Preterm labor is sometimes a cry for help-a cry from the baby or a cry from the mother. Sometimes a woman is doing too much, and the baby shouts, “Hey mom, take a rest!” In these situations, bed rest is probably a good idea. But the most important thing we are missing in these cries for help is the absolute necessity for the mom and baby to be pampered. Pregnant women should be treated with the utmost respect and valued for the incredible job they are doing growing their babies. Our culture doesn’t recognize this, sadly. Pregnant women should receive the highest quality and most delicious foods-especially toward the end of pregnancy. Massage should be a weekly routine, as well as competent, woman-centered prenatal care, which includes care with a chiropractor and/or a cranial sacral therapist. Her dreams should be listened to and her fears addressed.
Where can women get this type of care? Doula? Grandma? Sister? Partner? Neighbors? Friends? Co-workers? The answer is, all of these people. Our society has a duty to its future citizens to create an environment that fosters optimal growth.
Besides the fact that tocolytics have many side effects, the worse thing they offer is a false sense of security. I am not judging women who have taken them to stop preterm labor. What I mean is, the idea that a pill will fix a problem like this is insulting to the woman, and most important, ignores the real reason for the cry. It covers up the issue instead of getting to the root.
By Ruth Shepard Trode, Minneapolis, MN
Midwifery Today Issue 72