Saturday, December 22, 2007


I am torn. I am successful at what I do for a living (I am an accoutant) and I am pulled towards birth by a force I can't ignore. I recently started a new job, a great job at a great company and I am thinking about doing my MBA to further improve my knowledge and my career in my field. On the other I feel like I need to be involved somehow with pregnant women and birth.

One of my co-worker's wife is pregnant and I find myself wanting to lend her my books, show her my videos, take her to the meetings where they talk about mother friendly maternity care and don't even know her and barely know her husband. I am re-reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth", watching videos on Youtube and reading blogs like Bellies and Babies,
Navelgazing Midwife, Belly Tales, Mama Mid(Wife) Madness , Midwife: Sage Femme, Hebamme, Comadrona, Partera, and others to learn more and immerse myself into it.

I don't know what to do. I can't really doula considering my position, because even though they are pretty flexible, there are times during the month when I can't be away from my job. I would like to become a Lactation Consultant, but it seems like I would have to go to school for a few years to be able to do that. I think that my best option would be to become a Childbirth Educator. I have been thinking about it, all I need is to make a decision, I know that once I make the decision I'll jump into it and do it, but it's not an easy decision to make.

I think that it's important for me to keep doing my job so that once I have a family we can live comfortably, I just want to be involved in the world of pregnancy and birth somehow. I want to spread the word that birth can be amazing and empowering and that it is important for a child to be born in a gentle and loving environment and not be handled roughly and taken away immediately after birth. I want to tell pregnant women that they don't NEED an epidural, what they need is to be able to move freely, be surrounded by professionals who care about them and will stay with them to reassure them that they are doing a great job and that they CAN do it, that they are doing it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becoming a childbirth educator is a perfect option for women who can't allow the random-ness of births to interfere in their organized lives. CBE is a fantastic way to help those of us in birth get the word out, allows you to schedule classes when you want to teach - and not schedule classes when you can't - and gives you the outlet you are looking for.

Another option is a La Leche League leader. I don't know if you've successfully nursed longer than a year, but if you have, that might be something to look into. Once upon a time, they didn't "allow" working moms, but now there are so many working moms in the world, it isn't an obstacle anymore - and in many ways, is a boon to the working moms out there to know nursing and working CAN be done!

A short, gentle comment. I encourage you to be a tad less... um... judgemental (?) about women who choose epidurals. YOU might not think they "need" one, but they very well might and if they feel you are judging them, it doesn't bode well for a trusting relationship. I *do* like that you know how to *avoid* epidurals and *that* is the way to their hearts and skills... by letting them know there are ways to not NEED one... staying out of bed, walking, staying home longer, etc. But, telling a woman that she doesn't "need" one is pretty inappropriate. Women who have cesareans, many women who have forceps or vacuum births, women who have extremely long or extremely painful labors DO need epidurals. Blanket statements, while usually said in a general sort of comment, have a way of reverberating into the Universe and biting you on your butt later. (I've done it enough myself!)

I encourage you to look into Bradley, Birthing From Within or ALACE CBE programs. The way I hear your heart speaking, those are the methods that would be right up your alley!

Good luck!

December 23, 2007  
Blogger Bebu said...

First of all, I would like to let you know how humbled I am that you, Navelgazing Midwife, commented on my blog. Not that I don't take all comments to heart, I really do, but I feel like, I don't know Ina May Gaskin just wrote to me personally!

Secondly I can see how I can come off as judgmental when saying that women don't need an epidural, when in reality, I am so shy about telling women about what I believe birth should be like that every time I lend a book about natural childbirth I feel like they are going to think that I am too pushy, even though I merely suggest it.

I guess when I said that I was thinking about a friend who had a baby girl in July. In her mind she was going to need epidural no matter what. That's how she was going to give birth and that's it. She read "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" and loved it (she recommended it to my co-worker before I even had a chance to), came to a meeting about natural childbirth with me. All that made me think that she was at least considering trying it out, but then she would say "I will have an epidural for sure."

Fast forward to the day she gave birth. She was induced early in the morning and a couple of hours later her doctor told that she if she wanted an epidural it would have to be now or it would be too late. She says that she "didn't feel like [she] needed it", and that she "could have done it without it", but because she was set in the idea that she was going to have it, she agreed to it and pushed her beautiful daughter out shortly after.

I do not think that asking for an epidural makes a failure. I really don't see it that way. If a woman is in a lot of pain and can't do it any longer, I think that she should take the help. I would never dream about telling somebody that they do not need an epidural, I am not in their skin and don’t know what they are feeling at the time and what their limits are. My problem comes from the fact that women (and their partner sometimes)go into it thinking that this is it, I will have it, I won't even try not to have because that's the way I am going to do it.

I don't know if I made myself clear but I wanted to explain why I said what I said. And also thank you for your advice about CBE. I should have mentioned in my post that I do not have children hence the reason why I can’t become a La Leche League leader. I will look into the CBE programs although I believe that you do need to have given birth using the Bradley Method to be able to teach it.

Thank you again for allowing to realize that I came off as judgmental and for letting me try to explain better where that came from.

December 23, 2007  
Blogger Hannah said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to say Hi because I am a CBE student. I chose to do it (CBE training) because I was passionately interested in birth, but not yet ready, for various reasons to become a midwife.

I think Child Birth Education is a great choice!

December 27, 2007  
Blogger Hannah said...

No worries, I wish you all the best!

I am from New Zealand - so not really applicable to you, but there is only one route to CBE here - its done via distance learning. I'l give you an idea though because its likely to be similar:

CBE students here are required to attend 2 full sets of 'classes' taught by a qualified educator (I would reccommend attending more if you can, I dont think 2 is enough.),
attend at least 3 births - one of which must be a home birth,
theory work (prenatal, labour + birth, postnatal, bi-cultural, and adult teaching),
attend 2x training workshops,
review 5 books,
familiarise yourself with local facilities etc - eg. birth centers hospitals, midwives, other organisations such as La Leche & well-child providers.
I think thats all! :)

January 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be attending my CNM education starting in June and I am a 28 year old woman who left a fantastic professional job to pursue this passion. I say if you really want to go for it- go for it. (Whether that be doula work, midwifery, CBE, etc.) I also know other women who are moms and entering various programs. This certainly makes it more challenging but often if you are called it is harder NOT to go for it!
Keep listening to your inner voice and I wish you luck on your way!

March 15, 2008  

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