October 4, 2012
More free resources!
Choices in Childbirth produces an incredible Guide to a Healthy Birth, and their latest edition was just made available here. The guide is free and you can order one online. It is an amazing resource for pregnant women and their families, childbirth educators, doulas, and care providers. There are national and New York City versions of the guide, but both include the following topics:
- Becoming a New Mother: A Doorway for Transformation – Sheryl Paul, MA
- Choices in Childbirth’s 5 Steps to a Healthy Birth
- Questions to Ask Your Care Provider
- Lessons Learned: A Tale of Four Births – Leta Hamilton
- Impact of Doulas
- What Is Shared Decision Making? – Amy Romano, CNM
- Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping
- Know Your Legal Rights
- Insurance Coverage for Midwifery Care
- US Cesarean Section Rates by State or at NYC Metro Hospitals
- Low-Cost Options for Care – Ekua Ansah-Samuels
- Protecting Your Pregnancy from Harmful Toxins
- Eating for Two – Rachelle LaCroix Malik, RD
- Is Home Birth for You?
- Unhurrying the Moment of Birth – Mary Esther Malloy, MA
- Supporting Initiation of Breastfeeding
- CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative
I’ll be ordering mine today!
October 1, 2012
I couldn’t help but share this blog post from the Motherlode, a parenting blog in the NY Times. I try not to include too much on parenting on this blog, but sometimes it’s too relevant not to. Last night, my husband and I got into a parenting discussion about this idea of saying “yes” to your kids as much as possible (in order to say “no” as little as possible). He always refers to a slogan from a store he frequents for work, that says “the answer to any reasonable request, is yes”.
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September 27, 2012
This book by Florence Williams sounds fascinating. In Best for Babes’ review of the book, they highlight seven key areas of focus. Mostly though, the book examines environmental pollutants and chemicals, and their effect on breast milk. The bottom line: “short of you being poisoned, breastfeeding is recommended”.
This is on my reading list!
September 24, 2012
I didn’t even know that there was a trend among childbirth educators to encourage breastfeeding moms to forego breastfeeding at night in order to have a better night’s sleep. This was completely news to me until I stumbled upon this article. While the article does a good job of reviewing the latest research and completely debunking this myth (it turns out that breastfeeding moms actually get more sleep, and better quality sleep than bottle feeding moms), there is something to this that resonated with me.
I have often told new moms to do their best to attribute their inconsistent moods, general exhaustion, and other overwhelmed feelings to their sleep deprivation, to expect these things, and to treat themselves kindly – at least until they are sleeping through the night. It is good to know that the research demonstrates this has nothing to do with breastfeeding. Sleep deprivation plays a major role in the post partum period, regardless of how you feed your baby. It turns out though, that breastfeeding just might get you more sleep in the end – can you believe that?
September 18, 2012
Episiotomy: a surgical incision in the perineum (the tissue between the vagina and the anus), aimed at preventing the tearing of perineal tissue during childbirth by cutting a planned incision. At one time, it was believed that a surgical incision was preferable to a naturally occuring tear (easier to repair, faster healing), although that has been demonstrated to be untrue in recent years, causing a decrease in episiotomy rates.
In 2009, a Cochrane review found that restricting the use of episiotomy has many benefits (less perineal trauma, less suturing/stitches, fewer complications) and no drawbacks.
This article tells the story of Rebecca Woolf, a woman who had an episiotomy cut during the birth of her first child. It is not an uplifting story, detailing the grueling recovery and feelings of helplessness that Woolf experienced during and after the birth. However, what is uplifting, is the example of episiotomy as an area where practice has changed based on new guidelines, describing episiotomy as a routine, yet often unnecessary procedure, that should be restricted.
September 14, 2012
Look at all these amazing FREE resources from Lactation Education Resources! More than 20 printable handouts about specific areas/issues in breastfeeding, from breast pump selection to engorgement. The printable pages have pictures and are specific and clear. I love finding a great resources like this. Check it out!
September 11, 2012
Following Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s intention to take a short maternity leave, there has been a lot in news and media about parental leave in the U.S. I believe that every family makes the best decisions they can for their families. But I do think that this case offers an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the situation that American working parents (and particularly women) face when having babies in the U.S.
Read or listen to NPR’s piece on this subject here.
Did anyone read this article about Google’s new maternity leave policy? Interesting. I hope it’s the beginning of a trend!
Working Mother magazine recently published this article summarizing the strange situation of maternity leave in the U.S.
This issue of maternity leave, and parental leave in general, is quickly becoming an area that I feel is at the heart of the experiences of American parents. Does this topic interest you? What do you think about these articles on the subject?
September 7, 2012
I just love this beautiful poem by Elizabeth Alexander. I hope you enjoy it too!
a soggy, bloody crotch, is
sharp jets of breast milk shot straight across the room,
is gaudy, mustard-colored poop, is
postpartum tears that soak the baby’s lovely head.
Then everything dries and disappears
Then everything dries and disappears
Continue Reading →
September 4, 2012
I am so pleased to share the birth story of Rachel, below. The story is long, but its detail transported me into her birth experience in a beautiful way. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did!
The body is wise. I dreamt of giving birth the night before my labor started, and woke up fleetingly throughout the night, noticing the faintest suggestion of menstral-like cramps. In morning, though the whisper of cramping had ceased, I thought to myself for the first time, “Today’s a day I could have a baby…I’m ready, I’m relaxed, and I can handle it.” I went about my morning with a sort of ceremony I noticed only in hindsight.
Later that evening, my darling Alder was born on a pallet on our living room floor. My husband, Mike, our close friend, Kate, and 3 midwives attended the birth. I pushed Alder out, with his help, and with what in the moment didn’t feel like Herculean strength, but certainly must have been. At the time I felt like I pushed with all I could, and had to find reserves I didn’t know existed, and then (or at least now) couldn’t tell I’d accessed. Alder’s hand was at his face, and his umbilical cord loosely around his neck; these presentations slowed his quick arrival from what could likely have been instantaneous (which is not to say, not hard).
It happened like this: In the midmorning, at a nearby park, aware of very subtle cramps, I noticed myself swaying. I didn’t feel like I needed to be, only that it felt good; I tried to assure my mother by phone that it wasn’t labor.
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August 31, 2012
Here are a few good resources on meconium and Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
This “Dear Unborn Baby” letter gives a good overview of why it’d be great if babies just waited until after birth to pass meconium.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), routine suctioning should not be part of managing a newborn with meconium stained amniotic fluid. Read the guidelines here.
Why does this matter? Well, because many babies with meconium stained fluid are routinely suctioned whether they show signs of respiratory distress or not. This type of routine suctioning is not only an ineffective strategy in preventing meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), but also has unnecessary consequences (oral trauma of the newborn) including difficulty initiating breastfeeding.