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The Overlooked Healing Benefits of Crying - Page 6

post #101 of 122
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I'm not Alegna... but really, babies are crying because something is *wrong*. I don't think the focus is so much on stopping the crying, but on helping the child feel better, and helping fix what is wrong. When babies are happy and no longer is distress, they don't cry. If nursing does that, great. If a quiet room works, fabulous. If simply being held and crying works, that's fine too... but I do think that needing to cry to resolve underlying trauma is pretty far down on the list of reasons why babies cry.
When I am no longer in distress, I still cry for a while after to relieve the stress.

For example, if I have a fight with my husband and I cry....after the fight is over and everything is resolved and perfect and there is nothing negative remaining between us, I will still feel a need to cry. At first he didn't understand this, and thought something was still wrong. And I didn't really know why I still felt like crying, either. But, I figured out that I just need it to shed the stress and intensity of the experience. Now he just lets me keep crying. Before, we would both try to stop me from crying. Often after an emotional experience like that, we would feel very close and loving and have a very tender love-making experience...and then after I would go take a bath, and still find myself feeling like I need a cry, even after all of those endorphins added to my system that should comfort me.

I know nursing causes opiate-like effects in the baby's brain, which may stop the crying the way endorphins do, but I don't know if it really relieves the stress, or just makes the baby better able to deal with the stress.

Does the baby still feel, after nursing, like he WISHES he could cry and get it out of him? I don't know. So, I intend to keep an open mind about this issue for a while. No conclusion yet.

FWIW my dd is 18 months now. When she has a serious fall or bump or scrape, I DO offer to nurse. Sometimes she will, and it makes her feel better. Sometimes she won't, and that's fine. But I wouldn't NOT offer just because I know she's crying because she's hurt not because she's hungry. Does that make sense? We should offer to comfort babies and children in appropriate ways. Nursing and hugs- good. Here's a cookie, be quiet- not so good. I don't have an issue with the fact that SOME babies SOME times cry and need to just let it out. I do have a problem with witholding something that SEEMS to comfort them (ie, stop the crying) because you're making the intellectual leap that they must need to just cry. Crying in arms SOMEtimes is the best thing (when all other things have been checked) But it should not be assumed that ALL babies need to do it.

If your DD has a physical injury causing her pain that is making her cry, I agree that nursing is an appropriate thing to do, because the opiate-like substances in the milk will act as a pain reliever. It is a much better pain reliever than a spray to numb the injury, or an oral pain reliever.

But emotional pain seems like it should have different responses.

I understand that those of you who are posting against EVER letting the baby cry are mostly coming from a place where your concern is how it is possible to determine that the baby is crying from a need to relieve emotional stress. I can understand that it is probably not easy. I have not been there yet, so I don't know. I plan to approach this issue with all the awareness I can muster and see if I can figure out for sure if my baby is needing a de-stress cry. If I can't be sure, then I think I will probably not feel comfortable if I don't try nursing.

"William and Martha Sears: “Research has shown that crying is a healthy part of the recovery process—a physiologic aid to releasing stored stress. . . . Lucky is the child who feels the freedom to cry without rebuke. Wise is the parent who gives a supportive presence. There is a big difference between allowing your baby to cry (without panic on your part!) and leaving her to cry alone and uncomforted.”
—The Baby Book, 2nd ed. Little, Brown and Company, 2003."
When I was a child, I didn't feel the freedom to cry to relieve the trauma of a physical injury. My father had no patience for it, and would lose his temper. For some reason, he didn't have the same reaction to crying over emotional trauma. I have no clue why. I should probably ask him some questions and try to figure it out.

I remember clearly as a child, when a beloved pet would die, he would hold me and let me just cry. Usually after about 15-30 minutes of this, I felt so relieved and refreshed and at peace. In my adult life, when I lost a pet I loved, I felt like I had to take measures to stop myself from crying. More than a year since my cat Enki died, I still don't feel as released from that stress as I used to feel after just half an hour of crying.
post #102 of 122
Originally Posted by M&Mmommy View Post
The subject has come up again about whether holding a baby and listening to her tears and crying while offering her warmth and attachement is tantamount to CIO. I would like to offer a perspective on why unexamined intolerance of any crying is actually short-circuiting an innate healing function that babies are born with.
As the mom of high need children, I love it. I often feel uncomfortable when posters say stuff like you should not "let" your baby cry. I have never found crying to be something I have any choice over. I comfort my children appropriately, but sometimes I just have to allow them to express themselves. If I need to put the baby down for a few minutes to collect myself, I don't feel that I'm a neglecting my child or "letting her cry it out". Or that I am somehow less of a nuturing mom cause I can't take the heat. I also don't think there is anything wrong with experimenting now and then to see if the child can self soothe - sometimes putting my kids down has been what has stopped the crying! Honestly, when I read the kind of advice that you should never ever not even for 5 minutes "let" a baby cry, I just have to wonder that perhaps the poster has not had much experience with a variety of babies. I'm the first to say do what you can to help babies feel the best they can, but IMHO it is very unrealistic to feel that you can always find and treat the source of every baby's tears. And I do think that underlying the resistance to accepting that babies sometimes need to cry like everyone else is indeed intolerance. I discovered within myself that underlying intolerance to crying was fear - fear of loosing control over the peace and security I had built in my life. Having a child is a huge leap of faith - I'm allowing into my life and promising to love, cherish, and care for a person I do not know, who may do things I do not like, who may not be inclined to cooperate with me, who hopefully will learn to love me back, but who is under no obligation to do so. Pretty scary.

Underlying the issue for me is also the fact that I did not feel safe crying in front of my parents growing up - which has evolved in not feeling comfortble crying in front of anybody - not even in transition in labor! When you are told for day 1 "don't cry", it sticks.
post #103 of 122
This concept was also discussed at length a while back here.

I don't think anyone is advocating refusing to nurse a baby who wants to nurse. The point is to bring to light the idea that sometimes babies cry to release trauma or stress, and if you're not aware of this idea, you may unwittingly do things to stifle that release (such as trying to get them to nurse when they don't want to, or a variety of other things).

In my situation (as I discussed earlier in this thread, and in the one I linked to above), my dd was deep suctioned at birth which caused an oral aversion. The trauma was triggered when she nursed, so she would cry because she was hungry, and then cry when I tried to get her to nurse. I didn't understand what was going on (i.e., that she suffered trauma from the deep suctioning); I just knew my baby was hungry, yet when I tried to nurse her she cried even more and refused. But I just kept trying and trying and trying to get her to nurse. For hours. Every night. For months.

Reading about the concept discussed in this thread (which I first read about in Solter's article for Mothering) got me to step back and look at our situation from a different perspective. It made me realize that I was trying to force my breast on a baby who didn't want it (again, made tricky by the fact that she actually was hungry, but the trauma made her not want to nurse). I finally understood that babies can cry for more reasons than just the "physical" (e.g., wet, hungry, gassy, etc.). I had instinctively suspected the trauma from the beginning, but my "rational" mind kept dismissing it. So I had been obsessed with trying to "fix" the problem ... thinking it could be fixed by walking, bouncing, shushing, nursing, etc. But it couldn't. What my dd needed was for me to shift my approach to one that created a safe space for her to release that trauma, instead of constantly trying to silence her.

This did not mean withholding the breast when she wanted to nurse. It also did not mean I gave up and stopped trying to help her. But I had to change my methods. For me, that meant recognizing and honoring her fear and terror; understanding that she may be hungry, but she was also afraid to nurse. It meant when I had tried everything I could think of to comfort her and she was still crying, that I held her lovingly in my arms, made my breast available if she should want it, and was just there for her.

When I did these things, her crying would change, often becoming almost unbearably intense. I think it's because she knew I was open to her, and was there to hear her; so she really let go. Even though it felt like an eternity, I think it usually lasted 5 or 10 minutes, maybe as long as 15 or 20 on occasion; usually with an ebbing and flowing to the crying. She would start to settle down, and then cry hard for a while, then calm a bit, then cry again, etc. Eventually it would taper off and she would finally nurse and let me comfort her. By allowing her to release her emotions in this manner, she was then able to nurse. When I didn't allow the release, she would suck a few times and start screaming. I would run around and bounce her, sling her, walk grooves into my floor to calm her down, and then try to latch her back on. She would suck a few times and then start screaming. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. For 4, 5, 6 hours at a time. It was the most awful thing I've ever gone through in my life.

Once I finally understood that she had suffered trauma, and she needed to cry to release it, things really changed. We did crying in arms, and also the craniosacral therapy, which was incredibly intense and transformative and just unbelievably healing for her. I think the crying in arms helped, but I believe it was the CST that truly allowed her to let everything go. I can't remember if I posted links earlier in this thread for finding a CS therapist in your area. If I didn't and anyone is interested, let me know.

