Connect with us

Awareness

7 Practical Tips On How To Survive & Enjoy A Natural Labour

Published

on

Natural labor is not the easiest of tasks. But we choose it anyway to remain fully connected to the experience of childbirth, to protect our babies from harsh chemicals entering their bloodstream, to ensure more chances of successful latching and breastfeeding, and for many, many more personal reasons.

advertisement - learn more

Even though every person processes pain differently, most women, doctors, and scientists (and even The Try Guys) agree that labor pain is one of the strongest sensations a woman will experience in her lifetime. Therefore, the ability to deal with intense pain is definitely a high-priority requirement during labor.

In this post, I collected my best practical tools on how to get through unmedicated labor on both physical and emotional levels.

You might think these are all easier-said-than-done, but if you just try to implement them during your labor, you might be surprised at how much more efficient you can be, how much less stress you can experience, and how much faster your labor can go.

So without any further ado…

1. Take It One Contraction At A Time

When a contraction arrives, focus solely on it. Do not think back to all the contractions you’ve already had or agonize over how you have been laboring for 2 days now. Do not think about all the contractions yet to come, or try to predict how long it will be before you can push and finally meet your baby. Focus only on the current contraction. Something that has helped me do so was counting breaths through it. I used shallow short breaths to get through my contractions, and counting them kept me focused on the present moment rather than letting my mind wander.

advertisement - learn more

2. Relax Into Pain

I have to admit, I understood this advice fully only after my labor, and did not implement it at all. But when I did understand it, it opened a huge door into how I view pain and discomfort altogether, not just labor. Normally, when we encounter stress, or pain, or negative emotion, our immediate response is to tense up. We tense all our muscles, especially the abdominal ones, in an attempt to resist whatever is coming to us. I suggest you do the opposite of that. I know, it sounds alien, but if we can allow ourselves to fully feel that pain without resistance, our labor can progress so much faster, and our endurance levels will go way up.

3. Breathe

This sounds pretty easy, but so many of us forget to do so in that same attempt to resist pain. Fortunately, innumerable breathing techniques for labor have been invented, and we can try them all out when the time comes. Or if you find yourself not remembering any of them in the midst of a contraction, simple everyday breathing will do. It’s just a matter of letting your abdominal muscles relax enough. This will not only help you breathe and get the oxygen flowing, but will also help your baby descend faster.

4. Be Where You Are Most Comfortable

This one is crucial, in my opinion. Where you labor and how comfortable you feel there can influence your birth experience so much. Think about it: when you are not comfortable you are a) stressed, and b) tense – the opposite of what you need to be to let the baby come down. And when you are comfortable, you are happier, your thoughts are more positive, and your muscles are more relaxed. Some of you might be energy conscious, so you feel very acutely the energy of different places and people. In this case, it is even more important for your well-being and the well-being of your baby to pick places and spots to labor that “vibe” well for you. It makes all the difference.

5. Do What You Are Called To Do

Similarly to the point above, doing what you feel called to do can help you stay centered, relaxed, and happy during even the most intense of pains. Some women prefer relaxing in the birthing pool, while some feel confined in a pool or tub and prefer to move around. Some choose to dance, and some choose to go for walks in nature. Some women decide they want to lay on their side, and others want to sway with their partner or bounce on a ball. The key component is to answer your body’s calling. If you feel called to moan – do just that, there’s a reason for it, and your body knows best. And you know the kind of power and alignment you feel from answering your intuitive nudges – it feels so uplifting, so wonderful, it puts you right in your center, and lets you focus and funnel energy in a super-hero mode.

6. Focus

Focus can make your whole labor experience. When you focus on the job at hand, instead of freaking out about how long you have already been in labor, or worrying about how long you still have left to go, you flow so much faster and so much more efficiently. You are able to process contractions with less stress, consequently tiring your body less, tensing up less, and therefore letting your baby come faster. When you are in the pushing stage, you funnel your energy into pushing rather than stressing out. Focus makes all the difference.

7. Remember That You Are Not Alone

I know you just raised a brow. You are the only one laboring in the room, I know. But hear me out here. I know how thoughts of isolation can get to you during labor. Your partner is right there, he is advising you left and right, but he doesn’t have to experience any of this pain himself. So how can he possibly know what you feel? Or the doctors, the midwives, doulas. None of them are actually experiencing the same. BUT. Not being able to physically feel the same level of pain does not mean they are not helping or are not able to help. They can always make your labor just a little easier, you just have to ask. They can get you a drink, cold washcloth, or tell you a distracting story – anything and everything they do is for you. Also, whether you believe it or not, each of us are surrounded by a plethora of our personal guides and angels, that help and guide us through life and send us signs on every corner. Normally we are just too busy to notice. When you are in labor, all your “army” is with you, ready to help and assist you. All you have to do is ask. Nothing fancy is needed; just like you would ask a friend, you can ask your angels and guides. You can ask a deceased loved one to come help you as well, to hold your hands through it, to be by your side. It helps and it works, it brings more comfort and magic to your labor experience.

I hope you find these tools helpful and they serve you in your amazing natural childbirth experience. May your labor be easy and fast, and your baby happy, healthy, and latching like a pro.

Have any more tips on surviving and enjoying natural labor? Share them in the comments below.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Awareness

Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

Published

on

Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

advertisement - learn more

Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Awareness

Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

advertisement - learn more

Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Awareness

WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

advertisement - learn more

It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

EL