Labour

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Ensure that baby is breathing (it might be a good idea to use APGAR scoring, it is up to you) and mother isn't losing too much blood.  

After giving birth, you may find that you have torn.  Take appropriate measures to resolve any problems properly, even if it means a trip to the hospital.  Also keep in mind that every mother is different.  One woman can lose a lot of blood and be fine, and another may lose less but need help.  (Generally, if you have lost more than 2 cups of blood, this is cause for concern.)  This is why it is important to take good care of yourself during pregnancy.  Hemorrhage is definitely a concern for those women that are anemic (have low iron levels).  It might be a good idea to get your hemoglobin checked during pregnancy.  Normal range is 11-14.  Tears can be glued together with liquid bandage or super glue, or you can choose to do nothing and hold your legs together in bed after the birth.  It depends on the woman, and the tear.  

Also, it is not necessary to wash the vernix off of the baby.  Vernix is beneficial.  It protects the skin and will soak in within a few hours after birth.

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #10: The Birth

Go to the next step Step #12: The Placenta

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Newborn Health
Saturday, 19 November 2011 10:44

Unassisted Birth Step #9: Gathering Supplies

This might include, but is not limited to:

  • birth pool
  • shower curtain or vinyl table cloth
  • chux pads
  • towels
  • cord clamps
  • scissors
  • placenta bowl
  • baby scale
  • receiving blankets
  • baby hats
  • herbs (for example, shepherd's purse for bleeding or raspberry tea leaves).  

Birth kit supplies may be purchased from a variety of sites (some may be cheaper on certain sites than they are on others, and supplies vary, so look around), but a popular site to purchase from is this one: http://inhishands.com/shop/Birth-Supplies.

I personally recommend doing a search for a particular item you want one at a time, unless you plan to order many different things.  (A lot of things can be found at a local department store or laying around your house.)  You may also decide that you want monitoring (the baby's heart rate, your blood pressure, cervical checks, etc.), in which case you can use supplies that you have used for your UP (or purchase them via the www.unhinderedliving.com, or wherever you feel comfortable getting them from).  

You might even decide that a birth kit is unnecessary.  Alternatively, it might be a good idea to pack a hospital bag, in the unlikely event you need to transfer.  

Visualize your birth and decide what you need.  If you think you might run into (or fear) a certain complication, you may want to especially prepare for that one, even just for peace of mind.  Most women find that they don't need hardly anything that they put in their birth kit but it is better to be prepared than need it and not have it on hand.

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #8: Have a Birthing and Back Up Plan

Go to the next step Step #10: The Birth

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Birthing Assistance

This is important as it documents what your wishes are, ensures your birthing attendess know what you want and is important in the event  you need to transfer to the hospital.

In your birthing/back up plan:

  • It is helpful to have your birthing plan and medical documents all together prior to giving birth.
  • Include any prenatal care documentation 
  • Outline your birthing desires so all people involved in your birth have a reference.
  • Determine ahead of time what warrants a trip to the hospital, and make sure your birth attendant(s) know what to look for.  For instance, if you are turning white and passing out, you could be losing a lot of blood (internally or externally) and need immediate medical attention.
  • Also, it is a good idea to include all of your medical information with your birth plan should you need to be transfered to the hospital as this expodites the process.
  • It is a good idea to read about and learn how to handle complications (variations of normal) at home and possibly print out the "variations of normal" sheets (from the Unhindered Living website or from wherever you chose) to have with you when you are in labor and giving birth.  Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Be ready for any possibilities, so that you don't find yourself panicking when your baby begins to emerge in a breech position or his shoulders get stuck, or if the cord is wrapped around the neck (which is common).  Most "complications" do not require medical assistance, especially for the possibility that you might feel you need to transfer to the hospital.

 Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #7: Learn Relaxation Techniques and Practice Birthing Positions

Go to the next step Step #9: Gathering Supplies

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Birthing Facts

This will help you to tolerate your labor better, and you won't have to try and think of what feels good or helps you cope when you are in a lot of pain.  You will already know a lot of positions to try, and you will soon figure out which ones feel best to you. Here are few suggestions of positions

What helps you relax?  Massage, music, deep breathing?  You may find that labor is suddenly very intense and that you need to relax to relieve pain or use breathing techniques. It helps to know what best relaxes you.  And remember that pain in labor is your body signaling you to do something: move, eat, change positions, rid yourself of fear or emotional upset, relax, etc.  It can also signal that something is wrong. 

Remember to listen to your body.

 Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #6: Visualizing Your Perfect Birth

Go to the next step Step #8: Have a Birthing and Back Up Plan

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

The more you believe you will have a good birth experience, the better chance you have of it coming true, because not only will you then not fear birth, but you will have a positive mindset about it and welcome it.  This allows the process to happen more quickly and easily, and the baby is then more likely to be born without any complications.

It is also important to check in with your baby, because, remember, they are part of the birth process too.  It might be a good idea, for instance, to "explain" to your baby (I use mental pictures) the best and safest way for him or her to be born, and to tell them that you are there with them and will birth them peacefully.  Above all, trust birth, trust your baby, and believe in yourself.  One of the most important parts of your prenatal care besides diet will be mentally preparing yourself (and your baby) for labor and birth.