ETA: My dd is now almost 2, and we still use this method on occasion. And I still sometimes get stuck in my "old" way of thinking. She had an awful sleep regression a few months ago, and was up all night for several nights. I was in and out of her room, obliterated by sleep deprivation, wanting nothing more than for her to stop crying and go to sleep. After a few nights, it suddenly dawned on me that I was not helping her. That instead of trying to get her to shut up and sleep, I needed to just honor where she was at and hear her. I stopped trying to calm her down, took some deep breaths, and mentally envisioned withdrawing into myself and leaving an open space for her. Her crying immediately intensified. When I tried to touch her she slapped my hands away, so I just let her sit in my lap. Occasionally I would murmur that I was listening, that I heard her, that I loved her. After about 5 minutes the intensity of her crying lessened, and she started the cycle of calming down, and then crying again. After about another 5 minutes she mostly stopped crying, and was finally accepting of my touching her again. Soon after she nursed, and then fell asleep. I have no idea what was going on with her or what it was that she needed to release. But I didn't need to know. I just needed to be there for her. And it's not a miracle cure ... this was not the end of the sleep regression, but at least it was the end of her being up all night.
post #104 of 122
The part about dd crying at 2 reminded me of my dd - sometimes she'll cry in the night, and I'll go to her and say "what's wrong? - what do you need?" And she'll just look at me and say "mama, I'm just whining!"
post #105 of 122
That instead of trying to get her to shut up and sleep, I needed to just honor where she was at and hear her. I stopped trying to calm her down, took some deep breaths, and mentally envisioned withdrawing into myself and leaving an open space for her. Her crying immediately intensified.
I had a recent interesting experience similar to this.

Sunday at 3:30am, ds1 woke us up with his screaming. He ran down the hall from his room, hysterical. We pulled him into our bed, and tried to comfort him - but he would not calm down - well, he would briefly and the start crying again. DH held him for awhile, and then I did. DH put him back to bed and lay with him and then I did. We would manage to get him to stop crying for a few minutes, and start to fall asleep, and then he'd wake back up again, sobbing.

We kept asking him what was wrong, but nothing he said made sense. We figured he was just scared, tired, etc.

I started getting really frustrated, since I was so tired. But I remembered something I read which is that I need to let him be upset. He had some powerful feelings he had to get out and I needed to let him get them out. I started talking about his powerful feelings, and he calmed down - enough to tell me that his shoulder hurt.

And that is when I turned on the light and checked out his shoulder - and immediately decided to take him to the ER. It turns out, he broke his clavicle falling out of bed.

No wonder he was hysterical!

We were so convinced for the first hour that he was "only" scared or tired, that we focused on getting him to calm down, which only made him more and more upset since there was something seriously wrong and he didn't know how to tell us. It wasn't until I started taking his reactions seriously and letting him be upset, respecting the fact that he was upset and that this was hard for him to deal with that I could actually start to see what was going on with my kid.

I felt like an idiot for trying to talk him out of his pain. I felt like an idiot for dismissing his pain - and for focusing on the symptoms of the problem (the crying) and not the underlying problem. The crying was important - it was the only way he could tell us that he was in trouble. And by respecting his crying, we were able to actually get him the help he needed.

post #106 of 122
I am trying to do some homemade rebirthing exercises with my daughter over the past day. The first time, while I gently massaged her head and shoulders in a birthing motion, she was reaching up frantically reaching like she was trying to get out but was stuck (short cord), she began to make choking sounds and weird gulpy noises that I have never heard her make before. Quickly after she started making the choking sounds, I wanted it to end on a positive note so I helped her be born and get unstuck while tossing socks and shirts that were on the floor at her to simulate being hit by placental material during the birth. Then I said that must have been a very scary experience and I'm sure you would want your mom after that, and this time I'm not going to leave you. The game ended and I sat with her for a few hours.

The second time we played the game, she expressed intense feelings of being trapped and clawing, hitting, kicking, and pulling on the placenta to get out while kicking her feet almost like her cord was wrapped around her legs, she even seemed to flip all around in a frantic and very scary way, and she seemed like she was reliving a terrifying experience. She was very strong, and used all of her strength to be born. All the while up top, I was having a fairly peaceful birth experience, even with all of the complications. I even napped for four hours, during the presentation problem, but she seemed in terror and getting herself untangled. When I woke up the presentation problem had resolved, and labor was like normal, but it was hard work for her to get to that point and really, until now I didn't give this a second thought. And to think that we were joking and having a good time after the birth after she had just gone through that makes me more aware of the need to have a more quiet and unstimulated time of rest for the baby after the birth and how much the baby needs to not be separated from their mother.

Then, she woke in the night last night with a night terror. I initially said, hush, then dh reminded me, don't say hush, and then I got into the mindset to give her that space to cry. Actually dh handled it. I am terrible at middle of the night parenting. I thought, if this continues, I will take a nap during the day or go to sleep a couple hours earlier so I can be ready to deal with the nighttime big emotions.

