hands on heart, chin tucked in. No superman pose, please.
5. How to help baby settle into an optimal position?
• Sit straight or lean forward
• Do deep squatting once baby is in a good position.
• Avoid sitting on recliner chair or reclining style.
• Avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
6. Massage for relief during labour – WH demonstrated how a birth companion can carry out light touch massage and pressure massage to relieve the birthing mom during labour. The former gave me goose bumps more than comfort! Heat pad or water bottle filled with considerably hot water works well too.
DID YOU KNOW?
► If you get back pain or discomfort during labour, it’s your baby’s back pressing against your spine. If baby is already engaged, try the polar bear position to dislodge and encourage him/her into LOA. If he/she is not engaged and you’re not in labour yet, drink more water and be on all fours leaning against an exercise ball for around 30 minutes everyday.
► Endorphin, a hormone of pleasure that is released during sex, pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding, is 200 times more effective than morphine. Epidural (narcotics) is the artificial equivalent of endorphin WITHOUT pleasure. Think HUGS BEFORE DRUGS if you’re succumbing to painkiller (says the person who took epidural previously, hahaha!)
Our last class will not be until two weeks’ time. So until then…Happy gentle birthing!