Sunday, August 8, 2010

Low-Risk vs. High-Risk Childbirth

We started our parenting/birthing "classes" last week with a wonderful Midwife, Mani Canaday. I say "classes," because we meet with her one-on-one at her home, and it's more like catching up with an old friend than being lectured on childbirth. She's been super informative and since she works closely with the Midwife (Shell Walker L.M.) who will be birthing our child with us, she is able to give a lot of examples of how things will go for us, specifically.

In our recent meeting, we discussed; positions for birthing, exercises I should be practicing, expectations in labor and affirmations for a happy delivery.

She gave us a great list by Christianne Northrup, author of Women's Bodies and Women's Wisdom. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to acquire and read said books, but am extremely interested in them based on her concepts of High-Risk and Low-Risk Childbirth.

Some examples of Women who can expect High-Risk Childbirths are listed below:

Women who:
*are Passive
*are Dependent
*Rely on Others
*are unable to accept support from others
*Reject their womanhood
*Repress their sexuality
*View themselves as nothing more than a sex object
*are Childlike (you know the women who talk in little kid voices and what not)
*have Limiting Beliefs about childbirth (they have set plans for their birth and are unwilling to accept variation)
*are Dishonest or Manipulative
*have a weak self-image or imagine themselves as weak
*have fears that are not being worked through
*are Sedentary
*have Frail Body Appearance (actually appear unhealthy)
*have a Chaotic home
*Do not actually want the child they are about to birth
*Suffer from Denial of the reality of their birth plan

Thankfully, I don't believe I suffer from any of the above issues, but there is one of the Low-Risk Childbirth factors I hope to improve on, as noted below. Here's the list of Low-Risk Birth Factors.

Women who:
*are Active
*are Independent
*are Self-reliant
*have the Ability to accept support from others
*Accept their womanhood
*have a Healthy Sexuality
*view themselves as a Sexual Being (as opposed to a sex object)
*are Adult Like, Mature
*have clear and honest communication. [Sometimes, I am unable to express myself clearly, although usually honestly. I am working to improve this before Baby's Birth so I can communicate more effectively through labor and postpartum]
*have loving relationships
*are in Agreement with their birth plans
*have fears that ARE being worked through
*are Physically Active
*have Robust body appearance
*are willing to accommodate change [This is something I learned a few years back as a new teacher, if you can't go with the flow, it will go on without you.]
*have a Comfortable Home
*Wants the child she is about to birth
*is accepting of her birth plan.

Overall, I feel confident in my pregnancy being labeled Low-Risk. I know several friends who have had High-Risk labeled pregnancies, but not because of the above factors, rather medical factors that might need urgent attention. This list was really interesting to discuss with those pregnancies in mind. Sometimes, we put too much faith in what doctors say, and not enough in our own bodies. Just because a medical or socio-economical issue plays a part in the difficultly of a pregnancy, does not necessarily mean the labor itself will be a High-Risk childbirth experience. Women who are weak and/or view themselves as weak have a much higher probability in developing complications (real or imagined) because they don't put faith in their bodies to do the work they were designed for. Of course, some pregnancies may require more attention than others, and those mothers might need more attention than others. However, the factors listed above really brought to light personal issues which might lead to complications that are otherwise avoidable. I hope that women who have a pregnancy labeled High-Risk can benefit from this list and understand if they are strong women with healthy self confidence they too can have a Low-Risk Childbirth experience. They can have control over their birthing experience, and their lives for that matter.

Happy Birthing!

p.s. Mani or Ms. Northrup; if you'd like me to remove any information because of copyright issues please let me know and I will modify to your wishes. I just wanted to share the wonderful information, articulated so well by you both, with other women who are experiencing similar pregnancy emotions as myself.

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