Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

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Nadiayoga
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Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Nadiayoga » Wed May 05, 2021 5:43 pm

It is a sad truth that modern obstetrics have reduced childbirth to a clinical process and pregnancy to a series of examinations and procedures with calamitous consequences for women.
Today induction rates in urban areas are around 40per cent; the csection rate has also sky-rocketed, 60 per cent of women are taking epidural analgesia which can impact feeding and overall figures demonstrate that natural birth is no longer normal birth.
Yet a staggering 85% of women say they want to experience a normal birth.

I am a birth doula, mother of 4, yogini, pelvic health specialist and yoga teacher. I am passionate about preparing women for childbirth in all it’s shades and colours but giving them the best chance Ina difficult context of realising a normal birth; a beautiful birth.

I am committed to bringing back the spiritual dimension to childbirth. Everything I teach whether through the lens of Yoga or Mindfulness or Birth Preparation is geared towards opening up this dimension. It is part of the human experience.
I am in trifled to hear from the community where you stand in this? Did you feel robbed of your birth experience? In refine the would you do anything differently? What does a spiritual birth mean to you?

Modern birthing is not in a good way. Culturally there is so much fear and disempowerment in pregnancy and birth with knock-on effects for perinatal mental health?
Perhaps you had a powerful and positive experience. Can you share how and why?
We need to have these conversations. Nit scaremongering or avoiding but wise sharing of experience so that we can all learn from each other.
Women live with the consequences of their births whether physical or emotions for the rest of their lives. This is a peak female experience. It’s time to start talking and sharing. I’d live to hear from you.
Nadia
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Batterseamumoftwo
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Batterseamumoftwo » Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:59 pm

I had not such a good first birth and then came to your yoga sessions when pregnant with #2 and #3. I was much more prepared to follow my own lead rather than that of the doctors for #2 and #3 and wouldn’t change either of them. And the midwives at C&W were amazing for all three - so overstretched yet smiling and personable all the way
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sapmkjikun
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby sapmkjikun » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:22 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience
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Happy Valley
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Happy Valley » Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:01 pm

Hello Nadia. I came to your classes when expecting my first child, 12 years ago - an age ago! I have often looked back to that first class where you told your story, to a big room of first-time pregnant women, of a traumatic caesarian and how your second birth, a natural birth - I'm sure you said these words - 'healed me as a woman'.
Even if you firmly believe and strive for a natural birth I think you have to be careful using these sorts of words when a proportion of women in any class eventually go on to have a caesarian birth - be that through choice or (and this is the critical thing...!) for their own safety or that of their baby. Maybe some caesarians are unnecessary, but they can, of course, be lifesaving.
Making women to feel that a caesarian is a bad birth experience is not a positive message, and it often induces guilt and shame. You can support people's desire for a natural birth without this.
Glad I've eventually got this off my chest after so long!
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Ak17
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Ak17 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:49 pm

Dear Nadia, do you realise how biased your post is? Your opinion that "It is a sad truth that modern obstetrics have reduced childbirth to a clinical process and pregnancy to a series of examinations and procedures with calamitous consequences for women" is an opinion and NOT A TRUTH. Maternal mortality rates in the UK are down to 9 per 100,000 birth. In 1848, 611 women died for every 100,000 births. Those are facts. Modern obstetrics have led to much safer outcomes for women and children. Also a fact.

Increasing induction rates, c section rates, and analgesic rates are only bad if you view them as such. In many cases, inductions and c sections save both mothers and babies' lives. And I cannot think of any other area of medicine where one would deny a patient pain relief.

If you're really serious about bringing the spiritual dimension back to childbirth, you should not be saying things like "a normal birth" nor should you be making women feel like they have failed if they opt for an epidural/c-section/induction. Those are judgements rather than facts. (And clearly your words on this have been bothering the Happy Valley user above for some time.)

I am biased in this in that neither I nor my 2 children would have survived without modern medicine. One of the toughest things to deal with during two extremely complex pregnancies was the emphasis the NHS and British maternity materials place on natural births and how "a medicalised pregnancy" is seen as negative. It was not at all negative for me and that attitude felt extremely parochial and anachronistic. There's more to me as a woman than whether or not I have children and certainly more to me than HOW those children left my uterus!

I really don't want this to be a troll post so if you would like to speak about it, please DM me and I'll share my contact details.
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Happy Valley
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Happy Valley » Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Ak17. Mother safe, baby delivered = a positive birth!
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Ak17
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby Ak17 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:36 pm

Yes, exactly!
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YogawithNadia
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby YogawithNadia » Tue Jun 29, 2021 2:09 am

Thank you everyone for sharing your views and stories. It has been interesting and a little challenging for me to read these replies. I come in peace and certainly without judgement. But I hear and acknowledge the anger that my post has triggered. 

I did set out to write an opinion piece. I thought it would be an interesting and useful exercise. Where better than nappyvalleynet? 

The first thing I want to clarify is that this was NEVER a diatribe against Necessary intervention. We are ALL grateful for medical support where and when it is necessary. If I had ever really needed intervention in any of my birth journeys. I would be deeply grateful too for the obstetricians and midwives who supported me. That is a given. Thankfully the genuine need for emergency care is actually very low. So there is no need to defend necessary intervention. We are all on the same page. This post is about blanket intervention - especially un-necessary intervention and related - the institutionalised fear of childbirth.

