Guest Writers, Home Birth Advocacy

Not Your Mother’s Labor: Water Birth Part I

2 Comments 07 September 2012

Among the gems of pregnancy “wisdom” passed from generation to generation and still hanging on today, one of the most stubborn is “Don’t get in the tub after your water breaks, you’ll get an infection!”

Is it true? Does dirty tub water get siphoned up the vagina, delivering a direct dose of microbes to the uterus? Or is it a misnomer that should go the way of “If you put your arms over your head the baby will strangle!”

Photo courtesy of birthersage via CC license

Since many home births, or at least labors, take place in a birthing pool, you’ve likely thought about this issue at some point in your research and/or birth planning.

Whether you’re just mildly curious about the level of risk or you have deep concerns about laboring or birthing in water, a look at some of the available data will bring into focus the scientific truth about this popular pregnancy tale.

I began writing this post with the notion that I’d fit everything I wanted to cover into one post. Well…that’s not going to happen because there is so much delicious info and I don’t want to skimp on sharing details, so it’s going to be a two part series. Besides, if I tried to cram it all into one blog post I wouldn’t have room to share part of my own water birth story. :)

So, here we go – let’s begin with the findings of ACOG in their Committee on Obstetric Practice opinion on warm-water immersion in birth:

The Committee feels there are “insufficient data, especially concerning rates of infection, to render an opinion on whether warm-water immersion is a safe and appropriate birthing alternative.”

While ACOG’s opinion usually needs to be taken with several grains of salt, it’s a useful jumping-off point – how much data is enough? There is actually a fairly significant body of evidence on outcomes, including infection, and water labor/birth.

Dr. Siegel’s Tampon Experiment

This body begins in 1960 with the work of Dr. Peter Siegel. Dr. Siegel posed the age-old question, “Does bath water enter the vagina?” In his experiment Dr. Siegel had women place tampons into their vaginas then sit in a potassium iodide bath for 15 minutes, then did an iodine reaction test on the tampons.

There was no sign of the tampons, therefore the vaginal vault, having exposure to the water at all. What’s more, five of the women were in the last two weeks of pregnancy and five were in the first three days postpartum. Only one of the women had had fewer than 4 children, and most were parity 6-10, making Dr. Siegel’s results that much more astounding.

Dr. Siegel’s conclusion read:

Thus, the fear that bath water may infect a pregnant or puerperal woman is not founded on fact, since normally no water enters the vagina. Therefore, restrictions on bathing during and after pregnancy are not warranted on this basis alone. Moreover, this teaching represents another classic example of error.

Not only does it represent an example of error, it also represents another in a long list of common sense findings that somehow escaped being adopted into standard of practice over the years, although the reasoning has changed, as evidenced by this telling statement on a nurses’ forum:

Unfortunately, with the lawsuit-happy public these days, it would take only one case of “tub acquired” infection to ruin an OB’s practice and put the tubs in mothballs.”

Sadly that’s the truth about most common obstetrical practices these days – it’s all about liability. Fortunately that’s not such an issue with home birth, however it’s still prudent to know what the research says so that we go into birth armed with information and ready to refute antiquated nonsense that may be slung our way.

In this first installment on water birth, I will cover a couple pieces of research that look at infection, one of which focuses specifically on GBS (Group B Strep). In part two, we’ll talk more about data on general outcomes of water labor and birth, encompassing other aspects of maternal/fetal well-being in addition to infection risk.

The Cochrane Review

Firstly let’s take a look at what is considered the largest overview of labor and/or birth in water, the Cochrane Review: Immersion in water in labour and birth, Cluett ER and Burns E., out of University of Southampton in the UK.

This is a review of a group of 12 “randomised controlled trials comparing immersion in any bath tub/pool with no immersion, or other non-pharmacological forms of pain management during labour and/or birth, in women during labour who were considered to be at low risk of complications, as defined by the researchers.”

There were a total of 3243 women included in the comparison, which found no statistically significant difference among the water birthers and land birthers with regard to:

  • neonatal infection
  • maternal infection
  • APGAR scores
  • neonatal unit admissions

There was, however, a significant reduction in epidural/spinal anesthesia in the waterbirthing group as well as one trial which revealed a birth satisfaction rate in the immersed moms of four times the rate in the control group.

The reviewers conclude that while more research is warranted:

There is no evidence of increased adverse effects to the fetus/neonate or woman from labouring in water or water birth.”

