Integrative Childbirth Services

Integrative Childbirth Services

"Bringing Knowledge and Compassion to YOU"


Natural Birth - there is not a gold medal at the end!

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Imagine you are sitting with a group of women, they know you are pregnant and for a moment you feel safe enough to announce that you plan to have a natural birth!

Wait!  What?  What is their reaction?

"Oh MY God!", "Why would you even do that?", "There is not a gold medal at the end", as they continue you feel like you are being backed into a very lonely dark hole.  The judgement, the lack of support and the outrage and god-for-bid you announce you plan a home birth for the love of chocolate the explanations get bigger!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this?  Better yet, have you been the one to protest a "friend" or loved ones choice?


I have spent a lot of time wondering, asking and researching this very topic.  Time and time again I hear clients second guess themselves and cry, yes I said CRY, because they were made to feel like bad moms; already and baby hasn't even arrived!  I've hugged those moms and wiped their tears over and over again.  They aren't bad moms because they want to lessen the exposure to unnecessary interventions (that aren't without risk) or because they want to heal quickly so they can meet the needs of their brand new baby.  These are well educated moms, who took the time to research their options and found that this was the best choice for them / not you.  You may have decided differently and that's ok too, your should never be made to feel bad because you wanted a medicated birth or to birth in a hospital, that is certainly your right and you too should feel supported.

If you have been on the receiving end of this, come from a place of compassion for the woman who isn't being supportive.  Sit back and ask yourself if she ever shared details about her own birth with you and what that looked like.  Chances are she wanted to have a normal birth too but along the way she was scared or unsupported and it dictated the decisions she made and ultimately she may have some regrets.

Women please stop judging other women for their birth choices, either way is ok - for that person!

Here is my theory on the subject and I encourage anyone who disagrees to email me, because I am not done trying to learn more on this subject.  If a mother-to-be announces she wants a natural birth, do you then feel she is judging you because you didn't have a natural birth?  Do you protest her choice because it is a reflection on how you birthed your baby?  Do you feel by her saying she wants a natural birth, that she is in some way annoucing that she is better than you?  So you reaction is to critcize her choice or denounce that there is no way she's going to be able to handle the pain, nor will she meet her goal of a natural birth?  Think about it...

My job as a Doula isn't to tell women how to birth their babies or convience them to have a natural birth, in fact I don't even call it natural birth!  I call it "normal birth" left alone, this is what their body and baby would do.  But I know 100% without a doubt you CAN birth your babies normally, I find it's my job to convience YOU that you can do it!  To help you drown out the ney-sayers in your head, to lift you up, encourage you to stay your path - because you chose a normal birth for all your own reasons and you will do it!

Let's lift women up with where they are in their vision for birth, encourage her to birth her way!  The entire team needs to be on the same page as HER (the partner, the family, the entire support team, the Doula, the hospital and yes, the care provider).  If there is a missing link in this chain, you will have a harder time in achieving your birth goals.  Do not compromise, your baby is relying on you to make decisions throughout.

Ask yourself if you have an agenda for someone elses birth!?!

Clock is Ticking, "When are you DUE"

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (11)

What is the very first thing people will ask when you announce that you are expecting?  

Answer: "When are you due?"

My hopes for your reply: "In the Spring, Winter, Fall or Summer!"

Why?  Because you don't know it yet, soon the endless phone calls will begin, "have you had the baby yet?", the text messages will flood your phone like a teenage girl, "have you had the baby yet?", "what's wrong with you that you haven't had the baby yet?", "when are you inducing, since clearly you can't go into labor yourself?".

NEWSFLASH - you aren't broken!  Your due date means NOTHING! It is an "ESTIMATED" due date.

But there is a lot of emphasis on this date.  You expected by this date that your sweet baby would be in your arms.  You aren't broken, your baby doesn't have a clock or calendar, there are only suspicions on what triggers labor, even the natural things or scheduled induction will not insure that you will go into labor.  Labeled yet another NEWSFLASH - EXPECTATIONS are a hilarious thing.  

