Education and Balance for the best birth experience
Childbirth, Assisted birth with Vacuum or Forceps:
Pregnancy presents to us concepts of health and wellbeing in a very direct manner. A baby is growing and ready to come into the world, through our bodies. Proper nutrition and care can make a difference in your pregnancy, baby’s health and birth experience. Strive for the best , talk to friends, miwives, doulas, nurses and Dr’s that are in your life or seek them out, and prepare for the, “what if”……by making a smart birth plan. Educate yourself about your pregnancy and methods of birth in and out of Hospital.
Childbirth has traditionally been handles by women in the village, Hospital birth and pregnancy considered a “condition” is more recent in history. Squatiing and sitting are traditional positions for birth, while reclining is easier for attending Dr or midwife. Preparation of the body, mind & soul of the mother through diet, exercise and care, while Hands and positioning are the traditional tools used in birth. Consider changing positions every 15-20 minutes which is shown to assist the pelvis to expand and allow baby to go through pelvic outlet. Position and specific situations allow for an easier birth experience, physicla reality of size, medical complicatons of mother, umbilical cord around neck, breech…..No matter how baby is born, mother needs to bind after birth to support her own body.
What is an assisted birth is in the medical system? An introduction of an instrument to assist the vaginal birth, through vacuum suction, or forceps. These instruments are standard in hospitals. Approximately 5% (1 in 20) of all deliveries in the United States are operative vaginal deliveries or also know as assisted birth.
The side effects upon baby’s health in using assisted birth instruments is not worth it in my opinion. Sometimes birth gets complicated, and we are asked by the Doctor if an assisted birth is something we will approve, as they must have consent, written or verbal. If baby’s heartbeat has slowed, if we were given pitocin, perhaps because the epideural makes it harder to push, position of baby or mom’s pelvis, or as in my case my baby was stuck in my pelvis…Whatever the reason, The Doctor may ask if a instrument can be introduced. This request usual occurs during a sensitive and stress filled moment during the pushing time.
For me,after pushing for 5 hours, I went into the Emergency room at the Hospital , and they saw baby’s head, they tried to do the vacuum 3 times before my c section operation. “Its protocol to do a vacuum before a C Section.”, really? I knew baby was very unhappy to have a huge suction cup placed on his head! Somehow I didn’t have the right support in the room to make a clear decision.Then they took 2 hours to do the c section, since they had to call the anesthesiologist at home. Baby’s head was so affected, swelling, shape, his neck is tight…… thank god it wasn’t bleeding inside. It was stressful for me, but especially for my baby! To this day he dislikes hats, and has jaw issues with his bite alignment. I had panic attacks from my experience, and had to forgive myself for not being prepared for the chaos, the lack of support, even though I had a midwife- she was disempowered in our hospital.….the let down of the orgasmic water birth that did not happen. I had a fast labor, long pushing at home, rushed to the hospital for the emergency room scene, the vacuum, and then c section- I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
So I encourage people to skip the vacuum and forceps for the assisted birth. In most situations, I think opting for the C Section is preferable to sucking the cranial bones through sheer force down into a possible too small vagina…..and damaging baby. I personally know a girl who is blind in one eye from a forceps birth, and trauma to her optic nerve at birth, she is 60% blind in that eye…her Dr was late for a golf game, which sounds typical but it can be true.
Ask your Dr to use their hands and be willing to change position, sit upright in a birthing chair as it can greatly help baby’s birth vaginally.
The forceps or vacuum assisted births have different side effects. It is this authors opinion that both are dangerous to baby’s head, though you will be told they can help assist with the birth. Especially, when both are used, the babies head is adversely affected and damage most likely will occur as the cranial bones are soft. It is best for the Dr or midwife to use their hands. Osteopathy or cranial sacral work is very important to have done to help baby’s cranial structure and balance, reducing eye issues, headaches etc. It is important for the health of both baby and mother to get treatment by a DO or Cranial therapist to reduce trauma, especially baby. If you feel your Dr is not being responsive to baby or using the instrument with aggression, stop them and get a second opinion.
Prepare yourself for your birth. You want your pelvis to be balanced, stretch the top of your thigh, do gentle hip openers, stretching, yoga, belly dancing all can greatly help you prepare for your birth. Back pain and pubic bone separation are occurring and balance and opening up your pelvis is important.
Consider going to your Licensed Accupuncturist, massage therapist , PT, Chiropractor or yoga classes throughout your pregnancy but especially toward week 38-40, and ask them to check to see how your pelvis is balanced. If one hip is lower or higher than the other one, it creates a torc, and can shift the physical ease of the birth. and create back pain, or increase chances of tearing. Its best to have a routine and continue it, avoid things that bring you away from a calm space. If you get through the “ring of fire” and tear, I learned that the tissue heals better with tears than an episiotomy from a midwife conference. Tissue suturing is a real conversation to have with Dr or midwife.
Good luck in your process, communicate with your friends, midwife, Doctor and put into action the knowledge you have for a safe and healthy birth. A little bit of education can increase your chances of having a safe birth.
Here is a direct statement from the FDA site, to monitor and educate professionals using the vacuum instrument.
” FDA recommends alerting an infant’s caregivers that vacuum extraction was used and instructing them to watch the infant for several days for possible problems. One way to be sure that’s done is to note the use of a vacuum extractor in the infant’s chart. And remember, parents should be instructed to look for warning signs, too. These signs include swelling of the head and neck, hypotension and pallor, lethargy, irritability, convulsions, rapid breathing and tachycardia. “
Be calm and have your birth plan in hand……breathe and expect the best, but know your options!