Judy Cohain’s Stunning GBS Findings

The second piece of evidence I’d like to look at is a paper by Judy Slome Cohain, CNM published in the Winter 2010-11 issue of Midwifery Today Int Midwife, “Water birth and Newborn GBS disease”. 

Cohain found one – yes one – case of early onset newborn GBS in 4432 hospital water births. To understand how astounding this number is, we’ve got to consider that the accepted rate of GBS among births on land, with antibiotic prophylaxis, is approx. one in 1450.

As Cohain points out, there are a number of possible explanations for this incredible reduction in risk – from the water washing the microbes off the baby, to the benefits of kangaroo care, to lower levels of intervention causing a decrease in transmission.

If I were the betting kind, my money would be on a combination of factors resulting in these amazing outcomes, but one thing is as clear as a freshly-filled birth pool – water birth, whether at home or in a facility, likely offers benefits beyond what we’ve even dreamed.

More to come in part two on water birth. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments…

 

Misha Safranski is mother to five beautiful children, birth mother to a sixth, VBAC mom, unschooling parent, intactivist, lactivist, and freelance writer. In addition to working full time for a major online media company, Ms. Safranski publishes an advocacy blog on birth and intuitive parenting issues called Creating Dissonance. She resides in Michigan with her children and furbabies.

Guest Writers

Vocalization and Use of Tones During Labor

7 Comments 13 August 2012

vocalization during labor

Have you ever moaned from a stomach ache? Think back to the noises you made and how they helped you to cope. More than likely, the moaning was a way for you to focus on something else other than the discomfort.

Vocalization is, for many women, one of the most instinctual ways to cope with the intensity of labor. It is a natural way to release the discomfort and energy of contractions through audible tones. I recommend that every woman keep vocalization and tones in her list of labor coping skills.

What is Vocalization?

Vocalization simply means the use of any audible noises by the mother during labor. This can include singing, groaning, moaning, humming, and various tones.

Benefits of Vocalization During Labor

Ina May Gaskin, famous midwife, is well-known for saying “Open Mouth, Open Bottom.” By this, she meant that the more relaxed your mouth and jaw during labor, the more relaxed and open your cervix will be.

Low-pitched vocalization and tones helps to relax your mouth and jaw, creating an “open mouth” and letting any stress and tension escape your facial muscles.

In addition to this relaxation of the mouth and jaw, vocalization offers these benefits:

  • Increased oxygen to mother and baby
  • Natural pain relief
  • A relaxed body

I especially like the use of tones as a coping mechanism because it does not require the mother to think, and allows her to experiment with the positioning of her lips, as well as experiment with different notes and levels of volume during each contraction.

Productive vs Unproductive Vocalization

During the most intense contractions, especially during transition, vocalization can sometimes be used in a less than productive way. A mother may begin to heighten the pitch of her tones as she experiences more intensity. But, higher pitched noises are counterproductive.

The most productive vocalizations for use in labor are low-pitched noises and tones; guttural noises such as groans, moans, and animal-like noises. Singing in low-tones is also a popular choice.

Stay away from high-pitched tones, screaming, and tense noises; these signify resistance or panic and can prevent progress.

Practicing Vocalization and Toning

use of tones during childbirthMaking these noises all of a sudden during labor can feel strange for some women and make them feel self-conscious. The best way to be prepared to make tones during your labor is to practice them during your pregnancy in preparation for birth.

Start by saying a few sentences in your normal speaking voice. Then, move into making a tone (try “oooh” or “awww”) from a pitch within that range. Keep with that tone for a moment, noticing how it feels, whether it is relaxing or straining. Move from that tone into a more relaxing and natural tone for you.

Experiment with different tones and sounds. Notice how they make you feel and how your body reacts to each one. Which ones relax you? Which ones make you feel at ease? which ones make you feel awkward and tense?

Tips for Labor Support Persons

If a mother seems panicked and is making high-pitched noises, try moving her to lower tones by making them yourself and asking her to mirror your tones.

Never make fun of a woman who is using tones and vocalization, no matter how funny it may sound to you. Snickering, etc, have no place during birth, unless the mother herself finds something amusing, then you can encourage her by letting her know that it may sound funny,but that it’s okay, and it’s helping her tremendously.

~

Vanessa Pruitt is a doula and the founding editor of Natural Family Today, where she writes about Natural Pregnancy and Birth.

