Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pre-Pregnancy - Tink Introduction

As written by Tink, friend of BINSI

“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.” William MacNeile Dixon.

Hello BINSI Readers! This is Tink coming at ya, sharing and entering the pre-pregnancy experience. I want to thank Kim for inviting me and allowing me to contribute to the BINSI blog party. Kim is an amazing friend and doula, and a hard core participant in my kickboxing classes. In these months to come I will be blogging about my experience of getting pregnant. Our first child. Fun stuff! My opening quote from Dixon touches upon the excitement of birth. More than ever in my life, right now I am elated to create, carry, and care for a little human of my own. For about a year now, my brain buzzes with all sorts of scenarios of being a mom. I accept the responsibility that I am shaping another human's life and their character. I've even already thought about how I need to make sure none of our 4 cats slip into the baby room during sleepytime and decide to climb in the crib to curl up next to the little bundle of warmth. I'm sure any cat would be thrilled to sleep next to a baby. The cat thinks: You're about my size and you're so warm, I'm going to snooze right here next to your head. SCORE! Yikes. No, no score. Baaaaaddd idea.

The 411: I'm 30 years old, known my husband, J, since May 2000 and been married since October 2006. I'm fortunate to not have a desk day job. I am a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, cycling instructor, and last but not least, a Colorado certified professional physical education teacher. I get paid to play and kick ass. (T: Am I allowed to say that Kim?! K: Of course, that's what you do (you kick mine all the time)!! ) I love my jobs. That's actually how I met Kim! She was coming to my boot camp classes and over the months we got to know each other better. Her husband, Paul, would rock out in boot camp too.

Back to the reason I am here...J and I have always wanted children it was just a matter of WHEN. The conditions revolving around "breeding" (as J sometimes so eloquently calls it) were, as most couples desire, to be in strong financial standing, when health insurance will kick back in (that's another story), in my early 30's, and timing it so around when the baby would arrive J would be done with his M.Ed. program. We're counting on higher level of education=higher salary. There's no question in our minds that one of us will absolutely stay at home with the kiddo. J would be happy being a stay-at-home dad however the cards are in my favor right now. (Yessssssss! )

As it stands now we are in the practicing stages of getting pregnant. I have become swept up, though now trying to relax and disconnect, with an overload of Internet information that tells me everything that factors into getting pregnant. Ignorance is almost bliss. After reading how to read cervical mucus, time when intercourse "should" occur, and count number of days between cycles, I have concluded baby making is quite the scientific process. I say "almost" because it is important to be informed and educated. I've also read and heard numerous times that focusing too hard on getting pregnant makes it hard to get pregnant. J is 35 and I've heard that taking Vitamin C (thanks, Seester) can increase sperm mobility. Honey, here's some orange juice.

On the note of focusing "too much" on getting pregnant is detrimental to getting pregnant, I have already informed J of the days I am ovulating, or when it is nearing. I've been off birth control since January (after being on it for 10 years), already gone through 3 seemingly-normal menstrual cycles, and have taken a casual approach. If it happens this month, awesome. If not, no big deal. Then there's that little voice inside my head that says, What if you can't get pregnant? I imagine many women have thought that, brooded over it a bit, and perhaps shed a tear over what could be. The possibilities of where an active imagination can drive you are endless! All sorts of crazy scenarios take over. My mother and sister (Seester) assured me that they had no trouble getting pregnant and that I probably won't either. A friend of mine got off birth control, thinking it would take a few months for her body to adjust to nature however immediately 9 months later she had a beautiful baby girl. My college roommate thought forgetting to take her pill one time would be fine. Then she literally had a wedding night conception. ONE day she forgot! Sheesh. One of the baby websites I read told me that 85% of women who were on BC were pregnant within the year after the stopped taking BC.

I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl. I am resilient, tough, optimistic. I look forward to writing more. We'll see how and where this journey goes. In the meantime, don't call me tonight. I have plans. Peace out~Tink.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Review - Thrifty & Chic Mom

BINSI was recently reviewed by the Thrifty & Chic Mom blog check it out! Leave a comment on the blog entry with your favorite BINSI skirt and be entered into the Birth Skirt Giveaway!

"If you are like me you do not enjoy wearing a hospital gown. I understand why they are necessary when delivering a baby but they truly are terrible not to mention revealing and awkward. That is why I was excited to find out about Binsi a company that makes birthing clothes. That's right clothing you can wear during delivery that gives the doctors the access they need yet allows you to keep a bit of dignity. Binsi sent me a prima mama sport skirt and gogo top. I am looking forward to wearing these for my delivery. They will also be great for immediately after delivery during my hospital stay and can even be worn as maternity clothes."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Partnership - Sprout Natural Parenting

One of the first brick and mortar stores to carry our Birth Skirts and Birth Tops was Sprout Natural Parenting located in Brattleboro and Burlington, VT. Sprout was designed based upon the visions and beliefs of its owners, Laura and Bryan Louisell. They offer a full line of natural parenting products, services, and free workshops covering areas ranging from breastfeeding, cloth diapering and baby wearing.

