I don't like the book birthing from within-who else? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-20-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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Our last birth was attended by a BFW-based midwife, so I dutifully read it, but I generally found it too woo-woo for me. DH too. His caveat when we were searching for a midwife to attend our upcoming birth: "Find one who doesn't make us DRAW anything!!"

PS. Just saw your sig file, Arwyn - CONGRATS!!

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Old 07-20-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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Thanks!

Midwives shouldn't MAKE you do anything like that... Maybe say "hey, I do this extra special thing [bfw art, massage, photography, whatever] are you interested?" But it shouldn't be required... sheesh!
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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I didn't especially like it b/c she wasn't "out there" far enough I'm not a big fan of the epidural stance/next "best" thing. The mw comment about blowing out the candles annoyed the heck outta me, too. Also some of the parents-night-out stuff wasn't in line w/my personal beliefs. I've not read it in about 4 yrs, so I'm not exactly up-to-date.

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Old 07-21-2006, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog
I've heard a saying, "it's not brave if you aren't scared" and I think that applies to birth, too. It's a big deal. Yes, it's natural. Yes we're made to do it..
But I am not scared and didn't like the implication that I should be.
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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Lately the only person I've been able to read on birth is Michel Odent. Nothing else has really been resonating with me.
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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Now Odent rubs me wrong, too, with his insistance that even having a supportive male partner there is hindering!

There's just no one I completely agree with. And that's ok!
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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that's the beauty of the world: there's somethin for every birther.

from patterned breathing to having your partner be the "coach" to working through fears thru artwork, to singing to signing up for a cesarean.

it's all good and whatever resonates with you, obviously, is what is going to work.

deep inside, we all have what it takes to birth. we just get so many screwed up messages and brainwashing about our bodies that it's usually THAT that we need to work through.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Arwyn
Now Odent rubs me wrong, too, with his insistance that even having a supportive male partner there is hindering!

There's just no one I completely agree with. And that's ok!
semantics here, but he doesn't insist it. in fact, in most of the births he attends, fathers are very much involved. (although re-reading that chapter after this post I can see how one can come away with the idea that he believes all fathers are a hindrance...I just happen to have read some articles and heard some talks in which he elaborates a bit more on the topic....)

he is just trying to bring up a differing viewpoint: that men think VERY differently than women (they're very linear generally) and they bring alot of their own fears to birth. I think, as a midwife, I've seen this so much (to the point of men forbidding their partners to have homebirths or freaking out that things "take too long"). But, the same could be true for grandmothers, too. I don't think it's restricted to gender, but men are horrifically left out of the truth of birthing (we women talk birth ALOT, men don't really do this much, if at all) and what they come away with is normal: they love their partners, they don't know much about birth and what they have heard scares them, they want the best for their babies, they think more linearly (like the medical model), etc.

Then again, come to think of it, many MIDWIVES (read: women) do the same thing in terms of hindering a birth because of their presence, beliefs about birth, fears and intervention. So, there ya go!

Some men don't fit the generalization and I've definitely seen women who really need their partners. To me, it's more about what the MOTHER and FATHER both want and what they envision for their birth. If you'd rather have your dog there than your partner, go for it. I just think that there are some men who don't really want to be at the birth, but are afraid to look like losers if they say so.

(My partner's birth was the most difficult birth I've ever been to and possibly the closest I can come to really understanding what a father goes through...it was so hard emotionally!)

I think it's a valid viewpoint, even if we consider it for just 1/3 of what he's saying. Then again, it could be that he's really one of the few voices out there that really shifted my way of being a midwife in a very complete way. So, maybe it's my bias.



did any of this make sense? i just finished a margarita (hey, I'm not on call!) and I'm thinking that I can't type, make sense and drink at the same time. ok. I'm done now.

p.s.: Michel Odent is not my lover. I gain nothing from gettin' his back.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:10 AM
 
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I think there are definitely some situations where what Odent says about male partners is true, and I'm glad he has the guts to say it--it's certainly not a popular opinion.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:16 AM
 
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Just had to chime in and say that this book really helped me. I read some of your posts about the fear thing and I don't really remember reading that, so it obviously wasn't a big deal to me. When pregnant with my 2nd, and trying to recover from a birth that was very traumatic and not to far in the past, I had a lot of healing to do. I think when you do art things come out in the art that you haven't quite admitted to yourself in your conscious mind. I found this book to be helpful for my healing. I am also one who wants to DO something to prepare and doing a hands-on type workbook was beneficial to me. (I liked school way too much LOL!)

