What Birthing Methods/Techniques Do YOU Recommend? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 08-01-2002, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For my first child, I did LaMaze. In retrospect, it was horrible. It did not work for me, although I did deliver naturally -- no drugs -- but the experience was horrifying, all the counted breathing: silly and exhausting!!

With my son 15 years ago, we did Bradley classes. From them I felt beautiful, confident, and assured. I had a beautiful birth. Two more followed and I followed Bradley methods.

I would like to become an instructor...but after reading the Bradley threads here I'm wondering about the "out-dated-ness"
of it. Of course the basis of it could never be out-dated, but it seems like the Bradleys are out of touch and unresponsive and if I am to be a representative of the Bradley name, I'd like to rely believe in what I'm representing.
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#2 of 32 Old 08-01-2002, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So...my question is, what else is out there? What do midwifes and doulas recommend for their moms?
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#3 of 32 Old 08-02-2002, 12:16 AM
 
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I liked the books Active Birth by Janet Balaskas and Birthing From Within. There are BFW classes but I've never had one...it focuses on mental and spiritual prep for childbirth more than the physical aspect. Hypnobirthing is very popular right now. Both of those might be things you could get into more than Lamaze's patterned breathing, though a lot of them seem to be deemphasizing that now.

I might take a Bradley class and suck it up for the stuff I didn't like, but I do wish it could evolve. I find additionally (harking to that other thread) that the whole "delivery day" not a "birth day" if you have a surgical delivery to be insulting. (this is hearsay, my sis said it's in the bradley materials somewhere.) And even the bradley instructor mama who defended the negative thing about pumps in the workbook that my sister found said she didn't feel pumps were necessary for most women. I find that disturbing. Where I live I would say about 80% of moms work (or more! high cost of living) and I have met very few where manual expression is sufficient for breastfeeding and working fulltime. (I even know the technique and find it a lot harder than using a pump.) So WOHM can't be Bradley? These minor details aren't that big a deal but I just wish, like you, that there could be some responsiveness from the Bradley org since instructors don't seem to have that much latitude. But I also understand why they might not want to tinker with something that's getting results in most cases...getting to "mainstream" might wreck that.

What are some other methods people suggest??
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#4 of 32 Old 08-02-2002, 11:04 AM
 
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I am a student doula (certifying through DONA), maybe not the perspective you're looking for, but I'll toss out my .02 anyway.

I am also working on the birth educator program through ALACE. Their philosophy of woman centered birth really resonates with me...I have always found the staff to be accessible and accomodating...I love the program so far....

http://www.alace.org/index.html

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#5 of 32 Old 08-02-2002, 11:11 AM
 
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ALACE! Thanks!! That's the one I was trying to remember. Oh, and around here, Birthworks educators advertise a lot to the midwife/doula/birthcenter crowd.
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#6 of 32 Old 08-02-2002, 11:28 PM
 
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Ok, I have to make a post here since I was mentioned as the "bradley instructor mama who said that she didn't feel breast pumps were necessary for most women".....I apologize for not being clear on that issue. I was referring to the idea that most moms do not need a breast pump immediately postpartum. I was not talking about the idea of 'never' needing one (as in going back to work). Of course a WOHM can be "Bradley"! I am fully aware of the fact that many moms need to (or choose to) work outside of the home. Pumping, storing and giving baby expressed breast milk allows moms to do that without having to end their breastfeeding relationship. That is wonderful. I am sorry if my post made it seem that I did not acknowledge that. (BTW, I have a breast pump myself).

That being said (to defend my honor )....I want to say that I have many issues with The Bradley Method. Most of them are slight (having to do with workbook design and some content), some of them are larger (there is no real discussion about the spiritual/rite of passage aspect of pregnancy and birth). These are mostly personal issues that may or may not be issues for other teachers. But, all in all, I think Bradley really does offer something for most parents who are interested in an unmedicated birth and need to educate themselves about ways to avoid UNNECESSARY interventions. Learning comfort techniques and relaxation is a very important focus of Bradley. BUT, every teacher is different and as some of the previous posts and threads have mentioned, some teachers may go to extremes in presenting their information. I believe our job is to provide information and resources, but it is the parent's job to do the research and make the decisions.