In addition to the variety of workshops offered, both Sprout locations offer a nursing glider, changing table, and child size toilet. Hand felted wool trees and toy cubbies for children to play are just two of the unique features that you'll enjoy in each store. The fluid feminine design inspired by the womb and the creation of life form nurturing interior spaces.

Their involvement with the community has developed into both personal and professional relationships. Each storefront carries both locally and regionally produced gifts!

Laura Louisell is also the Director of Global Cildren, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of children working with orphaned children in Cambodia and she and her husband own Khmer Handmade Goods, importers of Cambodian handmade silks. They live in Brattleboro with their two children, ages five and two. Custom builder Bill Tancredi of Old City Construction recently relocated from Philadelphia and has found his inspiration right here in Vermont.

Store Menu

* Art
* Bedding and Blankets
* Books, Music and Resources
* Breastfeeding
* Children's Clothing
* Diapers
* Diaper Accessories
* Feeding
* Furniture
* Gear
* Gift Cards & Wrapping
* Gift Certificates
* Natural Health
* Potty and Bath
* Safety
* Slings and Carriers
* Toys
* Women's Clothing

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pregnancy - Home or Hospital Birth?

Posted by Carri:

To give birth at home or at the hospital was a big question for me this time around. Since I have given birth 3 times at a hospital, I thought I would like to try a home birth. I have been to many wonderful and beautiful births both at home and at the hospital. I have found great benefits at both places. Many people are surprised when they learn that my first three children were born at a hospital. As a doula I am often assumed to birth at home, but for me that was never really something I wanted to do. First of all, I lived in a very small house that I felt would be too cramped and not somewhere I would feel free to birth my babies. Second, I loved my doctor and because I am a doula I was always treated with respect and left to make the decisions easily and without pressure. However, this time around I have a larger house that I feel very comfortable in, and I want all of my kids and family to be there for the birth - so it just made sense. I saw my obstetrician for the first 20 weeks, and he felt I was an excellent candidate to have a home birth. I have very fast labors (the last one was only 2.5 hours start to finish), which makes me a bit nervous about even making it to the hospital, and last time I was so stressed trying to answer all the hospital questions and monitoring that I never felt I could really relax and focus during labor. This time I am thankful that everyone else can do all of the rushing to me, and my kids will already be at my house so there won't be any shuffling around. I can control my environment and will feel fully supported by everyone caring for me. I also love that neither my husband nor I will have to sleep in those awful hospital beds (and couch bed) and be bugged throughout the night by nurses!

There are many controversies about home birth versus hospital birth. If you haven't seen the film The Business of Being Born, you should! It is a great documentary about home and hospital birth - and truly reflects the needs for both. I have no problems using the hospital if it is needed, and am so thankful I have that option. As for any complications at home, I am not far from a hospital (10 minutes) and I completely trust my midwife, she has been a midwife for 32 years. I have seen her work on babies that have struggled in the first few moments and was amazed at her competency, skill and calm. I love giving birth and I am very excited about this new experience.

Here is some more information about home birth vs hospital birth:

Absolutely. For low risk births (which most pregnancies are) a Midwife-assisted birth is as safe or safer as one attended by a physician. A number of research studies have consistently confirmed equal or better outcomes for midwife- versus physician-assisted low risk births. These studies point out that using a Midwife significantly lowers rates of interventions, such as induction of labor, artificial rupture of membranes, episiotomies, and cesareans. Where they top the charts however, is client satisfaction!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doula Digest - Turning a Breech Baby

Posted by Kim:

I have a doula couple who are very excited about the arrival of their little one, but as of week 37 the baby is still breech (head up and feet down). My clients are being very realistic about the whole situation, but until the day they HAVE to have a cesarean birth, they are going to try everything to turn the baby. However, they are not interested or at this point willing to try an external aversion. So I have been doing some research trying to help them with suggestions about what they can do to try and get the little one get into position.

In order to gather information I searched on the internet, requested information from my Twitter following and most importantly consulted with two of my doula mentors. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful, giving, experienced doulas! It sure makes being a new doula easier and makes me feel a lot more confident knowing that I have so many people I can turn to.

Anyway, when I searched the internet I found the Natural Pregnancy Project website and their 15 suggestions and was referred to the Spinning Babies website by my twitter friends and most informational a good doula friend sent me the information below that she has acquired through research and experience.


§ Low-lying placenta
§ Short or tangled cord or around the neck
§ Fibroids
§ Small baby with lots of room to move around
§ Polyhydramnios
§ Emotional reasons


The following are some “tricks of the trade” used to help mothers encourage their babies to turn to a head-down presentation in preparation for delivery.

As you can see from the list above, at times the baby cannot turn due a medical complication. The methods described below are considered harmless ways of getting baby to turn, but there may be good reasons why your baby can’t. So please do not be discouraged if baby doesn’t turn, it may be the best possible outcome.

Drink lots of fluids (water, milk, juice) because if the amniotic fluid is low and baby is less likely to turn.

