Here is a short video clip showing two mothers giving birth at home. Both mothers, during the pushing stage of labor, are pushing the way their own bodies are guiding them. No one is telling them to hold their breath for a count of ten or telling them that they are pushing wrong. They are following their own instincts. This is the way we encourage mothers to push in our book: Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way. When a mother follows her own urge to push, she often enjoys pushing and birthing her baby, rather than feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.
- Choose your caregiver by their VBAC success record. It isn’t enough for them to say that they will support your VBAC. Find out how much success they have had and what aspects of your pregnancy and previous birth make that make a VBAC favorable for you.
- Find a doula to support your labor. Sometimes a doula will come to your house in earlier labor to support you so that you won’t get to the hospital too early. Getting there in a well-established labor greatly increases your chances. That is just one way a doula can help. Support is beautiful!
- Invest in your VBAC. Write a birth vision, we show you how to do it in my book: Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way. Go see a chiropractor who works on pregnant women. See a nutritionist. Do pregnancy yoga. Choose whichever of these works for you.
- Find out your birth options and do everything you can to support your VBAC. Then, if you have a cesarean birth again, you’ll know you tried everything. Knowing that you needed to have a cesarean birth is one of the keys to recovering from it.
- Visualize your gentle vaginal birth. Seeing is believing. Visualization is practice for your actual birth.
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” Dr. John Kennell, 1998. Dr. Kennell is one of the co-founders of DONA International, the doula organization that I have been certified under for ten years. He also wrote the introduction to our book, “Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way”.
Many doctors in Pittsburgh have seen the benefit of having a doula present. Here is a film clip from DONA International about doulas and why we are helpful during birth. It describes how Doctors Klaus and Kennell came to start the doula movement. It also describes why doulas are so important and how a doula can help, you as a laboring mother.
I always tell my mom clients that if they hire me as their doula, their baby will be beautiful. Not that all babies are beautiful, some are not. But all the babies I have helped into this world, just happen to be beautiful! In fact, research shows this to be true. Mothers who have had doula support for their labors find that their babies are more beautiful, intelligent and wonderful than mothers who aren’t supported. I have just seen this happen in my life as well!
I am thankful and appreciative of Hale Press for publishing Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way, and I am also thankful to hear from mothers who have read it and said it helped them prepare for their births. I am so glad to hear that it is helping them to have positive birth stories. I am also thankful to the IBCLE for welcoming me into the ranks of international lactation consultants. This has been a year with lots for me to be thankful for!