Monday, August 31, 2009

The babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets

Written By Jenny Hope and Nick Mcdermott
for British website MailOnline

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds. The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000. Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full. Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

  • 63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;
  • 117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;
  • 115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;
  • 399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.
Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.

One woman gave birth in a lift while being transferred to a labour ward from A&E while another gave birth in a corridor, said East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Others said women had to give birth on the wards - rather than in their own maternity room - because the delivery suites were full.

Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply - up 20 per cent in some areas.

Mr Lansley said: 'New mothers should not be being put through the trauma of having to give birth in such inappropriate places.

'While some will be unavoidable emergencies, it is extremely distressing for them and their families to be denied a labour bed because their maternity unit is full.

'It shows the incredible waste that has taken place that mothers are getting this sort of sub-standard treatment despite Gordon Brown's tripling of spending on the NHS.

'Labour have let down mothers by cutting the number of maternity beds and by shutting down maternity units.'

The NHS employs the equivalent of around 25,000 full-time midwives in England, but the Government has promised to recruit 3,400 more.

However, the Royal College of Midwives estimates at least 5,000 more are needed to provide the quality of service pledged in the Government's blueprint for maternity services, Maternity Matters.

At the same time almost half of all midwives are set to retire in the next decade.

Jon Skewes, a director at the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'The rise in the number of births in other than a designated labour bed is a concern. We would want to see the detail behind these figures to look at why this is happening.

'There is no doubt that maternity services are stretched, and that midwives are working harder and harder to provide good quality care. However, we know the Government is putting more money into the service.

'The key now is to make sure this money is spent by the people controlling the purse strings at a local level.'

Care services minister Phil Hope said: 'The number of maternity beds in the NHS reflects the number of women wanting to give birth in hospital. Giving birth can be unpredictableand it is difficult to plan for the exact time and place of every birth.

'Local health services have plans to ensure high quality, personal care with greater choice over place of birth and care provided by a named midwife.

'We recognise that some parts of the country face particular challenges due to the rising birth rate and that is why last year we pledged to increase funding for maternity by £330million over three years. 'We now have more maternity staff than ever before and we have already met our target to recruit 1,000 extra midwives by September.'

Case study: I gave birth in a car Pregnant Linda Corbett, 33, was turned away from one hospital and gave birth in a car as she dashed to another. Her husband Chris, 39, delivered their daughter Iona in the back seat while her father raced to the hospital at 70mph. 'I was really scared but I had to hold it together as I was the only one who knew the way to the hospital,' she said.

Read more

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out

Posted on

(CBS) Amid questions about the safety of the HPV vaccine Gardasil one of the lead researchers for the Merck drug is speaking out about its risks, benefits and aggressive marketing.
Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It’s highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved.

Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine’s risk-versus-benefit profile. She says data available for Gardasil shows that it lasts five years; there is no data showing that it remains effective beyond five years.

This raises questions about the CDC’s recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. “If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn’t last... we’ve put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit,” says Dr. Harper. “The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.” She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings.
Dr. Scott Ratner and his wife, who’s also a physician, expressed similar concerns as Dr. Harper in an interview with CBS News last year. One of their teenage daughters became severely ill after her first dose of Gardasil. Dr. Ratner says she’d have been better off getting cervical cancer than the vaccination. “My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis. I’ve had to ask myself why I let my eldest of three daughters get an unproven vaccine against a few strains of a nonlethal virus that can be dealt with in more effective ways.”

Merck and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain Gardasil is safe and effective, and that adequate warnings are provided, cautioning about soreness at the injection site and risk of fainting after vaccination. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found while the overall risk of side effects appears to be comparable to other vaccines, Gardasil has a higher incidence of blood clots reported. Merck says it continues to have confidence in Gardasil’s safety profile. Merck also says it’s looking into cases of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reported after vaccination. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Merck and the CDC say there is currently no evidence that Gardasil caused ALS in the cases reported. Merck is also monitoring the number of deaths reported after Gardasil: at least 32. Merck and CDC says it’s unclear whether the deaths were related to the vaccine, and that just because patients died after the shots doesn’t mean the shots were necessarily to blame.
According to Dr. Harper, assessing the true adverse event risk of Gardasil, and comparing it to the risk of cervical cancer can be tricky and complex. "The number of women who die from cervical cancer in the US every year is small but real. It is small because of the success of the Pap screening program."