It has been proven that submersion in water for 10 days in a row can greatly increase amniotic fluid. Swimming frequently, for at least 45 minutes at a time, fully submerging the body, and turning in the water, and especially doing handstands in deep water have been especially helpful in helping stubborn babies to turn.

Take a package of Knox gelatin, mix it with warm apple juice or water per directions, and drink the fluid after it cools down, but before it starts to gel (somehow, the gelatin helps the amniotic fluid increase). She can also substitute the knox brand for more natural type gelatins. If this doesn’t work for the baby, you will have beautiful hair and nails anyway!

Sensory attractions for the baby have also worked to help babies turn in utero.

This works by directing music (perhaps headphones or a small speaker) or light to where you want the baby’s head to be. Play soothing music such as lullabies or classical music on the very low belly near the pubic bone to entice the baby towards it. Some women have put a source of light between their legs in a dark room to attract the baby lower down.

Putting a bag of frozen veggies such as peas or corn several times a day on the fundus (top of the uterus) the current location of the baby’s head is may make the baby try to scoot away from it. A warm blanket over the lower belly and pubic bone are helpful. This can also be done in a warm bathtub – the baby may turn away from the cold toward the warmth

Perhaps a noise or vibration near the baby’s head can get it to turn away and down. Annoy that baby!

Set up your ironing board against a bed or sofa, and use it to support your lower body, while you have your hips elevated above your chest (head on floor, butt in air on board). Lying tilted upside-down this way several times per day can relieve the pressure on your cervix, and help baby to flip. This is known as Dr. Souza's method or exhagerrated trendelenburg). You can also try it with 3 pillows under your bottom for 10 minutes twice a day with an empty stomach. Also kneeling and getting into a “floor-kissing” position, with your butt in the air is an alternative pose. Yoga exercises (such as sitting in the tailor position) can also prove helpful.

Search for emotional reasons, such as fear of delivering vaginally or fears of imagined dangers, and do not hesitate to discuss these with your doula.

Visualizing the baby turning can relax the necessary muscles and ligaments to do so.

Here is some information kindly provided by local doulas, regarding accupuncture methods for assisting breech mothers:

“My best understanding of what moxibustion is: The Acupuncturist inserts a fine needle into any spot they feel it is necessary (depending on the condition they are treating). To enhance the effect of the acupuncture, they put a substance that looks like bits of sticky sponge on the end
of that same fine needle. Then they light it on fire. It sort of burns like a cigarette. The burning substance heats up the needle and causes an increased effect of the acupuncture. Another way they can do it (and our acupuncturist did it) is to remove the needle and do "direct moxibustion".
In this, she put a tiny chunk of the moxi (the spongy substance) directly on the client's skin (again on those same spots on her toes). Then, she lit it on fire. It sort of burned like a cigarette butt would and when the client said, "It's hot" the acupuncturist IMMEDIATELY pinched it off with her fingers. Then, did it on the other toe and repeated this process for a total of about 10 minutes. It usually only took about 4-5 seconds before it was "hot" to the client.

To turn breech baby: The spot is lower outer quadrant of your baby toe toenails on the skin.”

Homeopathic pulsatilla has been known to assist babies in flipping. For doses, or to discuss the ins and outs, talk to herbalists.

An MD can do external version, using ultrasound to physically turn the baby. They do this by palpating your abdomen with their hands. They will not do it, if they feel it is unsafe. Some midwives are also very skilled in external version.

Here is a description from the industry of the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique:

Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy.

This is accomplished by working with the nervous system—the conduit of intelligence between your brain and body. Doctors of Chiropractic work to correct subluxations (misalignments) of the individual spinal bones. When subluxated, these bones put pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves causing malfunction in any part of the body.

One such malfunction may be the tightening of pelvic muscles and ligaments producing uterine constraint. It is these tense muscles and ligaments and their constraining effect on the uterus which prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the vertex (head first) position. The Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment used to correct subluxations in the pregnant mother’s sacrum and pelvis. This relaxes the mother’s muscles and ligaments, providing the physiological environment necessary for normal baby positioning.

Dr. Larry Webster, Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association developed this technique as a safe means to restore proper pelvic structure and function for pregnant mothers. In expectant mothers presenting breech, there has been a 75-95% success rate of the baby turning to the normal vertex position. Most commonly known for its success in turning
breech babies, any position of the baby other than vertex may indicate the presence of subluxation and in-utero constraint. It has been strongly recommended by Doctors trained in this technique, that the specific analysis portion of this technique be used throughout pregnancy, to detect subluxations and prevent in-utero constraint.

Because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions,

all pregnant mothers should have their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health potential for themselves and their developing baby. Yes, chiropractic care from conception and continued after birth for both mother and child has given many families an opportunity for greater health.

Finally, by simply waiting, some babies turn on their own. It can not be over emphasised that some babies have too short a cord to turn, or can not turn for a variety of reasons that make the breech position safer.


