Special Women

I watched Special Women – How a Labor Assistant Makes Birth Safer, More Satisfying and Less Expensive a video by InJoy Birth & Parenting Education last night.

“This video introduces parents to the role of Professional Labor Assistants, and to the benefits they provide.  Viewers will see several births and witness first hand the many techniques Labor Assistants use in guiding new parents toward a more gentle and rewarding birth experience.

Clinical studies are highlighted documenting benefits such as:
– Shorter and easier labors
– Reductions in the use of medications
– Lower cesarean rates
– Higher emotional satisfaction with birth

Hosted by Paulina Perez, RN, Professional Labor Assistant and Perinatal Nurse, Special Women will help expectant mothers and fathers understand the value of having a Professional Labor Assistant attend their birth.  Resources for finding a Labor Assistant are included, as well as a special section for those considering a career as a Professional Labor Assistant.”

This video is loosely based on Paulina Perez’s book Special Women – The Role of The Professional Labor Assistant.  I like how this video is directed toward parents.  Definitely one I will recommend to any parents wondering why they might need labor support.  The 25-minute video is a little dated, as it was made in 1997, but everything in it is still very applicable to today’s maternity practices.  In addition to all I have learned via books and training videos thus far, here are some things I learned from this video:

– Women have assisted women in labor for a long, long time … in fact, this is the way it is still done in non-industrialized countries.
– Labor assistants compliment the hospital staff by providing continuous support throughout labor and the establishment of breastfeeding.
– Clinical trials have shown a dramatic reduction in the need for medical intervention and healthier outcomes for babies and mothers when a labor assistant is used.
– Labor assistants help a mother to stay focused.
– Labor assistants help give a mother courage to say or do what she needs as she feels she has numbers on her side.
– Nurses need to be in and out and a labor assistant is there continuously.
– Obstetricians may feel that they get to know the birthing couple more quickly when there is a labor assistant present.
– Labor assistants help the mother with massage, breathing techniques, relaxation, vocalization, positions, labor tools, and her hands.
– Fathers may feel that they are able to get ‘closer’ to a laboring mother when a labor assistant is present to help assure him that what the mother is going through is normal.
– Labor assistants reduce medical intervention and maternity care costs.
– Doulas help mothers focus on and respond to pain immediately so her body can continue to work with the labor and dramatically reduce medical interventions:
     *Use of pitocin decreases by 40%
     *Use of forceps decreases by 40%
     *Length of labor decreases by 25%
     *C-section rate decreases by 50% – saving $4000-$6000
     *Use of pain medication decreases by 30%
     *Use of epidural decreases by 60% – saving $1000-$2000 (my epidural fee was $1500 in 2006 & 2008)
– The use of hydrotherapy during labor (especially during transition) is very highly recommended.
– Good qualities of a labor assistant are open-mindedness, being able to listen, being intuitive (knowing what mother needs before she has to ask for it), caring heart, calmness, need to be able to see and feel what mother needs, and to help her no matter what.
– Try not to get too involved in the lives of the birthing couple as a way to stay objective during their experience.

I also like that the video shows women birthing babies without censorship.  Women NEED to see and embrace what their bodies are capable of doing so that they aren’t afraid of giving birth.

~ by cmb0414 on April 20, 2010.

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