Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Childbirth Class: Week Two

Williamsburg, 2012

Last Thursday, we went to our second childbirth class at Caribou. Our instructor, Meghan, had given us some readings, like this one, to do over the week about hormones and perceptions of pain. Homework!

In class we practiced different positions that can help manage pain, since lying prone is rarely a position a woman would choose for herself and can really slow the progress of labor. Gravity is generally a good thing for a laboring woman, as are postions that help to open the pelvis (like squatting, sitting on a birth ball, or getting on all fours.) We talked about things like intermittent fetal monitoring versus continuous fetal monitoring, which makes it harder to move around the room (and thus slow labor.)

Was it a little awkward getting on all fours in a group of relative strangers? Yes. Will I care when I am actually in labor? Unlikely.

I think the takeaway is that the more you know about how labor works, the more you are able to advocate for yourself during the process, rather than blindly saying yes to every medical intervention.

We also did a few exercises where we held onto an ice cube for a minute (harder than it sounds) and tried to determine which technique was most helpful for getting through the discomfort.

For me, breathing was less effective than visualization and using my other senses, like imagining a moment where I felt completely serene or listening to the birds chirping outside of the classroom. So it was reassuring to learn that blindly following Lamaze-style breathing is not the magic salve that works for everyone. Your mind might process pain a little bit differently.

All in all, going to the classes has made me have a lot more confidence in my body and assuaged many of my fears about the hospital. Much of what scares me is the unknown, and learning all this information helps to demystify much of the process. It won't guarantee me an uncomplicated, natural labor, but it does make me feel like I know what might be happening to me and when.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...