Sep 182012

Why Skin to Skin Contact Is Not Just For Premature BabiesBased on the limited choices available to me at the time, hospital birth was the only safe option. When I arrived at the hospital to give birth, I was asked if I was going to have a C-section or if I was going to be induced. Being familiar with the local mindset around birthing, I knew that the nurse was simply following her most common protocol by excluding a “normal” (natural) birth. I said that I simply wanted to birth my baby and that hopefully none of the two options would apply. She seemed confused by what seemed “normal” to me.

As our baby emerged from the inner world into the outer world, a nurse was ready with what looked like golden wrapping foil for a flower bouquet to cover our newborn son and take him away to get weighed and measured. I don´t think this procedure is appreciated by any baby and their vocalising thereof is generally disregarded. Luckily, I had written a ‘friendly letter’ to the midwives and the Obstetrician before checking into the hospital, which informed them of our birthing preferences.

Although it seems curious that one has to specify what “normal” means Continue reading »

Sep 052012

During labour and birth, your body will experience many thousands of sensations flooding your central nervous system, sensations you have never experienced before, which your brain does not know how to interpret.

When we experience something new which we did not expect and do not know how to cope with, our brains will often respond the only way they know how – by interpreting the new sensations as pain. In most cases of birth, there is no actual pain, simply stretching sensations, some pressure, and the feeling that a massive force is pouring through you.

They are very powerful sensations – all the creative power of the universe is flowing through you at the time of birth. That is why some women can feel overpowered and unable to cope unless they have prepared themselves and know what to expect. Knowing what to expect so that you do not have fear Continue reading »

Sep 042012

The following article is written by Jevon Dängeli.

Yesterday, while in the playground with my 14 month old son, I observed some interesting phenomena. In-between sliding and swinging I couldn’t help but notice how varied the interactions were between other parents and their kids.

There was another dad carefully guiding his son to take his first steps, celebrating each hands free stride with joy. A mother sat on the bench fixated on her laptop computer, occasionally looking up and shouting instructions to her two children. Another mum was running around the jungle gym with her daughter, laughing and having fun, while two other mum’s engaged in conversation, seemingly unaware of what their kids were up to. There were other parents who were either engaged with their children, or disengaged from them.

Notably, there were parents who were there to play and be with their kids and others were more ‘grown up’ and there to keep a ‘responsible’ eye on their children. I was doing both, playing with my son, and from time to time Continue reading »

Sep 042012

The use of self hypnosis during labour and childbirth has been practised for more than a century. This natural approach to pain relief teaches you to alter the brain’s perception of the pain message, and to turn down its intensity.

One major benefit of this simple technique is that it provides you with the ability to remain relaxed with minimum discomfort, throughout labour and childbirth, without the use of pharmaceuticals or medical intervention. And even in the event of complications, where medical intervention is required, you will be able to activate your body’s natural pain relief mechanisms, so as to reduce the use of harmful medications. The self hypnosis technique that I will touch on in this article does not put you into a zombie like trance state – in fact, through using this approach you will be Continue reading »

Aug 062012

How the birthing partner can be helpfulFor millions of years, the female psyche has been hard-wired with an understanding of what to do at birth and how to do it. Most women appear to be born with an innate sense of how to cooperate with nature during pregnancy and birth and how to provide robust, loving nurture once their child is born.

In most traditional cultures-those in which certain practices and beliefs are passed on from generation to generation – a central position is provided for the father in the birthing place. However in our modern society, for various reasons, often the father is not the desired person to be present at birth, in which case the pregnant woman may choose another birthing partner, like a friend, relative, midwife, doula to provide loving support and encouragement throughout the delivery.

Many women value the presence of someone who can remain grounded and calm, prompting her with supportive language. This can be especially valuable, when Continue reading »

Aug 062012

What if? Breech, big baby and high levels of stress during pregnancyExpecting couples may have questions and concerns on their mind, which can be different for each individual. The following article lists 3 of the most common questions. It also addresses how to apply natural approaches to resolving common birth complications in order to reduce unnecessary medical interventions. Should serious complications require the use of medications or interventions, then this article also highlights how to approach them fearlessly while maintaining a positive attitude. Being aware of the following information will help you ensure that you will not be disappointed about your birth experience, and thus maintain a nurturing environment for your baby to emerge into.

What if the baby is in breech position right at the end of the pregnancy?

Right before birth, most babies are in a head-down position in the mother’s uterus, which is why most babies are born head first. Sometimes the baby is in a bottom-first (or feet-first) position. When a baby is in that position before birth Continue reading »

Aug 022012

Maternal Separation Stresses the BabyMy mother gave birth to my sister and me in the 70ties in Germany. Listening to her story about my own start to life and the procedures and mindsets that were common practise back then, brought tears to my eyes. Those weren´t tears of joy.

