I had never heard of this before, and after a lot of research I am not sure the benefits are real, however I decided to share, after all isn’t knowledge power.
I have always wondered how a country that has made so many strides in affirmative action and women empowerment has such terrible laws when it comes to maternity leave. I have seen pregnant women push themselves up to the last minute so they can keep working, and after having babies they are back to work after 6 weeks, when they are barely healed.
How come having a baby is like a punishment, where are the activists, feminist?? How come the maternity leave structure is not structured in a way where mothers can heal and attach and take care of their babies? how come most people are not paid during their maternity leave, so that while they are at home bills keep piling and they are forced to push themselves and go back work. And even after you go back to work its so expensive to get childcare for your child that you are basically working to just pay it. How come women are not put on light duty when they are pregnant, you will find them working in positions where they have to stand for long periods of time, we see them all the time, serving us, selling, stacking boxes.
Having being pregnant in this country I am very surprised by the lack of respect for pregnancy, you will never have someone offer you a seat, or let you go ahead in the line, or offer to help you carry groceries.
Somebody please help me understand, why for a developed country is the US lurking so far behind in this aspect.
I saw this on the news last night, laughing gas is starting to be used as an option for pain management during labor.
When I was pregnant, I was very determined to have a drug-free labor, I wanted to go all the way and I did all the research I needed to ensure I was equipped to go all the way. I went for Lamaze classes where we were encouraged to labor as much as possible at home so as to reduce the temptation of getting an epidural, which I did, I stayed home as long as I possibly could and I even had a nice long shower to relieve the pain.
When I got to the hospital I was deep in thrones of labor, it was such a struggle to get out of the car and I actually needed a wheelchair to wheel me in to the hospital. My hope was I would go in, get checked by the doctor, who would then determine it was too late for an epidural and I would soon be pushing.
When I was finally admitted and checked, the doctor was so excited to confirm I was in active labor and 5cm dilated, to him and the nurses that was huge progress but to me I was in so much pain I thought I would be closer to 10. Needless to say it only got worse and at 8cm I got an epidural.
The process of getting an epidural during active labor was a terrible experience for me. When the anesthesia finally came in, he had so many questions for me that I could barely comprehend while in all that pain, he then asked me to sit up, open my mouth, I don’t know what he was checking. Then they asked me to bring my legs up on the bed and cross them, I was also instructed to hug a pillow and arch my back. All this while in excruciating pain, but I hang in there and did it because I knew I was about to get relief.
Which I really did, once the epidural started working, I was on cloud 9, I kept asking who invented this, because I need to thank them personally. I was making calls, and talking and laughing. I could not feel my lower body at all, and it was perfect. After all the pain this was the best feeling in the world.
When it came to time for pushing, the nurse had to tell me it was time, they had to tell me when I was having a contraction so I could push. I couldn’t feel a thing, they had to check the graph to tell me what my body was doing. When the baby finally came out, they had to tell me. I didn’t feel a thing, I heard the baby cry and I was surprised, a little bit later I could see a reflection on the doctors eye glasses of what I think was placenta. The numbness was over in an hour or two and my mind was telling me it had been several hours since I peed, so I kept telling the nurse I think I need to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t feeling the urge just knowing I hadn’t gone for some hours and thinking I should probably go, she told me after delivering the baby the doctor emptied my bladder. I was surprised, because I was numb I didn’t feel anything that was being done to me.
Just like with everything, the epidural has its pro’s and con’s, it took the pain away which was the greatest relief one can imagine. But the greatest thing I feel the epidural took away from me, was that instant connection that a mother feels after the baby is born. When you deliver a baby, the hormone oxytocin is released
Oxytocin, often referred to as the “Love Hormone,” is a hormone that is produced in the brain and release into the bloodstream during labor causing the uterus to contract. The release of oxytocin creates feelings of contentment, reduces anxiety and increases feelings of security and calm.
Naturally, due to these factors, there is much evidence that the Love Hormone is important to mother-baby bonding as it enables an increase trust and decrease in fear.
