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1) Impatience to end the pregnancy due to discomfort, fatigue and eagerness to hold their baby
2) The possibility of a long, discouraging pre-labor phase.
These challenges make parents more accepting of induction or vulnerable to the belief that there is something wrong. Parents need to understand that labor normally begins only when all of the following occur:
• The fetus is ready to thrive outside the uterus (breathing, suckling, maintaining body temperature, and more).
• The placenta has reached the point where it can no longer sustain the pregnancy.
• The uterus is ready to contract, open and expel the baby.
• The mother is ready to nourish and nurture her baby.
If parents understand that fetal maturity is essential in initiating the chain of events leading to labor, they may be more patient with the discomforts of late pregnancy, and less willing or anxious to induce labor without a medical reason.
Natural induction methods are a viable options to assist and allow for the above criteria to be met and for labor to commence. However, they are not meant to coax the baby out but rather to encourage the process along. I will blog about natural induction methods coming up but for now, please see one delicious way by checking out my Labor Cookies Recipe.
The ways to progress to a vaginal birth
Progress before and during labor and birth occurs in many ways, not simply cervical dilation and descent, which is what most people focus on. Labor unfolds gradually, which begin weeks before labor and involve the cervix. The cervix moves forward, ripens, effaces and then dilates. When parents understand that a long pre- or early labor is accomplishing necessary progress – preparing the cervix to dilate – they are less likely to become anxious or discouraged that nothing seems to be happening. The other steps involve the fetus: the fetal head repositions during labor by flexing, rotating, and moulding to fit into the pelvis; and lastly, the fetus descends and is born.
Possible signs of labor
The most important of these is the first one:
Positive signs of labor
The most important of these is the first one:
Staying positive amidst pre- and early labor is important in the process of delivering your baby. Women progress in many different ways and your journey is your own pathway to forge for you and your baby. The hard work put into the process is well worth it. Just knowing the signs above can and will help in understanding when it is a good time to bring in your birth team, call your midwife, go to the hospital (or stay at home), and move forward in a positive and healthy manner.
Stayed tuned for more progression through labor and delivery, as well as some natural induction methods!
Part 1: Relaxation
Childbirth practices around the world all seem to carry three similar traits, known as the 3 R's. Some cultures lean on one of the R's more strongly than others but in truth, they all work wonderfully when done in sync with each other.
Below are some tips that I have come to find as the most helpful. They all encompass the 3 R's in one way or another:
Let's start with the first R: RELAXATION
1) Setting the stage -- Relaxation looks different from woman to woman. The key is to envision the most relaxing atmosphere that looks right for you -- and make your birthing room like it!
So let's create the ULTIMATE spa day for your birth experience!!
Here are some suggestions to make your birthing space a personalized spa:
a) Essential Oils - Lavender in an oil diffuser (add Wild Orange for an uplifting scent)
b) Dim Lighting and/or LED candles
c) Music - Calming like a spa or motivating like a workout. Whatever sets the mood for each stage of labor!
d) Comfy clothes - You really don't HAVE to wear those ugly gowns at the hospital. Your own cozy robe can help you feel at ease in a hospital or birthing center room.
e) Things that feel like home - Blankets, pillows, slippers, birth art, music, significant trinket, etc. Bring WHATEVER makes you feel most at home. This is YOUR space so make it your OWN. You'll be glad you did!
2) Touch -- A day at the spa wouldn't be complete without a massage now would it?!
You deserve some TLC during labor. Make sure your partner knows what you like and don't like beforehand. Practice techniques and positions that feel the most comforting to you. Soft touch that induces goosebumps increases seratonin and oxytocin, the happy hormones that keep labor progressing. Alternatively, firm pressure can ease those achy spots and feel grounding. Foot massages and acupressure are relationship savers!! Email me for a special handout for your significant other to do on you throughout your pregnancy and labor! Lastly, counter-pressure can ease back labor when nothing else can. It is the #1 mainstay support amongst laboring women.
3) Water -- What spa doesn't have a jet tub option?!
Also referred to ask the "Aquadural"-- it works wonders. Water has a calming effect on laboring mothers. There is just something about water. I have never heard any complaints about water in labor, whether it be by tub or shower. A water birth can have amazing results for minimizing tearing and having a very calm baby emerge.
4) Chiropractic -- Now the birthing team is complete!
A natural modality in healthcare, chiropractic care has been proven to short labor and assist baby in getting into an optimal occipital fetal position for birthing (occiput: head down facing mom's spine). Make sure your chiropractor practices the Webster technique in case of a breech or posterior positioned baby. They will know how to safely and gently turn the baby into a better position in the last weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking of baby's optimal fetal position, practice popular poses like hands and knees, yoga ball bouncing and moving those hips around.
Lastly, PLEASE don't rest in a reclining sofa or chair. The year of the La-z-Boy recliner was a momentous year for C-Section rates and posterior positioned babies.
Read more on posterior babies here: https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/posterior/
There you have it! RELAXATION...Ahhhhh...Now go rest up and anticipate Part 2 to come very soon -- where we talk about RHYTHM.
Blessings to you all beautiful people!
Ok gals, labor cookies...do they really work??
Well, I can attest to how well they work. And to how delish they are! I made these with my second child at 39 weeks. And I'm going to be blatantly honest here...
I ate 13 cookies
in one sitting.
Because when am I ever going to have the chance to eat that many cookies
EVER AGAIN in my life?!
I ate those scrumptious labor cookies and I ate them well. And get this, THEY WORKED!!
About 5 hours later, labor began...and 12 hours after that, we had a beautiful baby girl, who probably had molasses in her poop...no wait, that was meconium. Too much??
A side of caution: they may just cause indigestion...
What pregnant mama would say no to the request to eat a dozen labor cookies?
It couldn’t hurt to try, right?
They taste like Christmas!
Are you desperate to go into labor that you will try something a little crazy and make these cookies?
Are you going to give these cookies a try? Maybe ask your partner or mom to make them! Now go get those ingredients! I'll be here waiting...
I would love to hear your thoughts on how they tasted for you!
In the meantime, snag a FREE Labor Cheat Sheet at the bottom of this page.
Be well-prepared for the day that baby arrives.
And if you try these cookies, baby day may be closer than you think!!
2 1/2 c. flour
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