Comments by Birthing_From_Within

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Posted on January 13 at 3:37 p.m.

To address solarmotor's suggestion: a friend of mine had a more serious medical situation and was handed a $10,000 medical bill (that's AFTER insurance paid their bit) after surgery at Cottage. She offered to make monthly payments of $25, as that's all she could afford at that time. Cottage promptly send her to collections, even though she was making regular payments. Nice, eh?

On All Marked Up

Posted on July 18 at 9:35 a.m.

As a childbirth educator, doula, lactation consultant and mother who has been working with and listening to mothers for over twelve years, I have learned a great deal about what is helpful in preparing women and men for birth and parenting.
No matter what kind of birth a woman decides to have, it is so important that she be prepared to cope with unexpected surprises. The emotional and physical intensity of the birth experience cannot be understated, and many parents (after birth) say that they felt overwhelmed by the situation.
This is especially true in our community, where about 1 in 3 first-time mothers will birth by cesarean, most of them unexpected and not wished-for or planned-for.
It can be helpful and reassuring for expectant parents to know what a cesarean entails and how to stay connected to their baby and each other during the process. When cesareans are as common as they are now, the first step is to look at "why?"; the second step is to prepare parents to be open and flexible so that the birth is more about the process than about the medical outcome; and the third step is to find ways to make needed cesarean births more humane and family-centered.
For example, I've found that the single biggest source of distress for women is to be separated from their babies after birth. There is no medical reason that a baby cannot be placed, skin-to-skin, on its mother right after birth, no matter what kind of birth she has. This small change alone could make a huge difference to women and babies in our community.
The overwhelming amount of technological maternity care is taking its toll on the emotional health of mothers, fathers, and babies. For some, this means a decision to have midwifery care at home or at a free-standing birth center. For the majority who birth at a hospital, small steps can make a huge difference. Some of these simply steps are: compassionately preparing families for birthing in a technological environment; encouraging and empowering women to strengthen their body and minds for the rite of passage that birth can be; finding ways to maintain intimacy during a cesarean, such as keeping the mother and baby together afterwards.
Many decisions about birth are made out of fear. Mothers fear that they will "do it wrong" or somehow harm their babies, fathers fear for the health of their loved ones, doctors fear litigation or "bad outcomes". We live in a fear-based culture, and that has affected birth in dramatic ways. There is hope: there is much that can be done to effect change on personal, community, and global levels. And this is where my passion is.

On Closure of Goleta Center Leaves Moms-to-Be One Less Choice

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