Kai Sabu's Training Journal

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Kai Sabu replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

My first documentary report for my Integrative Practice! I was unsure if I should post this somewhere else or not-- I didn't see a "Film Report" section of the forum.


The Business of Being Born

Since I have reached the halfway point in my pregnancy and feel like I have the hang of this pregnancy thing (at least in the easy-going second trimester!), and the nursery furniture is set up and the daycare has been reserved, my thoughts have started to turn toward the Big Event that happens in between pregnancy and caring for the newborn: birth. I am a big fan of modern Western medicine and always assumed I would go for the epidural, but the more I read online of other mothers’ experiences, the more open I have been to exploring natural methods of childbirth.

This documentary was released in 2008. The idea for the film was Ricki Lake’s, after she had a disappointing experience with the birth of her first child. She approached filmmaker Abby Epstein about the project, and Epstein discovered that she was pregnant early on in the researching and filming process. The two women set out to investigate how birth in America moved from the home to the hospital and has subsequently been changed by the medical industry.

The bias is not subtle. The film makes it clear that Lake and Epstein believe that hospitals and doctors do not view birth as a natural process, but rather in an assembly-line, depersonalized fashion to be managed for the doctors’ own convenience. Midwife-attended births are portrayed as a far superior option, and midwife-attended home births as the best choice for nearly all mothers. The majority of people interviewed espouse this perspective. Only one or two doctors interviewed expressed reservations about home births, and those concerns were given perhaps two minutes total of run time before being refuted by multiple interviews with midwives and researchers.

The best parts of the film, I felt, were the actual births (including Lake’s and Epstein’s own) and some of the statistics shared by the researchers who compared midwifery and mortality rates across decades and between countries. For instance, I found it compelling to learn that cesarean sections peak at 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.— hours when doctors are likely to be especially eager to wrap things up and get home for dinner or bed. The data shared by the researchers, coupled with the explanations of several obstetricians for why interventions are so often suggested, gave me a lot to think about and have made me more aware of things I will need to know to advocate for myself and my baby.

The worst parts, however, were the fear-mongering I felt the documentary encouraged in regards to a hospital-setting birth and obstetrical doctors and nurses. The gruesome history of hospital births from the 1920s made me grateful to be living in 2016, but it did nothing to engender trust or positive feelings for the medical establishment— and I feel that this was why it was featured so prominently. The claim was made that midwives are being deliberately pushed out of practice by the American Medical Association and by insurance companies, but there was little data shared to support this claim. The film gives one the impression that there are defined battle lines drawn between the medical establishment on one side and midwives, women, and babies on the other.

It was also stated that without the natural, unmedicated birth process and resultant rush of hormones for mother and baby, bonding and love will not happen. One interviewee said that because of epidurals and c-sections, we are raising a generation of children “without love.” I find this preposterous. Do adoptive mothers not love their children? Do fathers not love their children because they don’t get to physically birth them? This claim was particularly ridiculous but was allowed to stand unchallenged.

Ironically, Epstein has a complicated birth and ultimately delivers via cesarean section at a hospital. At the end of the film, she discusses her regrets and insists that her son “probably would have” survived a vaginal home birth. She attributes breastfeeding challenges and more to the method of his delivery, rather than to his premature status and small size or to other possible factors.

Ultimately, this film raises important concerns about the current birthing norms in the United States and sheds much-needed light on alternative birthing methods, but viewers should do their own additional research and draw their own conclusions before making any decisions.

--Kelly
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

There was a period when C-sections were rampant in hospitals. They were 'fast n easy' for the med team. So, ya -- very assembly line; get out as many as you can. All about the money I suppose.

My first -- the entire 9 months went smoothly and we had been shooting for 'natural' / epideral. But, once the major contractions started - the fetal heart rate would drop with each series. We had to go 180 degrees about face and have a C-section. I guess it went alright -- he's now in his 30s and six foot 7.
:p

Second was 3+ years later and the wife was given the option of going C-section or natural. She decided to go 'C' again even though all was 'on track'. No complications. All of 3 days in the hospital before heading home. In / out / done.

Biggest deal is having good communications / work with your doctor & care team. Knowing the facilities before hand so you know -- 'things' can be handled most efficiently no matter what springs up.

