** Please note: Some Pictures are graphic, please DO NOT ENTER if you are not comfortable with images depicting blood
Childbirth: getting ready for the hospital
Birth is a major part of most couple's lives. Getting ready for the big day and preparing for the happy event is part of the fun of waiting for the coming baby. Any pregnant woman may feel mixed emotions as her due date approaches. On the one hand, she can get excited that soon she will have her precious baby in her arms. On the other hand, she might experience anxiety as the big day gets closer.
A pregnant woman might choose to be well prepared by attending childbirth preparation classes. She can also choose to read positive books about childbirth and maybe even choose to prepare herself by studying and mastering self-hypnosis preparation classes. All of these steps will have the power to make this special day a success.
As the delivery day gets closer, getting ready is a daily preoccupation for the future parents. One of the most important things to prepare is a safe and comfortable room for the baby. Another very important element that will make the mother more comfortable during her labor and delivery is what she packs in her suitcase that she will take to the hospital.
A future mother should pack in her suitcase some items that will help her have a comfortable and pleasant experience. Such items are designed to make her experience a lasting and positive memory. First and foremost, expectant couples should check with the hospital or center where the birth of their baby will occur if they have any restrictive policies about any of the following suggestions. It is best to always find a hospital or birthing center that shares the same birthing philosophies as the expectant couple.
When preparing her suitcase for her birthing experience, a future mother can benefit from packing such things as: extra pillows for her comfort, nice relaxing music and a reliable MP3 or CD player if she wants to move around during her labor. A good video and photo camera will enable future parents to take lasting memories of this special day. Making sure that you have sufficient film provision and battery power to avoid bad surprises at the last moment.
A detailed list of people to contact and their phone numbers will also be useful. Upon writing that list, one important factor is to write it in the order future parents really want people to be notified of the baby's birth. As trivial as it may seam, some people will pay great attention and might even be offended if they are the last ones to hear about the happy event. In order to avoid such a diplomatic incident, composing the list in the order expectant parents feel is most important can become of real importance.
Future parents should be well prepared and have a reliable way to make long-distance calls (using reverse charges or a calling card) and know that they are not allowed to use their cell phones in a hospital as their usage can interfere with the functioning of life-support apparatus.
When preparing for giving birth, the future parents should also consider writing a birthing plan and discuss it with their health care providers (doctors or midwife). Most hospitals will welcome birthing plans and respect most wishes as long as the mother and the baby's health is are not compromised. A birthing plan should always be considered like a travel plan: For example, the text can be written is a similar manner as: "In the best circumstances, this is how we would like our trip to happen. We understand that most trips can be filled with unplanned surprises and we are willing to change our plans. The main purpose of our trip is to enjoy this journey and have a healthy mother and baby at the end."
"My labor lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. This was my first baby. What can I say about this amazing event? It happened in such calm and perfect harmony that I was amazed. The birth was like the one I had always dreamed of: natural, calm and fast. I never stopped focusing on my baby during every contraction. I was very relaxed which allowed my body to accomplish its job quickly. I was living in the moment.
Thank you Dr. Fiset for this marvelous approach that enabled me to live an extraordinary birth. Mental power is the most powerful machine we possess. I now have the proof and I will apply these techniques for the rest of my life.
HERE COMES THE BABY !
We have not mentioned about a twin pregnancy because it is implied that this program works as good if you are expecting twins. Actually, it works twice as good! We are just using the singular to reach the majority of births. In this section, you will be able to understand, see, feel and hear what the birthing process is. You always have to keep in mind that no birth is the same. This section is intended as a guide to help you have an idea of the process of birth.
False Labor :
This phenomenon is too common to go unmentioned. In my 15 years of attending births, I have NEVER got a call from one of my patients telling me the baby was next to her and she felt nothing. The birthing process is one that is clear even if you are very calm. The false contractions, also called the Braxton-Hicks, can be experienced as a comfortable tightening of the uterus lasting from 30 to 60 seconds and usually the woman has a feeling of comfortable tightening. If you want an idea of what the palpation of a uterus during a contraction is, touch the top of your head. If you want an idea of want the uterus feels like when not having a contraction, touch your cheeks (unless you are very skinny, then touch a well-shaped person's cheeks).
