Sphincter Law – Part 2

doula at work

Sphincters May Close Suddenly if the Owner is Frightened

The sudden contraction of the Sphincters is a fear-based reaction, as a part of the fight-or-flight response of adrenals. The Adrenaline/catecholamine level will rise in the bloodstream when frightened or angered.

If a female animal in the wild is in process of birth, the birth process will reverse if the animal is startled by a surprise encounter with a predator. Humans can do the same thing.

In her book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina describes a situation where during labor a woman developed a fever; soon it became apparent that there was a bladder infection. She was seven centimeters dilated, but stalled in labor. So Ina chose to transport her to a hospital.

The laboring woman was examined by a doctor that was rough…who stated she was only 4 centimeters. Her dilation retracted from 7 to 4 centimeters as an automatic response to the roughly-handled internal exam…a natural self-protection, evidence of the function of the sphincter function.

What Helps the Sphincters?

• Trust, comfort, familiarity and safety
• Laughter
• Slow and deep [abdominal] breathing
• Immersion in warm water which calms and relaxes
• Relaxation of the mouth and jaw
o Relax the throat and jaw by singing
o Release an audible low moaning sound (similar to the sounds of lovemaking)
o “horse-lips” similar to the tone that horses make when they make that sound with their lips flapping, or “raspberry” sound.
• Relaxed labor supporters

~This information was taken from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Ina May is an internationally known Midwife, who has delivered babies and written books on Midwifery and natural childbirth. She works at THE FARM, in Tennessee.

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Optimal Fetal Positioning

OPTIMAL FETAL POSITIONING

anterior posterior

The Anterior Position is the optimal position for birth. The head of the fetus is more round. When entering the birth canal, the crown of the head presents first, molding to the birth canal and opening more readily.

With a Posterior Position, the head is more oval. Unlike the presentation of just the crown of the fetus, the baby’s head is not as moldable. The head will have more difficulty moving into and through the birth canal.

If the baby is in the Posterior Position, see if your support person can assist you to move the baby into LEFT Occiput position by using the Rebozo, forward leaning inversion (discussed in another handout), or have a Chiropractor do a pelvic adjustment (Jamie Zenner, specializes in this area).

The ROT (Right Occiput Transverse) position is a common position the fetus would be lying prior to the onset of labor. During birth, the fetus is most likely to rotate to Posterior Position rather than Anterior Position. The chin is usually flexed upwards, presenting first (See D, below).

Cranial Flexion

With LOP (Left Occiput Posterior) position the fetus’ back is lying opposite the mother’s liver. This position may allow the fetus to flex or curl his/her back, to tuck the chin. This would allow for an easier birth.

fetal position in relationship to the pelvis

The illustration above shows the various acronyms for the lie of a fetus, where the face of the fetus is turned towards. This will assist you in understanding what your doctor is telling you about the position of the fetus in your womb.Nearly half of the babies start out as breech babies, but turn on their own at around 34 weeks. 3 to 4 % still remain breech in presentation.

Doctors can do a maneuver to turn the baby called External Inversion. 60% of the babies will turn, but some revert back to breech presentation. Doing this maneuver may cause a premature birth.

There things that a pregnant woman can do for a breech baby without the external inversion:

  1.  Use an ironing board lain against the couch and lie with head towards the ground
    i. Be sure to use cushioning for the body, and a pillow for the head
    ii. Do this 3X a day for 20 minutes
  2. Another way is to lean forward, on your knees, butt up/head down resting on arms
    i. Do for 10 minutes, 3X a day.
    ii. Think of it ( and mentally “couch” your baby) as the position you would like to have your baby in birth
  3. Do not do either of these exercises if baby is head down, and posterior (without consulting your labor support person).

    Do not do either of these exercises if baby is head down, and posterior (without consulting your labor support person).

