New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Station during childbirth

I found a cool video that shows the different stations during childbirth.  If you've ever heard your nurse or doctor give you a number of where your baby is at, that's what this is.  Practically speaking, though, these numbers are sort of subjective.  Here's my no nonsense guide to knowing what station your baby is at:

Station -3:  Your cervix is way, way back and more than likely you are not very dilated.  In order to reach your cervix, the practitioner has to reach high up and it is not fun.  A small suggestion at this point:  if someone has to reach that far back to check your cervix, you still have a ways to go, and getting your cervixed checked is not worth the pain.

Station 0:  Anything before this station is not worth knowing about.  You are still in early labor.  At station 0, though, you have probably been working hard.  Cervical checks are relevant at this point only for those who have an epidural.  For those without one, you will probably be feeling more back pressure as the baby moves down the birth canal. You may feel like pushing at this point or you may not.  Let your body do the work. If you have an epidural and you are told you are complete, guess what, you don't really need to push at this point.  Your baby will continue to move down unless there is something seriously wrong.  Just rest and continue to enjoy the ride.

Station 2:  For those without epidural's, you are feeling lots and lots and lots of pressure.  You may feel a strong urge to push.  Again, let your body do what it's supposed to.  You may begin to see baby's head.  For those with epidural's, now is when you may want to start pushing.

Station 3:  You can see and feel babies head.  It is not going in as much as before and will probably be delivered soon.

As a nurse, I had to chart numbers.  For my own knowledge, if I had to reach far back and deep, it was a send home mom.  If mom was feeling pressure and the head was easily reached, it was one that would stay, and for one that was feeling pushy, I knew that we were going to have a baby soon.  Those were the things that mattered to me.  The only other time I worried about station was if there was no movement down over a very long period of time.  That was when I started paying more attention.

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.