Read more articles by Vanessa here.

Guest Writers

Finding Life in Death

5 Comments 12 June 2012

It’s been almost a year since I spent the morning in the hospital waiting for someone to tell me what I did not want to admit to myself: that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.

And that day I went from focusing on eating enough protein to wandering through a place I’d never been before, with no map, just taking each step not knowing where my foot would land next.

I felt a particular kind of sadness I had never experienced before, not ever.

I even had thoughts like ‘I do not belong in the Mother’s Club anymore because I failed’, and ‘I am broken’. I was angry, embarrassed and frightened, and my body was, hormonally, having a baby. I wanted to find a dark and quiet place away from everything that didn’t make sense anymore.

Three days passed in between the doctor telling me there was no heartbeat and the night that I woke up, went to the bathroom, and a gush of everything came out.

I flicked on the light and the contrast from the dark burned my eyes, so I immediately turned it off. I thought about thrusting my hand in the toilet to see what it was but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what to do. I just sat there in a bizarre cosmic pause, listening to my breath. I began to notice the perfect quiet of the early summer night air, and the stillness of the boys sleeping in the next room. And from there, I asked, What now?

I heard a voice that said, ‘go back to bed’. So I did. I went back to bed.

And that was it. That was the moment that Willow Priya was born.

We don’t talk about miscarriage.

It’s a horrible scary thing for a baby to die and people don’t like to talk about it.

In fact, some might say I only lost a pregnancy, or the promise of a baby. I didn’t know how to feel. I had to go searching on the Internet just to find some validation that the deep well of sadness I’d fallen into was called grieving. But grieving for what?

With nothing to bury, there was no funeral.

Only the awkward silence. The Sicilian in me wondered why people weren’t showing up at the door with food, because I was more than certain that someone had died. People tried to be helpful. They said, ‘don’t worry,
you can try again’.

In those first moments, all I wanted was to skip forward past all of the heartbreak and just get that spot filled up again. I didn’t want to feel that complex cocktail of emotions that so desperately needed my attention. I just wanted to zoom through the empty to the
full.

I’m aware now as I approach the year anniversary of Willow Priya’s birth that the empty is where the transformation happens.

With all the work I’ve done around this event I know, I really know, that this experience has greatly expanded my range of emotions.

And when I allow myself to just be in that emptiness, I feel really humble, because I experienced death within my own body. And now I think, what an amazingly profound way to connect with life.

From that thought I can access an entirely new and more empowering meaning.

I feel grateful for the amazing and nurturing women that have come into my life because I reached out for their care and connection. I feel amazed at the awakening that happened in me, and compassion for myself and all the other women who know what it is to lose a baby. Feeling that gratitude, awe, and compassion gets me to the new meaning. And here it is:

The past does not define us (unless we let it). From my greatest pain, I can draw my greatest source of strength.

That you are reading this right now is a sure sign that I found a way to a more empowering meaning. A big part of that involves speaking about it, because when I learned that there are as many as one in four women dealing with this, my mission became apparent: connect with this strength and inspire other women to do the same.

The more I speak with women who know about this first hand, the more I realize that finding a way to normalize it is key to finding new meaning.

Miscarriage is a natural part of the life and death cycle, but it doesn’t seem normal because it’s invisible in our culture.

I’m convinced that if we give it a rightful place in the natural order of things,we can work through the feelings of loss, and be able to embrace the other part of a miscarriage: the birth.

There’s this bizarre thing about a miscarriage: it seems to be all in the wrong order. Usually, we get born, then sometime later, we die. What happened for me was that part of me died, then I waited for it to get born. Somewhere in this uncharted emotional territory, I found a new life.

**

Have you found a way to get a new meaning from your experience with the loss of a baby?

Andrea Naveena Valley is mom to three year old Sacha and works as a Massage Therapist and Coach. Before Sacha, she was a documentary photographer and taught yoga for many years, and she is still fiercely devoted to her daily practice. She is passionate about all things home birth and continuum parenting, enjoys biking, and loves to grow vegetables in the garden and experiment with fermented foods. Her mantra: Laugh at your limits–Redefine what’s possible. Connect with her at anaveenavalley@gmail.com

Guest Writers

Sugar Town (Plus Healthy Cookie Recipe!)

1 Comment 27 April 2012

by Gabriela Garay, the Picky Foodie

Before my daughter was born, all kinds of ideas inhabited my head.

