Birth!? Ew!

Birth can be gross sometimes.
Birth can be gross sometimes.

 

I recently came across a post in a Facebook group for doulas that was posted to discuss a recent Buzzfeed article about umbilical cord art. The article discussed how much the author thought that the idea of taking the umbilical cord and making art and keepsakes out of it (drying it, specifically), was gross. The doula’s in the facebook group were saddened and some were even furious that people can think it’s disgusting.

It has taken me a long time to learn this, but it is ok with me if you don’t like birth, or placentas, or umbilical cords! If you want your baby washed before touching them, I don’t want you to feel guilty because you read somewhere that it is good to wait before giving baby a bath, you won’t receive that judgement from me.  It can be empowering to some birthing persons to see or feel their baby’s head as it is being born and for others it could be traumatizing to force those options on them.

I acknowledge that I am one of the weird ones. I used to watch surgery shows with my family while eating dinner. “How’s your Mac and Cheese?” “Good. Did you see that vasectomy!?”.  Having grown up in a home with a mother with a disability, medical stuff was part of it. And some of it was pretty gross stuff. I am not phased in the least by the ick that comes with birth.

But, I realize that many people are.  Where I can see the beauty and wonder in a placenta, many others just see a disgusting piece of literally bloody grossness.  And while I love to gush and geek out about all things birth, I understand that not everyone wants to hear it.  (Though I am still working on not oozing birth talk all the time!)

I believe that part of being a doula is accepting that.  Coming to my clients where they are, instead of trying to persuade them to see things my way is integral to my mission of nurturing a culture of doula work that offers truly non judgmental support. 

Whether birth grosses you out or not, I support you!

 

If you liked this article and want to book a consultation with Amanda, you can contact her here.

Into the Deep End

Into the Deep End
Postpartum Support for Families

As my son approached the edge of the pool, I felt anxious.  He didn’t know how to swim in deep water; he could doggy paddle really well and had mastered the “mermaid” full body style too.  But he still lacked the skills and confidence to be able to swim any distance in water over his head.  Swimming is an essential skill to summertime fun when you live in the sunny Okanagan, so it was about time he learned.

So, gently, I got in the pool with the deep end and swam out a short distance.  He got in as well and I supported him as he started swimming around.  After a couple of laps with me supporting his body, I started letting go.  Easily, gently, he started swimming on his own.

As he worked this swimming thing out all by himself, he would stumble a bit, dip down and sputter. I was right there with my hand under him, pushing him back up so he could catch his breath and keep going.

It was not very long before he asked me to leave him alone so he could show off his new skills.  He did it, he was swimming in deep water all by himself!

He probably would have figured it out fine on his own, and he certainly was eager to try.  But, now we both know for sure that he has the skills, is safe, and perhaps most importantly, is confident in his abilities.

I see a lot of similarities with the postpartum support I provide for new families.  It’s not that they can’t figure parenting out on their own.  Most parents learn through being thrown in the deep end and then learning their parenting style through trial and error.

But, why not enlist some extra support if it’s available?  Someone experienced in helping new families through this steep learning curve, and making sure they are confident in their abilities. A postpartum doula supports a new family in their new transition by supporting them as they learn.  Because confidence makes a stronger swimmer.

If you would like extra support after baby is born, book a consultation for postpartum doula support today.