I’ve been reading some of the posts on the blog: Navelgazing Midwife. Here she talks about the importance of the placenta. She insists that the placenta tells tales on you, you cannot lie to the placenta. The placenta can tell you about the baby’s situation in utero. Was mom’s nutrition good? Did mom smoke or take unnecessary drugs? Was the baby’s growth restricted? After your baby is born, look at your placenta and take pictures of it. Please give it the respect it deserves. It was your baby’s first residence, after all.
If your midwife or doctor are contemplating inducing your labor, they will use the Bishop’s Score to see how ready you are. The Wikipedia article goes into detail about scoring. Keep in mind that your cervical readiness will be looked at: how ripe, how thin, how dilated, how anterior. As well as how engaged your baby’s head is in your pelvis (station). The modified Bishop’s Score takes into account previous vaginal births, if your bag of waters is intact, if you are diagnosed with pre-eclamsia and other things. The higher the score, the easier and more likely an induction of labor will work.
Keep in mind that your labor should be induced only if there are medical indications for doing it. If you can avoid having your labor induced, do so! It is easier to avoid an epidural when you go into labor on your own.
When you and your doctor first come up with your baby’s due date, it seems a long way off. Then you learn that you are expecting your baby at full term to be born between gestation week 38 through week 42. Four weeks! That seems like a very large target, easy to hit! It is when you get closer, like week 37 or overdue, like week 41 that going into labor at the right time seems more difficult.
Once of the most common complications to a vaginal birth is labor induction. Avoid it if you can! Here is a fact sheet you can download and share with your caregiver on the dangers of induction. It can also be found on motherfriendly.org.
Some of the hazards are:
- First time mothers have twice the likelihood of cesarean birth with induction instead of starting labor naturally. (Study done of women induced at 41 weeks.)
- Women who have had prior vaginal births increase their likelihood of cesarean birth five times if their cervix is not ready for labor prior to inducing labor.
- All labor induction agents can cause uterine hyperstimulation which can lead to fetal distress.
- inducted labors are usually more painful and increase the likelihood of a mother requesting an epidural.
The fact sheet has other details including a comparison of cervical ripening agents. Why should you care about this? Many women go into labor naturally after 41 weeks. They are considered “overdue” and the topic of labor induction will come up. It is nice to have facts and studies behind your decision making process.
Nursing In Public (N.I.P.) is a helpful way to change our culture from a bottle/formula feeding culture into a breastfeeding culture. New moms often feel shy about nursing in public, but keep in mind that:
- You don’t know who you will be inspiring. The waitress who serves you today may be a mother tomorrow.
- Children who see nursing as a normal activity will remember that when they are having children.
- There are people who get worried or offended, but they need to learn to get over it. Victorian Americans used to be afraid to show an ankle. Who cares about showing an ankle now?
- Babies are born to breastfeed and moms need to be able to be in public. Q.E.D.
All births are special but twin births are more so. In our area, the largest percentage of twins births are cesarean births. A twin pregnancy is always classified as a “high risk” pregnancy. There are two outcomes more likely with twin births in our area, first — prematurity and second a cesarean birth.
If you are pregnant with twins a doula can help you before, during and after your births. If you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy you greatly increase your likelihood of staying pregnant to 37 weeks or longer. Your doula can also help you prepare your best possible choice for birthing. If you are hoping for a vaginal twin birth, the alignment of the twins is the most important thing. Also, choose your caregiver with care. Some OB’s have experience with twin vaginal births and some do not. Find one who does and who will help you with yours.
After your babies are born, a doula can help you with breastfeeding, both in the hospital and at home. Breastfeeding twins might seem daunting at first, but once you have mastered your technique it will save you loads of time and money! It will also help you with bonding and nurturing your twins. So get support early and then enjoy!