Sunday, 21 July 2013

Keep Calm & Birth

1/7/13- I was already 4 days post date with my fifth pregnancy (yup.. You read it right- 5th!) and things were getting rather stressful for me & hubs- playing the waiting game was no joke- restless nights, body aches, cendol cravings! I was supposed to be electively admitted to HUKM for an induction that day, but as i was never keen on an 'unnatural' birth, we decided to go see our O&G doctor in Bangi instead. With Allah's will, i was already in latent phase of labour and so was admitted to labour room (still induced with Pitocin but at least i was already dilated).

This time labour was longer, around 4 hours compared to 2 hours the previous 4 pregnancies. One thing different this time round was i wasnt on any painkillers, so i was fully aware of the whole process. Dont ask me why i refused this time- i'm not sure either! I guess i wanted to feel what it's like to go through labour without any painkillers (i've tried entonox, pethidine and epidural before) so this time i wanted to be brave and try to control the pain myself :). The first 3 hours was surprisingly bearable- i was sitting in bed and doing deep breathing- the next thing i know i was already 7cm. It felt good to be in control of the situation. I feel that pain can be managed quite well when one is in control of the situation. 

But the next 1 hour was excruciating! When i was asked to lie on my side (something i didnt expect at all) i panicked and lost control of the pain. It felt like the longest hour of my life! Finally, at 3.50pm my not so little angel was born. He weighed 3.05kg- the heaviest among his siblings. 

Alhamdulillah for this little miracle of life!

I'm writing about this birth for a reason- I've learnt many new things about birth during this pregnancy. Despite it being my fifth. I'm a typical doctor and i've shamefully never thought that women have rights with their labour. Birth must be in a hospital and doctors and nurses are fully in control of the whole process (i'm talking about non complicated pregnancies). Of course, being a doctor, i do agree that some deliveries should take place in the hospital, for the sake of the mother and baby's life. But i think in non complicated cases, the woman should be given more control over how she chooses to birth. I feel that delivery process in hospitals shouldnt be too stringent. We should be able to accommodate some simple requests, for example, not wanting an IV drip or Pitocin, not being strapped to the bed with a CTG machine throughout labour (we can do intermittent CTG if there is no concerns right?), being able to walk around and be on fours when needed (come on, i know it's a bit untraditional for our culture, but the woman's in labour- leave her alone!), and to birth in her most comfortable position! I strongly believe that if a woman is given more control of her labour, there would be less complications, more satisfaction (and less work for the health care workers!).

Having said all this, we must remember that we may plan ahead of time how we want things to be, but do not force them to be. Make some room for adjustments if needed, as the best planner is still Allah SWT indeed. 

*Special thanks to my dear hubby for understanding and supporting me thoughout this pregnancy and delivery. Also credit to the Gentle Birth Group on FB (although i cant agree on everything and it is hard to unlearn, i do get your points and i appreciate all the discussions *i am a silent reader*)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Going Green Part 5: Cloth Pads!

I started to learn about cloth pads through cloth diapers. As cloth diapers are the more natural way to diaper your child, cloth pads are the natural way for us women to take care of ourselves.

I remember when i was a teenager (guess how long ago that was!) i was taught by my girl friends to wash my disposable pads before throwing them in the bin. This is done for both hygiene and spiritual purposes. I have done that since. So when i first heard of cloth pads- reuseable, washable pads- i thought it made sense! Yes, it makes more sense to wash your pads if they are to be reused rather than be thrown away.

I know some of us would squirm at the thought of washing our pads. What is there to be disgusted of? After all, it's our own blood, a product of our own normal physiologically functioning organs! Well at least that's how i see it.

How reliable are cloth pads? I would say, as reliable as disposable ones. Come on, who never leaked on disposables? Everybody does once in a while. Which is what you would expect from cloth pads too. But modern cloth pads are not just a piece of scrap cloth you fold and wear like in the old days. They are made with layers of good quality cotton (mostly used material), with a soft inner, a hidden waterproof yet breathable layer, backed by beautiful prints on the outside. They are simply gorgeous! But most importantly, they are SAFE.

Cloth pads are made of natural, non toxic material- just like the clothes we wear. They do not contain harmful chemicals which can potentially sip through the skin and can be hazardous to our health. Why do we hear more of cancers, fibroids and other gynaecological problems in the modern days? It's because of our lifestyle- not just the food we eat but also how far we are drifting away from our nature.

Care for cloth pads couldn't be easier. If you're changing while away from home, fold it and keep it in a sealed wetbag till you get home. It wouldn't smell. When normal menstrual blood comes into contact with a cloth pad, nothing happens. But when blood comes into contact with the chemicals contained inside a disposable pad, it reacts- and that's where all the smell is coming from! Imagine what it does when it's in contact with your skin & organs? God forbid! Anyway, chuck them into a pail when you get home, with a little detergent (the same one you'd be using for your cloth diapers- basicly no bleach, no softeners and no enzymes). Rinse it while you're showering and line dry preferably in the sun (sun is a natural bleach and antibacterial- cheap aye?). And don't worry about what the neighbours might say- most would say how pretty my 'hankies' are!

I have been using cloth pads since the past few months, after i'm convinced it is the best for my health (not to mention how much i could save- you do the calculations- i'm sure you're better than me at maths). And what is good for me, i recommend to my friends :)

*cloth pads are now available at at very reasonable price