Gentle Birth Baby by Sarah Buckley

as summarized by Teresa Howard

Gentle Birth babies are effected for a lifetime.

Mammalian births- we are all basically the same. (I thought it humorous that she said this in her speech. It immediately made me think about Ina May Gaskin saying if you wanted to watch real birth on t.v., you should watch the Animal Planet!)

Safety, ease and pleasure = species for survival basis. So birth should be relatively safe, easy and pleasurable in order for any species to make it!

Anxiety and fright = prolonged labor
A woman needs to feel Safe, Private and Unobserved = this is what she calls the Recipe for ease of Birth

If this is the situation, then we should release the Ecstatic Hormones. This cocktail = oxytocin + beta endorphin (natural pain killer) + epinephrine (adrenalin) + non epinephrine: these release catecholamines –these rise at transition and it stimulates labor and the fetal ejection reflex + prolactin (the love hormone for moms!)

What disturbs Mother Natures plan for birth? Pitocin, epidurals, opiates and cesareans.

In 2005
21-40 percent of women were induced
50 percent tried to get labor going or their caregiver did
99 percent had pitocin after birth

Receptors in a woman’s uterus will shut down if over stimulated by pitocin.

The altered state of a woman in labor is for it to be normal when “she goes out to the stars to collect the soul of the baby” (… this is what Pam England refers to as laborland.)

When an epidural is given, the pelvic floor muscles are relaxed and it numbs the lower vagina.

When mothers spent less time with their babies while in the hospital their moms felt their babies were less adaptable and more intense.

Bupivacaine, a drug used in most epidurals have a half Life 8 hours in the baby after the baby is born.

Dim lights, no numbers (dilation or time constraints), covering the clock, encourages instinctive behavior in the mom during labor.

The three things a woman in labor needs to focus on are: BREATH, making SOUND if she desires and MOVEMENT.

I heard Sarah speak at the Gentle Birth Congress in Portland a few years ago- these are my notes from that speech. She is coming to Atlanta to the ICAN conference this year. She is fabulous!

Here are excerpts from the speech that Teresa gave at the La Leche League Annual Conference 2001 in Atlanta, GA

Labor of Love

A loving look at the benefits, rewards and challenges of experiencing the physical process of birth.

“The view of labour pain as an affliction seems most prevalent among western women. In many cultures pain in labor is accepted as necessary. Perhaps the fact that these women are usually cared for by other women, who understand birth and it’s mysterious benefits for the female psyche, is the central reason why pain is not feared but accepted.”- A. Robertson

“Pain in labor is seen as a blight, an unnecessary imposition, an affliction we must bear as the price for bearing children. This view bolstered by the perception that pain is a symptom of disease and illness has enabled men to convince us that pain is indispensable during birth and is of no value, an evil to be cured with modern treatments and technology.” –A. Robertson

“ Many western women have never been physically tested until we go through labor and birth …haven’t gone 18 or 24 hours without food or sleep…allowed ourselves to go a day or 2 without a bath or shower, (more…)