Top 12 Birth Trendsby Elizabeth MacDonald
Giving birth can be an overwhelming thought. There are ideas and advice being thrown at you from every which way. While holding your healthy baby is always the end goal, there are several things you may want to include in your journey of birth!
Top Trends in Childbirth TodayWhile most of these trends are not new (heck - most date back further than we know!), they are being practiced more often!
Birth PhotographyThe birthing woman is a goddess and it is about time that she as viewed as one! While birth photography is expensive, the photographer must be on call 24/7, it is worth every penny. Instead of waiting to take pictures at a studio with a perfectly posed newborn, parents are choosing to show the beauty in birth. Don't think of the bloody crotch shots - those won't be found. Birth photographers capture the emotions present at the birth and all the strength and power that the mother possesses. If you can't afford for the photographer to attend the actual birth, there is something called the "Fresh 48" session. This is when the photographer comes within 48 hours of the birth and captures real life, beautiful moments. You may still be at the hospital or maybe you birthed at home. Either way, she'll come to where you are and take pictures that you will cherish forever.
Most people turned their noses up at consuming the placenta after birth in recent years. Only hippies did such horribly gross things. We are loving that placenta consumption is becoming more popular again! It lowers postpartum depression risk, helps milk come in, and can quite possibly be the best hangover solution ever. (Not that I would know *wink wink*) If you don't want to encapsulate your placenta into pills or a tincture (or throw it in a smoothie), consider banking the tissue of the placenta. Just as you can bank cord blood and cord tissue, you can now bank placenta tissue, which is a 100% genetic match to the mother.
(Photo credit: https://www.emmajeanphotography.com/)
Cord PulsingFinally, doctors have starting practicing delayed cord clamping. Even with C-sections you can request this be done. The rich blood from the placenta holds so many benefits for baby, waiting for the cord to finish pulsing before cutting it is the best decision.
Skin to SkinKnown as 'Kangaroo Care,' skin to skin is when baby is on mother's chest. Both mom and baby are naked (or topless) to regulate body heat. This practice has even brought babies to life after thinking they were still born. Especially important for preemies and babies immediately following birth, skin to skin continues to be important throughout infancy.
Eating and Moving During LaborOut with the days of laying flat on your back and sucking on ice chips during labor! It's about time doctors realized that laying on your back created a longer more painful labor. Each contraction has to fight gravity in that position. Standing, moving, rocking, sitting on a birth ball, or whatever YOU want to do during YOUR labor is the latest trend! Imagine that? Listening to the birthing woman's body... Bring on the food!! Starving the birthing woman creates a mom with zero energy, and quite frankly - makes her cranky! Keep that energy up. Eat whatever you would like while in labor. (I'd discourage anything that isn't pleasant coming back up, as many women do vomit during birth.)
Family Centered C-Sections
Our C-section rate is out of control these days (Over 1/3rd of births are C-sections), and while this really needs to change, at least couples are standing up for what they want in the operating room. A C-section should still be a beautiful way to birth. The mother should still be alert and able to have skin to skin and immediate breastfeeding in the OR. She should choose the music being played and feel in control of her birth.
Doulas, Midwives, and Supportive Birth Teams
The tribe is here to stay! Hiring a doula to support the mom and dad during labor is a trend that needs to never end. Being supported during birth helps to empower the mother and get her the birth she desires. You can have a doula and midwife and birth at the hospital. The best part of a supportive birth team is their knowledge of birth and love for you. They will help you in whatever environment you want to be in.
Healthy Out of Hospital BirthsIf you are a healthy mom-to-be consider giving birth at a birth center or at home. We are seeing more and more couples choose to have their babies outside of a hospital, and with science supporting this, we say go for it!
Delaying the First BathGone are the days when parents wanted their baby perfectly clean before holding him. We have recently learned just how wonderful that sticky, thick vernix that covers baby when he arrives is! It should be rubbed into baby's skin. That's the only cleaning he needs! Babies aren't dirty, soap should be avoided for the first 2-4 weeks after birth anyway - it messes with the good bacteria on baby's skin that he needs for his immune system to develop properly.
Belly Henna and Blessing WaysMove over Baby Shower! It's the time of the blessing way! A blessing way is an event held in honor of the birthing mother. It doesn't matter the type of birth she plans, a blessing way can be held for any mom. Creating decorations for the birth room, telling motherhood stories, supporting and blessing the mother in cultural traditions from across the world - how could you say no? Along the blessing way idea, henna is also gaining popularity. It is a tradition in many cultures, and is catching on here in the US. You can have a belly blessing done as the henna artist adorns the belly in art that can last up to two weeks.
We are very happy to see that women are declining the epidurals in favor of laughing gas.
Catching Your Own Baby
There is nothing more empowering than delivering your own baby. No matter where you give birth, take the opportunity to catch your baby. If you don't want to do the catching, ask your partner to take part!