Apr 11, 2011

The Last Few Weeks of Pregnancy. . .

Keep eating well and aim to drink at least 64 ounces of fluid  
Taking extra vitamin C helps to strengthen tissues (especially  
good for amniotic sac and perineum); having some vitamin E  
on hand to take after the birth helps with healing.  
Baby positioning: check out spinningbabies.com; it is the best  
resource for what you can do physically to help baby find  
the optimal position for birth.  
Emotional preparation: find some time to think, write, or  
talk about your fears. Fear can slow labor and increase pain  
perception, so it's best to work out any fears before labor  
Try to reduce other life stresses before the birth so you can  
focus on this huge transition.  
Choose an "early labor project." If labor gets off to a  
seemingly slow start, it is helpful to have an easy craft to  
focus on as long as possible.  
Set up your support network so you know who you can call if  
you need help in the first few weeks after coming home with  
Pamper yourself! 

Feb 19, 2011

BIrth Circle

A group was started in Wilmington about four years ago by a local doula, Carmen, who has since moved away, but the group carries on, hostd by the Cape Feat Area Doulas.The birth circle was inspired by the novel The Red Tent, which I wrote about in my last post. The book takes place in ancient times and tells how the women would gather together every new moon in the red tent to support each other through their cycle. When it was time for someone to birth a baby, she labored and birthed in the red tent, supported by her sisters or other women from the community. She would then stay in the red tent for one month, getting to know her baby, learning to nurse, and healing with the support of fellow women.

Today's modern birth circle is a sort of reincarnation of the aspect of red tent in which women support women through our childbearing. Today there is often a lot of fear surrounding pregnancy, birth and motherhood, but here is a place for us to gather to honor these traditions of life. We know that we are brave women and we respect the power of birth in all its forms. New mothers are encouraged to share your birth story in whatever way you choose. We practice listening during the story and hold any questions until the end. This is your time to be heard.

Besides being a great place for new mommies to process and talk about giving birth, the Birth Circle provides a gathering spot for pregnant women to meet local doulas and other moms, ask questions, and get insight into the birth process. 

In Wilmington, the Birth Circle meets the third Saturday of each month at 4pm, in the community room above Tidal Creek Coop, next door to the Yoga Center. All mothers welcome. No childcare is provided, but of course babies are welcome, too. 

Jan 7, 2011

The Red Tent

In 2002, before I had ever been pregnant, the woman who became my daughter's paternal great-grandmother recommended a book to me as a "must-read." As I am prone to do, I bought this book on sale, put it on my shelf, and assigned it to my ever growing and constantly evolving To Read List. I finally decided to read Anita Diamant's The Red Tent at the start of 2011. I am so hooked on this book right now! I haven't completed it yet, but this is one of those books that even between reading sessions, I keep rehashing the story in my mind, turning it over, thinking "what if?”

I am not going to retell the tale here, but all this time I've had this treasure sitting on my bookshelf, and had no idea that a major theme of the story is the narrator/ main character's journey to becoming a midwife. Interesting that as I begin the book, I am simultaneously feeling drawn to the same path. It is a strange coincidence that soon after I started visualizing myself as a midwife, imagining what that life would be like for me (because it is a life, not just a vocation), I started reading a novel about a girl who grows into a woman and follows her Aunt into the path of midwifery. Strange indeed. 

The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you--just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
— Shel Silverstein