Baby has to come out one way or another.. The Pink Kit method can help.

This is my first in series of posts about childbirth education methods. This is my favourite since it is teach yourself and common sense. Both of which I am a big fan of.

If you’re pregnant, then you will give birth. Take a moment to think about your own life: your beliefs, religion, available choices for childbirth, health issues, what you’ve been taught about childbirth from your mother or father, your previous birth experiences and what you want for this birth. Then take a moment to look around you at your neighbours, work colleagues, or other women you pass on the street. What do you share in common with ALL these other women?

Can you blink or cough? Can ALL those other women do the same? Of course! That’s what we have in common…our human body. Using that ‘of course’ as a basis of thinking, know that there is a way for any woman to prepare for childbirth that teaches us about our birthing body. It’s such common knowledge that you’ll wonder way you didn’t know it before. That’s why Common Knowledge Trust has produced The Pink Kit Method for birthing better™ resources.

Have a think about your choices about childbirth. The assessments, monitoring and procedures your birth professional is speaking with you about, your concerns about ‘pain’, possible pain relief options and even possibly having a non-labouring birth. Take a moment to think about any health issues that might affect your birth choices and think about your Birth Plan.

Even when you write a birth plan, they very rarely go exactly according to plan. When you learn the skills in The Pink Kit, you can take those skills with you into whatever birth you find yourself having. Regardless of where or with whom you will birth or whatever is happening to you or around you. Even if you find yourself having  a non-labouring caesarean then you can use these resources to prepare for the birth of your child anyway , thus giving you a deep sense of connection to the process of childbirth.

If you are going to labour and give birth, you can learn how to use your body’s natural responses to help. You’ll still have to breathe, so why not learn the Directed Breathing to help you breathe through intense contractions. You’ll still either be sitting, lying, standing or walking, so why not learn how to relax your pelvic muscles to give baby plenty of room to do what needs to be done.  Use ‘ The Pelvic Clock ‘ as a focus to keep relaxed inside and learn how to Map Your Pelvis so you can find the positions that really keep you open, even if you have to stay in bed… or even if you choose to stay in bed.

Consider your partner. Men and women are very different but they still have a human body. Using The Pink Kit Method for birthing better™, your partner can experience the same awareness of his body as you do in preparing for birth. This helps fathers become the exceptional coaches at birth, you want them to be. At it’s simplest, birth is moving an object (baby) through a tube (pelvis), opening a diaphragm (cervix) and opening an aperture (vagina). You are the container and you can use your mind to  prepare those areas, keep them relaxed and mentally accept the sensations by using these skills; then your baby will come out of your body into your arms more easily. Fathers love this kind of  information. It’s practical mechanics and it works.

Have a bit of a think about labour. It’s like driving on an unknown journey. The journey is unknown, even if you’ve taken it before… this one will be different. However, if you’ve already learned to drive the car, the journey will be easier. The Pink Kit is your driving manual. You can learn how to drive your vehicle (your body) through this unknown journey. Your partner can help you throughout as he learns the skills to keep you focused, relaxed and able to meet the challenge of the experience. He can help you reduce back labour with The Sacral Manoeuvre or relax tension in your hips and create space for your baby with The Hip Lift. He can help you prepare your ‘aperture’ so that it opens easily and heals rapidly.

Many women who do a lot of the Internal Work, will tell you that they ‘didn’t feel like I had a baby’ several hours after birth. I can personally atest to this. I have been up and about less than hour after the birth of all three of my children, I know it is because I prepared my body for the birthing process, I wasn’t just lucky to avoid stitches and birth easily, I worked hard to give myself the best chance at doing so. My husband worked hard at understanding how help me do so. We managed a ‘natural’, drug free birth even though some interventions were necessary due to pre-eclampsia.  It wasn’t luck as I was told by the attending midwife, it was preparation.

I will get around to posting my birth stories sometime soon, but I can tell you now that each one had bought its own challenges, some of them major, some not so major. Each one would have been a completely different experience if my husband and I went into it without the knowledge and skills we learnt in preparation for the big event. I love the Pink Kit method because it helps you to teach yourself about the process of birth and how to use your body to make it work for you, whatever birthing situation you may find yourself in.

Super power number 1: Making baby food, even while you sleep.

If you’ve every been pregnant or if you are pregnant now, you’ve probably noticed a metamorphosis in your bra cups, a process known to some as nature’s boob job.  The physical changes (tender, swollen breasts) may be one of the earliest clues that you have conceived.  Many experts believe that the colour change in the areola may also be helpful when it comes to breast feeding, helping the baby find the right place to latch on with its limited visual capabilities.

