Tuesday, September 24, 2013

After raya sessions - Amani Class

Amani Birth Class - The after Raya sessions

After Raya, we had the remaining 3 classes. We had an overview of Labour and Birth, protecting our birth environment, birthing position, minimizing medical interferencedrafting birth plan and what to expect after the birth of our baby.

Let's summarized what we learnt during the last 3 classes.
  • The different stages of labour:
    • First stage:
      • early first stage : beginning of labour when contractions/surges are fairly mild (30-40seconds) typically every 10 minutes aparts
      • late first stage @ Active phase : the longest and the contraction/surges are hard and strong (1-2 minutes). It typically has established a pattern of 10 minutes apart or less and getting closer together.
      • Transition @ Hard Labour : shortest period, approximately 15-30 minutes. During this time, the uterus is transitioning from the contraction/surges that open the cervix to the expulsion type that will eject the baby.
    • Second stage @ Pushing phase : The uterus is contracting to expel the baby and starts usually when mothers are 10-cm dilated. The contraction/surges will typically space in order to give the mother decent rest between pushes. 
    • Third stage @ after birth : The birth of the placenta. - to be honest, I did not know this stage existed and we have to delivered. I thought that it comes out together with baby. Oh boy, am I wrong!
  • During transition, mothers start to feel very tired and mostly, will ask for pain killers. We are advised by our instructor that during this time, fathers/partner/birth team play such an important role which are
    • give positive encouragements - "Good job honey!", "You are doing great" , "The baby is coming!", "A little bit more, I know you can do it"
    • shower with lots of love - kisses, back rub
  • Relax during strong labour by keeping eyes closed, all muscles loosen and limp as it reduces pain and it allows the body's efforts to be concentrated on the uterus.
  • Learn to put our trust in Allah S.W.T as HE is our protector and creator. Every single part of our body serves its purpose and HE had created us in the most perfect way.
  • How to reduce risk during labour? It should be done throughout our pregnancy 
    • Eat right with health food and nutrition
    • Exercise regularly
    • Alleviate stress
    • Get enough rest
    • Practice relaxation and labour rehearsals during pregnancy - visualisation, simulating contraction, birth position, breathing
    • Avoid harmful substances (medication, smoke, air pollution, household chemicals etc..)
    • Choose your care provider and birthplace carefully 
    • Get educated and not enter labour and birth in ignorance. 
  • How to protect our birth environment?
    • Delay in going to the hospital too soon
    • Minimize interruptions and distractions during hard labour
    • Maintain the continuous support from our birth team(husband, mom, doula). Never leave the mother alone.
    • Watch what is being done and question every procedures
    • Make your intentions to give informed consent or refuse treatment clear
    • Avoid confrontational or argumentative discussions 
  • Apart from lying down (Lithotomy position), there are a number of birthing positions that facilitate the labour process. It is better to stay off our back! Maybe I will write up a post on this topic.
  • A list of complications that could occur during labour such as breech, fetal distress, overdue, placenta previa etc.. 
  • Fetal distress:
    • The causes of it :
      • Mother's position especially when she is on her back
      • Drugs used for pain relief
      • If the waters have broken, it may be that the baby's umbilical cord is compressed between the baby and maternal bones.
    • How to overcome?
      • C-sect is always proposed by our doctor
      • However, there is always a time window between decision and incision - use this time to get up, move, squat, rotate your hips and do anything you can to alleviate a possible cord compression
  • A list of medical interventions that are quite common nowadays : 
    • IV
    • Epidural
    • Electronic Fetal Monitor
    • Synthetic Oxytocin
    • Artificial Rupture of Membranes
    • Episiotomy
    • Immediate Cord Clamping
  • Making a birth plan and some tips on writing it down : Birth plan is a well thought out, written document based on your research and priorities regarding your desired birth experience. It should be considered as a flexible set of instructions and reminders for everyone involved in your labour, birth and postportum and newborn care.
  • We are encouraged to practice labour as we could try different birth position and techniques so that we have a memory bank of options to choose from.
  • Communicate not only to our birth partner and mother but also, the nurses in order for them to be aware of our birth plans - freedom of movement, avoiding drugs, remain active during labour.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding, how to take care of the baby
From these series of classes, I have learnt that
  • It is good to gain some knowledge and to be informed before we are in labour.
  • Trust in Allah's creation as HE had created perfect enough to go through labour and our bodies can go through it.
  • Let the nature take its course.
  • Put aside fear as the useful hormones are suppressed when fear is present.
  • Support from our birth team is so important. 
  • Positive vibes and attitude are the key.
  • Planning is good but Allah is the one who decides.
These are just points and a guideline for us to search and to read up more either through internet or pregnancy books. I am just sharing what I think is important for us mom-to-be to go through pregnancy and labour In Sya Allah.

Your baby deserves a gentle start in life and he/she is counting on us to protect the birth experience

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