149. How To Help Labor Progress Smoothly With Minimal Intervention With Guests Sara Forster & Loreli Palandri
Birth is unpredictable but we can still set our preferences for how we'd like to the journey to look. Come learn how to be in the drivers seat of your delivery with my guests Sara Forster & Loreli Palandri from Seed to Sprout Perinatal Services. They are 2 moms and registered nurses with a combined 20 years of experience. Don't miss this episode if you're pregnant, or plan to be soon!
This podcast is not "medical advice". Please consult with your Healthcare Provider about your specific situation.
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Read the full transcript here:
Welcome to the breezy babies podcast. This is episode 149. How to Help labor progress smoothly with minimal intervention?
Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies. You're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road, am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go.
Hello, hello. Welcome back to another week of the podcast. I'm so excited to be here with you today to talk to you. I wish that you could talk back to me and we can have a conversation. But this is just how podcasts go. I am really excited for today's podcast because you don't even have to listen to me talking the whole time this week, I actually have two podcast guests for you today, two friends, they are going to be sharing their expertise together at the same time. It's not one recording and then the other it's both of them together at the same time, and they are the experts on how to help labor progress smoothly. With minimal intervention, they are going to share what real labor looks like.
So if you are currently pregnant or plan to be pregnant soon, then you're not going to want to miss this episode. This information is key because you are in the driver's seat with your delivery, not your doctor, not your nurse, you are in charge. This is your birth story. What do you want your story to be, you can be more can more in control of that than you even think. So I want to start by saying this isn't meant to talk down about hospital deliveries. I personally have had three hospital deliveries myself, I've had so many clients, the majority of my clients have also had hospital deliveries. And speaking for myself, all my hospital deliveries, overall, they went well. And I do believe that many hospital deliveries can go well. But at the same time, I'm also a firm believer that you should not go into the hospital with a I'm just gonna see how things go. And I'm just gonna do what my nurses and doctors tell me to do. I've noticed that doesn't always go well. I have seen that cascade of interventions lead to undesirable outcomes, time and time again. And those oftentimes make it really tricky for my clients to meet their lactation goals, which you know, I care about that, you know, your lactation goals are high up on my list of things that I care about. For example, let me just tell this general story that's not based off of any one exact family that I know, but represents the general story that I hear all the time. So let's take Jenny, we'll call her, Jenny for some reason. I don't know why. But that is what we will call her. And let's follow Jenny along on her journey. So Jenny is told that her baby looks big on the ultrasound and she's given the option to set an induction date to start labor. She's already fast approaching her due day and she's nervous that she won't be able to deliver such a big baby especially if she's pregnant much longer. She wants to deliver vaginally so she sets the date to go in and start labor. It's our first baby so she doesn't really know what to expect. She goes in a bit later to the hospital and she isn't really dilated labor hasn't really started at all. So her doctor says it start time to start Pitocin which is an IV medication that can start contractions and get labor going. The nurse starts her IV and hooks her up to a bag of fluids. Jenny she feels a little bit tight down but she still moves around the room when she can that she's getting Pitocin she does have to have monitors on her belly to constantly see how baby is doing and make sure the contractions aren't too strong. If so, it would be very important for her nurse to turn down the rate of Pitocin the dose is fine but every time Jenny tries to move around the room or change positions and bed monitors move loose the rate is no longer able to be tracked so she just relaxes back and takes it easy in bed but things are getting on
comfortable so an epidural is started by the anesthesiologist. More IV fluids are given to keep mom and baby hydrated. After some time of this labor isn't really progressing anymore, so her nurse offers that they can break her bag of waters. And they do decide to do that because it's been a while nothing much has happened. A while later, the nurse notices the baby's heart rate is dropping during contractions. Luckily, though, Jenny is ready to push, she pushes for a while and baby, it's close, but not quite out. And the heart rate is dropping more. So a vacuum is used to get the baby out quicker. So can you already see the cascade of interventions that is happening here, we are literally trying to fix one problem by adding in another intervention that then leads to another problem that we try to fix. But then we actually cause a secondary problem again, it's like trying to start something that's not ready to go, but then trying to constantly put out fires along the ways. And truly to tell you like parts of this story, were my story with some of my hospital deliveries, the exact same situation and a lot of that that I just explained. And I also find that families are not successful with latching right after birth. And also often their baby ends up in the NICU, the new neonatal intensive care unit for low blood sugar or breathing problems or whatever, I see it happen time and time again, with situations like this. Then also the baby loses a bunch of weight because the mom was getting so many IV fluids while laboring, and baby has a lot of water weight that they lose quickly. And basically just lactation goals get absolutely tossed in the trash.
Supplementing starts for baby with, you know donor milk or formula. And now we have a brand new cascade of interventions that starts all over again with this new baby in the world. And it is just frustrating, honestly, to watch from the outside. Again, hospitals are not bad. I'm just saying that you have to go in with a plan and education and you have to advocate for yourself and your baby. You cannot meet your goals without that. The second one thing goes against your plan. Your goals are toast, unfortunately. So this episode is not to scare you, it's to empower you, you are amazing, you are capable. Not everything will go perfectly with your birth and and following that. So but you were made to do this, and you have a choice in your birth story. You are in the driver's seat. And since you are in the driver's seat, you need a general idea of the map.
