In this episode, we’re going to be talking about early pushing. It’s a topic I’ve been eager to discuss for a while because it ties into the broader subject of posterior births.

Posterior births are often surrounded by unnecessary fear and misconceptions, and I want to shed some light on this natural variation of childbirth.

The Focus on Trusting Women’s Bodies

I feel there is too much emphasis on the mechanics of birth in the birth world, especially from those selling courses and services to women. There’s not enough trust in women’s bodies.

As someone who spends a fair time listening to women’s stories in the homebirth space, I hear women birth their babies with minimal trouble the majority of the time. Most women, however, birth in hospital settings where they encounter various challenges.

You can listen to this episode using the player below, or using your favourite platform to subscribe and listen there.

Investing in Midwives and Self-Trust

Many women, including those planning homebirths, invest time, money, and energy into their midwives and birth plans.

While this is important, I believe the most crucial investment should be in ourselves—our intuition, self-trust, and self-belief. Birth is as much a mental journey as it is a physical one.

 

The Birth Space and Unnecessary Interventions

The birth space is full of new methods and tools aimed at helping women, but these often imply that something is wrong with their bodies.

The focus should shift towards self-belief and trusting the natural process. Birth interventions, while sometimes helpful, can undermine a woman’s belief in her own body.

 

Posterior Births and Early Pushing

Early pushing usually occurs in posterior births, a normal variation according to birth educators and experts like Rachel Reed.

However, there’s a lot of undue concern about posterior births needing to be “fixed”. Many birth courses and practices focus on ensuring optimal baby positioning, but this can create unnecessary fear and self-doubt in women.

You can listen to know more about Posterior Births in this episode here.

 

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10 hours of “early pushing” in freebirth

During my freebirth, I experienced early pushing for about 10 hours because my baby was posterior.

My body knew what it was doing, pushing my baby down and around. Despite a longer labour, I wouldn’t change a thing. It taught me resilience and the incredible capability of my body.

 

Embracing the Birth Journey

We should celebrate all birth experiences, even the challenging ones. Long or intense labours can leave women feeling empowered.

Birth is supposed to be labourious, hence the term “labour”. It’s not always pain-free, but enduring and overcoming these challenges is part of the journey.

 

The Misconception of Quick Births

There’s too much focus on achieving quick births. While lengthy labours can be exhausting, they can also be deeply rewarding.

Working through the pain and discomfort can build incredible resilience and a sense of accomplishment.

 

Normalising Different Birth Experiences

It’s important to normalise the wide range of birth experiences, including those that deviate from the textbook descriptions.

For instance, my labours start intensely and don’t follow the common early labour patterns. Each birth is unique and valid.

 

The Role of Birth Teams

Your birth team’s mindset is crucial. Ensure they understand and support the normal variations in birth, such as posterior births. Educate yourself and your team to avoid unnecessary interventions driven by misconceptions.

Have conversations and talk to them about what they have witnessed when it comes to posterior births, early pushing and try and understand how they would treat your body if your baby is posterior.

 

Conclusion

Posterior births and early pushing are natural variations, not problems to be fixed. Trust in your body and its capabilities.

Prepare mentally and emotionally for the journey of birth, knowing that your body knows what to do.

 

Ashley is on a mission to raise the rates of women having vaginal birth after Caesarean worldwide and empower women planning VBACs and HBACS.(Homebirth after Caesarean).

As a dedicated birth coach and mentor, Ashley works intimately with pregnant women, guiding them through the journey of overcoming fear and mindset challenges associated with VBACs and HBACS.

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