Empowered Birthing, Doulas, Women’s Business & The Role of Men in Birth | Nadine Richardson #023

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About Nadine Richardson

Nadine Richardson​, mother, yoga teacher, doula, speaker, creator and founder of the world’s only scientifically verified childbirth education program, She Births® and host of ​The She Births® Show​ (Podcast & YouTube).

Over the last 20 years Nadine has become an expert in childbirth, pregnancy and prenatal yoga. She is an inspiration to all parents, female entrepreneurs and those passionate about making birth better. She knows that together we can shift the cultural meme of birth from a medicalised traumatic event​ to something so much better.

“My role is to awaken people to their birthing potential. Through our innovative education every family can create not only a more normal birth but also a beautiful birth; bonding, enriching and empowering, the perfect start for every family.”
~ Nadine Richardson

It is Nadine’s mission to take the fear out of childbirth and help couples continue the joy of pregnancy right through their labour and into early parenting. By helping women connect to, and trust their bodies while also equipping partners to not only provide effective support but become an active participant in the journey we shift the locus of control. Discovering that we have agency and our choices are critical to individual birth satisfaction shifts the way we see ourselves and our role on the planet.


In This Episode We Discuss

What is a Doula

An ancient service of women helping women through birth.

“Doula” in latin = to serve.

They play a significant role assisting women through the psychosomatic experience of birth.

The Role of an Obstetrician

"Obstetrician" in Latin means "To Observe."

They should be there to intervene if more advanced medical interventions are required. Which in Australia is 10-20% of woman at high health risk.

Midwife in latin = “Be with woman.”

Midwife does the safety and vital checks - heart beat, blood pressure etc. But unfortunately they don’t get to “be with woman” as much, as they are more doing paper work. 

0.6% birth in Australia are home births.

Why every single woman should do a doula training.

It is the primal role of woman. Assisting at births is an important rite for one’s womanhood, femininity and fulfilment.

Having a Doula present at birth is the best intervention a woman can have to reduce C-Section rates.

The Role of the Partner (Mostly Men) In Birth

Have we placed to much expectations on male partners? 

Are men actually fit for the job of assisting a birthing experience? Let alone asked to be the primary! support person in an experience they have no knowledge of, what so ever!

Traditionally, birth has always been womens business. Men should not go anywhere near that.

It is criminal to send anyone in a birthing room without good education and preparation. 

C-Sections

30% C-Section rate in most western countries.

Aus has some of the higher C-section rates in the world, at 32% in public hospital.

47% in private hospitals! - nearly 1 in 2.

Causes for increasing C-section rates:

  • Over-managing low risk people.
  • Litigations.
  • Money.
  • Schedules - “Doctor Dinner: wants to shorten his day at work and get home for dinner”
  • Culture, fear and control amongst the woman.

Why you want a vaginal delivery over C-section:

  • When a baby is born via C-section they have a significant reduction in microbiome.
  • Babies born via C-section are more likely to have life-long asthma.
  • Babies born via C-section are less likely to continue breast milk.
  • Babies born via C-section are linked to increases in austism.
  • Babies born via C-section are correlated with lower IQ.
  • The recovery and “bounce back” of a mother is significantly better with vaginal delivery than a 6 week recovery from major abdominal surgery.
  • Woman who endure C-sections and more likely to get a hysterectomy in the future.

Knowing that you can make a beautiful birth no matter what unfolds (e.g. C-section, epidurals) is really critical to less fear for everybody.

C-sections are still a monumental birthing experience and we can make it beautiful with birth education programs like She Births.

"You cannot put your faith all the time in one system. If you go into these systems without education, you will get funnelled down a conveyer belt, and that is where we get great amounts of intervention and dissatisfaction. Education is key to empowerment."
~ Nadine Richardson
"You need to be open minded and have a little element of belief that birth can be something different to the medicalised traumatic event that has been showed to you on television."
~ Nadine Richardson

The post-natal hormonal orchestra that floods the mothers brain

  • 200-400x more oxytocin than the best sex orgasm.
  • Beta endorphins flood the neo-cortex which shut down the analytical mind. These are also opiates and allows the woman to transcend in between contractions and go through this extraordinary ego dissolution. 
  • Adrenaline comes at the end of labour to deliver the baby.