And my guests today are going to fill in a chunk of that map today. So yes, birth is unpredictable, but we can still set our preferences. For example, what do you want your delivery room to look like? Do you want bright lights and noises or dim lights and no noises. My guest today are Sarah and Laura light and they are going to talk more about this. But that's just a small introduction to kind of get your wheels turning on what you would like your birth to look like. So let me tell you a little bit more about my guest today. And then I will turn the time over to both of them. So my guests today are Sarah Forster and Lorelai polyandry. They are from Z to sprout Perinatal Services. They offer live and pre recorded prenatal classes for both new and experienced parents. They have a ton of free downloads available on their website, which I will share in the show notes including a birth preference plan, which is so smart as I just explained. They
really have a lot to offer when it comes to laboring with minimal interventions. They actually are located outside of the United States which they will explain to you but the cool thing is, you know, overall, when it comes to birth, postpartum lactation, a lot of these things apply no matter where you live in the entire world. So without further ado, let me turn the time over to Sarah and Lorelai.
Hi there I'm Laura Palandri, and I'm Sarah Forster. We're two registered nurses with lots of knowledge and experience in caring for laboring and birthing people
We are also moms who have five children between the two of us. And we know from personal experience that the transition to parenthood is not always the easiest thing to navigate. We drew from that personal experience when we saw a need in our community for evidence based perinatal education. And we combine that with a passion for labor and birth and turned it into from seed to sprout. So from seed to sprout Perinatal Services is located in Regina, which is a city in Saskatchewan in Canada, we have been empowering families with perinatal education for almost three years. With live and pre recorded prenatal classes. We also offer consultation surrounding infant feeding and sleep to help parents navigate two of the most stressful parts of New parenthood. And so today, we're going to share with you our top three tips around how to help labor progress smoothly. Often, we don't really consider how labor progresses at all. Most people get their birth knowledge and information from dramatic Hollywood depictions of people sort of like screaming and pain during labor, then a baby is crowning. And magically, you know, a few minutes later, everything's done. But we know though that real labor isn't really like what you see in the movies at all. It is a natural and normal process that can take many hours, or maybe even span a few days. And it just progresses at differing rates depending on all sorts of things. And so knowing that, why do we talk about how to help labor progress? Well, in hospital births, often our kind of traditional or Western medical model has chosen to set a sort of determined amount of time that labor should take. And if we don't fall nicely into that box as a laboring person, intervention start to be offered or even sort of pushed on us. And those interventions can include things like oxytocin through an IV, or artificially breaking your water or even having a cesarean birth. So our tips are designed to help you navigate this timeline that you might feel you are put on and encourage your labor just to flow and progress. Of course, you can do all of these things and still have stalls in your labor. But that can be totally normal. Sometimes we do all the things we can and our body or our baby just decide that they just don't want to follow suit. And in fact, interventions or C sections might happen. And that's okay, we don't ever want you to feel like you're in any way a failure or you did something wrong. What we want though, is for you to have all the information and education to make informed decisions as you move through your labor and birth process. And of course, we have to say that none of this is to be taken as health advice. It is just simply information and any questions about your personal health situation need to be directed and discussed, right with your health care provider. Okay, so here we go with our top three tips. So tip number one is self advocacy. And particularly, we want you to think about how to make yourself as comfortable as possible during the labor and birth process. So for us, that includes having childbirth education, which of course we are biased, but we know that the evidence tells us people who have appropriate evidence based childbirth education, before they go into the labor and birth process end up having more
happier births or a birth that they feel more happy with once they are postpartum. The other things that we want you to think about with self advocacy is preparing a birth preference plan. And so it's not a birth plan in the sense of like, I want my baby to come out exactly like this. And at this time, and you know, very rigid sort of things, we know that birth is unpredictable, and we have to have lots of ability to kind of flow with things, but a birth preference plan is something that discusses you know, just the things that you would prefer to happen. So would you prefer to have the lights dim? Would you prefer to have maybe have your healthcare team offer all the drugs as soon as they're available for pain? Or would you prefer them to not discuss that? And you would bring it up if you needed to? Would you prefer to wear your own clothes? Or are you happy to wear a hospital gown, you know, all those sorts of things we can have kind of set out ahead of time, you can chat about them with your support person. And then it really just opens up that conversation for all the health care providers that you're going to see through your labor and birth journey. And then within that health care, or sorry, with that birth preference plan. You can also talk about kind of setting the mood and so by setting the mood we mean
making yourself feel like you aren't in this, you know, sterile hospital environment. So things like bringing your own pillow or Yeah, wearing your own clothes or having music playing That makes you feel calm, just whatever you can to make yourself feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Yeah, and then tip number two is one of our favorite mantras for birth. So being thinking about being upright, active and mobile throughout your labor and birth
And so this has to do with how you're physically moving and positioning yourself throughout your labor. changing positions throughout the course of your labor not only helps to ease discomfort, but it also helps your baby navigate their way through your pelvis and make their way out. We know that babies are active participants in their birth. And when you use position changes to open up your pelvis in different ways, it helps your baby to curl and we say flex and rotate into the most easily burstable positioning. So what kind of positioning do we suggest our favorites include being like anything that's upright, or any sort of forward leaning position, this puts gravity on our side, and it helps baby to get nice and nicely into the pelvis nice and straight.
