Childbirth Isn’t Confusing, but “Born in the Wild” Is!

Childbirth Jax, FL | Natural Birth Jax, FL

Childbirth Isn’t Confusing, but “Born in the Wild” Is!

All this talk, all these previews, and all this…confusion…what’s a person to do? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good bowl of popcorn and I am always ready to don a full Elizabethan collar in the name of drama. But drama needs to serve a greater purpose of clarity and insight, especially when the context encompasses current maternal and perinatal issues.

Lifetime’s “Born in the Wild” sends completely confusing messages that in the current climate of the birth world, only further polarizes opinions and creates “camps”.

How is it confusing?

For many, the show leaves these questions:

  • Are the births completely unassisted or are they basically homebirths outside?
  • Is this dangerous and worthy of full-force, adrenaline pumping fear, or not?
  • Are all people who choose out-of-hospital childbirth, distrustful hippies?

The answers to these questions are not so easily discernible and the last thing we need is confusion:

  • According to Lifetime, the births are midwife-assisted. So, the expectant parents are indeed privy to medical care.  However, most are birthing outside, making these births pretty much homebirths, which when planned and attended by skilled care providers, are a safe option for low-risk women with healthy babies.

But…

  • You might not know that (birth at home can be safe) based on the high-octane music and footage used in the docuseries due to the very nature of the program to sensationalize the events. For the most part, childbirth is a normal and natural event, BUT, yes, even in the best of circumstances and care, it can go very wrong very quickly.  This dichotomy is what has caused many to espouse hospital birth as the only safe option, or for the other “side” to vehemently claim that homebirth is the only safe option, so as to avoid unnecessary interventions and overly cautious surgeons, which leads to…
  • Just like any other generalization, it is not fair or accurate to paint parents who choose homebirth as distrustful hippies. However, because of current statistics, such as very high cesarean rates, some people do choose to avoid hospital birth due to fear.

“Born in the Wild” doesn’t make any of these questions or their answers clear, and what the viewer sees or is enticed to feel, is fear.

Fear is an interesting emotion and motivator.  Most people now only see childbirth in the media, which is almost always sensationalized and polarized, (being based in fear and ignorance) including in “Born in the Wild”.  These portrayals create this confused, mixed-up internal message that many will recognize,

“Birth is dangerous,
Birth needs to be managed,
intervention use is too heavy, maybe unnecessary
natural birth is better
I should avoid doctors at all costs
it’s always a matter of life and death…cycle repeat!

So what is it?

Rather than explanations of our collective fear AND accurate information on global safety, policies, attitudes, and traditions regarding childbirth, we get these snippets of “information”, and more so, we get agendas and opinions from TV, blogs, and your grandmother/sister/best friend.   Because in reality, ALL of these things can be simultaneously true!  Funnily enough, many people are surprised to discover that life, and the events in it, are not always black/white and either/or.

The Jacksonville Baby Company ensures that our clients have access to the most recent, non-biased, and peer-reviewed research. Our childbirth classes are top-notch, engaging, and science and evidence-based. We do not share our personal opinions on YOUR birth choices and we NEVER encourage decisions based on fear. We encourage candid talk with your providers, critical analysis of material, and authentic trust in your knowledge and intuition.

“Born in the Wild” only touches on these diverse issues and thus perpetuates confusion with dramatic birth sequences that have been the industry standard the last 30 years.

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Heather Horrell

 

Sources:

Cheyney, M., Borbjerg, M., Everson, C., Gordon, W., Hannibal, D. & Vedam, S. (2014).  Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 59(1), 17-27.

Geerts, C., Klomp, T., Lagro-Janssen, A., Twisk, J., V.Dillen, J., & Jonge, A. (2014).  Birth setting, transfer and maternal sense of control: results from the DELIVER study.  BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.  14(1), 1-21.

 

Sex After Having A Baby

sex after having a baby | Jax Baby | Jax Newborn Care

Sex After Having A Baby

Let’s talk about having sex after having a baby! It’s the question many new parents wonder about. You’ll visit your doctor or midwife who will give you the go-ahead, or not, to resume sexual intercourse.  However, your doctor may not have a sit-down, one-to-one pep talk about sex after having a baby with you.

There are so many questions that arise, none of which come to mind while you’re actually in the doctor’s office.

Will sex hurt? Will I tear? Is it going to feel the same? What if I don’t feel ready to have sex? Will my milk let down? How do I  find the time? Where do you put the baby? Do I really have to wait six weeks? Write your most pressing questions down to take them with you to your appointment or schedule a consult with us! We often talk openly about topics many would consider TMI, one of which is sex after having a baby.

We will cover some of the basics here!

