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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aqua Baby!

The long, taxing, arduous summer complete with laziness and impatience exacerbated by a brewing pollywog has been replaced by the world of education... and I couldn't be more content! High School kids have so much to share, and their energy is remarkable! Alas, there is one thing that I miss...PROFOUNDLY! My body misses water... and the pollywog is most at peace when submerged in it in any capacity. Really! I feel this incredible sense of calm every time! Perhaps it has to do with her prospective astrological sign? Scorpio's are water babies. Something to ponder...

Today I daydreamed of diving into a pool, perhaps inspired by the tremendous weight that I feel like I am carrying in my abdomen. It is like a bowling ball, really. Weightlessness sounds delightful! So, in addition to researching a place to swim until the pollywog arrives, I have decided to have a water birth! Simply thinking of this prospect makes the experience feel ...softer, both emotionally and physically.

My decision is based on intuition; if it feels right, do it. This has worked in my favor more times than not in my 37 years. Read on, and tell me what you think:
(Yhe following is borrowed

"It isn't often that a genuine breakthrough occurs, with major significance for all humanity, unless, of course, it's in the realm of technology. Yet this subject, although completely untechnological, has the potential for widespread use and benefits to millions of people and to society at large. It is exciting the imaginations of forward looking thinkers, parents and expectant parents, humanist psychologists, nurses, midwives and progressive doctors worldwide. I'm referring to the newest form of gentle delivery, which honors the spiritual and emotional, as well as the physical aspects of birth, and incorporates the use of water into obstetrics - waterbirth, also known as underwater birth.

Why Is Gentle Birth Essential?

When gentle birth is experienced as a shared miracle, it enhances the bond of love in a family. The powerful memory of it may serve to sustain the couple through difficult times. Yet, too often parents allow the miraculous quality of their birth experiences to be taken away from them, as they give up all control and place themselves in the hands of doctors and hospitals concerned solely with the physical aspects of birth.
When that occurs, birth can become something that happens to the parents, rather than a miracle in which they fully participate and from which they derive an overwhelming sense of joy and personal empowerment.

What Does Gentle Birth Feel Like?

Imagine then, a gentle introduction to the world by being born in water. Warm fluid is the element most familiar and comfortable to the fragile infant, so he or she does not experience fear or pain when coming in contact with it. The room is semi-dark, to avoid a shock to the baby's eyes, and quiet, except for some soothing music. Mother is in the warm tub feeling relieved, her weight supported by the water. The comfort of the bath relaxes her tension and eases her labor pains, while providing the freedom to move into whatever position is most comfortable.
Water is such an effective painkiller that only about 10% of women who enter the tub during labor request painkilling drugs. Father may also be in the tub, holding or massaging mother. Ideally, the midwife, nurse or doctor waits patiently nearby, offering the mother encouragement and support whenever it is needed. Together they wait for the baby to emerge.
After the infant has descended through the birth canal into the warm water, the mother can even choose to deliver the infant herself, as the birth attendants wait nearby in case they are needed.

It is a remarkably simple matter for the mother, after she has the last contraction which expels the baby, to reach down, take it in her arms and bring her child up out of the water and to her breast.
Typically, women who deliver in water report a feeling of excitement and lasting personal empowerment that simply cannot be matched by standard hospital birthing procedures.Within seconds, because of air touching the skin and cord, the physiological system is signaled, and the baby easily begins to use its lungs for breathing, without being slapped or roughly stimulated. Since the cord is usually not cut for several minutes, the baby's transition to air breathing is gradual and non-traumatic, and the newborn can take its time to become familiar with using its lungs.

This gentle, slower approach is in sharp contrast to the more common but questionable practice of cutting the cord immediately after the baby is out. Cutting the baby off from its lifeline to the mother so quickly and abruptly creates a breathe or die situation, which can cause a panicky feeling in the infant. In the worst case, if there is an undetected problem and breathing is not well established before the cord is cut, cerebral palsy could result because of oxygen deprivation to the brain.

An Easy Transition

With a water birth, the baby is not taken away from the mother at birth, which can result in the infant experiencing fear, confusion, feelings of abandonment and even terror. Instead, the baby stays with the parents and is held and cuddled by both of them, so that it will feel secure and nurtured, and the important bonding process can take place.
Is it not intuitively obvious and perfectly logical to conclude that a child born in such a gentle manner will feel comfort, security, love, and be likely to have positive feelings about its parents and the world? Humanist psychologists know, all other things being equal, that such an individual is more likely to grow up to be happy, self-confident and more prone to non-violent behavior than one whose birth was not gentle; one who experienced fear, pain, confusion, trauma, feelings of abandonment or panic during birth.

Water's Great Gift: Pain Relief
When a woman experiences intense pain or fear during labor or delivery, her body involuntarily tightens up and pulls inward - an automatic, self-protective response. Yet, birth requires the exact opposite - an expansion and release. Since these two conditions are mutually exclusive, the fearful mother's body may be unable to progress to full dilation and her labor may go one for many, many hours as her body tries in vain to both close up in fear and open to release the baby simultaneously.

In this situation the benefit of warm water may be most valuable, because the comfort it provides helps the mother to relax very deeply and assists her body in stretching slowly and gently to accommodate the baby's emergence, usually without tearing. It is because of this deep relaxation that water labor and/or waterbirth often functions as an effective and important cesarean prevention method.

Without exception, the water birth mothers I interviewed all spoke of easier and/or quicker labors, profound relaxation, alleviation of pain and the excitement and empowerment they felt being in total connection to the process of birth and to the baby. Women who deliver in water evidently feel a strong affinity to their own female power and to the experience of motherhood." Copyright (c) Karil Daniels, 1991-present
All Rights Reserved

Recommended Reading...

Splish Splash.
Amanda xo

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