#homebirth series: how to draft a birthing plan? episode 4

#homebirth series: how to draft a birthing plan? - episode 4 Claire Samuel

Preparing a birth plan means taking back our power as a mother giving birth. It does not mean being stuck to such plan and become disappointed if things do not turn out as desired. Thus, if plan A is giving birth at home in water, plan B could be to look into the various positions in which I can give birth on a bed, at home or at the hospital.

Because the idea of giving birth was overwhelming for me at first, I decided to write things down. It gave me some comfort. Moreover, it helped me to see more clearly what I really wanted versus what was secondary details. So, I wrote a list of my wishes and desires for my midwife to read. I had hired an independent midwife, but my birth plan was also printed to be transmitted to any midwife at the hospital if a transfer was ever required.

First, no light. My midwife used a tiny lamp to write notes during the labor. Second, no vaginal exams. The word itself scares me. My very talented midwife was able to monitor the baby’s health during labor, only by expert touch on my belly and by listening to the baby’s heartbeat with a trumpet-shaped tool. Third, I did not want to be informed of the time. Loosing track of time was indeed required for me to use another part of my brain, e.g. my intuition. I focused on the contractions while relaxing my body, allowing them, not resisting them. The last part of my birth plan was dedicated to my refusal of both epidural and episiotomy. Again, I was ready to have to undergo such interventions should the need arose. However, expressing my wishes and desires in this meant they were only to be used in real emergency.

#homebirth series: what if the father cannot be involved? – episode 3

#homebirth series: what if the father cannot be involved? - episode 3 Claire Samuel

When I gave birth, I was trapped in an abusive relationship. The father of my children stated later than he only made children with me so that it would prevent me to leave him. Consequently, he was not elated when I got pregnant, totally not involved during the pregnancy and he spent the time of labor at home in front of his computer. Yet I had a fulfilling and happy birth.

Moreover, I read many books by the well-known French doctor Michel Odent. It is interesting that, over the course of his work, he changed his mind about the presence of father during the actual birth. He concluded later in his career that giving birth was a sacred time which was best enjoyed between women only. Thus, the body of the woman could keep the same appeal to her man after birth. I find it quite interesting. I am convinced that it is true, even of a subconscious level. Maybe it is better for fathers to avoid seeing their woman in pain. Loving men do everything to avoid their woman being in pain by always looking for solutions. It is only natural, then, to prevent them from being disempowered witnesses to the unavoidable labor pain.

What do you think?

How to give birth feeling empowered – book review “Birthing from within” by Pam England

How to give birth feeling empowered - book review "Birthing from within" by Pam England

My friend, my sister, giving birth can be an empowering event. The secret is doing our research beforehand. I studied and did the exercises recommended by Pam England in her book Birthing from Within, when pregnant with my first baby. It really helped. Giving birth is what we decide to make it. Do it for your body. Do it for your baby.