Obstetrical Kindness

Friday, May 11th, 2018

 

I work in Miami. It is a strange and wonderful place. When it comes to giving birth in the magic city, the accounts are often less than magical. We have a C-section rate that is the highest in the nation and hear repeated stories of traumatic experiences and obstetrical violence. Does it happen? Yes, unfortunately it is true, real and so very wrong.

Today I am writing about something much different.  It is what I call Obstetrical kindness. It is something I have witnessed many times but something that I have never read about. I want you to know  about the beautiful things that I see.

Recently, I supported  a mother at Mt Sinai Hospital as she gave birth to her baby. It was a beautiful birth. She was calm and peaceful and her partner was loving and supportive. Labor was progressing quickly and Mother asked if I could help to get the Dr. there. I stepped outside the room and saw the Dr. standing in the hall. I greeted him and told him he was wanted in the room. He so kindly came and greeted the mother with a genuine hug, kiss and words of encouragement. It wasn’t quite birthing time, but Mom said to him, “please don’t leave”.  It would have been easy to exit, but instead ,her Dr. held her hand, told her how wonderful she was and waited patiently. This birth would be one surrounded by love and patience and kindness.  As the baby was nearly ready to be born there was no interruption of the calm, no aggressive position change or decrease in the peaceful environment in the room. Instead, Mom birthed in the position of her choice, in subtle lighting, with no coached or forced pushing. She breathed her baby down until crowning.  In a beautiful display of understanding the spiritual nature of birth, The Dr. placed Mom’s hand on the baby’s head and then placed Dad’s hand on the baby’s head as the baby made his entrance into the world. How beautiful to be the first ones to touch your baby and together bring forth the life you created.

How wonderful it was to be a part of birth that was free of fear and surrounded by love. How wonderful to be supported by a Dr. who exudes kindness and truly believes in a woman’s ability to give birth normally without hurry, negativity or threats. How blessed is this baby whose first moments were those of gentleness in his parents own hands. How grateful I am to witness such raw beauty, love and power.  Thank you , Dr. Mauricio Bitran for your kindness, for believing in women and for embracing the transformative power of birth.

 

Is Kate for real?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

There has been a buzz about Kate Middleton’s photo just a few hours after birth. She looks beautiful, relaxed,  radiant.  Many people have said that this is neither “real” or realistic.

I believe it is both.

In our culture, we have been so conditioned to believe that birth is difficult, painful, dangerous and traumatic. And to be fair, for many who choose the wrong environment, the wrong care provider and who are unprepared or have special circumstances, their experiences are often as described.  However, when a healthy woman, carrying a healthy baby becomes  well educated and is supported by her loved ones, a doula and her medical team, it is not only possible, it is probable.  When she is able to birth without unnecessary intervention, surrounded by calm and support, the experience is often empowering and satisfying.  As a doula, I have attended the births of hundreds of babies and have seen this many times. In fact, I have often joked that I know I have done a great job when I look at the photos and notice that the new mother is radiant and certainly looks much more vibrant than I do.

So how is this possible?  It’s all in the preparation.  Most of my clients have taken (as Kate did) HypnoBirthing®-The Mongan Method. It is a complete childbirth education course that focuses on positive mindset, deep relaxation and a connection to our innate birthing instincts. She lets go of fear and “unlearns” all of the negative programming that she may have embraced over her lifetime. She learns that birth is a normal process and that her body is perfectly designed to give birth. She reconditions her body and mind for relaxation, trust and calm through daily meditative practice. The results are incredible. She is able to birth as nature intended; naturally, calmly, instinctively.  She may not have a stylist to provide her with makeup, hair, a dress and heels but she is nevertheless, stunning!  I see powerful, beautiful, radiant mothers who are ready to take on the world!