New Beginnings Doula Training

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Maslows Heirarchy of Needs-Safety needs

"This means feeling free from threat of physical and emotional harm. Safety needs include the need for structure or order. It also involves feeling protected from injury or pain."

This is a hard one because I think everyone needs different things in order to feel safe. I think it's important to really discuss this with the person whose birth you are attending. It's sort of daunting, and I'm not quite sure where to start:)

First off, I think most people want a safe healthy baby and healthy mom. This is the aspect of care that hospitals cater to. But there really is a lot lacking in how the medical world views safety. Beyond just a mom and baby that is alive there is a huge list of what women need to feel safe. It can range from needing all the technology available because that is your view of safety, to not wanting anyone else around because that is how you feel safe. Some may fear pain so much that labor itself feels very unsafe without instant pain control, while others feel like if any sort of medication was given, then that would be unsafe.

I think that if you are going to work with a woman in birth, you need to understand what her concept of safe is, and how she needs that provided. This is hard because what I consider safe can vary drastically from what you consider safe. I had an interesting example of this in some facebook conversations discussing unassited birth. Take a look if your interested:

So, here's my list of what I need to feel safe(and this has changed over the years):
1)I need to trust my caregiver and the place where I give birth. This has been a hard one for me because I haven't really felt totally in line with some of my caregivers or places I've given birth. It has made a difference.

2)I need a caregiver that I feel will respect my choices. Someone that actually understands that I have choices.

3)I need a caregiver that is comfortable with just chilling for awhile.

4)But, I do need a caregiver. I want someone who can do the worrying for me. While I know I can resuscitate a baby(I'm NRP certified), and I know what to do in emergencies, I don't want to be the one that has to worry about that during labor.

5) I am much more comfortable with people around me. I like to laugh and tell jokes during labor, but they have to be people that I know and trust.

6)I need my husband there. He reminds me that I'm strong and can do this.

7) I need to be able to eat, drink, sit, stand, push when I want where ever I want.

8) I want people with me, but not people I don't know or trust. Having unknown people around throws a kink in my laboring.

9) I need people around who believe in me and my ability to birth.

10) I need space to think when I need to.

11)I need to know that I have quick access to technology if needed, but it's hidden if I don't.

12) I need to feel respected by those around me.

I would love to hear what other people feel they need to feel safe:)


Enjoy Birth said...

What I need to feel safe has changed. With my 2nd I NEEDED the continuous fetal monitoring, it made me feel safe, after my first birth. I think I even liked it during my 3rd birth.

I wonder if I was to have another, would I feel safe without it? I would like to think yes.

Definitely a safe environment. For me that was the hospital for my last 2.

Now, I think I would feel safe at home as well. I have a great hospital which is supportive of NCB, so I would feel safe there too.

Rachel said...

The place I felt the safest was at a birthing center in AZ. I was a block away from the hospital with CNM who had privileges there and a back up OB. So if I needed to be transfered it would have been pretty seamless.

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.