Friday, May 29, 2009

Pregnancy - A Comical Last Date Night

Posted by Carri:

My husband and I LOVE to go to the movies. It is fun to get away and I love the popcorn! We recognize that our babies don't do very well in the movie theater, and so we went to see Star Trek (of course my husbands choice!) the other night as our last movie date for a while. A funny thing happened while I waited in line for the movie, and Brent was getting my popcorn. There were a few people in front of me that casually asked when I was due and made a few comments about my having a Trekie baby (I don't know about that!). When Brent finally joined me they all sighed in relief and commented on how glad they were to see I was not alone. They were wondering if I had gone into labor during the movie if they would have to help me. And best of all the guy responded, "I just went to the bathroom and washed my hands - so I'm ready." WHAT?! My response was "No I won't be having the baby tonight, and I think every girl in line is glad to know that you are washed and ready - just in case." It is funny how nervous people can get around women that are due to have their babies soon, and even funnier when they think that labor just goes so fast that I would need immediate assistance during a movie. And to think that I would want some strange man to deliver my child in the theater is so comical I doubt I will ever forget that exchange! It was certainly a date to remember!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pregnancy - Getting Siblings Ready for the New Baby

Posted by Carri

It is almost time for this little one to join the family! Unfortunately, my children have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this baby for so long - they kind of think it is not really going to happen. So to help them feel like a part of this event, and that something really is going to happen, we went to Build A Bear. We have done this for all of the boys. We take the big brother(s) to Build A Bear where they get to pick out a bear and put a heart in it and of course have it stuffed. This is the gift the boys will give the baby when it is born - and likewise the baby will have gifts for them too. My youngest will get a newborn cabbage patch kid - so he has a baby to take care of too. The other two will get gifts that they will enjoy and will keep them occupied every so often.

As another way to wake them up to the fact that this baby really will be joining our family, I put the car seat in the car. I put it where the youngest currently sits and put a stuffed animal in the seat to make it more fun for them. Overall, I think it will be a joyous celebration when this little one arrives - but adding fun things, and remembering that kids liked to be included to the mix, only makes it better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woman Gives Birth, Later Dies From Bacterial Meningitis

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:30 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:15 PM

BELLFONTAINE, Ohio — Hospital administrators said Tuesday that they were conducting an investigation after two women contracted bacterial meningitis within 24 hours of giving birth.

The women arrived at Mary Rutan Hospital Thursday evening and both delivered healthy babies. By the next morning, the women started to become ill, 10TV's Tanisha Mallett reported.

"Sometime around mid-morning there were complications," said Mandy Goble, president and chief executive officer of Mary Rutan Hospital. "Headaches and a little bit of nausea developed, which is very common with spinal anesthesia."

Later in the day, the women were moved to Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. Shortly before midnight, one of the women, Susan Simpson, 30, died.

Goble said her hospital immediately launched an investigation to determine what caused the infection.

"They came in about an hour apart; they were in separate rooms (and) as far as we know they did not know each other previous to the delivery," Goble said. "The only commonality that we have been able to determine is they each shared a spinal anesthesia."

The other woman, whose name was not released, remained at the hospital on Tuesday. Her family and friends told 10TV News that she was in the hospital's intensive care unit, Mallett reported.

The women's babies were in good condition at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The Ohio Department of Health told 10TV News that the Logan County Health Department was also involved in the investigation.

Watch 10TV News and refresh for additional information.

©2009 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pregnancy - Baby Products Act 3

Posted by Carri:

Arm's Reach Mini Co-sleeper

I love having my baby near me while I sleep, and I really like the co-sleeper! It makes it so I don't have to get out of bed to nurse the baby, and it also provides a safe guard if by chance the baby rolls out of bed. I have a terrible story, that my husband will never live down, that will make you think twice about not having anything next to the bed! My husband fell asleep with our second son on his chest. Hudsen rolled off his chest and onto the floor. He was only 6 weeks old and I totally freaked! Thankfully our pediatrician was pretty laid back and there was no rushing to the hospital, but it scared me to death! Now after the baby outgrows the co-sleeper, but still comes into bed to nurse at night, I put up a kids bed rail and a pillow to make sure they do go anywhere.

Earth Mama Angel Baby

I love these products! They are all natural and have been verified by, that they really are safe and natural. There are so many products now that claim to be natural, but really are just better than the worst stuff. Here are my favorite products:

Mama Bottom Balm - an amazing cooling salve that is better than the prescription stuff the hospital gives out.

Nipple Butter - no lanolin, and safe for you and baby. A great solution to sensitive nipples.

Booby Tubes - I often struggle with clogged ducts (which I have learned comes from drinking caffeine) and these warming pads make a huge difference in avoiding a breast infection.

Angel Baby Body Wash - a great smell and easy to use. I love it!

Angel Baby Lotion - again a yummy smell and great for baby

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pregnancy - Oh My Aching Hips!

Posted by Carri:

I am in awe of women that have more than 4 children! I am on baby number 4, and the final baby for sure! My body feels like an 80 year old. I waddle everywhere (and by the way, no I do NOT want your comments about it). I have to shuffle after lying or sitting down for too long because my hip joints are locked up. The baby has found the nerves in my hips and brings me to my knees when they are touched. Last pregnancy the nerve pain was so bad that one time I fell to the floor and my 3 year old told my 5 year old that "mommy is dying". Funny now, but it sure isn't funny when it happens! I'm not sleeping well and overall I'm exhausted. I'm sure there are more complaints, but I will stop here.

