Childbirth is work. To work you need energy. To get energy you do this…

 

The definition of labor is “work”.

If we are to work; we need energy.

Energy comes from food.

If you don’t eat you won’t have energy.

Without energy the work of giving birth becomes more difficult and more painful.

Let’s break it down:Lamaze Restricted Food DrinkInfographic courtesy of Lamaze International.

You can shorten your labor by up to an hour or more by doing this one thing

What if you could shorten your labor by up to an hour or more and reduce your risk for c-section by 30% by doing one thing during labor?

What if I told you this one thing was free, easy and helped you manage your pain and discomfort as well?

What if I told you this one thing was approved and suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO)?

What if I told you I teach this one thing in every Confident Birthing class and every Prenatal Yoga class? In fact, it’s kind of my specialty…

[Read more...]

New video from Lamaze – Dads and Pregnancy Partners are there to support Mom

Dads and partners play a big role in supporting mom through labor and birth. Dads/partners are mom’s advocate and voice. Please watch this moving video from Lamaze International.

When you consider taking a childbirth class, know that our Lamaze class, Confident Birthing, is open and welcoming to all families and we support the needs of all of our mothers.

Eleven Things Nobody Told You About Your Postpartum Recovery

When we are pregnant, we look forward to and prepare for birth. We write our birth plans, take our childbirth education classes, and read parenting books to prepare for baby’s arrival. After birth our focus turns to caring for the baby and caring for ourselves is often put on the back burner. Surprises with our bodies, and our moods, often crop up in the early postpartum period. To help demystify and explain what happens postpartum to our bodies, I’ve made a list for you. 

Mother's Love.jpg
Mother’s Love” by Mark ColombFlickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Instantly falling in love with baby

Some women do fall deeply and madly in love with their babies right away. Other mothers take some time. We need to learn who this new person is and fall in love slowly. This is totally normal.

“I remember feeling like a horrible mom because I wasn’t instantly falling in love with me children….I’ve learned that it takes me most of their first year to see some kind of personality….then I start to connect with them” ~Lauren

Hair Loss

Shedding more hair than usual is normal postpartum. During pregnancy, because of the hormonal changes, women hold onto the hairs they usually shed. As the hormone levels decrease, the hairs finally let go. Some women experience hair loss in clumps or in very large quantity. It’s a bit disconcerting, but normal too.

You will bleed postpartum, a lot…

…with blood clots of amazing size… for 4-6 weeks after giving birth. This is normal! It’s called Lochia. This blood flow gets lighter, and less gross, as the days go on. What’s not normal is soaking a menstrual pad in an hour or less – that’s hemorrhage and you need to be seen for treatment ASAP.

Contractions!

Yeah, you thought contractions were over now that baby and placenta are born. Sorry, no. You uterus will continue to contract for the next 4-6 weeks so it can return to its original, pre-pregnancy size. This process is called involution. You will feel more intense cramping during breastfeeding in the early postpartum days (Oxytocin!!!). They will ease up the farther out from birth you are.

Hot flashes and night sweats

No, it’s not menopause, but it is a hormonal shift. As the hormones of pregnancy depart, our bodies react, hence the hot flashes and night sweats. This too shall pass.

Hemorrhoids and pain while pooping

Two things that go great together… or not. Hemorrhoids are often the cause of painful pooping postpartum. What causes them? Lots of pressure at the pelvic floor, i.e. childbirth. What fixes them? Time, patience, Tucks Pads, Preparation H crème, hemorrhoid suppositories and a whole lot of TLC when going to the bathroom. Most of the time, with over the counter treatments, gentle pooping and some time, hemorrhoids will self-heal. If not, do see your doctor.

Lack of bladder and / or bowel control

This is NOT normal, but it is common. If you have loss of bladder control, either leakage or inability to urinate, you need to see a physical therapist that specializes in women’s pelvic floor, maybe a urologist as well. Same goes for loss of bowel control. Get help and get it soon. This can be fixed!

Breastfeeding isn’t always easy

Breastfeeding may be normal and natural, but it’s not always simple and straightforward. It’s like riding a bike. No one hops on a two-wheeler the first day and rides 10 miles. We get on the bike and fall off and try again. By the end of that summer we do ride those 10 miles with ease. Breastfeeding is the same. It’s a skill and it takes some practice.
To help set you up for success: Take a *good* breastfeeding class. Know where your support is – Lactation consultants, La Leche League, etc. Understand that if you get help, the vast majority of breastfeeding problems can be solved.

Sex postpartum is uncomfortable, to say the least.

A giant DO NOT ENTER sign needs to be posted on your vagina for at least 6 weeks after you’ve given birth. Your lady bits aren’t healed up yet. Your cervix is still open and sex can introduce infection. Do wait the full 6 weeks before jumping back into the sack.
When you do go back to having sex note that you will likely be raw, dry and uncomfortable. LUBE is your friend! Take it slow and go back to nookie when you are ready.

Antibiotics during labor can result in thrush

Thrush is a  yeast infection of your nipple (and baby’s mouth) which making breastfeeding darn painful. If you know you need antibiotics, up your probiotics before labor and keep taking them for a few weeks afterwards. It’s not a guarantee, but it sure can help prevent thrush.

Postpartum Depression, Anxiety or other mood disorders

One in seven women experience some form of PPD. The number could be higher due to under reporting. So, although it’s common to experience some form of mood disorder during pregnancy or postpartum, it’s not normal. Hormonal fluctuations can wreck havoc on your emotional state. It’s very important to seek help from a licensed therapist, support group or other means if you are suffering.

“Oh, and most important to me… I wish someone would have told me that it is OKAY to not like how your labor went. It is okay to be mad, sad, etc about how it happened. Just because it was the best day of my life, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be the worst as well. Having a healthy baby is important, but mama is also important” ~Myra

What would you add to the list? What things about your postpartum recovery surprised you? What weren’t you told?

What’s the Deal with Cesareans? A New Video from Lamaze

The national cesarean rate is 32.8%. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that an appropriate, medically necessary c-section rate is 10 – 15%.

Change starts with education and communication.

Lamaze International has produced this video to begin the process of education and communication. First, watch the video; then take a childbirth education class to learn how to reduce your risk of having a c-section. Let us help you have a Safe and Healthy birth. Let us help you give birth with Grace and Confidence.