Stages of Labor

Stages of Labor

If you’re feeling a bit anxious about giving birth, there are things you can do that may help. For example, knowing what is going to happen during your birth.

Let me explain you a little bit more about Stages of labor

Pre-Labor

You can have some contractions known as Braxton-Hicks, they can be painful but they are not regular and you are not in labor!

In the late pregnancy stage you cervix will become thinner to get ready for your labor.

Usually the hospital will not accept you until you are dilated 3 cm or more.

First Stage of Labor

The cervix thins and dilates until it reaches 10 cm.

3-5 cm. Early labor

5-8 cm. Active Labor

8-10 cm. Transition

Second stage of Labor

This stage is known as the pushing phase. You are already 10 cm dilated and your baby is going to born. Firstly, the baby needs to descend through the pelvis.

You will feel the urge to push during contractions until your baby is born.

Third stage of Labor

After the baby is born, you continue to have contractions to deliver the placenta.

Fourth Stage

The two hours after birth is when breastfeeding can be established. Contractions continues so the uterus will shrink

When to call me, your doula?

When to call me, your doula?

Obviously, if I’m your doula I will be available for you anytime during your pregnancy, so feel free to text, email or call me anytime, but I especially want to hear from you after any of these events.

  1. After a Doctor Visit

I would love to hear any updates from your doctor appointments, we will be in touch. If you need me to come with you to translate or clarify doubts don’t hesitate in contacting me.

I’m here to support you in any situation!

  1. Consistent contractions for One Hour

Some women prefer to contact me as soon as they feel contractions, some other they prefer to wait until they have consistent contractions. Of course I’m open to any situation.

I strongly recommend that your partner contact me at least when you have contractions that are consistent for one hour, so we can discuss about length, frequency an intensity.

  1. When your water breaks

If your water gushes or if you suspect a leak, call first your doctor to check next steps and then… call me!

Remember to explain your doctor about color, odor, amount and time about your water!

  1. Other signs

If you have any other sign of alarm (bleeding, constant pain, temperature, etc) you will have to go to emergencies. I can go with you but contact first your doctor or midwife.

And if you want that I become your doula, please contact me in info@doulabarcelona.com

Skin to Skin Contact and Bonding After Birth

Contacto piel con piel después del nacimiento

Cuando una mamá mira a los ojos de su bebé inmediatamente después del nacimiento, y el bebé se coloca en el abdomen de la mamá en contacto directo con la piel, suceden una gran cantidad de cosas sorprendentes para ambos. La primera hora después del nacimiento se conoce como la « Hora Dorada » por una razón.

Lo que le sucede fisiológicamente a mamá y bebé durante este tiempo es fascinante. La curación de las heridas de la mamá se acelera, la unión se produce, la lactancia materna tiene una mejor tasa de éxito y los probióticos se intercambian en un ambiente acogedor.Estos beneficios han hecho que la práctica del “piel con piel”sea recomendada internacionalmente en los hospitales donde se da a luz.

Mayor tasa de éxito para la lactancia materna

Cuando un bebé está piel con piel con la mamá en la primera hora de vida, el bebé y la madre tienen instintos primarios para amamantar. La primera leche producida, llamada calostro, es lo segundo que más les atrae después del líquido amniótico. El bebé es capaz de trepar hasta el pecho, motivado por el sentido del olfato. ¡Sus pequeñas piernas empujan el vientre de mamá para alcanzar ese pezón! Esto también ayuda a masajear el útero, minimizando el sangrado posparto para la mamá. El calostro es la primera comida perfecta para el bebé. Es rico en nutrientes, alto en proteínas y lleno de anticuerpos para ayudar a proteger al bebé de las infecciones. Es más bajo en azúcar y grasa que la leche materna, por lo que es fácil de digerir. Unos pocos mililitros ayudan a estabilizar el azúcar en la sangre del bebé durante las primeras 24 horas. El calostro también ayuda a establecer la flora intestinal.

Regulación ritmo cardíaco, respiratorio y temperatura.

La madre y el bebé comparten los mismos anticuerpos únicos, por lo que la piel de una madre ya es un lugar familiar para el bebé. El abdomen de mamá es el espacio más beneficioso para un bebé en la primera hora. A través de la sincronía térmica, el cuerpo de la madre adapta su temperatura a las necesidades del bebé. Puede llegar a regular la temperatura del bebé con mayor efectividad que una incubadora. Además el latido del corazón es el sonido más familiar para el recién nacido. Se ha comprobado que los bebés que hacen piel con piel tienen el ritmo cardíaco y respiratorio más estable. Por último hay que destacar que lloran menos (en intensidad como duración), mostrando unas tasas de cortisol mucho más bajas. Y es que los bebés separados tenían cortisol (hormona del estrés) en saliva incluso 3h después.