So how do women do this over and over and over again? My personal opinion is that they have super human strength. Some would say that I am a wimp, but frankly I think they really are amazing. Like the Duggar family - 18 kids?!?! First I can't imagine managing that many people, but I am certain my uterus would fall out and my body would disintegrate if I tried to carry more than 4 kids.

So hats off to those superhuman amazing women that love being pregnant and do so again and again! I wish I were more like you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Capturing the Doula Spirit - Photo Contest

Written by Yana Katzap-Nackman CD (DONA), PCD (DONA), DONA Director of Membership Support

A Contest in Celebration of International Doula Month

May 2009

Have you ever heard the phrase, "every picture tells a story" or the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words?" In celebration of International Doula Month, DONA International will honor its members, their doula spirit and the contribution they provide to maternity care by accepting photo action shots that tell your story as a birth or postpartum doula. Photos must be submitted during the month of May, which is International Doula Month. The winners will be announced in the June eDoula.

First Prize:
The winning photo will be featured in the December issue of the International Doula and on the DONA International web site and the doula contestant will be awarded a free one year membership.

Second Prize:
The second place photo will be featured on the DONA International web site and the doula contestant will be awarded a $25 gift certificate for the DONA Boutique.

Third Prize:
The third place photo will be featured on the DONA International web site and the doula contestant will be awarded a $10 gift certificate for the DONA Boutique.

Submission requirements:
• Photo (see photo specifications below)
• Doula's name and credentials
• Doula's address
• Doula's day phone number
• Doula's e-mail address
• Name(s) of each person photographed, listed from left to right
• When and where was the picture taken and why you think it reflects the doula spirit
• A signed DONA International Photo Release form for each person photographed, available on the web site at

Photo specifications:
All photographs will be accepted for consideration. However, the best quality photos for print publication are 300 dpi TIFF files or high resolution compressed JPEG files with good contrast of light and dark. Images intended for cover use must be at least 8˝x10˝ (original size, not enlarged) at 300 dpi and should be sent in their original, untouched/unaltered format. Color photographs must be in RGB color format, but they may be converted to black and white.

All submissions should be sent to by May 31, 2009.

Pregnancy - Baby Products Act 2

Posted by Carri:

So we're still counting down till baby number 4 arrives, and I am still finding new and great products that I need or want. I saw Breathable Baby crib bumper and thought it was great! It's a bumper for the crib that is breathable and looks easy to put on and take off. The other crib bumpers always sagged down and were a pain to tie to each crib rail. Plus, it's only $20! That is a much better deal during this economic recession than the super cute and plush Pottery Barn bedding. Another great part about it is that it reduces the risk of SIDS because air can flow through it, and baby won't suffocate in it.

Boppy is my choice for a breastfeeding pillow. I have bought a new one for each kid because they condense over time. For some reason I have kept all of them too. I spend so much time with them it feels like throwing away a friend or something. So I will buy another one this time, and look forward to picking out a new cute cover. They also have a new product called The Newborn Lounger. I am guilty of putting all of my children in the Boppy to chill for a while (even though there is a very large WARNING label on the pillow advising otherwise), and have been ashamed to walk in and see them sunk in and uncomfortable. This pillow takes care of that problem. There is no hole, but a nice indent that makes it comfortable for baby and you don't have to feel like child services is about to walk in by leaving them in there while you do the dishes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pre-Pregnancy - A New Way of Life

Written by Tink, friend of BINSI

I wouldn't be alone anymore. For 30 years, it's been just me. Selfish me...I can do whatever I want , whenever I want.

Yesterday I had a moment when the realization dug deep and excavated the space between my ribs and my heart; thinking about how once I have a baby it's no longer just me. Just J and I. It's me, J, and Baby Z. Baby Z depends on us for everything. Wow. EVERYTHING. To give them speech, knowledge, experiences, clothing, food, care, shelter. I'm not saying I'm not ready nor willing. I am ready, I am willing. I want to share my life, bring them all the joys, and be there for their tumbles. I want to know who they are and them to know who I am. As I sit here at the computer, alone, it is rather difficult to imagine how once I have a baby, my life as I know it, will be completely transformed. Never the same, ever. I'm waiting for that day yet will fully savor the days in between.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Childbirth: Can the U.S. improve?

Posted by Kim:

The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 17th. I was shocked to read that cesarean birth is the most common operation in the US, cost more than twice that of a vaginal birth, and accounts for 45% of delivery costs. What is even more astonishing to me (should it be?) is that hospitals consider the birth center a profit center so there is not incentive to reduce cesarean births. Crazy, I can't even imagine that train of thought. I guess that is partially the reason why some insurances are offering reimbursement for birth doula care. Because a couple that hires a birth doula is less likely to have interventions during their birth, and a lot less likely to have a cesarean birth, thus reducing their cost. No, their motivation is not necessarily the fact that birth is normal and natural, but it is at least a starting place.
making women feel comfortable during their births and less likely to need or want interventions is BISNI's goal.

Childbirth: Can the U.S. improve?

Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

By Lisa Girion
May 17, 2009
After an emergency cesarean with her first baby, Ruby Wales was holding out for a vaginal birth with her second one.

With a toddler underfoot, the 33-year-old Mission Viejo woman wanted a faster recovery. But finding a physician to deliver her second child wasn't easy. Her first obstetrician turned her down flat. "She said, 'No -- no way,' " Wales recalled.

Once reserved for cases in which the life of the baby or mother was in danger, the cesarean is now routine. The most common operation in the U.S., it is performed in 31% of births, up from 4.5% in 1965.