Let's understand the science to put your mind and everyone else at ease.  If you are getting those calls or texts, simply just copy and paste the link to this article as your reply.  If you received the copy and paste to this article, try this instead:  "let's go to lunch", "let's get a manicure or pedicure", "I trust that you aren't broken and your baby will be here soon", "how can I help you to pass the time until your baby arrives.

ACOG (they write the rules for Obstetrics and Gynecology) says you are considered full term at 40 weeks (NOT 37, that's when you are out of the woods and they would not try to stop your labor) and not "past due" until you are past 42 weeks.  So sit back and enjoy your baby being carried with ease, being fed without waking you in the middle of the night, knowing your baby is being soothed by the sound of your heartbeat.  

This is how your due date is determined, you might quickly notice the flaws.  The pinwheel or app your Doctor is using at that appointment to confirm your pregnancy is based on this formula, from 1850!  No this is not a type-o, I did type 1850 on purpose.

Dr. Naegele, circa 1850, determined that the average length of human gestation was approximately 266 days from conception.

He assumed that the average woman had cycles that lasted 28 days and that she ovulated on Day 14 of her cycle.

However, we know that this isn't true!! He used his data to come up with a mathematical calculation for due dates:

((LMP + 7 days) - 3 months) = Due Date
EX: ((January 1, 1996 + 7 days) - 3 months) = October 8, 1996

Dr. Naegele did not consider certain factors in his calculation. For example: Not every woman ovulates on Day 14. One study indicates that we need to add 12 days to the Naegele EDD for Caucasian, first time moms, and 7 days for Caucasian moms having subsequent children. African American and Asian women tend to have shorter gestations.

Nowadays, doctors use ultrasound, when available or if there is a question of menstrual history. Ultrasound can be an effective way of dating a pregnancy, but this accuracy is lost if not performed in the first half of pregnancy. Not to mention the current controversy as to whether or nor ultrasounds are actually safe for the unborn child. Natural Attachment does not offer or perform ultrasounds and advises against Vanity Ultrasounds (Keepsake Ultrasounds and ultrasounds used to determine the child’s sex).

Most folks agree that there are many ways to date a pregnancy, and that not just one factor should be used to determine the final due date. Other factors to consider are: Quickening (first time mom feels the baby move) Fetal heart tones heard through doppler, stethoscope and fetoscope Fundal height (Measurement of the uterus done throughout pregnancy) A mother's Fertility Awareness Method chart.

Breathe easy now! You will be given options about your birth and it's outcome at this point.  You may be asked to come in for non-stress tests to ensure baby is doing well as you wait for labor to begin.  You will definitely be offered to induce, do your research (articles included below), know your Bishop Score for the likelihood of a vaginal birth, think of it from the babys' point of view, call your Doula so she can give you good information to discuss with your care provider, last but certainly not least TRUST in your ability to make good decisions and be at peace with those decisions.

Even a doctor’s predicted due date is nothing more than a prediction. Only 10% of women deliver on the estimated due date. Half of women hit the due date within one week, but 90% deliver within two weeks of the predicted due date. This is why some obstetricians have started predicting due “weeks” instead of dates. ~ O. Wallace

Inducing labor is intrinsically ironic. It works best when least needed and often fails when needed most. It also causes the very problems it was intended to prevent. A German obstetrician in the early 1800s simply declared that a pregnancy should last ten moon months, that is, ten months of four weeks each. However, when researchers in 1990 study followed a group of healthy, white women they discover that pregnancy in first-time mothers averaged 8 days longer, and the average was three days longer in women with prior births. ~Henci Goer

Bishop Score:" target="_blank"> (Midwifery model of care says anything over 9)

50% of Inuctions end in a C-section: Labor Begins on it's Own

Understand Inductions: Henci Goer, Elective Induction