How to Empower Women Throughout Labour and Birth
To give birth, a woman needs to feel safe enough to give up control of her body and lose any inhibitions that she may have. She needs to be able to focus within instead of on those surrounding her. A labouring woman needs to move as her body wants to move and to cry out if it helps to relieve her pain. As a birth partner and labour support person, your role is very significant during labour and birth, and you have the ability to positively affect the birth process.
The Words We Use Can Influence A Woman’s Birth Experience
Imagine that you have finally decided to run a marathon. You enter the race, you train as best you can and then the day of the race is here. You line up with the other competitors and then set out at a steady pace. You are doing quite well… for you. There are people who are running much faster than you, indeed, some will be finished before you get to the half way point of the race.
As you get more comfortable with the race that you are running, you finally take the time to notice your surroundings. The course is laid out before you and people have lined the street to encourage all of the competitors. As the number of runners thins out, you can finally make out what it is that they are shouting:
“You look tired!”
“You look awful”
“You aren’t doing it right”
“Are you sure that you don’t want medication to make the pain go away?”
With words like these, confidence plummets, strength evaporates and you begin to doubt that you can finish AT ALL.
Just as with running a marathon, labour and birth takes phenomenal inner strength. Words have underlying meanings, both positive and negative and labouring women need encouragement with words that are positive and inspiring. We need to use words that increase a woman’s resources, instead of deflating them.
Not-so-positive words or phrases that undermine a woman’s confidence are: painful contractions, weak, pale, are you sure you don’t want to have medication, failure to progress, incompetent cervix the list is endless.
Positive words that you can use to help your beloved through her labour and birth are: you are strong, you can do this, you are doing wonderfully, you are beautiful, we will have our baby soon, you are capable, you are awesome, you are just about there. This list is really endless, too, but as you can see, it inspires greatness and it encourages the labouring woman to be strong and capable during her labour and birth.
Do You Have a Fussy Baby in Your Life?
Oftentimes, fussy breastfeeding babies are either experiencing physical pain from birth, they are reacting negatively to the foods that their breastfeeding mom is eating, OR BOTH!
Birth is a very difficult process for babies to experience. If you suspect that your baby is in physical pain when you feed or diaper him or her, take your baby to see a pediatric focused chiropractor in your area. We are trained to gently relieve irritations to muscles and joints.
If your baby is fussy after breastfeeding or cries inconsolably in the evenings and won’t settle easily, chances are that your baby is reacting to foods in your diet.
If this is the case, please consider purchasing the Calm Baby Cookbook – it outlines the foods that commonly cause problems for babies to digest and offers 100+ delicious breastfeeding recipes to get started! It has helped to calm many babies in my practice and I sincerely hope that it will calm your fussy baby as well.
Dr. Melanie Beingessner
Dr. Melanie Beingessner is a pregnancy and pediatric-focussed chiropractor, a breastfeeding counselor, an infant massage instructor and a mom of three awesome kids.