Excerpt from Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
When autumn comes to New Mexico the aroma of green chile being roasted fills the air. Locals buy big burlap sacks of chile which are poured into a big drum that turns over a fire until the chile is charred (which then allows the skin to be peeled off).
Chile is mild, medium, hot and very hot!! Locals know enough to ask, “How hot is your chile?”
One day a newcomer to New Mexico stopped at the Grocery Emporium on Girard Boulevard and bought a bag of roasted chile. The aroma made her mouth water all the way home. Using her chile, she prepared a traditional New Mexican dinner. A few bites into the meal, her eyes began to water and her tongue burned painfully.
The following day she marched up to the chile roaster and began complaining that the chile he sold her was too hot. “Look lady,” he replied, “I just roast and sell chile. If you don’t like your chile hot, you should’ve asked me about it.”
Like the chile customer, you need to ask your birth attendant exactly what he/she is selling. Birth attendants and hospitals sell a “product” day in and day out. It’s your responsibility to learn more about their product (philosophy and services), and decide whether or not you want to wind up with a bag of it.
For whatever reason, you’ve had to schedule a c-section delivery date. It is not what you planned, but birth often doesn’t play by the “birth plan rules” we set. So here are a few things you can do to ensure that your cesarean birth is as peaceful and wonderful as a vaginal birth.
1. Get a doula! If you don’t already have a doula, it is time to hire one! I know, we all think that doula’s are only helpful for natural vaginal labors, but it turns out that doula’s play a very big role in assisting cesarean births as well! Your doula will walk you and your partner through a dry run of the surgery. She will discuss the details of the procedure, give your partner tips on how to support you during your cesarean birth and give you methods for creating a calm, beautiful birth space in the surgery room! A cesarean birth can be peaceful and beautiful!
2. Don’t ditch your birth plan! Don’t throw your birth plan out the window just yet, there are still so many choices and options available as part of a cesarean birth. It is time to get with your doula and create your cesarean birth plan. She can help you to create a reasonable plan that expresses those things that are important to your family while being practical in a cesarean birth space.
3. It’s not all about the birth! This may seem like an odd statement, but it’s true. We often spend so much time in childbirth education classes, learning about our labor options, and reading birth books, that we forget to prepare for our postpartum period. As it turns out, postpartum is often more challenging then labor! After all, that precious buddle doesn’t arrive with its unique “How To” guide! So begin to work with your doula to put together a strong postpartum care plan. It is important to ensure that you and your baby are properly supported and cared for both physically and emotionally during the entire the duration of your recovery. This is not the time to be Superwoman or to “Tough it out” ladies.
You hear it often, what more can you ask for if mama and baby are healthy. I say TONS! With our level of medical technology today, I call “Healthy Mama/Healthy Baby” the basic level of physical care. Of course there is always the possibility of the emergent situation, but IF that situation doesn’t manifest, why not shoot for the moon?
It is sensible to ask for appropriate family bonding considerations to be honored. It is reasonable to expect the proper emotional care from your provider during a cesarean birth. It is acceptable to request respect of your families overall birth experience. After all, it is the one day of your life that you will never forget!
By Bea Wilds, RYT, CLD. Bea is the Co-Owner of Enso. She is a labor doula, teaches prenatal yoga, plans blessingways, creates belly cast art and mama & me yoga.
Bea Wilds, RYT, CLD is a doula and Enso co-owner. Learn more about her or look into hiring her practice as your birth support team.
Most doulas travel to each birth with a bag that is similar to the one that was carried by Mary Poppins. Of course it doesn’t look like the Mary Poppins bag, but the items that your doula might pull from it will begin to remind you of the scene from the Mary Poppins movie, where the kids watch with their jaws dropped as Mary Poppins pulls out a lamp, a mirror, a coat rack, and a tape measure!
The items in my doula bag get pulled out as they become necessary to support the birthing woman. A mini crock pot, a wooden rolling pin, a wooden lady bug and some essential oils are a good start. One item in my bag that I never touched was the rebozo. This was something that gnawed at me. Is it possible that I have this amazing tool at my disposal but it sits because of my ignorance? So when I heard of Gena Kirby I was so excited!
Gena went on about how this simple piece of fabric could change relationships and could help shape the parents a couple will become. It all sounded great in theory, but the engineer in me needed to see it with her own eyes. So I began to use it right away. I found that each rebozo holds within it a little piece of magic that has the power to change situations.
They existed in the world of labor together: husband, wife and the bridge that kept them bound together, the rebozo, until their baby was born.
“It is not just a piece of fabric!” Each time her eyes filling with tears.
It is so much more. It has so much more power!
Every one of my clients, since my experience with Gena, has received as a gift of a rebozo and the magic it holds for their journey. I will never attend a birth without one again. Her class and her magic piece of fabric has forever changed who I am as a doula and I am thankful!
Bea Wilds is a registered yoga teacher, a trained prenatal yoga teacher, a certified labor doula, and Enso co-owner. She teaches prenatal yoga, Mom & Me yoga, and Superhero Birth Partner, where she teaches partners how to use tools to support labor, including the rebozo.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.