40 weeks pregnant
40 weeks pregnant is your DUE DATE. Keep in mind that 80% of all women birth two weeks either side of their ‘due date’ which is a very speculative and artificial Birth Day calculator. When I gave birth in 1970, the ‘due date’ was guessed at based on your last menstrual period. Now it’s calculated by ultra-sound. When I gave birth in 1970, going past your due date for up to a month was not considered serious. When I gave birth in 1970 giving birth at 32 weeks was not considered a pre-mature baby as it is today.
You have been trained by the present childbirth/maternity trend to focus on your due date as though it’s a magic day. If you plan an elective c-section that surgery will not happen on your calculated ‘due date’. It will be determined by many factors including the obstetrician and hospital schedules.
What To Expect has a really interesting comment about ‘pelvic size’. Here is where the present trend thinking, words, and actions can be a bit confusing. So, we’ll explain what Birthing Better families discovered. Here’s the quote from What To Expect about pelvis size. I’ve left their link as well. Boy do Birthing Better families have comments about that page too … but more on this later.
We are NOT criticizing What To Expect or Baby Center. We are ADDING to the conversation. We are SHIFTING the conversation to focus more on skills and less on relying on ‘choices’. We are EXPLAINING why all the skills Birthing Better families developed can open up a whole NEW CONVERSATION in childbirth. We DEVELOPED self-learning resources for you so you can:
- Prepare your pregnant body to give birth
- Learn birth and birth-coaching skills for all births
- Use your birth and birth-coaching skills to work with your baby’s efforts to be born.
Your BOTTOM LINE: Your Birth is a HUGE, IMPORTANT, ONE-OFF, CAN’T BE REPLAYED, LIFE CHANGING AND CREATING LIFE LONG MEMORIES.
Birthing Better families want to add at 40 weeks pregnant:
- What about The Birth?
The present trend in childbirth spends more time talking about pregnancy and ‘choices’ about your Birth as well as newborn care than about your Birth! The only thing we can assume is that the present childbirth trend doesn’t put much significance on the Birth! Birthing Better families place a high significance on the birth of their baby! They want you too and know how to do the activity of giving birth with a great set of skills!
Quote from What To Expect
I’m going to comment at each sentence we’d like to address because this one paragraph is typical of the common language within the present childbirth trend:
- ‘Many women share an unfounded fear of not being able to actually birth their baby.
OUR COMMENT: Women do not have an ‘unfounded’ fear. Fear of birth is built into our very cells! Having ‘fears’ does not mean being paralyzed. Being afraid of giving birth sharpens your attention!
Birthing Better families did not deny their fears. By learning the Bony Pelvis and Soft Pelvis skills as well as doing The Internal Work simply and effectively gives you the information about your pelvis and how your baby fits. The skills give you the ability to create space, be soft and have your body be able to open up for your baby.
- It does seem implausible that something so big (a six- or seven-plus-pound watermelon) could squeeze through such a little space, but that’s exactly what happens most of the time.
OUR COMMENT: ‘What is the ‘little space’ being referred to? Look at this pelvic photo. That BIG HOLE that we can’t really reach into is not a ‘little space’. If you have gone through the Birthing Better resources you know this and you’ve learned skills to map your pelvis and create space even with this big hole because some babies are big.
You’ve also learned that the soft tissue of your pelvis and vagina can actually hinder, or be of no consequence in, your birth due to internal tension. You’ve also learned The Internal Work and prepared your internal tissue to become more pliable to be able to open up.
What’s the ‘little space’ refer to if not the hole in your pelvis? Take a look at this cross-section of pregnant belly. This is WHY we are so confused. What photo is two dimensional! Our pregnant body is three dimensional! If you have done the Internal Work you KNOW that the space inside is not ‘little’. You’ve also discovered where the tension is in your own vagina that could hinder this big object out of your body.
- Whether you’re plus-size, petite or any size in between, it’s how big your pelvis is — not your frame — that matters. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing (for the most part) and the majority of newborns are pretty well-matched to the size of their mothers (if you’re small-boned, chances are you’re not carrying sumo baby in there — unless, of course, you’ve eaten like a sumo wrestler during pregnancy).
OUR COMMENTS: What To Expect is correct in one aspect. It’s not your external shape that determines the inside size of your bony pelvis. There is NO correlation between small or big bones and your pelvic map! That is why Birthing Better families learned to map the hole (the outlet), know the shape, curve, and size of the sacrum and length of the tailbone. Knowledge is power. Skills give knowledge and empowerment.
Mother nature may or may not ‘know what she is doing’. The size of your baby is determined by many factors. The size of your baby is only relevant to how big your pelvic hole is, how tight the tissue is inside your vagina and how capable you are to open up your soft tissue and bony pelvis. Birthing Better families were not kidding. They created astounding skills!