"The risks of serious adverse events including death reported after Gardasil use in (the JAMA article by CDC’s Dr. Barbara Slade) were 3.4/100,000 doses distributed. The rate of serious adverse events on par with the death rate of cervical cancer. Gardasil has been associated with at least as many serious adverse events as there are deaths from cervical cancer developing each year. Indeed, the risks of vaccination are underreported in Slade's article, as they are based on a denominator of doses distributed from Merck's warehouse. Up to a third of those doses may be in refrigerators waiting to be dispensed as the autumn onslaught of vaccine messages is sent home to parents the first day of school. Should the denominator in Dr. Slade's work be adjusted to account for this, and then divided by three for the number of women who would receive all three doses, the incidence rate of serious adverse events increases up to five fold. How does a parent value that information," said Harper.

Dr. Harper agrees with Merck and the CDC that Gardasil is safe for most girls and women. But she says the side effects reported so far call for more complete disclosure to patients. She says they should be told that protection from the vaccination might not last long enough to provide a cancer protection benefit, and that its risks - “small but real” - could occur more often than the cervical cancer itself would.

"Parents and women must know that deaths occurred. Not all deaths that have been reported were represented in Dr. Slade's work, one-third of the death reports were unavailable to the CDC, leaving the parents of the deceased teenagers in despair that the CDC is ignoring the very rare but real occurrences that need not have happened if parents were given information stating that there are real, but small risks of death surrounding the administration of Gardasil."
She also worries that Merck’s aggressive marketing of the vaccine may have given women a false sense of security. "The future expectations women hold because they have received free doses of Gardasil purchased by philanthropic foundations, by public health agencies or covered by insurance is the true threat to cervical cancer in the future. Should women stop Pap screening after vaccination, the cervical cancer rate will actually increase per year. Should women believe this is preventive for all cancers - something never stated, but often inferred by many in the population-- a reduction in all health care will compound our current health crisis. Should Gardasil not be effective for more than 15 years, the most costly public health experiment in cancer control will have failed miserably."

CDC continues to recommend Gardasil for girls and young women. The agency says the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks and that it is an important tool in fighting a serious cancer.
Dr. Harper says the risk-benefit analysis for Gardasil in other countries may shape up differently than what she believes is true in the US. “Of course, in developing countries where there is no safety Pap screening for women repeatedly over their lifetimes, the risks of serious adverse events may be acceptable as the incidence rate of cervical cancer is five to 12 times higher than in the US, dwarfing the risk of death reported after Gardasil.”

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Milk For Grace

Written by Hannah Gaitten
of Natural Choices

Hi Ladies! Some of you may know that I have been collecting breastmilk for this amazing little girl- Grace Vaught for about a year now (The Times-Call did a story on this family back in February). In case you didn't know, little Grace has some serious issues with her digestive system that keep her from consuming many solid foods. The family has a team of doctors as well as alternative care providers working to help heal Grace's intestines so that someday she can live a more "normal" life. Currently, because of her condition, she is limited to a diet mainly consisting of breastmilk, with very small amounts (a bite or two) of fresh veggies and fruits here and there (but even this causes inflammation). She is currently needing about 40 ounces of breastmilk a day (she is about 3 1/2 years old). Stacey Vaught (Grace's Mom) hasn't been able to keep up with milk supply as she has a younger daughter as well as she is pregnant, so her milk is not as plentiful as it once was. They rely on the generosity of other Moms who are willing to share their stored milk and/or pump regularly for Grace.. Stacey is currently needing more milk as a few of the Mom's who were pumping for Grace are weaning, thus the milk is in short supply right now. If Mom's don't donate, they have to get milk from the milkbank, which costs about $3 an ounce- times that by 40 ounces, and you see how expensive that can be. The Vaught's have shipped milk from various places across the country that they have found on MilkShare (, but even that is pretty pricey as the milk has to be shipped overnight on dry ice. In an attempt to find local sources of milk for the Vaught family, I am sending you this email. Do you have an excess of milk stored in your freezer? Would you be willing to pump whatever milk you can for Grace? Do you know of other breastfeeding Mom's that would be willing to donate milk? If so, please contact me so that we can work out a good time for me to come over and pick up milk, answer any questions you may have, etc. This family has the faith that God will provide for their little girl, which can be so hard when they don't know where the next batch of milk is going to come from, or when. It is my goal to keep their freezer full so that they never have to worry about feeding their little Grace! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know! And please feel free to forward this on to anyone who might be interested or willing to help out. My schedule is very flexible and I can come pick up milk most anytime, which I will then deliver down to Thornton to the Vaught's. Thank you so much! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Hannah Gaitten

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Believe! Jules Johnstun, Midwife

Another beautiful collage of birth images

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Experience of Birth

Posted by Kim:

WOW, what an amazing video. You must see this short clip, it definitely brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately not because it was my experience, but because it was what I feel I missed out on. But if you have read my other post you know my feelings about my births.

