Friday, October 19, 2012

The Zone of Optimal Birth

The first pregnancy is magical. Even if you have many of the common complaints of pregnancy, the first butterfly kisses you feel just above your pubic bone fill you with joy. This is a time you are working with God like no one else can. Baby grows and communicates with surprising touches. You are the mother. As your belly grows and that Olympic event approaches so does the excitement. God designed you for this.

My granddaughter smiling at 6 hours old
after an optimal birth.
God also designed your body to be nourished with whole foods. With plenty of nutrient-dense foods the amazing DNA in your body and your baby's body can allow your birth to proceed efficiently and with ease. If any nutrient is missing or in short supply the birth will be impeded. It may still be successful, but it will not be optimal. Do your best to get the most nutrition as possible and do not be seduced by modern products that seem to be food.

When I was pregnant with my first, the future was unwritten and I had everything ahead of me. My baby girl was perfect. She nursed easily and we were inseparable. Her birth was easy and pain free. I believe that was because I was unassisted. I went into the zone and I stayed there until I pushed her out.

With an attended birth there is a conflict between the caregiver's need to monitor and the mother's need to go inward, to stay in the zone. As a midwife the best I can do to balance these needs is to prepare the mother to ignore the monitoring. I also instruct others present to not ask the mother questions, do nothing to cause her to come out of the zone. Every question you ask might add an hour to her labor and disrupt the baby's journey.

I seek the zone of optimal birth whenever possible.