Abby Block, CD(DONA), CBC

Doula & Breastfeeding Support ~ Serving Brooklyn & NYC

home birth

Ina May Gaskin, by Timeline

Abby BlockComment
51XDRTR8LfL._AC_UL160_.jpg

This past fall I had the incredible opportunity to study at The Farm, the community where Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives made their home, birthed they children, and their names as pioneers in the modern day American natural birth movement, delivering thousands of babies. All around the world, for centuries, women had been giving birth at home and naturally. By the time many of these midwives had come to have children, the maternal care system had become overly medicalized and severely limiting women's choices. Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives gave women another safe option, and I am so grateful for their bravery, courage, and hard work in paving the way for women to have options in childbirth today. Check out the video below to learn more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_qqxilWcb0

Flipping A Breech Baby

Abby BlockComment

It happens! Babies are breeched and babies flip to the head down position. Occasionally they stay in the breech position. Ideally, baby flips! If your baby is in the breech position and you need to get them to flip, these are my recommended resources:

Spinning Babies: Breech Babies - very informational and detailed - recommend reading it all the way through

Prenatal Chiropractic Visits - ask me for a recommendation, based on where you are

Acupuncture - ask me for a recommendation, based on where you are

Good luck!!
 

Ina May Gaskin Documentary

Abby BlockComment

Looking for a birth-related movie to watch? Here's one: a documentary on the famous Ina May Gaskin, author of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Birth Story Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives ( 2013 )

"Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives captures a spirited group of women who taught themselves how to deliver babies on a 1970s hippie commune. Today as nearly one third of all US babies are born via C-section, they fight to protect their knowledge and to promote respectful, safe maternity practices all over the globe. From the backs of their technicolor school buses, these pioneers rescued American midwifery from extinction, changed the way a generation approached pregnancy, and filmed nearly everything they did. With unprecedented access to the midwives' archival video collection, as well as modern day footage of life at the alternative intentional community where they live, this documentary shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it--unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring."

Midwife Thinking: Birth From the Baby's Perspective

Abby BlockComment

Such a fascinating article! Excerpt below, and definitely head over here to read the article from Midwife Thinking in its entirety, as well as watch the videos.

Here are the bullet points from the article on treating a newborn with respect:

"A humane approach to welcoming a baby to the world

Whilst in some cases it is not possible, I believe that we should aim for all babies to have the opportunity to:

  • Make their own way through their mother’s body and into the world (ie. no unnecessary pulling).
  • For their first touch to be from the hands of a person who loves them (mother, father, family member, friend).
  • To be held immediately by their mother skin-to-skin.
  • To be sustained by their placenta until the placenta stops functioning (ie. leaving the cord intact).
  • To be left in peace to find their mother’s nipple and latch on.
  • To be treated gently and with dignity and respect during any ‘checks’ that their mother chooses to have done."

New Birth Plan Template

Abby BlockComment

Many of my birth doula clients - whether they are planning a natural birth in a hospital or birthing center, or birth with medication, or a home birth - want to create a birth plan. One hospital in NYC (NYU) provides a fairly succinct birth plan template, which is great, however I don't know many other hospitals that do provide a template. You can find some templates online, some simple and some that are pages and pages long (which I don't recommend). The image above is of a new one that I came across and thought I'd share - link below. Enjoy!

https://thebestseasonofmylife.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/a-downloadable-visual-birth-plan/

 

Birth Matters.

Abby BlockComment

I love this article! Read the full text here.

Excerpt below:

"The problem with saying “It doesn’t matter how you give birth” is that if women take that to heart, they may not take the time to educate themselves on their choices or vet potential providers to find the right fit since the birth process doesn’t really matter anyway. Empowerment starts with women educating themselves on the childbirth process and understanding that they are the drivers of that process. Birth attendants are primarily experienced navigators who know what to do if inclement weather hits or if the car breaks down. They should not take the wheel unless there is truly no other choice.

Childbirth is the likely the hardest, most overwhelming thing a woman will ever do, so of course those experiences matter. If you walk away from your birth feeling powerless, that’s important. No matter how your baby ultimately enters the world, how you experience birth and how empowered you feel throughout the process does matter. Let’s stop telling women that it doesn’t."

YOUR BIRTH, YOUR CHOICE!

Abby BlockComment

Seriously! As a doula, I support my clients' personal choices. Only each woman can know what is right for her when it comes to choosing a birth location, a care provider, and what type of care she would like to receive. There are so many different ways to give birth, which is wonderful, because there are so many kinds of women!

I love this quote from this recent article that explains some of the current controversy going on in the birth world:

How and where and whether someone has a baby is, by and large, every bit as personal as the business that led to conception in the first place.

Isn't that the truth?

Read the full article here.