Everything from, ‘Nobody but me will ever take care of my child!’ to, ‘How can any decent parent let their children watch television?’

Even after I became a mother, I couldn’t believe the things certain people did, said, assumed. Like when a friend emailed me with “when you’re ready to get back into the world as your self and not just a mother.”

WHAT?

When I read her words, my daughter was less than a week old. I was barely ready to let people into my house let alone leave it. And without my child? Fuggetaboutit! Clearly I had chosen the wrong friends!

But as my daughter has grown (and so has her mother), quite a few clichés have started to ring more true. Things like never say never and everything in moderation.

For example, television has crept into our lives, I have hired people to watch my daughter, and yes, I have even enjoyed some me time, alone, as an adult, a woman, a writer, a friend, a wife, a lover.

There is one subject, however, that has remained unchanged: sugar.

Why is it that people who supposedly care about my daughter offer her the cheapest, most processed, ridiculously harmful junk? If you care about her, I snapped at one of my mother’s neighbours a couple of weeks ago, why are you trying to poison her?

It’s only the beginning, I know. The next few years will be rife with piñatas, playdates and birthday cakes. So I turn to you all, beautiful community, and request (ok, beg) of you, not to give up.

Let’s remember that we should live by example, not just for our children, but for the world around us.

Let’s swap recipes for great treats, healthy goodness, desserts (or pooding! as my almost two-year-old calls it), let’s support one another in bringing up our children with food that will sustain and nourish them. Let’s teach them to be “naughty” in ways that don’t poison them, and that food is the best way to create long, healthy lives.

In that spirit, I would like to share a recipe for a new favourite around here.

These cookies were inspired by a post I read at peasandthankyou.com (http://peasandthankyou.com/2012/03/08/caveman-cookies/) — I obsessed about it for days until I found the time to crank on the oven and make my own version (you know when you see a recipe by someone else and immediately have to make it, regardless of the fact that it’s close to midnight and you know you’ll be up in three hours?)

Seeing as we are forever running late, breakfast cookies work well in our family. I love the idea of having something so portable to take along as we sprint out the door. These guys are high in protein, satisfying and delicious at any age.

(note: the main ingredient is almonds, so these are not appropriate for anyone with a tree nut allergy. These cookies are vegan, gluten, refined sugar and soy-free)

Zesty Brekkie Cookies
(makes about two dozen)

  • 2 cups soaked almonds (soak overnight in water, drain and rinse before using)
  • 3 T ground flax soaked in 3T water for at least 15 minutes (in the fridge)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter 
  • 1/2 cup whole dates, pitted (medjool)
  • 1/2 cup date syrup
  • Zest of almost an entire Clementine*
  • Juice of 1 clementine*
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Combine the ground flax with the water, mix well and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes
Grind the almonds in the food processor until almost like flour.
Add the whole dates and pulse until the are in pieces and well blended
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the almond butter, date syrup,
clementine zest and juice, and the vanilla. Mix well.
Add the flax and mix well.

Scoop onto silpat sheet or parchment paper-lined tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Give leftover bowl to excited family members to “clean”

Allow to cool fully before tasting or transferring to an airtight container
Store in the refrigerator

* can be substituted with an orange

As a result of multiple health challenges, Gabriela left a lucrative career in television production to become a Holistic Health Consultant, writer and, most recently, a mother. These days, when she in not blogging about health, working on new and delicious recipes or spending time with her family, Gabriela is leading workshops and writing about nutrition both on and off the plate. She lives in New York City with her husband and baby girl as well as on the web at The Picky Foodie.

Guest Writers, Home Birth Advocacy

19 Ways a Dad Becomes Involved with Homebirth

3 Comments 03 January 2012

Birthing a child is an intimate and sacred experience that is a reflection of the love making that conceived the child. Doesn’t it make sense to have that experience in a familiar and safe environment?

For those of us that decide to bring birth home, we take responsibility for the grand entry of our children into this world by involving ourselves with every aspect of birth that might otherwise have been handled by someone else in a medical setting.

More and more homebirth dads are choosing to get involved with many aspects of birth because it makes sense to them and their definition of family. Furthermore, moms are asking for their support.

It made sense to me to get involved in the birth of my son. Also, my wife wanted me to be involved. Who else knew her better than me? Who was there more than anyone else throughout the whole pregnancy time? The benefit of my involvement was that I had increased bonding with my wife and my son, and I count his birth as the most transformative event of my life.

