Beyond the Birth Plan

Birth Plan.  Two words that most expectant parents hear at some point during their pregnancy.  In fact, all expectant parents are encouraged to create a birth plan these days, but it is a staple of an un-medicated birth.  A birth plan is exactly what it sounds like – a plan for your birthing time.  This can include information on the people you would like in the birthing room, requests about music and lighting, phrases and words that care providers should use, services you would like to accept or decline for mom and/or baby, a description of the pain management techniques being used, etc.  Some birth plans are long and others are quite brief.  There is no right or wrong way to write a birth plan and no specific template that must be followed.  Regardless of how it is written, it helps the expectant parents to really spend time thinking about what they want to occur before, during, and after birth.  It also encourages conversation with care providers before the big event.  By sharing the birth plan early and often with care providers, it becomes much easier to work as a team with your care provider during the birth.  The birth plan is an excellent tool for setting and communicating clear expectations. Many births go exactly as “planned”.  We were fortunate enough to have one of those birth experiences.  Everything went according to our plan.  In our Hypnobabies birth preparation we envisioned our birth occurring a certain way.  The only thing that didn’t go according to that visualization was the fact that our birthing time began at 3AM instead of 3PM.  That change to our birth plan and visualization wasn’t a problem, although I felt bad waking up our doula at 3AM! **Hypnobabies students please use your bubble of peace.** The tricky thing is that birth plans are still just a plan.  Plans don’t always get carried out just the way you envision.  This can be very unsettling, upsetting, and even traumatic for expectant parents.  One of my clients had a beautiful birth plan laid out.  She took the LEAN Expectations class early in pregnancy and then completed the Hypnobabies birthing series with Julie Byers.  She ate a healthy and varied diet, she practiced her birthing relaxation techniques, and prepared for the birth of her second baby.  Her first birth had been medicated and she walked away from that birth...
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Birthing Classes: Birthing from Within

Maybe you are pregnant, maybe you are hoping to become pregnant, maybe you have a friend who is pregnant and are curious about childbirth options.  If you haven’t discovered already, there are many different childbirth classes available.  Today Sue Holsonback, a certified childbirth educator, is telling us about the birthing class she offers, Birthing From Within. I began offering Birthing From Within Childbirth Classes mid 2013 in the upstate.  This is a worldwide birth preparation concept that not only prepares parents for childbirth but viewing the birth experience as a transformative rite of passage into parenthood.  In this class series, we build a foundation for birthing in awareness in our birth culture, whatever the birth location or outcome or events of the birth. It is the only childbirth class that devotes up to 1/3 of class time to proven pain-coping practices by having the parents practice during uncomfortable “ice contractions” in which they hold ice.  This leads to a pain-coping mindset that readies them for the intensity of birth. By expanding possibilities, be open to all birth outcomes, and bringing awareness to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, Birthing From Within can prevent or minimize emotionally difficult births (for parents and professionals) through compassionate and honest preparation. I am excited to add this last piece of service to Empowered Birth Choices, as I now serve the entire childbearing year from birth preparation through postpartum and breastfeeding.  Classes meet on Thursday nights at The Wild Radish.  Learn more at: http://empoweredbirthchoices.com/childbirth-classes.html My name is Sue Holsonback and I never imagined I’d work in the birth profession until I had my son in 2010. Some parts of my birth were unexpected and challenging. Different aspects of breastfeeding seemed at times impossible. Parenting a toddler: can anyone be ready for that? Yet, with support, practice, and determination, I rose to each of these...
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Finlay Roe’s Birth Story

This story of Melissa’s fifth birth is beautiful and shows us just how different each and every birth can be.  This story is full of wonderful pictures…wait till you read who took them… The year 2012 was full of big changes for our family. We moved to a new state when I was about 3 months pregnant with our fifth child. Our fourth was our first home birth and we knew we wanted to birth this baby at home. Finding a new midwife in a new state can be a daunting task but we found one that fit. My pregnancy continued normally. I love pregnancy! I even decided to do underwater maternity pictures; my first professional maternity photos ever.  We planned for my mom, who was present for our 4 other children’s birth, to fly down when I was 39 weeks pregnant. During my third trimester I told the baby daily that he needed to wait for grandma. Well, he had plans of his own. On 10/24/12 at 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant (the day before my mom was scheduled to arrive) I woke around 1:30am to use the bathroom. I noticed a contraction. I went back to bed and had a few more. I got restless in bed so I went downstairs for water and a snack. The mild contractions continued. Shortly before 3:00am I decided to tell my husband, Adam that our baby may be on his way! Sleepy Adam asked me to come back to bed. I snuggled up with him until the next contraction came that made me sit up in bed. I told him that I had to get up, lying in bed no longer felt right. I quietly walked around my house feeling a sense of excitement! Adam came and joined me downstairs. Around 3:30am I decided to give my midwife, E, a heads up call. She didn’t answer so I left a brief message.  At this time my contractions were starting to pick up a bit in frequency but they were still rather mild. I decided it was time to start gathering our birth supplies and my husband hauled the pool up to our bedroom. I love heat during labor so I asked Adam to heat up my old rice pack for my lower back pain however it smelled horrible and was rather annoying. Sometime after 4am I decided to call...
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Pregnancy & Birth Series – Introduction

In this series you will find a variety of posts related to pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum time periods.  I will be discussing tips for staying healthy during pregnancy, different birthing options available, childbirth education classes, and the benefits of using a doula to name a few. I will also be posting positive birth stories for you to read.  There are so many TV shows out there that sensationalize birth, in a bad way, that I think it is important to read about REAL births.  As you are reading about these beautiful births you may want to have a box of tissues nearby! If you are interested in learning more, please consider signing up for the L.E.A.N. Expectations series. If there is ever a topic that you are hoping I will cover, please let me know...
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Jude’s Birth Story

Jude’s birth is a lovely example of a mama trusting her body and her own intuition during her birthing time. If you haven’t read Marcella’s Birth Story yet you should read that first. It will give you a whole new appreciation for this mama’s strength and courage. He laid quietly, softly breathing, warm and safe. He lay close enough to her to feel the warmth of her breath. With his eyes closed he thought of her, and tried to understand her. She was like the whole world. When he came from the darkness she was the only one he knew. He recognized her smell, and her voice, and even the way she moved, he was safe with her. She was always nearby, all he ever had to do was call, and she would come, she would hold him close, and kiss him she would make the world feel right. She rarely went away, for very long, and always came back, so glad to see him. He lay there quietly and she was so close just the way he liked it. She began to roll away, he called for her, and she smiled. She rolled back and kissed his forehead softly, “I’ll be right back,” she promised. He laid and watched for her return, after a moment he got frightened and almost called for her. Then she returned, and leaned over him, She again kissed his forehead, and smiling she whispered, “It’s ok baby boy, Mommy is here, and she loves you” He wanted to answer, to tell her his feeling, but he couldn’t make himself understood. He softly curled the corners of his lips and smiled as he struggled for the words. He wanted to make them as sweet and soft as her words, but all that came out was a tiny noise that meant nothing. He wanted to cry out; no matter how he tried he couldn’t tell her his feelings. How would she ever know how he loved her, he tried once more in vain to make the words come out. It was only then that he noticed her smile, at each soft noise he failed to make into a word and each tiny smile he gave her she smiled. His heart grew warm, and he slowly drifted off to sleep knowing that she knew what he meant.   HE and SHE By Mandy Howard Jude’s due...
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