WEEK 23 – CALMBIRTH & NIECE LOVE!
Weekly Baby News
Baby Size: 25cm Head to Toe
The baby’s skin is covered in vernix, which is a wax or cheese-like substance made up of sebum, skins cells, lanugo hair that has shed from the baby and lipids. Its function is to assist insulation for the baby while in the womb and to prevent dramatic temperature drop after birth. The vernix’s other purposes are to moisturise the baby’s skin, work as another form of protection against bacteria infection, as well as assist during birth through the vaginal canal. Other progressions: Your baby’s eyelids are fused while the retinas become fully developed and the Placenta is processing approximately 1L of blood per hour.
There is many alternatives to the standard hospital antenatal classes and care these days, which is excellent as it gives us the opportunity to find antenatal education and support that is suited to our individual needs, beliefs and outlook on pregnancy and birth. It is great that we have moved forward from the one-size-fits-all approach, but can also be overwhelming which one to choose.
Here is a brief about some of the different choices out there:
Calmbirth: “Calmbirth classes is a inspirational childbirth education program designed to guide expectant parents on how to use techniques such as deep relaxation, focused breathing and other inner resources they naturally possess to create their birth experience”. These classes provide education about the stages of birth to help empower the parents through knowledge to eliminate fear, anxiety or tension that interfere with labour and birth. Rather to replace with confidence and joy so the parents are prepared mentally and emotionally for birth.
Hypnobirth: “Hypnobirthing is as much a philosophy of birthing as it is techniques. When a mother and her birth companion are able to approach birth without fear and with knowledge, good support, and tools for the birth – then their birthing can be a positive and empowering experience”. The hypno aspect is to assist keeping mum and bub calm through the birth, reduce fears and release endorphins, increase faith in your body’s ability to birth with the aim to also reduce medical interventions.
Active Birth: has been around for a long time and you or your mum maybe familiar iwht the book by Janet Balaskas “New Active Birth” which was published in 1989. Active birth even in this yearwasn’t anything new. This outlook on birth focuses on following the mum’s instincts and the physiological logic of her body. Moving freely and being in control of her body rather than being ‘managed’ through her birth by attendants. Active birth reclaims the fundamental power as the birth-giver, and mother. Also giving your baby the best possible start in life and safe transition from the womb. Active Birth has been proven to reduce the instance of complications arising through the birth and also enhance recovery time post-birth. Active Birth teaches many birthing positions such as standing, walking, sitting, kneeling or squatting, then being supported with cushions/props between contractions. Active birth is now commonly combined with other antenatal classes, due to the benefits/
Prenatal Yoga Classes: these are usually 5-6 weeks long, however many studios offer drop-in classes also. Prenatal yoga embraces aspects of Active Birth positions to help prepare the physical body for birth. Also including mediation, breathing techniques, visualisation, vocal training and chanting that can all be utilised through the pregnancy and birth. These classes don’t usually go into theory detail of the different stages of labour, however can provide wonderful tools for your birth, plus connection with other mums-to-be.
Midwife antenatal classes: some private midwife groups provide group classes to educate mums of the process of birth and issues that may arise. These are completely individualised to the midwife taking the class. A midwife antenatal class usually encompasses more traditional aspects of labour rather than just focussing on the conventional medical approach. If your attending these classes it will usually be with one of your midwifes, enhancing more of a personal approach.
Doula antenatal classes: A doula is a birth support that offers non-medical support and information. This traditional holistic knowledge from a doula offers not only birth support but also emotional support to you and your partner on the lead up to birth as well as post-birth to reduce any fears, anxiety or unwanted emotions that may arise. Doulas embrace the physical, emotional, and spiritual sides of each journey through pregnancy. Every Doula’s classes are different due to the individuality of each Doula, however are all to assist mums to findempowerment and to identify the type of birth they wish for. Doulas can also attend your birth as a birth support.
One on one with your midwife, doula or chosen care provider: these are usually more expensive as aren’t in a group class setting, however are becoming more popular due to the individualised care to connect with the mother’s opinions, beliefs and wishes for birth. The carer helps the mother to decide on the choices of birth and what will suit her physically and emotionally. One on one is also commonly used for homebirths where more detailed planning is required.
