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Mothering › Groups › May 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Suggestions for preparing an untrained "birth assistant"?

Suggestions for preparing an untrained "birth assistant"?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My mother would like to be involved in this birth and baby moon...I am not sure why although I have my suspicions.  She has beaten all around the bush but not yet pushed into stating that she wants to be more involved in this birth and baby moon then she was with DD (who was an emergency c).  It is probably for a selfish reason (like, if I need her help post-pregnancy she would have an opportunity to travel out of state/country).  That being said, she is also not the type of person to prepare for anything and procrastinates EVERYTHING.  Which drives me utterly insane.  But I don't mind if she wants to be involved because it may offer her some advantage (and there is an advantage to me of course).  I mind that she wants to be involved but does not want to do any work for it.  Like, she wants a free vacation complete with 4 course meals.  That has me concerned because sometimes her expectations are a bit over the top and we live on the cheap and cheap, especially when we are traveling.  DH has said it is ultimately up to me whether I ask her to be involved, although he has also said he will not tolerate her lack of help because of the stress it puts on me.  He will ship her home immediately, even if it is half way around the world!  (LOL, DH is rightfully protective and I love him for it).  

 

I have to set tasks before her because although she wants to do these things, she does not know how to prepare for them.  She was supposed to have her passport soon since we initially planned that she would be visiting us in Japan in Spring so that she could take DD back for a visit with her father (child visitation requirements).  With the pregnancy, a few things are still up in the air.  She still has not gotten the passport, she says because our plans were not concrete although the deadline we set was not for another month or 2.  The threat was that if she did not get her passport in time, then I had a back-up friend who would come pick up DD if I could not/did not want to make the extra trip (plus the friend would LOVE a trip to Japan and it is the same cost to fly me home and back as it is to fly someone to Japan and back).  She was also supposed to have started walking as exercise but she has not started that and comes up with excuse after excuse.  Right now, I don't think she could easily walk more then a short block in her neighborhood.  She is not a fit woman, by any means.  To get around in Japan, she has to be able to walk a few miles a day.

 

So I thought a good place to start preparing her would be a book or two to read about birth options and breastfeeding and other such things.  She did not have the options we now have  Its and she never breastfed.  A lot has changed in the 40+ years since she had her first.  It would be nice to have someone supportive in these skills instead of me trying to constantly ask and direct her to do specific tasks during the birth and after.  I am not even sure she will read the books, but if she does then I will know how committed she really is.  It would also end the constantly well-meaning yet irritating suggestions she made with DDs birth/baby moon.  Things like "what's wrong with disposables?" and "Isn't formula better or equal to breastmilk?" or even "what's the difference between a plastic bottle and glass except that one will break when dropped?" I don't blame her for not knowing, but she needs a little education at the very least.

 

I would truly like to have her involved, but she brings a serious set of stressers (because of her procrastination) that I can not handle when I have to deal with my own DD and DH and future child too.  

 

So any books that would cover the birthing/breastfeeding options?  I generally just want her to understand how things go these days, not necessarily be an expert in them.

 

Any other ideas about how I can prepare her?  I have thought about a class, but I am not sure about costs.

post #2 of 6
Most breastfeeding books give the same basic info about the benefits, common issues, how-to, etc. The Nursing Mother's Companion is a good one, so is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Or if you already have a breastfeeding book or two, see which of those might be easier/shorter for her and suggest that. Would she do better with a funny book? Maybe something like So That's What They're for: Breastfeeding Basics would work better.

For birth, a class might be best. There are lots of books out there, but I think you would want to pick one more specific to the type of birth you are looking for, so I can't make too many recommendations there. But if she could go to a hospital birth class (I think you are giving birth in a hospital, right?) that should get her fairly prepared for how things go now and they are usually relatively inexpensive (the one I did was $85 a couple). She might feel weird being there with all these other people who are giving birth, but a quick explanation during the introduction will help with that. It would be best if she could go to a class with you, but I doubt that will be possible, maybe she can bring a friend so she can practice some of the relaxation stuff they usually have you do. Or maybe one of the videos/documentaries that are out there would work? I hear The Business of Being Born is pretty good, though I haven't seen it.

And honestly, I wouldn't count on her for much if any labor support, that way you won't be disappointed, maybe she can help more with your older child? For after the birth, I would probably start laying out expectations now so it is all on the table. That way if she tries to pull something, you can just point back to the established expectations. And good for you DH for being willing to boot her out if she isn't going to be helping!
post #3 of 6

I have a doula client who's mother is a bit difficult and will be at the birth so we have been working on preparing her. I recommended watching Doula! Film, http://doulafilm.com/and they both loved it and found it very helpful. The mom had no idea what to expect because she had 5 medicated hospital births that she doesn't have much recollection of so it was very eye opening for her to see what to expect and what labor support looks like. It shows homebirth and hospital birth and has a 10 minute section after on post partum care, its a wonderful film. The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkin is fantastic and is great for anyone attending your birth. You may want to consider hiring a doula who can help you with your mother during the birth, removing her from the room if her presence is not helping you. I agree with Quinalla, a class would be ideal as well.

Good luck. I haven't decided what to do about my own mother yet...

post #4 of 6

That sounds like a lot to have to try and deal with with all the preparations for a new baby and for the changes your body will go through. I offer doula services in the Triangle and have worked with untrained partners to help them understand their role as well as teach them tangible massage and breathing techniques that they can perform during the labor to help the laboring woman. So that's an idea - to have a trained birth doula there with you and your untrained but very loving birth partner to make the whole experience better for you both! If you are interested in learning more about my services let me know. Your midwife or doctor might suggest someone too!

 

hope that helps!

Doula Rakhee

post #5 of 6
The book 'the Birth Partner' by Simkin (sp??) sounds like it could be helpful.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions Ladies.  I have started her reading Natural Birth, Natural Mothering and I think I may have her do a class.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moriahmoonstar View Post

I have a doula client who's mother is a bit difficult and will be at the birth so we have been working on preparing her. I recommended watching Doula! Film, http://doulafilm.com/and they both loved it and found it very helpful. The mom had no idea what to expect because she had 5 medicated hospital births that she doesn't have much recollection of so it was very eye opening for her to see what to expect and what labor support looks like. It shows homebirth and hospital birth and has a 10 minute section after on post partum care, its a wonderful film. The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkin is fantastic and is great for anyone attending your birth. You may want to consider hiring a doula who can help you with your mother during the birth, removing her from the room if her presence is not helping you. I agree with Quinalla, a class would be ideal as well.

Good luck. I haven't decided what to do about my own mother yet...


Thanks, that is a great idea.  At least she will know what to expect and what she may need to do.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doula Rakhee View Post

That sounds like a lot to have to try and deal with with all the preparations for a new baby and for the changes your body will go through. I offer doula services in the Triangle and have worked with untrained partners to help them understand their role as well as teach them tangible massage and breathing techniques that they can perform during the labor to help the laboring woman. So that's an idea - to have a trained birth doula there with you and your untrained but very loving birth partner to make the whole experience better for you both! If you are interested in learning more about my services let me know. Your midwife or doctor might suggest someone too!

 

hope that helps!

Doula Rakhee

 

Thanks Doula Rakhee!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginia884 View Post

The book 'the Birth Partner' by Simkin (sp??) sounds like it could be helpful.
 
I will check that one out.  Thanks smile.gif
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