With that surge has come an explosion in medical bills, an increase in complications -- and a reconsideration of the cesarean as a sometimes unnecessary risk.

It is a big reason childbirth often is held up in healthcare reform debates as an example of how the intensive and expensive U.S. brand of medicine has failed to deliver better results and may, in fact, be doing more harm than good.

"We're going in the wrong direction," said Dr. Roger A. Rosenblatt, a University of Washington professor of family medicine who has written about what he calls the "perinatal paradox," in which more intervention, such as cesareans, is linked with declining outcomes, such as neonatal intensive care admissions. Maternity care, he said, "is a microcosm of the entire medical enterprise."

As the No. 1 cause of hospital admissions, childbirth is a huge part of the nation's $2.4-trillion annual healthcare expenditure, accounting in hospital charges alone for more than $79 billion.

Because spending on the average uncomplicated cesarean for all patients runs about $4,500, nearly twice as much as a comparable vaginal birth, cesareans account for a disproportionate amount (45%) of delivery costs. (Among privately insured patients, uncomplicated cesareans run about $13,000.)

Pregnancy is the most expensive condition for both private insurers and Medicaid, according to a 2008 report by the Childbirth Connection, a New York think tank.

"The financial toll of maternity care on private [insurers]/employers and Medicaid/taxpayers is especially large," the report said. "Maternity care thus plays a considerable role in escalating healthcare costs, which increasingly threaten the financial stability of families, employers, and federal and state budgets."

The cesarean rate in the U.S. is higher than in most other developed nations. And in spite of a standing government goal of reducing such deliveries, the U.S. has set a new record every year for more than a decade.

The problem, experts say, is that the cesarean -- delivery via uterine incision -- exposes a woman to the risk of infection, blood clots and other serious problems. Cesareans also have been shown to increase premature births and the need for intensive care for newborns. Even without such complications, cesareans result in longer hospital stays.

Inducing childbirth -- bringing on or hastening labor with the drug oxytocin -- also is on the rise and is another source of growing concern. Experts say miscalculations often result in the delivery of infants who are too young to breathe on their own. Induction, studies show, also raises the risk of complications that lead to cesareans.

Despite all this intervention -- and, many believe, because of it -- childbirth in the U.S. doesn't measure up. The U.S. lags behind other developed nations on key performance indicators including infant mortality and birth weight.

And in at least two areas, the U.S. has lost ground after decades of improvement: The maternal death rate began to rise in 2002, and the typical American newborn is delivered at 39 weeks, down from the full 40. Public health experts view the trends with alarm.

At a recent conference held by Childbirth Connection, physicians, employers, insurers and hospital operators wrestled with the disappointing data and discussed thorny questions, such as whether insurers should stop paying more for cesareans than for vaginal births.

"Cesarean birth ends up being a profit center in hospitals, so there's not a lot of incentive to reduce them," said Dr. Elliot Main, chief of obstetrics for Sutter Health, a Northern California hospital chain.

But there is a lot that hospitals can do to reduce them, as illustrated by the wide variation in cesarean rates. Among California hospitals, cesareans range from 16% to 62% of births.

Such variation means a lot of women are getting unnecessary cesareans, Main said. "There's no justification for that kind of variation."

The surge in cesareans may owe more to celebrity magazines than medical journals. After word got out that Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham had three, physicians reported a surge in requests for such deliveries, dubbed the "too posh to push" bump.

Physicians, too, have been blamed for failing to make women fully aware of the consequences of cesareans, and for promoting them for convenience.

But change is underway. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Strategic Partners program trains hospitals to implement a set of guidelines, such as the careful use of oxytocin, and a ban on elective deliveries before 39 weeks. In four years, 60 hospitals have signed on.

"It's a culture change," program director Frank Federico said. "We're at a tipping point. . . . It used to be that we spent more time defending the 39-week rule. Lately, there's no question about that. It's, 'How can we improve the process to support that?' "

WellPoint Inc. and UnitedHealthcare Services Inc., the nation's largest health insurers, also are trying to curb cesareans.

In an analysis of its claims, United found that 48% of newborns admitted to neonatal intensive care units were from scheduled deliveries, many of them before 39 weeks.

United targeted a group of Texas obstetricians with particularly high rates of deliveries before 39 weeks.

An analysis showed that the babies these doctors delivered were admitted to neonatal ICUs twice as often as the national average.

After being notified of the correlation, the physicians changed their practices and reduced neonatal ICU admissions by 46% in three months.

The rise in avoidable first-birth cesareans has had a multiplier effect. Most U.S. physicians discourage vaginal deliveries after a cesarean because of some widely publicized cases several years ago in which the uterus split disastrously along the prior incision.

That's why Ruby Wales' first obstetrician refused.

"She said it was because there is a 1% chance of a uterine rupture," Wales said. "And I thought that was weird because there's more chance of things going wrong with a cesarean section."

But some obstetricians believe that new evidence supports allowing some women the option of trying for a vaginal birth.

"If the old incision was a vertical, then a trial of labor is not a good idea," said Dr. David Lagrew, medical director for the Women's Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills. "But what happens now in the United States is the low transverse, an incision in the bottom part of the uterus, from side to side. Those heal better. All the studies say, in those types of incisions, the risk is less than 1%, probably a half percent, that it will open during labor."

Saddleback delivers about 3,000 babies a year. In March, it joined a few hospitals nationwide that are pioneering the "hospitalist" approach to maternity care, which adds a measure of safety to attempted vaginal births after cesareans. A hospitalist is a doctor who cares only for hospitalized patients.