It happens very often at the office when I examine a patient in her last trimester that she is experiencing a contraction and is very surprised when I tell her so. Many times, she reports having interpreted those false contractions as the baby "doing the ball" or "popping" for example. Often, they will say: If this is a contraction, then I am having a lot every day, which is often the case. It is not very important if you do not notice theses false contractions because like their name says, they are false and not significant.
"Hypnosis for childbirth helped me realize one of my deepest wishes: a 100% natural and comfortable birth. This technique helped me relax and allow my body to accomplish its work. I was so calm and relaxed that people had to look at the monitor to know if I was having a contraction, I looked like I was sleeping!
After the birth, all I could say was: "I can't believe it, it's already finished, it went so fast!" My little baby was in my arms, resting peacefully and calmly. Thank you Nathalie for this ideal birth!"
Jacinthe, mother of Julien
Often, we see women rushing to the hospital the second they get these small contractions . A good hospital policy is to send you back home if the baby's heart is good and if your cervix doesn't change. The last thing we want to do, even if you are full term is to start doing interventions, especially since it might be just your uterus practicing for the big race. So, go home, relax and respect mother nature.
These false contractions , and the lower ligament pains one experiences when pregnant can be viewed as many opportunities to practice the anesthesia control you have mastered in this program.
The best advice of this program is coming so take notes: what we call a due date should be considered merely a suggestion. Statistically only 4% of women deliver on their due date, 90% within one week before or after and 95% within two weeks. The crucial message here is to BE PATIENT! I always tell expectant couples on their very first visit to add-up three to four days more to the calculated due date when they announce the big news to their friends and family.
You would be amazed to see how many times this advice has been timely. To be able to respect the fact that a baby can be born later than the predicted date gives room for mother nature to achieve her miracles. I often give the example to the mothers-to-be and their spouse of an apple tree. The apples all mature at different rates, when they are ripe, they fall off the tree very easily.
One has to respect that not every baby will be ready to be born at the same rate. If you give in to the temptation to chose to induce labor and to all kinds of interventions, you are not respecting the rate in which your baby is maturing. Coming back to my apple tree, if a person decides she wants an apple before it is ripe, she will have to pull very hard and maybe break a little the stem in the process.
Whenever you feel tempted to force nature, remind yourself of the apple tree example.
Instead, if she had been patient and waited for mother nature to complete her marvelous creation, the apple would have fallen off the tree at the exact time, being perfect in every aspect of its development. In short, we highly encourage you to resist the temptation to force nature before the timing is perfect. When faced with the possibility to induce labor, ask yourself and your care-giver if the baby is well inside and refrain yourself from a situation where problems can be created. It pays to be patient and we have never seen a woman not delivering her baby eventually.
The argument we often hear about the caregiver wanting to induce labor because the baby is too big is not a valid one. First, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that labor was induced (or worst a planned cesarean was done!) because they thought the baby would be very big and ended-up being a very average size (oups!), I would be rich. One has to know that after term, babies can slow down their growth .
Actually, experience shows that a baby that doesn't pass at 41 weeks would not have passed at 40 weeks most of the time so inducing labor is not a logical option. On the other hand, often a cervix and mother's body that is not ready at 40 weeks, delivers the baby beautifully at 41 weeks. Did I tell you I recommend patience as to the baby's time of birth?
All right , you waited and this is it , your labor has started. Allow me to walk you briefly into the different stages of an average labor. First, many women will experience what is called the latent phase of labor. In this phase, one can experience contractions every 3 to 5 minutes but they are very comfortable without having to use any of your powerful hypnosis techniques.
This phase can last up to 24- 48 hours or even more. Do not run to the hospital as most maternity wards will send you back home if you are doing well and the baby's heart is fine. This phase is intended to prepare the body for the active labor, just like when you see a runner jumping up and down before a race to warm-up his muscles. Very often, during this phase, the cervix gets softer and your body is aligning the baby for the birth. Just relax, rest, take naps if tired.
You do not need to keep count of every contraction that comes around (I had four children and never counted any contraction and I knew when my babies were on their ways). Some women experience no latent phase and go directly into active labor and that's just fine.
I am asked so often after doing a vaginal examination, the big question as WHEN is the baby arriving. Fifteen year experience, more than 2500 deliveries later, here is my answer: ìI HAVE NO IDEA WHEN A BABY IS TO BE BORN!î Every doctor who attends births knows that there is no possible prediction on the birth of a baby. We will now revise what is being said when a vaginal examination is done on a pregnant woman.
