Labour And Delivery

Rachels Journey.

I’m going to try something new, Reaching out to moms from the community and around, I want to know your breastfeeding stories.

E-mail them with photo to

My name is Rachel Gervais, I am 29 years old and I have two beautiful boys. I breastfed both children, however in very different ways.

In my mind, breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy choice for your child, I wanted to nurse my baby from day one; I wanted to provide my son with every ounce of liquid gold as possible. When I ended up having a C-section and a difficult recovery, I did not have the support of the nurses on shift and was too shy to ask for help. When I returned home I was blessed with nipple thrush, which is extremely painful when baby latches on. I spent many nights crying, feeling like I was doing my son wrong, that I couldn’t be a mom because I wasn’t able to breastfeed, I began pumping with many failed attempts of actual breastfeeding and although I only pumped for 6 months, it was the hardest and best decision of my life. I know that I provided him with all the liquid gold that I could. He is now a thriving almost 5 year old, full of spunk and love. Did I breastfeed him? NO! However I did give him my breast milk and that was important to me. Through this whole experience I was diagnosed with post partum depression, I believe the pumping helped me get through this tough time. Giving him breast milk wherever it may have come from was important to me.

Baby #2 comes along, this time I was determined to do it right!, Why I thought pumping wasn’t good enough, I will never know but with this baby I told myself I would ask for help, I would do this right!

It came natural, we had some latching issues but I asked for help from my doula, she was amazing, and that’s when my breastfeeding journey really started.

Rachel breastfeeds with help

I became obsessed with breastfeeding; I wanted the world to know that this was a natural and okay thing. That providing your children with breast milk from your breast was normal. It’s amazing the amount of people who do not want to see another woman breastfeeding. I will never understand but will continue to advocate for those who chose to breastfeed, in public or at home. I breastfed my second child for 15 months when he chose to self wean. During this time I breastfed in public, covered and not. I had many people stare but I kept my head up and knew I was making the world more aware of how natural breastfeeding is.

My son was even breastfed by another woman, a really close friend. I was out of town for a night and my son wouldn’t take the bottle, She picked him up and nursed and comforted him, I was very grateful that I had her there to provide him what he needed at that moment. When I tell people about this I get a lot of mixed emotions, however I know that it was the right thing to do because I was so far away.

At one point when I was nursing my little guy a woman told me that I should cover up because her nephew was staring at me. This really upset me, how can you show someone not to be shy or awkward about breastfeeding if we hide from it from our children. I kindly told her that I would not cover up because it was important for me to teach him that breastfeeding was normal and that he should never feel uncomfortable seeing someone breastfeed.

How do we change this mentality? How can we make people aware that breast are for feeding our children? If people chose to breastfeed it should be their choice weather they breastfeed covered or not, in public or not. It’s normal, natural and very rewarding! Would I breastfeed again? Of course! When I see woman breastfeeding, I smile or tell them they are doing a great job, we need to support each other not tear each other down.

Happy mama and child. Rachel breastfeeds contently

Have a journey to share….. Tell it here !

e-mail your journey to Subject (BestFed Journey) so I catch it. 🙂

Categories: Breastfeeding, C-Section, Labour And Delivery | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Preparing For a VBAC

As seen in Home Grown – Parenting in the North

Bellies & Babies: VBAC

The term VBAC -Vaginal birth after cesarian – was coined by Nancy Wainer Cohen

Benefits of a VBAC
reduces blood loss;
reduces injury and risk of infection;
eliminates complications associated with surgery;
require a shorter hospital stay;
more rapid recovery; and
less painful recovery

**Nearly Eighty Percent of women who try for a VBAC have a successful VBAC delivery.
**VBAC trials were statistically safer for mothers, and just as safe for babies.

If your previous birth was a c-section, depending on the reason for the c-section, you may feel as if you were cheated out of the labour process. You now find yourself pregnant with your second (or third…) baby and are wondering if it’s possible to have a vaginal delivery this time around.

To begin, let’s debunk some of those c-section myths:

C-sections are safer than vaginal birth – This is the worst myth of them all, All studies support that the safest way to deliver a baby is by vaginal birth. “The more cesarians a woman has, the more the risks to her increase.” – Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to childbirth.

C-sections cause less trauma for the baby Statistics report that babies born via c-section are more likely to have respiratory problems and spend more time in the NICU.  Babies born via c-section are also more likely to have a harder time breastfeeding,

You need a C-section because your baby has the cord wrapped around its neck – approximately one third of babies are born with the cord around their neck, it is rare that the cord is too tight or short that it will actually cause harm to the baby.

