My personal belief: a therapist can’t preach natural treatment approaches if she hasn’t experienced them on herself
Historically, until the 1980-90s women have been giving births in their 20-s. Back in Eastern Europe most of the women were getting married around age of 20-22. In Bulgaria a female delivering her first baby was considered old if she was over 25 years of age. With the advancement of the Western world and in the 21st century the marriage age and family planning significantly changed. At present day, the majority of couples create family and kids in their 30-s. Although this might be a better option from socio-economic point of view, it is not necessary the best option from fertility point of view. In Canada pregnancy over age of 35 is considered statistically as increased risk in terms of neural tube defects. However, these statistics take into consideration all women, without breaking into groups IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) versus natural conception. Also, there is no large comparison studies between healthy pre-pregnancy couples versus couples suffering from conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune or endocrine disorders.
I am a mother of 3 boys and I do not fall in the common statistic groups. I got married very young to my high school sweetheart. I had my first baby in Eastern Europe in 1988 when I was only 18 years of age. My pregnancy was unremarkable and the childbirth was natural simply because at that time, in my home country epidural anesthetics were never used in vaginal childbirths.
My second and my 3rd pregnancies were in Canada in 2008 and 2012. At that time I was 38 and 42 years old respectively. In both cases I was considered at risk for neural tube defects based on my age. However, my blood work revealed a much lower risk or as it is written on my report: “The risk based on maternal age alone was 1:174 (my second pregnancy at age of 38) and 1:64 (my third pregnancy at age of 42). However, based on the specimen, in both my late age pregnancies the real risk was equal to the risk of a 15-year-old! Or basically NONE”. Therefore, if a healthy female conceives at a late maternal age: 35 and up, she shouldn’t be anxious because of her age and before the initial risk screening is done.
All my childbirths were natural. During the second childbirth I used the acupressure protocol, I teach to my patients labour partners. I also had a TENS machine on my back. This combination kept my labour pain under control. The average pain, I experienced during this labour was 6/10. Of course, I was walking, squatting and changing positions.
During my first and my second labour I was on my back during the second stage (the pushing phase) which is the most convenient position for the medical professional assisting in the labour but it is not the optimum position for the labouring mom.
During my third childbirth I was in squatting with arms up in suspension. I was amazed how the gravity worked in this position. The whole second stage (pushing) was: 1 push for the head – this push was 50% less strong compared to the pushing during my previous labours while I was on my back. The second push was really light and the baby was out. That was it: two pushes, minimum pain, less than an hour from the moment we reached the hospital until my 3rd son was born.
In conclusion: optimum preconception health, proper pregnancy care and labour preparation are important conditions for an ultimate labour experience. Also, to avoid any long-term health complications such as fatigue, exhaustion, anemia or urinary incontinence and prolapse in older age, it is important that a proper post-partum care is given to the mother.
Based on my personal experience, I am a strong believer and an advocate for natural fertility and unmedicated labour. This optimizes the pre-heavenly and post-heavenly Qi of the baby.