Winberg J, Mother and Newborn Baby: Mutual Regulation of Physiology and Behavior. A Selective Review.: Dept of pediatrics, Q208, Karolinska Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden Dev Psicobiol 2005; 47: 217-229

 

breastfeeding tandem

How To Tell Your Child That You Are Pregnant

Finding out that you are pregnant comes with excitements and anxiety. The urge to break this big news to your immediate family will definitely overshadow you, leaving you with no other option than to break it up. But have you thought about how your child will take this news?

Having experienced this stage of motherhood, thereby crossing the bridge at some point in time, I know exactly how difficult it is to share this news with your child. After several years of experiences with both expectant mothers and children, we have come to realize the fact that the age of a child is a major determinant factor when it comes to addressing the issue on how to tell your child that you are pregnant.

Right here in this article, we will be sharing relevant tips on how to tell your child that you are pregnant. These tips will be shared according to the age group of your child. The major age groups compromises of toddlers, preschoolers, and school-agers.

Unlike other members of a family, a child is quite different when it comes to handling the news of his or her mother being pregnant and that she will be having a new baby in a few months. Moreover, there is a high probability that such a child understands less about it means to be pregnant and having a baby soon.

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How to Tell Your Toddler or Preschooler You’re Pregnant

Time is definitely one thing that preschoolers don’t really understand. Try testing your preschooler by allowing him to wait five minutes for a meal and you will see the uncontrollable anxiety that he will showcase. With this, you should realize the fact that your child can’t wait for 9 months before he or she starts coming at you.

According to a series of evaluations, the second trimester is the best time to tell your child that you are pregnant. At this time, your protruded tummy will be the one to help tell your child that you are pregnant. You can also take your child along when going for a scan to prove to him or her that he will be becoming a big brother or sister very soon.

How to Tell Older Children You’re Pregnant

For an older child, there are some basic things that he or she is likely to understand. Although time also has a major role to play here as well. Before doing any other thing, check out the temperament of your child and well he or she will be able to handle the news of you being pregnant. This will help you decide when to tell him or her that you are pregnant.

The best way to tell your older child that you are pregnant is to get him or her into your planning or process. This will give your child the opportunity to familiarize himself or herself with what is to come and how to take. When you finally decide to drop the news, kindly keep your language simple, straightforward and positive.

food to avoid during pregnancy

Best Nutrition For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a special stage of a woman’s life that requires a special type of attention. During this period, the body of a woman needs certain types of nutrients which should be in the right proportions. Any imbalances could cause devastating effects on both the mother and the unborn child.

Ideally, a pregnant woman in either her second or third trimester needs about 300 to 500 additional calories to support her current state on a daily basis. These additional calories should come from vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential to the development of both the mother and the unborn child.

Unlike other health conditions, everything counts in pregnancy. During pregnancy, excessive weight gain and poor eating habit could cause complications during childbirth. Therefore, as a pregnant woman, you must watch your nutrition carefully making sure everything works in line with what you and your unborn child needs.

Pregnancy is a blessing, therefore you shouldn’t panic because you don’t know what to eat or avoid. All you have to do is keep calm as we share the best nutrition that you need as a pregnant woman.

Highly Nutritious Foods To Eat When You’re Pregnant

1. Dairy Products

Protein and Calcium are highly needed for you the mother and the unborn child who is actually growing at a fast rate. Dairy products being a good source of the essential nutrients (whey and casein) are the best choice for you as a pregnant woman. Dairy products also contain additional nutrients such as, several vitamin B’s, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium, making it a good source of nutrients for you and your unborn child.

2. Legumes

Legumes being a rich source of nutrients like folate (B9), protein, fiber, calcium, and iron makes it good nutrition for pregnant women. Consuming food crops like soybeans, pea, lentils, peanuts, chickpeas, and beans provides all these nutrients within a hand stretch.

3. Sweet potatoes

When it comes essential nutrients that shouldn’t be found wanting in a pregnant woman’s diet, Vitamin A is at the top of the list. Its deficiency could cause cell deformity and retard growth. Sweet potatoes which happen to be a good source of vitamin A and fiber should be a part of your diet during this period.

4. Salmon

omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a key role in the development of an unborn child. These saturated fats help build the eyes and brain of an unborn child during pregnancy. Salmon is a good source of this essential nutrient, which means it should part of your diet.

