Grow Interview: Birthing in the 70’s, Part 1

 

grow (1)

In this audio, I interview my mother! She agreed to be my first guest and to talk about her experience of pregnancy and birthing in the 70’s. I highly, highly recommend talking to your mother or an elder you are close to about their birthing experience. We share so  much and some women have NEVER TOLD THESE STORIES. Give them a chance to. So much is different these days and yet so much is the same. It’s a fascinating look at the common bonds that having babies create across generations.

And Thank God for her and for the women who blazed a trail so we now have things like lactation consultants and pelvic floor PT’s and paternity leave and birthing options.

There’s a 4 minute intro where I am rambling on about my mom and what’s to come. Ramble, ramble, ramble. And to break things down, Part 1 includes these points:

Was family helpful in preparing for birth? (9:25)
Reality of labor pain hits: “I don’t want to do this anymore” (11:00)
My mom says the “f” word and my dad makes an interesting choice (12:10)
Here was my Ok, stop moment. The baby was not in the room when she woke up from her birthing sleep (13:00)
Nursing troubles (14:20)
Dr. Spock recommends (16:50)
Postpartum depression and who’s checking in with mom (18:00)
Mother-in-Law on night duty (21:00)

 

 

Part 2 will be posted soon!

A Mother’s Rights #1: You have the right to 8 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Several years ago I wrote about a Mother’s Rights, the first of which is:

 

8hours

 

Ladies. Please don’t do what I did and think that you will catch up on sleep when your child is done night nursing or done co-sleeping or done teething or through this growth spurt or entering middle school.

Good sleep is necessary for good health. It just is. Everything from skin to metabolism to immune system to mood to heart health, blood pressure, learning and memory, and pretty much every aspect of how we operate in the world.

Ideally, when expecting a child and creating your birth plan, you are also creating your sleep plan and how you plan to get sleep after your baby arrives. Err on the side of caution and assume your babies will be like mine where they wouldn’t sleep without nursing, being held, or being rocked for the first several MONTHS. Followed by night nursing that continued for several years and then a second child who had major sleep problems due to sensory issues.

It is likely you will need support. You will need to nap. You will need to laugh. You will need to line up some local resources and look into what night services are available in your area and which relatives and friends are willing to help out.

I loved the advice of my lactation consultant who said this:

After you give birth, for the first few weeks, do not change out of your pajamas until after you have gotten 8 hours of sleep. The day looks like this: baby nurses, mama eats, everybody sleeps. Repeat.

Please know that in the coming months if you are planning to sleep train your baby, it sometimes does not work out and:

It is not your fault. And it is not your baby’s fault.

I know of some babies who, while attempting to sleep train, would cry until they threw up. Or who would cry for two hours or more night after night after night. Babies are people and need different things. Likewise, you may end up needing something different than what you can predict. But one things you will need, without any doubt, is a reasonable amount of sleep.

During our efforts for achieving solid sleep, my partner and I found some tools quite useful into the toddler years. Things like blackout curtains and sound machines.

For a short time, things like baby swings and co-sleepers were helpful too. Though baby sleep books were not helpful for us, a lot of my friends found them extremely helpful, as well as consulting with local sleep consultants.

Getting a decent amount of sleep- 8 hours a night- is a basic human need that does not disappear simply because you have a new life to care for. Work with your partner, take time off work or shorten your days so you can nap if you need to. I’ll explore other options for getting sleep in a future post, but for now, know that sleep is your right to claim…so claim it.

For more info on my postpartum doula services or healing services, please check this out.