Here are 19 ways dads can positively get involved with the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

PREGNANCY

  • Say, “I am a dad.” Say it everyday
  • Attend a childbirth education course
  • Attend a breastfeeding class
  • Ask other dads about their personal experience with birth
  • Research birth options with partner
  • Watch natural birth videos
  • Be present for the sessions with midwife
  • Ask compelling questions about birth such as “How can I positively influence the birthing time?”
  • Participate in deciding who will be present at the birth

BIRTHING TIME

  • Prepare the birth pool if mama wants one
  • Organize the supplies requested by midwife
  • Believe the process works, a woman’s body knows, a midwife is competent, and the water is safe and effective
  • Watch, wait and let the process unfold

POSTPARTUM TIME

  • Say, “I am postpartum care-giver.” Say it everyday
  • Prepare healthy, hot meals [warm food helps new mama recover faster]
  • Provide hot water bottles for mama if the weather is cold
  • Be the organizer for houseguests and the duration and frequency of their stay
  • Provide assistance in baby’s breastfeeding latch
  • Help organize the assistance from family and friends to get all of the household chores done

Joe is an accidental birth junkie since supporting his wife, Andrea, in the homebirth of their son, Sacha. His work as a psychotherapist coincides with his new venture of Empowered Papa where he offers classes, coaching, and ongoing support through his blog. Joe is passionate about fixed gear bikes, running, yoga, and organic foods. He has devoted himself to a heart-centered practice.

Guest Writers

The Business of Being Born Inspires Physican to Birth at Home

2 Comments 08 November 2011

This post is part of a week long series leading up to the release of More Business of Being Born on November 8th. Come back to the Bring Birth Home blog daily to read the personal stories of seven women as they share “How The Business of Being Born Impacted My Life.”

by Jeremy Dyen

After I talked with Kaitlin about doing this guest post, Madhavi and I sat down and recalled our birth journey and how we transitioned from a hospital to home birth. We were a little foggy piecing together the chronology of how things unfolded, but one thing became quite clear: Although there were several things that influenced our decision to switch to a home birth, we both agree that watching The Business of Being Born was a real tipping point.

Before We Knew About Home Birth…

Early in her pregnancy Madhavi was pretty set on birthing in a hospital.

She welcomed the idea of getting an epidural. She was okay with doing whatever might be necessary to alleviate the inevitable labor pain and to ensure safety for both her and our baby. At that point in her life all of her close friends and family went through the routine of hospital birth: epidurals, pitocin and other seemingly avoidable interventions.

Her work as a physician also influenced Madhavi’s birth choices at the time. A hospital birth was simply the paradigm she was comfortable with. In fact, when she later found out about home birth she admitted that she had not realized it was even an option!

Aha! There Is Another Option…

After starting with Hypnobabies, a home study childbirth class that included hypnobirthing and was geared toward a natural birth, we started to think more about the kind of birth we could have. We started to understand the benefits of a natural birth for both Madhavi and our baby. Madhavi was feeling like natural birth was not only doable, but necessary, and she was feeling more and more confident about it.

As Madhavi shifted her thinking toward a natural birth, the challenges of birthing naturally in a hospital started to surface.

Madhavi was very familiar with protocols inherent in hospitals that pose challenges to having a gentle birth.

Doctors and nurses really have to stick to such protocols lest they face the pitfalls of the overly litigious culture we live in. And Pennsylvania, where we live, is one of the most litigiousd when it comes to medical malpractice. The bottom line is many obstetricians will push for what is right by the policy standards, even if it means overriding the expectant parents’ wishes.

Madhavi also knew first hand that hospital are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. A hospital, after all, is where sick people go. Why would we want to subject our newborn baby, with a yet-fully-developed immune system, to a higher risk of infectious disease?!

We also had close friends who were planning a homebirth.

This had a direct influence on choices we were making about our birth. Talking to our friends gave us a personal view of of homebirth, which was quite a new view for us. That opened up the possibility of homebirth for us.

Still, at that point we were only on a path to considering homebirth. We didn’t really know what was to come.

When Did We First Hear Of The Business Of Being Born?

Madhavi had been seeing a great chiropractor during her second trimester.

In the waiting room she read a magazine about home birth. She also read about The Business Of Being Born in another small health magazine there. That was the first she knew of the movie.