5. Eggs

Speaking of a multi-purpose food that has a wide range of nutrients, eggs can hardly be sidelined. Having several nutrients that are beneficial to both the pregnant woman and the unborn child, eggs should be part of your daily diet. Moreover, a single egg contains about 77 calories which is a good source of energy.

6. Leafy Greens and Broccoli

Leafy greens and Broccoli are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, iron, and fiber which are essential nutrients needed that a pregnant woman needs. Including these in your nutrition plan help provide all these nutrients. More so, leafy greens and broccoli help prevent constipation which is quite common with pregnant women.

7. Lean Meat

As a pregnant woman, eating marbled meat is a bad idea. Lean meat such as beef and pork are rich in iron which is highly needed for hemoglobin formation in the red blood cells. Asides this, lean meat is a good source of quality energy. Therefore it should be included in your nutrition plan as well.

8. Water

Being the most available of all nutrients, water is often paid less attention to. During Pregnancy, the blood of increases with approximately 1.5 liters making it a quarter more than what an average age woman should have. Not giving your body the right amount of water (2 liters) on a daily basis is a terrible thing that you should correct if you wish to have a healthy and well-nourished pregnancy.

 

doulas barcelona

How to deal with baby blues after giving birth

John Stevenson once said “Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman’s crowning creative experience of a lifetime”.

The process of birth is one of the most exhilarating phenomena of nature and women are blessed to be able to shelter a living being for 9 months and bring it to life. No matter how surreal the miracle of birth may seem but the toll it takes upon a woman’s body goes unnoticed. It is not as simple as it sounds. The hormonal changes a woman goes through is pretty exhausting and right from the start of puberty, women undergo biological changes to prepare themselves for carrying a human life within their body.

Moreover, these hormonal adjustments do not stop even after parturition, i.e after giving birth. Isn’t it ironic how a beautiful process like this can cause so much stress to a woman?

Now, almost all women know the nature’s way of preparing them for the process of creating life. They are taught right from the beginning how to deal with the pain and stress of menstruation, how to deal with the bipolar behavior experienced during the premenstrual period. But what remains hidden behind the curtains is the story of postpartum mood swings, more popularly known as baby blues.

Yes, the mysterious cycle of hormones does not stop acting even after a woman gives birth. The heavenly feeling of holding the piece of her own body in her arms seems to be replaced by an unknown sense of misery, mostly by the third day after parturition. No one warns the mother about the upcoming event that will throw her into the blues.

Usually, women suffer from depression, a sense of loneliness dooms like it is the end of the world. Most of the women react by retreating themselves in their own cocoon, they avoid interactions and prefer spending alone time.

And because they are the women who keep life going by tolerating insane changes, therefore, it is their right to know how to cope up with postpartum baby blues. Here are a few methods that might be of help:

1) Go to your doctor:

The time of postpartum baby blues is when a mother undergoes mood swings caused because of hormonal changes. As, it is a doctor who knows the history of pregnancy, details of the complications faced during the parturition and moreover, he is the best person who understands the language hormone speaks.

Therefore, if a mother feels uneasy to discuss it with any member of the family or to her friends, it is best to call your doctor. He/she might provide you the right counseling that will bring you back to the daily routine. And if necessary, your doctor might prescribe few drugs to keep the blues at bay.

2) Ask help from your family:

No one knows you better than your family. Family members are the ones who already understand your nature. And because the third, fourth and fifth days after delivery are when all the negative thoughts might engulf you, therefore it is best to keep yourself surrounded by your family members. Talk to them, tell them how you feel, ask them to help. They surely will understand what you are going through and will give you the love needed to keep the blues away.

3) Take some ‘me’ time:

Yes, you have given birth to a baby. Yes, you are his or her mother. But that does not mean the entire responsibility to keep protect your baby is on your shoulders. Your body had gone through a lot and at least for a few days when you are not feeling well, you can take some time out for yourself.

Go on and take some sleep, be lazy, satisfy the cravings for sweet, pamper yourself, read if you like. Dress up, go out and paint the town red. You have been fighting these hormones since you were a girl, face them for a few more days and do it in the best way you can.

4) Do not blame yourself:

This is the time when insanity takes over, there is so much of negativity in your head that you might start blaming yourself for all that is happening. Fear of not being a good mother and ignoring your own child only after 3 days of his/ her birth might make you feel sick of yourself.

