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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Childbirth Class

[18:36] Two fundamentally different approaches to childbirth.
[18:50] Likely health status of gorean women.
[18:51] By the Books Birthing - best guess
[18:54] Fathers at birthing? Who may attend birthings.
[19:03] Importance of preplanning delivery
[19:09] Birthing positions
[19:13] Cervis versus Vagina
[19:18] Breastfeeding in the books
[18:36] I will begin by discussing two fundamental philosophical differences in attitude to birthing.
[18:36]  Zenith Sorbet: On the one hand there are those who see birth as a dangerous journey where many things can go wrong and both mother and child are in terrible danger that must be foreseen and prevented.
[18:37]  Zenith Sorbet: On the other hand are those that think childbirth is a natural function not a disease and should not even be handled by a physician.
[18:37]  Zenith Sorbet: I expect that the truth lies somewhere in between.
[18:37]  Zenith Sorbet: Certainly women and babies can die in delivery.
[18:37]  Zenith Sorbet: But most of the time women could have their babies alone without help and would be just fine.
[18:39]  Zenith Sorbet: One can roughly divide the two attitudes about childbirth by the Atlantic ocean.
[18:40]  Zenith Sorbet: The North American attitude is that childbirth is inherently risky and horrible. This is reflected in North American standard childbirth practices.
[18:40]  Zenith Sorbet: Also in the two physicians groups the card I just gave you reflects a North American attitude.
[18:41]  Zenith Sorbet: Women are put on their backs, their pubic hair is shaved, the entrance to their vagina is cut open in a surgical fashion, episiotomy, it is called.
[18:41]  Zenith Sorbet: Each of these surgical procedures has a specific reason for being done.
[18:42]  Zenith Sorbet: For example the shaving of the pubic hair is supposed to prevent infection.
[18:42]  Zenith Sorbet: The problem is that most of these surgical interventions were adopted in North American without proper studies and many of them are just plain wrong.
[18:43]  Zenith Sorbet: Shaving pubic hair CAUSES more infections to take place when one examines the studies which have been done in a proper double blind fashion.
[18:43]  Zenith Sorbet: Delivering in stirrups legs pulled wide apart, pushing up against gravity CAUSES tearing.
[18:44]  Zenith Sorbet: The best example of stupidity is the routine episiotomy.
[18:45]  Zenith Sorbet: If you examine this widely distributed card you will see the reasons given are preventing large tears, keeping the vagina from being overstretched so a woman retains her ability to be sexually pleasing, sparing the babies heads from being battered on the cervix and so forth.
[18:45]  Zenith Sorbet: Every single one of these rationalizations is dead wrong.
[18:46]  Zenith Sorbet: I will hand out a card showing cumulative evidence explaining why routine epsiotomies CAUSE the problems it is supposed to prevent.
[18:47]  Zenith Sorbet: Here is a collected literature summary of current knowledge of episotomies.
[18:47]  Zenith Sorbet: Now there will be times when you do need to cut open the entrance of a woman's vagina such as if a baby is in acute distress and you must get that baby born fast. In such cases episiotomies save lives.
[18:47]  Zenith Sorbet: Fine but not routinely.
[18:47]  Zenith Sorbet: Why do we care in role play?
[18:48]  Zenith Sorbet: Well first the Jenna Harley birthcard has been widely distributed and is a regarded as standard.
[18:48]  Zenith Sorbet: So people expect this kind of birth. But Gorean physicians are not earth physicians.
[18:49]  Zenith Sorbet: In Gor we value natural materials, clean fresh air, exercise, herbs, in short an entire approach that is natural and evidence based.
[18:49]  Zenith Sorbet: Also Gorean women, due to the stabilisation shots are all like healthy 25 year olds. And I mean in perfect health.
[18:49]  Zenith Sorbet: We eat right, we live right, we are eternally young.
[18:50]  Zenith Sorbet: So Gorean women should also have natural births and easy births.
[18:50]  Zenith Sorbet: Now there is almost nothing about birthing in the books.