Hospitalist obstetricians staff the maternity ward 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are there to deliver babies when an attending obstetrician gets stuck in traffic, to monitor lengthy labors and to assist in emergencies.

Saddleback supported Wales' desire for a vaginal birth. Nine days after her due date and after 30 hours of labor, she gave birth -- the way she wanted -- to an 8-pound, 11-ounce boy.

"I was so glad nothing happened at the last minute to have an emergency C-section because I'd gone through all this work," said Wales, resting in her hospital bed with baby Carson in her arms. "I'm so relieved that I don't have to deal with a [cesarean] recovery because I have a 2 1/2-year-old at home who is very active."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Review - An Ordinary Life

Posted by Kim:

OMG! I'm Going To Give Birth

If you remember last week I shared a funny story of Del trying to help me “train” for labor. Him sitting on the edge of the couch grunting and growling, he really has no clue. As we get closer to the birth I am getting nervous, trying to replay my experience with Kai. Wondering if my gas is contractions, I’m overall paranoid.

Her birth was so easy, clearly I can’t have two easy births. I am lucky enough to be able to have help. Binsi stepped in and provided me with the most comfortable birthing outfit. The sporty skirt is perfect for laboring. It’s sporty and cute and I can even wear it now. It really allows me to move and bend with my ever growing belly. They also have these wonderful tops that allow the same freeing movement. They even work with any and all medical equipment and makes breastfeeding a breeze.

While I am paranoid and trying to plan everything in my head there's one thing I do know for sure. Forget the hospital gown I’m going all Binsi!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Leading Moms in Business

Posted by Kim:

The votes have been counted and the results are in! BINSI was voted one of the Leading Moms in Business for 2009! Way to go BINSI and thank you to everyone who placed one vote or kindly voted everyday! It feels great to be recognized on a national level as a Leading Mom in Business, especially considering how hard Carri and I work to educate people about BINSI and our mission to help women have the best birth experience possible.

In addition to the announcement of the winners, ABC's Tory Johnson just ran a feature on the winner of the 2009 StartupNationLeading Moms in Business competition. Way to go!

Pregnancy - Siblings at Births

Posted by Carri:

For this birth I am planning on having all 3 of my children present. My oldest son was there at the last birth and loved it. He was so cute that he immediately asked where the placenta was after the baby was born (my doctor noted that he was clearly the son of a birth doula). People tend to worry about how kids handle birth, but I found bringing Caden in right as the baby was crowning was perfect. He saw me a bit while I was laboring, but found that he would rather color out in the hall. He loved seeing the baby right away and was able to cut the cord. My second oldest is very excited that he will have the honor of cutting the cord this time.

I do think it is important to talk to your kids about labor and birth. I talk to them about what sounds women make while they labor, and that sometimes we cry, but that it is all for a good reason. We watch the video of them when they were born and talk about it as well. I think telling them ways they can help - if they want to - is also empowering to them. This time around, I'm glad that they can come and go as they please and just be there when they want. They will have plenty of people around to help them and keep an eye on them, so it will all work out fine. I also think it is very important to stress that they do not have to be present at the birth if they don't feel comfortable. Making it a choice, rather than a rule, helps bring the stress level down. Overall I hope it is a great experience for them and one they will remember forever.

On a quick side note, I think wearing BINSI skirts during your birth helps avoid some of the awkwardness of having older boy children (and other family members) in the room. I'm thankful my little skirt will make everyone feel more comfortable most importantly me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Hospital Gown, Fashion Malady, Worries Would-Be Redesigners Sick

Posted by Kim:

How do you feel?

On May 11, 2009, the following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal and I am shocked by the newsflash that it appears to bring to light. Doesn't everyone know that the hospital gown is not only a fashion concern, but a demeaning, dysfunctional product that succeeds only making people feel vulnerable and out of control of their care? After all, this is what BINSI has been saying for years now. It is out passion and opinion that BINSI Labor and Birth Apparel directly affects a woman’s stress level by giving her comfort, control, and empowerment during the birthing process. Most women in childbirth are healthy and need to be active - so why shouldn't they look and feel that way?

While I think that our apparel can be used in all aspects of women's care, we are not a solution for men while they need to be hospitalized or in the care of a physician so there is some disconnect there. However, the gown in general is so demeaning that I can see why men may choose not to pursue care or additional opinions when this path also means they would have to "wear a dress". Because in their minds that is probably how they see it and do we even have to talk about how much it bothers men (and women) to feel completely out of control of their situation and at the mercy of their doctor?

You may have read my first son's birth story, and if you did you will remember that he spent a few weeks in the NICU at The Children's Hospital of Denver. Well, one of the many things I learned while Connor was hospitalized, was that as the parent I (or the patient in other situations) ultimately was the person responsible for my child's care. I NEEDED to manage his care. It is not disrespectful to ask a million questions or to even question the doctor or nurse before a procedure or before they begin an injection. Not necessarily because they are inadequate, uneducated or unprofessional, but because they are human, many times overworked and stressed. For instance, because of the discovery of Connor's Hirschsprung's disease, he had to have an enema before he was discharge to discover the severity of the disease. The first time the NICU nurse escorted us down to radiology, explained everything that was going to happen and what the procedure was going to be like. Because Connor was unable to poop, they did not use Barium for the procedure as he would not be able to expell it. Three months later, we had to go back for the exact same procedure just before his surgery to verify that everything was the same. This time I was alone and as the nurse prepared for the procedure I asked her what was in the bag that she was prepping and she said Barium. I thought, that seems odd, isn't that radioactive? How will we get that out? So I asked her, how will we get that out of Connor, as I am sure that is not the same substance they used last time. What did she say... "He will poop it out." WHAT?!!! Didn't she even look at Connor's chart, that's why he is here, HE CAN'T POOP!!! She gracefully went into the other room, probably discussed this with someone else and brought back a differnt bag. Now if I hadn't asked her, would they have used Barium on a baby that can't poop thinking he would poop it out? Not sure, but I was VERY glad I interjected and second guessed her decision.