This I would say is the number one thing that the epidural robbed me off, that instant connection.
Epidurals reduce oxytocin production or keep it from rising during labor. They also blunt the oxytocin peak that would otherwise occur at the time of birth because the stretching receptors of a woman’s lower vagina are numbed.
Therefore, if there is an option like laughing gas, that can be administered with minimal interruption, as you just inhale it. Which can be used during the late stages of labor and can maintain all the hormones required. I would be all for it. I do hope this can be an actual viable option. I believe going natural would be the best option, however in my experience, its not always that easy to do.
Soon after I had my baby, I would say when she was like 2weeks old, I was getting ready for bed. I went to the bathroom and was brushing my teeth, when I went to rinse my mouth out, I noticed the water wasn’t staying in my mouth and it was dripping out. I looked up in the mirror and noticed my lip had drooped and I couldn’t completely close my mouth. I ran into the bedroom where my husband was in a panic and I was telling him how I couldn’t close my mouth, he looked at me confused, not really getting what I was talking about. He then asked me to wink my eye and I realized I could do that either on my left side. So he was like OMG, I think you got a minor stroke.
Since it was late at night we decided to sleep on it and go to the doctor the next day. That night I barely slept, I cried because I thought I had a stroke, and I might die and leave my baby motherless, I also thought even if I didn’t die I would become disabled and my child would grow up having to take care of her mum. I know I was a little bit dramatic, but hee I was a new mom and hormonal and emotional.
In the morning we decided to call the doctor, like I said my baby was only 2weeks old and still only breast feeding and I hadn’t introduced the bottle yet, so I didn’t want to take her with me to the doctors office. After speaking to the doctor on the phone, she mentioned that that sounded like bell’s palsy. That was the first time I had ever heard of this term, she told me it happened to many women during pregnancy and immediately after childbirth and also it would disappear on it’s own but there were some steroids they could prescribe that would speed it up, if i wanted but their really wasn’t any treatment for it.
After talking to the doctor I felt much better cause this had a name, and I immediately turned to Google like I usually do with all issues and conditions. Bell’s palsy is a disorder in which a nerve that controls the facial muscles becomes dysfunctional, resulting in weakness or paralysis of one side, or more rarely, both sides of the face. It often manifests rapidly, such that those affected may rise from bed in the morning with inexplicable one-sided facial weakness or paralysis and fear that they have experienced a stroke
‘Sir Charles Bell, the Scottish surgeon who identified the disorder in 1830, observed that it was more prevalent among pregnant women. Subsequent studies have confirmed that pregnant women are three times more likely than non-pregnant women to get Bell’s palsy, and the risk is greatest during the third trimester or immediately following childbirth.
Later on that week, my husbands cousin and aunty visited and convinced me to go to the hospital, I eventually went to the ER and the doctor confirmed it was bell’s palsy and she prescribed some steroids and I had to confirm those were ok to take while breastfeeding, I was also really surprised she didn’t know it was common in pregnancy and childbirth, after I mentioned it to her, she stepped out and did some research and she found out that it was more common in pregnant women and after childbirth.
This is the reason I am doing this blog, a lot of people are not aware of this condition and pregnant women and those who recently have had babies need to be aware of this condition, so that if it happens you don’t get as shocked as I was.
In my research I also found that some Vitamins are helpful in treating it, vitamin B12, B6, and zinc, which may help restore nerve function. Massaging the face with castor oil, which is also known for reducing swelling and also repairing damaged nerves. From my personal experience I would not recommend taking steroids, I took this and I didn’t notice any faster recovery, it took me about a month to recover, the massage and vitamins I think are the best way to go, and more importantly patience, I had this discomfort for over a month, its not painful but eating is difficult since food looses taste and chewing is hard, and I was lucky that my eye would close with a little assistance, from what I have read some people have to cover their eyes when they sleep and put eye drops because it wont close and it dries out. The good news is even with no treatment the condition will disappear on it own.