Sympathizing with my mum provoked feelings of regret, fear, helplessness and sadness about the way in which newborn babies would be “handled” back then. In my case all babies got taken away to a separate ” baby sleeping room”. The hospital protocol allowed for 20min breastfeeding time – only after the mums had washed their hands with sterile solution . After 20min us babies got weighed and if we hadn´t gained the scheduled weight, nurses would take us to the baby room and feed us the bottle. Unfortunately, I was too weak to drink fast enough on my mum´s breast to reach the set goal within 20min… I can only imagine what impact the time in hospital had on me throughout my whole life – being separated over and over again and not knowing my mother´s scent in those first very important hours and days of a baby´s life Continue reading »

Aug 022012

Ten Ways to Truly Respect MotherhoodRespecting mothers and babies throughout pregnancy and birth (and life for that matter!) is one of the main points of focus of the Birthing Without Fear methodology. The sacred bond between mother and child and the parental bonding with our children as nature intended, is the heart and soul of what I am passionate about.

The following article is written by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. and published on www.Psychologytoday.com.

Ten Ways to Truly Respect Motherhood

When my mother was having her children in the 1950s and 1960s, mothers were “knocked out” and babies were extracted with forceps and taken away. Such disrespect of mothers, babies, and motherhood! You can see the resulting damaged bonding of mothers to children in this time period in shows like Mad Men or movies like The Hours. Many disrespectful practices still exist today— to the detriment of moms, babies and society.

Here is a preliminary list of ways to respect mothers, babies and motherhood Continue reading »

Aug 022012

Dangers of “Crying It Out”I recently had a conversation with a dear and well-meaning friend who proposed to me to try her way of ensuring that my baby would sleep through at night. She described in vivid details how she took “the opportunity” while her husband was away for a few days, to “train” her child to not be picked up or fed when he woke up – until he had learned that his cries would not be answered. She reported how her baby hit his head against the wall while crying his heart out, and that is was not easy but that she needed to stay “hard”. I love her and at the same time my heart felt the emotional pain of this little soul…

There is more and more evidence of the dangers of letting babies to cry.

The following article Continue reading »

Aug 012012

Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular LevelScientific findings don´t stop surprising us – According to the following article by Laura Grace Weldon, it’s now known that cells from a developing fetus cross the placenta, allowing the baby’s DNA to become part of the mother’s body. These fetal cells persist in a woman’s body into her old age. (If she has been pregnant with a male child it’s likely she’ll have some Y-chromosomes drifting around for a few decades too). This is true even if the baby she carried didn’t live to be born. The cells of that child stay with her, resonating in ways that mothers have known intuitively throughout time.

Fetal cells you contributed to your own mother may be found in her blood, bone marrow, skin, kidney, and liver. These fetal cells appear to “treat” her when she is ill or injured.   Researchers have noticed the presence of these cells in women diagnosed with illnesses such as thyroid disease and hepatitis C. In one case, a woman stopped treatment against medical advice. A liver biopsy showed “thousands of male cells” determined to be from a pregnancy terminated nearly 20 years earlier. These cells helped her body recover just as fetal cells you gave your mother rush to help repair her from within when she’s unwell.

Fetal cells may influence a woman’s autoimmunity, although it’s not yet known if they are always beneficial. According to fascinating accounts in Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy, the more fetal cells there are in a woman’s body, the less likely she is to have conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. That’s not always the case. It’s thought that a mother’s body may battle those cells, thus promoting her own autoimmune disorders. (Apparently family dynamics are complicated even at the cellular level.)

There’s evidence that fetal cells provide some protection against certain cancers. For example, they’re much more prevalent in the breast tissue of healthy women than in those with breast cancer. And fetal cells can contribute stem cells, generate new neurons in the mother’s brain, even help to heal her heart. Her heart!

Look around at your family. Any woman who has ever been pregnant, even if she miscarried so early she never knew she was with child, is likely to be a microchimera (a person who carries the cells of another person).  Fetal cells have the imprint of her child’s father and his ancestry. Fetal cells can be shared from one pregnancy to another, meaning the cells of older siblings may float within younger siblings. These cells are another reminder of the ways we are connected in a holographic universe.

I’d like to think that my fetal cells helped my mother battle the congestive heart failure that eventually took her life. I like to imagine that I carry within me my older sister’s fierce intelligence and that my talented younger brother benefits in some way from the cells of both his sisters. Knowing that I carry the cells of my four living children as well as babies I lost makes my heart ever more full on this special day.

We heal our mothers and our children heal us. Again poetry takes a back seat to nature’s awesome secrets.

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