Anyway, my point here is that wearing the gown is not only a fashion fauxpas, it is a vulnerable, control, modesty, religious, self-respect thing. What the perfect solution is for all situations, I am not sure, but I definitely think BINSI can be a solution for women's care and at least is a solution outside the box. We also say "Down with the Gown."

The Hospital Gown, Fashion Malady, Worries Would-Be Redesigners Sick


RALEIGH, N.C. -- The traditional American hospital gown -- flimsy in front, open to the breeze in the back -- has been around about as long as the Band-Aid. If anything, it has changed less.

The one-size-fits-none garment remains one of the least loved aspects of American medicine. A bare-bottomed Jack Nicholson wore the most common model, open in back with a couple of ties, to comic effect in the 2003 movie "Something's Gotta Give."

Medical historians believe the current gown evolved from nightshirts patients wore in hospitals in the 1800s that were slit open in the back. Variations of the current style have been in use since at least the 1920s.

"Nobody is happy with it," says Blanton Godfrey, dean of the College of Textiles of North Carolina State University. "It is amazing -- we have created a product nobody likes."

Nobody, perhaps, except some hospital purchasing managers. Patient gowns are now a $76 million market, according to Premier Inc., an alliance of hospitals that negotiates to buy supplies and works with hospitals on quality improvement. Traditional models cost as little as $2 to $3 apiece, and can be washed and reworn dozens of times.

For the past 2½ years, with about a quarter of a million dollars in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., a small team of students and faculty at the College of Textiles has been working to update the traditional hospital gown. "It is a symbol of what needs to change in health care," says Rosemary Gibson, the RWJ foundation senior program officer who devised the "Down With the Gown" initiative.

The college has sponsored six focus groups, five at hospitals in North Carolina and one in Massachusetts. The team has also met with or sought comments from so-called "stakeholders" who would have a role in making or selling the new gowns.

"We thought that it would be a much easier problem to tackle," says Prof. Traci Lamar, who has been leading the effort for the College of Textiles.

In a drawer behind her desk at the foundation, Ms. Gibson keeps an especially ragged specimen of a gown salvaged from a New England hospital. It has snaps which she struggles to snap and a hole in it from wear and tear. When Ms. Gibson puts it on over her clothes, it is clear it doesn't cover all of her. "It is as if the patient is an object -- can't we develop a more respectful garment?" she says.

Ms. Gibson says she has held it up in front of audiences of 1,000 people to make her point: The gown has to go.

In November 2006, the foundation decided to escalate its effort by awarding the College of Textiles a $236,110 grant to work on the problem -- not just the design, but production and marketing. "It is not only coming up with a prototype," Ms. Gibson explains,

There have been other efforts to design new gowns. A decade ago, Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., hired designer Nicole Miller to reinterpret its gowns. Her colorful iterations, festooned with drawings of stethoscopes, syringes and other medical icons, are about double the usual price; the hospital says they are worth it.

In 2004, Maine Medical Center in Portland introduced a modest floor-length "sarong" for its Muslim patients who were so distressed with the usual gown they were missing appointments. A seamstress whipped up the new design, hospital officials said.

But in most American hospitals, the old gown design still dominates. Bud Konheim, CEO of Nicole Miller Ltd., said his fashion brand is "dying" to do more of them. But despite talks with several institutions, Hackensack remains the lone large client.

Michael Georgulis, a vice president at Premier Inc., the nonprofit alliance of 2,100 American hospitals, thinks the traditional gown has suffered a bum rap. In addition to being inexpensive, its easy-access design "works well" in emergencies, he says. "Given all the challenges facing hospitals and health care," aren't there more pressing problems worth tackling? he asks.

Prof. Lamar's team is undeterred. The group, which includes a Ph.D. candidate who used to work for Victoria's Secret and a professor specializing in textile design and product development, gathers to thrash out possible solutions. On a balmy April afternoon, the meeting gets off to a hopeful start. The team is brimming with ideas.

How about a gown with a handy pocket that could accommodate iPods and cellphones? Maybe raglan sleeves that would be loose and stylish? Should they try for a V-neckline instead of the banal scoop-neck? But that still doesn't get to the heart of the problem. What sort of design would revolutionize the gown and what kind of fasteners should hold it together: Velcro? Snaps? The familiar cloth ties?

Prof. Lamar holds up two bibs with Velcro-style closures that belong to her infant daughter. They have been laundered frequently and haven't held up. "I would not recommend it as a solution," she says firmly.

One of the team-members brings out a small mannequin and places it on the table. She wraps a gown around it; ideas begin to flow.

There's talk about a kimono-type gown. Another iteration would wrap 1½ times around the body for a more snug, precise fit. "I keep thinking of a wrap dress," says Leslie Hatch, the Victoria's Secret alumna. "You wrap it to fit your body."

The wrap approach looks appealing on the little mannequin. But then, team member Meryem Uluskan, a master's degree candidate, interjects: "If a patient has broken bones, and they don't need to be moved," she asks, how can they be put in a fitted wrap?

The group seems briefly stumped.

Prof. Lamar's team unveiled some of its new ideas at a recent in-house fashion show, displaying gowns with very wide, raglan sleeves, deep V-necklines, a pocket, as well as the 1½ wrap that they had envisioned some weeks earlier.

