A Simple Birth – the way it should be….

Posted on: January 27, 2009

Dec 20, 2008: Our Mom started having pains on the night of the 18th. Pains were crampy, coming off and on with no particular rhythm. Since there was not much progress in either the duration or the intensity, we decided to wait and watch, since it could be false pains. By the next morning, the contractions had all but disappeared. However, on the night of December 19th, mom again started with cramps, but this time they were regular – 30 seconds duration about 10-15 minutes apart. As per our birth plan, mom labored at home with dad’s support. By about 4 pm, the contractions were 5 minutes apart, and they headed over to the hospital. An internal exam showed about 3 finger-widths dilation and 70% effacement. Mom continued to walk the hallways, and used many of the exercises and positions that she learnt in the Healthy Mother Lamaze classes (www.healthy-mother.com), to help her labor progress. She had a light meal at around 7 pm, and progressed into more active labor by about 8:30 pm. Still out of bed, she was managing her transition pains in the chair-straddling position, and whenever she started to panic, dad would make himself her point of focus, and breathe with her.

Finally, at just past midnight, on Dec 21st, a healthy baby boy weighing 2.8 kgs was born with mom having to push for just about 3-4 times. Mom and baby were together immediately, and she was able to nurse her baby within half an hour of giving birth. Recovery was remarkably easy, and the family was able to go home 48 hours after their baby’s birth.

Lessons learnt: Labor can be simple, when it is allowed to be. Here mom and dad were well-prepared for what to expect. They labored at home until labor was in a more active stage, and this helped labor to progress comfortably, minus any interventions. Labor in the hospital also happened in the quietness of their room, and the hospital provided support only for intermittent monitoring and for the final delivery. In writing the experiences of these 7 very different labors and deliveries, I hope to have given my expectant moms and dads a better understanding of how labor progresses if it is allowed to, and how moms feel good about their birth experiences if they are well-informed and a part of the decision-making every step of the way.

I invite moms and dads who are reading this to let me know of their birth experiences with their babies. It is my belief that sharing such experiences will benefit countless of women and their families to go through pregnancy in a more informed manner and trust their own bodies to give birth in a more confident manner, all of which helps in facilitating a natural birth outcome.

Dr. Vijaya Krishnan, DPT, PT, MS, LCCE

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