I would like the list of how to find cranial sacral therapist. I have a few names, but would like to find someone that does cranial and the rebirthing exercises.
post #107 of 122
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
I felt like an idiot for trying to talk him out of his pain. I felt like an idiot for dismissing his pain - and for focusing on the symptoms of the problem (the crying) and not the underlying problem.
I had a similar experience when dd was a baby. I clipped her pacifier to the skin under her arm!!! I didn't know why she was crying and immediately started all the hushing and shushing - and the sad part is that she did get quite and stopped crying. After I discovered it I felt like the biggest horse's butt on the planet! I guess "shush, swaddle, suck, swing" didn't apply to that one! - Better add "see and study baby" and "stop assuming"!
post #108 of 122
Wow, Bestbirths, what incredibly powerful work you're doing with your dd. She is lucky to have a mother who is so in tune with her, and willing to help her with this work. I can't remember if I posted a link earlier in this thread, but I wrote in detail about the work I did with my dd (you can read it here). Reading your post reminded me of how I would touch her head and she would just go crazy screaming. I've always felt that it reminded her of them restraining her head while suctioning; although it certainly could have been related to the birth as well (she was acynclitic and posterior, so her head was tipped and it was probably rather painful). I also felt such awful guilt over my obliviousness to her suffering. My labor was so hard for me, I didn't even think of what it must have been like for her. And while she was held down on a table, having tubes shoved down her nose and throat, I was patting myself on the back for having a natural childbirth, and just soooooo relieved that the pain was over (my labor lasted 30 hours, and I hadn't slept in about 4 days due to prodromal labor). I was completely out of it, and wasn't thinking at all about her or what she was going through. I was just eager for them to finish so I could hold her. It wrenches my heart now to think back on that, to think of her all alone and scared and hurting, when I should have been holding her in my arms. The suctioning they did isn't even indicated ... there are studies that show it just pushes the meconium further in . I researched everything I needed to know up to pushing her out, but never thought of what might come after (aside from declining the Hep B vaccine, etc.). I really felt like I failed her.

All of this was really driven home for me when I had a CST appointment where I relived my birthing experience, which was remarkably similar to dd's in many ways. I confirmed my "memories" with my mom later, and I was right about everything. I was also posterior and acynclitic, and spent the entire CST session with my head/neck twisted to the left, probably the way it was during birth. After talking everything through, and "re-doing" my birth the way I wanted it to be, my neck straightened all on its own, and I suddenly had a range of motion I didn't even know was possible. I was carrying the muscle memory of that trauma around with me for 35 years, and didn't even know it.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I also felt, and sometimes still feel, guilt about how blind I was to what my dd was going through. I have done the best I can to forgive myself. My actions weren't malicious; I simply didn't know any better. But it has definitely radically changed my feelings about birth (which were already radical -- when compared to the mainstream, anyway ), and I also feel it's so incredibly important for babies to not be separated from their mama unless it's life threatening. It wasn't until about two months ago that I finally grieved for that separation for me. I've spent so much time and energy helping my dd, I had neglected to work to heal myself. It was a very powerful release, and really snuck up and surprised me. I am glad to have done the work, because we are getting ready to ttc again, and I think I needed to clear that first.

Anyway, there are several training sources for CST, but the Upledger Institute is probably the best known. I've taken CSI through them, and am hoping to continue through the training as time goes by. You can search for a practitioner through their site; towards the bottom in the middle you'll see a link for "Find a Practitioner". Put in your location, and select CST for the modality (I would advise against selecting "CST Certification", since many practitioners don't do this, but are still very qualified). You'll get a list of names, and it will show the training each person has had. At an absolute bare minimum, you will want them to have CSI, CSII, SERI and CSP (the pediatrics class). More training is nice, but just like with any kind of service provider, you can have someone with lots of training who still isn't good due to the personal issues they bring to their job; and vice versa, you can have someone with less training who is absolutely fantastic. Pick one or more who look promising, then call and explain your situation. Ask if they have experience working with children your dd's age who suffered from birth trauma. I'm not sure where you're located ... if it's in SE Michigan, I can refer you to a phenomenal CS therapist. She's a massage therapist also, and only charges $30/session for kids (about 30 minutes long). Depending on where you are in the country, and what other training the therapist has had, it could be much more (I've seen people on MDC paying as much as ~$80/session, if I recall correctly). Another important thing is to follow your gut. I've heard of CS therapists who stop what they're doing when a child starts crying. Since children often release trauma, emotions, etc., by crying (and also laughing -- dd was laughing like crazy at her most recent session ), this is not helpful at all. The therapist has to be comfortable with that emotional release, and continue working with the child, supporting them through it. Also, they can tell if it's an emotional release or not (e.g., with a baby, one might wonder if it's crying because it's hungry). When something significant is happening, the cranial rhythm stops cold (I've felt this while working on someone, and it's unmistakable, even to someone with as little training as me), so if the rhythm stops when the crying starts, then you know the child is doing healing work. If you don't feel good about what the therapist is doing, and how they're handling things, then go see someone else.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you need more info. And good luck. I am confident you will be able to help your dd through this .
post #109 of 122
Maybe the rough suctioning has to do with how the medical establishment doesn't believe that babies brains are developed enough to feel pain. They do all kinds of torturous things with seeming disregard for the baby as a person. My children each have some birth trauma, even the births I thought had none. Another reason for a homebirth that it can give us more of an opprotunity to be thinking of the baby during and after, and not just the mom.