And how you ‘eat’ doesn’t have much to do with the size of your baby but nutrition may. There’s a difference between ‘how much’ you eat and ‘what’ you eat!
- And your vagina knows what to do, too — it stretches considerably during childbirth and then, miraculously, tightens up again. (You can help that process along by doing your Kegels faithfully both before and after you deliver.)
OUR COMMENTS: Your vagina will stretch but that does not mean it will stretch without tearing, be so tight second stage is delayed, be so bruised and damaged or cause other pelvic problems. This is not to scare you. You just have to wake up and help your body to do better what nature requires. Birthing Better families developed the Internal Work skills … how to massage inside all of the vagina (sides, muscles around the sacrum and tailbone and tissue behind, back and sides of the rectum as well as the vaginal ring).
Yes, your vagina does tighten up after the birth hormones leave your body. However, if you’ve stretched heaps, torn, had an episiotomy, developed hemorrhoids, prolapse of cervix or uterus, incontinency or pain having sex then you DO NOT feel healed! This is why doing The Internal Work was one of the great Birthing Better skills!
If you are reading this after such an experience, do the Internal Work now and some of these problems will be eased!
As for Kegel Exercises! You do NOT want your vagina and lower pelvis to be tense. That hinders your baby’s ability to open you up, come down, through and out! If you want to help Mother Nature then stop doing something that can hinder birth!
Do the Kegel Exercises AFTER birth and for the rest of your Life but stop at 24 weeks pregnant and learn all your Birthing Better skills to open you up, make more pliable and soften inside.
- Even your baby knows what to do — by moulding his still-pliable head to fit through that tight squeeze. So don’t worry!’
OUR COMMENTS: Your baby does know what to do and TELLS you via each contraction. When you have progressive contractions that have a clear ‘peak’ your baby is telling you there are no internal hinderances such as:
- inner tension
- compressing the pelvis
- a position your baby doesn’t like.
This means you need to learn to read your baby’s messages and make certain you are assisting his/her efforts. Doing so is all part of Birthing Better skills. You’ll learn the HOW-TO!
Your baby’s head moulds more when you are internally rigid in your bony pelvis, your cervix slowly dilates and the soft tissue of your vagina is stiff. You can reduce or prevent the need for your baby to mould as much by being able to create space in your bony pelvis, know how to ‘stay open’, do the Pelvic Clock to assist your cervix and prepare the soft tissue of your vagina. With these skills, you can ease pressure on your baby.
- Should you just trust birth and not worry?
Let’s be honest. You are pregnant. You will give birth one way or another! Birth is happening whether you are skilled or not, like it or not, like what others do or not or whether you are ready or not. Birthing Better families want you to know how-to birth based on preparing for birth then learning birth and birth-coaching skills.
Do we as skilled families ‘trust’ birth? We trust it will happen. We trust that birth won’t last forever. We trust that no matter the circumstances we are the only one ‘doing’ the birth along with our baby. We trust that birth will probably be nothing like we imagined.
We trust our skills. We trust that we’ll use our skills the best we can. We trust that we are very capable of using skills no matter the situations of our baby’s birth.
Birthing Better families range in whether they just trust that birth will unfold as they want or like to those who have no trust in anything about birth except that it will happen. Birth terrifies many, so ‘trusting birth’ (meaning … feeling sure that things will be just fine) is the furthest thing from our belief system.
Whether you ‘trust’ birth and believe you’ll know what to do and your baby knows how to help or not. Just use your skills. Trust your capability! Trust the time you’ve spent learning and practicing. Trust that the activity is the same as any other activity, you have to ‘do’ it! Trust you can skillfully do it well.
The Baby Center post talks about natural ways to stimulate labor. What did Birthing Better families do? They made their own choice. Our Trust does not have an opinion about the right, wrong, effectiveness or risk of trying to induce labor whether natural or medical.
These are some thoughts Birthing Better families want to share with you:
- You can focus on trying and trying to get labor going and just get exhausted.
- If you’re exhausted once labor starts you are more likely to end up with interventions because you are so tired you don’t cope well. You tried to naturally induce labor to AVOID interventions! So make sense of what you choose.
- Why do you want to try to induce labor? If you’re trying to avoid medical induction why are you even trying to induce labor? In other words, if you believe birth should take it’s natural course then why fiddle?
- If you use natural methods to induce your birth and there is an unpleasant side effect how will you feel? What about if you have medical induction or do nothing and a problem arises? In other words, choices lead you down a path. Natural, medical inductions or doing nothing may have negative or positive consequences.
- Birthing Better families who used natural or medical induction made certain they were using their skills.
- The biggest take-away from all Birthing Better families is ‘Do NOT go into active labor tired’.
Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.