There are always 'horror stories' one can toss out to paint a bleak picture.
There are also millions born each year that are the 'happy delivery' story. Happy stories don't sell books or movies as well as horror stories. (just look at the list of teen horror films each and every summer season!)

Stay healthy, happy, and well informed. Sing to 'the belly'. :)
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Kai Sabu replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

And a book report for my Integrated Practice! I'll also go post this in the book reports area.

Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan (3rd ed.)

This book is intended to serve as the textbook accompanying in-person Hypnobirthing classes, but also to introduce the concept of hypnobirthing to the unconvinced. Many women claim to have found the use of the book on its own enough to achieve the type of natural birth they wanted.

The early sections of the book are devoted to an examination of "the birth of natural childbirth" as a movement in recent decades. Mongan relays several stories of "humble" and "simple" women who gave birth painlessly and easily in slums and on battlefields. A Dr. Dick-Read of the twentieth century is credited with "discovering" that it is fear of birth and the anticipation of pain that cause a woman's body to tense during labor and therefore to work against the natural process of relaxing the muscles and moving the baby out. This is called the "Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome." Mongan also walks through "A History of Women and Birthing," tracing how the birthing process came to be viewed as painful and perilous.

Mongan relates her own varying birth experiences as a mother in the 50s, and how they laid the groundwork for her coaching her own daughter through the first "Hypnobirth" and launching the Mongan Method birth movement.

The remainder of the book details the philosophies and techniques connected with the Mongan Method, which asserts that birth is a natural process that rarely requires intervention and does not need to trigger fear. Selecting a care provider who prefers a hands-off prenatal care routine is advised, and the psycho-physical response and how to use it to advantage during pregnancy and labor forms the heart of the work. The techniques themselves involve a variety of breathing, relaxation, and visualization practices. The book is sold with an accompanying CD with two tracks, one of positive birth affirmations and the other of a relaxation/visualization program.

Nutrition, exercise, and perineal massage are discussed, as well as techniques for repositioning a baby that is not in the optimal position. The phases of labor, how to become comfortable in your birthing setting, and various laboring positions with the integration of the breathing and visualizations are all explained. The book then briefly discusses the ideal post-birth routine and suggestions for the first few weeks of nursing and bonding as a family.

I went in with an open but skeptical mind and found a lot to like in this book. My Jedi meditation practice has been invaluable to me over the last several months, and during the first trimester, I remember meditation being the only thing that could lessen my nausea and give me some measure of energy back. I believe that the breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques will be a great asset during labor. The concept of fear causing tension and tension being counterproductive to the birthing process makes sense to me.

Some of the claims, however, just don't hold up under scrutiny. Mongan's assertion that animals don't feel pain in labor has convinced me that she has never watched any give birth; I have. The goat I attended didn't seem terrified and didn't shriek agonizingly like laboring women in the movies, but she didn't seem to be having an ethereal experience, either. She yelled and did not seem to be having a very good time until the kid had emerged. Mongan also claims that all references to difficult labor in the Bible were inserted thousands of years later by church leaders in the Middle Ages; I would like to see her citations for this. (There is an extensive bibliography at the end of the book, but there are no citations or footnotes, so finding the sources for individual claims is quite difficult.)

And, of course, there is the simple historical reality that childbirth throughout the millennia often has been deadly for women and babies. Mongan easily acknowledges the necessity of modern medicine and surgical intervention in extreme cases. But she glosses over the fact that without them, many, many women and children did die in the course of this process that she claims never caused fear until a few hundred years ago. I find it hard to believe that no one feared birth until 1000 CE.

Still, I found this book to be very helpful and encouraging, and I do plan to keep to the relaxation and preparation plan as outlined in the book as closely as possible. Before reading the book, I was absolutely planning on requesting an epidural. I may still choose to go the pain-relief route, but now I like the idea of first trying the meditation and breathing methods to see if they work for me.

--Kelly
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

I have no doubt a good bit of practice in self hypnosis and zen-state for keeping pain to a minimum is a 'good thing'.

How about a little -- you don't know how good you have it story telling?
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Up until the mid-19th century, childbirth was something men avoided. Women had babies in a room full of other women, aided by female midwives and nurses. Then the profession of "doctor" began to mean more than "guy who waves burning sage over your head while draining your blood." Science entered the practice of medicine, and it became a respectable profession that was almost exclusively the domain of men.