I would never do anything to make a parent think that an unmedicated or cesarean birth was any kind of 'lesser' birth (ie: delivery day vs. birth day). Parents that choose to have an unmedicated birth but end up with epidural/pitocin and/or cesarean birth do not need anyone telling them that they 'failed'. I find that whole idea insulting also. They did not fail. You cannot fail at your birth. You do what you need to do and you have the birth that you (meaning you and the baby) needed to have. That is what I hope for all the parents that pass through my classes.

I think that it is a honor and a gift to be able to work with men and women during this amazing journey. I do not take it lightly. But, at the same time, I do not take my position too seriously. It is the parent's journey, not mine. It is their birth, not mine. It is their family coming into being, not mine. And I respect that.

So, Whisper, what I finally would say, is look around at all your options. Bradley is just one of them. I know that one day I will be teaching 'my own thing' and that Bradley will have given me a good first step to that place. But, there are other choices.

Sincerely,
C

PS. The 3 books that I reccomend HIGHLY to my students are Active Birth, Birthing From Within and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (not the Bradley books).
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#7 of 32 Old 08-02-2002, 11:53 PM
 
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I took Bradley and found it to be very educational. This mostly for my DH. I do think that no class can ever fully prepare you for birth. I am sure others swear by their methods. I think I was just very over whelmed from the begining. I did have a successful meds free homebirth and would only do it that way in the future, spirits permitting. I to want to become a CB educator and have delt with this same question. I look at ALACE as the best option for me. Good luck and best wishes!!
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#8 of 32 Old 08-03-2002, 12:22 AM
 
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I loved my Bradley class, although I think I am an educated enough consumer to know what to keep and what to dismiss. I read everything I could get my hands on, including BIrthing From WIthin, which was excellent. My best friend took a Birthing From WIthin Class and loved it. BTW, what is ALACE?
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#9 of 32 Old 08-05-2002, 02:17 PM
 
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I really love Birth Works and Birthing From Within.... I didn't find anything helpful from Bradley, just guilt. (no offense- just my experience)
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#10 of 32 Old 08-05-2002, 04:46 PM
 
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I am a Birthing From Within Mentor. I highly recomend you look in to that type of training. at www.birthpower.com Most of my moms having second babies are former bradley students. They say the same thing, it is highly educational, outdated, leaves no room, for other than natural-vaginal births, and is very focused on following your husband, rather than letting the mother lead. BFW is the oppisite! A particularly awesome part in the book to review is Birthing Through Pain, and The compassionate use of drugs and epidurals. Good Luck!
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#11 of 32 Old 08-05-2002, 05:17 PM
 
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Thanks imagine, for that post...ever since you said that I have been mulling that over in my mind...I'm sure, re-reading, how you can see how I got there for the way it was phrased. I feel much better about it with your expanded answer.
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#12 of 32 Old 08-06-2002, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have become enthralled with Birthing From Within! The title got me -- I'd never heard of it before...until all of you mentined it here...I went to my library and checked it out on Saturday. I LOVE IT!!! I absolutely love it!! I went on the web site and I want to have a baby!!! And be a...mentor? Is that what they call it? However, I am also checking out ALACE's web site. I have not written off Bradley. It worked for me and changed the way I birthed my babies. But I love the focus of BFW on the mama's knowledge, and the spiritual aspect of it and on things not always going as we wish them to...BUT I am SOOO pro-BFding...well, I haven't read the whole book yet so I'll withhold my judgement...I know BFW tells moms the benefits of BF but it's not militant...I just want to tell moms YOU MUST BF! IT'S ESSENTIAL! Hmmm...I'm still exploring, learning things about myself in the process.

