I really miss raspberry leaf tea! As a sufferer of lactose intolerance getting a good brew can be tricky. I’ve always liked juice though; to the point of driving my mum demented as a toddler when all I would consume was juice and nothing solid! Before we got pregnant I would have at least one cup a day as it tastes as delicious as it smells unlike other herbal teas I’ve tried.
Raspberry leaf tea helps to tone the muscles of the uterus which in turn is said to lead to a smoother birth. I can’t wait to get to 34 weeks so I can start having it again. Mostly because it tastes nice but I’ll take any benefits on offer too.
Everyone thinks about the pushing part but there is so much more to birth. We had a great discussion about the placenta and options for natural or assisted delivery. If you want a quick “finish” you can opt for an injection which brings the placenta out in about 3-7 minutes with a little traction (pulling on the cord) by the midwife. Or, just let it come out naturally in about 45 minutes to an hour. Part of the choices depend on how much blood loss is occurring. Natural can bleed more in the first day but then tails off, assisted bleeds less on the first day but stays heavier for longer. I think I would like to let nature take its course but I’m willing to cross that bridge when we get there. I’ve got enough information to understand the options but I don’t know how I’ll feel at that point in time.
Perineal massage… um what?! Ok some new mum friends have hinted at this with sly eyes over the last few months. We had a discussion about the things that “can possibly” help to keep your nether regions as intact as possible. There is some evidence that gently stretching the area between the vagina and anus can prepare it for when baby’s head is pushing and stretching. Personally I think that good birthing positions might make more difference but I guess it can’t hurt to try all these things. Apparently keeping sexually active can help too… not sure if a man made that up or if there is scientific evidence!
Fear is the biggest enemy to a calm, relaxed and easy birth. This week our homework was to make notes and acknowledge our fears in order to release them and allow our partners to help allay this anxiety both on the day and beforehand in the preparations.
I think one of my greatest fears is being broken down there. I have an odd genetic thing where my nerves are very susceptible to pressure leaving me with numbness and paralysis if I’m not careful. Most of the time it heals but this can take months. I’m worried that if I need an epidural then the spinal pressure could knock out my legs or bowel functions. Sadly I can’t seem to get my midwife to take me seriously on this point. Will try again next visit or talk with the hypnobirthing midwives if I can’t get anywhere.
I really hope and want to believe that I can achieve that calm and peaceful water birth that I’ve pictured. Need to get a grip on my doubting demons and banish them so I have a chance.