American Association of Birth Centers

Expectant Parents Learning Center

August 2, 2011

Water Birth

By Barbara Harper

I want to tell you a brief story of a birth that took place in 1984. It was my own birth, one that I had prepared for by not only reading a great deal, but also by getting on a plane and going to France to visit a small hospital, Pitivia, where Michelle Odent had written Birth Reborn. The experience of watching women giving birth without drugs,...

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August 2, 2011

Spiritual Aspects of Birth - A Spiritual Birth

By Janice Siebert

I had a spiritual birth. It was part of my well-birthing plan. Integrated in my childbirth education were spiritual classes. I learned energy management tools to use during pregnancy, childbirth and in raising my family. I learned how to communicate with the spirit of my baby. I learned to cyclically protect myself from other's energy invading my space...

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August 2, 2011

Spiritual Aspects of Birth - The Role of the Spiritual Midwife

The specific role, duties and involvement of the spiritual midwife is by mutual agreement between the birthing family and spiritual midwife and each assignment is specifically tailored to the needs of the family. The roles defined below are usually offered in a typical Birth Support Package. Each family picks and chooses the roles a spiritual midwife will play according to their needs. A...

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August 2, 2011

Spiritual Aspects of Birth - What is Spiritual Midwifery

Spiritual Midwives are trained ministers of the seminary whose clairvoyant abilities are an essential ingredient in their spiritual counseling and healing with birthing families. They are trained professional spiritual counselors and spiritual healers. A spiritual midwife smoothes the way through prayer/meditation and spirit to spirit communication for the spirit to enter its body. She/he uses...

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August 2, 2011

Psychological Aspects of Birthing

A Day You'll Never Forget - The Day You Give Birth To Your First Child

By Penny Simkin, PT

Every pregnant woman experiences this. Other women, even total strangers - old and young - approach her in the grocery store, elevator, at the bus stop, almost anywhere, and embark on the "When I was pregnant-" story. A swollen belly seems to be an invitation for this...

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August 2, 2011

Informed Consent - How to Change an Informed Consent Form

Kitty Ernst, CNM, MPH

The informed consent in a birthing center is different from any informed consent that I've ever seen developed. First, it explains in detail what the birth center is capable of doing and what it is not capable of doing; the kind of situations it can handle and the kind of situations that will need hospitalization. It has a glossary...

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August 2, 2011

Informed Consent - What is Informed Consent? Why is it Important?

Edith B. Wonnell, CNM, MS

Consent means to give approval for what is done to you, the patient, by another person, the provider. In form, consent implies education and clarification so both parties have a good understanding of the procedure, its risks and benefits and any alternatives for meeting the same need. The patient is the one who either gives or...

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August 2, 2011

Epidurals - Four Factors that Determine if You Will Use Pain Medication in Labor

By Penny Simkin, PT

  1. Your Desires. If you want to use pain medications, you are more likely to use them than if you want to avoid them. (The Pain Medications Preference Scale will help you think about your desires.)
  2. Childbirth Education. If you have taken childbirth classes in which the process of giving birth and emotions of labor are explained and self-...

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August 2, 2011

Epidurals - The Cascading Effect of Epidurals

By Charles S. Mahan, MD, FACOG

The abundant use of epidurals today always seems ironic to me. I've been in obstetrics for over 30 years and when I began training, it was impossible to get an anesthesiologist to come up to the obstetric floor to help us out. There were several reasons for this. First, there was a big shortage of anesthesiologists. Second, the...

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August 2, 2011

Epidurals - Analgesia and Anesthesia Intro

"It is a fact that in the last 40 years more artificial practices have been introduced which have changed labor from a physiological event into a very complicated medical procedure in which all kinds of drugs and maneuvers are done, sometimes unnecessarily. Many of them are potentially dangerous for the baby and even for the mother."

Roberto...

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