For more c-section myth busting, be sure to read Your Best Birth, By Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.

So, your two options are have a repeat C-section or plan a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section). Some of the reasons that you may choose a VBAC delivery.

Planning A Larger Family. If you are planning on having more children, a VBAC is a better option as with each delivery the risks decrease, where as the risks increase with each subsequent c-sections delivery.

Emotional Closure. For some woman, having a c-section feels like you failed, or like your body failed you. To have a VBAC can provide great emotional closure. You get to participate in the birth of your baby, rather than have a procedure done to you. You will be able to hold your baby right away and breastfeed sooner than you would if you had had a c-section.

Recovery Time. With a vaginal birth you will have a shorter hospital stay. You avoid the major abdominal surgery which will help your energy and stamina. The pain associated with vaginal birth is way less even if you do tear your perineum.

Less Complications, and Lower Risk of Infection. You are less likely to get an infection and risk major blood loss (you can lose up to 1 liter of blood during a normal c-section) However if the VBAC fails and baby must be delivered via c-section you have a greater chance of infection than if baby was delivered via planned repeat c-section. Please discuss this with your care provider.

Chances of a Successful VBAC
VBAC chances are affected by a few things, a major one being the care provider that you choose. Studies show that obstetricians have a lower rate of VBAC success, while family doctors have a higher rate of VBAC success and midwives have the highest rate of VBAC success. These findings may be due to the different practice style between the different care providers.

Other factors that need to be taken into account are:
Maternal Age – as your age increases statistics show that the chances of having a successful VBAC decrease)
Gestation Age – according to statistics you have the highest chance of a successful VBAC if the baby is born between gestation weeks 37-41 Before or after that the chances are significantly decreased
Number of previous c-sections – the more c-sections had previously, the less likely a successful VBAC.
Health Concerns (Diabetes, Blood pressure etc.)
Location of Birth (home, hospital, birthing center) – Home births have the highest success rate of VBAC, this may be due to the hospital staff’s need to intervene.
Drugs and interventions used during labour – the use of interventions to induce or augment labour, as well as the use of drugs to numb the pain of labour, can decrease the chance of a successful VBAC
Doulas – statistics show that births attended by a doula have lower c-section rates and lower a VBAC failure rate.

Preparing for a VBAC

Visualize your birth, this helps you plan your birth, take control over what you want.
Join Facebook or other online VBAC groups, talk to other mothers who have successfully had a VBAC.
Know your body.
Avoid any medical induction of labour.
Stay active.
Be prepared. If a c-section is necessary, be prepared to deal with it when the time comes, however don’t dwell on this during your pregnancy.
Talk to your care provider, let him/her know your fears/concerns, and what your wishes for your birth are.
Write a birth plan
Hire a doula

Feel Free to leave your thoughts on this article.

Categories: C-Section, Labour And Delivery, VBAC | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Positive Feedback System In Labour.

What actually happens with your body when you are having contractions.

The contractions of the wall of the uterus force the babies head or body into the cervix

| > this increases |

The stretching of the Cervix


Your Bodies Receptors, (the stretch-sensitive nerve cells in the cervix )

Send  | Nerve impulses

To the Control Center (Brain interprets the input)

| Releases Oxytocin

The Effectors (muscle in the wall of uterus) contract more forcefully.

Baby’s Body stretches the cervix more. The receptors (stretch-sensitive nerve cells in cervix )  get back to work sending nerve impulses to the control center, Thus the cycle continues. This is a positive feedback cycle. The increased stretching of the cervix causes more release of oxytocin, resulting in more stretching of the cervix.


UNTIL … It is interrupted by the birth of the baby, decreasing the stretching of the cervix. Breaking the positive feedback cycle.

Cervical effacement and dilation sequence in l...

Cervical effacement and dilation sequence in labour. {| cellspacing=”0″ style=”min-width:40em; color:#000; background:#ddd; border:1px solid #bbb; margin:.1em;” class=”layouttemplate” | style=”width:1.2em;height:1.2em;padding:.2em” | 20px |link=|center | style=”font-size:.85em; padding:.2em; vertical-align:middle” |This vector graphics image was created with Adobe Illustrator. |} Cervix dilation sequence.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Labour And Delivery | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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