B.R.A.I.N. or B.R.A.N. are two commonly used acronyms that you may come across in your pregnancy journey to help you make informed decisions in birth.
B - benefits
R - risks
A - alternatives
I - intuition
N - nothing
B - benefits
R - risks
A - alternatives
N - nothing
(p.s. why did someone decide removing intuition was a good idea?!)
While these are great starting questions and a wonderful guide when discussing things with your care provider, I encourage you to go beyond that and ask yourself some questions too.
When I was a baby doula, I put all my focus of getting my clients informed of everything that could come their way. I did this because of my own personal experience. As a first time parent, I did the common "go with the flow" technique which really for me meant putting my hands up and releasing responsibility over the experience and the outcome of my birth. With the second baby, I became so hyper focused on flipping that, and getting super informed about everything. I remember reading the line "If you don't know your options, you don't have any" from Diana Korte and Roberta Scaer and it really struck me. Because of that, I thought that I had to spend all my time getting to know everything so that I always had options.
Hi. It is me, your long lost doula friend.
It's been a good year since my last blog post. Three kids is no joke, plus I still have my doula clients!
Today as I was looking through some photos of my third birth, it got me thinking about the main thing everybody told me about third babies -
"OH - THIRD BABIES ARE WILDCARDS!"
As in EVERYBODY said this - from Susan in the freezer aisle, to friends and family and even doulas and midwives who really should know better about how to not freak a pregnant person out! What it ended up doing is scaring me. Yes, even though I have all this birth knowledge, constantly being told that this birth was going to be a wildcard made me fearful of what was to come.
Now, sitting on the other side of the birth and the first year as a parent of three, I want to say this -
THIRD BABIES ARE NOT WILDCARDS. THEY ARE JUST DIFFERENT. Just like my first birth was different to my second birth, my third was just different.
When I got pregnant with my third baby, I had a lot of comments about being an expert now so it should be easy. I mean yes, I guess I was an expert. At that point I not only had . my two personal births behind me, but had also been a birth worker for 4 years and had attended about 70 births by then.
But what if I told you that it wasn't until my third pregnancy that I learned my biggest lesson - which then had a giant effect on my birth and postpartum and completely changed the work I have done with my doula clients over these last 2 years?
As a doula, I listen to a lot of pregnancy and birth stories. While some people can speak in great detail about every single thing that happened, most can't. What almost every person can remember though is how people made them feel - especially during their birth.
The language that surrounds your pregnancy lays the foundation for your birth, and eventually your confidence as a new parent. If through out the 9 months your head is being filled with doubt with the abilities of your body and the choices you have made, then it may affect the belief you have in your ability to birth and to make the best choices for your family.
Congratulations! You are pregnant! This is the start of a really exciting time of you life. But where do you begin? What do you need to do NOW that you got that positive?
These are 5 tips on what to do now - to have a great pregnancy and eventually, a beautiful birth.
Red Raspberry Leaf has been used for thousands of years amongst many cultures, but it wasn't until the 1940's that it was more commonly used in Western medicine. Red Raspberry Leaf is rich in vitamins and while it can be used to treat a pretty wide variety of ailments, it is now pretty well known for the benefits it provides to the all mighty uterus. Taking raspberry tea is said to strengthen the uterine muscles and tone the pelvic floor in preparation for childbirth.
There have been studies that have seen a correlation between those who consistently drink raspberry leaf tea with lower rates of birth interventions AND short second stage of labour than those who don't drink it.
The thing is - it doesn't taste very nice. At least I did't like it. AT ALL.
So during my second pregnancy I came up with these recipes that made the drink pretty delicious!
There is a cold and a hot option available - but with the heat wave we have been having in Vancouver - the cold drink is probably all you need.
Samantha Garcia Gagnon is a birth worker in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. She has a special focus on supporting physiologic home births and shares her years of experience and knowledge in this blog.
Proudly supporting home birthing families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam. Port Moody, Langley,
Surrey and New Westminster.
Filled with gratitude to be living and working in the unceded and ancestral home of the Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Kwantlen, and
Semiahmoo First Nations.