Whenever I prepare to go on-call for my doula clients, I like to go through my birth bag to make sure that everything is there and see if there is anything that needs to be replenished. As I gear up for a couple of upcoming births, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to shoot a video of what I bring in my birth bag!
When it comes to birth, there are 2 ways that your baby can come out; vaginally or via Cesarean. The best outcomes for mother and baby tend to come with a vaginal delivery, and because of this, Cesareans can sometimes get a bad reputation. This is unfortunate because sometimes there is a bit of a stigma placed on women who have a Cesarean delivery. Sometimes it is placed on them by other people (especially with a planned Cesarean), and sometimes women place that stigma on themselves (particularly with an unplanned Cesarean). As with most interventions, Cesareans are there for a good reason, however like other interventions they are also very overused. I have heard some very good reasons and some not so good reasons for surgical birth, but regardless of the reason, there are a few things you should know about Cesareans before going into your birth.
Have you ever been doing research or had a question, so you did a Google search and wound up reading posts on a forum? With my line of work, I have spent some time looking at anecdotes on forums for pregnancy and fertility. I always look for more reliable sources to back them up, but sometimes it is good to look at what people have experienced to gain a different kind of insight. One thing I have noticed is that most of the people who use those forums use their own jargon to the point where it can be indecipherable to someone who doesn't know it. If you have ever been on those sites, you may have seen posts that said something like "Having some cramping and bleeding 6dpo. Only 1/2 wk before I can use frpt to hopefully get bfp." or "DH says that I smell pregnant like I did with DD and DS. Took a pt and got a bfn, but still no af 15dpo." If you just looked at that like it was a foreign language, you are certainly not alone. In this post I will create a glossary of sorts so that those of you who are trying to decipher what you are reading can have all of these definitions in one place.
One kind of massage therapy that I offer which many of you may not be aware of is scar tissue therapy. We all have scars. Scar tissue is the result of your body trying to heal itself quickly, so any time we injure ourselves, scar tissue can build up even if we don't see it or are not aware of it. The larger the injury, the more scar tissue builds up. In this blog post, I will talk about what scar tissue is and how massage therapy can be used to help.
What is Scar Tissue?
As I said above, scar tissue is the result of the body trying to heal itself quickly. Let's use the analogy of a brick wall. In order to build a wall, first the bricks and mortar must be created. Once you have those, you begin by laying down some mortar and placing the bricks evenly along it. You are careful to line them up properly and apply more mortar between each brick and the next, and you smooth the mortar out making sure that it isn't sloppy. When you are finished, you have a strong wall that looks pretty nice. Your body is constantly renewing itself. Old cells die and are replaced by new ones. This happens over time and your body can make sure that all of the cells are well formed and lined up properly
It is no secret that I hate the "due date". This arbitrary date that is thrown out to tell women when their babies will be born. More and more, it seems like I hear women saying things like "I will have my baby on..." or "My baby's birthday will be...", when really, your baby may be born anytime within the weeks leading up to or following that date.
The problem with the due date is that it sounds like there will be consequences if something doesn't happen by then. Everything else with a due date comes with some sort of penalty if we fail to deliver the required materials on time. If you don't return your library books by the due date, you will have to pay a fine. If you don't pay your bills by the due date, there is a late fee, or if it goes long enough, you risk losing the service. If you don't turn in your homework by the due date, you lose credit. If your baby isn't born by the due date... What then?
There are so many books out there about pregnancy and childbirth, that going to the bookstore can often feel very overwhelming. You can't read them all, so which ones do you choose? There are a lot of very good books, and a lot of equally bad books. In this post, we will look at a few books that I recommend and why. Of course, there are a lot of great books out there that aren't on this list. Feel free to recommend your favorites in the comments at the bottom of the page.
It seems like I have been seeing an increasing number of posts talking about not being allowed to do things as a patient in a hospital, or the idea that hospital staff may place certain restrictions on you. I wanted to take some time this week to talk about informed consent, it's definition, and what it means.
Writing as a doula, a lot of my experience comes from working with laboring mamas, but informed consent is something that applies to everyone. Anyone who is having any medical or alternative treatment done should know about informed consent.
So, to continue my series on the benefits of regular massage therapy, I would like to turn my attention to massage during pregnancy. Over the past couple of weeks I have looked at how regular massage therapy can benefit the body and the mind. These are benefits that can apply to most people. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to focus on benefits for specific groups of people, in particular groups that I work with.
Prenatal massage has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years. Many women will seek massage specifically for their pregnancies even if they wouldn't have incorporated it into their schedules before. So, why is prenatal massage so important? In addition to all of the benefits outlined in the previous blog entries, prenatal massage has some benefits specific to pregnant women.
One of the services that I offer as part of my doula packages is help in writing a birth plan. Some people may have providers who encourage them to make a birth plan, or encourage them not to. Others may feel like they don't need one because they are flexible. In today's post I want to clear up some common misconceptions about birth plans so that you can decide if it is something that you would like to do.
When I initially made this blog post, I was advertising a local showing of the Safe Motherhood Quilt. When I switched website hosts and had to redo my site, I eliminated a lot of the blog posts about promotions, but I wanted to keep an altered version of this post because it is such an important topic, and has some really good information and statistics. The maternal mortality rates in our country are inexcusable, and yet so few people know what a problem it is. The more people who know, the more people will question, and that is what we need in order to make a change.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to furthering women's health through bodywork and education, and helping women to have healthier lives and positive birth experiences.