Movement during labor, especially early labor, is very important. Not only can it make you more comfortable in labor—but gravity helps your baby descend, opens your pelvic outlet, and can help your baby engage in your pelvis. Being upright can also make your contractions more productive. Continuing to move allows your baby space to move and get into a better position if he/she is not facing the ideal way. Having freedom of movement can also help you with pain management and make your contractions more tolerable versus staying in the bed for your entire labor. Moving around is a great distraction and it also allows your muscles to stretch and flex to keep them from getting too tense…Read More
I’ll start by briefly talking about the birth of my first son. Everything is fine, he was born healthy, but in hindsight I realized there were things I wish had gone differently. I went into my pregnancy and birth with the mindset, “Women do this everyday, so why do I need to take classes or read books about it?” I wanted to try to do things naturally, but didn’t take issue with possible interventions. I would do what the doctor recommended. I ended up with pitocin, an epidural, and an episiotomy.
Afterwards, I started to have some questions about my birth experience. I remember thinking while my doctor was giving me the episiotomy, “I haven’t done much research but I’m pretty sure these aren’t a ‘thing’ anymore….” But I was crowning, so I wasn’t exactly in a position to bring it up for discussion…Read More
What can you expect when you get to the hospital?
When you first arrive you likely won’t go straight back to the labor room. You may have to sit in the waiting room for a bit, get taken to a triage room, or get taken right to the labor room—it all depends on where you are in labor. If you are showing no signs of labor and they are busy you may be asked to wait in the waiting room (like I was!). If you are visibly in labor but appear to have time, they will usually take you to a triage room first. If you have a history of a fast labor or you are talking about the urge to push, you will likely be taken straight back to a labor room…Read More
Birth of my first son in Okinawa, Japan
My husband and I decided to have a baby when we moved to Okinawa. I am a nutritionist, personal trainer, and holistic health advocate. I believe in the power of the human body to achieve unbelievable feats as long as the body is nourished in mind, body, and spirit. My husband and I think similarly and we both knew we wanted an all-natural pregnancy and birth.
We knew we wanted to take Hypnobirthing, which is a birthing class that focuses on breathing techniques, stretches, spousal partnership, visualization, and encourages natural birthing. It can be “far out” sometimes (like promising a pain-free birth?!) but if you take the lessons with a grain of salt, it’s great. My husband and I both got a lot out of it. It’s like studying before a big exam – it’s the mental preparation part of a natural birth. (Don’t forget the physical preparation: healthy eating, exercise, and stretching.)…Read More
I always knew I was a very independent person, but never knew how independent I was until I went through my first pregnancy while my husband was deployed. We found out we were expecting about two weeks before he left. As soon as the home pregnancy tests turned positive (and I bought one of every kind off the shelf, just to make sure), I called Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton to make an appointment. We had no issues getting in for the consultation visit to estimate the due date, but it took a little more sweet talking to get scheduled for our first sonogram – just one day shy of the ten week mark, the morning of my husband’s deployment day. We heard the heartbeat together, and we felt our lives changing for the better…Read More
The birth of your baby is something you will likely remember for the rest of your life. But there are a few things you can do to help remember it more clearly. Having keepsakes from your time at the hospital or birth center will help bring back specific memories vividly years later.
The easiest keepsakes are pictures. Take photos of the hospital or birth center entrance, the entrance to the Labor and Delivery ward, the room you deliver in and your recovery room, take pictures of the clock—when you were admitted and when the baby was born (HINT: you can take these photos at the same time of day the next day if you forget to in the moment!), and pictures of the baby station with your baby’s weight on it. These are the basic pictures you can take; there are many others you can take to capture the moment including photos of you in labor with your partner supporting you. Make sure you talk with your partner or doula about which photos are important to you, so they can be sure to capture them…Read More
Getting pregnant was not an easy thing for my husband and I. I was told right before we got married it was going to be difficult for me to get pregnant due to PCOS. I didn’t think that would mean losing babies as well. We decide that we weren’t going to try to prevent pregnancy due to the news from the doctor and wanting to trust God and His timing. A year and a half after getting married we got pregnant and could not believe it, but something did not feel right. Turns out my body wasn’t producing the hormones it needed to keep the baby and I miscarried at 7 weeks. Two months later we found out I was pregnant again and I just knew this time was different. I had morning sickness and all the typical pregnancy signs. But, then one day I woke up feeling “normal” I just thought morning sickness was over. That afternoon I started to miscarry at 9 weeks. I couldn’t believe it was happening again. I was heartbroken and trying to understand why I was going through another miscarriage. But, God is faithful and even in the hard and difficult times He shows that He is good. December of 2015 I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time. A lot of emotions ran through my head as I wanted to be excited, but I was nervous at the same time thinking “was my body going to be able to carry this baby this time?” As the pregnancy progressed I had relief and could finally think about how I wanted to birth this miracle I was carrying. I always knew I wanted a natural birth, but wasn’t sure where. After searching the area and finding out that Tricare would cover a birth at the birth center that was where I knew I wanted to delivery!Read More
Joy is one of a multitude of emotions you may experience during your labor and delivery. There are a few main emotions that you will transition through during labor that can help indicate where you are in your labor. In addition to these typical emotions you may also experience sadness, irritability, or even anger.
