It is time for Ask The Doulas video 1 and we are kicking it off discussing VBACs - Vaginal Birth After Caesarean with doula Yvette. We have quite a few clients this year who have had or are working towards their VBACs so we figured this would be the best place to start.
We are answering Christina's question:
"Hey ladies!! I had planned a home birth with my first pregnancy but it ended in a csection. I'd love to have a natural birth my second time around, but I'm afraid that my body will fail me again! Are vaginal births after a csection even safe? How successful are they? Any other insight you have would be good to hear too!"
Do you have a question you want answered by one of the the five Maya's Nest doulas? It can be anything about pregnancy, birth, postpartum or even personal questions about your doulas! If so, check out our pinned post on our Facebook page and ask there, or if you would like to keep it anonymous, simply send us a private message. Our next video will be released next Sunday where we will be discussing how to handle disagreements of care either during pregnancy or at the birth.
by Samantha Garcia Gagnon, Pitt Meadows Birth Doula + Photographer
Once upon a time, women’s birth teams looked like this:
Today, for many women their birth teams may look like this…
But, it doesn’t have to.
Your birth could look like this:
How do you get that kind of birth?
By choosing your birth team wisely!
When deciding who you would like to join you in your birth, there are a few factors you need to consider before giving the go ahead. It is important to only invite those that:
For most people, their partner, if they have one, will provide many of those needs. The birthing woman's partners role is an essential ingredient in birth. They can make her feel calm. relaxed, and most importantly, loved. When she feels loved and care for, then the oxytocin hormone - the most powerful and important hormone that makes for stronger contractions, will be produced much better.
However, if her partner is the sole support person then he will also need to:
That is where a professional Birth Doula can come in and provide the extra support needed.
A doula can help with…
The evidence for doulas reflects what a difference we make to births which includes:
While we do a lot of things during the birth, we do not:
While having a strong birth team does involve inviting people other the your partner, like a doula, there is such a thing as too many people. Births are a wonderful occasion and many people may feel it is their right to be there, or just simply want to be there. Before saying yes to everyone who wants to be at your birth, ask yourself:
Having people present who you don’t want there can have a negative effect on your birth experience and the outcome. They can make you nervous, self-conscious and pressured to “perform” which will then produce Adrenaline. Adrenaline is also known as the Fight or Flight Hormone. While it does play a role in birth, it is important that it doesn't happen to early as this will hinder the production of the hormones that help labour along and help the birth sensations not feel as intense - oxytocin and endorphins. If you experience adrenaline too early, it can stall or stop labour, which often leads to interventions being suggested, which can then lead to a cascade of interventions.
The MOST important choice you will make for your birth team though is in who you pick to be your card provider as they are the medical professionals. You need to feel trust and confidence that the information they are giving you is correct so that you can make choices in your birth that are the best ones for you.
“If there is one thing you can do RIGHT NOW to ensure your best birth experience, it’s this: Choose a care provider who is an EXPERT in the type of birth you are planning. If you are planning a safe, skilled cesarean birth, you should hire someone who is an expert at cesarean sections. You wouldn’t hire a doctor for a c-section who said, “Well actually I’m not really comfortable with that type of birth, but I’ll let you do it if you want, I suppose…” If you’re planning a safe, natural, unmedicated birth, you should hire someone who is an EXPERT at supporting natural birth. A doctor with a 30% c-section rate is not a natural birth expert. Neither is a doctor who does routine episiotomies, or doesn’t understand how to catch a baby unless mom is laying on her back. A doctor who says “Well, most of my clients do end up choosing an epidural, but if you want to go natural you can do that, I suppose…” is NOT an expert in unmedicated birth. When you find the right care provider, they will understand your birth plan before you even show it to them,
because it’s what they already do EVERY DAY.”
~Lauralyn Curtis (HypnoBirthing Educator)
So why is it so important? Who you choose to be your care provider is important because it affects the care that you receive and the effects of that care, the amount of information you receive, the choices and options you will have presented to you - particularly during your labor and birth, and how involved you will be in making decisions during your birth.
When you are deciding who your care provider will be, some of the things you want to confide are if your care provider:
In BC there are a few options for care provider choices are they are:
Sometimes, the red flags don't start showing until later in pregnancy but don’t forget - if you feel you are not receiving the care that you need from your health care provider -
IT is never too late to switch.
For so many, birth is something that is done to them. But by getting informed, building a strong birth team that supports you and your choices and trusting in the process, birth can be a wonderful experience that you get to do.
If you are interested in learning more about doula support and how we can be the perfect addition to your birth team, schedule your complimentary consultation with a Maya's Nest Doula today.
Announcing our introductory offer to welcome our two new Postpartum Doulas into the Nest, Colette and Ashley, we are offering 20% off the postpartum doula fees - available with all packages. BUT - we are only offering this to 5 families!
Hire a Maya's Nest Postpartum Doula by July 31, 2016 and receive this amazing deal. The promo is available for any 2016 shifts.
Don't forget - our consultations are completely free! Schedule yours today.
To celebrate the launch of our Maya's Nest Birth Essentials Shop, where we are now selling home birth and water birth kits as well as renting out birth pools, we are launching our SUMMER PROMOTION.
