Articles - Birthing
Got your attention didn't I? I canāt really guarantee you a pain free birth. But read on and I will open your eyes to your hidden female power that which makes you perfect for birthing your child(ren).
Women were created to give birth. It is not a talent that some people have and others do not. It is a gift from G-d. Sadly, this generation has been taught to believe that we cannot do it; we feel we must rely on our doctors to tell us what to do, how to do it, and when to do it!
Over the last several months in my practice as a lactation specialist, I have encountered one new mother after another who were told, "You are overdue—we need to induce labor", "you donāt have enough fluid in your water bag" or "you should take the epidural as soon as you get into the delivery room". It is amazing that one of these lines is told to 90% of laboring women these days. Somehow, the medical community has taken it upon themselves to deprive women of a natural experience.
Women are being induced at an alarming rate. Many of my clients have suffered through unnecessary C-Sections or horrific episiotomies that caused infection and poor health, further exacerbating difficulties in bonding and breastfeeding.
So, about the pain ā¦ yes, it will hurt! We need not be afraid ā¦ we just need to be prepared! We need the truth! Even women who receive synthetic pain relief still feel pain during the labor process. If you have known anyone who experienced a natural labor and delivery she remembers the pain and the exhaustion, yet before she knew it the appropriate hormones kicked in and turned her attention to her newborn and the mothering task at hand. The pain is a rite of passage. It is painful, yes ā¦ but a gorgeous, real, amazing experience that can bring about great wisdom and maturity in the process.
Modern scientists believe that human beings use less than 1/3 of our brains and that our mental capabilities are much more enormous. When we believe we can do something—we can. Mind over matter! When women believe that they can birth their babies naturally—without intervention—our brains prepare us and guide our bodies to birth. Natural chemicals, endorphins, are released into our bloodstream to make us powerful, capable, determined, and committed to bringing our babies into this world.
Anyone who has ever attended a natural birth—one with no medical intervention—will likely tell you that there is a point in the labor when a woman's brain just shifts into a place of power that is almost blissful; it takes control of her body and mind—and miraculously, birth occurs, babies are born. This place inside of us—this gift—has shaped us for this work. We can do it! We just need to learn to tap into this magnificent part of our brain.
There are many options available for birthing babies, including using a doula (an experienced birthing coach), a midwife, an OB-GYN, home, hospital or birthing center for delivery, and the choices are up to us to make. DO NOT let your practitioner tell you what kind of birth you are going to have. If you are healthy and have no significant medical history and are not having a high-risk pregnancy, you can choose a natural delivery.
I believe very strongly that during labor, women need the support of other women. We need the experience, kindness, and encouragement of other women reminding us of the amazing power within us. We do not need to be told by the medical establishment that our bodies need "help" to give birth.
It can be very frightening for us to hear about other women's difficult deliveries, but I firmly believe that if every expectant mother had the opportunity to witness a natural delivery—I mean a real natural, calm, pleasant, wonderful, miraculous birth, in an environment that reflects the woman's own style and comfort—we would be able to deliver our babies without the fear and medical complications that occur so frequently. These beautiful, natural, births actually exist—I have attended and experienced these kinds of births!
You may ask, if medicine exists to take away the pain of childbirth, why not use it? These days, when so many women are encouraged to reduce their pain, they are not told that it will inhibit their breastfeeding. While the pain of birthing is relieved for the duration of labor, pain is intensified for the weeks of early breastfeeding. Studies have shown that epidural drugs enter the baby's body during labor, creating an inability to coordinate the suck-swallow-breathe that is required to nurse properly, and these drugs can stay in the newborn's bloodstream for up to two weeks. Babies may get good scores on their APGAR tests, but hospitals across the nation who have begun using the breastfeeding assessment scoring right after birth have found that most epidural babies fail this test miserably and naturally birthed babies pass this test with flying colors!
There was a study done with dogs that found when the dogs did not experience pain during labor they had trouble connecting with their pups and feeding them properly! Labor is called labor because it is work. But, we women are used to working. We work hard at everything in life, but we have it all mixed up. Yes, we need help with a lot of things like cleaning our homes, but with labor, we need to sweat and do the work ourselves!
Now that I have depressed you ā¦ let me inspire you! I have fabulous news!!! There is a way to shift your conscious thought process to the part of your brain that knows how to birth your baby! From the moment that labor begins, we as empowered women know the truth of the birth process and we choose to surround ourselves with positive, knowledgeable people to assist us as labor begins. Positive thinking—"yes, I can do this" and "I was created to do this", and "my body was created to do this"—is vital to the process. It is also important to have a woman nearby who knows many birthing positions, who can help you into the most comfortable position for laboring and pushing, and get you things like water, ice, a heater, a fan, music, massage, showers, and help to maintain your positive thoughts with encouragement and blessings being whispered in your ear. These small plans and preferences will allow YOU to feel safe and allow your body to do what it knows how to do—have a baby naturally!