Shortly after that discovery we met with our doula, Amy. We met with her at Crozer-Chester Hosptial, where Madhavi was working at the time.

When I arrived Madhavi filled me in on the first few minutes I missed, and she told me they had been discussing the idea of home birth.

Amy spoke from experience when she told Madhavi that having a natural birth in the hospital was not without its challenges. Madhavi said that homebirth was something she had been thinking about, and that we should look into it. I always told Madhavi that I would support whatever decisions she made, but thought homebirth was a great idea and I was happy to here about her thoughts. Amy gave us the names of a few midwives in our area.

It was only a day or two later that we rented The Business Of Being Born from a local video rental place.

After seeing that movie, we were both so convinced home birth was the only way to go for us.

Madhavi called our midwife the next day.

Although it has been nearly two years since we saw the movie, we remember the points that swayed us to homebirthing:

  • Intervention breads intervention. There is most often a cascade of events that happens once that initial intervention is accepted. Induction via pitocin often necessitates an epidural. An epidural opens up a range of potential issues including forced pushing, tears, episiotomy, the use of forceps or vacuum and avoidable Cesarean Section.
  • Hospital births are powered very much by money. The movie is called The Business of Being Born for a reason. Having worked for years in hospitals Madhavi was very aware of money as a driving force behind the business.
  • Mortality rate. The movie pointed out very clearly that the U.S. infant mortality rates were much higher than a number of countries in which homebirth is practiced more.
  • The C-Section rate in the U.S. is way too high. While the World Health Organization (WHO) urges a 15%-or-below C-section rate, the U.S. rate is above 30%! The movie drove this point home.

Madhavi recently told me the thing that sticks in her mind the most is when Marsden Wagner, M.D., of the WHO talks in the movie about staying out of the hospital if you really want to have a natural birth. I remembered that guy from the movie very well, and I went back to the clip Madhavi was talking about to find the exact quote. He says,

“…If you really want to humanize birth, the best thing to do is get the hell out of the hospital.”

All Expectant Parents Should Watch This Movie

I feel like The Business Of Being Born should be required viewing for all expectant parents.

From there they can make whatever decision they wish.

I imagine that some people will still cling to the mainstream belief that hospital births are safer. Some will still believe that modern medicine and technology is the solution to modern childbirth. Some will simply just cling to fears and shirk their own rights and responsibilities as parents to make a healthy decision for mother and baby. But at least, having watched this movie, their decisions will be informed to a greater degree.

We know from direct experience that
homebirth was the best option for us. Madhavi had a wonderful birth at home, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way. We cherish that experience.

We do realize that home birth is not in everyone’s comfort zone, but I try to tell as many expectant parents as I can to watch this movie. I think it is a tremendous resource because it is very accessible and digest-able. It is a great primer from which you can start making informed decisions about a hospital vs. homebirth. It was for us.

I think The Business Of Being Born is especially helpful for birth partners who act as roadblocks when their partner actually wants a homebirth.

This movie might be the very thing to dispel the myth that birthing in the hospital is safer for mother and baby. I can see how the movie might sway a birth partner who is an adamant advocate for a hospital birth to swiftly rally for a homebirth. Men like to work with proof, facts and numbers. The Business Of Being Born supplies those very things.

Post Script

So many people have since told Madhavi how brave she is for birthing at home.

Her usual response is, “No, I’m not that brave.” Quiety, she thinks to herself that they must be brave for dealing with the roller coaster ride of birthing in a hospital.

Madhavi had to be especially insistent with a close friend who is also a Physician and had two hospital births.

Her friend kept telling Madhavi how brave she was. When Madhavi finally told her friend that she was that brave one for having weathered two hospital births with epidurals, pitocin, etc., her friend was taken aback. Madhavi had to explain some of the facts regarding high C-section and infant mortality rates in the U.S. as a result of over-medicalized births in order to convince her friend of the perils of hospital births.

This scenario just highlights how hidden the facts are in our culture. So many are blind to the statistics and are all too willing to accept the mainstream perception of how birth should be. 

The Business Of Being Born is a great way to start lifting the blinders to see how mainstream birthing could be.

Jeremy Dyen is a musician, father and husband who blogs at Stay at Home Papa. He and his wife Madhavi are advocates of hypnosis and affirmations for mindset shifts about birth. They recently launched the Birth Relaxation Kit, (Click here to visit Birth Relaxation Kit.) and also offer a free hypnobirthing mp3.

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