Many of us face complications in pregnancy whether it is as simple as being overdue or something more serious like Strep B or having a breech baby. There is no need to panic in any of these situations because there are both preventative and natural solutions for almost all of them. While they are not all 100%, nothing in this world is. So I urge you to familiarize yourself with complications that arise in pregnancy and find ways you can help prevent them and help cure them.
As always, I am not a doctor, nurse, or in the medical field. All posts are informative, based off of my experience in labor and birth, with my care providers, and on the Bradley classes that I attended.
Variations in pregnancy, options for less-than-ideal situations, and how to try to prevent them
Here is some basic information that I have compiled from research and from attending childbirth classes both at a local hospital and through midwives and natural childbirth educators.
- go in for biophysical profile checks… my midwife with my second made sure that I was ok with this so it’s something you can discuss easily with your provider. She also had in our birth binder that overdue moms could “make love” as much as possible to try to induce labor but all else was frowned upon.
- PROM – Premature Rupture of Membranes
- insist on no vaginal exams until you’re really in labor
- NO BATHS if your waters have broken
- My midwife taught me to Use pH strips to see if what’s leaking is alkaline… that would we amniotic fluid. And yes, once I was just gushing pee…
- Call your provider and let them know how you feel, what the fluid looked like, how much fluid there was, and how the fluid smelled.
- OP – Occiput Posterior/”Sunnyside up”/Back Labor
- Pelvic Rocks
- Use steps or walk on the edge of a curb (on leg on, one off)
- Use a birthing ball to rock and move
- Strep B
- Make sure that when you go into your doctor for testing during pregnancy that you wipe your vaginal and anal area VERY well with the alcohol wipes in the bathroom to ensure they get a good and un-compromised reading.
- Do your research
- My midwife gave me research on using hibiclens, colloidal silver, garlic, and probiotics and how each of them rated to help with GBS+
- Lay head down and rear up to give birth
- Do Spinning Babies
- GO TO THE CHIROPRACTOR… this is what ultimately got baby number 2 to flip. She did a diaphragm release and it helped immensely.
- DO YOUR PELVIC ROCKS
- Do some with your knees at an incline
- Webster technique from the chiro is also many times effective.
- (My own side note: I did all of these and still did not get my first, a frank breech baby, to turn. But it’s best to do everything as early as possible and again, no case is the same).
- Transverse lie
- This is a true OB complication. Unless your baby is able to be moved, a C-Section will truly be necessary.
- Fast Labor/Slow Labor/ NAP – Natural Alignment Plateau
- Remember that the labor you are experiencing was perfectly designed for both you and your baby. Take what you get as a blessing regardless of it is slow or fast!
- If you are in slow labor, remember that you might need to relax and/or do some lunges.
- Remember to always give yourself time.
- It’s a marathon, so just breathe.
- Reverse Dilation
- Usually progresses normally without any sort of intervention. Try not to get discouraged. Stay relaxed.
- Failure to Progress
- Eat Honey
- Do lunges
- Often is a reason given for Cesarean, so be ready to look for alternatives.
- Very Painful Labor
- Vary positions!
- If still a problem, may indicate something is truly wrong.
- If working for a VBAC like I did, this is something to be on the lookout for
- Meconium (baby’s bowel movement) Staining
- Rarely indicates distress, and can be completely normal
- Fetal Distress
- Push even when there is no urge just to get the baby out. No need for immediate Cesarean.
- Also, from research I found that drastic change in heartbeat is usually the first sign of uterine rupture for VBAC moms.
In this class, we also discussed C-Sections and watched a video of a Cesarean. Realize, that even Doctor Bradley had about a 4% C-Section rate because of a need. Therefore, it would be wise of everyone to look into complications that could arise and require surgery and then how to recover from it. It is always best to be ready for any situation. Also, know your hospital’s policy, this could be valuable information to know in advance.
So are you doing everything you can to stay healthy and low-risk?
- Walking – increased to 40 minutes per day. I personally am still utilizing errands to ensure that I get my walking in on days where I feel under the weather or like I would just have a lazy day otherwise.
- Meet with Birth Team – If you are having more than your husband in the room, it is important that everyone is on the same page. I do not plan on having anyone else in the room because I know that I get stressed very easily and that is the last thing I need. However, if you are going to have your husband, 5 people from your family, doctor, etc. then it is important that they are on the same page as you! If you are giving birth in a place where you can meet your nurses, then look into this. It may be helpful that they know you and your needs/wants in advance to make your process easier.
- Evaluate yourself to see if you are doing everything you can to be low-risk. Ok so be honest. Are you really doing EVERYTHING? I know that personally I am not doing absolutely everything. I sometimes forget to do some exercises. I also have caffeine and sugar more than a should. (Sugar because I like it and caffeine because I would rather have a small coke than take tylenol if I am getting a headache/migraine). So truly be honest with yourself and try to see what areas you truly can improve in before your baby is knocking ready to enter the world!
- Continue tracking your nutrition – I know that if I do my nutrition worksheet both in filling out what I ate and making sure I am getting a varied diet by checking off the extra requirements, it forces me to stay more accountable. If you are not going to a class, make sure that you have someone who can look over your worksheet for you at the end of each week. Take their criticisms as being loving and constructive. Remember… you want things to go as best as possible and they love you so they want that too!
- PACK YOUR BAGS! Of course if you are having a home birth, just start making sure that everything is in order. Maybe try organizing things in laundry baskets.
- Review Cesarean Surgery – This includes understanding how to keep yourself healthy and low-risk, having a well-trained coach, staying committed to your plan, making the difficult decision if it becomes absolutely necessary (ask questions, get all the information, know your options, etc.), understanding breastfeeding after a C-section, and how to recover. It is also important to note… if you know that your are going to have to have a c-section, it is still better to have an emergency c-section rather than a planned one. In planning, it means hours of drugs in your system instead of a few minutes. Basically, do you want to expose yourself and baby for a long time to medications and drugs when the end result of having your baby is the same? Just something to think about in your approach to labor and delivery. It is what we did with our last birth. We knew that we would try for a natural labor and in the end our frank breech birth turned into an emergency cesarean. This way I got the hormones for breastfeeding and as little medication as possible. You should also know that you do not have to have a C-Section if your baby is Breech. Check with your doctor to see if s/he will deliver a breech baby; if not, you may want to look into some other options! Again, this is what we did. We changed doctors at 38 weeks to one that would let me at least labor and try to give birth naturally.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!