First we talk about cervical dilatation: the cervix is the opening of the uterus. Upon palpation, one might compare it to touching a closed mouth. During labor it has to open to 10 centimeters in order to let the baby's head pass. The cervix does not disappear, it just open but it remains intact. I like the analogy of putting on a turtle neck sweater on a small child. Visualize the turtle neck, being opened as you are pulling down and the head is going through it. Very often the cervix has been compared to a rose opening and letting the baby pass.
I want to thank my patient Julie and her little baby for their precious collaboration to this picture (rest assured this is a photo-montage; we did not put the baby in a rose!)
I want to thank all my patients and their families; their willingness to share so generously their joy of motherhood with their pictures and testimonials are a great help. I obviously learn as much from them as they do from me
Second, we talk about cervical effacement or thinning . The cervix before labor is thick like a chocolate glazed donut and then thins to the thickness of a piece of paper. We describe the effacement as a percentage of the initial thickness 0% being thick, 100% being thin like a piece of paper.
This is a very subjective measure. I often compare it to a family recipe that says a pinch of salt, nobody have the same notion of what a pinch is and the quantities would vary from very dull to awfully salted. Bottom line, this is not a very important measure. In general a thin cervix will open faster than a thick one but this is just a general rule.
Then you might be told about your cervix position. In general if a cervix is hard to reach or what we call posterior at the vaginal examination, it might take a longer time to open but not necessarily.
In our example of the turtle neck, this is like if the mother was not paying attention and looking somewhere else while trying to put the sweater on her child's head. If the turtle neck's opening is misaligned with the toddler's head, it would be harder to put on the sweater. The same thing happens if the cervix is not aligned with the baby's head. You guessed right that by changing your position frequently, you will get those two aligned together in no time.
Last, we talk about the baby's position or station in your pelvis. Again this is not a very precise measure and two consecutive examiners might not agree. It has been decided that the level zero is the narrowest part in the pelvis called the ischial spines. Very often, when the baby's head passes this point, since the pelvis gets broader the baby will be born vaginally.
Above this point, in centimeters, we go back to -1,-2,-3,-4,-5. Minus five represents a baby that is not in the pelvis but rather higher in the abdomen. Once a baby has passed this zero level point down in the vagina, we again talk in centimeters but with positive suffixes +1,+2,+3,+4 and +5. To give you an idea, at station plus five, we can see little hair sticking out of the vaginal entrance and the father, by then, is very excited.
Beginning of labor : closed cervix
Cervix opened to 5 centimeters
The baby's head is in Station 0
Cervix completely dilated - 10 centimeters
If you followed me to this point you know that any combination is possible : any dilation, any effacement, any station, etc.
When a woman's cervix is completely dilated this would be the equivalent in our turtle neck to the sweater's opening having been pulled fully above the head and now being at the neck level A very similar phenomenon will happen when your baby gets to the opening of the vagina and then crowns.
P.S. I find it amusing that my medical license permits me to play with a teddy bear to demonstrate the stages of labor!
Here is an example of a birthing plan. You can fill in the blanks or better yet create your own.
OUR BIRTHING PLAN
We have chosen the Hypno-Beginning© program to prepare us for a natural and comfortable childbirth with the use of hypnosis. We want to thank you for respecting as much as possible our requests. We are completely aware that situations may arise that would require interventions from your part and we want to assure you of our complete cooperation in those cases.
During labor, ____________________________(Place name of mother-to-be) needs a calm atmosphere and soft lighting. If possible, please refrain from talking to ______________________(name of mother) during a contraction because she will probably be in hypnosis. We also appreciate if you can delay the non-essential procedures in order to allow__________________________ (name of mother) to apply her hypnosis techniques.
We highly appreciate that you refrain from talking about pain or pain management unless we ask you about them.
We want to be able to change position during labor and delivery. Your suggestions are more than welcomed. During the pushing part, your soft encouragement is highly appreciated. We welcome any suggestion and assure you of our complete collaboration. We require the same care and advise as any other birthing couple who want to live a natural childbirth. Your support is essential to us.
___________________________ (name of mother) wants to breastfeed and we prefer rooming-in with our baby as much as possible (strike-out if doesn't apply).
(Add your personal touch here)
Please be patient with us as we are working on getting you a complete and detailled section on pregnancy. This is a work in progress. If a page does not open, this means I got called to deliver a baby while writing it! Come back frequently.Thank you for your understanding.