[18:50]  Zenith Sorbet: John Norman was not interested in birthing. So everything we do we do is terms of best guess.
[18:51]  Zenith Sorbet: So best guess is natural childbirth, care to modesty of the Free Woman, and being family centered and oriented.
[18:51]  Zenith Sorbet: The debate in the Gorean groups is going on now. I will pass out two more cards.
[18:52]  Zenith Sorbet: The first card is Sage commenting on the Jenna Harley card. The second one if the trasncript of a class where she discusses how she handles births.
[18:52]  Zenith Sorbet: Sage is a RL midwife.
[18:52]  Zenith Sorbet: I am not a midwife I am a geneticist, the old fashioned type who stayed with a family through a birth.
[18:53]  Zenith Sorbet: So I have sat in on over 500 births RL.
[18:53]  Zenith Sorbet: And a few times things went very fast and I "caught" a baby.
[18:53]  Zenith Sorbet: Based on my experience Sage's birthcard is perfectly consistent with natural family centered and oriented childbirth.
[18:54]  Zenith Sorbet: I also think her approach is consistent with Gorean philosophy on such things.
[7:29]  Zenith Sorbet: Of course that is only my opinion.
[7:30]  Zenith Sorbet: I don't intend to get into too much of the details of how to birth as they are well covered in these cards.
[7:30]  Zenith Sorbet: There is a wealth of excellent information in both Jenna harleys and Sage's cards. I expect you to read those carefully on your own and absorb the knowledge there as background for birthing.
From here I will concentrate on the common questions and errors I get after students have studied those cards. Plus some common role play situations that can be problems and how to handle them.
[18:54]  Student Asks: What is the father's role in the birth?
[18:55]  Zenith Sorbet: I think Gorean. Gorean men express their emotions, cry, are loving.
[18:55]  Zenith Sorbet: They are also strong and hard in some ways.
[18:55]  Zenith Sorbet: They have many of them seen battle and death.
[18:55]  Zenith Sorbet: I would expect the average Gorean to be entirely practical.
[18:56]  Zenith Sorbet: I have no idea if they stay, it isn't in the books.
[18:56]  Zenith Sorbet: So in my opinion, it is up to the mother and what their role play dictates to them is right.
[18:56]  Zenith Sorbet: If she wants the man there then he has the choice.
[18:57]  Zenith Sorbet: In my rp I wasn't too fond of my forced companion and our relationship was stormy so I refused to allow him in for the birth of our two sons. He waited outside with his girl and was just as happy to do it.
[18:58]  Zenith Sorbet: However for Abbi's birth, where we had been together long enough that our story had developed that we were in love now, I invited him and he held me in his arms while I birthed.
[18:58]  Zenith Sorbet: So I always try to go with the rp of the people involved. Let them decide.
[18:58]  Zenith Sorbet: Same for slave girls. For some the girl is competition and they get horribly upset if the slave girl is there. So she waits outside.
[18:58]  Zenith Sorbet: For others the slave girl is family so she stays.
[18:59]  Zenith Sorbet: You are a guest at their family event so you go with their flow.
[18:59]  Zenith Sorbet: In terms of prim babies, I often use my birthing baby, handed to the mother and rp the baby is born, lifting to the mother's chest.  However you don't have to have to have a prim baby you can rp the whole thing.
[19:00]  Zenith Sorbet: and then the mother "wears" the baby, I touch it and it cries.
[19:00]  Zenith Sorbet: Yes Lady?
[19:01]  Student: What do you do if there is a case the woman doesn't want the girl there but the man seems insistant and does not tell the girl to leave?
[19:01]  Zenith Sorbet: I tell the girl myself to get out. But if the Master overrules you and says, she stays, then you try to smooth things over.
[19:01]  Zenith Sorbet: I will use my skirts to screen view of her and ignore her.
[19:01]  Aziza Thespian: the mother's health is our concern
[19:02]  Zenith Sorbet: And I just sat there.
[19:02]  Zenith Sorbet: And the girl eventually went outside.
[19:02]  Zenith Sorbet: Now even though we don't have to have prim babies I find that particular one works very well. It's naked. Most prim babies have clothing on.
