To eat or not to eat…Thatwasthe question for families planning a hospital birth. When you are laboring at home or a birth center, you have the freedom to eat as your appetite dictates. If you choose to have a hospital birth, you are at the mercy of your doctor’s orders and the nurse’s interpretation of the hospital protocol.
We love it when science catches up to Dr. Bradley. Anecdotally, we could tell students that it was safer to eat before/during labor since anesthesia has changed from the days of "knock'em out, drag 'em out" birth, as Dr.
I am going to direct you to THISarticle about how oxytocin helps to reduce stress and
promote peace. It's no surprise that oxytocin is
the same hormone that is released when we make love, arguably a great stress
reliever and a promoter of peace for couples. A lovely consequence of making love when the timing is right: welcome, baby, some 36+ weeks later!
In addition to being the “love” hormome, oxytocin is also produced in great
quantity when a woman is in labor. The
hard contractions can only happen if the woman’s body is producing ample
of Natural MotheringApril 2014: What You Wish You KnewRemember when you got your first positive
pregnancy test? What do you wish that woman knew? Write a letter of love and
encouragement to that awesome mama just starting her journey.
Dear New Mama:
Yes, you. I skipped
over the “mother-to-be”. You are already
growing life, and you are already aware of that life and protective of that
life…as I see it, there is no “to-be” in mothering. It is a state of being since you got your
Here are Dr. Bradley’s "Keys to Labor", as per his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth. I love these simple steps – they could almost be considered a “recipe” for
If you follow these steps, you
can figure out if you are in “real” labor.
If you are not, somewhere along these steps, your contractions will fizzle
out. And if they do, mama has eaten
well, slept, and hopefully had a good nap so that you are rested for the next round
of contractions when they begin again.
Restricting food and drink is still a common practice in many hospital settings. Here is our presentation of the information so you can make an informed decision for your labor:
Definition: Non Per Os or Nil By Mouth
From Wikipedia :
“Nil per os (alternatively
nihil/non/nulla per os) (NPO) is a medical instruction meaning to withhold oral
food and fluids from a patient for various reasons. It is a Latin phrase
which translates as "nothing through the mouth". In the United
Kingdom, it is translated as
We had a great question come up in class on Friday, one that bears writing
about because at least one student every session plans to give birth at a
hospital where they are told to have a good meal before they come in, because
their food will be restricted or prohibited once they check into the labor and
To begin with, even having to ask that title question begs another question:
why are we asking permission? The female
body, left to it’s own devices, will naturally shut down appetite as the
serious work of labor progresses.
Here are some of the ways we recommend our students
manage their labor without analgesics or anesthetics. Even when they are used in labor, we are so happy that our couples use them as tools to manage a long labor and their children are born nursing vigorously and with high APGAR scores.
Mom and Coach are informed.
Through the course of The Bradley Method® class series,
parents are taught about what to expect as “normal” in labor, what the
variations on normal might be, the different options and interventions in
labor, and how to recognize a complication that warrants a change in the plan
for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.
The night arrived again – when we say farewell to our
students and wish them the best for their birth and the journey of family upon
which they are about to embark. Bruss
always tells the first-time parents that he is jealous of them because there is
nothing else like the experience of welcoming your first child and discovering
parenthood for the first time.
I reflect and wonder if we have told them everything, showed
them everything, practiced everything – which is of course, realistically,
Bruss reveals his secret to being a great coach today...this is my first insight into his process, too. He has been an amazing coach at all of our births - now I know how he does what he does for our baby and me!~Krystyna
We are regularly contacted by our Bradley® students as they go into labor. For first time parents there is almost an universal excitement.
It is great to talk to the Dads and hear the excitement in their
voices...the nervous, anxious energy as they start the wonderful
experience of child-birth with their partner.
arrived from Chicago to relieve my aunt at around 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon.
She came in to see how I was doing. She asked, “How are things going?”
which of course started the tears again. Being a woman of great faith,
she said a beautiful prayer over us, then gave me a kiss and left the room to
go take care of the kiddos. I pulled myself together and decided I wanted
to go see our children. I missed them and one of the benefits of a
homebirth is having those you love near to you.