Hire a Maya's Nest Birth Doula by September 1, 2016 for your home birth (any estimated due date) and receive a FREE HOME BIRTH KIT (basic).
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by Colette Brown, Postpartum Doula
I am no stranger to the weeks that follow a birth of a new baby. After four amazing births of my own plus supporting other families, I’ve learned the secrets to a rested mom and a happy baby.
Let me start off with a little story for you before I get to the point: When my first child was born and the doctor handed her to me, I had no clue what I was doing. I tried to follow the books I had read and then when I didn’t have any luck I was tired and cranky, and so was my baby. We cried together. The learning curve can be a tearful and frustrating one, even for the experienced mom.
Here is my list of the Top 5 Survival Points to Navigate the First 6 weeks
Now don’t get me wrong, you probably aren’t going to sleep like you did before you had your bundle of joy. Their needs may be calling at all hours of the day and night. Your baby won’t know or care if you have slept. The recent tradition of having your baby in a nursery down the hall was only developed in the early 1900’s. Before that, we had cots by the bed or baby in bed with us. I recommend trying co-sleeping. Co-sleeping means when baby wakes up in the night…you don’t have to GET up. You can have all your supplies beside the bed and get back to sleep. When following the safety guidelines for co-sleeping, it can be a very rewarding and restful experience. It also facilitates a good breastfeeding relationship. And let’s face it, baby will most likely sleep better, and longer, closer to you. There are also options out there if you are not comfortable having baby in bed. Sleeping arrangements should be set up so everyone is getting the most sleep possible. Put 3 mattresses on the floor? Why not? It doesn’t matter, as long as everyone is getting their sleep safely. Lack of sleep can make postpartum depression worse, cause accidents, and may make the experience of enjoying and caring for your baby an unpleasant, tearful one.
2. ESTABLISHING FEEDING
There is absolutely no routine with a newborn so feed your baby when they are hungry! If you are breastfeeding, you can latch the baby on the breast anytime, for any reason, as you cannot over feed a breastfed baby. Although breastfeeding can be a big challenge for some in the beginning, there are many resources in the community to help with establishing breastfeeding, including your postpartum doula so don’t be afraid to reach out. Once you have a proper latch, the second most important thing to know is that breastfeeding works on supply and demand. If you are feeding every hour and your baby still seems to be hungry, feed every half hour or even every twenty minutes. Your baby is growing at a rapid rate and his or her needs for milk will change. Your body will be adjusting supply often for the first year. To build your milk supply, you may need to nurse around the clock until the supply is at par with your baby’s needs. If you start supplementing with formula your body will not feel the demand therefor will not make more supply. Don’t be afraid to nurse around the clock for the first 6 weeks at least while establishing supply. Producing life sustaining milk is work for the body so I also recommend drinking 3L of water a day and eating a nutrient rich diet.
3. VISITORS and SUPPORT
Your body just went through a monumental physical event and rest is absolutely necessary. Keep visits short and only visit when you feel like it. If people are offering to help, take it! Ask for help with housework, meal prep, and errands. Also have people wash their hands before holding baby as newborns immune systems are just getting up and running. Never wake your baby for visitors. Give baby to dad or grandma etc. between feedings if you need to sleep or rest. If you have been on fussy baby duty too long, your arms may feel tense and baby will sense this and become even fussier and more agitated so don’t be afraid to utilize your support systems. Sometime fresh arms are all it takes. Let people help.
4. BE A HOMEBODY AND BE KIND TO YOURSELF
The exciting weeks after baby is born can be a bit of a blur. Stay home. Lay in bed with your baby. Read. Go for walks if you need to get out of the house. Make visitors come to you. Dragging yourself and your newborn all over town puts you both at risk for illness and will wear you out fast. The first 6 weeks after baby is born is a time for the new parents to bond, rest, and resupply nourishment to their bodies. If you have to go out, be quick and comfortable. Always dress baby warm enough and use hats or toques when going outside as babies can lose body heat quickly. Be kind to yourself. Your body and hormones are undergoing radical, beautiful changes. Cut yourself some slack and just enjoy your baby. If you don’t feel like you know what you are doing, it’s okay. You are the perfect parent for your baby and everything will fall into place as you get on your feet. Trust me ;) If you are unsure if you are starting to show symptoms of postpartum depression, make sure to mention it to your doctor or midwife.
5. WEAR YOUR BABYSince your baby has been inside you the whole time until recently, it is only natural that they want to be close to you. There is a plethora of benefits to baby wearing including less crying (need I say more!), nursing on the go, hands free snuggles while multitasking and an overall happier baby. There are many different kinds of baby carriers to choose from and personal preference and style is really the key when deciding which one will work best for you. Sometimes you have to try a couple different kinds to find the right one and you may end up with carriers for different occasions. Have fun with it!
Overall, the postpartum stage can be a wonderful nesting, bonding time for the whole family. And don’t forget, enjoy these moments because they don’t stay new born for very long ☺
Interested in learning more about how a Postpartum Doula can support you as your transition into parenthood? Meet our doulas and schedule your complimentary consultation.
Colette Brown is a Port Moody based postpartum doula who supports families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. She is a mom to 6 kids and has long supported new families in their transition into parenthood. Have questions for Colette? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
most precious moments to families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody,
New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.