The Brain-Uterus Connection

Via the Ferguson reflex - a positive feedback loop between uterus and brain.

  1. Baby’s head stretches cervix and feedbacks on pituitary.
  2. Pituitary secretes oxytocin into blood and travel down to uterine muscle via specific nerve pathways. 
  3. Oxytocin stimulates the uterus to further contract of the muscles in the wall of the uterus and pushes the baby down, the cervix stretches further. oxytocin is released from the brain back into the body and goes back to the uterus for more stimulation, , cervix stretches etc. 

The Vagina as the Seat as Consciousness

Active Birthing and why a woman should not be lying on her back during labour.

  • Squatting, on all fours, standing, whatever is comfortable for the woman.
  • Upright and active. Gravity. Shorter labour. Nishkarma yoga - do less and achieve the most. 
  • Don’t ask a woman to lie supine - this is dangerous, damaging to the pelvic floor. They have to go up a U bend. It’s a miracle they can go out. 
  • All fours are the best.
  • Mother should be dancing, move bum.

She Births: The Better Birthing Method

  • 65% reduction of epidural rates
  • 44% reduction of c-section rates
  • 53% reduction in resuscitation of babies.
  • 32mis shorter (2nd stage) labour.

The clinical trial from the prestigious British Medical Journal of Medicine. 

“Our mission is to restore the sanctity of birth, build stronger families and hand the power of birth back to every woman.”
~ Nadine Richardson

The curriculum is based on three pillars; Knowledge, Inner Strength and Outer Support.
She Births® combines evidence-based and holistic techniques for a better and safer birth experience – including active birthing, yoga, massage, acupressure, breathing, relaxation and effective partner support.

She Births® provides a comprehensive toolkit of skills for mum and partner, empowering mums to have better births and enabling partners to provide effective support. Utilising a unique philosophy the course prepares couples for every birth scenario enabling them to create a beautiful birth experience, no matter what unfolds.

She Births® is available as a ​Weekend Course or an ​Online Program via App – making it accessible across the world.

More than 8,000 expectant parents have completed She Births® from all around the world.

The Essential Post-Natal Support Network

Beyond nannies and baby sitters. The importance of immediate family. 

Soul Mama Circles - Real support and connection amongst new mothers.

The importance for women to share their birth story at least 8-10 times in a sacred space.

Post Natal Care Regimen

Ayurveda Post Natal Care Plan

  • The important to rest after birth - simple and sacred - “40 days or rest for 40 years energy.”
  • Post natal herbs to balance vata and erratic hormones post birth.
  • The fourth trimester.

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan

article updated April 2021.

The initial 40 days+ after delivery is of immense importance. Both mother and the baby need special attention and care. Ayurveda explains in great detail methods for mother care and baby up-bringing at this vital postpartum time which determines the future health of the newly arrived guest. Here is a detailed post natal care plan.

Immediate Vata and Hormonal Imbalance

After birth, the mother’s hormones are usually erratic. Vata, which governs the nervous system and movement (movement of body fluids, neurotransmitters, hormones, blood and lymph circulation, elimination of wastes) in the body immensely increases. This is because all of a sudden after womb evacuation a vacuum of space has manifested (vata is predominately space). 

Mum needs deep rejuvenation & strength to provide the baby with much required immunity, strength, pure and nutritious breast milk and of course, love.

To help mothers achieve optimal physical, metal and emotional health, we have formulated a post-natal care plan that starts after birth and can continue until the baby becomes a young child.

This post-natal care plan is detailed. Choose which aspects you want to implement, but note the essential recommendations.

One can start this post natal care plan at anytime along the journey. 

Immediate Post Delivery Procedures

In order after baby exits the womb:

Umbilical Cord Procedure

Leave the cord intact till it stops pulsating or delay the cord clamping.
Most hospitals prematurely cut the umbilical cord. This causes a loss of blood. Cord-blood is especially rich in containing precious Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These stem cells are responsible for maintaining blood production throughout our lives.

Science studies have confirmed the validity of delayed cord-clamping.

One study show that when cord-clamping was delayed for just 5 minutes the blood volume increased by a massive 61% from 78 ml/kg (blood volume at moment of birth) to 126 ml/kg. This placental transfusion amounted to 166 ml for a 3.500 kg infant, one-quarter of which occurred in the first 15 seconds, and one-half within 60 seconds of birth.

So even if you aren't the kind to "Lotus Birth" and wait until the cord naturally drops off, consider delaying cord clamping for at least 5 minutes.

1. Ayurvedic Immunisation Program

Pusya Drops: Essential herbal drops to boost the immunity and build the tissues of babies and children. Precious and potent formula of rare herbs. Can be given until the child’s teenage years.

or give Swarna Prasa: Honey and Gold purified ash (swarna bhasma) is prepared and processed in a highly complex method using high-quality ingredients.

(Pusya drops are a superior choice).

To administer: Mum or dad dab their right finger in a little swarna prasa and put it in babies mouth or give drops of Pusya drops in the mouth.

Time to administer: This is given to the baby after being born to imbue immunity actively through the senses. It can be given 3x on the first day.
Then this immunisation may be continually be administered once a month according to astrology on pusyami naksatra (constellation).

The amount of swarna bhasma used in each dose for swarna prasa is 1 pinhead of the gold ash.

Learn more here.

2. Breastfeeding

First right breast, then left. Within 1-4 hours or ideally less.

3. Oil Massage

Massage the baby from head to toe with oil. Leave oil on for approx. 45 mins before bath.
Oils used: Vital Veda Baby Abhyanga Oil, cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut or olive oil.
Check out our free Self-Massage Poster to get an idea of how to give baby massage.

4. Bath

Bath (luke warm) and baby abhyanga (oil massage) are the two most important rituals for the baby as they are growing up.

5. Baby Mantra

Parents whisper a mantra (primordial sound) into the baby's ear to induct the baby into the world. This primordial sound is familiar to the baby to ensure "don't worry, you have arrived into a vedic family, you will be enlightened, we will give you knowledge for enlightenment. Relax, you can be a baby now."

Get your baby mantra from a Vedic Meditation teacher.

Optional Gold Ornamentation: Put gold ring on the right ear, then on left and then chant the baby mantra.

6. Wrap Baby

After the baby has finished bath, wrap baby in silk or muslin cloth completely. Especially cover ears. Only expose the eyes and nose.

Holding The Baby

According to the aboriginal culture, similar to the Ayurvedic view,  the newborn is always held close to the mother's heart to promote belonging. This prevents blueprinting anxiety on the child which can occur after taking the baby away from the mother like in some hospital circumstances.
According to aboriginal culture, the newborn stays "glued" to the mother for a few days, and only after then does mum introduce the newborn to the immediate family for it to smell, hear and feel it's intimate family.

Herbal Support

Balant Kadha (Herbal Drink)

A particular fermented herbal preperation (asava) called Balant Kadha is taken once by mum for thirty days to balance the vata, hormones and more.

This tonic relives weakness, body ache, constipation and cough. Increases appetite, energy, strength and nutritious milk. Tones up blood circulation and helps for the formation of new blood cells.

Time to take: This decoction is ideally taken the day of or the day after giving birth. Even if mum missed that (ie. is reading this article post-delivery), this herb is still highly beneficial and can performs similar action if started up until the baby is 6 months old. This is probably the most important and crucial herb.

Dose:
Day 1-10: BK1 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Day 11-20: BK2 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Day 21-32: BK3 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Finish.

Read more about / buy Balant Kadha here.

If still after taking Balant Kadha more Vata reducing is to be done (to be assessed by practitioner or doctor), mum may take 5tsp of Dasmula Arista 2x/day after meals.

Gallakol Lactation Tablets

Increases lactation and purifies breast milk.

This herbal nutritive tonic can be taken by the mother even if breast milk is slightly not 100%, thus good to have on you incase.

Dosage: 2 tabs 2-4x /day before meals or as needed.

Check out our Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Vital Veda's Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Post Natal Care (continued)

7. First 11 Days

For next 11 days you need to be extra careful. Emulate the womb environment as the baby transitions into the world.

You can give baby oil massage and bathe gently.
No oil massage for mother unless she is doing very well. Need to monitor mum - how much blood or fluids are discharging from vagina? This will determine when she can start abhyanga. Mum may start after 21 days. After 3 months if c-section.
After the 11th day daily baby-massage is essential.

8. Skin Paste for Baby Girls

Skin Paste: Channa flour, turmeric + perfumery herbs (sandalwood, rose, usheera). Everyday after massage, before bath. Leave skin paste on for at least for 15-20 mins. To remove toxins and prevent body hair growth.

9. Clothes

For the first 21 days, new born wears clothes of other babies that have good karma.

10. Intimacy Between Mum and Baby

For 7-13 days, mum and baby should be alone in the room. Only people who are serving and helping can enter. This is to develop a profound intimacy, trust and prevent anxiety.

For the first 40 days, mum and baby continue this and hardly go out of the house. They should remain cocooned and protected in their room. Only people who are very close, who are serving and who have bathed and are pure can visit.

Co-Sleeping - Sleep close with the baby in the same bed, even till they are 4 years old to a young teenager. This helps prevent anxiety and promotes a significant bond.

11. Naming Ceremony

Done on the 21st day (Nama Karana).

12. Piercing Ears

Piece ears on the 21st day, 40th day, 3rd or 5th year for females along with puja.

13. Shaving Head (Mudhana)

Shave head to improve circulation in the head and to increase hair. Done for both genders before 1 year of age, approximately at 11 months old.

14. Ayurvedic Immunisation (continued)

Once finished the swarna prasa, you can administer Raju Pusyami Drops to the baby once a month until young teenage years.

Post-Natal Diet for Mum

  • The two most important foods for mum to balance the vata are ghee and garlic.
  • Purify Garlic - remove inner green sprout and fry in ghee, then use in cooking.
  • Ojas increasing foods like hot milk, dates, coconut, warmed cooked fresh foods.
  • Cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Ajwain seeds if C-section occurred.
  • Avoid pulses and legumes until umbilical cord is fully cut, and until C-section wound is healed.
  • Avoid potato and eggplant early on in post natal.

Lactation Increasing Foods

  • Fenugreek, jaggery laddhus, wheat (oats), grapes/grape juice.
  • Fenugreek tea - 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, soak overnight (always soak fenugreek). Next morning boil in 2 cups of water, reduce to half and drink. - Improves child's immunity, quality of breast milk and pancreas. Drink tea 3x a day.

 

Baby Food Introduction

Introducing food to a baby is essential to develop a balanced digestion and diet of the future. We teach how to adjust the tastes provided to prevent digestion disorders, cravings and intolerances from developing. Introduce at 5 months and 5 days or 6 months and 6 days.

Baby food introduction plan coming soon.

C-Section Procedures

  • All similar. Essential to take Balant Kadha. 
  • Hug skin-to-skin contact to regulate breathing, blood sugar, heart rate, and to exchange micro-biome.
  • Vaginal Swab - swab mum’s vagina and place in babies mouth or place on nipples for baby to suck and get micro-biome.
  • Sew up mum while she is doing all these things.
  • Avoid Parisheks for mum.
  • Supplements may be required to replenish vitamins and minerals.

Disclaimer: All these information is just for information. Consult your doctor before trying any of these.

  • For more information and tips pre, during and post pregnancy contact us.
  • These herbs have no known drug interaction.
  • These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.