Dean Godfrey is hoping that these design ideas can be developed into something practical. "We are not in it for fun and games," he says. "We are in it to create products that end up in the market."

Pregnancy - A Couple Baby Products to Know About

Posted by Carri:

You would think I have everything a parent could need by baby number four, but you're wrong. Besides the fact that new and cute things come out every day, a lot of stuff gets old and worn out. So for the next few weeks I will hi-light a couple each week.

One big item is the car seat. Apparently the plastic in a car seat breaks down over time and is considered not safe after 6 years. Since my oldest is now 8, I clearly need a new one. I love the infant car seat with the shade and the ability to carry your sleeping child anywhere.

I am also very excited about the Moby Wrap. Last time I tried the sling during infancy, but it still required one hand to keep the sling from swinging around while I was doing chores or playing with other kids. It does take a bit of practice to put it on, but it's worth it. It's inexpensive and great for your baby, your body and your mind (hands free!).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pre-Pregnancy - Counting Days

Written by Tink, friend of BINSI:

I swear I don't have OCD ...ok, some of the time... we all do right?... Right now I'm occupied with obsessively counting and recounting the number of days between my cycle, knowing now I'm on Day 27, hoping my period won't come at all in the next 9 months, thinking that J and I did everything "right" this past month. My stomach has felt HUGE this past week which just felt too weird. Baggy workout pants and t-shirts have been my official attire. My friend and boss is just short of 24 weeks pregnant and got admitted to the hospital last night to be on bed rest for perhaps the remainder of her pregnancy. I'm hoping she is doing well. Reflecting upon my previous blog entries, it seems I am getting a little crazier each week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Kim:

Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing Moms! We hope you had a beautiful, relaxing, loving weekend with your families. Every year I celebrate Mother's Day running the Title 9K race at the Boulder Reservoir! What a great way to start out the day. While breakfast in bed sounds enticing too, I just love the frenzy of getting the family up and out the door by 7am so we can get there in time for the kids race and to simply soak up the gorgeous view of the Flat Irons and the energy that radiates from 1800 Moms as they wait for the 9am start! What an amazing blessing to be a part of this event.

Well, this is what it is like under ideal conditions, because as Moms we all know that we have this ideal plan for what an event is going to be like and often it is the worst mistake I can make because I expect too much. For instance, is getting everyone out of the house by 7am easy, even on Mother's Day? No, of course not. It usually involves some coercing, begging, frustration, and on the rare occasion me sitting in the car making Dad take care of it (would this be considered pouting)! Then there is probably whining on the way there, but some how it always comes together and the hour it takes me to run 9K (now 9.9K) is like going out for Sunday morning coffee with my girlfriends, quite relaxing. In the mean time Paul is managing the boys and keeping them occupied. Sometimes I wonder why I try to get my best time each year, shouldn't this be the race that I try to take the longest?

I have been running this race for 7 years (since the year it started) and I have LOVED being a part of it, plus the fact that I can say that I have run it every year! This year was a bit different however, because for the first time I woke up to rainy cold conditions. We have now had just about all weather conditions, gorgeous, too hot, too windy, cold, but it had never rained before. I kept thinking if the rain can just hold out it would be perfect running conditions, I love to run when it is 45 degrees!

Changing the routine due to the weather I picked up my girlfriends Carissa and Rebecca and husbands and kiddos were going to meet us at the finish. I was feeling so great, quite giddy actually, until I realized that I forgot my number! UGH! So I called my Dad who was staying at our house and he zips down 66 to meet us and deliver my race number. At this point we still have plenty of time, but I am anxious and upset with myself for forgetting the number. I like to enter the back way into the reservoir so we head that way, but there is a sheriff car sitting on the corner. I ask if the back way is still open and he says yes, but that it is a bumpier ride. I was driving our dreamy 1995 eggplant purple Pontiac Sunfire, do I look like a few bumps are going to scare me? We head down the road only to see another sheriff's car at the next corner and he turns us back telling us that the road is closed. By this time I am really anxious and frustrated with myself so what is my response? I yell out my window that the other sheriff told us it was ok to come this way and that they should communicate with each other. What?! Did I just do that? So I head speeding back (toward 3 sheriff cars) and as we pass the sheriff that told me the road was open I yell out my window "The road is not open, don't tell anyone else to go that way." What?! Did I just do that again? I then come to the stop sign (right next to another sheriff's car) roll through the stop sign in my hurry and Carissa yells out "He's going to pull you over." As the lights of his car come on and he starts moving I just see the headlines MOTHER ARRESTED ON MOTHERS DAY! What is wrong with me? Luckily it all worked out and he was just moving to officially close the road, looks like they decided to take my advice! Phew.

It all worked out, we arrived early enough for Carissa to get her race pack, to find some friends and hang out for a bit, and then to cram (literally shoulder to shoulder) into the start and stay warm until the 9am start. Once the race started it seemed like it was sailing by. I was shocked when we passed the 5K point. But I felt great so I figured we must have been running a bit slow, but when I approached the finish line Griffin ran out to run into the finish with me wearing his Mommy's #1 Fan t-shirt I was shocked to see that my finish time was 1:03. I was surprised considering the crammed start, the water stops and the fact that I did have to stop to use the porta potty. Now that was a fun time!

Speaking earlier about foiled plans, this year the boys would were actually cooperating and willing to get their picture taken with me! Ahh yes, some things change! Another amazing year, another amazing race. The perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day with a personal accomplishment and my biggest fans waiting for me at the finish line!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pregnancy - Getting Ready!

