In the wee hours of the night a woman is working to bring forth her baby. Her heart is open and her body is opening. She knew her body was designed for this miracle. She only needed a place in which she felt safe and people who she could trust to keep an eye on the details. She would have to let go of her alert attention to detail, she knew, for her labor to progress.
The smell of her mate is comfort itself. Her mate holds the story of who she has been. She wants him to see the birth, to be part of the event that brings about who she will become.
She chose a midwife for her patience with the natural process of birth. Her midwife also knows how to handle common birth complications and knows which signs mean its necessary to move on to another provider, like a family practice physician or obstetrician. Her midwife not only believes in the normalcy of birth in general but can also assess and validate that her labor is normal.
In early labor the comfort from her mate was just right. In active labor, the midwife’s presence is comforting to both her and her partner. Now, as the sky lightens, the labor picks up even more intensely.
Our birthing mother notices her mate pulling back a bit. It happens as she slips deeper into the labor, into that primeval place, where her partner cannot follow. The midwife, too, seems distant for a moment. Ahh, there she is, bringing her instruments closer. The smell of the ginger compresses is rejuvinating. She hears the midwife tearing open the paper package that holds her sterile gloves.
A contraction sweeps over her rocking her to her core. Wait. Can’t quite stay with it. She wonders will she ride it out or will it ride her under?
She feels a warm touch on her shoulder, hears her name spoken kindly. The doula is there. Oh, yes, that’s right, women do this.
Now she knows she can do it, too. The next contraction comes. The doula is face-to-face, speaking the rhythm of calm. Her partner sees how transition is supported and comes close, confident again.
Suddenly comes this powerful force within her; the urge to push. The midwife speaks. Her voice leads her through this almost overwhelming shift. The midwife shows her how to breath in ways to prevent a tear and bring oxygen to her little one just inches inside. The doula reminds her that her body can give birth.
On one of the days to come, she hopes to share reflections of the birth with her midwife. She is hungry to hear her midwife’s view of her labor and get a few details figured out. She looks to the midwife to hear of her birthing strength and of the highs and lows of the course of her labor. What her midwife says seems to validate her initiation into the mystery that birth is.
She will also talk with her doula, probably several times, about the birth. Even though the doula was there, telling the birth together moves the story into the fabric of her new motherhood. She sees the doulas face light up with that awe and celebration that lets her know she has successfully become a mother victoriously and in honor. Her doula is a peer who shares her community.
I am a midwife who has also been a doula for many years. The roles may overlap. Both celebrate the strength and glory of birthing women. But, the roles are different.
The doula is concerned with the mother’s emotional experience first and foremost. The midwife must be concerned with the health and safety of the mother and her baby first and foremost. The doula is a peer, like a new friend with experience in birthing. When birthing in a hospital, the doula may be the only objective person a pregnant woman meets in pregnancy, has beside her through birth and spends time with after the baby comes.
Birth is personal. Trust is an intimate avenue to a physiological function. We can trust birth not just because of a statistical advantage, but because we live in relationship between our physiology and the people we love and have community with. Peace on both sides, physiological and in relationship, is a balance between the two. The doula seeks to clear obstacles to peace while the midwife steers clear of the obstacles of birth.
The midwife is an ancient role renewed to modern times. The doula is a modern role reflecting ancient times.
A co-venture video experience with Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga! Coming Soon!
Spinning Babies; Daily Essentials For Pregnancy Video.
Together Sarah Longacre, international prenatal yoga instructor and birth doula, and Gail Tully, yours truly, created a unique instructional video for flexibility and comfort in pregnancy and to support better fetal positioning in time for birth.
Here are daily activities for stretching and balancing a pregnant body. Start early in pregnancy to prepare to make the most space for baby's best birth position and the most ease for mother's opening during the birth process.
We begin the program for women of average flexibility (or just plain stiff to start with) and beginner tips. But soon, you'll be ready to move freely! That's when Sarah brings the stretches all together into her easy to follow, playful, sensual, and flowing "Blooma Style" daily routine.
Sarah's "dance of opening," moves joints and ligaments to come alive under the delightful melody and percussions of Carin Vagle. This isn't about core strength; its about freedom of movement and creating space in the body.
Sarah plays along with Gail's little game of "Flashlight" to show pregnant women how to evaluate their own posture and positions. Smart Maternal Positioning helps baby snuggle their backs into the front of the womb for Optimal Fetal Positioning.
The Daily Essentials For Pregnancy includes tips for using Maternal Positioning around the house. Actual scenes in the bedroom, living room -and even the bathroom- gives practical instruction like no other video. You will be sleeping more comfortably immediately when using these tips. Within a week or two many pregnancy discomforts of the pelvis and lower back may be reduced when all these nurturing techniques are integrated into your daily lifestyle. Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga-- a natural collaborative!
Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class.
Soon pregnant parents around the world can take a Spinning Babies class from their own monitor! Join six couples as they learn the reason why Spinning Babies works and how it can enhance your labor and birth.
See techniques to do daily or weekly. Actual, real consultations with two couples right at our class location, one with a breech baby (head up) and one with a baby in a transverse lie (lying sideways).
Couples do the techniques together and show you how to do these at home.
Used alone or with the Daily Essentials, Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class goes beyond the basics. Simple props show complex concepts sweetly. Little-known anatomy is linked to childbirth and the role of fetal positioning.
The section on labor discusses two labor patterns- the one "promised" in other books and the unexpected one associated with the posterior labor. Learn the common causes of long labor and techniques to help baby through the pelvis.
Be empowered; be prepared. After using this video throughout your pregnancy, while we can't promise, of course, you may not need the tips for labor progress. You can use that knowledge to help your neighbor. This video is all Spinning Babies.
Blooma Yoga Prenatal Yoga for AM and PM.
Warm up in the morning and cool down in the evening in two 30-minute sequences. Sarah Longacre shares her own blossoming pregnancy, Blooma style, to the exquisite music of Carin Vagle. Sarah's affirmations will carry you through labor with emotional strength and encouragement. Play this video when the others become too basic and you just want to dance and have fun. Wait, dance? Isn't this yoga? With Blooma and Carin Vagle, your spirit won't know the difference. Soar to greater freedom of movement. Bring your hormones into harmony with the day. Begin your day with serious play. Cool down at night with a sleep enhancing stretch before bed. This video is all Blooma!
Sarah's video is ready for you now! Get Blooma's AM/PM Yoga here
All three videos are professionally produced by Melissa Koch of Grey Duck Productions, with stills by Tanya Villano Photography, each of these three videos are dynamic on their own. Together they will enhance your pregnancy and labor experience with fun and empowerment in the most practical manner. Feel hope for your birth abilities, this is support for your journey. Gain the confidence and flexibility to fully bloom. I believe these videos carry the potential to bring your best birth dreams into the gentle reality.
Compassionately priced. Estimated Due Date for Daily Essentials March 2014; for Spinning Babies Parent Class, Fall 2014.