The Business of Birth and Braxton-Hicks
I know, interesting blog title 😉 The Braxton-Hicks is in there because I had my first, unmistakable Braxton-Hicks contraction today. Braxton-Hicks are the so-called “practice contractions” that help your body get ready for labor and birth. Uterine exercises, so to speak.
They're pretty normal, but can sometimes be brought on by stress, dehydration, orgasms (or sexual stimulation), and nursing an older child. In general they're not a problem but if you get one while you're stressed out or get several of them in a pattern (they should be pretty random) , you should have a couple of glasses of water and take it easy.
I got one today because I was stressed to the hilt about life issues. The kind that make you wish you could just sleep while somebody else takes care of everything 🙁 Anyways, it was a sign for me that A. my uterus is functioning well, and B. I need to calm down. The later is a bit hard to do but I took some deep breaths and settled down. Sometimes life is tough. But I don't want the baby to feel a lot of stress so I worked to calm down.
The Business of Being Born
Now the other part of my title is because I watched the excellent documentary The Business of Being Born recently. I'll write a full review of it to go in my book and dvd reviews page. But I wanted to comment on it here because it was really, really well done.
I'd been meaning to watch it and had forgotten since there have been no screenings near me. A Natural Birth and Baby Care.com reader emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I'd watched it yet. I couldn't have been more pleased with her well-timed reminder. The film is a very, very real, and unapologetic look at the birth industry and the United States – and the implications of that industry for mothers.
The fact is the state of maternity care and birth in the United States is about the worst it can possibly be in a “1st world country.” And our maternal mortality rate is worse than some “3rd world countries.” Our newborn death rate is worse than many, many countries.
The film examines the fact that birth is a business in the USA – it's made for profit, not for good healthcare, not for mothers, and not for babies. Thankfully it also gives a look at solid alternatives to the current maternity machine. If you're thinking about your alternatives for birth and prenatal care, the film is a must. In fact, the film is a must for anybody and everybody – it would be nice to see it in high schools and colleges.