New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Finding your own breathe

As humans, we like to be in control. We like to have control over what we do and think. And this certainly plays a huge part in how women experience labor and birth. But when we are supporting women in labor, us being in control needs to become secondary to the laboring woman's sense of control. Sometimes, we need to be more direct and help them find that control, other times we need to step back and let the woman find it herself. The trick is knowing when to do what. And that is something that takes time and dedication to figure out.

I had a patient one time that was having a hard time coping(she wanted an epidural but couldn't have one at the time). Towards the end she was closing her eyes tightly and holding on to the bed. She had a few tears earlier also. I was trying to get her to breathe with me to help her relax. She was tense and had her eyes clenched tight, and to me it seemed like she needed more help to get her through this time. So I would count and breathe and tell her how to relax. But it didn't seem to be doing much.

Afterwards it occured to me that perhaps I should have been paying more attention to her own breathing pattern and maybe match it. I wondered if I was actually making it more difficult for her to cope by insisting she breathe a certain way. Now if I am ever in the same situation I will pay closer attention to my clients own breathing patterns...and perhaps use those as a way to help her cope. Often times this is what is really needed. Women need to find their own way to breathe.

What really struck me this morning about this thought, was how that is true in many walks of life. I was particularly thinking about this with my daughter, who is wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, but very headstrong. When we push her, she pushes back. It occurred to me that maybe I need to step back and watch how she is breathing. What makes her calm? What makes her tense? How can I match her breathe so that we can come out in the end better and stronger people? I'm not sure I have answers, but it did give me pause to think....sometimes part of what we do as guides is to help others find their own breathe.

1 comment:

Handsfullmom said...

What a beautiful and insightful post. Thank you for sharing that.

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.