It really is a joy and, I believe, imperative to spend time sharing childbirth success stories amongst those of us who dedicate our professional lives to improving childbirth experiences and outcomes for women all around the globe. This year’s first blog carnival is about just that: celebrating success while illuminating some ways in which Lamaze’s Six Healthy Birth Practices can and have been implemented in the process of realizing these successes.
Lisa, at Journey Through Lamaze, shared with us a lovely story of one of her recent clients who allowed labor to start on its own, and labored at home long enough before checking into the hospital to find herself fully dilated and ready to begin pushing shortly after admission. Having begun with Healthy Birth Practice #1, this mama progressed through a non-medicated birth which Lisa describes as, “…the calmest birth I’ve ever been at.” (Read Lisa’s post to find examples of other Healthy Birth Practices exemplified during this baby’s birth.)
Childbirth Educator, Judith, from Dance While You Cook relates how she incorporates teaching the importance of walking, moving around and changing positions throughout labor (Healthy Birth Practice #2) into her childbirth preparation classes. Beyond “typical” teaching strategies, Judith shows her students how movement in labor can be effective by demonstration through a labor and birth dramatization. Read her post, and I guarantee you, you will pick up on the renewed energy and empowerment Judith gains each time she conducts this portion of her curriculum.
Many of our carnival contributors wrote about experiencing childbirth from a doula’s point of view. Wendy from Mom and Little Me wrote about her strong belief in extending Healthy Birth Practice #3 into the prenatal period as much as possible. It is during the prenatal visits that some of her most effective doula support takes place. (Follow the link to Wendy’s post to also read about her ambitions for educating “a younger generation on natural childbirth and breastfeeding.”) Hillary at Infinitely Learning shares with us a lovely anecdote about the birth of one of her doula clients that showed her the importance of holding space and bearing witness to the great journey of another human being, as she describes below:
She was a really independent birther and mostly needed the midwives and me (the doula) there for reassurance during some strong moments, but mostly I just stood Witness. A couple of times I doubted that I was even needed and became self-conscious that I wasn’t doing enough, but when I checked in internally to be guided I heard, “Witness”.
Kate, at Two Bee Birth Services shared the story, as written by the mother, of a successful, un-medicated VBAC. With a history of multiple medical interventions during previous birth experiences plus some other recent pregnancy-related complications, this mama pursued a vaginal birth in the safest way possible, considering a present and extenuating medical circumstance. In order to do this, she dedicated herself to avoiding interventions that were not medically necessary (Healthy Birth Practice #4) and succeeded in achieving the VBAC she hoped for.
Providing a fantastic success story that illustrated all six Healthy Birth Practices, in the setting of one birth, “Anthro Doula” Emily at Doula Ambitions simply and beautifully describes the end of one of her first birth experiences as a doula:
Once in the labor and delivery room she crawled up onto the bed on all fours, following her instinct and her urges to push on her own. She changed positions to a squat, leaning against the back of the raised bed, so that she would be able to catch her own baby. (Healthy Birth Practice 5: Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push!)
This is my favorite part of the story, and my favorite part of any birth so far…
While the baby’s head was crowning, she reached down and felt his head, and she looked up with a face full of wonderment and said, “His head is coming out and then going back in a little!” She was so calm and intrigued, fully experiencing the birth of her first child. Then she pushed out her baby and pulled him up onto her stomach, all the while calm and grinning like mad!
The husband had tears streaming down his face, and the new mother was immensely pleased with herself. Mama and baby stayed together, skin-to-skin, and began to initiate breastfeeding, for the whole first hour.
(Healthy Birth Practice 6: Keep mother and baby together - It’s best for mother, baby and breastfeeding)
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Thank you to all blog carnival contributors for your thoughtful words and illustrative stories which collectively remind us that safe, healthy, fulfilling birth experiences are not an anomaly, but an achievable reality!
**Don’t forget to swing on over to Giving Birth With Confidence to read additional results of this blog carnival!
Posted By: Kimmelin Hull, PA, LCCE