We know that in some areas, continuous monitoring of baby's heart rate is the standard practice, which sometimes can get in the way of this position changing. But we do know that evidence tells us that in low risk situations, it often isn't necessary. So if you have any questions about this, just talk with your healthcare team about what is the most appropriate for you. Okay, so then our last tip is to keep hydrated and glucose. And so what exactly does that mean? Really, it means just eat and drink whenever you can. So our bodies while we are in labor, and birth, are doing a lot of hard work. And sometimes we don't realize that. But your uterus is really one very big muscle. And she contracts, you know, every three minutes for 60 seconds at a time for hours and hours and hours. And so
just like every other muscle in our entire body, our uterus needs energy. And the way that we get that energy or kind of like the quickest, fastest way to get that energy is with glucose or really with sugar. And the way to get that sugar to those muscles is with hydration. So super important to do that. And again, we talked about evidence a lot, but it's because we are registered nurses. And that's kind of you know, our stick we like we like to see what science says. So evidence tells us that you do not need to stop eating and drinking once you go into labor. So sometimes, again, that is kind of the standard practice or policy in some hospitals, but
often times, it's not necessarily entirely needed. So certainly sometimes, for safety reasons, you maybe won't be encouraged to have full meals, you know, you're probably not going to want to eat a Big Mac. But certainly having juice jello, popsicles, quick bites, like maybe some granola, things like that are a really good idea to make sure that your body is working as efficiently as possible. And so, again, that's something to just discuss with your healthcare team. If if you're not quite sure if that is appropriate for your situation. And we always say, Sarah, she runs marathons. And you know, she would never run a marathon without eating, you know, some juice or like gels that have sugar in them, she would never not drink water while she was running a marathon and giving birth or like the process of labor and birth is multiple marathons.
So for sure, staying hydrated and glucose is super important. Yeah, we always say that would result if I was running without anything. In terms of hydration and nutrition and nutrition, we would say that that would result in muscle cramps, or bonking or just stopping running, which you know, when we think about labor, we want to prevent that we want to keep your uterus contracting nice and strong. So to recap our top tips today to keep labor progressing without intervention. Number one, we want you to increase your comfort as much as possible and be sure that you feel like a big part of the healthcare team making decisions surrounding your care. Number two, we think we want you to think about being upright, active and mobile and change positions to help encourage your baby to make its way into the easiest burstable position. And tip number three is to keep your muscles functioning energetically with hydration and glucose to keep things going.
So we want to say thank you so much to Bree for having us on the show. We're so excited to be here and listeners you can find us at so you can find us online at www dot from seed to sprout.ca It's ca because we're in Canada. You can find us on Instagram or Facebook our handle is at from seed to sprout dot y que are and we have tons of free downloads available on our website like birth preference plans, hospital packing lists, things like that.
And we share lots of tips and tricks on our socials. We also want to quickly share about a fun little treat that we have for all the moms out there. So we have curated some mama boxes one in particular
There's called The Ultimate mama box. And so it's designed for pregnant people or new mamas in your life. It's filled with so many amazing things. It has awesome things to eat. It has jewelry, it has self care products. And we want to offer breeze community here a coupon for 25% off of these limited edition boxes. So you can head to our website, www.fromseedtosprout.ca/mama-boxes To find out more. And then at checkout use code Breezy25. So that's BREEZY25, and you'll get 25% off your mama box. So that's everything for us. Thanks so much. And we hope to connect with you guys soon. Bye.
Don't you just love them. I love that Sarah and Laura light are not only moms but they're also registered nurses with a combined 20 years of experience that is really cool. I love everything that they offer. I especially love their new product called the mama box. If you are interested in grabbing one for you, I will have the link in the show notes and you can use code breezy 25 for 25% off your mama box.
Before you go though, I do want to review those top three tips that Sarah and Laura Leigh shared with you today. Again, they were number one, self advocacy is so important. Number two is be upright, active and mobile. And number three was hydration and nutrition, eat and drink when you can. Oh, I just love those three tips for helping labor to progress smoothly with minimal intervention. That is what we love to see happen. If you would like to say hi to Sarah and Lorelai they are on Instagram at free seed to sprout dot y q r I'll have that linked in the show notes. And so grateful for them for taking the time to come and share a little bit about their expertise. I know this information is so important. Of course I'm gonna leave you with you are strong, you are smart, you are beautiful. You're a good friend to all. Catch you next week. Bye.
If you would like more help, check us out at breezy babies.com. It's the happy place for boots and babies where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy babies.com to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube.
Intro to this episode.
This isn’t about hospital deliveries.
Jenny’s induction story and pitocin.
The cascade of interventions that is happening.
You have to advocate for yourself and your baby.
Introduction to today’s topic.
Advice for self-advocacy.
Tip 2: Be upright and mobile throughout your labor.
How to eat and drink during labor.