New Beginnings Doula Training

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Life Line-the umbilical cord

The umbilical cord acts to deliver oxygen from the placenta to the baby. The blood flow is often changing during labor due to two main causes: 1) compression, 2)stretch.

Compression of the cord can occur when the cord is pressed between a part of the baby and the uterine wall. This can happen during a contraction or when the baby moves. The cord may stretch as the baby is moving down. This causes the cord to spasm and the cord blood flow to temporarily stop. This is part of a built in reflex to allow the blood flow to stop once the baby is born. Both compression and stretch can be usually be tolerated fine by the baby.

Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 5th ed. Gabbe et al.
Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 8th ed. Martin et al.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.