[19:02]  Zenith Sorbet: chuckles. So I rp using this baby for the birth, I give it to the mother. I rp the baby being born and lfiting it to her chest. She "wears" it.  I touch baby, baby cries, everyone is happy. Then I rp taking the baby giving it an quick check up, and dressing it. The mother then uses her own baby now dressed.
[19:03]  Zenith Sorbet: I also try to get the mother to give me time to do some advance notice on the birthing.
[19:03]  Zenith Sorbet: I absolutely HATE it when a woman staggers into the infirmary rping heavy labor and I haven't seen her before.
[19:03]  Zenith Sorbet: This isn't fair. I won't have my birthing baby set to the right hair and eye color and skin tone.
[19:04]  Zenith Sorbet: A birth can take an hour of RT. If I know in advance I can set aside a block of RL time.
[19:04]  Zenith Sorbet: I'll show you my birthing baby. I had one situation where I had no warning, both parents were fair blonds, the birthing baby popped out chocloate brown and the father got quite upset. I rp'd the baby was wet and needed to be cleaned up and changed it.
[19:04]  sh2 Birthing Cuddle Baby v1.5: (c)2008 sh2 Creations, All Rights Reserved. Use is governed by our Terms of Service (
[19:04]  Zenith Sorbet: 600L and my most used medical device after my stethscope.
[19:05]  Zenith Sorbet: It is no copy trans so I give it to mother.
[19:06]  Zenith Sorbet: After it's born you want to have a dressed one anyway.
[19:06]  sh2 Preemie Cuddle Baby v1.5: To gently rock the baby, type:   /7 rock
[19:06]  sh2 Preemie Cuddle Baby v1.5: (c)2008 sh2 Creations, All Rights Reserved. Use is governed by our Terms of Service (
[19:06]  Zenith Sorbet: This one is the cuddle one.
[19:07]  Zenith Sorbet: So you "birth:" and then rp you have dressed the baby and hand mother her own prim baby.
[19:07]  Zenith Sorbet: Now let me get the lm.
[19:08]  Zenith Sorbet: Now the content of the birth itself is covered in those cards. I will now just address a couple of other points.
[19:08]  Zenith Sorbet: 1) I happen to like the birthing chair.
[19:09]  Zenith Sorbet: Simple reason is you can rp delivering the birth from under the woman's skirts and you don't have her naked and exposed while all the family gathers around.
[19:09]  Zenith Sorbet: I don't know about you, but I prefer NOT to be naked in front of everyone.
[19:10]  Zenith Sorbet: I also think it is consistent with a culture where the women would want modesty preserved and certainly a Free Woman would.
[19:11]  Zenith Sorbet: Also it makes good sense in terms of female physiology because it is the best position to birth in.
[19:11]  Zenith Sorbet: Some women like to deliver lying on their side as well.
[19:11]  Zenith Sorbet: In RL I always encouraged a mother to choose the position her body told her. In SL we don't have that issue.
[19:12]  Zenith Sorbet: The second point I want to address is a common error.
[19:12]  Zenith Sorbet: 2) vagina versus cervix
[19:12]  Zenith Sorbet: The baby must get through two rings of muscle like tissue to be born.
[19:13]  Zenith Sorbet: The entrance at the top of the vagina where the womb/uterus opens is the cervix.
[19:13]  Student remembers the birthing video in high school health class and shudders
[19:13]  Zenith Sorbet: The longest hardest part of labor is opening up that part.
[19:13]  Zenith Sorbet: A woman will not normally feel an urge to push until that part is completely open. It can take hours especially for a first baby. So if they arrive in the infirmary rping heavy labor and you need to go pick up your kids at achool you can tell her her cervix is only half open, she needs more time, and go pick up your kids and come back in later.
[19:14]  Zenith Sorbet: If she does start pushing too soon then the cervix can get swollen and impede a natural delivery .
[19:14]  Zenith Sorbet: especially if she is propped up in a ridiculous position or left lying in bed for hours.
[19:14]  Zenith Sorbet: That part can also get a tear in it as the baby passes but that is not common.
[19:15]  Zenith Sorbet: Now once the cervix is completely open the second ring of muscle is the entrance to the vagina.
[19:15]  Zenith Sorbet: When the baby is one or two pushes away and can be seen stretching that ring a woman commonly feels a strong burning sensation.
[19:15]  Zenith Sorbet: So I tell women, in IM "complain of burning next push" in rp. And I rp the head being born.
[19:16]  Zenith Sorbet: So I tell women, in IM "complain of burning next push" in rp. And I rp the head being born.
[19:16]  Zenith Sorbet: Then the baby comes out.
[19:16]  Zenith Sorbet: lift it onto Mom's chest and touch it so it cries
[19:16]  Zenith Sorbet: Everyone is happy.
[19:16]  Zenith Sorbet: I always rp the arrival of the placenta and inspecting it.
[19:17]  Zenith Sorbet: Yes?
[19:17]  Student: I am a big proponent of it ok that I work that into my rp's
[19:18]  Zenith Sorbet: Absolutely. In fact that is the Only thing mentioned in the books. Gorean babies are breast fed.
[19:18]  Zenith Sorbet: There are no wetnurses or bottles in the book only breast feeding. So I tell the mother to start breast feeding and I rp cutting the cord, delivering the checking the placenta.
[19:18]  Zenith Sorbet: Now for the placenta I only do a brief rp.Check it is intact, check it is normal, check it has three vessels in the cord.
[19:19]  Zenith Sorbet: I don't advise asking a warrior to cut the cord.
[19:19]  Zenith Sorbet: They draw their swords and scream and slash.
[19:19]  Zenith Sorbet: Normal babies have three vessels one artery two veins in the cord.
[19:19]  Zenith Sorbet: Some have only one and are perfectly normal babies. Two vessels instead of three means baby is probably normal but it is associated with genetic abnormalities.
[19:23]  Zenith Sorbet: After the placenta is delivered I will rp quietly cleaning up the mother or having a slave girl do it.
[19:23]  Zenith Sorbet: Basically at this point the rp birth scene is over.
[19:23]  Zenith Sorbet: The family wants to move to rp scene and loving welcome to baby so I just rp checking the baby a few more times and then I leave.
[19:24]  Zenith Sorbet: They really are not interested in details like rep clothes to absorb post birth blood.
[19:24]  Zenith Sorbet: I move Mom off the birthing table/chair to a comfy bed where the family can gather around.
[19:24]  Zenith Sorbet: I prefer them to birth in their own home with advance notice so I can take my birthing stool along.
[19:24]  Zenith Sorbet: If they come into the infirmary, I put them in one of the rest and recovery beds.
[19:25]  Zenith Sorbet: Finally I will add one more little note.
[19:26]  Zenith Sorbet: Many woman who RL have had very hard deliveries that ended up wth c-sections or disasters will have a normal rp SL birth and end up getting very emotional and cry RL and feel great intense involvement. If I sense that I tell them they need a check up next day just so I can touch bases with them and make sure they are all right.
[19:26]  Zenith Sorbet: Also some women want much drama, baby nearly dying, developing infections, need lots of attention when normally that doesn't happen.
[19:27]  Zenith Sorbet: I try to rp my way out of those situations, but sometimes you just have to give em what they want.
[19:27]  Zenith Sorbet: "I know it feels like you have a tear but you don't, It's just bruising."
[19:28]  Zenith Sorbet: "I know it feels like a fever but I have checked and you are perfectly fine. It's just hormonal fluctuations."
[19:28]  Zenith Sorbet: Okay any questions?
[19:28]  Zenith Sorbet: Please read over those cards I gave you.
[19:28]  Student: so we try to rp our way out of drama but if they seem insistant on it, do it the best we can?
[19:29]  Zenith Sorbet: Unless you want to do drama yourself.
[19:29]  Zenith Sorbet: I personally hate drama which makes me very unpopular with hypochondriacs.
[19:30]  Zenith Sorbet: Now let me make a transcript and take attendance.

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