Labor: Four Reasons Folks Don’t Go (Or Stay) Laboring

Actual conversation with a prenatal/labor massage client circa Dec 2008:

me ~ Janis, would you like some water? Janis ~ I WOULD LIKE A BABY!!! Can you bring me THAT?!!!!!!

Sure, she's all smiles now but you should of heard her.

Sure, she’s all smiles now but you should of heard her.

There are four kinda general reasons that people don’t go into labor,

  1. The due date is crap ~Arbitrary, a guestimate. And people get MARRIED to that shiz. Calm down people, its just a a shot in the dark. Every woman, every pregnancy, every weather pattern is different.
  2. Its all in your head ~  Something emotional/mental/energetically is slowing the roll.
  3. Let’s Get Physical! So maybe fetal malposition (due to a number of things), tight pelvic floor, broken and now stuck pointing inward  coccyx.
  4. We don’t actually know, but somethings up. ~And this is where we do everything we can to get a preggers person as ready as can be with the other three reasons, so that if you need a little help from our (medical) friends, that you’ve cleared the way for any medical intervention needed to be as effective as possible. Collaborative not combative.

So it absolutely is worth your while to think about these categories, and see what sticks for ya. Each number links to a specific post about that topic, so give a click to the one that speaks to you most. once you are there, poke around a little, see if you can get a little dialogue going with your labor to see what it needs. Good luck my love, Rowan not sure? leave me a comment and or jump over to our FB group. 

Reason #3 Its Physical

Lets get Physical!

Meggan with a be

Belly Map Belly Art by Gail Tully, creator of Spinning Babies.

Fetal Positioning~ Here is the deal, optimal fetal positioning is an actual physical thing, and not a bunch of horse hockey. (You like that? It’s cause I’m trying not to cuss.) Anywhoo, sitting, driving, computering etc all contribute to stiff and underutilized muscles, and in general keep our bodies not especially labor ready. Some type of prenatal fitness is helpful, with of course WALKING being awesome, along with yoga or whatever else you were into prepregnancy. And don’t hate me when I say chasing a toddler doesn’t count.

  1. One thing that I’ve seen work super well is this daily deal from Spinning Babies,  seriously loves, if you had any idea how positively this would affect your labor it would be THE EVENT of the day, top of the self care list. A mal~positioned baby creates a funky labor pattern, most times within a hospital setting that is not luxury a laboring person gets. I especially love that their site has an entire section dedicated to if you are in LABOR RIGHT NOW the best ways to get labor unstalled. This is gold y’all.
  2. 2nd up is the Dancing for Birth peeps. This is some legit moooooves here, and I use these all the time. Think about the pelvis, the more fluid and asymmetrical the hip moves are, the more the baby has an opportunity to reposition and settle down. So instead of clenching up and working against the contraction, how about moving with the body? To see Dancing For Birth in action, check out Instructor and trainer Heather Gream  showing her moves here, about an hour before baby was born. Pretty sure Christina Aguilera would hop up and dance right with her!
  3. Lastly, if you are unsure if your belly and uterus could use more support booking a session with an Arvigo Therapy Maya Abdominal Massage practitioner is a great idea!
  4. Need more help? Schedule a session with a Labor Whisperer, either in person or virtually. Not sure who fits you best? Give a shout in our FB group, and we will do our best to fix you up.

xoxoxo Rowan brainstorming up my next way to support your labor!

Reason #2 It’s all in Your Head

 

Reason #2 It’s all in Your Head*

Welllllll heck, reason number two that labor doesn’t start is that there is an emotional or mental block that is keeping your baby from getting in synch with your natural “going into labor” rhythm. What’s that you say “I didn’t know that I could mind block my labor?!” Well sure you could, just like if your hang out up in your head to much you can stop (or significantly slow) other things, you know, that use that same general area. Just think about that for a minute. Ever tried to get dowwwwwnnnnn but your mind wouldn’t let you? Same thing with birth, but now instead it looks like anxiety  about birth, or the postpartum period or work stuff, or “Can you wait to have the baby? Today is not a good day.” Anxiety will stop a labor in its tracks, so  when control type A peeps get wound up because birth and labor aren’t carrying on according to their time lines, that in surging adrenaline stops oxytocin cold. Think Ice Ice Baby…. If we hop over to the emotional side of things, getting emotionally wound up is also a labor block. Ever been so upset you couldn’t think straight? Or so over the top pissed off your voice shook and hands were unsteady? In my family we call this having a red hair moment. This will stop your labor. So what if its more subtle than that? A nagging worry, or something that just keeps you emotionally off kilter? Like, I dunno, you hate your doctor, or the hospital, or some other person or place where you are birthing. Like a key factor, those types of emotional unease or trigger will keep you from feeling safe and ready to go into labor. So lets start here, get out a journal or the back of an envelope or a smart phone with Evernote or whatever and brain dump all the shiznit thats bothering you.