I found a cranial sacral therapist that is also a doula and is on the list and has all of the classes you mentioned. But at the cost of doing all of my children, it would cost less to get trained in cranial sacral, so I am considering that.

So, four of my children wanted to be rebirthed yesterday. They are all going through their different birth traumas, it's like I had quads. My 11 year old was in the NICU and he is having such a rough time. He remembers everything! He is reliving the physical pain such as the nasal prong and burning lungs, and the pku cutting into his feet is very hard to process since his dad held him during the procedure. Dh had a long talk about it to put it in perspective (you weren't breathing, you were blue, what were we supposed to do? and that the doctors were trying to help and not being malicous) Our son said that if he were going to choose where to be born he would have chosen to be born in the trailer at the campground where we lived in an unnattended homebirth, rather than induced with the midwife four hours away and enduring the NICU. He wanted to know why did we let that stuff happen to him? He would have rather had labor start naturally and been born in the local small hospital. He complained of feeling itchy during the birth, and like he needed to sneeze. We never considered when making our decision about our birth "where would our baby rather be born?".

My second oldest girl, who had the least trauma, when I rubbed her head and shoulders in a birthing motion said things like "why did you do an ultrasound?" (at the time, I don't know, no reason, why did she ask?), then she said "I'm hungry" (we were on the macrobiotic diet). Then she said she was sending me strong messages to go to dunkin donuts for donuts and dairy queen for a peanut buster parfait. (We went off the macrobiotic diet after 2 months and the first place we went was dairy queen for a peanut buster parfait...we once drove an hour because I had a intense craving for dunkin donuts and there were none closeby.) She said I read way too many books during the pregnancy (I read all of the birthing books during pregnancy) and maybe that is why she hates reading today. She believes her birth went so well and fast (57 minutes) because of the reading she knew exactly what to do (she could hear what I was reading? or because I would go tell dh what I read. hmm), and that she could read the thoughts of the midwife during her birth and what she was thinking...which was about being glad to be getting paid and that our family was loony...ouch. LOL

Most surprising is that at our unexpected unnattended homebirth, our dd had head and neck trauma that we didn't know about. She right away shortly after rebirthing started complaining of a headache & neckache. She is reliving the experience of having whooping cough at two weeks old and has started coughing up phlem just like the phlem from whooping cough, thick and mucousy. Wild! Right after the birth, she said she was put into total shock when we passed her around and let her older sibling hold her after the birth. His hands were cold. She became cold and scared, and stopped breathing and had to be transported.

The daughter who has an eye disease is still going through very big strong emotions at her birth, and we resolved that the emotions and grief the family was feeling was not because of her but because of circumstances, and not her fault. She felt such a release afterwards that she lightened up considerably and slept very heavy and well when she is usually very restless and kicky during the night.

ladies, can I just say that it would have been much easier to process all of this at the time when they were babies then now when they are older children. Or much better to have avoided some of these avoidable traumas. I would recommend cranial sacral and rebirthing exercises to all babies after their births. Or the crying in arms to relieve this stress and get it out rather than keep it inside. Babies need quiet and unstimulating times after the birth to process the experience of birth afterwards. I am seriously doubting whether or not it is a good idea to have siblings at the birth after this.
post #110 of 122
Really fascinating Bestbirths! DD my waterbirthed baby is terrified of going under water. Washing her hair is a huge ordeal. I don't know what the deal is but it has kind of made me wonder if I really want to waterbirth this one! I do remember when she was born, I held her in my arms for a second and then she started screaming bloody murder. It is the same scream she uses when I try to wash her hair...

DS was suctioned. I'm still furious about it. He's gone through phases of sadness - weeks when he just didn't seem to have his usual spark. But he has seemed to come out of it - he's generally very agreeable, but definately strongly attached to mama. I think we helped each other process his birth experience and move on. With dd it was alot harder - I had post traumatic stress after her birth, and alternated from being very attached to her, to almost feeling victimized by her at times.
post #111 of 122
Originally Posted by Shanana View Post
I also feel it's so incredibly important for babies to not be separated from their mama unless it's life threatening.
I remember listening to a talk on 3rd and 4th stage complications where they said, even if the baby was unresponsive, they should be rescutated on the mom's belly. I am thinking that even if it's life threatening, the baby should not be separated from the mom if it is at all possible. So, baby not responsive, rescutate on mom's belly, then if needing to transport, take mom and baby. If mom is hemmoraging and needing to transport, take baby to hospital with the mom. It wouldn't have taken much to load someone holding baby into the car at that time. It's a risk/benefit and the risk of emotional damage from separation is greater than the physical risk (such as just load person holding baby in car with no carseat and go) but in our society we don't usually value emotions over physical safety.

