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home birth: questions answered #1

November 9, 2010

someone asked a very smart question, and i thought i would answer it here too.

why on earth do i have a gigantic bottle of apple juice sitting on my dresser?

it’s a good question, because it seems silly and unnecessary.  i also have a large bottle of olive oil and half a dozen packets of Emergen-C sitting there too.  So, it begs the question: Why?

easy!  labor is work.  and it is important during labor to keep up your energy and your fluid levels.  if you feel like eating, eat!  and certainly, you should be encouraged to consume liquids throughout the event.  there is even a straw handy to provide quick, hands-free drinking while in the midst of labor.  it’s easier to encourage if all you have to do is hold up a cup for someone to sip from a straw, and then, Back at it Jack!

you might wonder… what if i feel sick, and throw up?  i say this cautiously, but getting nauseated can often be a sign that labor is transitioning and can help make a productive transition.  you might throw up, but that’s okay.  it can, cautiously, be helpful in natural labor.

why is it then that none of this takes place in a hospital?  hospitals typically deny you food and beverage, save for a few ice chips.  well, there are two reasons.  1) you have an IV in your arm.  that should be intravenously keeping you hydrated.  2) you need to have an empty stomach. they’ll tell you it’s so that you don’t throw up… but buyer beware…

And with an IV in your arm and an empty stomach, guess what?  you’re already prepped for surgery, and you didn’t even know it!  surprise surprise, right?  not so much… the C-section rate in the US is currently 1 in 3 women! 1 in 3.  That’s astonishing! and sad.  some of it is elective, no doubt. women actually wanting to say, ‘my baby is ready today, and i’m done being pregnant. take it out.’ – even if their baby really isn’t ready…  and then there is that strange and direct correlation to the number of C-sections performed and the hours of Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm… sounds like if you’re not progressing fast enough on someone else’s time scale, you just might be in store for a C-section… never mind that every labor and every woman is different. we’re talking about major, elective surgery here!  a cut through  your abdominal wall.  it’s no small thing. not to mention that immediate bonding is out of the picture, making breastfeeding harder down the road…

and what about that bottle of olive oil?  if you have to know (and i know you do), it’s to help soften and support the perineum as the baby’s head crowns.  this stretching, relaxing, and supportive pressure helps to make sure that no tearing takes place, and that the baby’s head crowns slowly.  of course, if you’re planning on birthing under water, this isn’t necessary.  but, in case the water doesn’t strike my fancy at the actual moment of delivery, it’s good to have these supportive things available.

… that’s all for now, I suppose.

if you have any other questions, ask ask ask!  i’ll do my best to give you a well thought out answer.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Karen permalink
    November 9, 2010 9:45 pm

    I didn’t even have those questions but am glad someone asked! And you answered! :)

  2. lolocreatives permalink*
    November 9, 2010 9:58 pm

    thank you! i’m always here to answer any and all questions about the things i post. it’s important to me to have an open dialog about the things i write. btw, i’m so glad you read this! :) it means so much.

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