Taking a Your Birth Helper® Symbiotic Birth course can help you better prepare for birth, even when birthing in a hospital setting.
If we are being honest, many women, at the peak of a difficult long enough, strong enough labor contraction, may at some point break down and ask for medicine. So, why don't more women actively train in preparation of giving birth? It is the most athletic event a woman will ever do. Statistically, African-American moms are 3-4 times more likely to have a poor outcome, but it doesn't have to be this way. Mom Sade wants to challenge other African-American moms to get busy becoming healthier versions of themselves long before labor and birth. She wanted to avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort and knew education is key to making better decisions and understanding the birth process. She chose to train with Your Birth Helper® for her first childbirth experience and put her focus on what she had control over. There's so much in pregnancy, labor and birth that we simply do not have ultimate control, but what she ate, daily exercise, attending class, practicing what she learned and focusing on her target birth experience instead of all the unknowns helped her tremendously in achieving her birth preferences for her birth.
Consider this, what if the mom doesn't really want the medicine and especially the additional risks and all the additional interventions that go along with the pain medicine? What if mom just needed to vocalize, "this is hard and whatever we are doing right now isn't helping?"
Mom is indirectly informing you that it is time for a position change, a different relaxation
method, she needs to lean into the contraction, turn off other muscles, breathe and sink down into it, but it's challenging and she needs instruction and coaching during certain phases of harder labor.
It is a very normal part of childbirth to get to that feeling that you are so tired and you don't want to do this anymore. This is when you rely on your intimate partner and doula to help direct you with positioning, different relaxation techniques, etc. You are tired yes, but it is just a contraction and you can tolerate another even when exhausted. Labor doesn't last forever.
It doesn't mean you are less pain tolerant or if drug-free, more pain tolerant. It means you are human, sleepy, over it, exhausted, spent and want a baby in your arms. When challenges of labor come remember, a teamwork approach to childbirth is so much more enjoyable too. Think about it, you did not get pregnant by yourself and during hard labor it often takes all hands on deck to soothe and make mom more comfortable.
Women are supposed to go through the "self doubt phase of labor" to allow the baby to exit her body. It is, after all, in the book. This is when it is imperative her labor coach rises up and coaches her through. The definition of a coach requires verbs, action words like to incite and to impel the player to play to the best of their ability. Labor requires such action... we don't need empty words like, "I'm sorry!" We need our doula and coach to motivate us to finish the job strong. The bible says it this way in John 16:21
For when the woman is in labor she is unjoyful, but as soon as the baby is born her heart is filled with JOY and she can remember the pain no more. What we need is help to "get our mind right" and allow our body, our thoughts and our feelings to all dissolve into total relaxation so we stay out of our uterus' way and focus our thoughts on baby. We also need reminders that this pain and discomfort has purpose... the baby is coming!
As coach, you should not be relying on mom to tell you how to help her during the middle of a contraction. That is why childbirth training is so important. During labor is NOT the time to be learning what you should be doing during contractions. With practice everything is made easier and we can ride the waves of labor easier knowing what we can do to lessen pain and discomfort and having practiced doing everything right during contractions. Consider this: If there is no medical reason presenting for use of medicine, what if the partner stepped up to coach mom through that difficult phase of labor? What if they helped her breathe, sick and move baby down and out? What if they reminded her why she is doing this for the safest right of passage of baby into the world, that she is strong, brave and capable? Note: If a medical complication occurred and mom needed medicine of some kind to remedy a problem, in a hospital setting there are plenty of options.
What if the nurse respected mom's birth plan and both the doctor/ midwife, nurse, doula and coach all encouraged mom during her weak moment to push through, that she will meet her baby soon, that everything happening to her is a normal part of giving birth, that she is safe and she was empowered to meet her birthing goals in that difficult phase of labor? What would birth look like then? Could you see yourself having been successful in giving birth drug-free? Sade did! Mike did! And, in those weak moments, when moms have sufficient support and are surrounded by those special people to cheer them on, women can hold steadfast to their goal just like Sade did.
Statistically, most women will break down and ask for medication in late first stage, or transition (the hardest, but shortest phase of labor), but few understand or put emphasis on why avoiding it can be very beneficial to the laboring mom and baby. For example, it normally gets her a baby sooner! When you prepare for symbiotic birth even when birthing in a hospital setting, you can still receive the best of both sides: normality (healthy & low risk) and medicine (if medically necessary).