    If after reaching 37 weeks and these techniques have failed, try:

    1. Chiropractic Webster Maneuver with pubic symphysis aligning (see: Resource Page or class hand-out for local chiropractors)
    2. Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Release

Non-Professional Labor Support

NON-PROFESSIONAL LABOR SUPPORT

father in delivery room

 

 

 

 


By the baby’s Father or Partner of the woman:

• Can speak for her, to interpret her needs and desires to the staff.
• Assurances, relaxation, encourage her to drink and eat snacks.
• Assistance in walking during labor, assist in getting in and out of the shower or birth tub, etc.
• If knowledgeable, help with breathing and focus in the 2nd stage of labor

Note: to work effectively, the father needs to be well informed. He needs to know what to expect. If he gets panicky he should leave the room to regain composure and then re-enter. First-time fathers especially need to be informed and may still have need of assurance. This can be assisted by his attendance at the Childbirth Education classes.

By a female relative (Grandmother, mother, aunt or sister):

• [At the hospital] Can speak for her, interpret her needs and desires to the staff.
• If they have experienced a natural birth, their assurances are “gold”. They will know what and when to do things to support the process.  If not, they need to become informed about natural childbirth.
• Assurances, relaxation, encourage her to drink and eat snacks.
• They can assist in labor as well, by walking with and supporting the laboring mother; assist her getting into and out of the shower or birth tub, etc.
• Can help with breathing and focus in the 2nd stage of labor.

RECOMMENDED POSTS To READ:

Let Your Monkey Do It
Overdue Pregnancy


FUTURE POSTS YOU WILL NEED TO READ:

Hospital VS. Midwifery Model of Care
Pain in Childbirth
Normal Vaginal Birth
Optimal Fetal Positions
Positions for Labor
Water Birth
Premature Rupture of Membranes
Fetal Distress
C-Section
VBAC

Your Birth Stories

Share your birth story! I am asking for volunteer submissions of your birth story that you wish to share on my blog.

baby-loading-tshirt

My 3rd Birth:

I was going to county hospital for checkups. I was a week over-due and they put the monitor on me. It was way too tight when I had contractions [Braxton Hicks]…so I pulled it off.

The nurse came to check it and decided there was something wrong with the baby. “The heart beat dropped during contractions”, she said. I explained what had happened, she would not hear me. They began to talk C-Section.

I said “I have my daughter with me, and would need to go home and get her to a sitter. I need arrange for the older two children’s care, and find my husband…” (no cell phone).

I went home and called my mother. I told her I was NOT going back to that hospital. They were C-Section crazy! We discussed that it was too late for a midwife (obviously) and she suggested I go into the emergency room of another hospital.

Downtown San Jose had a hospital, so I took the bus there. The doctor on call said, after I explained what happened, that he wanted to put a monitor on to be sure. I could understand his reasoning, so the monitor was placed on my abdomen. We had to wait awhile for a contraction and after four hours, he says “Baby looks fine. I will call the other hospital and explain that you will be here”…[taking off the monitor] he says “You can get up an walk around”.

At that point, I had been having regular contractions 20 minutes apart. My mom arrived just before that, so we walked the halls of the hospital.

My water broke, and the monitor was put back on. I was dilated 6 centimeters. Contractions were getting stronger, too. 2 contractions 9 minutes apart…I could feel the baby crowning.

The nurse was called in. I told her the baby was coming NOW.

“Oh no, sweetie, you couldn’t be having the baby now. Your contractions are too far apart!”

“The head is coming OUT!! I know what that feels like, I have had two babies previously…LOOK!!”

She looks under the sheet. Hits the buzzer, slaps the rails up, while saying “Oh shit, the baby IS coming!”

Not longer after, my youngest was born. No stitches, a couple tears, no complications. So much for needing a C-Section.

I am making a page that will feature birth stories. Look for it!

ProfessionalLaborSupport-Part2

mom and babyChildbirth Educator

The childbirth educator teaches and assists women in understanding the nature of childbirth, from pre-conception through the first year of baby’s life.  The information they give assists women in having a better and safer birth experience.

The professional Childbirth Educator trained at Birth Arts International adheres to the “Midwifery Model” of care, as outlined by MANA. This is where I am training (and near completion of).

