Positive Birth

A positive birth isn’t necessarily a pain free birth or a natural birth, but an experience that puts Moms (and Dads) in the drivers seat on the most incredible day of their life. During my Reflexology sessions I incorporate new 'edge' science based on sports psychology techniques employed by professional athletes and give you tools and techniques to prepare you physically and mentally for a calm and confident birth.

Pain Management and Childbirth 

Labor is not something that has to be endured. RAF™provides the tools for a quicker and easier birth, experience first hand the power of Conditioned Response Reflexology. CRR uses distinct techniques and is based on "Pavlov's theory”

 

Although giving birth is one of the most natural processes in the world, many expectant mothers are anxious and often wait with fear at the prospect of hours in pain. RAF™ incorporates Reflexology, breathing and sound during a  series of six pre-labor sessions that include some self-help techniques that conditon a “reflex” action of very, very deep relaxation. Though you do feel the pain but it helps her to “stay in the moment”, ensuring an easier and more enjoyable experience. Why not make birth a more enjoyable and beautiful experience with less pain and discomfort.

 Labor 101*

Although it seems hard to believe, the early signs of labor can be hard for some women to recognize. This is mainly due to the fact that they vary so greatly from woman to woman, and even with subsequent deliveries. These are some of the signs and symptoms that can occur:

Contractions

The first symptom that comes to mind is the contractions. Contractions are the rhythmic tightening and relaxation of the uterine muscles that results in effacement and dilation of the cervix and the delivery of the baby. Basically, contractions feel like cramping, or a tightening sensation that waves across your abdomen.  

Cervix Dilation

Dilation is the opening of the cervix. Cervical dilation is accompanied by effacement, which is the thinning of the cervix. General guidelines for cervical dilation:

    Early Labor: 0-3 centimeters

    Active Labor: 4-7 centimeter

    Transition: 8-10 centimeters

    Complete: 10 centimeters. 

Effacement

Throughout your pregnancy your cervix has been tightly closed and protected by a plug of mucus. When the cervix effaces, the mucus plug is loosened and passes out of the vagina. This passage of the mucus plug is called "show" or "bloody show." You may or may not notice when the mucus plug passes. As the baby's head drops down into the pelvic region, it pushes against the cervix and causes the cervix to relax and thin out. Effacement is expressed in percentages, and you’ll be 100% effaced when you begin pushing. 

Lightening

Near the end of your pregnancy, you may feel the baby settling deeper into your pelvis. This is called lightening. The baby's new position may give your lungs more room to expand, making it easier to breathe. On the flip side, increased pressure on your bladder may send you to the bathroom more often.

Breaking Of Water

The bursting of the sac holding the amniotic fluid is a continuous trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina. This can occur from several hours before labor begins to any time during labor. 

True Labor Versus False Labor

In the last several weeks of pregnancy, you may notice that your abdomen gets hard and then gets soft again. These irregular cramps are called Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false labor pains.  They may occur more frequently when you are physically active. There are ways that might help you to tell the difference between true and false labor. One good way to determine this is to time the contractions.  Time how long each cramping period lasts and the length of time in between each contraction.  Keep a record for an hour.  During true labor:

    The contractions last about 50-80 seconds 

    They occur at regular intervals 

    They don't go away when you move around

*Call your health care provider when contractions reach the agreed upon level you     discussed earlier. 



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Labor And Birth Positions

The choice of labor and birth positions has a huge impact on a mother's comfort level during birth. Effective positioning helps to align the baby head properly, which facilitate labor. The more prepared and the more options you have, the better you can handle the birthing experience. Try to avoid lying on your back. When you are lying on your back, the contracting uterus has to move against gravity.

The positions below might not be very glamorous, however these certainly help to get the job done.

Hands-and-Knees 

These childbirth positions, which include the "crawl" and the "full moon", are beneficial for back labor, turning a posterior baby, and for birthing a large baby.

Sitting 

You can use a birth ball, rocking, or toilet seat, sitting combines the force of gravity with muscle relaxation, facilitating with the labor progress.

Squatting 

This positions helps to open the pelvis and allows the baby to find its proper position. Squatting can be done with the help of your support partner, while holding on to a chair or squatting bar.

Side-Lying 

Lying on your side helps you to rest during a long labor. It promotes relaxation and minimizes extra muscular effort. This position is best used during the latter stages of labor, since gravity isn't able to speed the process.

Upright or Standing

This underused position uses gravity to the mother's advantage and facilitates the baby to drop into the 

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads

Henry David Thoreau

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Labor Support 

The role of your support person is to give you as much possible support and comfort throughout and after labor, and the best way to achieve this is by communicating your specific needs and expectations, as they can vary from women from women. Below some ideas that are helpful.

Bring Music - Calming music has been shown to decrease the need for pain medication in labor by 50%. In addition, music is a cue to the staff entering the space to slow down and quiet their energy.

Dim the lights - the darker the space and the less visual stimulation for the laboring mother, the safer she feels. Sleeping masks are highly effective. 

Stay out of bed - According to the World Health Organization, Being upright and walking helps to reduce the duration of the first stage of labor. They are also likely to be in less need of epidural analgesia.  

Trust your body - Women have been birthing since the beginning of time. Our ancestors embraced pain in labor and didn’t fear it. Fear is the enemy that can slow or stall your labor, and even make it more painful.

There are times when obstetrics intervention might be warranted. To get a better idea if the intervention that is offered is warranted, remember B R A N, a little acronym that stands for:

   What are the *B*enefits? 

   What are the *R*isks?

   Are there *A*lternatives? 

   Does it need to be done *N*ow



What You Have To Know Abour Epidurals 

Despite a woman’s best efforts to have a natural birth, complications that require medical attention (and transfer to a hospital if she started laboring at home) can arise. In these circumstances, I absolutely endorse to take advantage of whatever interventions may protect the health and safety of both the mother and baby.                                                                                                                                 Know Your Options - Know The Facts*

Benefits of Epidurals:

  • Reduce exhaustion and provide rest during prolonged labor
  • Reduce discomfort during labor and other cooping mechanisms are no longer helping  
  • Allows you to stay awake and provide effective pain relief during medial intervention

Disadvantages of Epidurals

  • May cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, which might lead treatment with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen.
  • Epidurals have effect on a woman's pelvic floor muscles and often slow down labor. These muscles guide the baby's head so that it enters the birth canal in the best position, and when these muscles are not working, dystocia, or poor progress, may result, leading to the need for high forceps, or a caesarean section. 
  • Epidural doubles a woman's chance of having a caesarean section. 
  • Less common side effects are; accidental puncture of the Dura, or spinal cord coverings, which can cause a prolonged and sometimes severe headache, ongoing numb patches, and weakness and loss of sensation that can last up to 3 months
  • Studies suggest that epidurals interfere with the release of oxytocin, causing the 
  • letdown effect in breastfeeding and bonding between a mother and her baby.


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