This is something that could be pre thought out in the birth plan and that you'd almost have to mention to everyone at your birth as a transport scenario. Who really plays out what they would do ahead of time this kind of stuff though?

=2bluefish; I don't know what the deal is but it has kind of made me wonder if I really want to waterbirth this one!
Well, I was the same as you, not wanting to repeat the same traumas as previous births, yet accidentally having other traumas at the births that come after. Now my whole outlook on birth is changing. If you look at it from the babies point of view all the time, I think it will make it easier to avoid birth traumas...a lot more of them, even if you had another waterbirth.
The attendant needs to be attentive to what is going on with the mom and make sure that the baby is not having any trauma during the birth. This is why I think having doulas work with midwives at a homebirth is good, because one person really can't do it all if there is complications.
If there is a midwife, assistant, and doula and they are all keyed into what is going on with mom and baby, maybe that would be a solution.

I cleaned out my garage and found notes that talk about how a baby can survive 1/2 hour after placenta separation without oxygen. It takes a lot of skill to notice when this is happening (if this is what happened to us at our unnattended homebirth, we didn't notice) and we weren't monitoring fetal heart tones. I didn't remember that with a short or entangled cord a baby can put out a hormone that can completely stop labor until the placenta detaches, then be born with it detached. That might explain why dd's labor stalled for four hours after transition and how it would even be possible for chunks of placental material came out before her head was delivered, how she could have lived through that, why her birth was very stressed, traumatic, and frantic from her point of view.

Now I understand how people can say why would a baby ever need to cry, or why would your baby be having birth trauma if you had a homebirth? But if you're placenta detached and you had only a certain amount of time to be born without oxygen, you would probably be pretty freaked out and probably benifit from being given a safe space to express your emotions afterwards like, crying in arms. But since it's been so long now, and we didn't allow her to express those strong emotions at the time, I am thankful that there are other options like cranial sacral and birth trauma therapies.

For the drainage, my notes from a talk by Dr. John Stevenson say that babies cry and and grunt to clear bronchial tubes and usually don't want to suck for 1/2 an hour after the birth. It says to wipe out the mouth with gause and listen to the babies first breath, if clear. fine. If not, to set baby in drainage posture (hand under babies abdomen and other hand under forehead, holding bottom up high in order to put a slope on the trachea). Babies mouth should be open and facing the floor. They reflexively try to clear their airway if they are conscious. Meconium Aspriation is due to proceedures with sucker with baby laying supine.
post #112 of 122
Hmm, well, what I'm quesitoning with waterbirth is this assumption that no baby will mind being born into water, and all babies will find that a gentle introduction to the world. How do we *know* that is true?

I won't have any attendants this time. I feel like even those with the best intentions interfer with mama communicating with baby.

I have to admit I was pretty selfish with my first 2 births. I was looking to avoid traumas to myself, and incorrectly assumed that would mean my children would come out untraumatized as well. The more I learn to keep my mind on helping my baby into the world instead of my own comfort the better things seem to go.
post #113 of 122
Bestbirths, that is some seriously intense stuff your family is doing. IMO, you are doing your own form of CST. And ITA with your comment on the medical establishment not acknowledging babies as humans with the ability to feel pain. It seems that it's not until children can express themselves with words that they're treated like full members of the human race.

Let me give you a little more info in case you decide to do the CST training. In CSI you'll learn a "10-step protocol", which is kind of a cookbook approach to CST. You will not learn how to determine what a particular person's needs are, but you will learn the basics of CST, and except in rare cases (which you will be told about), the 10-step won't hurt anyone. You will be told not to practice on children younger than ... shoot, I can't remember. At least 2, but I think it's more like 5 or 6. The craniosacral system is not fully developed until that age, and the rhythm is much harder to detect. You will need CSII, SER and CSP before you can practice on young children. Before moving on to the CSII training, it's recommended that you do something like at least 70 10-step protocols. You want to have it down cold, and also have lots of experience palpating and evaluating the CS rhythm on different people. Most people doing CST training are bodyworkers by trade (like a massage therapist, physical therapist, etc.). I am not, and I'm finding it really difficult to get the hands-on experience I need to continue building my skills. I don't have a massage table, so I don't have a good place to work. And I have people who are willing to volunteer for me to work on them, but in ideal circumstances, I can make that work maybe once a week (but in reality, it is far, far less). So you can see that getting 70 10-steps under my belt is going to take a long time. Of course, that is not a requirement, but a recommendation. But you'll be wasting your money on CSII until you've done enough 10-steps to feel comfortable with the protocol (which may be more than 70, or less). So just a warning that it's not like you take the classes wham, bam one after the other. It can be a rather prolonged process.

