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Chapter 1 Choose your birth location and birth team wisely
Chapter 2 Childbirth education
Birth Methods

Recommended Authors

  • Penny Simpkin
  • Sheila Kitzenger
  • Ina May Gaskin
  • ICEA
  • Elizabeth Davis
  • Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Chapter 4 Yoga
Yoga during pregnancy: effects on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes.Summary:

  • This study examined the effects of a yoga program during pregnancy on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes. A randomized trial was conducted using 74 primigravida (first time pregnant) Thai women who were equally divided into two groups (experimental and control).
  • The yoga program involved six, 1-hour sessions at prescribed weeks of gestation. A variety of instruments were used to assess maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes. The experimental group was found to have higher levels of maternal comfort during labor and 2 hours post-labor and experienced less subject evaluated labor pain than the control group.
  • In each group, pain increased and maternal comfort decreased as labor progressed. No differences were found between the groups regarding Pethidine usage, labor augmentation or newborn Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min.
  • The experimental group was found to have a shorter duration of the first stage of labor, as well as the total time of labor.

Gentle Prenatal Yoga – 60 Minute Class

Chapter 5 Avoid induction
Chapter 6 Create your environment
Chapter 7 Labor at home longer
Chapter 9 Pelvic Opening: Movements Specific to Labor
Chapter 10 Sensation Control: Believe in your body
  • A Complaint Free World
  • Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale
  • Orgasmic Birth
  • Heart Math Institute
  • Ocean Relaxation
    This relaxation brings the listener to a beautiful beach and allows her to float in a pool of water. This relaxation is a perfect accompaniment to a midday nap as it takes the place of a couple of hours of sleep. It is best not to do this or other relaxations first thing in the morning or right before bed, instead use it to recharge after a long day at work or home, or a midday nap.



    Sensation Control
    Most women believe that childbirth will be the most excruciating experience of their lives. This belief comes from a lifetime of conditioning through media and stories passed down from generations of women. This belief creates an assumption that childbirth is something to be feared and treated as a negative necessity to producing a beautiful new life. This recording was developed to assist in creating positive birth experiences by redefining the sensations felt during labor. It is best used in the months prior to delivering your baby.

    These recordings SHOULD NOT be listened to while driving or participating in any activity that requires your full attention.

Glossary of Terms

Cesarean This describes the use of surgery to deliver a baby. Also referred to as a C-section or cesarean delivery. A cesarean is performed by the surgeon making an approximately 15cm incision (either horizontal, vertical, or both) through the mother’s lower abdomen. The uterus is opened through a second incision, and the baby delivered. Incisions are then stitched closed. The surgery typically lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.

Bikini-cut Cesarean A method of cesarean surgery using a horizontal incision just above the pubic area.

Gut Microbiota The complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract of humans.

Maternal Transfusion This is the process of giving blood to the mother during childbirth.

Hysterectomy  The surgical removal of the uterus. Depending on circumstances, the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes or other surrounding structures may also be removed.

Placenta Praevia A condition in which the placenta is covering or partially covering the cervix. This is often diagnosed early in pregnancy but as the uterus grows the placenta moves with it upwards and away from the cervix. If the placenta is still partially covering the cervix in the third trimester the woman will not be able to deliver her baby vaginally and must have a cesarean.

Placental Abruption A dangerous condition where the placenta detaches, either partially or completely, from the uterus, depriving the baby of oxygen, which can lead to the need for immediate delivery or bed rest.

VBAC Vaginal birth after Caesarean section (VBAC)

TOLAC Trial of labor after caesarian (TOLAC). An attempted vaginal birth in a patient who has previously had a cesarean.  It may result in a vaginal birth or another cesarean.

Midwife A birth professional, specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, women’s sexual and reproductive health, and newborn care. Midwives can either be Certified Nurse Midwives and work in hospitals or birth centers or Homebirth Midwives.

Doula A non-medical birth companion, coach, and general support for a woman before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas can provide physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers as well as their families if needed.

Episiotomy A surgical incision of the perineum, usually performed during the second stage of labor to enlarge the opening for the baby to pass through.

Moxibustion Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy consisting of burning dried mugwort (herb) near a particular point on the body.

Thromboembolic Disease When a blood clot forms in a vein and then dislodges to travel in the blood. Most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. Blood flow can be limited by the clot, causing pain and swelling in the leg.

Ultrasound The medical use of sound waves to create real-time visual images of the developing embryo or fetus in the mother’s uterus.

Water Breaks When the amniotic sac ruptures and releases amniotic fluid. Normally occurring at full term, either at the beginning or during labor. Also referred to as the rupture of membranes (ROM). When done by a medical professional it is referred to as Artificial Rupture of Membranes (AROM).

Gestational Diabetes A condition in which a pregnant woman, without diabetes, develops high blood sugar levels.

Shoulder Dystocia When labor is obstructed after the delivery of the head, and the shoulders of the infant cannot pass below the pubic bone.

Preeclampsia A condition that is diagnosed when a woman has elevated blood pressure and protein in her urine.  Symptoms can include, headaches, blurred vision, swelling of hands and feet, high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

Prostaglandin A group of compounds with hormone-like effects, pivotal in cervical ripening.

Oxytocin A hormone produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary. Important in bonding, sexual reproduction, and during and after childbirth. Oxytocin is released during labor as well as with nipple stimulation during breastfeeding, contributing to mother-child bonding and continued milk production.

Pitocin Synthesized oxytocin used to cause contraction of the uterus in order to start labor, speed up labor, or to stop bleeding after delivery.

Kick Test A method to record fetal activity in the later stages of pregnancy.

Prodromal Labor In a prodromal labor, the early phase of labor is prolonged with contractions that do not increase in intensity. Prodromal labor can tire a woman out and use up the energy she will need for active labor and delivery.

Zero Station When the baby’s head is level with the ischial spines of the pelvis, also known to be “engaged”. Fetal decent is measured from -5 to +5. Each number is about 1 cm of distance.

    12. Depending on the country, situation and specific doctor protocols, the timing of induction can vary. In the US, it is recommended to allow women to wait until 42 weeks to deliver if there are no other complications; in some countries it is common to induce much earlier.
    13. Possible negative side effects of ingesting castor oil include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting. Some medical professionals are also concerned that ingesting castor oil might increase the risk of the baby having its first bowel movement in utero.
    15. Morphine will likely only be given to women when they are experiencing prolonged periods of contractions that are not resulting in dilation or labor progression (prodromal labor) because the effects last much longer than other narcotics (five hours in mom, eight hours in baby).
    16. Epidurals have been known to slow down labor as well as speed it up, depending on the circumstances.

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