Childbirth does not always go according to plans. Some friends of ours, who will forever remain nameless, were having their first baby and hoping for a drug free natural birth. They had heard about the benefits of birth bonding without medication and really wanted to experience it. Unfortunately, during the transition between first and second stage labor, they gave in to the hospital’s pressure for her to be medicated. Afterwards, regretting the decision, they determined not let that happen the next time. But, with their second child, once again during transition they gave in and again regretted the decision. The reason she regretted having drugs was because she felt so crummy after the birth, and the bonding experience was not at all satisfactory while she was drugged up. So, on the third try, mom told dad, “no matter what I say in transition, no matter what I do, don’t let me take drugs, I always regret it.”
They took our childbirth classes and we explained to them that transition only lasts for a very short time. We also taught her husband, during transition, to just keep telling her, “You are almost there, just relax, this only lasts for a short while, you can do this”. So, her dutiful, loving husband followed her wishes and our advice. Once again during transition she lost it and began to beg him for drugs. He told her to, “Just relax, it’s almost over, you can do this”, and; “Honey, you told me not to let you take drugs this birth”. About the third or fourth time of this, she grabbed him, looked him in the eye and said, “Forget what I told you, give me the drugs!” He quietly repeated his mantra and sure enough she went into second stage labor. Things went a lot easier the rest of the birth, and afterwards she profusely thanked him.
There is this thing in labor called transition. Yep, there is a transition between first stage labor and second stage labor. This is where women say the darnedest things to their husbands, things good Christians should never say to anyone. It is normal, it happens, so we tell husbands and anyone else who might be on the receiving end, not to take it personal; she didn’t mean it and she may not ever remember she said it afterwards. So why does this happen? It is very important to recognize, during labor, a women’s body is exerting an incredible amount of energy to expel the baby. At birth, the uterus is the largest muscle in the woman’s body, and for that matter it is larger than any muscle in a man’s body. So, when she is giving birth, she can be likened to an Olympic athlete who is running the mile and is on their third lap. This is not a time when they are in the mood to chit chat, as a matter of fact, their body is sending all the blood to the working muscles and not much is going to the brain. This is not a bad thing, it’s just the facts. At this stage the husband or coach needs to be like an athletic coach and just keep encouraging his athlete, that the race is nearly over. In a few more contractions she will be in second stage where her body will get to take some regular and longer breaks.
My wife is smarter than I am, has read more books on childbirth than I have, she has attended and delivered far more babies than I have, but when she is in labor, she can’t remember a thing. The big problem in American childbirth, is that the woman studies up on birth in preparation for her delivery. Her husband, on the other hand, figures, she has it all covered. But, when the actual birth happens, she forgets everything. This is one reason we recommend husband coached childbirth. We believe that a trained husband is far more valuable at the birth than any number of other attendants. Why? In Childbirth part III we shared how God preprogramed women to listen to their husbands during childbirth, when they often won’t listen to other birth attendants. 
Because most mothers invest more time and energy in planning their birth, we suggest mothers put on paper how they want the birth to go. Then we suggest she gives this written plan to her husband, doula, doctor and any nurse that might get involved. This gives her the best chance of having the birth end up the way she envisioned it.
First stage and second stage labor require totally different strategies. In first stage, the best thing the coach can do is to help the mother relax her stomach muscles. (see Childbirth Part III) Transition, is the brief period between first and second stage labor. It is when the uterus has pulled itself out of the way and gathered itself behind the baby and the baby starts to move down the birth canal. During transition, there are virtually no breaks between contractions, each contraction seems to be followed immediately by another, until the baby engages, and second stage begins. When second stage starts, there are longer breaks between contractions and mom gets to work with the contractions to deliver the baby. Second stage begins when the baby engages and the mom gets the urge to push.
Mothers who have prepared for birth, by eating good baby building food, and who have exercised their bodies in preparation to this athletic event, have much easier births. Studies show that they have healthier and more active children.  There is a story in the Bible that illustrates this point.
Exodus 1:12b-18 “the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
Evidently, Pharaoh’s experience with Egyptian childbirth, led him to believe that childbirth was so dangerous, and the babies so fragile, that it would be easy to kill the babies without anyone being suspicious. As the story goes, the midwives never killed any babies, so Pharaoh called them in for a little chewing out. But the midwives told Pharaoh that the Hebrew women were vigorous, unlike the lazy Egyptian women. The reason they did not kill any babies at birth was because the athletic Hebrew women gave birth so easily that they were done before the midwives could get there. This was not exactly true, but it was close enough to the truth that pharaoh bought it. Pharaoh mentions the birthing stool, which is not easy to use, unless you are in good shape. Eating right and exercising in preparation for birth is important.
Next week we will discuss second stage labor, post-partum, birthing stools and other helpful ways to make second stage a joy instead of a disaster.
Part I Nutrition
Part II Nutrition and exercises for a more comfortable pregnancy and birth
Part III First stage, what you believe about birth will determine how it goes.
Part IV Second stage and post-partum.
Part V Nursing, sleeping and circumcision,
Part VI The V approach to raising kids.
Our purpose for writing each week is to provide you with Biblical/scientific advice on the care and feeding of your body. We do it because this advice is so rare. We also do it, because we see thousands of good Christians, whose lives have been cut short, simply because they were never taught what the Word of God and the Law of God had to say about health and wellness.
If you believe God knows best, join us and the Wellness Gospel team; register for our weekly newsletter, then spread the word by sharing this with your friends on social media and may God bless you richly.
If you want to keep improving your health, and enjoy this kind of biblical scientific information, then I would like to recommend three must-read books;
- “God’s Guide to Biblical Health and Healing” by Rev. Chris and Shary Schauermann http://tinyurl.com/zvkbfau
- “Let’s Play Doctor” by Dr. Joel Wallach http://tinyurl.com/j8ybt8r
- “None of These Diseases” by S.I. McMillen, M.D. and David E. Stern, M. D. http://tinyurl.com/hh7ezs2
4.”Husband Coached Childbirth” by Doctor Robert Bradley & Marjory Hathaway https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=husband+coached+childbirth&sprefix=husband+coache%2Caps%2C314&crid=1UFTVMXOML1BS
You can get all these books at Amazon.com or simply click on the URL under each book title.
- Childbirth part I http://wellnessgospel.net/index.php/2017/02/18/childbirth-part-l/
- Childbirth part II http://wellnessgospel.net/index.php/2017/02/25/childbirth-part-ll/
- Childbirth part III http://wellnessgospel.net/index.php/2017/03/02/childbirth-biblical-first-stage-labor/
- Exercise and healthy active babies http://www.irishmirror.ie/lifestyle/health/women-who-exercise-during-pregnancy-7927336