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #5: Decide Who You Want to Attend Your Birth

Go to the next step Step #7: Learn Relaxation Techniques and Practice Birthing Positions

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Labour

 This could be a doula, your partner, a family member, friend, or absolutely no one.  Who attends or doesn't attend your birth can make all the difference to you. 

This is a personal choice you have to make and not factor in what other people may think. Also, if you change your mind at last minute, that is fine too. It is a good idea to have a back plan in case you decide you want certain individuals there after all or want no one. Surround yourself with people who will truly support you in your unassisted birth.

Here are a few suggested readings:

Do I Need a Doula?

Support in Labour

 Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #4: Educate Yourself Then Educate Yourself Some More

Go to the next step Step #6: Visualizing Your Perfect Birth

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Birthing Assistance

 Step 4: Throughout your pregnancy, read about unassisted births, and read/watch a lot of birth stories/videos. 

Educating yourself will help you prepare for all scenarios and build confidence in yourself. It is also a good plan to educate those who will be supporting you in your pregnancy and birth such as your partner, it will instill confidence in them as well. 

 It might also be a good idea to join a UC forum to get support, advice, and information.  It is important that you are comfortable with your decision and are surrounded by people that support you, or UC may not be for you.  

Here is my own birthing story of my twin girls, Sunny and Jova.

Here are a few videos and stories:

My Unassisted Home Birth After 5 Hospital Births

The Unassisted Birth of My Daughter - A Daddy's Perspective

 My two favorite unassisted birthing sites:

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html 

Go back to Step #3: Get The Proper Tests Done

Go to the next step Step #5: Decide Who You Want to Attend Your Birth

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

 Step 3: Get Any Prenatal Tests Deemed Necessary by You Throughout Your Pregnancy 

These tests can include: pap smear, blood work, glucose tolerance, ultrasound, etc.  You know your body and your baby better than anyone else.  If you feel you need to get something tested, do it.  If you're not comfortable with a test, don't do it.  Above all, research any tests you are considering and determine if the benefits outweigh the risks (if any).  

If you are UP'ing, some of these tests may not be available to you as it depends on your insurance and location. You may want to consult with a medical professional or insurance to see which are available to you.

This is an extensive list of common prenatal exams medical practitioners do. Some are important and and some are optional. Once again, only do what you are comfortable with.
 
Here is an additional resource to read over on Prenatal Tests.
 
Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 

Go back to Step #2: Establishing Prenatal Schedule

Go to the next step Step #4: Educate Yourself Then Educate Yourself Some More

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Schedule regular prenatal visits with a medical professional if you chose a care provider or make plans for your own care if you are doing an unassisted pregnancy.

If you close to a medical professional to oversee your pregnancy:

  • Ensure you feel comfortable with the care provider as this is someone you are trusting with your baby.
  • Feel free to ask any question as this is your opportunity to educate yourself for your unassisted birth, beyond your external research. 
  • Schedule your regular appointments and attempt to keep records of your own. Often a doctor can photocopy the results for you or ask the front reception. This will help build your medical binder for when you do give birth and should child services ever visit you as this can occur when they get wind of unassisted birth plans.

If you are choosing unassisted pregnancy:

When choosing an UP, you can do many of the same things they do at regular prenatal visits such as weight, blood pressure, fetal heart tones, etc. If you want a UP, information can be found and supplies can be purchased here: http://www.unhinderedliving.com/prenatal.html

No matter which option you chose, it is important to get a a formal record that you are pregnant as this makes it easier when it comes time to obtain a birth certificate. 

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

 Go back to Step #1: Establishing Prenatal Care

Go to the next step Step #3: Get The Proper Tests Done

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Step 1: Choose whether you want an OB, midwife, general practitioner, or if you want an unassisted pregnancy (UP). 

 

This is a personal decision and any of the above options are great, even if you are planning an unassisted birth. Ensure you feel comfortable with your care provider, whomever it is.

If you choose OB, general practitioner or midwife:

It is up to you to decide if you want to tell people (particularly an OB) of your decision to give birth unassisted.  If you do decide to tell people, they may try to intervene or otherwise cause stress for you during pregnancy, labor, and/or birth. This stress is entirely unnecessary so use your judgement wisely on whom you tell, especially care providers.

Many moms who chose an OB, general practitioner or midwife, leave out the part of giving birth unassisted and continue the care throughout the pregnancy until the very end. This often gives the mother piece of mind in her prenatal care and relieves the stress the practitioner may place on the mother if they knew about the impending unassisted birth.

I find many moms who plan an unassisted birth, are very in touch with their bodies and have made the conscious, educated decision to birth in this manner. The presumptions of the care provider are not often true about a mother who decides to birth unassisted so often the advice to avoid unassisted birth does not apply. 

If you chose unassisted pregnancy:

Ensure you are comfortable with this decision and do your due diligence. Educate yourself! When doing an unassisted birth, you can do many of the same exam as the care provider. Look at Step 2 for more on unassisted pregnancy. 

A note here: I strongly urge you to get your partner on board with any decision you make at this stage for your care. They are concerned with your well being and the baby growing inside of you.

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.

Go to the next step Step #2: Establishing Prenatal Schedule

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

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