Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwifery Center

A pioneer in the field of natural birthing, Ina May Gaskin MA, CPM, PhD (Hon.) is the nation's leading midwife. She shows us how we should learn from how our ancestors birthed, without fear and trusting in our bodies. She recognises that there is a strong mind-body connection and the majority of women can birth without interventions.

Despite her low tech facilities on the Farm Midwifery Center, she has beat her high tech counterparts achieving low rates of interventions, morbidity, and mortality. She also has high rates of delivering twins and breech babies vaginally and even babies with shoulder dystocia.

An author of a handful of books about birthing and breastfeeding, as well as a recipient of many awards, she is out to change the world and help women birth without fear. Her website contacts articles, books, and videos and are backed up with statistical data.

Her book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a fantastic read since childbirth is explained in layman's terms, but also contains tons of medical references that you can show to your doctor to help back you up. Her TED talk is a powerful, moving video about reducing fear during the birthing process. The fear-pain-tension process is something that has to be eliminated and becoming informed is the first step you can take. Other videos that you might like to watch are Orgasmic Birth and Organic Birth and the Business of Being Born.  There's also a sequel, called More Business of Being Born, which has four parts.
  1. Part 1: Down on the Farm
  2. Part 2: Special Deliveries
  3. Part 3: Explore Your Options
  4. Part 4: The VBAC Dilemma

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Organic Birth: Birth is Natural!

The first move, Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret (85 minutes), follows 7 families through their birth journeys. It shows how birth should be safe and personal without unnecessary interventions. They show how the media has distorted how births should be and treats it as surgery with women being wheeled uncapable of walking. Doctors are seen as being able to fix this "problem"  or perform an unnnecessary C-section despite the fact that women's bodies were made to do this.

Organic Birth: Birth is Natural (52 minutes) is adapted from Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret and will change everything you thought you knew about childbirth. It tells us how the general public have been brainwashed into thinking that birthing is an emergency instead of a natural process. Women in labor need privacy, dark rooms, and little interruptions: things which most hospitals don't provide. Instead of turning your body over to medicine. Birth is meant to be an emotion, spiritual, transcendent moment.

No longer are women automatically signing up for lots of drugs or a C-section. More and more women are becoming empowered. Women are fighting back. In addition to the two movies mentioned about, The Business of Being Born with Ricki Lake, garnered a lot of media attention and showed women that they should do research about birthing, create birth plans, and decide how they'd like to birth their baby. Ina May's TED talk about reducing fear during birthing is also an eye-opening video that makes you re-think about all the interventions done to women in labor. Ina May Gaskin is a pioneer in the natural birthing field.

The World Health Organization has created a Baby-Friendly Hospital Inititative (BFHI) that more than 152 countries have signed up for since 1991. Sadly in the USA, there are only 170 BFHI facilities (search by state) that have earned this title. I can't find a list about Korea, but here are reviews of birthing facilities in Korea that expats recommend as well as birth plans for Korea.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

What Type of Child Birthing Class Should I Take?

There are a number of different child birthing classes available out there and they may cover many different topics such as nutrition, birthing positions, coping techniques, and breastfeeding. While there aren't as many options available in Korea as there are back home, you still have to decide what's right for you. Here are the 3 main types of classes. Within each type there are also many different options available.
  • Self-study: read books, talk to women who have given birth, find info online, using forums, and putting together your own curriculum. You can also buy self study books such as The Pink Kit. Many women enjoy the Hypnobabies® home study course. You can learn more about their program and see how Hypnobabies® can help you have a peaceful birth.
  • Independent class taught by an instructor: Here in Korea you can find instructors who have studied with CBI (Childbirth International), the Bradley Method, and HypnoBirthing®. Women who take HypnoBirthing® classes have positive things to say about their method. You can learn more about their program and see if it's right for you. You can also find doulas, midwives, and doctors who teach birthing classes. Here is a complete list for Korea.
  • Hospital or clinic based class: Morning Calm Birthing have classes as well as offer birth doula and postpartum doula services. Here is a list of hospitals and clinics in Korea. Some of the big natural birthing places such as GM Cheil, Mama's Care, Medi Flower, Rosa's Clinic, and Yeon and Nature may have birthing classes. These classes tend to be very similar to independent classes, but may also emphasize what will happen at that particular clinic.
Birthing Naturally has a great chart to help you choose exactly which type of birthing class would work for you. You also might be interested in reading, when should I take a child birthing class?

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

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