Birth in the Squatting Position

“Birth in the Squatting Position” is one video we watched in childbirth class so far. It was, as you’d expect from the title, one mom after another pushing her baby out from a squatting position. We’re three weeks in to our 8-week class with awesome instructor Susan Messina, and so far this video was one of my favorite parts of class. In my days working with midwives I saw lots of moms have their babies in this position, and I’m all for it. It uses all the mom’s efforts so efficiently, along with gravity, and opens the bones of the pelvis beautifully for baby to move through and out. Those slippery little tykes were popping out like chubby little bullets. Go babies!

I have to take a kind of annoying bus ride to get to class, but it’s long enough to make visible knitting progress so I won’t complain.

The class uses the Birthworks curriculum, which I like for it’s emphasis on birth being a natural and healthy process. I didn’t want to take a class that would be so oriented toward standard hospital deliveries that I’d feel defensive instead of being able to relax and learn and think through my own birth. Lots of Susan’s clients are home birth parents, and the majority of her clients are planning for a natural birth, even in the hospital. I am reminded though, over and over, as couples discuss how to negotiate with their doctors or with the nurses over things like drinking some water during labor, being allowed to move around, or if they can use other pushing positions than just semi-reclining, why I’m so happy to be planning a home birth. These negotiations will not be a part of my experience. Eating and drinking for hydration and energy are assumed in a home birth, moving is required and encouraged, pushing in whatever way works and feels best is the nature of the event. And should I need to move to hospital for some reason, I’ll be going there for the intervention, in need of it. I won’t be going there until it’s needed. And if it’s not, as it most often isn’t, I won’t be hampered and dominated by it. I feel very fortunate and very assured about my choice to have our baby at home.

Next week we cover stages of labor and ways of working with contractions and coping with pain. My friend Kristi, who will be at our birth, is coming along. She’s never seen a birth, and I don’t want her to feel nervous about it. Hopefully Susan’s great teaching method and seeing all the ways women can handle the intensity of labor will leave her feeling excited and assured! I need to get her and Zach both to read a few stories from Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery – such a great book for instilling assurance and confidence in the birth process. In fact, Spiritual Midwifery deserves a post of it’s own here.

In the meantime, thanks to Susan for her class. And, thanks to Zach for coming along and asking questions and getting all birth savvy, even though he’d usually rather be fighting aliens. I love you!

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4 responses to “Birth in the Squatting Position

  • April

    My first response to this is simply “OMG!”

    And my second response is I’m glad you’re feeling prepared and confident. (Though just reading about it scares me out of my mind.)

    • DragonKat

      Ha! You gotta remember I spent three years working with midwives. Plus my dad is a doctor, so body stuff was never weird to talk about. It’s a cool subject to me, and I’m surprised how much I remember from 10 years ago when I was much more involved with birth-related things. Maybe I should get certs to teach childbirth classes or something, just to capitalize on a latent skill set. 🙂

  • kmeacham

    Yes. I’m the one always snarking “it’s amazing we evolved” when pregnant women are being all nit picky and over cautious. But I admit that the prospect of birth literally staring me in the face has me a bit on the nervous side. When in doubt read a book! I want to learn how to be as helpful as possible. Looking forward to class with you and the beautiful event it foreshadows!

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