Knowledge is POWER!
Here is an example of why having some knowledge is so important -
One of the most common reasons for a caesarean section is ‘failure to progress’. A lot of caregivers will place strong emphasis on how long a labour should take. But they possibly forget what factors might be involved to make a labour ‘efficient’ or not. Remember the hormones of labour? (Click here if you want a reminder.) What do think would happen if oxytocin is not being allowed to flow as it is needed? Maybe the uterus will not contract as it should? Is there adrenaline being released? (Click here if you have not read the article on Oxytocin vs Adrenaline).
What other decisions might you need to make –
When, or for what reason/s, would you accept an induction?
Will accept all the tests that are offered to you, or will you decline some?
What positions can you can labour in?
Can you eat and drink during labour?
What pain relief options are available?
What is transition and what may happen during this time?
What are your options for giving birth to the placenta?
Do you want optimal cord clamping after the baby is born?
What circumstances are optimal for breastfeeding and bonding after the baby is born?
And there are many more. I can’t write about all the options, or information. So I will say it again – arm yourself with information.
While you are doing your research, you may ask yourself ‘but doctors and midwives should be doing the right thing for us, they should have the knowledge, so why do I need to have it?’
At a conference I recently attended we were told that it can take up to 18 years for practices to change. I’ll give you an example -
In the 1950’s a doctor by the name Friedman studied the length of labour in 500 first time women giving birth. The conclusion of his study was that first time mothers should dilate by at least 1cm/hr (from his information the average is 3cm/hr +/- 2cm) from 4cm. From then on this information was used to determine how long labour should take, and if you went slower your labour should be sped up, and if you didn’t reach fully dilated within the timeframe given then you are deemed ‘failure to progress’.
In 2010 the records of more than 62000 women were examined to see if this rate of dilation was still true. What they found was that the rate of dilation is not uniform, and that ‘active’ labour usually only starts at 6cm. And it might be a lot slower than 1cm/hr (they found that the average was 1.2cm/hr – less than half of what Friedman said).
Yet, 9 years later, women are still being labelled as ‘failure to progress’ at 4-6cm (when they might not even be in active labour), or for not progressing fast enough.
Also, doctors and midwives are only human – they each come with their own experience. If someone has only ever worked in a high risk area, they are going think that the majority of pregnancies are high risk (like me working in neonatal ICU – I thought that the majority of babies are born unwell!), and may look at things from the point of view of ‘what is wrong here’ or ‘xyz always happens so we’ll pre-empt it by doing abc’. Whereas someone who has only ever worked in a birth centre or doing home births will look at birth as ‘normal’, and if something starts to go wrong they will say ‘this doesn’t seem right, maybe we need to do something about it’.
And we can't know everything - I have been a nurse for almost 14 years and a midwife for 7....I am still learning!
You can learn more information about pregnancy, labour, birth, and beyond by attending a 5 week HypnoBirthing course. I start new sessions every second month from January (private sessions are also available, and extra sessions may be put on if there is high demand). They are best started between 20 and 30 weeks, but if you’re a bit further along, do not despair – we may be able to work something out. Click the picture below for more information
Information provided within this website is provided in good faith. However, while every effort is made, the accuracy of any statements is not guaranteed and it is the responsibility of the reader to make their own enquiries as to the accuracy, currency, and appropriateness of any information or advice provided. Liability for any act or omission occuring in reliance on presentation or for any loss, damage, or injury occurring as a consequence of such act or omission is expressly discalimed