|Posted by Angela Taylor on May 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
It's been far too long since I've posted anything to my blog. We're living in Mexico thanks to my husband's job sending him on an extended work assignment and including his family. Life is pretty nice here. Beautiful weather (most of the time), a maid three days a week, a gardner twice a week, kids in a private, bi-lingual school, many monthly expenses are re-imbursed.....yes, right now my life is quite unrealistic. I continue to do our laundry, cook all the meals and clean the house on the days the maid has off just so I can remember that this will end....we will return to the US and I will, once again, be without these luxuries.....this unrealistic life does not; however, take me away from the unrealistic beliefs held by others in regards to conception, pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
I have a dear friend who works many hours each day on behalf of mothers and their little ones. She is concerned with the rising cesearan surgery rate, the increase in the interference of birth (and the long list of interferences would blow your mind) and the mess that all this leaves behind. A mess that mothers are supposed to clean up on their own. A mess that really isn't theirs to clean up and one that becomes theirs because no one else - it seems to me - wants to take responsibility for what they have done to create the mess. This sweet woman sings the praises of birth and how wonderfully it works....when it's left alone. SHE IS 100% CORRECT on this point. When we meddlesome human beings leave the process of birth alone, it CAN be trusted. Trusting it does not mean that it is perfect.....but trusting it and leaving it alone are the only things at this point that the researchers have not tried.
What do I mean? What researchers? You say there's no one doing research on birth? REALLY?? Do you honestly believe that? The moment birth was forced from the safety of home was the moment that birth became a research study....without the known consent of the mothers. Birth has been tampered with in more ways than anyone really wants to admit to....read through the history of birth and you will definitely begin to see that experiments have been done on both mother and child for the entire time that birth has been occurring in the hospital. The "Let's see what happens when we......" question has no end to it. There will always be more for human beings to "try" all in their effort to "fix" something that wasn't broken in the first place.
We now live in a time in birth history when even the thought of birthing at home comes with it's challenges. Far too many believe that what happens in the hospital should happen in the home. Bulb syringe and hat ready when the induction begins. Dopplers, oxygen, drugs and all manner of interruptions that throw the entire process off balance and when something happens that wasn't expected or that places mother and/or baby into a higher risk situation everyone blames birth....but birth isn't the problem.
As a childbirth educator and student midwife, I am frustrated by the fact that I can no longer tell anyone who is struggling with their OB, "Oh, just find a midwife nearby and have a home birth." Why? Why can't I do this? Because there are far too many midwives who truly believe that what happens in the hospital can happen in the home and they are wrong. Women choose to give birth at home BECAUSE of the things that happened to them in the hospital. BECAUSE the process - THEIR process - was messed with and they didn't like the mess they were left to clean up alone. Women are searching for "hands off" midwives.....midwives who know when to "interfere" but especially HOW to leave it alone and my dear friend is the director of the only midwifery training program that I know of that produces such a midwife. A HANDS OFF midwife. A midwife who TRUSTS birth.
This dear woman is constently answering questions from people who misunderstand what the Trust Birth Initiative is all about. People who accuse her of teaching women to birth alone at all costs - even if the baby might die - because birth can be trusted. WELL.....these people do not like what they are hearing.....many are midwives who don't like the fact that what they do as "standard practice of care" just might be causing the "issues" they experience. After all, if what they are doing is wrong then why can medical doctors do it?
I could go on and on all day long but I won't.....below are the reasons that I TRUST BIRTH.....