I'm also reading an endearing book about a midwife who lived and worked among the Amish in the 70s. It makes me want to laugh and cry -- for sadness, how our culture ruins a mother's birth experiences -- and for joy -- at how beautiful it can be!!!!

Does anyone else here -- who is not pregnant, and should not even think of becoming pregnant! -- fantasize about it the way I have been doing lately?!

Oh my.
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#13 of 32 Old 08-10-2002, 04:18 AM
 
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I am not a midwife though we used them for both of our pregnancies/births. Also used the Bradley method both times and we were so thrilled with it that I recommend it to everyone. It is not perfect or perfectly suited to every family but you just take what you need and ignore any parts that don't apply to you or would not work for you.
I have read with much interest the posts I could find regarding Bradley - some pro, some anti. There are good points made on both sides - some that were entirely new to me. I agree - after giving it some thought - that Bradley teachers should not doula for Bradley students. I can see where a conflict could come in. I think it would be painfully hard to be a doula - I could not step back enough emotionally to be completely unbiased/unemotional about a mom making choices regarding her birth that I myself consider poor. But I know that no one but the mom herself should have any control over the choices that are made that day. So I would make a terrible doula - though I have helped two of my friends during labor/delivery and think I was helpful.
Anyway! My suggestion is Bradley - just tweak it to fit.
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#14 of 32 Old 08-11-2002, 09:35 AM
 
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Nothing new really. But ditto on BFW (though as you noticed, with a grain of salt) and ALACE. Bradley IS very husband focused.
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#15 of 32 Old 08-12-2002, 05:46 AM
 
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i found spiritual midwifery helpful, if not for the principles just to surround myself with so many stories about birth, since i had no other way to experience them. i enjoyed grantly dick-read.

my first birth was with cmn in hospital, second was homebirth, upcoming one will be homebirth. i think keeping up physical health and activity is important. passing along copies of fit pregnancy magazine helps some women, just to remind them to stay active. squats and kegels help tone and improve awareness.
i think integrating pain with life a la the continuum concept has helped me with much, this is a book by jean leidloff that i highly recommend.
i think learning to surrender to your body is paramount for labor, and with that you need to trust those helping you to be the brains so you can concentrate on the physical process. which is why hospitals can bring out the worst in some women. another term for surrender is lose control. women must be as comfortable as they can with losing control.....i find that some women i know that are c-sectioned have serious issues with control. i myself had to remember to let go for my last birth.
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#16 of 32 Old 08-12-2002, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Spiritual midwifery was wonderful! Although I didn't read it until after my fourth birth! :

Letting go was DEFINITLY THE ISSUE for me in all my births. To trust the body, to OOOOPPPEEENNN to the universe...I really put my all into letting go and it was the key.
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#17 of 32 Old 08-12-2002, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to add that the Bradley method taught me this.

Or perhaps, the Bradley method as interpreted an taught by our loving and gentle instructor 15 years ago!
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#18 of 32 Old 08-13-2002, 07:50 PM
 
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I am new here Hi- I enjoy reading all of the different perspectives. With my first son, I guess I used the "Lamaze" method. I didn't find it helpful, but I did have an almost natural birth...this time I am hoping to be totally intervention free! No pitocin, no nubain. No artificial breaking of the water. (I focused so much on learning about pregnancy, i didn't even think about the birth and delivery! I am going with a midwife this time, too. Would love a waterbirth, or a homebirth! My dh just isn't comfortable with a homebirth.

Grantley Dick-Read's book is a must read! As is Spirtual Midwifery. I didn't read all of it yet. Have to recheck stuff out at the library!

