Make decisions about birth based on evidence, not on what others think.

Make decisions about birth based on evidence, not on what others think.

Evidence-based birth is so important ‘Should I hire a doula?’ I saw this question posted on a popular online mommy group a few weeks ago. A long and divided string of responses followed and a heated debate followed. We often hear about disputes when discussing breastfeeding, circumcision and co-sleeping – topics that have helped coin the famous ‘mommy wars’. But when it comes to hiring a doula? Really? It’s not that surprising though when you think about it, as birth is such a personal matter. The Yes and No Camps Divided The ‘yes’ camp was very favourable and and those who had doulas did not regret their decision. Yeah, doulas! The help received most often allowed them to have positive experiences and the benefits greatly outweighed the costs. The ‘no’ camp, however, was adamant that a doula was not necessary. Many of these women, who also experienced lovely births, believed that a doula costs too much money, the nurses do the same thing as a doula, it’s better to be just you and your partner, and my favourite, ‘Just get the epidural!’ Everyone has an opinion When I was pregnant, many people – men and women – told me what to do. Do this. Do that. Take the epidural. Go natural. Breastfeed. Don’t breastfeed. They then proceeded to tell me the worst horror stories ever about birth! You know the ones: ‘My cousin’s wife almost died during her birth….so you should do x, y and z.’ Well, you know what? I didn’t need to hear it. Just like I didn’t need anyone telling me what to do. Base your decisions on...
The Most Effective Pushing Positions to Push Out Your Baby

The Most Effective Pushing Positions to Push Out Your Baby

What pushing positions should you try during birth? True or False? You must push out your baby while lying on your back. Answer: False. You can push out your baby in any position you want! So why do most people push on their backs? Since the majority of births in North America are now in hospitals, the easiest pushing position for the doctor to deliver your baby is on your back. Also, since many women now take the epidural, they are less mobile and being on their backs has become the norm. But this is not based on evidence-based practice. Try positions that use gravity It is common knowledge in birthing literature that gravity helps tremendously to bring baby down when pushing. Also, your coccyx is mobile and allows space for the baby to come down, so you don’t want to block it by being on your back. Being in upright pushing positions can also help reduce tearing and the need for uncomfortable repairs afterward. Pushing can last anywhere from a few pushes to 3 hours in a hospital setting. And sometimes longer when birthing elsewhere. That’s why it’s a good idea to try a whole bunch of pushing positions! Some may work better than others. Unfortunately, as soon as you’re on your back, it’s harder for you to change your position. The bed is modified, the docs are geared up in sterile scrubs and it’s often seen as a nuisance. So what should you do? Try out the following positions BEFORE getting onto your back:  On Your Side It’s quite easy for you to get into this position, and...
Five Myths About Birth on TV and in the Movies

Five Myths About Birth on TV and in the Movies

Do you watch birth on TV and in the movies? I am seeing a lot of birth on TV these days, in shows such as  ‘Jane the Virgin’, ‘Offspring’, Grey’s Anatomy and The Mindy Project. And of course there are classic birth scenes that come to mind like Rachel’s in ‘Friends’ or Katherine Heigl in ‘Knocked Up’. More and more, I find that people are learning about birth through these fictional stories. Sometimes they’ve only ‘seen’ these births! And because these births are dramatized (who wants to see a slow 24-hour birth?), people aren’t getting the right information to make the decisions needed regarding their bodies and their babies. Here are five myths shown in TV and movie births: Myth #1 – Your waters break first In reality, only about 10% of women’s membranes rupture before contractions begin. On TV everyone begins their labour this way! But it’s not true. The majority of people begin their labours with contractions. Is there a difference in terms of how your labour progresses if they do break first? There can be. Your caregivers will most likely want you to go to the hospital sooner than later, even if your contractions haven’t started. If contractions don’t start on their own, within a given time, your caregiver will want to induce them with medication (synthetic oxytocin). On the other hand, if you begin your labour with contractions, you can labour at home for a long time in the comfort of your own surroundings, and only go to your place of birth when labour is more advanced, avoiding the need of medication to get labour started. Myth #2...