As a mother - I DO NOT need anyone present in order for birth to be safe. I trust my body, my intuition and the process. I CAN be trusted. I DO NOT need someone present who will dictate to me what I will and will not do, where I will and will not do it nor to bring the hospital "stuff" into my home. My last birth occurred in the hospital - an induction - even though we desperately wanted a home birth - not because I do not trust birth but because I TRUST BIRTH and I can be trusted WITH birth (it was for the benefit of my son who is now 4)
As a Christian - It is impossible to say "I do not trust birth. I trust GOD." If one does truly trust God then one trusts His processes. If one trusts His processes then one MUST trust birth. I spent a rather long time on a journey of my own to better understand the statement TRUST BIRTH. Along that journey, God spoke to me and said, "there has never in the history of the world been enough people to support every pregnant and birthing woman on earth. This is a FACT. This historical fact is proof that birth was designed to be safe and to occur in the middle of nowhere with only mother and child present." When we trust God, then we trust His process of birth and do not carry dopplers, oxygen, pitocin, cytotec, and we do not induce the process (regardless of what He has provided that "works") because these things interfere with HIS process. When we, as Christians, make statements like "birth is safest when there is a trained/educated midwife, low risk woman, etc" then we prove where our trust lies and it is not in God but in self. God created birth and placed into the hands of women. Because I trust God, I TRUST BIRTH.
As a Doctor of Natural Health/Life Coach - when we profess to stand with mothers and to serve them, it is in their best interest that we do so without interfering. When we interfere we remove from them what belongs to them - a healing journey - and we put in its place something that does not belong to them. We create a birth story for them that was not supposed to be theirs and we place them on a journey they should never have needed to take. BUT when we trust the process of birth AND we trust that the mother KNOWS what she needs and what she needs to be doing then and only then are we respecting her healing journey. Because I am concerned about the whole person, I TRUST BIRTH.
As the Training Director for the Trust Birth Initiative - Trust Birth Facilitators facilitate conversations with women about birth and what birth is BY DESIGN. Facilitators do not facilitate conversations about "birthing at home at all costs" but rather conversations about trusting the process, trusting the body, trusting the design, trusting intuition, and trusting self (because God trusts women enough to give birth to them). Facilitators facilitate conversations about the things that should never enter the home (dopplers, oxygen, etc) because they do not belong there, interfere with the process AND increase risks for both mother and child. Facilitators facilitate conversations about good nutrition, "informed consent" and refusal, avoiding unnecessary interventions, belief and fear in birth, dangers and downsides of hospital births, nurturing your body, etc. Because women need to know what parts of "birth" are unnecessary, I TRUST BIRTH. (if you have any questions about what the Trust Birth Initiate IS, please send an email to email@example.com instead of speculating on your own)
As a friend of Carla Hartley's - I was led to Carla by Heavenly Father and it is because of her and her courage to stand for mothers and with mothers that I have found my own voice in this arena where I had been frustrated for so very long. Birth is not about midwives, doctors, dopplers, hats, hospitals, birth centers, pitocin, time limits, inductions, etc. Birth is about the future of humanity and creating a better tomorrow by learning from the past. It is because of Carla Hartley that I TRUST BIRTH!
If you are on your own journey, searching to trust birth, I highly recommend reading Safer Childbirth? written by Marjorie Tew.
|Posted by Angela Taylor on May 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
"Why would you want to give birth naturallywhen you live in a time in medical history when you don't have tofeel the pain of childbirth?"
This is the most commonly asked question when a couple decides togive birth without medication and especially when a couple chooses to birth at home. It's hard to believe that all women were giving birth without medication AND at home just 4 to 6 generations ago. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of couples choosing unmedicated birth but especially homebirth. Last year a study showed that home birth had increased by 29% in a 5 year period. Family and friends of couples choosing to birth natural are trying to understand their reasons.
I'm saddened by the fact that mid-way through my childbirth course most of my students have stopped sharing their birth plans with their family and friends. They feel they must isolate themselves from the people they love and respect simply because they plan to make a choice that their circle of influence doesn't understand. Their decision comes from the self-preservation instinct. Over the course of my class I teach my student couples to first use positive communication to teach their loved ones why they are choosing to birth naturally. There are a number of books, articles and medical studies that support the choice of natural, unmedicated birth. Loved ones who truly want to understand will read everything they can get their hands on and even take a comprehensive childbirth class (like mine) so they can better understand the "why" behind birthing naturally.
If educating their loved ones does not help them provide only positive support then I teach my student couples that if they are going to "succeed" they must avoid contact with those who oppose their plan. This is not my effort to keep family and friends from sharing in the joy with this couple, but to empower the couple to understand that this life event belongs to them and no one else. No one else has the right to demean or diminish what they are trying to accomplish and no one has the right to plant thoughts of fear in the minds of someone preparing to bring a human being into this world.