First, yes, it’s important that you wait the full six weeks before resuming sexual intercourse. Otherwise, pain during intercourse is just one of the not-so-great possibilities.  At the six week checkup, your doctor or midwife will do a vaginal exam, check your uterus, and talk to you about birth control if they haven’t already. It’s really a good idea to talk about sex after birth with them during your third trimester and discuss what birth control if any, you’d like to utilize.

It takes up to a full six weeks or more for the wound in your uterus to heal completely after giving birth.

The wound is left by the separation of the placenta from the wall of your uterus and is rather large.  Until then, there is literally an area in your womb that is open and is prone to infection.  Your cervix that is closed before pregnancy and became loose, stretchy, and slightly to completely dilated during birth has to firm and close back up.

Nothing can be inserted into the vagina during this time period even if you feel ready.

This is also the reason tampons and menstrual cups are discouraged. Also, believe it or not, you can get pregnant immediately following a baby.  This is 100% true, even for those who are exclusively breastfeeding on demand.

Anyway, on to the next question:  will having sex after having a baby hurt?

For some women, yes, sex can be uncomfortable since there is still lingering tenderness.  The blood vessels and nerve endings in the perineum have to readjust.  Within a few weeks, however, any pain should subside.  Believe it or not, sex might change-what was previously your favorite position might be “blah” now and vice versa.

Rest assured, unless there have been some extreme circumstances during your birth (i.e. 4th-degree tears), your vagina/labia/other female parts are still fully functional and are just as admirable as they were previously. If vaginal intercourse doesn’t work, well, there are other ways of “doing it”.

So, the next question: what should you do about the newest member of the family while you’re having sex?

The human population has survived 5000+ years-meaning, this would be the perfect time for baby to (finally) sit in that bouncy seat, or (finally) explore his crib and nifty mobile.  After all, sometimes waiting until the baby is asleep isn’t feasible, after all, you’re trying to take all the, “sleep when the baby sleeps” advice to heart! Another idea, call in your postpartum doula to take the baby for a stroll or take over baby duties entirely for the evening. Please, your postpartum doula has no qualms about you having sex in the other room, she gets it! She will not make you feel weird about it in any way!

Sex post-baby is quite the adventure and there are sure to be some events that constitute a new normal…like milk spraying or dripping everywhere! It’s no big deal. Really. It may take some time to get back to it, especially if it is difficult for you to reconcile your changed identity as a former sex goddess turned mom.

Remember, it doesn’t have to actually be sex if you aren’t ready! You can take your time, spend lots of one on one time just being close and intimate in other ways if you’re just not there yet!

For some women, the idea that you can still crave sexual intimacy with your partner and be a fantastic mother is foreign and can induce feelings of guilt.

It doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure!

Remember, women are complex humans. If pain or fear or feelings of guilt are impacting your newly restarted sex life, there are a number of resources, beginning with your doctor or midwife, and it is important to discuss these issues with them. Otherwise, get out your favorite lube and get to it!

Side note, coconut oil is amazing used as a lubricant, but is not safe for all forms of birth control! You’re welcome!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

That seems a bit….odd for this blog post!

Happy Intimate Adventures!

~The Jax Baby Company

20 Random Facts About Heather Horrell

Heather Horrell Postpartum Doula Jax

20 Random Facts About Heather Horrell

In honor of World Doula Week, we decided to share a few fun blogs about the amazing doulas who work with families trusting The Jax Baby Company team with their care! We are all about sharing a smile, a laugh, and a hug from time to time!

Here are 20 random facts about Heather Horrell:

1. I’m a Potterhead (i.e. I LOVE all things Harry Potter)

2. I love Hello Kitty, Sanrio, and all things “kawaii” or cute

3. I lived in Okinawa for 6 months and loved it. I very badly want to go back and plan on making extended vacations in that little paradise.

4. “Full House” was one of my favorite shows as a kid. Now, our family structure is very similar and it’s awesome!

5. I’m NOT a picky eater. The only things I don’t like are hominy, figs, and a few other things I can’t remember at the moment.

6. I never ever thought I’d tandem nurse OR nurse a three-year-old, but here I am!

7. I love the ocean and feel claustrophobic when I’m not near the coast.

8. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything fantasy.  Comic books, Harry Potter, LOTR, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, etc.  Did I mention Harry Potter?

9. My favorite women at the moment are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling.

10. Even though I got married and had kids while in school, I’ve never “dropped out”. I always kept going even when it was hard. I like to think that maybe that determination can make an impression on them. My degrees weren’t even really for professional gain either. I just love to learn and explore educational opportunities.

