Are You Prepared for Your Best Birth?

I've been watching a bit of this cute mom's youtube channel. She has a great sense of humor and is fun to watch, but when I saw this video of her second babe's birth, well, I just had to jot down some thoughts. . . .

First off, let me just say this - aren't they a sweet family?  What a cute little baby and big sister!  Like any birth, this one had me shedding a tear.  Congratulations to them on their new addition and to this mother for breastfeeding their sweet babe in the NICU.  

Wanna know what else I see?  A family that really could have used the support from a comprehensive childbirth class and a doula.  How so you ask?  Here goes!

1.  Rather than arriving at the hospital early, the information and confidence gained in a childbirth class like Birth Boot Camp and having a doula would have enabled them to stay home longer, hydrate and rest.  Laboring at home helps to decrease cesarean risk by limiting interventions and allows a woman to make greater progress in labor by feeling safe and comforted.   Our bodies and brains have only one way to interpret lights, noise and distraction during labor - risk.  When our primitive selves perceive it is not safe to have our baby in this time/place birth does not progress.  

2. Movement!  This beautiful laboring mom finds that she feels better standing and then later we see her in the bed again.  Lying in bed is a terrible labor position as it restricts movement and is very painful.  When women move in labor they help their baby come down and are more comfortable.  With a doula present dad would have been encouraged to walk with her and help relieve her discomfort using movement and touch techniques.

3.  The Epidural!!!  An epidural that doesn't work is the WORST!  This is why EVERYONE, even those planning medical pain relief during labor, need childbirth education.  Really, my heart goes out to moms that experience an epidural that only works on half or not at all.  When you have only prepared for an epidural and don't have the support of a doula and skills learned from a class to help you labor, this is torturous - far far more painful than a natural birth with support and education.

4.  Oy!  An infection.   Now, who knows why this sweet mom had an infection or why she ran fever.  We do know that epidurals and fluids can cause a maternal fever and that vaginal exams and artificial rupture of membranes (breaking your water) increase risk of infection.  She also said she hadn't slept in quite some time and was likely dehydrated.  It's hard to stay well hydrated at the end of a pregnancy.  Again, a doula and class would have helped her be informed (potentially decreasing vaginal exams, the need for an epidural and interventions) and stay hydrated.

This mom is no wimp.  She brought her child into this world full of love and desire (and with a half-functioning epidural! ouch!).  I do not know her or any details of her pregnancy and birth that are not shared in this video.  Congratulations, Elle and family!  Give us a call if you'd like some more support next time around!

Amanda Devereux is founder of Nola Nesting, a Doula, Birth Boot Camp Instructor, and mom of three breastfed babes.