Monday, July 9, 2012

Navigating the Secret Online Language of Childbirth

Since I have started researching and reading more about all things childbirth, I continually find my reading interrupted by an acronym or intialism with which I am unfamiliar. I have to open a new tab and Google the acronym or abbreviation, which can sometimes be a very interesting experience. I thought it would be good to define some of them here for others who may be having the same problem.


  • EDD - Estimated Due Date
  • PPD - Postpartum Depression
  • VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
  • VBA2C - Vaginal Birth After Two Cesareans (this one can be seen with any number in place of 2)
  • CBAC - Cesarean Birth After Cesarean
  • BFing - Breastfeeding
  • NIP - Nursing In Public
  • NAK - Nursing At Keyboard
  • EBF - Exclusively Breastfed (or Feeding)
  • IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue)
  • BLW - Baby Led Weaning
Babywearing and Others
  • RS - Ring Sling
  • SSC - Soft Structured Carrier
  • BW - Baby Wearing
  • CIO - Cry It Out
I'm sure there are many more that I missed, but this is a pretty good start. I will add to the list as I encounter more I have to look up.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Desperate Television

One of the first movies I purchased as a fledgling childbirth educator was, "Laboring Under an Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. The Real Thing". The documentary is the work of Vicki Elson, MA, CCE. She compares the differences between the way childbirth is portrayed on TV and in movies versus actual footage of childbirth from documentaries. She specifically points out the disparity between real childbirth and sitcom childbirth. In a 30 minute sitcom, a woman goes into labor and has a baby in her arms in less than 30 minutes.

Vicki Elson's documentary came to mind the other day while I was watching the series finale of Desperate Housewives. Yes, I know, it's terrible. I got sucked in and had to see it through to the bitter end. The lameness of it is beside the point. What stuck out to me was a particular scene where one of the man characters is having a baby. Her water breaks, contractions start immediately but she remains calm. The rush to the hospital ensues. After reaching the hospital the expectant mother is laboring (quite calmly) in her hospital bed. Finally the OB arrives. He is attired in shorts and a t-shirt and apologizes for the way he looks because he was playing ball with the guys. He then says something to this effect, "Let me go get cleaned up and we can get started." What?!? Here is what I heard/saw. The expectant mother is merely an innocent bystander and it is the doctor who does all the work. What if the doctor was delayed? Are we to believe that the baby would have waited patiently to be born until the doctor could get there? Why are woman so often portrayed as something standing in the way of a baby and it's "freedom"?

Is Mass Media telling us that babies are trapped and need to be freed by a doctor?

Knowing that a TV show or a movie is not real doesn't mean that it can't still have an impact on society. Portray a woman in a subservient role to a powerful OB enough times and viewers will start to internalize those roles. It just makes me wonder how many women believe that they can't "get started" delivering a baby until the OB is scrubbed and ready.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Developing My Philosophy

I am currently reading Childbirth Education: Practice, Research and Theory. The first chapter deals with the philosophy and roles of the childbirth educator. The authors ask a series of questions to help the reader better understand their own beliefs about childbirth education.

Here are some of my beliefs about childbirth and childbirth education:

1. Childbirth is a normal physiological process, medical intervention is typically not needed.

2. The balance between technology and a woman's natural forces needs to lean more toward reliance on the woman and less on technology.

3. Expectant parents should be allowed to control the birth experience with input from health care providers given only as necessary.

I believe the primary purpose of childbirth education is to prepare parents intellectually and to arm with coping techniques for childbirth.

I believe childbirth education should prepare expectant parents emotionally for the childbirth experience.

I believe that childbirth education should teach expectant parents the importance of clarifying their values about childbirth related issues.

I also believe that every expectant parent should be treated differently based on their specific needs, and that every class should reflect that difference.

I want to refine my philosophy and my beliefs as I continue my education and teach more expectant parents.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Nervous Blogger

I have been a little hesitant to begin blogging about childbirth and motherhood. I am worried about getting involved in the so called "Birth Wars". I have been reading more and more birth blogs recently. Some are awesome while others are just a little bit scary (ok maybe a LOT scary) in their intensity.

Sometimes there is not enough support for new moms. There is too much anger and arguing.

I want to establish myself as an evidence based blog for moms and moms-to-be, heck even dads, to find answers to their questions. As an educator my goal is to try to remain neutral unless I think someone might be putting themselves or their child in danger.

I am going to keep reading, and try to write more about what I read, so that I can accomplish that goal.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A new adventure begins

After the birth of my first child, a new world opened up to me. Never before had I realized the passion I had for educating women about childbirth. I started reading and soaking up knowledge. It didn't take much to make me realize that I wanted others to experience how to feel empowered during childbirth. Several people close to me had less then empowering experiences with the birth of their firstborn and I realized that if they had simply received the right (or any) education their outcomes could have been far different. Thus I have started on my journey to become a Certified Childbirth Instructor through ICEA. My hope is to educate and empower as many women as I can to change the way the world views childbirth.

I am the mother of two children, both of whom were born underwater at a birth facility in a hospital. While I cherish the experience I had, I realize that my way is not the way of every woman. No matter how a woman chooses to give birth; medicated, natural, cesarean, VBAC, in a hospital or at home, she has the right to the best childbirth experience possible.

Childbirth is not simply a nuisance that women must endure to have a baby. It is a life altering event that can impact the bonding experience between mother and child. The way our mother's gave birth affected each of us and the way we give birth will affect future generations.

Join me on my new adventure as I provide evidence based information to a new generation of mothers.