Thursday, April 1, 2010
Position, Position, Position
I just have to say that those Haitian ladies really know how to move in labor. Without medications to keep them drugged and bedridden (they are no beds either after all!) they get up and move throughout their labors. In early labor we have them walk and drink water. During active labor I saw them sway their hips, kneel on the floor, get on all fours and sway back and forth, crawl around, stand and squat repeatedly, bend over holding on to beds and tables, lean against loved ones while squatting between their knees, tailor sit, and on and on and on. Because the women squat a lot while doing chores and cooking, they found it really easy to get into positions I can only dream of getting into. I was really impressed. The positions they were using as they labored, really allowed the pelvis to open and the babies to come down. More than once I suggested (to the OBs, not the midwives) to let the moms off the delivery table and let them move around. I did very little to direct their movement. I let them do what felt good to them and they sure showed me some new stuff. They were all over the floor. No birth ball needed! I never saw American women do the kinds of positioning I saw the Haitian women doing. Some were absolutely silent, but others were very vocal with their contractions. They chanted and even sang throughout their labors. I learned so much about the wisdom of the body in labor as I observed and worked with the Haitian mothers. My homebirth experience really prepared me to be useful in this kind of birthing environment.