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7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Next Birth

“I am moving with my baby towards a loving and safe birth.”

For some, a previous birth sets them on an unexpected journey. Having an unexpected cesarean is an example. You may have other unexpected events you can relate to if you haven’t had either a previous birth or a cesarean. If you are hoping for a vaginal birth this time, you may already be wondering who you can trust to help you. This can be especially true if seeking a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Strong feelings about your previous experience and what led to a cesarean, may drive decisions for your choices in care for this time around.

Whether a person has had one, two, or even three previous cesareans, it’s ideal to work with a midwife or doctor who has helped many families with a VBAC birth. Whether the setting is home, birth center or hospital, or the risk small or moderate, having a provider who knows physiological birth can be a lighthouse in a storm of doubt. Someone committed to VBAC goals helps parents navigate the waves of normal labor variations, like a longer length of labor. A doula with VBAC experience might be vital in situations where common but unforeseen changes happen. For instance, the provider you expect is suddenly not available, or is tired from a long day and night helping others when you arrive.

A mindful doula can help the providers that care for you throughout your pregnancy and birth to understand your needs. Having your needs met improves your sense of self as a person, as a parent, and within your body. Your birth team is your team to meet your needs, both physically and emotionally. See more on birth teams in upcoming Weeks 9 and 15.

Knowing how to do the techniques we recommend for easier birth may come in handy during labor. Your body will have felt them and perfected them for your own use. Your team will find ease in your familiarity with the Sidelying Release and Forward-Leaning Inversion, for instance.

 

Planning a VBAC

Begin your VBAC decision-making process by diving into evidence-based research. You have the right to choose a VBAC-friendly provider. Seek the local community of families who value and choose vaginal childbirth to find care provider recommendations. The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) is one resource that offers many local chapters. Educating yourself about your VBAC options affirms that you are worthy of a healthy choice for you and your baby. Be willing to travel, change, and meet new people. It’s all part of meeting the needs of you and your baby.

    Spinning Babies Activity of the Week

    Help free your sacrum and piriformis with daily windmills.

      How to do a windmill:
      1. Stand with your feet apart, toes facing forward.
      2. Bend forward from the hips, keeping the spine long.
      3. Place palms on a chair seat in front of you, a stool, a yoga block, or the floor, depending on which allows you to keep your back straight.
      4. Look at both hands in front of you on your chosen surface. Inhale as you lift your right hand out to the side and up over your head.
      5. Follow your hand with your eyes by turning your head. Don’t move your hand further than you can see.
      6. Exhale and bring your hand back to the surface slowly. You’ll notice a slight tilt to your pelvis as you do this.
      7. Repeat on the left side.

      Note: It’s ok if your hips move, but when you return your hand to your surface during the exhale, your hips should end up straight and even. Keep your legs straight, but knees remain unlocked. Begin with 5 or 6 on each side. Work up to 10 on each side.

      Your Baby This Week

      Your baby is already moving its spine and limbs in the womb. Webbed fingers are growing longer. The first movements were observed at 7.5 weeks postmenstrual age. A scatter of two weeks was found for the ages at which frequently occurring movement patterns could be observed for the first time.[1]

      You This Week

      Many pregnant people are surprised at how good they feel. A sense of hope to avoid nausea begins to take hold. Others are already feeling it. (See Week 6 for nausea relief tips!) Eating patterns are changing. What does your pregnant body want to eat? Eat small snacks or balanced meals every 2-4 hours. To protect yourself from a sudden drop in blood sugar which can leave you feeling vulnerable, shaky, or nauseous, don’t go longer between meals.

      Weekly Affirmation

      Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy:

       

      “I am moving with my baby towards a loving and safe birth.”

      References

      1. De Vries, J. I., Visser, G. H., & Prechtl, H. F. (1982). The emergence of fetal behaviour. I. Qualitative aspects. Early human development, 7(4), 301-322.
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