Here are some things that may be covered:

  • Nutrition – preparation to conceive, during pregnancy, and post-partum
  • Pre-natal tests: What is required and why
  • Exercise: for optimal health, and to tone muscles in preparation for birth, as well as post-partum exercises
  • Stages of labor
  • Interventions
  • C-sections and VBAC
  • Neonatal care (newborn baby care)
  • Breastfeeding

Even second-time mommies can benefit from classes.  It helps you to have a better / safer birth to review information.

Childbirth Educators can assist in labor, in a much similar way that a Doula would.  They can answer your questions and assist after the baby is born.

 Part 3: Midwifery

Backache

The body undergoes physical changes in pregnancy in your balance, posture, and your mobility. Your center of gravity becomes thrown off due to abdominal protrusion in the front, enlargement of your breasts, and the anterior   (frontwards) rotation of the pelvis. In order to maintain stability, a pregnant woman tends to increase the strain on the back muscles and the vertebral column.

Another cause is the shortening of the hip flexor muscle group caused by the anterior rotation of the pelvis, as well as the increased size of the muscles of the abdomen. This is not helped when a pregnant woman leads a sedentary lifestyle.

Cross-legged Pregnant Woman

REASONS FOR BACKACHES

• Weight of the baby and the contents of the uterus
• Constipation
• Poor posture
• Standing for long lengths of time
• Urinary tract infections
• Over-working
• SCIATICA is a severe form of backache caused by the sciatic nerve being “pinched” or pressure placed on the nerve.
• The pain radiates to the legs
• Occurs due to growing baby and the womb that causes pressure on the nerve.
• The kidneys can also be affected, do the growing uterus causing pressure.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Good posture can assist sciatic nerve issues. When you improve the posture, not only will the backache be relieved but eating and breathing will improve. You find digestion is much easier as well.

Begin by keeping your head up, looking down throws your posture off. Keep your chin level. If you hold your head correctly your shoulders and back will automatically fall into place. Drop your shoulders to a position that is more natural, and avoid allowing the shoulder blades to be thrown back as it will cause a strain on your back.

Tuck your tailbone under to bring it into alignment. Pull inward the abdominal muscles and tucking the buttocks muscles…tilt your pelvis forward. This will act as a counter-balance to the tendency of arching the back.

• Wear flat comfortable shoes. Keep your knees relaxed, not locked
• Sit up straight in chairs and when you drive

Do stretching exercises, and / or exercise by walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, leg lifts and lunges, swimming, or Yoga. Avoid too many weight-bearing exercises . Doing exercise relieves muscle tension. It also Relieves emotional tension. Another thing you can do is to rock your hips, or make love passionately (no joke), the latter relieves pelvic congestion.

Relieve constipation:

• Constipation is directly connected to lower back pain and pelvic discomfort
• To keep from having constipation, drink more water and eat whole grains.
• Increase Calcium and magnesium (see: minerals hand-out).

Elevate your legs, preferably for 20 minutes a day (up on a chair or lying down with two pillows under them)

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

Keep cold or raw foods to a minimum (these increase kidney strain). Eat grapes, pears, and apples as these are the least “watery” of the fruits and are less strain on the kidneys.

Minimalize fruit juices, and caffeine. (coffee, black tea, chocolate, cocoa, and soda). They act like adrenaline in the system due the chemicals they contain. Adrenaline aggravates the kidneys.

HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS

If you are tired, feel overworked, or stressed you may be experiencing adrenal gland deficiency. The best herb to nourish the adrenals is nettle leaf, in a strong infusion (steeping for at least ½ hour). Nettle Leaf is one of the herbs found in your “Pregnancy Tea”.

Take St. John’s Wort and skullcap in a tincture form. About 20 to 30 drops in water or juice a couple of times a day. You can also apply the combination of Arnica and St. John’s Wort oils externally to relieve tension and promote the healing of the muscles of the back. It’s also helpful to use a warm water bottle on the area that has been treated with Arnica and / or St. John’s Wort.