Joy or excitement is typically the first emotion. You may be experiencing your first signs of labor and with this brings joy and anticipation because you will be meeting your baby soon! While this is usually the first emotion you experience it is normal to feel other emotions such as anxiety or fear. You may be anxious about being a mom, or fear the pain you expect to feel with contractions. The best thing you can do is try and relax and let go of the fear and anxiety as they will likely slow down labor and can cause you to feel more intense pain…Read More
You may be looking at an induction for many reasons. You may need to be induced for medical reasons such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, you may be nearing 42 weeks at which point many doctors will strongly encourage inducing, or you may elect to be induced for personal reasons. While the induction procedures vary slightly from hospital to hospital they usually follow a standard progression…Read More
If I had a penny for every time someone's asked me this question, or looked at me with slight disapproval in their eyes and remarked, "you're brave!" I am writing this apologia not because it injures my pride to be thought foolish and not to belittle hospital birth, but because I think most people really do want to know why and because I have a lot to say on the subject ;)
ALSO (because this is the internet): These are my own reasons for wanting to birth at home. I only care about how other women birth in as much as I want them to feel happy with the outcome. Beyond that, do what you want…Read More
If you are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, home birth is an option for you. Many women these days are looking to have their babies at home or a birthing center with the goal of having a more relaxing and loving environment for delivery. Most women planning a home birth arrange to have a midwife attend the birth to assist in the delivery of the baby.
You may choose to have a home birth for many reasons. Giving birth at home may look very appealing if you wish to give birth with no pain medications, augmentation of labor, induction, or continuous monitoring. Giving birth at home allows you to be in a comfortable and familiar place during your entire labor and birth, and you don’t have to worry about the car ride to the hospital disrupting your labor. Or you may have had a previous bad experience at a hospital causing you to look towards home birth. There are many other reasons to choose home birth and they may be very personal…Read More
Group B Strep (GBS) is a bacterial infection in your vagina or rectum, and is fairly common. GBS naturally occurs in the digestive and lower reproductive tracts of men and women and can occur in those who haven’t been sexually active. GBS is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and you cannot catch it from another person, or food or water.
During pregnancy you will be tested to determine if you have GBS. This is typically done at or around your 36 week appointment with a vaginal and rectal swab. If you test positive for GBS this simply lets the staff know you will need antibiotics administered during labor. You will also want to talk to your doctor about the risks of having your membranes stripped with GBS if this is something you were considering…Read More
There are many topics to address regarding friends and family during labor. When to tell them, who you want there during delivery, and if you want visitors while at the hospital after your baby is born.
You are excited, you are about to have a baby! You want to tell everyone right away, but do you?Read More
I have been photographing birth in the Fredericksburg area for a little over 3 years. I talk often about the value of those images. How precious your first few moments are, how it is an investment you will never regret making, and I meant every word.
Then my second child was born!Read More
Electronic Fetal Monitoring is when equipment is used to measure your contraction and your baby’s heart rate, this is also called cardiotocography. There are two types of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM), internal and external.
External Fetal Monitoring
External fetal monitoring is where the hospital staff monitors your baby’s heart rate and reaction to contractions through external monitors. The standard monitor set up includes two ultrasound transducers that are held in place on your belly with straps. These transducers are connected to the monitor machines by cables that can be unplugged if you need to move. One transducer, called a tocodynamometer, monitors the frequency and length of your contractions while the other monitors your baby’s heart rate. Some hospitals have a mobile system, where the transducer cables connect to a small box with a strap allowing you or your partner to carry it which enables you to walk around while being monitored. The small box transmits your information to the nurse’s monitor. Some hospitals have a newer wireless EFM system. These systems have transducers that are strapped or taped to your belly and wirelessly send the information to your monitors - these systems are also waterproof which can be good if you want to labor in the shower or tub. Not all hospitals have the mobile or wireless monitors and if they do they only have a limited number, make sure to ask your hospital at the tour…Read More
I started my blog, Chaos and Cammies, as a way to not only connect with other moms but military spouses too. I want other people to understand a little bit more about our military lifestyle because it is very different from the civilian world. My blog is also a way to help other people. I do have a very giving heart and it is my passion to help people, whether it is by saving money, time, mom hacks, motivation, or just laughter. Helping and entertaining people is my ultimate goal!
I was asked a few weeks ago by a fellow Marine Spouse, Natalee Hines, to write a blog post on my childbirth experience as a military spouse. Natalee is a certified Birth Doula in our area, owner of Calming Waters Birth Services and writes a blog as well! You can check it out here. I was honored and excited to share my experiences! I had not really written them both down so this will be a great way for me to remember them…Read More
Dilation is when the cervix opens to allow your baby to be delivered. This occurs when the uterus contracts, putting pressure on the cervix, which causes it to open more and more. Some women begin to dilate before labor begins while others only dilate during labor. You may begin to dilate even before you have any noticeable contractions. Dilation is one of many components necessary for the birth of your baby to occur. These components are dilation, effacement, consistency, position, and your baby’s station – together these comprise your bishop score and determine how ready your body is to deliver your baby…Read More
One of the most uncomfortable parts of pregnancy, cervical checks, sadly continues during labor. When you first arrive at the hospital to be admitted, you will be taken to a triage room where a cervical check will be performed to check your labor progress. This allows the nurses to determine whether or not to admit you and also tells them if you are in early labor, active labor, or nearly ready to push…Read More
You’ve been pregnant for months and uncomfortable for at least the last month, you’re finally in labor, and you head to the hospital to have your baby! But first you have to be admitted. This process can take a long time, especially if your hospital doesn’t have pre-registration or you didn’t get around to pre-registering…Read More