But, calm down. You did your best. You protected your child for 9 months and you brought it to life. You may relax now. Keep in mind you are not a bad mother, these are just bad hormones that are making you feel this way. Do not blame yourself. It is natural to feel this way. Give it some time and it will pass away.

5) A doula can help you:

Many of us do not know but a birth companion or doula is a person who is your partner during your time of pregnancy, parturition and even post-parturition. A doula is a nonmedical person who helps you out emotionally and helps you with the physical activities during these months. And just like a doctor, a doula is well aware of your situation and this talking to him/her can be both convenient and helpful.

Giving life is a blessing God has bestowed upon women. Although, it is a great deal of responsibility to carry a child and bring him to existence it is equally necessary to keep your health fit. Because it is you who creates life, it is necessary for you to deal with these changes boldly and beautifully.

Early signs you could be pregnant

Early signs you could be pregnant

Also in the very early weeks of a pregnancy, your baby isn’t the only one growing and changing – you are too. Every woman experiences unique symptoms, with some having very few and others the full house!

Once you have confirmed you are pregnant by taking a pregnancy test – the only way to be certain – then early symptoms may occur more quickly than you expect. There are several very common symptoms I see in pregnant woman in their early weeks of pregnancy:

1. Breast changes

Even during the first month of pregnancy, many women notice that their breasts start to grow, and feel tender, with the area around the nipples (the areolae) starting to darken. This is due to a woman’s hormone levels rapidly changing after conception, causing the glands inside the breast to grow and prepare for milk production and breastfeeding after baby is born.

It can take several weeks for your body to adapt to these new hormone levels but any breast discomfort should gradually settle as the pregnancy continues. Expect to go through several bra sizes when pregnant and don’t skimp on these as good support will help reduce stretching and sagging later on.

2. Fatigue

Feeling very tired is normal in pregnancy, starting as early as the first week of pregnancy, and this tiredness can feel overwhelming. It’s linked to hormonal changes, especially a rise in the hormone progesterone, although other factors such as low blood pressure and falling levels of sugar in the blood can also be a factor.

This exhaustion typically starts to ease away around the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy. Get plenty of rest – including catnaps in the day if you are able to – and eating foods that are rich in protein and iron.

3. Nausea

‘Morning sickness’ is perhaps the most famous symptom of pregnancy but not every pregnant woman gets it. Despite its name it can happen at any time of day or night, usually starting three to four weeks after you have missed your period. If you don’t develop morning sickness, don’t worry – you’re just lucky! The exact cause for it is still unclear but is likely to be linked to the very rapid rise in the hormone hCG.

You may also start to crave (or even go off) certain foods at this early stage. Fortunately, for most women the symptoms lessen at about the 13th or 14th week of their pregnancy. Aim to eat small meals often, avoid eating at bedtime, try eating ginger to reduce any nausea, wear clothes that don’t constrict your waist, and try to steer clear of strong smell.

Tips to slow down before giving birth

Tips to slow down before giving birth

Birth can be straightforward, can be exciting, intense, life changing, a really strong situation, probably not perfect…

As I explain in my antenatal courses in Barcelona or online, birth is physical but also a physiological and an emotional process.

Your birth will start when your oxytocin levels are high enough that your contractions can start… And basically oxytocin is the love and happiness hormone.

You need to feel relaxed, happy, stress free, let yourself slow down a little, a bit like the feelings you have when you’re on holiday, really.

I know, in our society, this is no easy task, we are so busy with our jobs, social life… How can you be relaxed before giving birth?

So how can you prepare for birth?

1. Take a longer break before baby, you’re never going to regret alone time pre kids, around in the 36 weeks if you can.

2. Go to a pregnancy yoga class, and not only for the body, for the mind. Learn to switch off that mind and relax. Show your body you love it, let it move slowly and gently and love yourself with some quiet time.

3. Have a relaxation ritual at home. Whether it’s yoga, meditation or just eating cake and a nice tea, take time for yourself doing nothing.

4. Deal with your fears. Whatever is in your head and swirling around in there, don’t sit with it. Talk to someone, write it down, clear those fears!

5. Do some research and write down a short birth preferences list. What’s important to you? Why is it important? How will this be achieved? Start the conversation with yourself and your partner.

6. You have to be able to say NO. You are your priority right now. You are growing your beautiful baby…that’s enough. Don’t run around doing a zillion things, now is not that time.

7. Sing to baby. Choose a lullaby now, when they’re in your arms they’ll be able to recognise it and be soothed by it

8. Prepare for after the birth. What will it be like? Talk to other mothers…what is essential? Food should be up there…an extra pair of hands, gather your tribe. And while you’re there ask them the same about their birth stories, get their tips!