That being said, I found Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth to be the most helpful in actual labor because it gave me so much confidence and stories to draw on and think about when your so "in yourself." I also read the Sears book and didn't really like the layout and a lot of the ideas. It seemed to be so much more medical (probably because he's a dr. duh!)

I also REALLY liked the section in BFW that was for the husband/partner/labor attendee to read. I made DH read that and he picked up tips that really helped me. (like let the MW help me and stay away)

Just wanted to put in my 2c I like art

Busy mama to 4 boys, M 9/04, E 4/06, our angel baby N (passed 10/09 at 1 day old) & newbie C, 12/10
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:56 AM
 
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A lot of it didn't appeal to me at all, but the exercises were interesting. I got the book too late to really indoctrinate myself into them though. Some of the art stuff was appealing, in fact I did a drawing of my feelings about the pregnancy that actually opened up a lot of pain and horrid feelings....stuff I'd been harboring for a while I guess....and eventually I felt better once I got through them. I did get SOME use out of it I guess but for my next pregnancy I'll definitely work more on the pain relief exercises earlier.

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Old 07-21-2006, 09:51 AM
 
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I've only ever transported two clients for pain relief....anyone want to guess what kind of childbirth classes they took? You got it. Birthing from Within.
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwifetx
I've only ever transported two clients for pain relief....anyone want to guess what kind of childbirth classes they took? You got it. Birthing from Within.
So what, if any, childbirth classes do you recommend? (Just out of curiousity.)
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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And, having noted the correlation, any theories as to why it exists?
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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I'm not a mw or a doula, but I wouldn't recommend any *classes* for birthing. Am I a heretic :?

I would highly, highly recommend reading a lot more of Michel Odent, and he's definitely not my lover either

IME, each of us gathers and processes new information differently. Some of us are readers; others need to actually see things for themselves. Others listen...there are lots of ways to get to understanding. It can be a long road to rid ourselves of cultural garbage surrounding birth, but I believe it's really important to be with other mothers (and those who truly believe in birth and your body) to listen to their stories, ideas, feelings, etc. in an effort to decipher what feels right for you, what deeply resonates within your heart.

Sorry for the ramble.

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Old 07-21-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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I think that the decision to take classes or not is very individual. I like any classes that present lots of 'tools' for coping with labor and for helping it be a powerful/empowered experience for the family. I am not as fond of 'method' classes, but I do love the ones that present all the 'methods' as available resources. I've seen good classes under all kinds of titles.

The numbers in my 'sample' of BfW class ladies who transported are too small to really draw a conclusion. It could just be the certain class they took that left them unprepared or maybe flat out lied to about the intensity of labor, or maybe it was just a fluke.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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Oh man. I finally got my hands on this book because so many people said I should read it. But just flipping though it has left me sobbing. (my son's birth 2+ years again ended up as a c/s.) I'll try to read more of it but I don't know.
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Old 07-23-2006, 08:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel
I do think there is such a thing as being too optimistic, especially for first time mothers.

I feel that being seriously surprised by the level of pain seriously affected my ability to deal with it. And I was surprised because I had absorbed huge amounts of mind over matter literature, stuff about how most discomfort is due to interventions, etc. I actually feel that I was deceived.
ITA with this. I took a hypnobirthing class where they told us NOT to read any other books or take any other courses--because we might read things that would promote fear and that would cause pain. I did everything "right" with my hypnobirthing coursework and preparation; I labored at a freestanding birth center with fairly low-intervention midwives where epidurals were not even an option; and labor still HURT. I was not scared AT ALL going into it, but after the pain built up and up for for many hours I got pretty damn scared that it was never going to end. Although the relaxation techniques helped a great deal in early labor, I think I would have been much better served to have had some other ideas/approaches for dealing with the pain when I couldn't just "visualize" it away anymore. From what I can tell, the person who totally zens out during labor, like in the hypnobirthing videos they show in class, is more the exception than the rule.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by georgia
I'm not a mw or a doula, but I wouldn't recommend any *classes* for birthing. Am I a heretic :?
Me neither really. My midwife would be shocked I am sure

