Labor  Blog Posts

Labor Pain Management: Using a TENS Unit

If you are planning to have a natural delivery without pain medications, you are probably researching all the natural pain reliefs you can find. Maybe you’ve used a TENS unit before your pregnancy to help with various aches and pains or maybe you’ve never heard of one before now. Maybe you never even considered that a TENS unit could be used for labor.

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I Want Relief But I Don’t Want an Epidural

We have this great option for pain management in childbirth here in Nashville that is coming back in popularity: nitrous oxide. This isn’t your dentist’s nitrous oxide, but a combination of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. It won’t completely numb you like an epidural will, but is often described as “taking the edge off.”

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Natural Interventions Are Still Interventions

Many people believe that because something is natural, it is somehow better or safer than the medical alternative. At the end of pregnancy, a lot of people start turning to Google to ask, ‘how do I get labor started naturally?’ and ‘how can I increase my contractions naturally?’

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Non-Judgmental Childbirth Education in Nashville

As doulas, we often stress the importance of non-judgmental, unbiased support, but when it comes to childbirth education options, they are often sprinkled with judgmental undertones about birth and parenting, particularly when someone is wanting to have a birth or parenting experience that isn’t considered ‘natural.’ Many classes are notorious for inciting fear in tools commonly used in birth, provoking distrust in medical providers, and pushing personal agendas about parenting decisions such as epidurals, vaccinations, and circumcision.

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Ask the Expert: Nitrous Oxide with Michelle Collins

Is nitrous oxide an option for you to use in labor? We are happy to say that in Nashville, it is!

We were recently invited to an event with the Vanderbilt Midwives in which we were given a presentation on nitrous oxide from Michelle Collins PhD, CNM, FACNM, and Vanderbilt’s nitrous expert. She presents nationally on nitrous, has published widely on the topic, and is also the Director of Vanderbilt’s Nurse-Midwifery education program. We were so lucky to hear her speak, and are very pleased to be able to share some of what we learned with you.

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What’s On Your Birth Playlist?

Music is a powerful tool. It can help you feel familiar and comforted during the labor and delivery process.  Music we love can make all the difference to keep us feeling positive and capable as we move through the births of our babies.

Are you unsure where to begin?  Think about what kind of music soothes you, what makes you feel powerful and determined, what music do you associate with being loved and cared for?  We recommend compiling lots of options to suit varied moods.  Labor can last a long time!

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Birth Junkie

I am not a morning person by any means and am someone who normally requires 8 hours of sleep per night to be functional. When I get the call at 4:00 in the morning that a client is ready for me to join them during their labor, I am instantly awake and feel as though I got my full 8 hours of sleep, even if I only got 4 hours. Adrenaline and noradrenaline kick in to create readiness and to slow digestion, which is helpful because, as a birth worker, we don’t get many breaks to stop and eat.

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What If I Poop?

“What if I poop?”

It’s asked with utmost concern.

If you poop, you will be among the many fabulous women who, bless them, pooped while working their darndest to get their babies into this world. Yes, often people poop while pushing.

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6 Tips For Natural Birth

Throughout my years as a doula, I have had clients give birth in many different ways.

  • Totally un-medicated vaginal birth at home, birth center, and hospital – in water and in bed
  • Inductions in the hospital with and without pain relief
  • Planned and unplanned epidural in the hospital
  • Planned and unplanned cesareans in the hospital

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