Here is my horrible attempt, but I think you get the idea.

list on enveloope

Out of your Head, Onto the Paper

So just to lay it all out there, when it comes to birth emotions and/or things we mentally chew over and over again, its either part of the solution or part of the problem. So if you have a list working (and most folks do), its time to address the points one by one and create a plan  or workarounds or boundaries, or whatever, but the goal here is too have a mother trucking list of solutions in your hand. Alert: your action plan most probably needs to include the thinning of peeps attending your birth. So make your list, sling it on some social media, and tag it with #LaborWhispering so that way we can clap and cheer and give you our two cents (or not) for getting your head and heart clean and ready for a new baby in your arms. And thats how you Labor Whisper yourself through reason #2. xo my loves, Rowan *Let’s be clear here, “It’s all in your head,” is valid all freaking day long. Its not any less real or legit than an obvious physical challenge, like lets say if you had rickets when you were a kid and have a deformed pelvis or some shiz. Which you probably don’t, but I think you get me.

Reason #1 The Due Date is Crap

Does anybody even know how due dates are come up with? (and I love how the mac keeps wanting to auto correct to DUDE DATE ahahahha) Lets Review: According to Wikipedia (and personal knowledge corroborates this)

The rule estimates the expected date of delivery (EDD) by adding one year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). The result is approximately 280 days (40 weeks) from the start of the last menstrual period. Another method is by adding 9 months and 7 days to the first day of the last menstrual period.

And then look around at you Target or something and see if all the people with a uterus standing around you are wearing the same shoe size. Hmm, no. But they all are (probably) wearing shoes. Same sitch for due dates, all typically within the range of 37 -42 weeks, but its not like boom, have a box of contractions on your due date. Not even close.

blue present with Bow

Box of contractions for a magically short and awesome labor!

All pregnancies come to full term at times, and it can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy for the same person.  And I’m not even falling for the “Well, my mother did this, so I’ll probably do xyz.”

Preggers please, my mother birthed at an Army hospital in El Paso in the 70’s, I’m fairly certain that nothing flows the same. 

So its super important to realize that you are not broken, defective, or otherwise forked up if you aren’t in labor and sail way past your due date. Cause guess what? That can stop a labor, the anxiety and feelings of “I cant even go into labor right,” will keep the labor train form leaving the station. Need help getting people off your dress? Give ’em the bird. ‘Cause most people outside of birth workers have zero idea about the entire process. Make sure and tag your bird pic with #LaborWhispering so me and the Secret Society of Labor Whisperers can hard core troll the peeps giving you the Vag TV. xoxoxo my loves, Rowan Ps Local gal Cole gets all up in your dates right here.

#HimynameisRowan

Make a wish!

then: Make a Wish!

Over twenty years ago I became a massage therapist, and soon after that went to The Farm to train as a midwives’ assistant. In the space and time and bellies and pregnant peeps between then and now I learned the art of gently asking and coaxing a body to labor, especially when the labor wants to start but is held in check by a block. I figured this out in my massage room, one client at a time. I also listened to when someone had an old “(mid)wives tale”, cause many times they had truth in them. I’m teaching now, teaching folks how to whisper their labor, teaching other birth workers how to #LaborWhisper, and possibly our work will shape how our community treats a pregnant person. #Eachoneteachone

IMG_6353_zps3oitkiob

Now

This is how I can help:

  1. If you need help getting your labor started, poke around on the site, starting here, see if you can DIY it, sometimes thats all it takes. A little insight and some boundaries go a long way.
  2. Take my course, labor whisper yourself. Launching 4/2016     In the interim hop into our FB group  if you have a question.    
  3. Need more? I have a self course in the works, but in the interim I’ve trained a bunch of snappy Houston area birth workers, many that are available virtually, to help with one on one sessions. Pick your Whisperer right over here.

xoxoxo, Rowan

Birth Playlist Magic Explained

What happens when a so`so song gets covered by a funky little acoustic ish type band? You get this song here. Give a listen to the Mister Wives! Boom. Add it your birth playlists my people. Por why you ask? ‘Cause when the energy tanks in the birth room, having some songs that create an ambiance conducive to birthing is helpful. Example, mother of the laboring woman walks in the room and announces to everyone, “I thought this would be over by now.” Cue the appalled silence.

OH NO you didn't just say that!!!

OH NO you didn’t just say that!!!

Would of been better if she’d made her entrance to some smooth tunes of Michael Buble’, or a rousing rendition “I want a Hippopotamus Christmas,” like this sexy version. Well, it was Christmas Eve. See, then she would of had what we call a social cue.  See, even though Michael isn’t actually in the room crooning in his sexy way, the cue is still there to be smooth, easy, in support. All of us relaxed and supporting the laboring person. Then future grandmother’s oxytocin and buzz killing words would have had the counter measure of positivity, comfort, and support. It’s  way better to start humming along to your favorite music instead of shrieking, ” Get out of here Mom. I don’t need your negativity!!!!!!” Sound sets it down, and by down I mean boundaries. Boundaries bring birth.

