40 weeks & 2 days:
Prodromal labor began and would last all the way until true labor began a week and a day later. I would contract consistently for many hours at a time before they would stop, only to start again a few hours later. These contractions didn't always hurt but were strong enough they weren't easy to ignore. It's important to me to include this time as part of this story because start-and-stop labor is hard. It's very difficult mentally and emotionally. This wasn't a new experience for me, as I had experienced this with my previous pregnancies. But my experience and knowledge doesn't make me immune to the emotional ups and downs of "maybe this is it...no, it's not" or the mental fortitude it takes to remain positive through it. There were many days I texted my doula (and dear friend!) to just tell someone how I felt during this time. I needed to hear "yes, this is hard" or "you're doing great" just as much as any laboring woman does, doula or not.
So now that we understand what pain is and dived a little deeper in how the body works during labor and birth, it's time to get into how to cope with the discomfort and, yes, pain that comes with having a baby. There are different kinds of methods and medications out there for you to consider. So much so, in fact, that I broke what was going to be one long article on pain management into three separate articles.
I'm choosing to start with non-medicated pain options. The reason for this is because I feel strongly that everyone needs to be familiar with these methods, even if you're planning a medicated birth. While the following tools and skills can certainly be used all on their own, they can be used during a medicated birth either along side medication or in the even that medication does not end up working well for you.
Labor and birth can be intense, that's no secret. But, we all know there are different kinds of pain, right? There's the pain of a headache and the pain of a migraine. There's the pain of a running a marathon and the pain of breaking a bone. There are levels and intricacies of pain and, of course, it's all relative. What is pain to one person may be suffering to the next and vise versa.
The first step to understanding what options you have for pain management during labor is understanding what pain is. So let's start there, shall we?
Welcome to the first post in my Know Your Options series! Okay, ready? Let's jump right in!
What is induction?
According to the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), induction is the use of medication or other methods to bring on labor. Augmentation is when methods are used to speed up or slow down a labor that has already started.
When babies are positioned so that their buttocks or feet will be born first, we call them breech. Approximately 3-4% of all deliveries will be of breech presentation babies. The percentage of breech deliveries is higher with premature babies at 22% prior to 28 weeks' gestation, 7% at 32 weeks' gestation, and just 1-3% at term. That's roughly 1 out of every 25 full term babies breech. So, what causes babies to be breech and what can you do if you find yourself with a breech baby?
Welcome to the world of modern breastfeeding! It can be a confusing world for many reasons. One of which is the sheer amount of "gadgets" out there made for breastfeeding parents.
Gadgets are everywhere in our modern society. If you weren't aware of these before getting pregnant, you're painfully aware of it when you start that baby shower registry. Between wipe warmers and the Daddle, you've opened Pandora's box and you just have so much information to sort through.
This post isn't a review of products, but it does break down the different types of breastfeeding products out there and when they may (or may not) be a necessary purchase.
While I wish all of my clients happy and healthy birth experiences, the reality is that won't always be the case. I want to be able to offer both my clients and my community bereavement services.
I get it. I really do. While hiring a doula is incredibly beneficial, it's still a luxury. Unfortunately, not many insurance companies in the US cover the expense of a doula. (If you have a FSA, HSA, or HRA, you may be able to get reimbursed after you've paid for your doula services. You can read more about that here.) So, if you understand the benefit and want to tap into all that a doula offers but are already on a tight budget, how are you to afford one?
How much does a doula cost?
Before we start talking about how to afford one, let's establish how much a doula typically costs. To do this, you're going to have to do a little research to determine how much a doula charges in your area as it varies greatly. Generally, if your cost of living is higher, the cost of a doula in your area will also be higher and vise versa.
Also, when comparing prices, take into account that, just like in any profession, you can expect to pay more for a person with more experience and/or training than someone who has less. A doula just starting out may have a reduce rate while they are certifying whereas the doula who has been in business for ten years and has five additional certifications is going to charge more, and rightfully so.
One great place to scope out the cost range in your area is on Doula Match. Simply enter your due date and zip code to find doulas and other birth professionals in your area. You'll be able to see their general prices listed and be able to contact them directly from the Doula Match website.
Over the last 30 years, water immersion for labor and birth has been growing in popularity as a means of reducing pain and stress during childbirth. The term “water immersion” is usually reserved to mean laboring in water during the first stage of labor and getting out of the water for the second and third stages of labor. The term “waterbirth” better describes what happens when the birthing person remains in the water during the second stage of birth, when baby is born. In this article, the two will be addressed as one. Keep in mind, however, that when and how much you use any time of water during labor and birth is up to you and should be talked over with your care provider.
Herbs can be an excellent alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for pain relief and comfort during labor. Herbal teas for pregnancy and breastfeeding have become popular. And certainly, teas are an excellent way to ingest herbs. However, there are multiple ways to take herbs and a tea might not be the most convenient way during labor. Tinctures, which can be prepared in advance, might be.
I'm the owner of Sage Roots. Woman, wife, mother, doula, writer, bookworm, hiker, gamer, and Christian.