Friday, 28 January 2011

One born every minute again

One of my women yesterday told me that she always watches One Born Every Minute and as a result she is terrified of going into labour. As soon as she goes into labour she will become stressed because of this fear and begin to produce adrenalin. This is bad. Adrenalin attaches itself to the cervix and prevents it from opening. The contractions then have to get stronger and stronger to try and open the cervix that is being held shut. I am sure that this is the prime reason for women to contract but not dilate. Programmes like OBEM do a lot of damage by spreading the firmly held myth in our society that uterine contractions are meant to be painful. They are not. My two out of four pain free labours taught me that and I would like to spread the word in order to free women from the fear of childbirth.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Birthing pools

This weeks One Born Every Minute was a little better than last weeks in that it showed women who had regained a certain amount of control over their labour. The birthing pool labour was particularly nice as it showed how women should be in labour, relaxed and in control. This attitude helps keep everything normal and instrumental and operative births can be avoided. The women who coped the best kept themselves upright and did not do what most women automatically do when in labour - lie down on the bed. This is the worse thing that you can do as your uterus has to work against gravity and the contractions have to get stronger and so can cause the sensation of pain. It's nice when the guys cry when their baby is born. Awwwwww. If you want a pool birth then a birthing centre is your best bet. Your normal labour ward may have a pool but they are usually so busy that they will say it is unavailable even if it is not. Make sure the unit where you are booked have a good record for pool use and state your interest early in pregnancy, a tour of the unit gives you a chance to become familiar with the environment offered. Good luck.

Monday, 17 January 2011

One born every minute

How can women ever break free of the belief that labour contractions have to be painful when programmes like 'One born every minute' exist. I am sure the producers direct the midwives not to help the women in labour so that it is really good  TV in that it is very dramatic and full of pain and anguish. All the women who showed signs of being in pain were lay much too flat on the beds. In this position the uterus has to work against gravity and so the contractions become stronger and so cause pain. If the women were allowed to sit up on a chair or birthing ball and taught how to use relaxation techniques then they would be calm and pain free. Hey, but then that would not be very interesting would it? Where is the drama in just sitting there and coping really well. Just another example of female exploitation for entertainment purposes. AHHHH. It was however nice when the young guy was bonding with his new baby. There were tears. The revolution is coming when labour will no longer be feared and so will not be painful. Join the crusade here.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

my experience

Women today are programmed to expect a very painful labour. This programming comes mainly from the media who love the drama of childbirth and cannot help but portray labour as an acutely dramatic and painful event. When was the last time you saw a woman in labour on one of the soaps who did not appear to be in agony? A calm, pain free labour would not be exciting enough to pull in the viewers who seem to relish other peoples' pain. Did you not see the tram disaster on Coronation Street? It is drama that pulls in the audience and so the producers can only look at labour as an opportunity to stomp up the volume with tales of woe and anguish.
Little wonder that today's women are afraid to go into labour. That as soon as they think they may be in labour they are frozen with fear and start producing adrenalin by the truck load. It is adrenalin that makes labour contractions painful; without it the contractions would not be as strong and so not as painful.
As a mother of four I personally have had two very painful labours and two pain free. Once you know how to act and mentally react to labour it is a simple step to achieving a pain free labour.
As a midwife I try to pass on my experience to prospective mothers but cannot reach enough to make a difference. This blog is my way of reaching out to women today to try and give them back control of their own bodies during labour. To see quiet confidence instead of stark panic in the eyes of the women I meet every day at work. Let me know if you want to hear more.