Labour and Birth Information










There is an endless amount of information about labour and birth.  Rather than duplicate information available on other sites, I am providing selected information on issues that I believe are important for all women.

One of the best websites for researched, evidence-based information is:

Another site with good downloadable brochures on a variety of topics, including labour, birth, baby care, breastfeeding and more, is:  http://brochures.mater.org.au/ 






Avoiding a C-section  
Given the current rate of C-sections in B.C. - around 30%, or almost 1 in 3 women, will have a C-section - it is important for women and their partners to be informed.  I recommend the document attached below, C:S info.pdf, which is a very well written booklet entitled "What Every Woman Should Know About Cesarean Section".  





For a Better Birth, Hire a Doula!
Having a 'doula' or professional labour support person is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a positive, low-intervention birth.  According to research it is also your best insurance against having a C-section.  

A doula does not replace your partner.  She is there to support both you and your partner through a process that can be long and exhausting.  While labour and birth are 'natural' processes, there are many things that can be done to enhance the process - to help it go more smoothly, and quickly.  You will find some information about doulas and what they do in the attachments below.  

For information about doulas practicing on the Sunshine Coast go to: https://doulamatch.net/search.  






Cesarean Section
Caesarean sections are one of the most common surgeries in North America.  Between 20 and 25% of women will have a caesarean section - the numbers are a little lower for women who choose midwifery care, partly because these women generally have fewer risk factors.  The one-to-one and individualized care provided by midwives is also helpful.

If you would like to avoid a C-section, the best article to read is  C:S info.pdf  which is attached below.  You will find several other papers and studies as well, most of which outline the risks, to both mother and baby, of C-section birth.


Home Birth
Home birth is an option for healthy low risk women who have normal pregnancies with no risk factors and who choose to have their babies at home.   Either two midwives or a midwife and a trained attendant will be at the birth.  Midwives provide all of the equipment and supplies you will need.  

Note: If you are considering having your baby at home, please go to the page on "Home Birth" for more information.











"Optimal Fetal Positioning" - Your Key to a Straight-Forward Vaginal Birth
If you want to ensure the best labour and birth for you and your baby, look for information on "Optimal Fetal Positioning".  In the last months of pregnancy, women can use exercises and positioning to encourage the baby to get into the very best position for birth.   The baby's position just before and during labour is one of the most important factors in how well the labour and birth will go.  

Here are some websites about "Optimal Fetal Positioning":  
 



Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
GBS and the recommended treatment for women who have it are still controversial.  Here's a link to a good article about it:  https://evidencebasedbirth.com/groupbstrep/

GBS prevention by taking probiotics lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and lactobacillus reuters RC-14? 
Group B Strep, or GBS, is a common bacteria present in the digestive and reproductive system of around 30% of women.  Unless it causes a bladder infection, it may go undetected as it often causes no problems.  But... it can cause problems for newborns.  This can occur during labour, when the bacteria has an opportunity to multiply in the amniotic fluid, and then get into the baby's body before it is born.  Most babies, like most adults, won't get sick.  But some will - some will get very sick.  A very few will die.  Because of this risk, all women are offered testing to see if they have GBS when they are around 35-37 weeks pregnant.  Women who test 'positive' are offered IV antibiotics in labour to prevent the bacteria from multiplying and getting into the baby's system.  A recent study suggests that by taking two specific probiotics - lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and lactobacillus reuters RC-14 - women can reduce their risk of having GBS by around 40%.  Here's a link to the study for anyone who wants to consider taking these lactobacilli.  Best time to start is in the second trimester.  Good luck!     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27590374
Note: For more information on GBS see the info sheets in attachments at the bottom of this page. 



Prodromal Labour

Sometimes it can take quite a while before your body goes into active labour.  
Days of cramping, bouts of contractions, unable to sleep, and sometimes feeling nauseous.  While it's annoying, it's not abnormal, and not dangerous.  

For a little moral support, and ideas about what you can do to make it more manageable, take a look at these websites:   www.wombworldbeyond.com/trusting-and-awaiting-baby-prodromal-labour/   and  http://trimestertalk.com/prodromal-labor-long-last/





Induction of Labour
Induction of labour, especially in women who are having their first baby, greatly increases the risk that the woman will need a C-section.  (Some research indicates that inducing a woman who is having her first baby increases her risk of needing a C-section from around 30% to 50%!)  Unless medically required, induction of labour should be avoided until a woman is at least 41 weeks and 3 days - that's 10 days! - beyond her due date.  It may be helpful, during your pregnancy, to think of your 'due date' as being at least a week later than the date you've been given.  Most first time pregnancies go at least one week beyond the due date.  For more information on induction, take a look at some of the attachments below.  If you are concerned about going overdue or that induction of labour may be recommended for you, take a look at "How to get your labour going..." in the attachments below.  Please note that no woman should take castor oil without a thorough discussion with her caregiver.






Skin-to-Skin
Care for ALL Babies
No matter how or where you birth, ALL babies - and mothers and fathers! - benefit from skin-to-skin contact.  The research on the benefits for babies is clear.  Even premature babies and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit - in fact ESPECIALLY these babies - do better with skin-to-skin care than with care in an incubator.  Demand skin-to-skin care. 
A good website for more information on skin-to-skin is:  http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/birth-kmc.aspx









A note about the attachments below
My apologies that the attachments below are in random order.  I have not yet found a way to put them in the order I would like them in!  The attachments that start with IUTY are short information sheets written by me, based on research from other sources.  There are also some longer research papers and booklets that I think contain useful information. 
Subpages (1): Home Birth
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