Yes I also agree that we are more than just mothers. Absolutely. We are women (people even) with full ives and narratives. This post is about childbirth. 

I am biased. I accept that.  I am an advocate for PHYSIOLOGICAL birth because physiological birth is disappearing; because it is no longer the normal way to birth. It is becoming more and more acceptable, and even preferable, to move away from physiological birth in favour of the new clinical birthing model. In favour of intervention. Is that a good thing? 

My opinion is that it is not.

Humans are mammals. We are the only mammals that birth in this clincial way. The mammals we care for; our dogs and cats, we don't take them to laboratories, tie them to monitors, inject them with chemicals and observe and record their progress. -  but we seem happy to do that to ourselves.

Modern obstetric birth with its obsession with control and monitoring, procedures and general clinicalisation has made physiological birth so much more difficult for healthy low risk women. IN hospital birthing all births are considered risky. There is no such thing as a no-risk woman in obstetrics.  Because hospital birth is the new normal; Physiological birth is inherently compromised. Even the wonderful home from home units which do their best to support women, and enable gentle physiological births, are strictly bound by tight protocols which midwifes MUST adhere to or risk losing their jobs.

Without action the future of childbirth as a powerful spiritual life-event will be replaced by the future of childbirth as a series of clinical procedures to 'SAFELY" deliver the child.  Maybe be one day machines will be deemed more reliable than human hands at delivering babies with minimal risk. Already our HCPs trust the monitor more than the midwife to accurately record your babies heart rate during labour.

I am a c-section mum myself. My first born was delivered by c-section. I did my best to labour but I was not prepared, and I struggled; I lost confidence in my body; My baby was breech and I was advised again and again that c-section was my best route.  In NO way do I value that birth journey LESS than my three homebirths because it was a section.  But that does not mean I wish for the rest to be c-sections.  And the Vbac experience at home was deeply empowering - especially when my obstetrician had warned me against such foolish behaviour putting my baby at risk. To birth normally when you have been told you cannot is an eye-opening experience. 

This can never be a question of either... or. It's just not that simple. Polarising is not the answer.Even though I take a position, I have NO intention of polarising. The opposite is true. I want us to come together to have an open honest conversation. 

My wish is that every woman who chooses a physiological birth is fully informed, empowered and prepared to give it her best shot; protect herself and her birth from un-necessary intervention, stay home as long as she can, prepare her partner to support her in the way she needs, hire a doula and go into labour with her eyes wide open. Then she is in the best possible place to close her eyes and let go into teh the experience with confidence and trust. 

Even then birth is unpredictable. Babies get stuck, waters break, meconium appears, labours stall, time runs out... but if that woman has done and given her best, she will be at peace.. even grateful for intervention. There will be no shame; no disempowerment and no regret. That is my wish.

Happy Valley, thank you for your feedback. I hear you. It took me a few years to heal the scar of my first birth experience and my naive and disappointed expectations which is why I have such compassion for those who set out to birth physiologically and then end up with the cascade of intervention.

We all get the births we re meant to have. We all learn something along the way. We are all touched and moved in some significant way. No one needs to judge anyone least of all themselves. It took me a few years to learn that lesson but its well and truly learned. To me ALL pregnant and birthing women are to honoured on this journey to motherhood. In NO WAY do I seek to undermine or under-value women who choose or end up with intervention.

I have spent 15 years working with women in childbirth both as an educator and a doula. In that time I have heard hundreds of birth stories, attended tens of births and witnessed the IMMENSE POWER and VULNERABILITY of ALL women on their birth journeys IRRESPECTIVE of the path they take. I have seen the STRONGEST of women  after DAYS of labour finally acquiesce to a C-section whilst others have easily given birth just because their mothers did before them and their bodies birth well. Or the baby's in a great position. Or their pelvic inlet is broad and spacious and enables good descent. 

Intervention is the new normal. In spite of doulas, yoga teachers, birth educators, hypnobirthing teachers and community midwives who all collectively do their best to empower and prepare and advocate. Unfortunately  it's not enough to stem the tide of intervention

Thats why I advocate for physiological birth. To stein the tide - if possible  - and to enable those who do want to give physiological birth a go to be as infomred and supported as possible so that they go in with their eyes wide open. Not like me.

Small community-based voices (like mine)  reminding women that their bodies know what to do; that it might be wise to question blanket and restrictive policies around the unique and specific situation of the birth of your child; that you can ask to be monitored daily instead of induced if there is no genuine medical reason for induction - and other such empowering messages are DROWNED out by the voice of the maternity health system as soon as you express a wish to be outside guidelines. 

I hope I have clarified my position a bit more so as not to upset those who either choose or end up with intervention.

What is interesting to me is the discussion around what is perceived as necessary intervention. If you agreed to intervention that you did not plan to have, I am interested to know why? What changed?  Did you feel supported in your choices? Informed? For those of you who experienced intervention; what did you learn from it?  I want to hear the positive and negative stories from women. What would you do differently - if anything? 

In the spirit of non-judgement I would love to hear experience and explore this conversation further.
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alimanach
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Re: Birth Experience. Does it Matter?

Postby alimanach » Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:02 pm

It doesn't, because when you see the baby, you forget everything!
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