Check this out......

The Birth Experience

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Birth Cottage

Posted by Kim:

I have so many wonderful friends on Facebook, many of whom are doulas, birth educators and mothers. The amazing thing about these woman is that we all keep each other informed. In fact, many of the stories, articles, and informational posts I put on our blog are referred to me by these wonderful women through Facebook.

So, when I saw the post about the Birth Cottage located in the Tallahassee, FL yesterday I jumped at the chance to write about this wonderful place. Can you imagine receiving your prenatal care from these midwives or giving birth is this environment? What an amazing experience it must be. However, in addition to the option of birthing in their cottage, you can also choose to birth at home with one of the midwives. Their list of services is extensive and cares not only for the baby, but the family as a whole.

Services Include:

Complete Prenatal Care
Birth at the Birth Cottage
Birth at Home
Labor Support
Nutritional Counseling
Parenting Information
Sibling Preparation
Breastfeeding Info
Exercise Counseling
Pregnancy Massage
Home Visits
Childbirth Classes
Lending Library
Gynecological Services
Cervical Cap Fitting
PrePregnancy Counseling
Gatherings with other Families
Many Friendly Moments

Their Philosophy:

A birth center is a homelike facility, existing within a health care system, with a program of care designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth. Birth Centers are guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention, and cost effectiveness. Birth Centers provide family-centered care for healthy women, before, during and after normal pregnancy, labor and delivery.

At the Birth Cottage, we believe that childbirth is a normal and natural event which when left to nature will proceed to an uncomplicated end in most cases. We believe the midwife's job is to assist the birthing family in the journey through pregnancy, labor, and birth by monitoring that natural process. Cases involving complications, which in our judgment cannot be handled safely, will be referred to persons trained to deal with obstetrical difficulties. Anesthetics are not provided for natural births. We believe in the woman's power and ability to give birth.

We also believe that childbirth is a family centered event and that the midwife's role is to enhance, not to usurp the family's power of unity. Except where there is an issue concerning the safety of the mother and/or child, we believe the parents should have the experiences they desire and we encourage specific parental requests regarding the birth experience.

We believe that couples must maintain full responsibility for their own health care and for the outcome of their birth. We will assist with information on nutrition, exercise and childbirth education, but you must assume the responsibility of maintaining your own excellent heath care.

"Each new life I am a part of, gives new meaning to my own."

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm the Mom, its my job to make informed decisions

Posted by Kim

Below is a very interesting article about epidural anesthesia and its effect on the baby. When pregnant for the first time I had heard that epidural wasn't great for the baby and I was very concerned about taking any pain relief at all. I had it set in my mind that I wasn't going to do it. However, I did not know any of the information about extended labor, increased use of Pitocin, or higher occurrence of assisted delivery.

When I was told that my first son had to be induced at 35 weeks due to low fetal movement all of my worries about epidural went out the window and I became totally focused on the survival of my baby. It seemed like the experience I was hoping to have was thrust into an emergency medical situation and I did whatever the doctors and nurses said to do. While no one in our hospital ever suggested to me that I should get an epidural, I chose it anyway. I still habor great remorse about this and am somewhat ashamed that I conceded to the pressure and got it.

However now as a doula I try to help myself remember that I did not have any of the gradual contractions that help a mom move into labor starting by helping her efface and dilate. I was at zero everything when my labor with Connor was induced so maybe that had something to do with extrememly pain that I was literally thrust into. I went into the hospital on Sunday night and Monday morning at 7am I was in a full blown labor when the second application of gel was put on my cervix. I literally felt no pain at all and my contractions were immediately 5 minutes apart. This is not the way I recommend labor to start. But then again, the doctors said that my baby had to be born or could be in danger.

Knowing now what I didn't know then about a baby's need for 40 weeks I know I would have thought long and hard about inducing my labor this early, but that is another post. All in all despite Connor's difficult start and the time he spent in the NICU, he is a healthy happy 6 year old and that is what I focus on now. But I often think, how can I learn from my birth experience and apply it to our medical care now? I no longer do everything my doctor says to do, although I respect her opinion. I make my own decisions, realizing now that doctors are only humans. I question everything and also seek alternative remedies before pursuing conventional medical intervention. Deciding what is right for my children is my job as a mom.

The Evidence Says: Epidurals Do Impact Newborns
Written by Connie Livingston

There are many controversies in maternity care. The spectrum of debates run to both ends of the spectrum: from those who feel all women should have interventionized maternity care to the home birth advocates. However, one of the most controversial topics in care is epidural anesthesia.

Fueling the flame of the epidural controversy are the diametrically opposite positions published in anesthesia journals vs. those in other medical journals such as nursing, midwifery and family practice.

In most hospitals, laboring women who have received epidural anesthesia are confined to bed as they no longer can rely on their legs for stability. This may severely limit movement and positioning. Additionally, hospitals may have a policy that all laboring women receiving medication, specifically epidural anesthesia, have an internal fetal heart monitor in place. This requires breaking of the amniotic sac or membranes in a procedure known as amniotomy. Occasionally, it may be necessary to augment or stimulate a labor with Pitocin after an epidural has been given, as epidurals have been shown to slow some women's labors – making the labor longer and harder on the woman’s body (Mayberry, L.J., Clemmens, D., De, A. Epidural analgesia side effects, co-interventions, and care of women during childbirth: a systematic review. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2002 May;186(5 Suppl Nature):S81-93.

Researchers have linked epidural anesthesia to assisted delivery, or the use of forceps or vacuum extraction during the pushing portion of labor (Torvaldsen, S., Roberts, C.L., Bell, J.C., Raynes-Greenow, C.H. Discontinuation of epidural analgesia late in labour for reducing the adverse delivery outcomes associated with epidural analgesia. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD004457.). Researchers also find that 88% of women who requested an epidural for pain in one study reported being less satisfied with their childbirth experience than those who did not, despite lower pain intensity. Pre-labor survey results suggest that concerns about epidurals and their effect on the baby, greater than anticipated labor pain, perceived failure of requesting an epidural, and longer duration of labor may have accounted for these findings.( Kannan, S., Jamison, R.N., Datta, S. Maternal satisfaction and pain control in women electing natural childbirth. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. 2001 Sep-Oct;26(5):468-72.

Epidural anesthesia also causes a drop in maternal blood pressure, thus the need for 1000 ml of IV fluids administered prior/during the administration of the anesthesia.

For the newborn, the effects of epidural anesthesia are more hazardous. Women who have epidurals are less likely to fully breastfeed in the first few days and are more likely to stop breastfeeding in the first 24 weeks due to the difficulty newborns have in coordinating sucking and latching. (Torvaldsen, et al. Intrapartum epidural analgesia and breastfeeding: a prospective cohort study. International Breastfeeding Journal 2006 Dec 11; 1:24. Oxytocin and prolactin stimulate milk ejection and milk production during breastfeeding. When used in combination during the labor process, which happens frequently, epidural anesthesia and pitocin influenced endogenous oxytocin levels negatively ~ thus negatively impacting both milk ejection and milk production. Jonas et al. Effects of intrapartum oxytocin administration and epidural analgesia on the concentration of plasma oxytocin and prolactin in response to suckling during the second day postpartum. Breastfeeding Medicine 2009 June; 4(2): 71-82.

Countless other studies including the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine and Dr. Sarah Buckley all focus on the hazardous impact of epidurals on breastfeeding and the newborn.

This evidence may be an inconvenient truth.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Choline improves baby's brain development, reduces birth defects

Posted by Kim
Found on Pampered Pregger and Beyond facebook page
Written by Rebecca Lacko for the LA Parenting Examiner

Studies show that, in pregnancy, choline plays a critical role in brain development, and may reduce the risk of neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by as much as fifty percent.

Dr. Gary Shaw, a research director of the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program reported in a paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2004), that women whose daily choline intake was greater than 498mg had about half the risk of delivering a baby with a neural-tube defect, compared with expectant mothers whose choline intake was 290mg or less. Surprisingly, this reduction occurred independently of intake of folic acid. “Many of us have been targeting folic acid as the way to prevent birth defects, and this has certainly worked, ” Dr. Shaw says. ” But issues remain as to why it doesn’t work in everyone.”