Let us reclaim our power and strength! Let us believe in the power bestowed upon us! Let us be inspired by people around us! Let us use our feminine power to birth our babies the way our bodies were created to birth them! You can do it! I know you can!Top
Women have a sixth sense and it becomes extremely acute after a woman gives birth. From my twenty years of practice I have observed, that most women do not trust their intuition. I have found that when my clients feel comfortable with me and tune into their gut feelings about themselves and their children, that ultimately, their initial feelings are the correct ones. When my clients are able to be to tell me what their āinner voiceā is saying, it makes my job as a lactation consultant and homeopath easier and allows us to come up with quicker and less stressful solutions for their problems. Unfortunately, most moms tend to push away or minimize their intuitive thoughts and rarely tune into them when it comes to making decisions. They may sincerely feel one way but then are easily swayed by their doctors, advertising or peer pressure. Since there isnāt a step-by-step guide for becoming a parent, the most important gift you can give to your children is to trust your instincts.
Why is it so difficult for some moms to be strong and hold fast to their initial gut feelings, rather than give in to those around them? It is because most of us have spent our lives pushing away our instinctive feelings in order to be accepted and given approval by people around us.
Children on the other hand, are naturally intuitive. They can clearly state their likes and dislikes and can quickly ascertain whether they like or dislike people they meet. However, the problem arises when busy adults, who are constantly navigating the many different and complex social events in their lives, ignore their childrenās gut feelings. In this case, children unfortunately walk away with the message that their first intuitive feeling is incorrect, not valid and unimportant; which is an impression that most of us carry into adulthood.
So why is it important to learn to tune into our gut feelings? Because they are usually correct! Itās like meeting a new co-worker who gives us a creepy āvibeā, but since weāve been programmed to dismiss our first feelings, we talk ourselves into liking the person. Then when that new co-worker turns around and gets us into trouble we say in retrospect, āI knew this person was not someone I could trust.ā As another example, have you ever had an initial feeling that a teacher would not be good for your child? And rather than going with our intuition, you accept that they teacher will be fine? Itās easier to push away your feelings and allow your child to stay in the class. Yet months later you might find that you were right all along and your child/teacher never developed a bond. How do we begin to listen to our inner voice? It is challenging and often difficult to redevelop our intuitive skill after having worked so hard to dismiss it. Below are a few suggestions that will begin to make your intuitive-self more available and allow it to become a trusted friend once again.
Advice to moms for themselves:
- Stay in the present moment and try not to think about a hundred things at one time.
- When you enter a new environment take a moment to look aroundānotice things like the color of the walls, decorations, smells and lighting.
- Continually stop and ask yourself how you feel in any given environment.
- When you meet someone new, ask yourself what your first impression is.
- Stop pushing away your true feelings and experience what you are really feeling.
- Check in with yourself during the day and begin to understand how things affect you, and how influenced you are by those around you.
Advice for moms to help foster and support their childās intuitive self:
- Always ask your children how they are feeling, and really listen to their answers.
- Donāt just dismiss your childās thoughts even if you disagree.
- If your children say they are scared or uncertain, donāt just tell them they shouldnāt feel that way; allow them to explain their feelings.
- Thank your child for telling you their true feelings and tell them how important those feelings are.
- You donāt always have to give into their feelings; just acknowledging them will allow your children to continue to develop their intuitive-self, be comfortable with it, and allow their gut feelings to be a part of their adult lives.
Begin to teach your children from a young age that what they are feeling and observing is good and safe. That doesnāt mean that if your child would rather have ice cream instead of her salad that we need to āhonorā her request! It means that if your child feels scared, you should take the opportunity to talk to her about it, rather than just say, āOh, there is not anything to be scared about.ā You are still the parent and have adult judgment that is more developed than your childās, but feelings need to be acknowledged. Allow your child to foster, acknowledge and feel proud of the gift of intuitiveness that she has been given.
By Sara Chana Silverstein, IBCLC, BA, Herbalist and Student of Homeopathy. She is a licensed Lactation Consultant helping women and babies with breastfeeding problems. She also works with children and adults with chronic ear and strep infections, stomach problems and emotional issues. She can be reached at 718-467-1455.Top