The AFL® method in the delivery room
Marianne, first delivery took 48 hrs.
The uterus is a muscle amongst other muscles, and produces also lactate when it produces its energy. And just as other muscles, the uterus can “feel finished”. When enough lactate is produced, the muscles turn acidic, which blocks further contractions.
Almost 40% of all women giving birth for the first time, find themselves at a plateau, experiencing an arrested or prolonged labour, with the delivery not proceeding.
This is very challenging psychologically for the women, as hard labour and many contractions give very few results. Both they and their partners can feel worry, tiredness, hopelessness, and vulnerability. There also increased risks for the child as the oxygen transport to the baby might be harmed. The woman giving birth needs strong support at this time from the health care professionals to make the right choices forward.
Objective meassurement needed
Midwives and doctors today have a hard time understanding exactly what is happening at these plateaus. The only way today to objectively understand the black box mysteries of the uterus is to actually measure the level of lactate in the uterus.
If the levels are high, this is the uterus already having reached maximum workload. When the levels are lower, the uterus will recuperate and recharge and responds well to synthetic stimulation.
By an objective measurement of the lactate level, the health care professionals will be given a safe and more tailor made instrument to support your individual birth giving style.
The AFL apparatus at the maternity ward, is an apparatus geared at supporting the woman through her delivery in the safest way possible. This is done via consistent and regular measurements of a bi-product of uterine work called lactate acid. Did you ever visit a gym and find yourself completely exhausted after the session, with aching muscles? That feeling of being “finished” is lactate at work, the bi-product when muscles produce their energy.
The AFL-method is developed by obstetricians, midwives and engineers. It is performed with minimal interference and no pain for the birth giving mother.
The method is as follows:
1) The midwife collects the amniotic fluid which drips from the women during birth.
2) This fluid is inserted into a probe.
3) The probe is put in an AFL apparatus.
4) Within 15 seconds the results are ready.
With this new method midwives and doctors can make safer decisions, and help tailor make your delivery to your specific needs.