I know some things I can do or my husband can do to help, like using the birthing ball, massages,warm water....I feel prepared enough
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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I think classes give women (and partners!) false hope around birth being painless. I think that most classes are geared towards ways to defend yourself from hospital staff. Most men, I would venture, don't really get much out of childbirth classes. I'm not a huge fan of them, as I feel it separates women from what they intuitively already know. They just need to be encouraged to tap into their own bodies and the relationship with their babies.

I'm not a fan of Bradley because I think lying down and closing your eyes and viola! You'll have a painless birth - is so misleading. I like Bradley for their tons of paperwork and articles on the dangers of medication, induction, episiotomy, etc.

There is a vast difference, to me, in preparing a couple to do battle with the hospital and telling them to breathe a certain way or "do this" to ease pain. We feel pain all the time in our life. I think we know how to breathe and women find their own coping mechanism in labor.

To focus solely on easing pain is totally keeping women in that place of getting away from the true origin of the discomfort: they are not being victimized by their body, but their body is working powerfully to birth their BABY.

I'm a fan of letting women find their own way, but so many couples feel like they NEED childbirth classes. It's like a rite of passage. It's deeply ingrained in our culture.

From the moment of conception, women already have what they need. Partners only need to be there as they are daily for the mother. They don't need to "coach" or "direct" - just be present and open.

In my experience, the only "method" that seems to have left women feeling upset, unprepared and a bit duped is hypnobirthing. I think it takes a special kind of person to really make it work - and these are women that have typically meditated before and find that an easy place to go to during labor. Most women are led to believe it will create a painless birth. They complain afterwards about having put all their faith in that one method and then feeling like they didn't "do it right" because they were in pain.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:53 PM
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Another non-childbirth class type of person here.

I looked at the all, read some materials from each kind, and realized I would do better in the moment, not having any expectations.

That was my biggest issue with BFW, and most other books. (I only made it all the way thru Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Sears' Birth Book.) They setup an expectation of what will happen, and how. I stuck with pure mechanics, so I could recognize things that were happening, but attempted to not bring any of the weird baggage some of those books attach to birth.

For me it worked well. I didn't know that having a baby come out fully face up was unusual, or harder, until after the fact. I just did what needed to be done at the time.

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Old 07-24-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by milk_maker
Yeah, it was too art-based for me to relate. I never got through it.
That was me, too. I bought it because it came highly recommended, but I think I'll sell it on amazon marketplace or something. I imagine it's great if that's your bent, but it's not mine - too "artsy-fartsy" as my grandma would say!

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Old 07-24-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pamamidwife
I'm a fan of letting women find their own way, but so many couples feel like they NEED childbirth classes. It's like a rite of passage. It's deeply ingrained in our culture.
It was actually a "requirement" with the birth center I went to that first -time parents take a birthing class. They stated this in their literature and during the course of prenatal visits they followed up with wanting to know where you were signed up for classes.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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I read through it during my third pregnancy. And really, the only thing that resonated with me was the little blurb about Lucy. She's a 3 foot tall life-like model of an early human who lived 3 million years ago in Africa. The author speaks of thinking about Lucy as an ancient mother, not knowing how or when she conceived, not being preoccupied with how many centimeters her fundal height was measuring, how many grams of protein she was eating or when her due date was. She lived moment to moment, and when she went into labor she didn't know how many centimeters dialated she was, whether her due date was a week away or two weeks past and she just responded to her body's messages and birthed her baby.
I keep coming back to this again and again and just think about how much I would love to have that.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauren
I liked it quite a lot, but think it is more useful for someone having a 2nd or 3rd (or more) birth and not so much for a first.

I found it much more helpful for my first baby than for my second.

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