I definitely agree that 1) it is best to avoid birth trauma as best as possible (immediate and prolonged contact with mama, no suctioning, little or no testing unless life threatening, etc.); and 2) knowing that not all birth trauma can be avoided, it is good to address it right away (you better believe any future kids I have will be seeing our CS therapist as soon as possible). I think it's still good to keep in mind that sometimes kids won't be able to fully process something until they reach a certain level of maturity and communication ability. They might need to actually put words to the experience, for example, which is something an infant can't do. I just say this as a reminder to be open to the idea that stuff may come up as a child gets older, even if it seems like they "let everything go" as a baby.

Originally Posted by Bestbirths View Post
I am seriously doubting whether or not it is a good idea to have siblings at the birth after this.
I was wondering if you would be willing to elaborate on this. I can guess at reasons you might say this, but I would love to hear more if you're willing to share. Is it mainly for how it might affect the newborn? Or the older child(ren) as well? We are going to ttc soon, and I plan on having a homebirth this time around. If we conceive when we hope to, dd will be going on 3 when the baby is born. It has been my assumption that she would be allowed to participate in the birth at whatever level is comfortable for her. So I would love to hear more on this.
post #114 of 122
post #115 of 122

Thanks for my friend Norma, and praise for Althea Solter.

I was given Althea Solter's The Aware Baby during my pregnancy by my dear friend, Norma. I read it prior to giving birth, and she provides a pretty clear description of how a baby behaves when s/he needs to cry for healing. She also gave me very clear instructions on how to help my child be born, to communicate to my child that I was here, helping her, and how to "handle" hospital personnel and policies. Keep baby IN mommy's room 24/7, breast feeding only, no drugs, natural childbirth, of course, but, turns out, we didn't get to do it that way. My instructions were posted on my door, and I had to let go of almost every single desire I had hoped for.

I had toxemia/pre-eclampsia, so I was induced at 37 weeks, close to term anyway, but, early. Pitocin, something else, finally, they had to break my water to give us a chance at vaginal delivery. I got the whatsit, needle in the back, can't remember the word right now, and, by the time it was TIME, dilated enough, it wore off a lot and I experienced the kind of labor that hurts so bad that I don't remember any crying or yelling that witnesses say I definitely did, and I totally pushed and we did it together, me and my baby. Well, to be fair, my little sister, who'd delivered naturally two enormous babies, was my birth coach, and she helped me to isolate exactly the muscles I needed to in order to push effectively, so I give her a lot of credit.

My baby was born very low apgar, blue, and got the suction and oxygen and all, in my room with me but away from my bed, of course, in that cart where I could have seen her if there weren't a dozen doctors and nurses and techs and my sister in the way (My sis was protecting me from seeing that my baby was blue.)

When I could hear that the whoever they were who saved my baby people had saved her (apgar up to top), and were just continuing to chat with each other while they finished up, I asked them politely to please be quiet so my baby could hear my voice only. And they parted, so I could see her, and as I began talking to her while I was being fixed up and she was being cleaned up, my tiny little five pound thirteen oz baby turned her face to mine, and our eyes met and, well, it's impossible to describe. Our love story sprang into full bloom in that instant.

I am comfortable with my own crying for healing. I remember my own birth, of not feeling helped, of being alone, and, as I discovered well into adulthood, in fact, my mother had not only gotten a "saddle block," but she was totally PUT UNDER. Unconscious for childbirth! It was the 1950s. So, I am aware that babies can certainly be aware of their birth experience, but also, of their in utero experience, and they can have strong, emotional responses that can definitely be life-affecting.

I used Solter's wonderfully simple parenting advice, and completely understood why it made sense, and in fact, it worked for my dd. If my dd cried inconsolably, and she was kicking a lot even though I'd fed her, I'd changed her, I'd burped her, I'd checked for pain, etc., I'd hold her quietly and firmly, look into her eyes and hold that look steady. I would look into her eyes and accept her communication to me. I'd notice what her body was doing: kicking legs are a signal for needing to cry, according to Solter, if I remember correctly. I'd not rock her, not sing to her, not do anything but hold her in my arms, not tightly, just certainly, and I would look into her eyes purposely without any look of concern or worry or annoyance on my face, but instead a look of understanding that she is communicating with me. That's active listening. It's listening to the message even though you don't necessarily understand it. Taking a cue from a wife's cliche complaint to her husband: "I don't want you to solve my problem; I just want you to listen."

