Birthowl’s natural childbirth

Comfort Nursing
January 11, 2010, 4:35 pm
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“You are not a pacifier; you are a Mom. You are the sun, the moon, the earth, you are liquid love, you are warmth, you are security, you are comfort in the very deepest aspect of the meaning of comfort…. but you are not a pacifier!” — Paula Yount

Many moms feel guilty for nursing their baby to sleep. Nursing your baby to sleep is not a bad thing to do! It’s very normal and developmentally appropriate for babies to nurse to sleep and to wake 1-3 times during the night for the first year or so. Some babies don’t do this, but they are the exception, not the rule. Many children, if given the choice, prefer to nurse to sleep through the second year and beyond. Nursing is obviously designed to comfort baby and tohelp baby sleep, and I’ve never seen a convincing reason why mothers shouldn’t use this wonderful “tool” that we’ve been given.

Superhoop breastfeeding her boy



Am I creating a bad habit by allowing baby to nurse to sleep?

Your baby’s desire to nurse to sleep is very normal and not a bad habit you’ve fostered. Don’t be afraid to nurse your baby to sleep or fear that you are perpetuating a bad habit. Baby often will seek the breast when sleepy or over-stimulated because it’s a comforting and familiar place to him. To associate the breast with wanting to relax enough to go to sleep makes perfect sense. As adults, we also do things to relax ourselves so we can go to sleep: we read, watch TV, get something warm to drink or a snack, deep breathe, get all snug under the covers, etc. Nursing does the same thing for your baby.



Trusting in Birth
December 21, 2009, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Surrendering to Birth

Surrendering to Birth

Childbirth is a normal, physiological process – a natural function of the female human body. Other normal physiological functions include sleeping, eating, taking a crap, breathing, etc.

All those other processes could be considered risky – for example, everytime you eat, you run the risk of choking to death on something, or falling ill from the food. But for the majority of the time, for the majority of us, we are able to eat without falling sick nor choking.

Take eating… We don’t take any preventive “just in case” measures everytime we eat. We simply eat without thinking about it, assuming that we will be fine.

So, why do we have problems trusting in the birth process, and that everything will be fine? Its different for each person, and to work through it, you need to know your own “why’s” and “becauses”.

Trust in birth. There is only one thing vital to the birthing process and that is a mother giving birth. Everything else is just decoration.

The true journey and progress is made within each individual mother and with each of her unique pregnancies and births. This is something only the woman giving birth can do, not anyone else and it would be arrogant to think that a birthing woman can’t do what she is already instinctively doing without support or assistance.

There is nothing to fear in birth. One should not be fearing complications, pain, inability to birth, intervention, unwanted presences, etc yet a lot of women have something to fear and that hinders the birthing process.

Women who freely choose to have a freebirth, often have worked out their issues beforehand and are left with a deep trust in birth and themselves.

Trust in it like you would in your ability to eat and your body’s ability to eat and process the food.

To give birth is to complete the cycle of creating a life, and it should be as sacred as the act of creating it.

Purebirth Australia – Unassisted pregnancy & unassisted childbirth resources. Information on obtaining birth certificates, maternity payments, lotus birth, solo freebirth, handling bleeding at home & other childbirth complications. Australian UC birth stories, photos & forums available as well!

Appreciating The Placenta
October 17, 2008, 5:56 pm
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The placenta is a beautiful organ. It is the only organ that develops and grows within another organ. It is responsible for growing a healthy baby. It is the bridge between a mother and her baby in the womb. In some cultures, it is called the called bucha-co-satthi, meaning baby’s friend.(1) Others see the placenta as the baby’s protective older sibling.(2) For these reasons alone, it is unique, amazing and beautiful.

The baby and the placenta are made from the same cells, which are formed through combination of the egg and the sperm. Once implantation occurs on about day six after fertilization, the gestation period begins and the fertilized egg and the placenta begin to develop separately, still connected. The placenta stays attached to the uterine wall while the fetus has the ability to move around the uterus.

The placenta is the fetus’s only source of food, blood, oxygen, vitamins and nutrients. All of these vital resources are carried from placenta to fetus via the cord. These resources come from the mother’s bloodstream, which is why a healthy nutritious balance of whole foods is so important during pregnancy. Iron is especially important because iron increases the hemoglobin level in the blood; hemoglobin carries oxygen in the body. Once the baby is born and the cord stops pulsing, that baby is no longer getting its oxygen from the placenta. When baby takes a first breath, the lungs begin to work and baby begins breathing on his or her own. In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the cord must stop pulsing before being cut.

The placenta is an incredibly important and spiritual piece of life. It has many uses, both spiritual and medicinal. It can provide whatever is needed and should not be wasted. We are responsible for treating the placenta with respect for everything that it has done.

Kelly Graff is a student at Birthwise Midwifery School.

Photo by Mayouska

The Birthing Dance

Come to me, My Child
Secret longing of my inner heart
Breath of spirit
Wandering the cosmos
Choosing your next lifepath
Seeking sanctuary in my wonb
Visions of you stir my dreams
Your gentle essence drifting inward
Merging into matter
Coming into consciousness
Birthing into being
Your tender wisdom speaks
The ancient knowledge of a mother’s power
Our bodies grow together
Two as one
Turning round, in birthing dance
You lead me
Opening the circle corridor
Descending into unhindered ecstasy
Into my arms

Judie C. Rall

Picture by Carnaval King

Waterbirth: Mom catches own baby
October 11, 2008, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, waterbirth | Tags: , , ,

Prenatal love
April 23, 2008, 7:00 pm
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How to provide a prenatal environment that nurtures your growing baby.

