Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meet Dr. Bradley | Bradley class #1

Dr. Bradley was a pioneer in the natural childbirth industry and began developing his technique back in 1947 when women were regularly being completely sedated. Apparently some of his Dad "coaches" would handcuff themselves to their wife's hospital bed so they could be there for the birth. You can read a book: Natural Childbirth--The Bradly Way by Susan McCutcheon or Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert Bradley. I read the McCutcheon book which details the Bradley Method and has great diagrams coupled with funny 1970s photos of real home births. I read this book with a grain of salt because they are condecending of hospitals and their methods and well, I'm skeptical of anyone who has to criticize others to make themselves seem better. While I'm not an advocate of any regular hospital intervention, I also don't bad mouth a hospital experience. I've heard both good and bad. Matt and I attended our first Bradley Class tonight (we are lucky enough to have two Bradley instructors in Flagstaff) and will be going every Wednesday evening until mid-Feb. It was 2+ hours. So the time commitment on this child starts now. EEEKS. Summary of the class:
  1. squat a lot if you are pregnant - it stretches skin so that you don't tear or so your doctor doesn't have to do an episomoty (fancy word for cutting the skin from your vagina to your anus or anywhere in between- YUK) **sidenote, my midwife has birthed over 1100+ babies and done 3 episomoties. She says they are almost never necessary with proper preperation. Sqatting is my new best friend.
  2. exercise everyday: walking, hiking, yoga, swimming, low impact... just DO IT.
  3. do your kegel exercises - the muscle that controls your bladder and anus, (it stops the flow of urine and men have one too) apparently this can help you present the head in birth in a more favorable position (back of head) and also keep your organs in place. Don't want those pesky organs dropping out of your body. NASTY. Trust me, just do the exercise
  4. practice relaxing: AKA have your husband talk to you nicely and gently rub your back while you lie in sideways position that prevents any tension.
  5. watching birth videos from the 80's -- nothing like a little visual preparation. Ouch, those babies look big when the come out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Business of Being Born

BACK BLOGGING: We saw a great documentary film called "The Business of Being Born." It was shown to a sold out audience in the downtown Flagstaff theater, the Orpheum. It was about the current business of birth in the US. It focused on the alarming rate of C-sections in this country and the general OB practices that are going on in the US today and how that compares to other 1st world countries (without ruing the film for you, we spend more money per birth than UK, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, France and yet have 2nd WORST infant mortality rate). I recommend everyone see it. It was the only film which received a standing ovation at the Tribecca Film Festival in NYC recently. In Manhattan hospitals alone, c-sections have reached an alarming rate of 40-46%. In most other developed countries in the world the rate is less than 12% I knew all the stats in the film because I've done a lot of research on American birth but it was great because they also showed 3-4 home births, all of which were amazing to see. I have seen a live birth 2 years ago when our neighbor delivered at home. It truly was the miracle of life. **Note** Let it be known that every woman who gave birth at home complained in the footage how painful it was (and thereby questioned their decision and ability) but each triumphed in her own way and it seemed like a neat experience. Matt and I were glad we went. If you have Netflix you can save it now and watch it when it's released. You can view the trailer here: Check out their website HERE

Monday, November 26, 2007

1st pregnancy photos

Okay so I started a baby blog... just for baby Clark and family photos and my rants about the healthcare for pregnancy, babies, labor/delivery,etc. I smell a documentary photo story coming my way. At some point, I will announce on my "real" blog that I'm pregnant but probably not until after booking season is over. I find vendors and clients think your world will end when you deliver a child. I think my world will just be beginning. I was in the studio shooting on Friday so I had my friend John Running snap off 20 or so frames with my camera so that I could at least get an informal shot of this growing belly. I have scheduled a "real" photo shoot for December with Matt and will continue to get into the studio with frequency now that I have a belly to photograph. I obviously didn't do my hair or makeup for this photo... a la natural...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our midwives

I thought I'd share a glimpse at our midwifery's website. Two of these lovely ladies will be present during Baby Clark's delivery. They have many answers to many questions on their site.