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Wednesday, 23 July 2014 16:57

Code Word

During transition in my last labor, I remember being on my hands and knees on the floor of the hospital and moaning, “I can’t do this...I need an epidural...I want an epidural.”

But I wasn’t serious, and even in those moments of intense discomfort I knew I wasn’t serious. I didn’t really want medicine.


Fortunately, my husband and nurse were completely on board with my all-natural birth preferences and didn’t rush to get me drugs when they heard me asking. However, after reflecting on that birth and looking ahead to my next one, I think there’s a lesson to be learned.


I need to be able to complain. I want my pain and strength to be validated when I am in labor. I realize now that when I asked for an epidural, I was really asking for my pain to be validated and for more support through the process of labor. It was a cry for both praise and help, not for pharmacological pain relief.


So this time, going forward, I’ve decided to designate a “code word” to be used if I need pharmacological pain relief. This will enable me to whine and complain, to ask for drugs or an epidural all I want, but without tempting my husband to call for them. Instead, I will use the “code word” if I begin to suffer and an epidural becomes necessary. Something like “code red!” or “bananas!” so that my labor team will know when I’m not kidding around anymore.


If my labor team hadn’t patiently urged me to keep going without drugs, I may well have ended up with an epidural when I asked for one. I don’t want to risk that again. I want easy access if I need medicinal pain relief, but I don’t want to get it unless I really need it. I think a code word will enable me to do just that.


Did you use a code word for your labor? Would you consider doing so? Share your thoughts with me!

Published in Labour
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:48

Home Birth Step #9: Birth Support

 Birth support? Isn’t that what my care provider is for? Well yes, however in some instances they are there to make sure nothing bad happens and recognize when a labor is not going right. Additional birth support can be helpful; they can remind you of things you wanted and make sure that you understand what is going in. What is the name of this support person? A Doula.

A doula is someone you can hire for the birth and/or postpartum care. They can help your partner or family support you as you are laboring. A doula is someone you hire to be there for the entire labor (a midwife might be called during your labor to another mother who maybe closer to birthing baby than you) and will not leave your side. She can be a great interpreter for you and your care provider especially in a case of transferring to a hospital for any reason, since some midwives do not have hospital privileges.
For postpartum care, she can help you with simple breast feeding issues, do household chores, hold the baby while you and your partner get some much needed rest, and make sure you are not having any postpartum complications or mood disorders, like postpatrum depression or childbirth PTSD to name a couple.
If you are not sure a doula is someone you want to have at or after your birth, a great book for your partner or family to read is The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkin. It has a great easy layout for understanding what is happening during your labor physiologically, emotionally, and mentally. There are instructions on counter pressure, massage, and breathing techniques to help you handle your contractions.
Published in Birthing Places

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