Fitness is definitely on my mind this week due to feeling better with increased energy, time to pick up my fitness to assist with my coming labour. If you are quite fit through your pregnancy it has been shown to reduce time of labour and improve recovery, I am definitely all for this. I’m hoping to get back to my morning walks with Miss Meeka, my 1 x Personal Training session, 1 x pregnancy yoga class, and my little bits of home yoga here and there of course. I have decided that I need to be a student in a pregnancy yoga class rather than hold my own classes. It is beautiful to be the student rather than the teacher as I’m able to reap the benefits for bub and me, giving to myself more to help embrace the pregnancy, there is always plenty of time for me to teach pre-natal classes later in the year or in the future.
I did the 2.5hr trip to Toowoomba to visit my sister and to attend a workshop. It was beautiful to seemy 3 nieces and get plenty of cuddles and constant attention that comes along with it of course. E.g. showering with at least 1 while another is banging on the shower door, and waking up to all 3 climbing into the single bed with me in the morning. This was squishy and funny as they were all worming around then my baby started moving in my tummy also, a lot of love going on haha. The older girls, I’m sure will be all over my baby when it’s born as they are with their younger sister. And then there is my husband’s side of the family where we have another NINE nieces and nephews plus another on the way that we recently found out, which is due the same time as us. CRAZINESS!! It is quite difficult to remember all the birthdays, as you can imagine.
(This is Miss Izzy-Mae in the picture, trialling out some new veggies)
The workshop we did a beautiful meditation and Toni (who held the class) also explained how to protect ourselves energetically, cleanse, and tap into our intuition. It was lovely to connect with a great circle of woman and also opened up my thoughts more to life’s purpose especially with a bub on the way. So it was quite a contemplative drive back to Coolum Beach. I also scored some clothes from my sister, which was great and very helpful for this expanding pregnancy body. She also took me shopping to get a pair of maternity jeans, which on Friday they fitted but when I put them on Sunday morning they were too tight, what the!! My wardrobe continues to frustrate me.
While I was away and through the rest of the week, Sheeds stayed busy after work and on Sunday by doing the floor tiling in the bathroom, toilet, and laundry. It looks fabulous and exciting how the renovations are coming together. The next few weeks we should get the stone tops on the cabinets, and feature timber to arrive for the splashbacks. From there onto the demolishing of the old bathroom and laundry to make into another bedroom. While we are close compared to how far we have come, we still have A LOT to do.
Sheeds and I attended the first day of our Calmbirth course with Tracey. Even at 23 weeks it was great to start thinking about the birth and our wishes. Me being the ‘planner and organiser’ so I can start to visualise and attract the birth I’m hoping for. It was helpful for Sheeds to get an idea what we are in for as well. We met some lovely other couples and was nice to be around others who are pregnant and understand what we are going through. Also was fun for Sheeds to have a laugh with the other dads and have someone else to talk about the baby-thing with other than just me. Of course the father conversations are a lot different from the mums haha. Plus was beneficial as it opened up the conversation more between Sheeds and I, about our birth-to-be and parenting choices. Conscious parenting and aspects he and I hadn’t have thought of yet. While we understand not everything in birth or parenting is going to go to plan I do feel it is super important to do as much, reading, research, discussing, and preparation as possible (without it becoming stressful) to endeavour to be the conscious parents we hope to be. We may not use all the information we gather however like anything the more knowledge you may have the more empowered and confident you are in making the right choices for your family, rather than just going with what one person tells you in a instant or what mainstream society is advising. Calmbirth has certainly helped in the aspect of what is to come, I’m glad we chose to attend the course and am looking forward to next week when we get into the breakdown of labour. At the end of the day with Tracey, she showed us a positive birth video that was actually lovely to watch as well as quite touching and inspiring. Check it out if you haven’t already seen The Birth of Sloan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSyCal8fqig(warning have the tissue box ready as it is seriously very touching watch)
Tracey recommended to not be focusing on all the nasty birth stories out there, instead to surround yourself with positive births that will help attract a positive birth for ourselves.
Yours in Health
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