Posted by Carri:

So I'm approximately 4 weeks from my "exit date" and I'm starting to make sure I have everything ready. What is an "exit date" you ask? Well my 3 other kids all came exactly 11 days early, so I'm planning on 11 days before my due date for the baby to come. I sure hope this one doesn't decide to hang on longer, because I am very very very uncomfortable and am thanking my lucky stars for every day closer I get to the exit date!

Anyways, after having my 3 other kids at the hospital, this home birth requires a completely different way to get ready. There is no bag to pack, but there are a lot of other things you need to have ready. You need to have a home birth kit (which you can buy online, or from your midwife) that has chucks pads, and other necessities that the midwife needs to attend your birth. I also needed to have a mattress cover, hydrogen peroxide (in case blood goes where we don't want it to), sterilized towels, tea kettle, maxi pads (and I also use Depends because pads always seem to leak as well), baby blankets, first outfit, Recharge energy drink, red raspberry leaf tea, music, birth ball and of course my BINSI outfit!

In 2 weeks I will have my home visit where my midwife, midwife assistant and doula come to my house. They all get familiar with my house and we check to make sure everything is ready, as well as talk about my desires for the birth. I don't think I really have a birth plan this time around, because most of the things I've had on previous birth plans were about medical interventions associated with hospital protocol. All in all, I just want a calm, joyful and beautiful final birth experience.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May is International Doula Month

Posted by Kim:

Did you know that May is not only Skin Cancer Awareness month but it is also International Doula month? WOW! May is a busy month!!! Carri and I both honor doulas and respect their role during a woman's birth experience. After all it was Carri's role as a doula that helped her create and design the BINSI birth skirt and through my passion for BINSI I have been impassioned to become a doula myself.

What is a doula?

According to the DONA (Doulas of North America):

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

What are the benefits of having a doula at your birth?

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula

* Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
* Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
* Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
* Stays with the woman throughout the labor
* Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as
helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
* Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care
* Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
* Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level

How can we celebrate doulas?

Some suggestions DONA has are:

* Write an article for a local publication or send a press release to your local media.
*Host a free doula info night at a library or community center to let parents know about your
services, which might also be a great reason for your local press to do a story on doulas.
*Have a movie night for parents and/or doulas. Show the latest movies such as "Orgasmic
Birth", "The Business of Being Born" or "Pregnant in America", or revisit some of the classics.
*Create a birthing circle where women can share their birth stories to support each other and/or
heal from their birth trauma
*Organize a networking day for local doulas to meet, network and support each other with new
ideas and co-opetition.
*Host an at-home spa party for local doulas.
*Put together info packages that hospitals and birth centers can hand out to expectant parents
and/or laboring mothers with suggestions for position changes and comfort measures.
*Create a goal sheet of what you'd like to accomplish between now and International Doula
Month next year.
*Give yourself a big pat on the back for working tirelessly to help women enter parenthood in a
positive way!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BeadforLife featured on the Today Show

Posted by Kim:

Carri and I feel so blessed that through our business we have been able to help make a difference in a woman's birth experience. Beyond that we LOVE that our business has also helped to support other women owned businesses and in fact has helped to touch women's lives around the world. What an amazing feeling.

As with most great things that have happened in my life, I simply happened to be at the right place at the right time. After Carri and I launched our line of Birth Wish Bracelets, we were happy that our idea had finally come to fruition, but after several months we just felt like it could be better. Enter me asking a good friend, by chance, if she happened to know where I could purchase Fair Trade beads. Well wouldn't you know that she happened to be wearing a BeadforLife bracelet and she suggested we talk with them, because they happen to be headquartered in Boulder!

Well that one short conversation lead to a wonderful partnership and Carri and I are very honored and proud that we not only offer BINSI Birth Wish bracelets as a wonderful baby shower or blessingway gift or favor, but that the bracelets in our kits are the amazingly beautiful bracelets made by the BeadforLife beaders.

Because we are so honored and thrilled to be working with BeadforLife we were VERY excited to receive the news that BeadforLife will be featured on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday, May 6th. The show will feature the extraordinary work of BeadforLife, our poverty eradication organization working in Uganda. Over five million viewers will see how BeadforLife has created a network of women in Uganda and throughout North America and beyond to work together to eradicate extreme poverty.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Posted by Kim:

Did you know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month? This I did not know, but I am glad that I do now. Now living in Colorado where we get 300 days of sunshine I am VERY protective of myself and my children when it comes to sun exposure and I make sure to use good sun judgment. Hailing originally from Upstate NY where there is an ongoing sun dance and celebration when the sun actually decides to appear, we were less than protective and aware of sun damage when I lived there growing up. As a matter of fact I am a little appalled to think about the way I behaved in the sun wearing baby oil or tanning oil trying to capture that bronze tan look. Spending most of my High School summers "laying out" between the hours of 10am and 2pm to catch the "good sun". WOW, what a mistake. Luckily I have not seen much damage from that sun exposure, at least not yet, but now that we are exposed to the sun almost every day here in Colorado as well as a significant increase in altitude I am panicked if I go out without sunscreen. It is a part of my morning primp routine (I use Jason facial sunscreen) and I even keep a bottle of sunscreen within an arms reach at all times, one in the kitchen, one in the swim bag, on in the car, one in the soccer bag.... You get the picture. One of my favorite possessions and the item that determined the color of my bathing suit, is my Columbia UV wide brimmed hat! I wear it everywhere and love how light it is as well as knowing that I am protecting my face and shoulders from sun exposure.