For a beautiful example of a vaginal breech delivery with no interventions, check this website. The mother delivered a BIG baby over an intact perineum (no tearing or instrument delivery!)

Birth Diaries







Jean Sutton's book, Optimal Fetal Positioning

Breech Birth, Woman Wise, by Maggie Banks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birth Story - Kellen and Aidan's birth

Written by Kellen, friend of BINSI

Hello all! I wanted to share my birth experience for those who are considering a natural (no medicine) birth. I must preface this by saying that when I initially heard about a drug-free birth, I thought the lady (who was doing it with twins) was absolutely crazy. Then, I started to think about it a little more and look into my options. That's when I discovered Hypnobirthing and my doula, Vivian.

I probably need to tell a little about Hypnobirthing... Hypnobirthing is a birthing method that uses breathing and relaxation techniques that allow you to eliminate/reduce the fear/tension/pain cycle that is the cause for most of the pain that a lot of women feel. The breathing and relaxation allows your muscles, hormones, and bodily chemicals to work in harmony and allow our incredible "baby machine" work easily!

Okay, with that said...here's my story! After I decided that HB was for me, I found a place that had the HB classes. My OBs had worked with many women who chose to use this method and they recommended my doula. We took the class (5 weeks - once a week) and I listened to my relaxation CD every night for a couple of months before my LOs birth.

Fast forward to delivery day (Friday, Nov 14th - due date was the 16th)... I woke up at 7:30 before my husband went to work to say goodbye and then laid on the couch for a little while. Around 8:30-8:45, I felt crampy, but wasn't sure if it was a "contraction" or if I just needed to poop...b/c I did the latter and felt better. Then a little while later I felt crampy again and pooped again - so, I figured the crampy was just b/c of the need to poop. I did this about 4 or 5 more times over the next 2 hrs until I just couldn't poop any more. Then, I figured I might be having "contractions."

I called my husband to ask him what he had planned for lunch and if he'd like to come home and have lunch with me...he was like "Well, I was going to have a short lunch so I could try to come home a little early today." So, I asked him again (hinting) are you SURE you don't want to come home to have lunch with me... I think I might be having contractions." I wasn't in any pain, I was only a little crampy about every 15-20 minutes, and not for long. My DH was home by 12:15 p.m. - we talked while he was coming home and I was fine. My DH had been timing my "contractions" from when we were talking on his drive home. I took a shower when he got home - still fine. We called our doula and told her what was going on. She said to just do as much at home as we could b/c we'd be more comfortable there than at the hospital.

We started getting the last minute things together b/c my DH told me that my contractions were now about 4 minutes apart...I hadn't been paying attention - I was just telling him when they started and ended...he was keeping track. :) So, my "contractions" had gone from every 15 minutes to every 4 in about 45 minutes. Needless to say, we left for the hospital. My doula was going to meet us there.

We got to the hospital by 1:15 and was admitted. They checked me and I was about 3.5 cm already! Yay! I had purchased a BINSI skirt for my labor, but I was so hot I only ended up wearing my socks. What I didn't consider was how handy it would be to have it after I had the baby. The skirt was totally cute and allowed me to walk around the hospital with him and look cute! I did my breathing techniques and moved to different positions until about 4:30. My dr stopped by, checked me and said I was about 7 cm. He had a c-section at 5 and would come back after that. The "contractions" got a little more intense, but not painful. My OB came back around 6:15 and said I was about 8 cm. I had had the urge to push every few "contractions" but he didn't want me to push yet as I wasn't completely effaced. I breathed through a couple of urges to push, but then told him I couldn't wait any longer. He did a little "stretching" down there and it was on from there!

He told me to give a push - I did - and we realized that the cord was around my LO's neck (his heart rate dropped). We waited a couple of "contractions" to let it stabilize, then pushed again. We got his head out (and cord from around his neck), pushed again and got his shoulders and most of his body out, and then pushed one more time. There was my beautiful little boy - born at 7 lbs 9 oz and 21.5 inches long at 7:10 p.m.! He was perfect in every way! Totally alert and ready to get going!

I even tore, and didn't know it! (I only knew after when my OB said he needed to stitch me up...)
I am going to do a natural/medicine free birth for all of our children, if medically possible! It was really worth it and was totally doable. It might not have been a leisurely stroll next to a babbling brooke, holding hands with your husband, but it was not a nightmare like so many people had told me. I wanted to let the people who are considering going drug-free know that it's a real option and a possibility. Don't rule it out!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Product Review - Best Multifunction Bag

Posted by Carri:

I am always trying to find a bag that is comfortable, cute, multifunctional and affordable. I have found this amazing bag from a very crafty mom on Etsy! This adorable bag is not only cute and stylish - it is near perfect for me and my family. I have one I use as a purse (because my purse really doubles as a suitcase with all of my kids), and then I have another one that I use for a diaper bag - that my husband will use too. I was at book club the other night and saw one of the husbands come in, and he too had one of these bags over his shoulder with two kids in tow. As a stay at home mother with a business, I am always looking for other businesses like my own to support. I would much rather support a local stay at home mom than some overseas manufacturing company. She not only has these great bags, but she also has kids aprons, onsies, and grocery bags. Check out her site on Etsy www.siikhiao.etsy.com. And if you've never been to Etsy.com - you are missing out! It is a great site filled with amazingly crafty one of a kind items.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Cost of Being Born At Home

