If you want to have a natural birth that does not mean that you have to home birth. The majority of natural births take place in a hospital. There is a lot you can do to set yourself up for success in navigating through the policies and procedures of a hospital to have an intervention free birth. This episode gets into some challenges you may face in the hospital, how to overcome those obstacles, and how to set yourself up for a successful natural hospital birth. Whether you are planning a birth with some interventions or planning to avoid them entirely, this episode has some great tips on how to distinguish between early and active labor, how to communicate with your care provider, and what you can do to prepare for the birth experience you want.
Samantha Lee Wright is a childbirth educator and doula, and she is a pro on navigating a natural birth in a hospital. She is the host for the #1 essential oil podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, The Essential Oil Revolution, where she teaches on the various ways to use essential oils and other healthy living tips to help families take control of their own health.
There really is overwhelming evidence of the benefits to both delayed cord clamping and getting skin to skin immediately after birth. Delayed cord clamping increases your baby’s blood volume by about 20% from a transfer that takes place after they are born. This additional supply of blood supplies extra iron, which can help guard against anemia in the first year of life, and it is enriched with immunoglobulins and stem cells. Skin to skin contact stabilizes your baby’s heart rate, breathing and temperature and reduces stress in both you and your baby. Your baby instinctively wants to breastfeed and being skin-to-skin with you will foster that. It also increases your interactions with your baby and increases the likelihood and length of breastfeeding. This weeks episodes answers a question about whether the umbilical cord is long enough to get skin to skin with your baby before the cord is cut.
A water birth is a birth in which a baby is born to a mother laboring in a tub of water. There are legends of women in different cultures laboring in water dating back quite a ways but there isn’t documentation of anyone actually giving birth in water until 1803 in France. Then it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the popularity of water births began growing in Western cultures, and today it is becoming increasingly popular. Proponents of water birth claim that it is beneficial in management of discomfort from contractions, that it promotes relaxation, and that it eases stress for your baby during birth. Critics of the practice raise concerns about the safety of water births and risks associated with respiratory issues for the baby and the risk of infection for both you and your baby. This episode digs deep into both the possible benefits and risks.
It easy to start thinking about how you are going to lose the baby weight before you even have your baby and there is so much pressure to get back to your pre-baby body. I hope you do not stress out about that, there are going to be a lot of changes after your little one arrives, and your focus needs to be on taking care of yourself during recovery and taking care of your new baby. Trying to figure out when to start working out after you have your baby can be tricky. You may also be wondering whether working out will affect breastfeeding and your milk production. This episode answers two questions about when to start working out and whether working out affects your milk production. This episode features Lori Isenstadt, of the All About Breastfeeding podcast.
A birth center is a middle ground between a home birth and a hospital. You get the benefit of a natural birth in a home-like setting, with some of the safety net that you would have in a hospital. Birth centers are generally based on midwife led care, focused on prenatal and postpartum care for low-risk women. The majority of birth centers are free standing entities, and more are popping up in hospitals with the same focus of natural birth but are fully integrated within the hospital system in the event resources or care from the hospital are needed. This episode covers what a birth center is, what you can expect during your prenatal care, how everything works during your labor and birth, and the research on the safety of birth centers.
The placenta grows wherever the embryo implants itself in the uterus. In the majority of pregnancies, the placenta attaches at the top or side of the uterus. In some cases, the embryo implants itself in the lower portion of the uterus. Low-lying placenta is defined as a placenta ending within 2 cm of the internal cervical opening but not covering it. If the placenta grows over the cervix, it is called placenta previa. As the uterus expands it can pull the placenta higher, and away from the cervix, which resolves the situation. The later in pregnancy that placenta previa exists, the more likely it will be present at the time of delivery. This episode answers some questions about placenta previa resolving itself, and the risks involved with a low-lying placenta in the early and late stages of pregnancy.
Group B streptococcus is a type of bacterial infection. This bacterium naturally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and is present in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25% of all healthy, adult women. Once you have this bacterium it does not mean you will always have it, and it can come and go. Most women who are colonized with group B strep do not experience any symptoms, and normally this is not a big deal. It can create some complications for you when you are pregnant and can cause some serious complications if it is passed to your baby. It has become standard practice to test all expecting mothers between weeks 35 to 37 for group B strep. This episode covers what is involved in the testing, how group B strep is treated, and how you can reduce the risks to your baby. This episode also explores some research on what you can do to decrease your risk for group b strep during pregnancy and prevent the possibility of ever becoming colonized.
In the past it was assumed once you had one cesarean section, every subsequent birth would also need to be via a cesarean section. A vaginal birth after cesarean is not recommended if you had a uterine rupture during a previous pregnancy or if you had a classical incision in a C-section. A uterine rupture can occur when your uterus tears long a previous scar from a C-section, and this requires an emergency C-section. Today VBAC is becoming more popular for women who had a previous C-section, and about 90% of women who have had a cesarean are a candidate for a VBAC and of women who plan for a VBAC, about 3 in 5 are successful. This episode answers a few questions about planning a VBAC and going past your due date, what the risks are, and how to increase your chances of success.
It was not too long ago in our history that all births took place at home. Over the last century the number of women giving birth at home has sharply declined. The decline in home births is due to many factors beyond the advancements we have made in medicine. The laws of your country or state, the coverage of home birth by your insurance or health care, and social attitudes have all played a part in directing where you have your baby. In recent years the rates of home birth have been increasing as more expecting parents are exploring this as an option. The biggest benefit to a home birth is that you have the most control over your labor and your environment in a home setting. Learn what you can expect during a home birth from the time you start your labor until your baby is born. The safety of home birth is a controversial topic and this episode includes a lot of research on whether home birth is safe and what some of the risks are.