As couples learn more about the process and why preparing for a natural, unmedicated birth is the best option for them and their little one, some will also choose to change to a care provider who has a known record for supporting the unmedicated, vaginal, natural birth. Yes, there are some Obstetricians who fit into this category but there are not enough of them to support the number of women who'd like the unmedicated, natural, vaginal birth experience in the hospital. Because of this there are Nurse Midwives but, to my knowledge, Wichita has only one and Wellington does not have any. The more couples learn about the birth process and how to create a plan that fits their unique situation the more a couple may choose to birth at home.
When I planned to birth at home, a friend of mine yelled at me for making such a foolish and uneducated decision and then refused to speak to me because, in her mind, I was going to die. Her response is common among those who are truly uneducated about the process of birth and especially with what happens in a home birth. Most homebirth midwives are well educated on the birth process but also on the complications that might arise during the natural process. They know not to interfere because interference often times leads to complications. They also know when things are "out of their league" and will either transfer to a more knowledgeable midwife or to an OB when the situation warrants it. Their education is extensive and they choose to care for their clients in ways that are supported by the scientific evidence. Sadly, I can't say the same thing for most OBs and Nurse Midwives.
Finally, women are choosing to birth naturally because they are aware that the choices they make during pregnancy and birth will impact the choices they make as a mother. When a woman gives birth with pitocin and/or medication there are things that will not happen that are designed to happen because the pitocin and/or medication is interfering with the natural bodily responses to the process. What couples really need from their family and friends is the space to make this decision on their own and the love and encouragement to see the process through to the end.
I have been blessed to witness a number of births but my most favorite by far was the birth a little girl who's mother and grandmother healed their relationship during the birth process. My friend had chosen a home birth and requested my support, which I happily gave. Her mother wasn't sure about birthing at home but knew her daughter needed to do this "her way" so the mother gave her daughter the space to experience the birth she wanted (this is vital). There were times when this soon-to-be-grandmother wasn't sure about what was going on but rather than say something to her birthing daughter, which would interfere with her birth process, she left the room and I followed. We would sit quietly in the other room and she would ask me questions about what was happening and why it was different than the births she'd seen in the hospital. I would explain the things that would have been done in the hospital that might have placed both mother and child at risk and encouraged her to continue supporting her daughter ~ knowing that her daughter would know if something was "wrong". The grandmother-to-be would then take a deep breath and go back to support her daughter and son-in-law. Baby was born after many healing hours of the birthing process and welcomed into the world in a dimly lit, calm and peaceful room. No one did anything to separate that baby girl from her mother. The mother happily passed the little one over to dad and grandma when she was ready. Newborn procedures were completed only when the mother asked for them to be done.
If you are trying to figure out how to support someone through a natural, unmedicated birth, feel free to email me with your questions or sign-up for my comprehensive childbirth course and learn how to trust their choice.
|Posted by Angela Taylor on April 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM||comments (2)|
When I meet a pregnant woman and start asking her questions about her pregnancy, I'm listening for some very specific words. These words teach me if this is a woman who has given her birth authority away or not. Words like "allow," "let," "agrees" and other such words have no place in the vocabulary of an expectant woman.
I've heard on many occasions, "My client thinks she should have absolute control of the birth." My first thought is, "Of course she should have control." Yet often times the current birthing system doesn't agree. I believe that she is to have absolute control because only she can tell anyone observing what she is feeling (or not feeling). Perhaps she doesn't want to be watched, or have the lights on, or have people talking in the corner. She ABSOLUTELY should be the one in charge.
My clients are a bit surprised when they experience me in birth. Other doulas might say that I don't do much and need further training but for my client what I do means A LOT. I sit quietly and just witness. I witness her power, her confidence, her inner wisdom. I offer assurance when she's not sure if what she's doing is "working" and when she asks me, "What should I do?" I always respond with, "What do you want to do?" Then I encourage her to do what her body is telling her to do.