9. Listen to yourself. Your body and your baby will send you signs…extra tired, achy back, feeling low…listen and look after yourself. This is a special time, don’t miss it being busy.

10. And above all, be open minded. We never know how your birth will be, often it may be something very different to what you expected. It is important to flow, to trust in the sanitary personnel you have chosen to be with you and to accept what comes…

Where to give birth in Barcelona

Vaginal Birth After C-Section

If you’ve delivered a baby by caesarean section, you may have a choice with your next pregnancy – a vaginal birth after caesarean, also known as a VBAC, or a planned (elective) caesarean. It depends on your medical circumstances, and it helps to know about the potential benefits and risks of VBAC. Vaginal Birth After C-Section

As long as you’re an appropriate candidate for a vaginal birth after a cesarean there’s a good chance you’ll succeed. Of course, your chances of success are higher if the reason for your previous c-section isn’t likely to be an issue this time around.

The chances of having a successful VBAC are higher if you and your baby are in good health and your pregnancy is progressing normally. In contrast, your doctor may recommend a planned caesarean if:

  • you have a pregnancy complication (for example, high blood pressure, your baby is in the breech position or there is concern about the size or health of your baby)
  • the reason you had your previous caesarean still exists
  • you’ve had two or more caesareans and no successful vaginal deliveries
  • your previous caesarean was performed using a vertical incision (cut) in your abdomen
  • you have a multiple pregnancy (for example, twins, triplets or more).

Why is a VBAC done?

Women consider VBAC for various reasons:

  • Shorter recovery time. You’ll have a shorter hospital stay after a VBAC than you would after a repeat C-section. Avoiding surgery will help you resume your normal activities sooner, as well as reduce the expense of childbirth.
  • Opportunity for an individualized birth plan. For some women, it’s important to experience a vaginal delivery.
  • Impact on future pregnancies. If you’re planning to have a larger family, VBAC might help you avoid the risks of multiple cesarean deliveries, such as scarring. Scarring might make additional surgery difficult and increase the risk of placental problems in pregnancies.
  • Lower risk of surgical complications. Vaginal deliveries have lower rates of bleeding, infection, blood clotting in one or more of the deep veins in the body (deep vein thrombosis), and injury to abdominal organs, such as the bladder or bowel.
when do i feed my baby

Ways to Establish a Positive Bond with Your Baby

Bonding is essential for a baby. Studies of newborn monkeys who were given mannequin mothers at birth showed that, even when the mannequins were made of soft material and provided formula to the baby monkeys, the babies were better socialized when they had live mothers to interact with. The baby monkeys with mannequin mothers also were more likely to suffer from despair. Scientists suspect that lack of bonding in human babies can cause similar problems. Ways to Establish a Positive Bond with Your Baby

Most infants are ready to bond immediately. Parents, on the other hand, may have a mixture of feelings about it. Some parents feel an intense attachment within the first minutes or days after their baby’s birth. For others, it may take a bit longer.

But bonding is a process, not something that takes place within minutes and not something that has to be limited to happening within a certain time period after birth. For many parents, bonding is a byproduct of everyday caregiving. You may not even know it’s happening until you observe your baby’s first smile and suddenly realize that you’re filled with love and joy.

The best way for a new mother to establish a positive bond with her newborn at home is breastfeeding so you have the physical connection. Besides the physical connection, the mother releases a lot of endorphins, happy hormones, during breastfeeding so moms are generally happier when they breastfeed. But if you have decided not to bresastfeed for any reason, you can look to your baby in the eyes having her really close meanwhile you feed her.

Making an Attachment

Bonding with your baby is probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care. You can begin by cradling your baby and gently rocking or stroking him or her. If you and your partner both hold and touch your infant frequently, your little one will soon come to know the difference between your touches. Both of you can also take the opportunity to be « skin to skin » with your newborn by holding him or her against your own skin.

Babies may respond to infant massage, you’ll need to massage your baby very gently. Before trying out infant massage, be sure to educate yourself on proper techniques by checking out the many books, videos, and websites on the subject. You can also find out if there are classes in infant massage in your area.

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are both natural times for bonding. Infants respond to the smell and touch of their mothers, as well as the responsiveness of parents to their needs. In an uncomplicated birth, caregivers try to take advantage of the infant’s alert period immediately after birth and encourage feeding and holding of the baby. However, this isn’t always possible and, though ideal, immediate contact isn’t necessary for the future bonding of the child and parent.