From the RH Realtiy Check Website
As posted by Miriam Pérez on March 19, 2009 - 7:00am

Yesterday in New York City, Julie Finefrock appeared before the health fund subcommittee of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as part of her appeal of their denial of her homebirth coverage. Ms. Finefrock, who is six months pregnant, is married to an SEIU employee. Their insurance plan excludes homebirth coverage, despite New York State regulations that require that private insurance cover out-of-hospital birth with a licensed practitioner. Ms. Finefrock's situation is just one example of a larger fight to increase access to homebirth nationally, and it's a fight that has ramped up due to new media attention to the issue.

One mother laboring with her midwife on the roof of her Cobble Hill penthouse, gorgeous Manhattan skyline in the background. Another holding her newborn on her living room couch, exposed brick and high ceilings behind her. These are just two of the scenes from the November New York Times article and slideshow about the growing interest among New York City women in birthing at home. These images paint a very specific picture of homebirth--all the women were pictured in spacious, nicely decorated apartments and, with the exception of one African-American woman, all were white. Watch the popular Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born, released last year, and you get a similar story: Lake and her interviewees were all financially well off and could afford to choose to birth at home. Neither the Times article nor Lake's film touched on one thing that all these women seemed to have in common--money. Read More

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pregnancy - Insomnia and Pregnancy

Posted by Carri:

Well it is is 2:34 a.m. and I am awake, but tired. I can't seem to sleep, but I feel exhausted - sound familiar? I usually get this a bit later in my pregnancy (I am only 27.5 weeks), but what can you do? For me the answer is check e-mail, Facebook and blog. I figure if I can't do something productive and helpful like sleep, I might as well do something somewhat productive and not physically exhausting (like cleaning). I can't say I have any tips at the moment for this very inconvenient problem, but I will certainly ask my midwife next week. So for those of you reading this in the wee hours of the night - know you are not alone! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Middle Wife

Posted by Kim:

A friend sent this to me in an email and I thought it was so cute that I would share it with you!

The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually,show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' ( This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away.. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe.They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ' Middle Wife' comes along.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Case Against Breastfeeding?

Posted by Kim:

While spending some time with my new Social Media friends online yesterday two articles came to my attention and I had to bring them to your attention. I was so shocked when I read about "The Case Against Breast-Feeding" written by Hanna Rosin. According to Rosin "Being stuck at home breast-feeding as he [her husband] walked out the door for work just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else." She asserts that "In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?" You can read her article on The Atlantic's website.

I then came across "The Case Against Breastfeeding: Is it Anti-Feminist?" article on the PhD in Parenting website and in this article the author intends to respond to Rosin's attacks from a "scientific and feminist perspective." The author of this article says "While I can concede that breastfeeding is not right for every woman or every family, I don’t see it as an instrument of misery that keeps women down." The author specifically addresses the following claims by Rosin

1. Rosin argues that women bear the strain of making breastfeeding work and that this exposes the ideal of an equal marriage

2. Rosin talks about a Babytalk story that calls breastfeeding induced “maternal nirvana” and goes on to explain that with her third child, nirvana did not describe her state of mind.

3. Rosin says that recently she and her husband noticed that they had reached an age at which friends from high school now hold positions of serious power, but they had to work hard to find any women on that list and she wonders why they disappeared during they years they had small children.

4. She also says that breastfeeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way.

Please read the articles and let us know your thoughts.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Birth Story - My Birth

Posted by Kim:

Seeing as though my birthday was last Wednesday, I thought I would share with you my Mother's memories of my birth! Yes, if I was on top of things I would have posted this last Wednesday, but seeing as though Carri ordered me not to work on my birthday, what could I do? I had to take it off. Anyway, here it is:

It is so funny because each year my Mom calls me up with the same expression. "I woke up with the worse back pain this morning." This is always how she starts the conversation. She says "I didn't even realize I was in labor so I just kept folding laundry" (this is the same registered nurse who didn't realize she was pregnant until she was 12 weeks along). Once the pain became more intense she and my Dad decided to go to the hospital (same hospital where she has worked for 43 years). So my Mom and Dad called my Grandparents (who lived directly across the river from where my parents lived) to let them know that they were going to go to the hospital. Meanwhile, knowing what was going on, my Grandfather watched out of his front window with his binoculars and could see the exact moment when my Mom and Dad left for the hospital. So what happens? Well of course when my Grandfather saw my Mom and Dad pull away from their house through his binoculars he and my Uncle get so excited they jump in the car and drive to hospital. Normally one would not consider this strange behavior because many times family wants to surround the laboring mother with their love and support (or at least wait in the waiting room to hear the good news). Well in this case, the problem was that my Grandfather sped off the hospital leaving my Grandmother (who does not drive) in the bathtub and no way to contact him or get to the hospital. Luckily my soon-to-be Aunt called my Grandmother and went over the house and picked her up so she could be there for the birth of her first grandchild as well!!

