The Labor Traps: Sneaky Things That Derail Your Natural Birth (Part 2)
Did you know that the very things you've been taught to do when planning a natural birth will set you up to fail? In fact, a lot of advice out there on how to cope during labor or what to expect can lead to you getting a trip to the OR for a cesarean. I have coined the term Labor Trap when discussing a lot of the things that lead to you getting tricked into medical interventions when your body is actually capable of physiological birth. If you want to know more about the Labor Traps, go here to part 1.
Today I'm diving deeper into the traps you can fall into once you're in labor, because even if you manage to avoid many of the scare tactics that lead to a lot of moms thinking they won't go into labor on their own, once labor actually starts you still gotta watch out for the Labor Traps!
These are the beliefs, attitudes, cultural expectations, misconceptions and medical practices that are so routine in maternity care and our birth culture that you don't think twice about them.
They're the things you see most often in the mom groups and in mainstream childbirth education that are leading you right down the exact path you don't want: the path to a cesarean, induction, episiotomy, forceps delivery, or simply a birth where you lose all control and things happen to you that you didn't ask for, didn't want, and might not have even agreed to if you'd known the risks and that you had other options.
In other words, these are the things that seem obvious in hindsight as you learn how birth really works and your own psychological and emotional needs during labor, but they aren't easy to spot beforehand because it seems like it's just "normal" and "to be expected."
You can watch the first 5 here and then read more about how I came to discover these Labor Traps and how to avoid falling into them yourself below.
So, how did I figure this out and how can you avoid falling into these traps and the many, many others that are so common in our birth culture?
First, let me tell you a story:
If you remember from part 1 of this series I told you that I had weeks and weeks of stop and start labor where there wasn't much happening, and I also told you that I got to 6cm dilation and then my cervix closed up again.
Up until the moment it happened to me, I didn't know that it was possible. In fact, a lot of how my labor unfolded didn't follow a typical pattern. My doula came back at about 6pm the following night to support me as my partner and son went to swimming lessons. I was in the pool and contractions ranged from mild to intense, but they didn't follow the typical pattern.
It was in this time that I learned that I was having contractions coming anywhere from 7 minutes apart to 5 minutes to 2 minutes. Things would ramp up, then ease off. In fact, when my partner came back home and put our son to bed I was still having a lot of strong contractions, but not close enough together to be considered "active labor".
It would be almost 6 years later that I would witness this again as a doula when my client Rebekah went into labor with her third baby and first vaginal birth. Her contractions also did not follow any predictable pattern and as she got closer to the end they actually spaced out. Some lasted a minute, some lasted 2 minutes. Some were 3 minutes apart and others were 7 minutes apart.
If either of us had been in the hospital this "irregular" labor pattern would have been seen as a problem, but in truth it was just what our bodies and babies needed.
That's how I discovered the Labor Traps and developed my powerful system that actually supports the physiological birth process and helps you recognize when you need medical intervention vs when someone else is just expecting you to follow the textbook (that doesn't work). I call this system my 5 Pillars of Empowered Birth, which you can learn more about if you grab my ebook Your Empowered Birth below.
In this book you will learn the entire Empowered Birth System and how you can use it to get your dream birth experience and avoid the biggest traps when it comes to planning a natural birth.
You'll be able to avoid crumbling under the pressure of an OB or midwife who is pushing for you to have a vaginal exam (even though you now know that your cervix is not a crystal ball).
You won't feel like you have to get into labor by your due date, which will allow you to rest as you need to and just not worry about it. You won't get tricked into the many traps that lead to "failure to progress" and you won't automatically transfer to the hospital unless you want to go in.
You also won't hire anyone who doesn't fully support you and believe in your ability to birth your baby in your own time, in your own way.
The best part about using this system is that anyone can do it!
You can use this system to plan your birth even if you've been labelled "high risk", if you have a "small pelvis" or you have a high body mass index. You can use it even if you develop Gestational Diabetes.
You can use it even if you've already had one or more cesareans and this is your last attempt to actually experience natural birth, because you know you should be able to do it.
This system is the most versatile and multi-dimensional way to plan and get your birth your way, without having to fight any battles, beg for permission, convince anyone of the "evidence" for what you want, or compromise to make others feel more comfortable with your choices.
You will learn about my 5 Pillar System for Empowered Birth which includes:
The Right Mindset: How to get past your fears, create your vision of your ideal birth, and identify any old stories or misconceptions you absorbed from others that are holding you back from getting what you really want.
The Right Education: How to start asking the right questions when it comes to any information you are presented with, so that you can filter out what works for you and what you're planning for your birth and what is only going to talk you out of your dream and undermine your confidence in your body's ability to birth.
The Right Environment: How to determine where YOU will feel safest to birth, and how to create that environment that will support your ability to find additional resources and support for what you are working toward in planning your dream birth.
The Right Facilitators: How to choose the childbirth educator, care provider, and doula who will work for YOU rather than try to tell you how you need to think about things or push their own agenda and plans on you.
The Right Support: How to seek out those people who will support what you want to do and cheer you on, so that you no longer feel like you have to convince them or "educate" them, and you don't feel alone in how you want your birth to go.
Plus, when you get this book you will also have accesses to these bonuses: