A chance to practice breathing, a chance to meet other couples about to be blessed with a new baby, and a chance to be a trouble maker!!
I have been reading “Birthing from Within“, “Spiritual Midwifery“, and other lovely books given to me by Ellen, my Doula. I have been using these books to prepare myself for a natural childbirth and have been working with my doctor for the course of our pregnancy on creating a hospital environment that will support my natural birthing preference.
Which is why I was a bit of a trouble maker in the birthing class yesterday. For example, the nurse showed us three labor positions, and all of them involved raising your legs and sitting while you push. I calmly explained to Lee that these positions contribute to the need for an episiotomy, and asked the teacher if the hospital staff and doctors were open to any other birthing positions.
I was suprised to learn that they are open to birthing in almost any position. Unlike most places, Monmouth Hospital has beds that convert to allow women to birth in a kneeling position, a sitting position, various squatting positions, side lying, using a bar to squat with, etc. Then she thanked me for asking her.
Then of course we had a lovely discussion about whether I had to have an IV or a Heparin Lock while laboring, which did not go as pleasantly. She would really prefer I did, I would really prefer not to.
Then she discussed breathing patterns, and I told Lee, quietly, that the breathe, hold, and push method espoused as the way to go by hospitals all around the nation has a tendency to increase fetal distress as the breath holding limits oxygenation for the mom and the baby, and it tires moms out more quickly than natural pushing. Natual pushing being a small series of grunts and pushes. I asked a series of questions about the hospital staff’s willingness to try other pushing techniques and she said I can try anything I want for an hour, but if I am not progressing she wants me to try her way.
Hmmm…. we shall see.
Afterwards we went to see the rooms, and they are well set up for our water birth, with a large room with lots of light, nearby kitchens, foldout beds for dad, and a really nice staff.
They are also supportive of laboring women having juice and clear fluids, including soups and broth, so we will be better suited than I thought we would be. In fact, I am not sure I would find as progressive a hospital in Denver. Which is odd.
Happily the class was only one day, which is good as Lee and I can now focus on breathing exercises from the books, which are sources more geared towards using women’s natural laboring techniques, instead of forced ones. We did find interesting and helpful techniques for stopping pushing when we can’t and ways for Lee to get my attention when I am climbing the rafters, but it was definately a class designed for those who haven’t been reading all these books and working with a doula.