The story about the actually birth is pretty vague in my mother's mind. She can't remember how far progressed she was when she arrived at the hospital, she just said "I don't think they kept as close track of that as they do now." So according to her she labored alone in the labor room and they eventually gave her a little medication to take the edge off of the pain, demerol she thinks. All she recalls is feeling like she was "As Drunk as a Skunk" and waving to one of her best friends as she walked past her room yelling "HELLOOOO there Mary Margaret."

Then she was moved to a delivery table, three pushes and I was out! My Dad stayed in the waiting room "Cool as a Cucumber" as my family always said. The doctor came out and told my Dad that he had a Little Princess and that's about it.

My mother chose not to nurse me at all so they gave her a medicine that prevented her milk from coming in, but she recalls that I was "The cutest baby she had ever seen." But what Mom doesn't say that? My Dad said that one of his most vivid memories of meeting me for the first time was how long an thin my fingers were. This is so funny thinking about how short and stubby my fingers are now!!!

The highlights of the day that I hear every year:
All Back Labor
Grandpa left Grandma
Dad was as cool as a Cucumber
I felt as Drunk as a Skunk
3 pushes and you were out

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pregnancy - Postpartum Doula

Posted by Carri:

Postpartum Doulas

Now that I am due to have my 4th child, I am trying to figure out what all I can do to help make this transition as easy for me as possible. I often think about what it was like to have only one child, and am surprised at how much more capable and efficient I am now 3 kids later. However, I still want to make sure that I don't try to be super mom and wear myself down. So this time, I am hiring a postpartum doula. As a birth doula, I will still have a doula present for my birth (both because I want one, and my husband won't do it without one!), but I have never used the services of a postpartum doula. The doula I have hired specializes in Ayurveda. Here is the description of ayurveda and the benefits of postpartum doula care directly from her website:

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year tested medical source of knowledge in India. Ayurveda is a health system that focuses on all of the bodily energies being in balance, mind, body and soul. It uses preventative measures for bodies to be in balance and maintenance to keep it there. In Ayurveda, it is the belief that the first 42 postpartum days impact the next 42 years of a woman’s ability to mother and partner. With all good intentions we tend to put our needs like sleep, nutrition, time to ourselves on the back burner because we are so committed to our babies. There is nothing wrong with loving our babies so much but we need to realize that receiving help whether it is a massage a nap or a meal is not a luxury nor is it selfish to accept. It is important not to allow ourselves to become depleted physically or mentally and unable to give the care and love we want for our babies and families. Many health problems arise after child birth in women because they don’t give themselves time to heal. Our bodies go through an incredible transition during pregnancy and the delivery of our babies. We tend not to notice the impact childbirth has on the entire system. If left unchecked the resulting imbalance can create additional problems. Some of the ways it appears; digestion, elimination, hormones, nervous system, and our pelvic and abdominal organ condition.

Postpartum doula care is beneficial for:

• Avoiding colic and postpartum depression
• Extended and enhanced bonding
• The mother and baby’s health for years to come
• Providing an opportunity for mothers to be the best mother and partner they can be

It is vital to restore the balance within to:

• Have better digestion
• Lose the baby weight
• Return to work sooner
• Have sex or a sex drive
• Feel energetic
• Able to deal with choices required for parenting
• Have better health and immune system
• Produce milk

So, I am REALLY looking forward to having someone around making sure my physical and mental health are taken care of so I can be the best mom I can be! Also, a good peice of information is that some health insurance companies pay for this service, as well as birth doulas - so it is worth taking the time to submit the paperwork and put forth the effort to do everything possible to make this work. Every person that submits the paperwork helps show the insurance companies that it is a valued service and makes it more likely that others will be able to have the service.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Doula Digest - Writing a Birth Plan

Posted by Kim:

Birth Plans have become an important part of the birth experience. This is the time when you and your partner's most important wishes and concerns can be expressed to your doula, midwife, doctor, hospital staff and any family or friends who will be attending your birth. This document lets everyone know what you hope will or won't happen during your labor, birth and postpartum care. Be sure to give everyone a copy of your birth plan prior to your labor.

When writing your birth plan the two main points of advice that both Carri and I give our doula clients are

1) Write it in bullet point format
2) Try to make it no more than 5 main points.

I recommend that there can be 5 points in two different categories

1) Labor
2) Baby

Bullet points make it easier for everyone to read through your wishes quickly. If your birth plan is written in a long paragraph form it is difficult to get the gist of what your needs and wishes are and may not even be read, even if they have the best of intentions. Remember the staff and doctor may be caring for several laboring moms so you want to keep it easy and simple for the them. Plus this will also make it easier for your doula to quick reference your choices. The nurses really want to help you have the best birth experience as possible, but they are use to specific routines so they may do things out of this routine, not to go against your wishes. So having the easy bullet points helps to avoid confusion.

