I took a break from blogging to interact with my clients, their pregnancy and birth journeys and their new born babies as they are my greatest teachers. I am ever so grateful for the lessons I learn and the ability to share these lessons with others. The experiences also got me busy… I missed blogging (which surprised me) and am happy to be back.
This post shares five lessons I learnt. The lessons are mainly from my experience, observations and opinions. I will be writing more about them as we go along.
Lesson 1: Human beings have a Mating Season too:-)
I attended quite a number of births between end of August 2013 to March 2014. If you count back, the conception time was November to June. Usually, the holiday season is great for families to get together and November, December has a number of babies conceived. January, February are slow months and that encourages conception. In Kenya, 2013 was our election year and that extended our ‘slowness’ to May-June. This was bad for business and the income but great as a few persons were given a chance to join society:-) Congratulations to all I am talking about!
Lesson 2: Women are now embracing Natural birth!
As a Midwife, I support women no matter their mode of birth. However, I am biased towards Natural Vaginal birth. This is simply because it is a lot easier for the woman. The pain of childbirth is there no matter the birth options. But, it is better to have the options that makes it easier to manage and deal with. It is the woman that gives birth, her ease and comfort should be a priority.
The number of women choosing to have unmedicated, less or no intervention births seems to be on the rise. Interventions are not a no no but, they need to be used when needed and not as a routine. Women’s bodies know exactly what to do during birth and should be allowed to do so and only assisted when necessary. The increase in Vaginal Births After Caesarian (VBACs) is quite encouraging.
Lesson 3: Childbirth Preparation
Going through labor and birth without having attended a childbirth class is like sitting for an exam on a topic you have no idea about. Birth and Parenting seem to be the two experiences many go into with no idea of what to expect and how to manage the happenings therein.
A childbirth preparation class is a worthwhile investment. It gives the details about birth, birth options and helps one make an informed choice on their birth preferences. This choice helps you go in with a plan. Though the plan is not cast in stone and could change, a human being is calmer when they have a plan and/or an idea on what to expect.
Lesson 4: It is not called ‘Labor’ for Nothing, It is hard work!
The body works a great deal to maintain pregnancy and grow the baby. The hormones involved are the best workers, they prepare the body every step of the way. At the end of pregnancy, they prepare the body for birth and initiate the birth process. That is an effort. The best we can do is give the body time.
The Due date is one of the body’s worst pressure, it puts the body on a time scale. No one can tell when a baby will be born except the baby. The challenge is they have no clock therefore one day out of 30, the baby will come. Patience with the process both at the start and after the start is best especially if both mum and baby are well and the pregnancy is going well.
Lesson 5: The Woman’s body is Magical!
This was the greatest lesson I learnt! Scripts and stereotypes do not work well with women during birth. Every woman is an individual, has had a personal life, journey and will most of the time have an experience of her own. I know that for management reasons scripts are used but some women have short labor, others long; Some have no early labor while some have days of early labor; some have a cervix that opens slowly while others have one that opens fast; It is all so varied and normal for the given woman.
My take is, every birth is different even births of the same woman. As long as the woman and her baby are well, the path her labor takes should be embraced. The woman’s body is the best guide and time is the best gift she can get while in labor.
More on these soon