Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Labour and Child Birth

I know I still have a few months before I need to be concerned about impending labour.  I think when I first found out I was pregnant, my immediate reaction to thinking about labour and delivery was one of fear.  And I think that is pretty normal.  Child birth is painful.  Really painful.  More painful than almost anything else that you can experience (though I have heard kidney stones are comparably painful, FYI).

I have done some reading online about natural child birth.  I really do like the idea that your body knows what is doing and it doesn't need a lot of the interventions that have been implemented since birth was brought into a hospital setting.  (I do realize that sometimes things do go horribly wrong, and am thankful that we have doctors who are trained to respond in those situations!!)  I have enjoyed watching the show Call the Midwife on Netflix.  It is based on the memoires of a midwife who practiced in the slums of London, England during the 1950s.  Very interesting to see how things were done back then.  How, even when they started to offer midwife attended hospital births to the women, they wanted to give birth at home.  It was normal for them.

I did look into registering with the Saskatoon Health Region midwives.  They are the only midwives that are allowed to deliver in the hospital.  There are only a handful of them, and a lot of demand for them, so unfortunately I was not accepted as a patient.  I was not wanting to have a home birth, but hearing women talk about having a hospital birth with a midwife, sounded so nice.  However, I decided after I found out that they would not take me on, that I would like to look into hiring a doula.

For those who are unfamiliar with what a doula does, it is someone who provides education and emotional/physical support during pregnancy and during labour and delivery.  They are not trained medical professionals, but are experienced in helping labouring women cope with pain, provide encouragement, and can help you advocate for the birth experience you would like.  I feel like it would be beneficial to have someone helping me who knows what labour looks like and can help keep me calm during a time where there can be so much uncertainty about what is going on.

We met with a doula this morning to chat and sort of interview her.  I like her.  She seemed very easy going and non judgemental.  In the scheme of things she is fairly new to the profession, but she has attended ten births and has four children of her own.  She said she has attended home births, hospital births, births with epidurals, births that ended up needing a c-section.  If we hire her, she will meet with us 2 or 3 times leading up to my due date to provide information about labour and pain management methods, and to answer our questions.  She will be available during labour, once we feel like we need her to come, and will meet with us once or twice after the baby is born to make sure everything is going okay.  I think that Jay will be an amazing support during labour, but because this is uncharted territory for both of us, I think it will be nice to have someone on the team who has done this before, and can recognize what is normal and help provide encouragement and ways to cope. 

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