In pregnancy, choline plays a critical role in brain development by helping regulate the transport of nutrients into and out of cells. It also forms acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory function, according to Dr. Steven Zeisel, a recognized expert in choline, who published his findings in the Journal of Neurochemistry (2004).

Choline, a vitamin B-like compound, is found in high quantities in:

* eggs
* beef and chicken liver
* wheat germ
* soybeans

The National Academies of Science recommends nursing mothers increase choline intake to 550mg—the equivalence of two whole eggs.

Milk is an especially critical source of calcium during pregnancy, and while this chart does show milk as a source of choline, it is important to note that processed milk is rather low in choline because the pasteurization all but destroys the naturally occurring choline. (Studies show raw goats milk and raw cow milk are very high in choline and many other important enzymes, vitamins and nutrients.) Unpasteurized dairy products are generally not recommended for expectant mothers; Hormonal changes during pregnancy have an effect on the mother’s immune system that lead to an increased susceptibility to listeriosis.

For more info: For more info on how choline helps during pregnancy, see Your guide to the healthiest pregnancy. You’ll also learn how Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the risk of both post-partum depression and preterm labor.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Facebook Won’t Budge on Breastfeeding Photos

Posted by Kim
Found on The New York Times Blog
Written by By Jenna Wortham
Originally published on January 2, 2009

Facebook is standing firm on a policy that has led to the removal of some photos posted by women that show breastfeeding.

The deletions have spurred Facebook members to stage protests both online and offline. Dozens of supporters gathered last Saturday at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., while online, and more than 11,000 members participated in a virtual “nurse-in,” or changed their profile photos to images depicting women breastfeeding.

The controversy began after several women began noticing that photographs of themselves nursing their children had been flagged for removal. They formed a group called “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene!” to protest a policy that prohibits members from uploading any content deemed to be “obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit,” which can include images showing exposed breasts.

Stephanie Knapp Muir, 40, one of the organizers of the Facebook group, said the company’s policy was unfair and discriminatory towards women. “If they were removing all photos of any exposed chest — male or female — in any context, at least that would be fair,” Ms. Muir said. “But they’re targeting women with these rules. They’ve deemed women’s breasts obscene and dangerous for children and it’s preposterous.”

Facebook has said that it has no problem with breastfeeding, but that photos showing nipples are deemed to be a violation and can be removed. It has said that the photos flagged for removal were brought to the company’s attention almost exclusively by user complaints.

As Facebook swells beyond 140 million members, regulating content on the site becomes more difficult. Barry Schnitt, a spokesman for the company, said banning nudity was a clear line to draw.

“We think it’s a consistent policy,” said Mr. Schnitt. “Certainly we can agree that there is context where nudity is not obscene, but we are reviewing thousands of complaints a day. Whether it’s obscene, art or a natural act — we’d rather just leave it at nudity and draw the line there.”

The pro-breastfeeding group has attracted more than 116,000 members [The group now has more that 245,000 members]. Mr. Schnitt noted that other protests around Facebook policies, such as when the company rolled out its News Feed feature, drew more support.

Ms. Muir estimated that hundreds of photos showing women breastfeeding their children had been removed from the site. “The vast majority of the removed images were in people’s private profiles — you’d have to look for them to find them,” she said. “You can opt not to do that –- just as I choose to not check out the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ group. It’s not anyone’s responsibility but my own to make that decision.”

Ms. Muir said she understood how hard it is for Facebook to deal with millions of photos and other user contributions. “But they need to be more discerning as to what they’re classifying as obscene,” she said. “It’s highly offensive to mothers and babies to be lumped in as true obscenity.”

Mr. Schnitt said the company had no plans to change the policy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pre-Pregnancy - Morphology

Posted by Kim
Written by Tink, friend of BINSI

Three days ago I found out my best friend is pregnant. I wonder if I feel more in awe than she does. It feels so surreal and it's not even me. When she first told me, I shouted something I can't type in here. Meeting her for lunch, we see each other in the parking lot. She says softly, "I have a baby in my belly." I said, "Yes, yes you do.", feeling overwhelmingly happy with her yet there was a slight twinge of, "Dammit. When's my turn?"

Last blog entry I told you I was waiting on fertility results. Turns out everything on my end is a-ok. I had an internal ultrasound (which was THE COOLEST thing to ever see, by the way. I can only imagine seeing it when something moving in there.) I saw my ovaries, in perfect health already forming a 1cm follicle with an egg in it. She said follicles grow about 2 cm per day thus setting my day of ovulation around CD (cycle day) 11 or 12. Fascinating. She leaves the room saying, "I hope to see you back in here soon!" Yeah, me too. Bring your ultrasound wand.