I would love to take Birthing From Within Classes, but I don't think there are any around my area. I love the book, and will soon be purchasing it! It's my new "birthing Bible". I am envisioning a peaceful, easy birth, hopefully it will happen. I think it's important to remember that our body knows what to do, that the baby will arrive when ready! To have confidence in your body's ability to do the most amazing thing in life...THat's very important.
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#19 of 32 Old 08-13-2002, 08:01 PM
 
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I read the Bradley Method by Rosegg. I loved the book. It really helped me to learn about all of the stages of labor. I was at a home birth where the couple used this method so I was able to see it put to work before I even got pregnant. It was so wonderful.
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#20 of 32 Old 08-14-2002, 10:30 AM
 
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I think there are several mentors of BFW in Ohio go to www.birthpower.com and then to the section "Find a teacher near you" A wonderful woman in cincinnati, named peg conway has an Art of Birthing Center that is wonderful for the classes!
Good luck!
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#21 of 32 Old 08-14-2002, 10:56 AM
 
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ok! Thanks for that link! But Cinci is 3-4 hrs from where I live currently. And when we relocate, it will still be 2 hrs away! But I will look and see if I can find other places, maybe for my next birth. Or maybe I can just convince my husband to let me have a homebirth....


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#22 of 32 Old 08-14-2002, 11:15 AM
 
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there is also a great website with the title, "my husband would'nt let me have a homebirth" with sugestions for how to convince home! got to www.birthlove.com and look for that page!
good luck!
ps my husband felt better about our homebirth after meeting other dads who had birthed at home, it normalized it!
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#23 of 32 Old 08-14-2002, 02:09 PM
 
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I have that website bookmarked, and I may have the bfw one too! I have been researching, so I am familiar with birthlove.com. Though it used to be fre, and now you have to pay, and i haven't gotten around to subscribing.

Actually, due to oour current situation, i may end up having an "oops" homebirth, hehe! Right now, temporarily, we live in seperate cities! He has a new job, and we are selling our house before we can all move! I'm planning on the midwife, in the hospital, and I was going to ask about waterbirth at the hosp. I can comprimise I haven't asked anyone yet to drive me when I go into labor...I am 26 weeks, so I have a little time. My parents live a half hour away. Maybe I can "post pone" them coming! haha But for now, hubby feels "safer" with hospital births...his personality and career choice lend themsleves to being difficult to argue with and persuade. Though I did persuade him to let me have a MW this time! SO there is hope.
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#24 of 32 Old 08-15-2002, 09:03 PM
 
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I'm an open book if you want to know more about unassisted birth, I have had both my babies at home unassisted!
Good luck to you,
love,
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#25 of 32 Old 08-16-2002, 01:14 AM
 
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Artof Birthing- you are sooo lucky! After I read Unassisted Childbirth, Laura Shanley Kaplan( i think) I was absolutely enthralled by the idea of a homebirth! It may not be this one, but maybe by the 3rd time, I can! Although, I am going to try to hold out as long as I can, and labor at home, if possible. I would love to hear your experiences.

That book, and a few others are what really made me decide that I would be in CONTROL, and I would have confidence in my body. And, that I wouldn't need interventions. (I caved on my own. The nurse really did respect that I wasn't sure about pain meds. I didn't get an epidural.)
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#26 of 32 Old 08-16-2002, 09:34 AM
 
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Thanks, I wouldn't do it anyother way! We are due in Jan again and planning a beautiful birth in our own house (for the first time!)
my birhs are hard, but I like that they are no one elses' memories, just mine and my families. Plus, I would have been an induction, c-sec had I been at the hospital. I didn't really tear either, so what the hell, I think that for me it is the only way to birth!
my birth stories are at www.birthlove.com under Augustine
good luck!
I think staying home to labor is the best then you can be in your own space, walk, shower, ect without being monitored or checked. Then when you are pushing you can really deside if you want to go to the hospital or just go to your own bathroom and push out a baby! A word of advise, if you do stay home, don't call 911 unless the baby isn't breatheing or someother major emergency. That is after all what emt's are trained for and so if you call then and it is not an emergency, you will still be treated like it is, like two different abulances for you and the baby, and lots of invasive proceedures.
if it is something like a retained placenta or what ever and you feel like you need to go, wait, clean up, and calmly go by car, so you have some dignaity and a leg to stand on at the hospital when you are asking for one service like help with the placenta, not all their services, like attmitting the baby Sorry to go onand on, just had too many friends skrewed after a beautiful birth! good luck!
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#27 of 32 Old 08-16-2002, 11:20 AM
 
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No, I didn't think you went on at all. I am VERY interested in the ART of birthing, and really, no matter how it happens, it is a beautiful art! Some art is prettier than others, so you can make that analogy I guess... Know what I mean? Anytime a baby is born, it is a beautiful process, however, unfortunately, many babies and mothers get cheated! I'll have to get on that website. By the way- my mw's last name is Augustine.