If mom's goal is low intervention and / or natural birth, understanding this psychological part of the birth process can be the difference in whether the laboring mom accomplishes her goals or simply becomes a statistic. What if a team of YBH doulas come along side to help educate you and your partner and show you how to best prepare for labor and birth? How about we empower you to navigate and manage labor together to the best of your ability, regardless of your choice to medicate or not! Now, that's a conversation worthy of discussion. Sade experienced this and knows the benefits of surrounding yourself with likeminded people.
Since the beginning of time, and even now still to this day birthing in 2023, there is NO SUCH THING AS A PAINLESS CHILDBIRTH, regardless of how your baby exit your body.
Ponder this: If fear was removed from the birth process, do you think you would still need IV narcotics, fentanyl, epidural or surgery to give birth? If you weren't entering the labor and birth process cluelessly and instinctively doing things wrong during contractions, would you still need medicine? It's often a matter of the mind. Again, if medicine is needed to remedy a problem or complication that is one thing, but no one talks about how pain management often slows labor down, then more drugs like Pitocin are used to speed labor back up. Or what about narcotics causing decelerations of baby's heart rate which can increase likelihood of labor ending in c-section or emergency surgery?
Sade found the joy in being pregnant and in being properly supported during pregnancy, labor, birth and beyond. She was totally pleased in her selection of Piedmont OBGYN midwives and her birth place, Atrium Pineville. They properly supported her and celebrated the work she put in. Sade shared she felt well cared for her during labor and appreciated the help received to meet her birthing goals. She couldn't have asked for a better team!
We have only a short 9 months to grow and nourish a full-term baby. Some less time than that. We do say as doulas, "Bags packed ~ one month to go!" That means, we have less than nine months to learn what we should be eating, what exercises we should be doing to prepare our body, what we should avoid, how to lower risks, increase and better our own health, learn to avoid or lessen stress, teach ourselves to relax, teach our coach how they can help us, what we should do during labor and what we should NOT be doing to lessen our own pain levels. Yeah, that's a lot so... TRAIN IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER and keep practicing until labor day!
Proper training of the mind and body is not as quick and easy as popping a pill, or being administered IV medicine. Nope, it is not as easy as demanding an epidural or more drugs, but it can greatly increase your odds of a low intervention birth or simply lower the odds of ALL the increased risks to you and baby that follow use of pain management options. Proper training and preparation increases your odds tremendously of avoiding poor outcomes, sick mama, sick baby, increased risks like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, toxemia pregnancy, side effects from drugs, increased risks of surgery, hemorrhage, clotting issues, NICU babies, traumatic childbirth, breastfeeding issues, etc., and many moms like Sade are happy to have avoided such negative outcomes by doing what they had control over. Simple changes daily really pay off!
Remember, if Sade can teach you anything through her story, it's that Labor is NOT the time to be learning what do do during a contraction or how to manage it. You had nine months to train. YOU alone will give CONSENT to whatever intervention or labor plan is made. Therefore, Mom / Couples need to take ownership of their decision making and assume the risks associated with their decisions. As a healthy woman, Sade wanted a Certified Nurse Midwife to catch her baby and help protect her bottom! Her midwife did just that!!
Here is Sade's simple regiment to help other mamas avoid additional risks to both mom and baby from today's typical medicated hospital birth experience:
TAKE A QUALITY CHILDBIRTH CLASS (not a generic virtual hospital class if your goal is low intervention and avoiding medicine or surgery, you should consider Your Birth Helper's four week training in Symbiotic Birth (a blend of normality (proven techniques and practical instruction) and more specific education of how interventions can benefit you or baby (when they are truly medically necessary)
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS (create a birth preference plan)
PREPARE YOUR BODY IN ADVANCE (exercise, eat clean, train your birthing muscles, learn relaxation techniques)
TRAIN SPECIFICALLY FOR LABOR (practice, practice, and practice some more- be a relaxation expert)
HAVE A TRAINED COACH TO ASSIST YOU (even Your Birth Helper's 2 hr Labor Role Play workshop teaches the do's and don'ts of labor and how the coach can help. They even offer virtual private workshops and in-person group training)
HIRE A YBH DOULA (for in-person or virtual support) they are highly skilled in PROVIDING WOMEN (and their coach) WITH EMOTIONAL, MENTAL and PHYSICAL SUPPORT and charge less than even one epidural and thousands less than a c-section and help reduce c-sections.
Maybe, a better question for all expectant couples is... HOW WILL YOU AFFORD TO BIRTH WITHOUT A YOUR BIRTH HELPER® DOULA?
Will you take Sade's advise and make plans for a happier "BIRTH" day with a YourBirthHelper.com Doula Team?
Don't have a doula in your area, don't worry! We serve clients nationwide virtually (by phone, zoom, FaceTime, etc.) including both birth training and virtual doula support.