I know how and where to massage a birthing woman, I know how to use essential oils and homeopathic remedies to support the process and I know what positions will aid with a variety of discomforts and situations. I choose to only use these when she asks for them instead of forcing them upon her. I choose to trust her body because I know the process works best when left alone.
I refuse to make her "stay active" as this may interfere with her birth process. I know many doulas who will watch the clock and have their clients change positions every 30-minutes or so. I question the wisdom in this action and wonder if this interference creates a longer birth process that leads to maternal exhaustion. I refuse to interfere without being invited. It's her birth experience and only she can tell others what to do.
For her sweetheart, I stand as the one he can look to when he wonders if she is okay. As he sees my calm and peaceful expression, he learns that she is okay and that birth is hard work. He also learns exactly how incredibly strong his lover is and he becomes her loudest cheerleader, which is as it should be.
My personal mantra is, "The type of pregnancy and birth a woman experiences will greatly effect the type of mother she will be." In other words, if a woman constantly looks to others for "what to do next" instead of turning to the great inner wisdom she already possesses then she will become a mother who becomes paralyzed every time she has a decision to make. If she gives her decision making rights away during pregnancy and birth, she will give them away as a parent.
I am saddened by the number of women who share with me they are "'choosing" to birth in the hospital instead of at home where they want to be because someone in their life "wants" them in a "safe" place. The counsel I give to my clients and students is this: "Birth belongs only to her and it must happen where she feels safe and secure or it will be hampered. It also must happen with those she wants present or it will be hampered."
Birth in the human animal is no different than in other animals. She really wants a quiet, solitary, dimly lit space in which to give birth to her young followed by uninterrupted time with her little one. This is what we must give to her and we must trust that she is the only one who knows what she wants.
A woman who owns her birth, will do everything in her power to create the birth experience that is rightfully hers. She will go so far as to tell her care provider what will and will not happen and then, if that care provider tells her otherwise, she will find a different care provider or choose to birth alone with only her lover to support her.
Birth has always belonged to women but we've been told for far too long how to do it, where to do it and with whom to do it. It's time to take it back and experience birth how, where and with whom we want.
|Posted by Angela Taylor on February 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
I have been blessed to give birth eight times. Seven have been in the hospital. This is true not because I was ever afraid of birth or concerned for the safety of myself or the baby, with the exception of the last birth. Babies one through six were born in the hospital - one using an OB.
I have been blessed to locate doctors who, for the most part, trusted the natural process of birth. I have, thankfully, never faced what women are facing today when they sign up with a doctor and choose a hospital birth without first making absolutely sure that these choices fit their unique situation.
You see in 2006 I was due to have baby seven and we did not have insurance (by choice). I called the local hospitals to find out what the out-of-pocket expense was going to be and was shocked to find out that a completely unmedicated, vaginal birth was going to cost between $6,000 and $10,000 depending on which hospital we chose. Why would giving birth cost so much?
My husband did some research and brought home a list of home-birth midwives for me to call. He had talked with a number of his engineer buddies who confessed to having home-births because it was inexpensive and the risk to mother and baby was low. We called and discovered that the remainder of the pregnancy along with birth and postpartum care was going to cost $1,800 - that's it! No brainer, right?
Because I did not fear the process it was exciting to think about having a baby at home. To finally have someone come to me was very appealing. We had a GREAT experience and knew we wanted to do that again. The entire process was far more calm and relaxing then leaving home for the hospital had ever been.
The challange came after the birth as I realized that I could no longer teach about natural birth in the hospital because I had discovered first hand that there is nothing natural about leaving home to give birth in the hospital. Birth is not an illness it is a physiologic event that the female body was specifically designed for.
Now I teach about making choices based on the woman's unique situation. This might require that she give birth in the hospital as was the case with baby eight. Multiple blood clots the size of quarters were found in both of my lungs at 28-weeks gestation. I had four doctors tell me I shouldn't have lived and I began taking 45,000 units of heparin and would do so until the birth and then switch to coumadin for the first three months postpartum. The risk of postpartum hemorrhage was higher so the possible need for emergency care was higher. Birth in the hospital was a good choice.
