I get so frustrated with all the stories from my doula colleagues about “stalled labours” leading to perceived “necessary” interventions that families often don’t feel happy with in hindsight. At most of the births I attend, my clients don’t ever have cervical checks, so it’s hard for me to give examples of all the clients I have who seem to “stall” and then go on to have their natural home births with out intervention with patience, support, and nourishment as the only interventions.
Recently I had a client who had a few checks, and her story is a great example. She had her first check at 6am on a morning after three nights of prodromal labour. She was 6cm dilated. Twelve hours later, she had another check, where she was 8-9cm. Another 11 hours later, at 5am the next day, she had a baby, born squatting between her husbands legs on her living room floor, healthy as can be and thrilled with her birth, and thrilled she was supported in her desire to let her body set its own pace. She and her baby were in good health for the whole pregnancy and labour. Oh, PS, she was 42 weeks pregnant to boot.
Please be careful when you’re telling your stalled labour stories, doulas and other birth workers. Usually all I hear when you tell them to me is “we were all impatient during our client’s birth.”
NOTE: If it is the birthing PERSON who decides not to be patient, that is a whole other matter. People get to decide how they have their babies. But when it’s the care providers and support people around that person who give up before she does and start DIScouraging her, that is a huge problem. We should not be giving up on our clients because of what we think they can or cannot do. We should be patiently supporting them along the way and standing beside them while they let their bodies work on their own timelines if that’s what they wish to do!
If you are looking for support for your birth that will focus on keeping your rested, nourished and encouraged with patience during the birth you have on YOUR terms, please contact me!