By Thomas R. Verny with Pamela Weintraub

Where do we first experience the nascent emotions of love, rejection, anxiety, and joy? In the first school we ever attend—in our mother’s womb. Naturally, the student brings into this situation certain genetic endowments: intelligence, talents, and preferences. However, the teacher’s personality exerts a powerful influence on the result. Is she interested, patient, and knowledgeable? Does she spend time with the student? Does she like him, love him? Does she enjoy teaching? Is she happy, sad, or distracted? Is the classroom quiet or noisy, too hot or too cold, a place of calm and tranquility or a cauldron of stress?

Numerous lines of evidence and hundreds of research studies have convinced me that it makes a difference whether we are conceived in love or in hate, anxiety or violence. It makes a difference whether the mother desires to be pregnant and wants to have a child or whether that child is unwanted. It makes a difference whether or not the mother feels supported by family and friends, is free of addictions, lives in a stable, stress-free environment, and receives good prenatal care.

All these things matter enormously, not so much by themselves but as part of the ongoing education of the unborn child.

Nurturers and Managers
Having a baby is, for most people, an act of faith. It represents a belief in a better tomorrow, not just for themselves but for the world. But unless we actively improve our understanding and treatment of the unborn baby and the young child, that faith will go unrewarded because we may blindly pass on to our children the neurotic parenting we ourselves may have received. One key to parenting is flexibility. Those who can adapt to their baby’s wants and needs will be nurturing and responsive. Those who cannot change their lives to accommodate the child—who expect the baby to adapt to them instead of the other way around—may be too rigid and uninvolved to parent well.

These days that task is harder than ever, given the frequent necessity for both parents in a family to work. As parents who work, we delegate responsibilities—including the care of our children and our homes. To keep our lives afloat, to juggle all the elements, we tend to become as managerial in our private lives as we are in our jobs.

It is during pregnancy that parents—those who work as well as those who don’t—must create a balance for living. I urge both partners to examine their commitments and to create a plan for increasing their time away from work so they can spend more time at home with the baby.P

Massage Message
December 27, 2007, 7:00 pm
Filed under: baby care, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Baby Massage

Massaging a newborn is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling activities you can participate in. As parents, we long to touch our newborns from the moment of their births. We want to go over every finger, every limb, marveling at the wonder “we’ve” created. Massage gives us the opportunity to do this, while being very nice for the baby, as well.

A wonderful massage you can do from the very first day your baby is born is a castor oil massage. A time-honored East Indian tradition reputed to reduce the heat in the baby’s system caused by the friction of birth, it also makes the baby’s skin lovely and soft, even on wrinkly feet. Buy castor oil from a local health food store and try to get ‘cold-pressed’ if you can.

In preparation for the massage, make sure your room is nice and warm. Lay a towel on the bed or the floor and lay a receiving blanket over it to make a nice, soft place for the baby to lie. You may also want to place a sheet of plastic beneath the towel in case the baby pees while you are in the middle of the massage. Have another blanket or two close by to cover the parts of the baby you are not massaging to keep the baby warm. If it is the middle of summer, or you are in a very hot room, this may not be necessary.

Warm your hand by rubbing them together, or running them under hot water. Undress your baby and lay her face up on the towel. Pour about a tablespoon of oil into your palms and rub them them together to warm the oil.

Beginning with the chest area, slowly ang gently rub the oil onto the baby, starting from the center and moving down to the sides. You will notice the oil is very sticky. Rub the oil onto the baby very slowly so you don’t pull the skin, adding more oil to keep your hands well lubricated.

After the chest, move to the abdomen and rub in small circles, clockwise in the direction th large intestines move. If your baby has not had a first bowel movement, expelling the sticky, brownish black meconium that filled the intestines in utero, don’t be surprised if the castor oil massage stimulates this expulsion.

After the abdomen, move to the legs. GEntly massage from the feet toward the hips, which helps to return the blood from the legs to the heart, and then massage the feet themkselves.

Rubbing in little circles in the center of the feet and on the heel for the accupressure points for the colon can also help to stimulate the expulsion of the meconium. From the feet move to the arms and massage from the wrists to the shoulders, and then the hands, gently rubbing the palm to stimulate the colon.

Next carefully roll the baby over and massage the back, stroking from the center out to the sides. Rub up in around the neck and down all over the buttocks. Last, roll the baby back over and massage the face and head. It is fine to get the oil in the baby’s hair and ears, just remember to be careful with the soft spot on the top of the baby,s head where the bones have not yet closed.

After you are done, wrap the baby in a receiving blanket, and another warm blanket and, if it is at all cold, put a hat on the baby’s head. The baby will seem very sticky for about twelve hours until all the castor oil has been absorbed. Then you will noticethat any dry skin is gone, and that everything, including the hair, is soft and silky.

You can give your baby a castor oil bath as often as you like, even every day is not too frequently, as they never seem to outgrow their love of massage.

[From ‘Choosing Waterbirth, reclaiming the sacred power of birth’ – by Lakshmi Bertram; Photo by Valentina Powers]