She quickly learned that it was okay to cry to me, to cry at my face... she needed to cry TO ME, not just cry it out, but to cry TO ME. She maintained eye contact with me while she cried and kicked. And she would go on for several minutes and suddenly on a dime would be done and shudder to a stop. Like letting the air out of a balloon.

That was my experience. It was wonderful. Solter's book is well worth reading. I've long since passed it on to another mother-to-be, one precious book I'd love to keep for sentimental value, but the contents simply too valuable not to get into every young mother's hands that I could.

post #116 of 122
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
The more I learn to keep my mind on helping my baby into the world instead of my own comfort the better things seem to go.
This seems like the key to making births better for the baby. From what my children have told me about their births, they were much smarter, stronger, and resourseful than I would have expected, and they are very tough, but at the same time extremely sensitive too. A couple of my children were hurt when they were pushed out in one push, not head, then body, but head and body all at once in one push. Pushing is a whole other subject on how it may effect birth trauma. My second baby slid out with no pushing, and was possibly the least traumatic birth.

On siblings at a birth, at our births they all want to hold the baby. Maybe siblings could come if they could be taught to understand what a baby has gone through and why the baby can't be held right away. If they can't, then maybe they shouldn't be there at the birth.

My second daughter was scared when she was passed around to siblings after the birth, they unwrapped her to look at her toes and fingers. They touched her with cold hands. She became chilled, then stopped breathing right as the midwife arrived, about an hour or two after the birth. They took her for a quick checkup for 20 minutes at the hospital up the street, then the doctor said, she was fine, she just got cold. It was February in Montana in the middle of a blizzard too.

My other daughter had just experienced a very challenging birth, where she needed to act, think, figure, out and accomplish a tricky birthing process and overcome obstacles under a pressure of completing the task of being born in a specific time frame, before her oxygen ran out after her placenta detached, the clock was ticking. I haven't asked her, but it seems like the party, joking atmosphere of the siblings did as she was birthed, didn't match someone who had just completed a challenge like that. Maybe something more quiet and subdued would have been better. I know that I did listen and send everyone out during the four hour labor stall. Then, just right before the birth I called everyone back in.

The daughter who completed this birth complains lately of being bored all the time. We unschool and we do not give her anything to do that is challenging. She performs well under pressure. She would like to be challenged. So, I said how about cleaning the house for Father's Day? LOL. They are cleaning now.

Babies are working out breathing, recovering from a lot of work during the birth, possible head or neck trauma. It is probably not a good idea at all to pass them around to other people. I don't know for exactly how long, but if you think of being very sore from exertion, maybe for the first week that the mom is recovering in bed, the baby shouldn't really be passed around. The baby probably need to get some cranial sacral, or make sure their head heals before being passed around. If other people do handle the baby, the mother should be very near, and they should be handling the baby very carefully, make sure their hands are warm, being very careful to support the head and neck. I think we all know this, but my daughter became very scared when being held by a sibling. An adult needs to have close supervision when a sibling holds a baby, but in our case the adults were attending to me at our unexpected unattended homebirth and we failed to protect her from becoming cold and scared after her birth. I guess we didn't prepare those at the birth to be thinking about what the baby was going through.

Now that we are doing rebirthing exercises, they are becoming more sensitive about what babies need, because they are telling me what they would have needed or wish they had at their births.
Maybe rebirthing exercises could be done with siblings before the birth so that they could help make the birth a better experience for the sibling. I mean, who would know better, if they could verbalize it? I don't know.
post #117 of 122
Viewfinder your story is beautiful. I am going to request the book "The Aware Baby" at the library.
post #118 of 122
Since doing the rebirthing excercises my daughters chi that has been not moving and very low has impoved 50% in two weeks. The only thing we've done during the past 2 weeks is add a herbal blend with chinese hyssop for increasing chi, and the rebirthing.

My other son is rebirthing and reliving the experience of gunk in his lungs and has developed a cough. We watched his birth video and his 2 year old sister was in his leboyer bath, causing him to startle. Later, he was transported to the NICU. I think we didn't manage our children well at the birth, looking back at it, maybe sibs could attend the birth but right after, mom and babe need time alone. My 2 yr old was all hyped up on candy she got everytime she went potty. She put her hands on the baby in the leboyer bath and rocked him, not gently, and that startled him too. Then we took her out...but looking back...ARGH!!!!! What was the point? A leboyer bath is supposed to be a relaxing way to help the baby release birth trauma too, but not when it's messed with like that.
post #119 of 122
i think more ppl need to read this thread...so
post #120 of 122
My daughters chi is normal and has been normal since the rebirthing. There really is something to this and it is fascinating to me. Thanks for the bump!
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