Items you may want to consider for your birth plan:

  • Support People - Who will be with you in during your birth names of your birth partner, doula, allowed guests, whether or not you will be accepting guests
  • What you would like to wear during your labor
  • Vaginal Exams - preference to have exams only upon request
  • IV - Preference to not have a continuous IV, but willingness to have a buff cap placed
  • Urinary Catheter and Enema
  • Induction - Use of pitocin during labor and delivery of the placenta
  • Breaking the bag of water
  • Pain medication - What methods of pain relief, if any would you consider? "Please do not recommend any method of pain relief unless I ask"
  • Fetal monitoring - Prefer intermittent fetal monitoring vs continuous monitoring, would like to avoid internal monitoring
  • Freedom to walk or eat and drink
  • Labor Positions - Preferred positions, laboring in the water
  • Labor Environment
  • Preference to labor down before pushing
  • Assisted Delivery - Preference to avoid the use of forceps or vacuum
  • Preferred Pushing position - Squatting, in the tub/birth pool
  • Partner to "catch" the baby
  • Episiotomy
  • Delay cord cutting until cord stops pulsating
  • Partner to (or not to) cut the cord
  • If stitching of perineum is required use of local anesthetic
  • Placenta - would you like to keep it or have it disposed of in a particular way
If a cesarean section is required
  • Partner present
  • Epidural anesthesia if possible
  • Breastfeeding in recovery room
  • Partner to hold baby in delivery/operating room
  • Baby to be placed on Mother's chest immediately after birth
  • Perform all newborn physical exams and procedures while baby is with mother
  • Baby to be rooming in with parents at all times
  • Breastfeeding - use of supplemental formula feeding and/or water
  • Preference regarding bottles, artificial nipples, pacifiers
  • Eye ointment, Vitamin K shot
  • Bath - do not remove vernix
  • Clothing
  • Vaccinations
  • Circumcision
  • Use of disposable vs cloth diapers
Ultimately your birth plan is your birth guide, a general outline of what your ideal birth scenario would be. But as we all know birth is a wonderful, beautiful, unpredictable experience and the need for everyone involved to be flexible is very important. However, in my opinion do not mistake flexibility with your ability to advocate for yourself and your baby. If at any time you feel pushed to make a decision before you feel comfortable with the results of that decision, don't be afraid to ask for time to consider your choices. It is your experience and ultimately your care and your baby's care should be a team approach between you and your care providers. That is why it is very important that you are well educated and you surround yourself with well educated birth partners so you can make informed decisions during your labor if questions arise.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Leading Mom in Business

Vote For Us in the StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition

I recently became aware of a competition that Start Up Nation was sponsoring in conjunction with Ladies Who Launch and I had to find out more! I receive the Ladies Who Launch daily emails, but many times am so overwhelmed by how much email and reading I do that I skip reading these daily digests, I don't think I will do that again seeing as though I found out about this competition via Twitter. I voted for a few friends who had made the request, but then I started reading about it and I said to myself "We need to be a part of this." Granted the format of the competition is somewhat popularity based and the results are based simply on who gets the most votes, regardless of true quality. However, one would hope that the combination of a quality business/product and loyal friends and family you could acquire the most votes. So I figured what the heck, it certainly can't hurt.

I entered BINSI in the competition and we have until Midnight March 31st to acquire enough votes to be part of the top 200 vote getters. The problem, this competition has been going on for while and we are just entering in the last month. So what do we need? Your daily vote. You can vote for us once a day on the Start Up Nation website. Or you can simply click on the Vote for Us button on the BINSI website or on the blog! We hope you do think of us as one of the Leading Moms in Business and will consider voting for us everyday! We will greatly appreciate it!

A Tribute to Moms in Business - from the Start Up Nation website

Everybody knows one. Like a super hero, she balances running a family with the heroics of running her own business. We’re talking about moms in business, of course. And now, StartupNation is conducting its first annual ranking of these astonishing entrepreneurs and the businesses they run.

But, how do we know who’s the best of the best? We’re leaving that to you. Over the next few months, it’ll be your daily votes that will tell us who deserves to be named a winner. The list of the 200 winners will be published in May and will be ranked according to votes accumulated.

The competition has just begun taking entries, so sign up now. Or, if you know a dynamo mom who should enter, tell her to sign up!

To learn more about the competition check out the Start Up Nation website

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reviews - Grab Bag Reviews

Posted by Kim:

Reviewed by Heather at Grab Bag Reviews
Constructive Chaos

Another great review! Thanks Heather. Visit the Grab Bag Reviews blog, leave a comment about your favorite BINSI outfit and be entered to win a free skirt and top!