11. A goal of mine is to trek through the Himalayas. Nepal and Tibet are enigmatic. I need to go.

12. I can’t walk into a Michaels, Joann’s, or Hobby Lobby without trying to clear all the shelves. I almost always end up spending money!

13. Other career options that I’ve considered or would be in another life: interior designer, architect, city planner, philosopher, professor, and doctor!

14. I’m always critiquing shit.  Like, not in a negative way, more of in an organizational way. It’s hard to explain my thought process.

15. I love all colors, but I’m drawn towards aqua, turquoise, teal, periwinkle, and indigo.

16. Random unnecessary electronics and gadgets fascinate me. That was one of my favorite parts of Japan. They’re everywhere. And silly commercials.

17. I’ve never been ice skating.

18. I want a Dyson just because the man’s voice is soothing. Oh, and they’re awesome!

19. I love the dentist and getting my teeth cleaned.

20. Looking at the stars, reading physics & astronomy, and viewing photographs of space soothe me.

…And a pinch to grow an inch.

21. I worry my children won’t get along with each other as they grow older.

It’s one of my worst fears. I want them to appreciate and love each other and their respective families. I want to be involved in their (and their family’s) lives, especially future grandbabies. (Yea, already planning that far ahead!) I want them to know I respect them and love them and am happy to be their parent, confidant, and friend.

Thank you for letting me share with you! We enjoy working with families and getting to know them. We thought what a nice way to let our community know a little more about us. Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog as well as Madeleine’s blog to learn a little more about them!

Happy birth and parenting!

~Heather Horrell

20 Random Facts about Elizabeth Luke

Totally Random Facts | Fun Doulas in Jax FL

20 Random Facts about Elizabeth Luke

As professional doulas we spend a good bit of time getting to know families we work with. In honor of World Doula Week, we thought it would be fun to share some totally random facts about our doulas with all of you!

This week we are featuring Elizabeth Luke. Most of you know Elizabeth as the owner of The Jax Baby Company, but here are some things you probably don’t know about her:

1. Some of my bucket list items include: visit a legit nude beach (nude of course), wedding crash (but only for fun, nothing destructive or hurtful), complete a section hike of the Appalachian Trail (working on that), convert a school bus into a tiny house and travel for one year!

2. I love to float it’s super relaxing!

Free-float! That would be floating without the use of a floatation device. Also known to some as therapeutic floating. Sometimes I meditate while floating and I’ve been known to fall asleep while floating. My absolute favorite place to float is Ichetucknee Springs.

3. I enjoy a wide variety of music.

Some of my favorite artists include Jewel, Dido, Pink, Sublime, Linkin Park, Tool, AC/DC, Metallica, Elton John, and Garth Brooks. My sympathetic nervous system is especially sensitive to music. Sometimes I get goosebumps, cry, or both.

4. My favorite color is green. Purple and indigo are right behind green!

5. I can touch my nose with my tongue, but not my tongue to my elbow, lol!

6. My Zodiac sign is Cancer and I really can’t imagine ever living in a place where I am not close to water!

7. Born and raised in the south, but the only tea I like is kombucha. #truth

8. Two places I want to visit are Alaska and Ireland. I want to see castles, countryside, and the northern lights!

9. My favorite dessert is cheesecake with just about any good topping. I’m really not a picky eater!

10. I was once a beekeeper and LOVED it!

11. I own less than 10 pairs of shoes. Yes, total!

12. One instrument I would love to learn to play is a guitar.

13. Elizabeth loves deep sea fishing with her husband, garlic, and lavender. Not necessarily together!

14. Elizabeth once saran-wrapped one of her teenagers to his mattress (no names shared) when he was asleep on the floor!

Mommy Dearest? No! Practical jokester? Absolutely!

He had company over and put his mattress on the floor in the living room. When he passed out first she and her accomplices wrapped him from the chest to the feet. Good times! They laughed extensively. He awoke to go to the bathroom and what happens next she swore she’d never tell!

15. I thoroughly enjoy cooking!

16. Eggplant parmesan and porterhouse steak on the grill are my specialties.

17. What her 35-year-old self would tell her 15-year-old self:

Enjoy your youth, slow down. Be nicer to your mother. Learn to love yourself first. Always trust your intuition! Start a daily exercise routine and eat better! Laugh every chance you get, especially at yourself! Learn to say no with confidence, without apology, and without explanation.

18. I was almost named Sarah.

19. I’ve only flown once in my life!

20. When I was about 10 years old I competed in a biscuit eating contest and won!

Our lives are so uniquely us! It’s not what happens to us, but how we decide to handle what we’ve been dealt that matters. Smile! Laugh! And most of all be true to you! We would LOVE to learn some totally random facts about you. Feel free to share in the comment section.

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke