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The Ten Month Mama Page

Compiled by Jasmine Smythe

BirthLove Members access this page here.

My Ten Month Baby Jared at about 4 months old (he was born at 46 weeks gestation at home).

Ten month pregnancies can be tiring and eroding, but for some women- it is simply how long we are intended to gestate.

Think of it this way: I was 11 when I got my first period; my best friend was 13. We "ripened" at different ages. People ripen prenatally at different ages, too: some women take as long as 46 weeks before their babies are ready to come out. (Women like me.)

In healthy, well-fed women long pregnancies don't lead to brain damaged, nutrient-starved babies! It's actually the opposite: my own "late" babies- my 6th and 7th children- are bright, precocious, healthy, darling, uniquely gifted in language- it would have been unthinkable to steal away their precious pregnancy time for my own convenience, or to follow some ridiculous, arbitrary medical timetable. (It would have been equally unthinkable to "naturally induce"- an oxymoron if there ever was one.)

And even though these babies were my biggest (10.8 lbs and 12.6 lbs respectively), their births were my least painful, most straightforward, and quickest: my body had lots of time to soften and prepare for birth, and when my time came, I was ready (as were my babies).

My Ten Month Baby Nathan at 3 years old (he was born at 44 weeks gestation at home).

It is normal, natural and healthy to be a Ten Month Mama. (I myself am a child born when my mother was ten months pregnant!) I will always deeply regret once believing otherwise- and allowing four of my five hospital-borne children to be taken from me by induction drugs and manipulations before their true birthing times came. (The only child who was not induced was removed by cesaran section.)

My Ten Month Babies together in a box... (3 1/2 and 1 1/2) To see more pictures of Jared and Nathan, go here.


On this page (click to go to the desired section):

Also see: Induction Dangers


ten month baby Zella

Poems, Birth Stories and Pregnancy Journals

Jasmine Smythe's Ten Month Mama Stories

  • Rape of the Twentieth Century -this includes the story of my sixth child's ten month pregnancy. (Learning to trust my body before his birth was the trial of my life- and an act of faith that changed my life forever.)
  • It Hurts to be a Ten Month Mama- written in my 7th's child laaaaaate pregnancy- at about 44 weeks.
  • I'm Proud to be a Ten Month Mama Ten month pregnancies are to be celebrated! Inducing birth is like destroying an ancient forest: a crass, petty manipulation of Nature's beauty and resources that will haunt humanity forever. This was written when my seventh baby was about six weeks old.
  • Jared Christopher Smythe A page my husband created just hours after our 7th child's birth. (Women: know that if your partners assume their full places in the birth experience, they will become better fathers.)
  • This One's For the Babies This is the title of my 7th child's birth story. It discusses not only what happened in his birth, but how his 46 week, unassisted homebirth actually saved his life.

Poppy and Fiery (below)

Ten Month Mama Unassisted Vaginal Birth After Two Cesareans, by Poppy! Inspirational and powerful, this includes photos, as well as commentary by Poppy's partner.

Chandler's Birth Story Kymberli's fifth baby is born blissfully and unassisted at home in the water. Kymberli was 26 days "overdue"! (Way to go ten month mama Kymberli!)

Nykki's Birth Story Erin's first baby was born at 46 weeks gestation at home with her midwife attending. Way to go Erin!!! Erin had felt discouraged at how slowly everything seemed to be going, but the speed of her birth accelerated when her cervix was 5cm dilated.

The Arrival (at last!) Of Tabitha Cerys King Tabitha was born at 43 1/2 weeks at home in England; her birth was beautifully emotional for Joanne- she was so happy to have a little girl. Noteworthy: Joanne refused hospital induction on the grounds that an induction would lead to more complications than waiting it out, and that she "fibbed"- to great result- about her due date to her midwives.

Ten month baby genius

"My first child was due Oct 1, and I did not have him until Oct. 31. He is a gifted child, teaching himself walk at seven months and to read at two, and scoring in the 99th percentile on intelligence tests. Recently I have heard stories that premature babies are developmentally benign and never do fully catch up. I was so shocked when my hours-old newborn I was holding lifted up his own head and learned back to look at me! Just a theory!!!

"The only thing about the pregnancy was it was long. I had a rupture in my water at 7 months. It was a tear on top so only a little spilled out, but after that my doc had me come in once a week for three months because they thought the delivery could be anytime. Then my sister who was due two weeks after me gave birth, that was the hardest part after thinking he would come early, watching my sister with her baby. I was beginning to get depressed!! I was scheduled to have a stress test (to see how the baby was doing) and whether they were going to induce or not, but I delivered a couple days before the test. The labor was about 24 hours (first baby.) I did have pitocin a few hours into labor, and had my waters broken (after the preterm leaking!). It was a normal delivery.

"The only thing that was a little unusual about going a month past my delivery date was the pediatrician remarked that the baby looked like he had been in the womb about two weeks too long. He had sheets of skin peeling off because he had lost his protective, water-resistant coating and had been soaking in water all that time. Other than that, the Apgar score was very high and he was a very strong baby." -Janine Krehbiel

A Family of Ten Month Mamas

"I was born at forty-two weeks gestation, and my sister was born at forty-five weeks. My sister is three years younger than me; my mum actually had a wonderful doctor in the United Kingdom (!!!!) who despite all pressure from his peers allowed her to go as long as she needed to. My mother told me that her mother had long pregnancies too.

"I was induced in my own child's birth much against my better judgement and it ended up in a... surprise surprise... elective caesarean section. One of the things I will be making clear to the midwives who attend my next pregnancy (if I am lucky enough to have one :)) is that I am fully expecting to go beyond the 'accepted' term and that I will not be induced under any circumstances other than severe danger to the baby or myself. I am absolutely POSITIVE that if I had been left another week my son would have come out quite happily on his own. Never mind :) There is always a next time :)" -Ana Hughes

Three Strong Moms

"The young, first time mom in the middle, Julia, 17, went 43 weeks, and 4 days. She had a 30 hour labor, and 2 1æ2 hours of pushing. She gave birth without a midwife helping her. She is quite proud of herself, and now has a lot of self confidence. She also helped the mom who came over to her mother's house, and Julia, and her mother took care of the birthing mom on the right. I call them 'Three Strong Moms'." -Jerry Whiting, Tijuana, Mexico

Waiting

Dear Baby, here beneath my heart,
I thought that you might come today;
The timing seemed just right.

But the stars are out
And the moon is high
And sheepishly I wonder why
I try to arrange the plans
Of God.

For now I know
You will not come
Until the One who holds eternity
Rustles your soft cocoon
And whispers in tones that I will not hear,
"It's time, precious gift."

"Now it's time."

-by Robin Jones Gunn

Waiting for Scout Geoff writes about his family's first homebirth (he caught the baby!). According to the hospitals calculations, his partner was 44 weeks pregnant at the time of birth; according to theirs, she was 42 1/2 weeks. This includes how Geoff grew patience to "wait it out", and the needed power to keep the "inducers" at bay. This includes many photos.

"I have had 44 week, 43, 44, and 38 week gestations. Each baby was very healthy." -Dawn Cockrell

We Did it Alone! Darlene gave birth to her fifth child unassisted at home at 44 weeks gestation. external link

Ten Month Mama VBAC

"I had my son at exactly 44wks. Basheer was born on 2/18/02 at 2:09am. I was in labor for three days. I spent two of them at home, and on the third day I was so tired that the pain from the 'baby hugs' had me doubting myself. I don't think I knew what to expect during a natural birth. I would definitely like to learn more about long pregnancies and births so that next time I will be better prepared.

"When I got to the hospital, the one really cool midwife was there, and there was no pressure to do anything I didn't want to do. But eventually the evil midwife came on shift and I had to fight for my birth. I thwarted her diabolical plan for another c-section by going into the bathroom and had her under the impression that I was only going in to use the facility.

"I pushed my 9lb 8oz son's head out and the stupid midwife had me hobble over to a bed where the rest of my son slithered out effortlessly! No tears, shoulders fit fine, five pushes!" -Donna

Andrew's Birth Jenny gave birth unassisted at home after a healthy 45 week pregnancy. She encountered problems though when she took some black and blue cohosh to "get things going", on the poor advice of a chiropractor.

The Story of Kishkalena's Birth April gives birth three weeks past her "due date" unassisted at home with her husband and little son in attendance. A very honestly and sweetly told story.

Oak Loyer: The Birth of My Brother This moving story is told by the mother, the midwife, and the daughter, who was two when her brother was born at ten months gestation at home. Includes pictures.

The Story of Jill's First Birth Jill was 45 weeks pregnant when she gave birth to her first child. She had an induction, which led to a lot of pain- but she learned a lot from the experience. Note that Jill's doctor was uncommonly positive about "postdates", and that her ten month baby was very healthy.

Our Journey to Birth Freedom This birth story is so richly, spiritually told. Marcia Carlson had three needless cesareans, then four VBACs- one in the hospital (at 44 weeks pregnant and in a self-determined squat!), then three at home: her first was a homebirth with a midwife attending, then her last two babies were born unassisted. Note that her home-borne babies were "late" as well. A must-read.

Ella Mae's Birth Story This story is sweet and touching. Ella was born at 43 weeks gestation, in peace and beauty, unassisted at home. Note that she was 11 lbs at birth, and that her placeenta took three hours to be born.

Charlie's Birth Kiley's third child was born unassisted at home at 43 1/2 weeks gestation. (Kiley had two previous c-sections.)

"Late" Babies Augustine Josephs tells the stories of her two unassisted homebirths. She was weeks "overdue" with both babies, and had more pain and drama in her births (one a waterbirth) than she had counted on! She is sure she would have had sections for both births had she chosen to be in her local military hospital. Includes lovely photos.

Erica Johns' Birth Stories and Ten Month Mama Pregnancy Journal Erica talks about her thoughts and feelings in the tenth month of her fifth child's pregnancy; and then about the waterbirth that came at 45 weeks gestation. Note that this page includes the birth stories of her first four children.


Ten Month Baby Judah at 8 months old

Articles about Long Pregnancies

The Inducing Nightmare Ten Month Mama Erin Donnelly Sigman writes her heart out about the perils of being a Woman in today's world- everything from ingrained shame about our Vaginas to being coaxed into making our babies be born too soon. Says Erin about the choice that all mother have about birth:

 

"Your baby's birth is the most important event in the relationship the two of you will have. It will set the precedent for your entire lives together. Do you really want it to be one of fear, both on your part and your baby's? Do you want it to be a white, lab coat, drug induced nightmare or a soft relaxing, low lit, waking dream? Do you want to gaze into your baby's eyes and suckle him or her at your breast, or do you want to lie in a bed, your ankles in stirrups, drugged out of you mind, while your equally drugged baby is whisked off, isolated and treated for all the medical issues inducement caused? Do you want him or her to deal with those issues, those horrible subconscious memories for the rest of his or her life? Of course any mother would answer, "No! I want a beautiful birth and a healthy child!" So why aren't women being empowered? Why are babies being harmed and even killed, why are women's uteruses rupturing? Why, oh why on earth are we inducing?"

"Due Date" Blues A midwife writes about the challenges women in late pregnancy face, and the trustworthiness of women's bodies in deciding when babies should be born. Included: the story of a VBAC mom who gave birth at home "postdates".

A Look at Postdates Studies (and the fuzzy thinking that accompanies them!) Midwife Gail Hart looks at the bizarre thinking that fuels much of the current induction hysteria.

The Sweetest Month Ten Month Mama Kiley Myers writes about how her tenth month of pregnancy brought her and her husband closer together than they ever had been.

Calcifications of the Placenta: What Are They, Do They Matter? A "calcifying placenta" is frequently used as an excuse to pressure women into induction of labor after 41 weeks of pregnancy. But is this a reasonable excuse to induce?

Induced Labor and Informed Consent in Canada by Gail J. Dahl. This is the story of how one woman's hospital birth experience turned her from a real estate agent into a bestselling author and childbirth and midwifery activist. Includes mention of how there is no good proof at all that babies must be born at a certain time. A must-read!

Induction Dangers Chemical labor inductions are dangerous to both mother and child, and can lead to even more interventions.

Mothers Who Carry Longer Than Is Accepted Midwife Mary Ann Watson shares her wisdom and experiences about "post term" pregnancies. Note that she has attended women who have gone to 47 weeks pregnant- both women had radiant, healthy babies.


Tips for Ten Month Mamas

-by Jasmine Smythe and Gloria Lemay

  • AVOID SUGAR. This cannot be overstressed- sudden drastic peaks in maternal blood sugar can harm a baby. (I even know of one baby who died in utero after his mom, at 43 weeks with undiagnosed gestational diabetes, ate two ice cream sundaes). Drink no fruit juice either, and avoid the simple sugars found in refined foods, like white flour products.
  • Eat lots of high quality protein foods, and keep your blood iron levels high.
  • Eat lots of dark leafy greens for the nutrients, and to fight constipation.
  • No drugs!!! (Including alcohol and "natural herbals" that are smoked.)
  • Remember to exercise- swimming is best. Exercise has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes by HALF.
  • If you can't sleep, use that time to write, draw, paint, look at the night sky- connect with your creative and spiritual side.
  • Remember that the fruit that is taken before it is ripe is hard, bitter, and not able to bear seeds well that will propagate new life. Adding chemicals to ripen fruit leads to an inferior product as well. And when fruit is chemically treated to appear ripe, it tends to rot from the inside (right at the pit) outwards. This bizarre process is like how the effect of induction agents eat right through the posterior fornix of the cervix, causing back wall ruptures of the uterus.
  • Trust in your body, trust in your birth. Nature is brilliant; human minds are flawed.
  • Avoid people who give you fear "vibes"- even your mother.
  • Set your answering machine so your phone only rings once, and give updates in your message, if you like. DON'T PICK UP THE PHONE if you're feeling weak and sad inside- an invitation to callous people to start to hassle you!
  • Connect with other ten month mamas- we are few and far between with the current induction epidemic, but we do exist- and can offer great support to each other.
  • Rest if you want, walk if you want, eat if you want- do what feels right (as long as that doesn't involve chocolate bars).
  • Have lots of orgasms. They are relaxing, and wonderful for preparing your body for birth.
  • Some women like to drink red raspberry leaf tea (I never bother, personally.)
  • For most women, long pregnancies are safer and healthier than labor inductions- which carry far greater risks in and of themselves. If confronted by hostile people, tell them that labor inductions are dangerous, unproven, and put you and your baby at risk of a hazardous cascade of interventions- possibly leading to c-section. Also tell them that your baby is smart enough to pick her own birthday.
  • Remember that your body was smart enough to conceive, and then grow a child beautifully; it is also smart enough to know when it is the right time to give birth.

How can you tell your baby is doing well past 40 weeks of pregnancy?

Two ways.

  • One: heart rate- and you don't need a fetoscope. Have your partner put his ear to your lower belly with a toilet paper roll- let him move around from place to place to find a good spot. The baby's heart rate, if he is listening carefully and patiently, should be evident. 140-160 beats per minute is good.
  • Two: do the Cardiff fetal movement test. From 9am to 3pm count each of your baby's movements- there should be 10 movements at least in that time frame.


Quotes and Wisdom about Long Pregnancies

"Postdates" does not mean "postmature", and ensuring a good outcome

"Maternal weight loss is the key: it can tell us if the placenta is beginning to lose function (which causes the baby's rate of growth to slow, and the amniotic fluid to decrease. But as long as the baby is still gaining wieght, and there is plenty of amniotic fluid. then the kids can go a long time over dates. The little bit of weight a kid gains each week after 40 weeks isn't likely to be a factor on birth (rate of growth slows to about 4 - 6 oz a week after 39/40 weeks). A kid who is big at 41 is still going to be big at 43, and that little bit extra won't be a factor then- unless the fit was so tight it would have been a factor earlier. Only in the most rare case is 'size'- by itself- a factor in birth.

"But we need to watch kids after 43 weeks. The rate of stillbirth does start to rise- very slowly- after 43 weeks (NOT 'after forty' as some have been taught!). The rate rises more steeply with later dates- post 44, 45. We need to be watchful for signs of dysmaturity. The kid who has little amniotic fluid and is sort of 'shrink wrapped' in the womb may be in big big trouble within a few days, if not hours! He needs to get born! But most kids aren't like that. Most kids do great- and the calendar means nothing to them. Our job as midwives is to find the ones who are getting sick. I've had a good number of moms over the years go to 43 weeks- and a few over that- with no problems. I've also had the occasional kid who had GOOD dates and was on-time, yet looked like the baby we call 'post-dates' (clearly lost weight, little water and meconium stained).

"I think we should follow the lead of some texts which advocate using the term 'dysmature' for baby's who show that syndrome- because it can happen at any point, and the great majority of babies who are 'post-dates' are not 'post-mature' or 'dysmature'. The stats point out that less than 10% of babies at 43 completed weeks show any signs of 'post-maturity'."

Gail Hart, Midwife, Oregon
www.midwiferyeducation.org

Every Mom is different and has varied gestation cycles

"Most births that I attend end on their own from 40-42 weeks. I have done a few that were 43-44 weeks. In my opinion, let the Mom go unless there is a cause to intervene, besides the normal, 'I want to have my baby now'. : ) Remembering that two weeks either way of the 'estimated' due date is very normal. Then add that every Mom is different and has varied gestation cycles. Who are we to say in a normal healthy pregnancy: 'you need to have your baby now'? In most cases, it takes a lot of encouragement from me for the moms. As we all know, the last weeks and days feel like forever and when there was still no babe, moms would be very anxious (to have babe in arms). So, lots of encouraging words, lots of humor, and lots of patience!" -Jill Peck-Colin, CPM Las Vegas, NV

Prond Mama Apple Tree, letting her babies grow

"Babies really need to 'ripen' in their own way- regardless of whether that fits an arbitrary timetable or not.

"Imagine a tree filled with apples. Now we all know that some apples ripen early, many at the same time, some much later- we all know about how one apple will just stay on the tree for days and days- even weeks- after all the others have fallen off. I have personally waited for apples like that- and gently shaking the tree has no effect on getting them to come off. Whacking the apple with a stick would make it fall off... but the apple would not be at its most delectable. So- I wait, and my reward is a sweet, big, juicy apple.

"Well hitting the apple to get it off before its ripe time is like inducing a baby because of 'postdates'- making it be born just because other babies mature earlier. And I would rather get hit as a baby than be made to be born before my time, before my systems and brain have 'ripened' to what they need to be for my own optimal health and wellbeing. Induction is a grave insult to the baby.

"My own babies are like those apples that take so long to come off. I wait and I wait- and when the time is right, my babies come down to me- as perfect as their internal schedules dictate they should be. And, writing this in my tenth month of my tenth pregnancy, I'm proud to be that strong, healthy mama apple tree- and I will nourish my newest baby as long as he or she needs." -Jasmine Smythe, March, 2002

Lots of late babies in her practice

"I have a good number of late for dates babies every year and that I find a healthy, well-fed woman usually grows a baby longer, and that's not necessarily all bad. Women just need and want reassurance that it's OK. I've assisted women as late as 43 and 44 weeks at home with no repercussions, but I think it's a good idea to have a good score with a biophysical profile and/or non stress test. I have also seen women birth in hospitals on my L&D unit (years before my midwifery calling) birth that late both fine and not so fine, yet most did birth without a hitch. 

"Historically, I've heard of fine babies birthed at 10+ calendar months.  The Christian missionary Nora Lam from China birthed her son after being in a concentration camp years ago (verified by Chinese doctors at that time) at exactly 12 months. Apparently, it wasn't 'safe'for her to let go of her baby boy during her interment. Once she was allowed to leave, she successfully gave birth to him." -Lynda Sizemore CM, RM, Colorado

Meconium in postdates babies

"The philosophy that women should be induced to prevent having a baby with meconium in the amniotic fluid ignores the possibility that the induction causes the passing of meconium. I have seen a lot of late babies in my career. We seem to grow them big and late up here in the Pacific Northwest, just like the trees. I very seldom see meconium in the amniotic fluid of 42 week plus babies.

"I associate meconium in the amniotic fluid with smokers (dope or nicotine) in the few cases I do see. Every time a woman smokes a cigarette it has the effect that putting a pillow over the face of a little baby would have. When the baby is getting mature it can evacuate the bowel as a response to oxygen deprivation. You know the expression 'scared the s___ out of him' - when we're scared, smothered or choked we will poop or have diarrhea as a defense. When they used to hang prisoners by the neck, they knew that they would poop once the oxygen was cut off.

"The thing about meconium is that it's not really a problem. It's a wake-up sign for the practitioner to watch for distress but it's estimated (don't know by who) that only 10% of the time it is distress. The other 90% of the time it means nothing. So, to induce thinking you're going to prevent it is ridiculous." -Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC. For more about meconium, go here.

Babies mature at their own rate

"Some babies take longer to bake. Just think about babies' development after birth: there is great variation in when they reach certain milestones of growth, activity, achievement, etc. Why do we expect them to all mature at the same rate in utero?

"I have done a birth for a woman an absolutely-known conception date- she went 42 1/2 wks and had a term-looking baby, clear fluid, lots of vernix. I did a birth for a woman with twins this Spring- Baby #1 weighed 7 lbs and looked full-term. Baby #2 weighed 4 lbs12oz and looked about 35-36 wks. They were born at 39.1 wks. NO QUESTION about any of those conception dates/gestational ages." -Patrice Bobier, Midwife in Michigan

Letting births happen in their own time

"There is a sort of chemical ‘combination lock' that starts labor. Everything has to be lined up just right to ‘unlock' a good labor pattern. When we interfere with that, it can be as frustrating as using the wrong combination of numbers to open a locked safe." -Midwife Gail Hart, "The Birthkit", Autumn 2000

Should women be induced when they go "postdates"?

"Women in good health (non-smokers, with normal blood pressure, and no history of diabetes) are best left to have the baby by Nature's clock. There is no SAFE induction method." -Gloria Lemay, private birth attendant

Advice for women with long pregnancies

"With my last (my 7th) I was in prodomal labour for a good 6 weeks, and she came 4 weeks later than all the rest. She decided to come once I had given up watching and waiting for her. Let yourself relax and do stuff just for you, it may be the last time for quite a while. Enjoy those last little kicks and movements. I missed them almost right after the birth, and feel some regret for not enjoying the last days of pregnancy. It was probably my last." -Jamie

Lovely blossoms open when they're ready

"Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun, but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds, and forcing them to blossom to your time line. " -Gloria Lemay

From a doctor regarding postmature babies

"In the eight years when I practiced homebirths as a registered doctor, out of the 1,190 bookings I had 106 postmature babies (more than 42 weeks) of which three went to 48 weeks, a few more went to 46 weeks, and lots went to 44 weeks- and all these babies fared very well. Of those 106 babies, only one fitted the textbook description of postmaturity, looking like a little wrinkled old man with stained skin, but that baby was extremely alert, and insisted on looking around the room instead of suckling.

"What decided me to do no inductions for postmaturity was a very early mother in my homebirth series who refused induction despite my anxiety, went to 44 and a half weeks and gave birth to a chubby pink, strong healthy baby, with absolutely no sign of postmaturity. Babies mature at different rates, not exactly at 40 weeks, just as we adults do not become senile at seventy years." -John Stevenson, MD, "The Birthkit", Autumn 2000

Note that Dr. Stevenson also advises prospective parents to not tell family and friends exact "due dates", but to be vague, with "due seasons" to avoid being pestered by nervous well-wishers.

God Knows Babies

"I've come to realize that a God who is big enough to so perfectly form little eyes and ears and a little round nose and a heart and lungs and every single part of a little person is certainly big enough to work out the details of their coming into the world." -Vicki in Mars, PA

About castor oil inductions and impatient midwives

"Inducing with castor oil isn't safe. Once swallowed the castor oil is hydrolized by intestinal lipases to recinoleic acid which stimulates intestinal secretion, decreases glucose absorption and increases intestinal motility. Castor oil is used in lipsticks, too. Many women who can tolerate the oil quite well on their lips get a reaction on their mouths if the oil converts to recinoleic acid. My question to a midwife who says castor oil is not absorbed is 'Would you please provide me with references for that statement'.

"It's not so long ago that birthing women were given soap suds enemas (high, hot and a helluva lot) because someone started a rumour that soap was not absorbed through the colon. We know this is not true and that this black page in Obstetric history is best forgotten. Too many women have turned from saying 'My doctor says' to saying 'My midwife says'. Take responsibility for your and your family's health. It's fine to respect professionals but ask for references on everything you're not l00 % sure of and use your internet to scope things out. There is so much crap that passes for science without anyone questioning it.

"On the subject of all the women in a hurry to get their babies born: I was 3 weeks 'overdue' with my oldest daughter. What really helped me was that I had lunch with a friend at about 8 mos pregnancy. Her son had been born 6 months before. When she saw me walk in the restaurant all hugely pregnant she said 'Oh, Gloria, when I see you I miss my pregnancy so much'. I knew that one day I'd be saying that, too, so I made up my mind to enjoy it as long as poss. and I'm so glad I did. Six months from now you'll be wondering what the rush was. I worry about women taking castor oil because you also give your baby castor oil when you take it through the gut. This means the baby will get diarhea and pass mec, too. then you're into all the transports for mec.

"The other thing about self-inducing is that you end up with erratic labours that stop and start and are difficult to complete. I just attended a Coroner's inquest here into the death of a full term baby girl. The midwife stripped membranes and got the woman into labour but she had no urge to push. She was in second stage a long time and then her perineum wouldn't stretch. They cut an episiotomy to get the baby out. Baby had bleeding in the brain and only breathed on life support. Later, Mom's placenta had to be manually removed because it wouldn't come out. It seemed to me that this woman's body wasn't ready to give birth and that the membrane stripping caused an emergency response in her body that produced dilation but eventually wore off.

"Bottom line: be patient with your little babes and yourself." -Gloria Lemay

A cervix isn't made "ripe" by induction drugs or Foley catheters

"I recommend using caution with language and question the use of the word 'ripening' to describe the process of irritating the mother's body by inserting a foreign object. This should properly and descriptively be called 'Foley catheter invasion and irritation'. Prostaglandin gels applied to the cervix should be more honestly described as 'chemically altering the consistency of the cervix'. THERE IS NO RIPENING HAPPENING WITH EITHER OF THESE METHODS.

"Midwives have used the term ripening to describe a NATURAL process of the cervical changes of late pregnancy. We take a word from the plant kingdom because it is similar to the slow, harmonious process that happens to a plum as it turns from green and hard to darker and darker purple, soft, mushy and sweet. If one puts a whole bunch of plums in a box when they are green and hard and sprays them with chemicals, it is possible that in a few days they will look like dark purple ripe fruit. However, one taste will tell you that Nature had nothing to do with the end product.