Male doctors wanted everyone to know that their knowledge and abilities were far superior to that of a common grubby midwife. So they began writing books. They took childbirth out of the intuitive hands of midwives, and claimed it as their own. Most of what they wrote was as scientifically sound as could be expected for the era. Still, some of it was egregiously puzzling.
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In the mid-1800s, many women went to the "lying-in" hospital to be attended by physicians for childbirth. (This practice often proved fatal, as doctors who had no concept of sterilization or contagion would transmit diseases from woman to woman with their own bare hands). "Proper plumbing" didn't exist so, there was usually a communal 'hole' which left everyone exposed to the accompanying gases which resulted...
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And they were clueless about 'preparing the mother'...
To quote from a manual of the times:

"The nurse should give particular attention to cleansing and preparing the skin of the abdomen, thighs, and external genital parts. First scrub with warm sterile water and soap, then rub dry, and afterward bathe the parts in a bichloride solution 1-1000, or solution of Lysol, one percent. It is particularly difficult to render the external parts surgically clean. The hair around the genitalia should be cut short with scissors or shaved, scrubbed with hot sterile water, and bathed with bichloride solution." [Fry]


Shaved, scalded, and sprayed down with Lysol. NOW you are ready for some real discomfort.

Of course there were other methods which some doctors used -- John Gunn's 1861 Gunn's New Domestic Physician had a gentler suggestion for preparing those sensitive areas for the task ahead:

"The parts of generation during labor should always be well oiled or greased with lard, as it greatly assists and mitigates the suffering, and lubricates the parts of passage."


Candles, cooking, refurbishing, and greasing up the birth canal. What can't lard do?
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Now... trying to STOP having pain during childbirth?
It was long believed that pain was supposed to be part of childbirth, and to try and cheat it was to cheat God. Henry Davidson Fry's 1907 book, Maternity tells of a story wherein a poor woman in 1591 was burnt to death in Edinburgh "for employing charms and other means to cast off the pains of labor." Fry explains why pain mitigation was unpopular for most of history.

The arguments against it were:
The relief of pain during childbirth removed the maternal instinct.
It was immoral because it produced a condition similar to intoxication.
Various ill effects were attributed to it — epilepsy, convulsions, and insanity.

The most powerful argument against the relief of pain was that it was sacrilegious to thrust aside the decrees of Providence. Woman had been sentenced to suffer the pangs of childbirth, and it would rob God of the deep, earnest cries which arise in time of trouble for help.

Talk about blaming women for munching on one damned apple!!!!!
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It is amazing how attitudes toward childbirth can change, however, when the most powerful woman in the world has eight children. In 1853, Queen Victoria was chloroformed during the birth of Prince Leopold, and a new era of pain control was born. One Sir James Y. Simpson even helped convince the religious-minded that perhaps God did not insist on suffering in birth.

Says Fry:
The Scottish clergy reviled Simpson for his work in opposition to the primeval curse, "In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children." He turned their shaft to ridicule by reminding them that the first operation recorded in history was performed under anesthesia, since when God created Eve from one of Adam's ribs, he "caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam."

Good enough for God, good enough for the Queen, good enough for you.
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I won't go further... it is just amazing ANY of our ancestors survived this craziness. BUT... .somehow we did.... and here we are.
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BIGGEST thing to remember is the advice given by the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy >>>>> Don't Panic.
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Kai Sabu replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

My notes show that I haven't logged my integrative practice activities here in my training journal for about a month... Let's see.

My attendance at Fight Like A Girl has been a little sporadic the past several weeks, due to my work schedule and a few other conflicts. But I have made it to class a few times. I'm getting lots of practice with my bo staff. I've only hit my belly with it a couple of times! :lol: I can also still throw knives and do most floor work, though I notice the instructor is phasing out turning and side kicks for me, which is a good idea. I did get to beat on the padded pole for time. I think I'm up to 12 minutes of steady hand and leg techniques, but I don't have to do them at full power right now. I don't think I could do that anymore.

I've been walking a few times a week. I miss running, but I miss running with my old body. I have no desire to run with this one! Walking is fine for the next several months....

