New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Taming Our Tigers

Pam England uses the description of a tiger to represent our fears. While we all experience fears it is important that we learn to deal with them before they overcome us: especially during labor.

I found a great handout that talks about this and wanted to share it. You can find it here.

In this, it discusses some reasons why fear is not beneficial for our labors and I thought I'd share my own thoughts and experiences about these.

• Increased pain for mom: Fear tends to increase muscle tension. The more tense our
bodies are, the more pain we experience.
• Possible increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. These can develop
because fear activates adrenaline, and a fight or flight response.
• Possible complications with labor: Adrenaline neutralizes the effect of oxytocin, the
hormone which stimulates labor contractions, which dilate the cervix, and bring baby
down through the birth canal. If fear blocks oxytocin, it may lead to longer labor, failure
to progress, more medical intervention to move labor along, or to deliver the baby.

I'll save each one of these points for later posts. I've also blogged about this quite a bit and I've added the posts under my blog series sections.

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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.