Lets get a Baby in your Arms!

Lets get a Baby in your Arms!

Tell me what songs rocked your birth, or what you are adding to your play list to facilitate your birth. Did anybody put a cool playlist together on Spotify or 8track? Inquiring minds and all that, and this is how we community share our knowledge. xoxoxo Rowan ps weirdly enough I gave Mr.Buble a massage about ten years ago when he was playing in Houston, Hi Michael! pps I think the funniest song I ever heard at a (hospital!) birth was “I want a Cooter” by Pandora’s Box. Lots of open mouth laughing for that!

How to Improve Your Odds for a Successful VBAC

Well poop. For whatever reason your previous birth ended up in a surgical birth, otherwise known as a C section. And that may or may not have sucked for you. Some people are wrecked, and some are like “Whateves, I’m good.”  For those of you taking it in stride, you gotta start massaging your scar, like ASAP, before you get pregnant. LOOK,  I found a video for you, and that would be one I did BEFORE I took Share Ross’s Rockstar Video course. so its less, um, polished, but the general gist of what can happen if you don’t work on your scars is covered. And by work I  mean just “Get all up in there,” to quote one my client Angela. And get all up in there gently, like I demo~ed in this (low volume) video using silly putty. For those still reeling and processing, you might need more support. There might be more to it than searching around for a youtube video on scar work. Sometimes healing is a rougher road, a labyrinth, which I think is eloquently described in this post.  Healing is intense and winding, but its important work my loves. Let’s really think about this through, its crazy important to do whatever you can to increase the odds for a successful VBAC.  Local Houston doctor Christina Davidson was asked what’s the biggest downfall  of VBACS, and she said ADHESIONS. That’s right loves, scar tissue and connective tissue thats gotten bananas. That scar tissue can pull your uterus out of allignment, and tuck it to your bladder, or stick it to something (like an organ) so that it isn’t allowed to perform its function. Go outside and step on the hose, and now turn the water on. That would be a uterus with adhesions. Decreased capacity for getting the job done.

Try and do your job now you contorted and adhered uterus!

Try and do your job now you contorted and adhered uterus!

Massage can loosen them up, so there is less crimping, more flow. And for sure much adhesions get remediated by the subsequent pregnant belly, but for reals maybe some proactive massage might 1) not give you the ripping adhesion sensation during pregnancy and 2) prevent or clear some of that up before baby is on board. So to clarify, more massage and scar reduction now equals less pain and tenderness in pregnancy, and increases odds for a successful VBAC. So what to do if you aren’t feeling all good about a DIY? I created this incredibly tender hearted step by step scar reduction course. Its hosted on Udemy for now, and soon to be moved over to here. I’d love it if you gave it a try. Remember, IMO the first step to a VBAC is scar massage. Ready to give it a go? Got a question for me? Leave a comment and I’ll tell you want I think. xoxoxo, Rowan ps thank you to my foot model Sam!

Labor Whispering, How to Go About It

Labor Whispering is persuasive, not a choke hold. And thats what I see or hear most times, ” I just want to meet my baby, I’m impatient.” Let me clue you in here sister (or brother,) throwing your best tricks to early in the game gets you a tired crabby uterus and a crabby tired pregnant person.

um, calm down?

um, calm down?

Walk because its good for ya, dance cause its joy inducing and helps promote fetal positioning, but eating ALL THE FOODS and doing ALL THE MOVES and ALLL THE TRICKS and ALL THE SUPPLEMENTS and ALL THE ALL THE ALL THE will just exhaust you and largely render them ineffective for when the appropriate time would be for a little coaxing. WHAT DO WE WANT?!! A BABY!!! WHEN DO WE WANT IT?!! NOW!!! So instead, a better approach is to go through the Labor Whispering 4 steps, or rather review the four reasons people don’t go into labor, and see what you can do proactively to get body and mind and community ready. Approach it from a a peaceful and chill heart. Cause doing everything you can since 37 weeks makes you and everyone around you bananas, and many times when baby comes at 41 plus weeks you are exhausted and emotionally strung out, and thats BEFORE the intensity of the newborn time. Guess what thats a setup for? Post Partum depression. And that for sure affects bonding  and the foundation of your family. That shiz is no joke. So my love, calm down, settle your pants, practice your deep breathing, walking, yoga, Dancing for Birth, and Spinning Babies. Review the  reasons labor does not start, and work through the blocks, set the boundaries, stop the vag tv. All of it. A watched pot never boils, even when you are banging the crud out of it with a spatula.

Sierra Looking Down

Relaaaaaaaax.

I believe in you, Rowan

Rowan TwoSisters :: Urban Curandera :: Houston, TX

Rowan

Learn more about Rowan TwoSisters on the Urban Curandera website.