I took a support chat on 7 Cups of Tea about a month ago. The first couple of people that I contacted disappeared almost instantly, but I ended up talking to one guest for about 40 minutes. He was going through something that I had experienced, myself, so I hope that I was able to be supportive and helpful to him. I've also written notes for a couple of More Love Letters batches.

In general life news, the academic year is starting, which means work gets busy for me and classes get busy for Matt. He MAY have been able to get into the final classroom class for the fall term, after all; he was on a waitlist and it seemed like he would have to push it back until spring. We're hopeful that he'll be able to get both of his final classes done this semester so all he will have left after that is his field experience. It's going to be a challenging experience for both of us with me at home all of the time on leave with a newborn and very little nearby support. But we'll manage.

I'm starting to noticeably slow down. I'm coming to the end of my second trimester, and I'm finding my feet tired at the end of the day. I can't hop up out of a chair or off the couch without getting dizzy. My back also aches at times. We don't have a bathtub, so I focus on yoga, putting my feet up when I can, and thinking positively. :) And I got a back support thingie for days when I'll need to be standing a lot to teach this fall. Three and a half months to go! Some of my anxiety about being a good parent has returned; it had been on hiatus for a bit. Matt and I both have... challenging parents. I love my mother, but I don't want to mother like her, and I don't want my child to someday view me the way I view her. I've done some reading on the topics and have re-visited things from past therapy experiences. It's a practice and a process. :meditate

I've been waiting on a response to my first activity for Creed 101, but I'm thinking that the Intro activity may not have required feedback before moving on, so I'm going to go tackle the first real assignment. :)

--Kelly
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Kai Sabu's Training Journal

Yep... growing a 'bun in the oven' can take it out of you... although, it doesn't sound like you are slowing down THAT much... what with still working out (with belly bumping staff) and 12 minute punch/kick fests. And all I can say about 'throwing knives' is.... wow.

The 'getting dizzy' bit is not a 'good thing'.
Keep hydrated. (ya, I know... drinking to hydrate makes one feel like they always are running to pee but...)

You are going to teach until the baby drops in front of the chalk board????????
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Kai Sabu replied the topic: Re:Kai Sabu's Training Journal

Kol Drake wrote: Yep... growing a 'bun in the oven' can take it out of you... although, it doesn't sound like you are slowing down THAT much... what with still working out (with belly bumping staff) and 12 minute punch/kick fests. And all I can say about 'throwing knives' is.... wow.

The 'getting dizzy' bit is not a 'good thing'.
Keep hydrated. (ya, I know... drinking to hydrate makes one feel like they always are running to pee but...)

You are going to teach until the baby drops in front of the chalk board????????


Haha, I don't teach all day or anywhere close to every day. My job is mostly at a desk, so I am hoping to work as close up to the baby's arrival as possible. I'm also not scheduling more than two classes on any given day this year.

My sister-in-law is a kindergarten teacher and worked on a Friday and gave birth on Saturday. I don't know how she did it!


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--Kelly
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Kai Sabu's Training Journal

My last work day was Friday, went into labor Sunday evening. It's really person specific.

Send a private message to Connor, David and Kai-an to see who is covering creed at this exact moment between them.


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Kai Sabu replied the topic: Re:Kai Sabu's Training Journal

I'm alive! And a mom. Elijah was born on December 3rd (which would have been my grandparents' anniversary, which makes it even more special; Grandma died a few days after Christmas two years ago).

I didn't manage to keep up with things here during my pregnancy. I'm not sure how it will go now that the baby is on the outside, but I do log a lot of time nursing, so we'll see what I can do with my phone, one-handed. :)

Here's my little man:

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--Kelly
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re:Kai Sabu's Training Journal

Congrats 'Momma Sabu' ;)

:wow

You done good work. Kidlet is a keeper! And man... all that hair!!!

Take it easy. This is 'momma and baby' bonding time. (ya, I know it's been weeks but.. it's still going on...). Do what needs to be done for YOU and Kidlet... don't worry about "... keeping up with things..." here. Any time you can 'drop in' is fine.

(plus we'll want milestone updates! we all become dotting (or is it dotty) semi grandparents when it comes to freshly delivered buns from ovens.)
:P
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