J got his analysis back and his count is normal but there was another aspect of the test about 15% being normal criteria yet he was 7%. J couldn't seem to remember what the nurse said. The nurse never projected rainbows and butterflies nor did she refer to doom and despair. Maybe she was just pissed she was working on a Sunday. She said, "Talk with your doctor. I just read the messages to you.". What it sounded like was J has low morphology which is the shape of the sperm. My information-hog personality at its best, I concluded that low morphology isn't necessarily the end of the world. Could just mean it takes a little bit longer to conceive, could mean I spend a little longer with my hips in the air! I need more information to really understand what is going on with J's swimmies. It drives me crazy to wait when there are important issues on the line. There are so many factors; motility, morphology, count, pH, blah blah blah. Yeh, yeh, yeh, just tell me if I can have DJ Baby Z anytime soon. What'll it be? I wonder if all that worrying about fertility issues manifested itself into reality. This is the part that kicked me in the gut. J told me (that same night I'd told you about last week) after I'd been crying that he always had a feeling he wouldn't be able to have kids because of his sperm. STFU. Great timing, Bucko. Your wife is crying, agonizing over the possibility of never being able to conceive children. Can I karate chop your face now? I felt a surge of adrenaline that scared me of what large heavy things I could possibly move at that moment. I felt insane. So I just cried harder. J redeemed himself last night when he said, "So when do we start the baby dancing again?" I said, "Now. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow." He smiled.

Thursday is the day J will be able to get a hold of Doc based on when J has a free moment at work. (What? Thursday? Thursday is too far away. ) I could call and make my voice sound like his...or not. I want to be another set of ears because 2 is better than 1 in this case.
I found a blog from a doctor at NYU who writes on infertility. His articles may take me 3 hours to read, trying to process all the medical garb, nonetheless his words are helpful. He gives me hope for a healthy DJ Baby Z in the near future.

B: I am so happy for you!! I cannot wait to meet Hootie Hoo. She/He will be beautiful. We will have even more fun at ST's with a wiggly baby sitting at the table. Thank you for supporting me as I sat selfishly wondering when I would get pregnant too. I will someday. Patience is a virtue the universe is trying to teach me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN Press release 23 May 2009:

Posted by Kim
Found on the One Million Campaign Website

Voices of 45000 People Reach World Health Assembly with a Call to Save Newborn Lives.

IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network, made a clear call when it launched its ‘One Million Campaign: Support Women to Breastfeed’ ( at World Health Assembly. The IBFAN team submitted a petition to the President of World Health Assembly, Mr. NS de Silva, signed by more than 45000 people from 161 countries.

Mr. de Silva said as he received the petition: “…In Sri Lanka we have very specific indicators……with our campaign for promoting (exclusive) breastfeeding, it has come to 78% , we are happy about it, and we want the Asia region, and whole world should promote this concept !”

The petition demands concrete support systems for breastfeeding women to increase the coverage of early and exclusive breastfeeding. This would help save more than one million newborn and infant lives annually, as well improve the health of their mothers. Needless to say, it will also set a path for healthy adult life.

Dr. Arun Gupta, the regional coordinator of IBFAN Asia, went on to present the demands of the petition to the World Health Assembly, urging the Assembly to adopt a resolution in 2010 to deal with 4 key issues. First, to prepare a specific plan of action on infant feeding which is budgeted and coordinated in the same way as action plans for immunisation. Second, to ensure the end of promotion of baby milks and foods intended for children under 2 years in a time-bound manner, that is by 2015. Third, to end partnerships in the area of infant and young child feeding and nutrition with commercial sector corporations that present conflicts of interests. And fourth, to create support and maternity entitlements for women both in the formal and informal sectors, so that mothers and babies can stay close to each other for six months at least.

Today, the World Health Organisation recognised the importance for infants to be exclusively breastfed: at the launch of the World Health Statistics Report 2009, for the first time, this key indicator was included in the statistics. While including an indicator on exclusive breastfeeding is good step forward, says Alison Linnecar, of IBFAN, "Early and exclusive breastfeeding should be monitored in the process of tracking progress of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 goal of child survival, both nationally and globally".

The report reveals that about only 48 million of 135 million babies born are able to benefit from exclusive breastfeeding, due to reasons such as aggressive promotion of baby milks and baby foods and lack of supportive health systems.