For the boys I always make sure they have long swim trunks and UV protection swim shirts. Why haven't I mentioned any protective efforts for my husband? Well, he is an adult and not only that he enjoys his Columbia wide brimmed hat too. Seeing as though my handsome husband is bald, he is very protective of "The Motherland" and is very sun smart as well. Fortunately and unfortunately for Paul, he is not exposed to the sun as much as the boys and me seeing as though he is sitting in his office most of the days during the week. But now that he is a triathlete, sun protection is more on his mind!

For the boys, I usually pick up a swim shirt at Target or the local sports shop, but today a good friend of mine passed along an email from a company called UV Skinz and they are running a great promotion for the month, not to mention there is FREE shipping on all orders over $50. As a matter of fact I ended up buying myself the Sarah Long Sleeve Black and White Aloha UV swim shirt seeing as though we spend so much time in the sun and at the pool over the summer. I am looking forward to wearing my shirt knowing that I am protected.

So you may be wondering, what is this amazing promotion UV Skinz is running? Read below about the "Pay It Forward I Saved a Baby's Skin Today" promotion


As spring days warm up, parents become more careful about protecting children from sun damage. UV Skinz promotes skin cancer awareness by shipping free Baby UV swim shirts with every order in May.

SONORA, CA – May 1, 2009 – With summer days fast approaching and in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, UV Skinz UPF 50+ swim shirt company will evangelize skin and sun health through a unique promotion to get babies and infants covered. The company will ship a free UPF 50+ protective Baby Skinz swim shirt with every order placed in May.

“The intent is for customers to ‘pay it forward,’” says Rhonda Sparks who founded UV Skinz after losing her 32-year old husband to melanoma. “We hope our customers will donate the Baby Skinz to a charitable cause such as a women’s shelter, YMCA or even a neighbor in need. We want to get as many children covered as we can and with each donation, we hope to raise the level of awareness that much more.” Each May shipment will contain a free UV Baby Skinz along with a flyer encouraging customers to pass along the Baby Skinz to a chosen cause. UV Skinz was able to give away about 1,850 swim shirts for the May 2008 Skin Cancer Awareness promotion.
The company’s goal this year is to nearly double that as supplies allow.

Babies under age six months should not be in the sun at all. Most pediatricians recommend no direct sunlight exposure for infants within the first few years. However, most infants older than six months regularly spend some time outdoors, even if just for walks in a stroller, and should be sun protected from head to toe. Protecting babies’ skin, regardless of the season, is essential to good skin health and safe sun exposure into adulthood. “UV Skinz are free of harsh sunscreen chemicals that can not only irritate baby’s sensitive skin, but also are now suspected to affect hormone production and react with sunlight to produce free radicals, possibly contributing to some cancers,” said Sparks. “Parents should know that sunscreen SPF ratings indicate UVB protection but may not indicate protection from the more deeply penetrating UVA rays that damage skin’s connective tissue, can contribute to skin cancer development and are the primary causes of premature aging.” UV Skinz’ swim shirts carry a UPF50+ rating, blocking more than 98% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

The National Cancer Institute reports that many common cancer rates are falling but melanoma rates within the U.S. continue to grow at an alarming rate. Sparks implores parents to cover their children to prevent them from becoming the one in five Americans who will develop skin cancer. “I am doing all that I can to protect my children from suffering the same fate that their father suffered when we lost him to melanoma. I hope our Baby Skinz donation program will prevent more families from being impacted by this devastating disease.” UV Skinz produces hip, high quality UPF 50+ UV swim shirts for babies, kids and adults. After UV Skinz founder, Rhonda Sparks, lost her 32-year old husband to skin cancer, she made it her mission to raise awareness about the potentially harmful dangers of the sun. The UV Skinz website offers information and links for consumers interested in finding out more on how to fight skin

Friday, May 1, 2009

Review - If You Could See What I See

Posted by Kim:

Another great review written about BINSI! This one written by Tammi on the If You Could See What I See blog.

If you are going to have a baby or know someone who is you really should check out the Binsi product line. This is not your mothers hospital gown. Thanks to Binsi you do not have to go around with your bottom exposed in a hospital gown? Binsi offers you labor and birth apparel to be comfortable and functional during your experience. Binsi clothing accommodates any necessary medical equipment with ease. Midwives, doctors, nurses and doulas have all approved of Binsi apparel.

The more I read about Binsi at their website the more I liked about this company. You need to go check it out yourself. Make sure to bookmark it so you can share it with anyone you know who can benefit from it. Everyone (who is pregnant) is looking for a way to make whole birthing process be less stressful. Who wouldn't rather bring their own fresh, nice looking, comfortable garments from home?

Here is where it gets even better. The nice ladies at Binsi want to give away one skirt or one top to one of my readers. Better yet is the winner gets to choose which item they want. So really, go look around the Binsi site. Then come back here and enter to win.

Here is what you need to do to enter:

First/mandatory entry: Go to Binsi and look around. Come back here and tell me two things.
1. What is your favorite thing about the company?
2. Which of their items would you like to have? (You will still get to have a choice when you win, so don't worry if you change your mind.)

After you do your first entry you can earn extra entries by doing any/all of these things.

IMPORTANT: You must leave a comment for each entry, so if you earn 5 entries for something, leave 5 comments. They don't all have to be clever. (but why wouldn't they?)

Tweet about this giveaway. You can take up to two entries per day by tweeting twice a day. Here is one you can use, or write your own:

Oh Baby! You're going to love this!. Win comfy apparel to take you from pregnancy, through delivery, and beyond!