Instructor Pushes Natural Delivery Presentation Says Childbirth a Team Effort - and You're a Coach

By Gier, Nancy | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

Instructor Pushes Natural Delivery Presentation Says Childbirth a Team Effort - and You're a Coach


Gier, Nancy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Nancy Gier Daily Herald Staff Writer

At 39, Vickie Kilgore of Bartlett is considered at high risk for complications during pregnancy and childbirth, but she wants to try having a vaginal birth when her second child is born next month.

So she attended Lisa Upham's pregnancy class Saturday at Borders Books and Music in St. Charles.

"My daughter was almost two weeks late, and the doctor induced labor," Kilgore said. "But I didn't dilate as expected and they were worried about stress on the baby, so I had a C-section after about an hour and a half. I'd like to try a vaginal birth this time, but I'm not counting on it."

Upham understands. She is a certified pregnancy instructor through the Bradley method, she is a doula who has attended 19 births, and she had her son and daughter at home (in a tub of warm water) with no medication for pain.

A doula offers guidance and emotional support during childbirth but is not a midwife.

Upham also knows that obstetricians are in a high-risk medical malpractice category and are reluctant to take the slightest risk.

But she still believes there are options, and that childbirth without intervention is best when possible.

"The more drugs used during delivery, the higher the risk of having a C-section. Relaxation is the key to not feeling the pain of contractions during labor," Upham told her class. "Stiff, tense muscles can increase the pain."

Upham encourages pregnant women to be "educated consumers."

"Remember you're part of a team," Upham said. "You may not always want to do what your doctor recommends - like have a certain procedure, such as amniocentesis, -just because you're a certain age. …

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