Perhaps what’s even more remarkable than visible changes is the extensive changes that are taking place inside of your breasts.  The developing placenta stimulates the release of oestrogen and progesterone, which will in turn stimulate the complex biological system that helps to make lactation possible.

Before you get pregnant, a combination of supportive tissue, milk glands and fat make up the larger portions of your breast.  The fact is, your newly swollen breasts have been preparing for your pregnancy since you were in your mother’s womb!

When you were born, your main milk ducts had already formed.  Your mammary glands stayed quiet until you reached puberty, when a flood of the female hormone oestrogen caused them to grow and also to swell.  During pregnancy, those glands will kick into high gear.

Before your baby arrives, glandular tissue has replaced a majority of the fat cells and accounts for your bigger than before breasts.  Each breast also becomes markedly heavier than before.

Nestled among the fatty cells and glandular tissue is an intricate network of channels or canals known as the milk ducts.  The pregnancy hormones will cause these ducts to increase in both number and size, with the ducts branching off into smaller canals near the chest wall known as ductules.

At the end of each duct is a cluster of smaller sacs known as alveoli.  The cluster of alveoli is known as a lobule, while a cluster of lobule is known as a lobe.  Each breast will contain around 15 – 20 lobes, with one milk duct for every lobe.

The milk is produced inside of the alveoli, which is surrounded by tiny muscles that squeeze the glands and help to push the milk out into the ductules.  Those ductules will lead to a bigger duct that widens into a milk pool directly below the areola.

The milk pools will act as reservoirs that hold the milk until your baby sucks it through the tiny openings in your nipples.

Mother Nature has it all worked out.  Your milk duct system will become fully developed around the time of your second trimester, so you can properly breastfeed your baby even if he or she arrives earlier than you are anticipating.

If you want to learn more about breastfeeding take a look at the Natural Transition main site. You’ll find some really great information to help you prepare for breastfeeding as well to help you to trouble shoot any problems you experience. Keep an eye out for my own lactation history which I will post soon. It has been far from easy, but seriously- so worth it.

If you have a question about making breast milk, why not post it here as a comment? I’ll do my best to give you a straight forward answer.

Wearing Your Baby- Not Just a Fashion Accessory

Babies need a lot of attention and there’s a great way you can have your baby with your all day, hands free. Imagine being able to cook, clean, shop, and play with your other children all while you baby is safely snuggled up against you. Well you can do that and more with the art of baby wearing.

Most people have seen the large backpack carriers that used to be very popular, but babies can now be worn in lots of different positions using several kinds of popular carriers.

There are many different types of carriers that you can get. The kind of carrier you want depends on how you want to carry your baby. There are tons of different choices; so research before you decide which kind you want.

Being worn in a sling is good for your baby. Here are just a few benefits your baby gains by being worn during the day:

  • Most babies cry less when they’re being worn; up to 50% less. This is because they’re always close to Mum. They’re also constantly getting new images to process and understand, so they’re less bored
  • The constantly changing stimuli when being carried helps to stimulate your baby’s brain and promote neural development.
  • Babies who are worn by their parents tend to form a stronger bond with them; this is because they always feel safe and secure.
  • Being able to feel Mum’s heart beat and body functioning helps the baby’s biorhythms develop faster. This means they get on a schedule faster and easier

Baby wearing is not only great for your baby; it’s great for you too.

  • Wearing your child gives you the comfort of having them there with the convenience of being able to use both your arms.
  • With a baby sling, you can breastfeed your child without using your hands.
  • You don’t have to haul around and annoying stroller or car seat when you’re out.
  • You get a great weight-bearing workout from carrying the extra weight.
  • Being with your baby all the time helps you learn their normal cues. Then you can anticipate when they’ll need to be fed, changed, or cuddled.

While baby slings and carriers are considered safe for you and your child,  there are some precautions you should take.

  • If you carry the baby on your hip or to one side, change sides and directions regularly so you don’t cause yourself back and hip problems.
  • Make sure you’re using a carrier or sling that is appropriate for the age of your child and the way you carry them.
  • If you don’t feel confident with it practice with a doll or teddy bear before you start carrying your child. This will help you learn to watch their head and to take other precautions to keep them from being injured.
  • Don’t wear your baby while in the car; they should be in an appropriate car seat.

If done safely and properly, wearing you baby in a sling or carrier can be a great way to bond with them, comfort them, and get all your chores done all at the same time.

The naturaltransition.com shop has a good range of baby carriers at variety of prices starting from just $39.95AUD. I happily ship overseas at cost price, so feel free to take advantage of our struggling Aussie dollar. I have tested all of these carriers with my own and only sell those that I have found to be easy to use and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.