"Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life" - Ina May Gaskin
If Ina May is right why aren't we more mindful of our words?
Countless times I have heard birth workers, healthcare professionals, friends and family refer to operative birth as a "section" or "c-section". What people don't often recognize is words hold power. This isn't just semantics!
There are no do-overs regarding the birth of a baby and we need to be considerate.
Words have the ability to encourage attachment or make people detach from their own story.
When referring to any birth, vaginal or cesarean, please be mindful. Operative birth is still birth and deserves the same respect!
Going forward please consider referring to a c-section as a cesarean birth.
With time information evolves. This happens with everything. It happens in all professions.
Working in maternal-infant health we are mandated to remain current and accept changes.
This is one of the only ways to care for clients/patients appropriately.
However this is not always the case. Archaic protocols often take precedence. In my experience the most inconsistent information and support protocols belong to:
Attending a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) is one of life's great privileges!
VBAC mothers are composed but fierce, courageous yet nervous, empowered though cautious and understand the following 3 things:
Our society has robbed us all! The saddest part, it's been replaced with fear.
Fear of pain in childbirth.
So how do we get our power, peace and confidence back?
Honestly, it's simple. Get educated!
The best place to begin is reading Healthy Birth Practice #2, walk, move around and change positions, from Lamaze.
An alternative is to watch this short video.
Here is an acronym to help put things into perspective.
P - purposeful (helps move baby down and out)
A - anticipated (contractions get longer, stronger and closer together as labour progresses)
I - intermittent (our body gives us a break, in healthy birth contractions are not continuous)
N - normal (nothing is wrong, discomfort can be a healthy response to labour and birth)
Healthy mothers-to-be need reassurance that their body is designed to give birth.
It's imperative to understand pain does not always mean suffering.
If you require additional information please do not hesitate to connect.
Are we really a generation full of broken women? With a cesarean birth rate of 1 in 3 (Alberta) one might think so!
As an educator and advocate of safe, natural, and healthy birth my simple answer is "NO".
The true challenge exists because birthing women, and their families, are often uneducated.
I've been in private practice supporting pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenthood since 2006. Although technology abounds women still rely heavily on the opinions and personal experience of others rather than evidence.
In the birth world deciphering between opinions, myths and facts is always easier said than done. I encourage you to do your own research and choose what YOUR best birth looks like.
To simplify things I have listed a few reputable sites for you to explore:
6 Healthy Birth Practices - Lamaze
Evidence Based Birth
Now that you've clicked on the links (or even if you haven't) you likely have new questions. My best advice to you - invest your time and money into independent childbirth education. Doing so will guarantee your questions are answered with evidence and all of your birth options presented in an unbiased manner,
Learn more about our classes here.
You and your baby are worth it!
In addition to CCS and supporting families during their childbearing year Erin is a wife, and mother of three busy children. In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, cooking, and globetrotting.