I don't know if my husband will be here when I go into labor. If he's not, I plan on calling him. Since I can't predict how long my labor will be, that is really all I can do. If he's not here, and I think it's about time to get to the hospital, I will either have my friend who lives in my neighborhood take me, or my parents. If I think I can wait for them( they live 30 minutes away!) I WOULD NEVER CALL 911! Except in emergency! I just need to discuss that with my husband. With my first birth, I went into labor on my due date (around 8 pm, then my contrax were steadily 5 min apart around 10.) We got to the hospital around midnight. I pushed the baby for a little less than an hour, and he was born at 5:54 am. that was the short version!


I now know I could have labored at home awhile longer (should have) and I know that I should have kept walking around. It was my choice to lay down, because I was tired! Labor is hard work I also realize that I shouldn't have had them break my water, though it did speed things up! I went from being stuck at 7, to 10cm in less than an hour, I think. This toime I will shower, walk, whatever it takes. I will "open like a flower!" My perspective is so different. I guess I am hoping things go as smoothly as they did with my first (as far as the baby being in the right position, etc) I will require less intervention. I don't even want to stay in the hospital, but we'll see how it goes. Maybe I can convince the midwife and dh to let me go home. Hospital beds are so dang uncomfortable.

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#28 of 32 Old 08-16-2002, 09:58 PM
 
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Cool, You are doing so much to effect the outcome of your birth, I am sure that it will be amazing!
One thing that has been helpful to other couples in my classes is a discription of how your position at the end of pregnancy directly effects the baby's position at birth! Stop me if this is boring to you, but I think that it is one of the most important peices of information for a mother to know. I gained this knowledge from taking seminars from Nancy Wainer Cohen, studing papers by Valerie El Halta, and personal experience.
The heaviest part of the baby is its head which as pregnancy advances and the fluid declines, has gravity to help it desend into the lowest spot, the pelvis, hence the reason that 98% of all babies are head down or vertex at birth. The major variable here and the biggest reason for c-sec being preformed is the direction the head is pointing. Anterior or with the baby facing your back is the best posiple position. Ussually the babies back is on the left side with his little head turned a bit to face your spine.
The next heaviest part of the baby is his back. If we were working in a rice patty all day or hunting and gathering our bellies would be the next lowest after our pelvises and so the babies back would drift to the belly or la bit left side (because of the placement of the colon this is the most comfortable for baby and easiest to birth) However, In America we have bucket seats in our cars and squishy couches and lay-z-boys and we also have this very "lady-like" tradition of crossing our legs and leaning back a bit. This all rounds the back and puts the back lower than the belly - hence the reason for so many transvers and posterir babies ( face to pubic bone) !
You can pay attention to your position starting 30 weeks or so and always sit up with a curve in your back and your knees lower than your hips to open the pelvic inlet ( don't do lots of squatting exercises) When you go to sit in a chair go and srattle it like a man. Very unlady-like however, you automatically drop your knees and lean forward to make your belly lower. If you want to rest, don't slouch, lay down instead, nice and comfy with a pillow between your knees and behind your back and under your head!
I went way to long, hope it was helpful!
good luck to you,
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#29 of 32 Old 08-19-2002, 07:21 PM
 
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No- you didn't! Anything helps! I have heard that yoga helps too....and as I read your last post, I realized I was slouching! So i sat up straight!

You are a wealth of knowledge!!!!



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