As a researcher and nurse practitioner helping women recover after giving birth, Janis Miller struggled answering some of the most common questions from new moms.
“Many women say they feel like something has changed ‘down there’,” says Miller, who is faculty at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and part of the Healthy Healing After Delivery clinic at the U-M Health System. “What has happened to me? Is this normal?’ Our best answer so far has been ‘well, you did just give birth.’”
I love being part of the peaceful stillness of a birth center room where a woman is resting quietly between contractions immersed in water. With the lights dimmed, her eyes closed and her partner quietly whispering in her ear, there is a sacred beauty to this moment before she starts to breathe through another contraction. Over half of the women the University of Michigan Certified Nurse Midwives care for will use the tub or a shower for relaxation during labor. We have done hundreds of waterbirths in the birth center over the past fifteen years, but now even more women are interested in this option.
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