Many countries have still to enact national legislation to end this promotion in compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes that was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981. Says Annelies Allain of IBFAN “Action must be accelerated on this crucial intervention”.

According to Dr Gupta, "There is an increasing trend towards mobilising public private partnerships in these areas, which is not healthy. These are a way for corporations to increase their profits….It is business for corporations meeting their basic objectives. Commercial interference on parents’ infant feeding
decisions should end."


Arun Gupta, IBFAN Asia
Phone: +91119899676306

World Breastfeeding Week

Posted by Kim
Email received from World Breastfeeding Campaign

World Breastfeeding Week 2009

Its We the People Who Can Bring Change: Lets ACT NOW!!

World Breastfeeding Week starts on August 1, (1-7 August). The theme is Breastfeeding, A Vital Emergency Response: Are You Ready?

You can find out more download materials and find events at:

UNICEF and WHO have made statements in support of the week, which is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

UNICEF's statement includes: "Around 9 million children under five die every year, largely from preventable causes... According to the Lancet, optimal breastfeeding in the first two years of life, especially exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, can have the single largest impact on child survival of all preventative interventions, with the potential to prevent 12 to 15% of all under age 5 deaths in the developing world... This year's World Breastfeeding Week provides an opportunity to sensitize policy-makers, donors, implementing partners and the general public to the benefits of breastfeeding, to its particular importance in emergency situations, and to the need to protect and support mothers to breastfeeding during emergencies."

You can find the full UNICEF and WHO statements via links at:

One country facing an emergency is Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries, where 13% of the populations is infected with HIV.

In conditions of poverty, infants have a better chance of escaping HIV and being protected from other infections if they are exclusively breastfed. Yet in Malawi, Nestlé is promoting its formula with a logo claiming that it 'protects'. Formula is very expensive and those that believe the claim that the formula 'protects' may well use it alongside breastfeeding - mixed feeding is the worst possible scenario for the transmission of the virus.

It is a government requirement that tins have warnings that breastmilk is best for babies, but Nestlé refused to translate these into Chichewa, despite a government request to do so, because of 'cost restraints'. It took a Baby Milk Action campaign that led to Mark Thomas highlighting this irresponsible marketing on UK television, to change Nestlé's minds, and further campaigning to persuade Nestlé to show cup feeding, rather than bottle feeding, in line with government policies. See:

So campaigning works. Now we need to persuade Nestlé to remove the 'protect' logo from labels in Malawi and elsewhere in the world. You can help by sending a message to Nestlé. You will find the information you need to do so on our July Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet, which is now available on our website at:

Also featured on the action sheet is a call on Danone/Milupa to stop using claims for its formula that have been found to be untrue in a ruling last week from the UK Advertising Standards Authority. Although these breach the advertising code's clauses on substantiation, truthfulness and comparisons, the code is voluntary and it remains to be seen whether similar claims will be removed from labels and other promotion stopped. There is also a call for Mead Johnson to stop making untrue claims about its formula.

If politicians fulfilled their responsibility to implement the baby food marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly, then public campaigns would not be necessary and there would be progress towards stopping the millions of preventable under-5 deaths.

You can help put pressure on politicians by signing the ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN petition. If you have already signed, visit the campaign website to see what action you can take to encourage friends and colleagues to sign up. See:

Action Alert

1. Make an opportunity to call upon companies and your leaders to END ALL KINDS OF PROMTIONS of Baby Foods by 2015.

2. If you would like to submit the One Million Campaign Petition to your Head of the State, please use the opportunity to do so.

3. Please SIGN UP Petition if you have not done so and invite your friends to sign up as well

At this link you can find the Petition letter, and petition submitted to the President of the World Health Assembly in May 2009.

Another link provides a draft for you to use to write to your Head of State.


Team ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN- Support Women to Breastfeed

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pre-Pregnancy - Just Relax

Posted by Kim
Written by Tink, friend of BINSI

I'm back. These blogs have become cathartic for me. I have a folder in my email of "BIB Blogs". I look forward to when the little squirt blurt is really here and my journey has been recorded. I will look back and think 'Oh remember when...'

My first Ob/Gyn appointment with prenatal purpose was last Wednesday. My doctor is quirky, funny, and down-to-earth upon first impression. I like the fact I will be able to deliver at our local hospital whenever that time comes. I also got the feeling that she wasn't picking up on my temporary inability to process all the information she spewed at me at that moment. For her, it was another routine exam with a side order of fertility. In case you haven't been reading me for long, I've been on the trying-to-conceive boat for 7 cycles now.