I have been cleared for a home birth should I be blessed to carry another baby and am praying for that opportunity again....
|Posted by Angela Taylor on February 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
For some reason our society has this belief that holding our children will somehow spoil them. I beg to differ and so does Anthropologist, Dr. Ashley Montagu who sadly passed away in 1999. He left behind the book Touching: the Human Significance of the Skin.
Dr. Montagu states, “The language of the senses, in which all of us can be socialized, are capable of enlarging our appreciation and of deepening our understanding of each other and the world in which we live. Chief among these languages is touching. The communications we transmit through touch constitute the most powerful means of establishing human relationships, the foundation of experience.”
From the time our little ones are born we have people telling us: "you are holding him/her too much"....."he/she won't be able to reach significant milestones if you hold him/her so much"....."you are allowing him/her to control you because now he/she thinks he/she must be held all the time"......etc. My response to the concerns I hear from parents is:
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? WHAT IS YOUR MOTHER'S (OR FATHER'S) INTUITION TELL YOU IS BEST FOR YOUR CHILD?
The parent is the only expert in regards to their own child. As parents we might be able to find useful information by reading books, attending parenting seminars and talking with our friends and family but the bottom line is that we must make the decision that is best for our own child(ren). We will be the ones to live with the outcome.
As the mother of 9 children, I beg you to make your own choices. Learn from the mistakes of others but most importantly heed the intuition that was given to you at birth. It will not lead you astray.....
“To be tender, loving, and caring, human beings must be tenderly loved and cared for in their earliest years, from the moment they are born. Held in the arms of their mothers [and fathers], caressed, cuddled, and comforted.”
- Dr. Ashley Montagu
To learn more about Dr. Ashley Montagu, click here.
|Posted by Angela Taylor on January 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
I've run across people who don't understand why people take childbirth classes. They feel that it's a natural function of a woman's body and she shouldn't need a class to teach her what to do. They are right - it is a natural function of her body and just as the body knows how to breathe so too does it know how to birth a baby. What she needs to learn is how to get out of the way.
You see there are some counter-intuitive things about birth that women may resist if they don't understand how the process works and what daily living has taught them that may interfere with that process.
For instance, what should a woman be doing during the hours of labor that are simply opening the cervix wide enough for the baby's head to move through? She could become anxious, excited, worried, scared, etc but all of these will work against her as all of these increase the flow of adreneline and the body responds with the fight or flight reflex. This reflex slows or may even stop cervical dilation preparing for flight. What she should be doing is what she wants to do.....rest if she wants to rest, clean house if she wants to clean house, eat and drink if that's what her body signals her to do.
How about when her body signals the need to urinate or have a bowel movement? This is not necessarily the body saying that it's time to push the baby out but if she follows her instincts she will try to close her legs and this will be counter productive. We have been trained from our toddler years that we tighten those sphincter muscles until we can reach a toilet but in birth women need to relax those muscles even when they are not on the toilet. What she is feeling may have nothing to do with needing to urinate or have a bowel movement. It may simply be a sign that her baby is descending so relaxing these muscles will ease the intensity of the sensations she is feeling.
Finally, what should a pregnant woman be eating in order to experience a healthy increase in blood volume? The blood volume must increase by 60% in order to support the lives of both mother and child. When this does not occur, the pregnant woman is at higher risk for a number of "pregnancy induced disorders" that she has control over. The increase of blood volume occurs only with a well-balanced, designed-only-for-pregnant-women type of diet. I teach this nutrition program in my classes. I'd LOVE to teach it to women BEFORE pregnancy so they can get started on it as soon as they confirm a pregnancy. I'd settle for teaching this program to women in their first trimester.
So, you can see that the items I've talked about above are some really GREAT reasons to find a childbirth course. They are not the only reasons to take a course and not every childbirth course will teach what expectant women really need to know. Any course that is less than 16 hours will be leaving a lot of information out. Be wise and ask lots of questions before signing up for a course.....make sure the money you pay is worth it.....