"When my water broke with my youngest, we were living about an hour away from the hospital. We grabbed our bags, dropped the oldest off at my mother-in-laws, and headed on our way. Of course, the first thing they had me do once I was checked in was disrobe and put on the hospital gown. YUCK! My labor never did start on it's own, and so, for 24 hours, I walked the halls of the labor and delivery ward, took the elevator up to the nursery for more walking, and then walked some more in my room. The whole time I was in that ghastly, ugly, completely uncomfortable hospital gown. If only I had known about Binsi birthing wear at the time!"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pregnancy - Constipation During Pregnancy

Posted by Carri:

No one wants to talk about this, but it is a very common and irritating part of pregnancy. The reason behind this problem is that our digestion slows down during pregnancy to accommodate the pregnancy. Another common reason is because of the synthetic iron in many prenatal vitamins and iron supplements. So here are a couple simple and natural ways of helping this very uncomfortable problem. My favorite and most effective and easy solution is a large fruit smoothie with 2 tablespoons of ground golden flax seeds. My smoothie is usually just frozen fruit and apple juice. I use a coffee grinder to grind down the flax seeds. You don’t have to grind them, but they absorb better and easier. Make sure you get the golden flax seeds. They taste better and work better too. Another simple solution is to start taking a natural prenatal vitamin. You can get these at any health food store. Other helpful solutions are to drink a lot of water, eat healthy greens and foods, and exercise.

Product Review - Crocs

Posted by Carri:

One of my favorite items during pregnancy is Crocs. Besides the obvious comfort issue, I love that I don’t have to bend over to put them on or tie them. They now have very cute styles so I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything else to make me feel more awkward or large. Not that I don’t also wear my regular Crocs around the house and in the yard, but for the sake of vanity, I prefer to do whatever I can to look a little cuter whenever possible – but still comfortable. My favorite style as of late is the Celeste Canvas style, and as it gets warmer I look forward to trying some of their other super cute sandal styles. Check them out at www.crocs.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Featured Retailer - Zoe b

Posted by Kim:

One of our very first retailers was Zoe b now known as Zoe b Organic. Since partnering together owner, Valerie, and I have had the wonderful opportunity of becoming friends, working together at events and growing our businesses together. Isn't that the greatest thing about the maternity industry? Everyone is SO helpful and happy. It has been my experience that most people I have met started their businesses out of necessity or out of the genuine interest in helping other moms-to-be! What a blessing!

A little about Valerie:

It's easy being green.

I am a "green" mom, not an eco-evangelist but a mom who thinks we need to take care of our planet for the sake of our children. It makes sense, it is becoming easier to make green choices in your day to day life.

That's how Zoë b Organic started. Most products you can find on our website are either designed by me or products I have tested and use everyday.

Why go organic?

Though you may be unaware of it, growing cotton uses more pesticides and synthetic fertilizers than any other crop (50 million pounds of pesticides annually in the U.S. alone.) The pesticides used on cotton harm people, wildlife, and the environment. They can poison farm workers (especially in developing countries), drift into neighboring communities, contaminate the ground and surface water, and kill beneficial insects.

Our daughter Zoë was my inspiration for starting my own company. She,Lucas and our newborn daughter Sophie (born in November 2007) continue to inspire me every day. Thanks to my husband John for his support. I could not do this without him.

Along with BINSI Labor and Birth Apparel, Zoe b also carries organic products for Mom and Baby

Natursutten BPA, Phthalates Free Pacifier, BPA, Phthalates Free Teethers, Natural Rubber Teethers, BPA, phthalate-free Baby Bottles, Glass Baby Bottles

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pregnancy - Chiropractic and Massage During Pregnancy

Posted by Carri:

One of my favorite things during pregnancy is to have an adjustment at the chiropractor and then get a massage. The chiropractor I see, and believe in, does not use the typical “cracking” method. She uses a gentle tool called an activator that gently adjusts your spine. This method is much more gentle and safer for your spine and overall is much less stressful for me. I used to see a regular chiropractor, and always found myself stressed before and during any adjustments. I have found that this gentle adjustment, along with massage is the perfect fix once a month throughout pregnancy. I feel better and my body and baby love it. Make sure you talk with you doctor about your health before seeing a chiropractor, and make sure you do your research. Make sure they are skilled in prenatal care, and get personal recommendations.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doula Digest - Bradley Class Reunion

In February the Bradley class I had taken with Michelle Mueller got together for a reunion. It was amazing to see all the new little babies. We had spent about 14 weeks together and really got to know each other well. Having thought of each couple as parents to be for the last three months of 2008 it was wonderful to see how they bloomed into parents in 2009! I of course had to hold every baby, especially my doula clients' little ones. Ohhh they were just too cute! Each couple went around and told their birth story. Each so unique and amazing experiences. One couple had a successful Natural VBAC, one a successful homebirth and of course you may have already read about Gina and Steve's and Elaine and Greg's births here on the blog. It was so fun to hear the story and learn about their experiences. Every story started the same, Mom would start telling the story in a general outline, but Dad would have to fill in the details because Mom couldn't remember exactly how it happened or was completely unaware of how time passed. This little reunion only fueled my fire to be a doula and I can't wait to be hired by more couples! What a phenomenal time to be with a new family!!