After Doc talked about thyroid and progesterone testing, ovulation predictor kits, ultrasounds, the "base" tests, sperm potency, and simple timing of intercourse, I said, "Ok, so say again...what is my next step?" She smiled, "Get an appointment for an ultrasound as soon as you can and we'll just check that everything physically is ok. No collapsed fallopian tubes, fibroids, cysts, those kinds of things." Very routine, right? My eyes must have been as big as my non-stick egg white skillet because she said, "No need to worry. Just relax, we just want to rule out that anything physically could be wrong. Something like a collapsed fallopian tube we'd just re-inflate it and you'd be open for ovulation for at least another 6 months." There it is again. Just relax. Before I left the office, they drew blood into 2 medium size test tubes, I made my appointment for the ultrasound, and tried to slow the spinning of my head. I ordered 50 ovulation test strips off the internet and the game plan is set for this month.

Doc didn't ask me about my family history however ironic thing is my grandmother had a collapsed fallopian tube. My sister has Type 1 diabetes and had thyroid issues. My grandmother went on to have my aunt and mother. J is set to get his swimmies tested. A friend of mine told me before my doctor starts poking me with needles to get sperm potency tested first. It's the easiest, quickest test.

Saturday, the water works turned on. I could feel it brewing since Wednesday. I felt silly because I really had no real reason to cry. (Do you really need one anyway?) I wondered when it would happen. I needed it to happen. I may need it to happen more often and I'm going to need J to be extra patient with me as I navigate through these new emotions. I felt the slight squeeze on my chest release. I told J, "I know you don't get it, and you don't care, you're just like, 'whatever'. I don't mean that to be rude but..." J says, "Yeah, it's ok. I'm just trying to go with it." He washed some dishes then came over to the couch when he knew I was really letting it flow. Putting his arm around me for support, he fulfilled a duty as my partner. Thank you, Honey.

My blood work has not come back yet. What will it reveal? What will they say? I called the office on Thursday explaining I had just been in on Wednesday and was wondering when the results would be in. The wonderfully patient office lady said, "Let me check...they might be back on Friday afternoon. Go ahead and give us a call on Friday but they will most likely be in on Monday. I will put a note in here to have them call you. I know it's nice to know so you're not sitting around! They should call you Monday." This lady has obviously spoken to many nervous women on the phone. She was the perfect ratio of professional, sensitive, and patient. Thank you, Office Phone Nurse Lady. I salute you.

Here it is Monday. I am looking forward to and anxious for Tuesday because it brings the day of the ultrasound. What will they find? What will she say? Should I bring my voice recorder so I can listen to it again in case I black out? Should I take notes? Does J really need to come with me? As each month passes, I get closer to a point in space I never thought existed. The X and Y axis' read: Whatever and Freaking Out. It is possible for these to co-exist? That's how I feel. It's the most bizarre suspension.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Where's The Birth Plan?

Posted by Kim
Written by Jennifer Block, found on the RH Reality Check website
Published under: Leading Voices | Maternal Health

Obama "won't rest" until he's cut health care costs and improved quality?

Over here, Mr. President, says Jennie Joseph, a certified professional midwife who runs a birth center in Winter Garden, Florida. Midwives like Joseph provide what you could call "less-is-more care."

Compared to healthy women who get standard obstetric care and deliver on high-tech labor and delivery wards, women with low-risk pregnancies who get care with a midwife and deliver in birth centers or even in their own homes, benefit from a five-fold decrease in the chance of a cesarean delivery, more success with breastfeeding, and less likelihood that their baby will be born too early or end up in intensive care. And all of this for a fraction of the cost of the status quo.

A new economic analysis forecasts savings of $9.1 billion per year if 10 percent of women planned to deliver out of hospital with midwives. (Right now, just one percent do). If America is serious about reform, midwifery advocates are saying, "Hey, how about us?"

Childbirth, in fact, costs the United States more in hospital charges than any other health condition -- $86 billion in 2006, almost half paid for by taxpayers. This high price tag -- twice as high as what most European countries spend -- buys us one of the most medicalized maternity care systems in the industrialized world. Yet we have among the worst outcomes: high rates of preterm birth, infant mortality, and maternal mortality, with huge disparities by race.

To read the rest of this article visit Jennifer Block's Blog