"Let's not fool ourselves in birth either. This whole hospital induction thing has got to stop. Whatever area we work in we can call these invasions by their proper names- irritation and chemical altering. Lying about what's going on perpetuates the practice." -Gloria Lemay

***Note- for studies about induction dangers, go here. The studies show that labor induction leads to c-sections, shoulder dystocia, and instrumental deliveries.

The baby will say when it's time to be born

 

"Birth is more than a cervix opening and a uterus squeezing a baby out. It's more than the nuts and bolts mechanics of a baby exiting a vagina- there is such a complex dance of physiological, emotional, mental, and spiritual elements involved in birth. And when this balance is thrown off, distressing things begin to happen with the baby.

"When a baby chemically announces to her mother that it's time for the birth- and many people believe that the signal to begin the birth process comes from the baby- she does it when her body systems are strong, and ready to meet the extra-uterine world. She will not instigate the birth process when her lungs and digestive systems are still immature... and even a few days of maturity will make the difference for a baby's maturity and ableness to survive.

"It is the height of human arrogance to dictate birth- time, mode, speed- to a baby. They have their own needs and innate demands (as in length of birth process); there is no "one size fits all" in birth. It is crucial that this is respected- especially by mothers! We must learn to respect our babies at birth- the most important, crucial event of their lives. The events surrounding birth last a lifetime... as does the respect and dignity a mother learns to give her child." -Jasmine Smythe


Postdates References

Post-term pregnancy: what is the clinical evidence? Rachel Westfall discusses forty-nine references that illustrate amply that there is no definitive reason to universally induce for "postdates" (especially since on-time babies often have more signs of "postmaturity" than ten month babies do).

Meconium Isn't the Problem; Induction Is Midwife Gail Hart shows that even thick meconium isn't problematic for babies, provided that the meconium isn't a symptom of distress- and then problem is the distress, not the mec. Included: a large study that shows that postdates babies are no more likely to suffer meconium aspiration syndrome than on-time babies.

Detailed Paper about PostDates -excellent research from gentlbirth.org.

Postdates not associated in increased stilbirth, meconium, or fetal distress: study

"Here's a large study that deals with almost 2000 postdates women with confirmed dates, and compares them to over 2500 controls who are under 41 weeks. Note that incidence of stillbirth and meconium were no different in the groups, and that fetal distress was actually LOWER in the postdates group!" -Gail Hart, Midwife, Oregon

Expectant management of post-term patients: observations and outcome.

Weinstein D, Ezra Y, Picard R, Furman M, Elchalal U. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah University Hospital, Ein-Karem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Post-term pregnancy is associated with increased perinatal mortality. In a retrospective study based on our post-term protocol from 1990 until May 1995 1,798 post-term pregnant women with reliable dating were evaluated for expectant management. A group of 2,633 pregnant women who delivered between 37 and 41 weeks during 1994 served as a control group. The perinatal mortality (0.56 per 1,000 vs. 0.75 per 1,000 in the control group) was similar in both groups. The incidence of induction of labor (7.45% vs. 7% in the control group), meconium of more than +1 (5.2% vs. 4% in the control group), shoulder dystocia (0.33% vs. 0.19%), high birthweight (> 4,500 g) (1% vs. 1%), and cesarean section rates (7.5% vs. 7% in the control group) were similar. However the fetal distress rates (11.6% vs 16%; P = .004), instrumental deliveries (10.1% vs. 13%, P = .002), and the rate of 5-minute Apgar score of less then 7 (1.1% vs. 5%, P = .000001) were found to be significantly lower in the post-date group than in the control group. We conclude that the expectant management and our intensive observation and follow-up in post-term is indicated for both mother and fetus.

J Matern Fetal Med 1996 Sep-Oct;5(5):293-7

Gail Hart, Midwife
www.midwiferyeducation.org

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