Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Home births are making a comeback

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

January 26, 2012, 10:05 a.m.
Home birth is making a marked resurgence in the United States, according to data released Thursday by the federal government.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mom Delivers Nearly 14 Pound Baby Without Epidural

Mom Delivers Nearly 14 Pound Baby - Des Moines News Story - KCCI Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A woman gave birth to a 13 Lb, 12 oz. baby boy without medication at Mercy Medical Center on Thursday.

When asked about the birth experience Kendall Stewardson, 24, of St. Charles, said she couldn't talk about it. "It wouldn't be TV appropriate," Stewardson joked.

Baby Asher was born healthy and 9 days late. He was 23.5 inches long. His family has a history of big babies. Asher's big brother Judah weighed 12 lbs., 1 oz. when he was born. Both Stweardson and her husband Joshua were born weighing more than 10 Lbs.

To read the rest of this story click here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What the Doctor Isn’t Telling You about Pregnancy and the Flu Vaccine

by Jennifer Margulis

When Katie Tyler, who’s 33 years old and lives in Truckee, California, went in for her 28-week pregnancy checkup, the nurse at the doctor’s office urged her to get the flu shot.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Part 2 - Fear and Pain: A Cultural Picture of Childbirth...and What We Can Do to Change It

As discussed in Part 1 of this post, the experience of childbirth - and particularly the experience of childbirth as inherently painful - is strongly influenced by cultural perceptions and norms. In America, birth is largely defined by the culture-bound idea that pain and childbirth are inextricably linked. Insofar as thoughts and beliefs can impact personal experience, women who are told repeatedly to expect that birth will be grueling, difficult and painful naturally internalize these views (and the fears that result from them) over time and, thus, their birth experience could more likely be a painful one.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fear and Pain: A Cultural Picture of Childbirth...and What We Can Do to Change It

What if I told you that I gave birth to my child without anesthesia or medication of any kind, without any medical interventions to speak of...and the result was a childbirth experience that was virtually devoid of any pain? That I experienced childbirth in its fullest, most visceral state, completely comfortable and aware throughout the whole process? Would you believe me?

To read the rest of this article click here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Help, my milk supply is low! Or is it?

By Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC from The Leaky B@@b

Ever wish your breasts had little ounce markings? If so, you’re not alone. One of the more confusing things about breastfeeding is determining how much milk you’re making. You can’t see how much is going into your baby, so how can you tell if your milk supply is enough for your baby?

To read the rest of this article click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When Midwifery Works

By Birth Without Fear
I recently attended the long anticipated birth of a dear friend of mine. This birth was a planned HBAC. Her first birth was a c section at 35 weeks due to problems with one of the babies. Those babes are now robust, fun 7 year old girlies. I was with her during that pregnancy from the day..yes the day those babies were conceived on a camping trip.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Natural Childbirth: Crazy or Conscientious?

Unaware of alternatives, the majority of women use drugs to cope with the pain of labor and delivery.

Most of my friends and family members think I’m crazy. By choice, I bore my first child without an epidural and I’m hoping to do it again the second time around.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

7 Reasons Kale Is the New Beef

Like the saying goes, the only constant is change. We may resist it all we want, but Time and its inevitable evolution of everything in its path is unaffected by our attempts to stop it. The resulting trajectory of humanity's nascent ascent appears to be positioning itself to sweep us into progressive new times, especially where our food choices are concerned, as nearly 7 billion people are now standing on the little scraps of land that we share with some 55 billion rather large animals raised for food each year. (As another famous saying goes: This town ain't big enough for the both of us.) So, beef (and all factory-farmed meat) may be going from rib-eye to relic as we transition to a greener world… literally—as in leafy, green vegetables.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Postpartum Abdominal Support

Your baby has been born and your “6 week post partum period” has ended; yet you may still find yourself in pregnancy jeans with an extra pregnancy pouch. Many of us have this idea in our head that once the baby is out, our body just goes back to the way it was before. I hate to say it but I was astounded by how much my own body changed after having a kiddo. I have continuously told people to be gentle with themselves, after all it took 9 months to put it on why would we expect that at 6 weeks we would be back to normal. There does come a point where you are feeling rested enough and you are ready to get your body back, to strengthen the core and the muscles that have been stretched and weakened. When dealing with my own postpartum 6 years ago I was shocked to read all the different opinions on how to get your muscles back. I hope that this article will lay it out for you all simply.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Midwife Q&A: Are We Having Babies All Wrong?

By Jennifer Block
Ina May Gaskin started delivering babies in 1970 while on a hippie cross-country trip known as the caravan. She had no medical training, just a master's degree in English and a gut feeling that women deserved kinder, gentler births. When the hundreds of caravaners settled in Tennessee on what they called the Farm, Gaskin and several other women began delivering the community's babies at home and also opened one of the first, nonhospital birthing centers in the country. Word got around when Gaskin wrote about her successes in Spiritual Midwifery, and a movement was born.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An OB Pushing Her Baby Out At Home? Say It Ain't So!

Is it wrong to admit that when I got this birth story I thought I was being Punked? Only the sure knowledge that Ashton Kutcher couldn't waste his time on me assured me that this wasn't the case. Though probably rare, this is a birth story from an obstetrician. (I admit, I still have doubts. I must be very, very jaded!)

Seriously though, I have had four medical doctors in my classes trying to have natural births. Sometimes even the people who are part of obstetric America realize that "that" kind of birth isn't what they want.

Congrats to this mom on her lovely home water birth. May we all have beautiful births like this.


To read the rest of this story click here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Lie of the Estimated Due Date (EDD): Why Your Due Date Is Not What You Think

We have it ingrained in our heads throughout our entire adult lives-pregnancy is 40 weeks. The "due date" we are given at that first prenatal visit is based upon that 40 weeks, and we look forward to it with great anticipation. When we are still pregnant after that magical date, we call ourselves "overdue" and the days seem to drag on like years. The problem with this belief about the 40 week EDD is that it is not based in fact. It is one of many pregnancy and childbirth myths which has wormed its way into the standard of practice over the years-something that is still believed because "that's the way it's always been done".

To read the rest of this article click here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ina May and Stephen Gaskin Talk With Lisa Reagan

Ina May Gaskin, the Godmother of Modern Midwifery, and her husband, Stephen Gaskin, founder of Plenty International, talked to Lisa Reagan in Washington, DC, in July 2011 about birth, midwives, The Farm, and being "Technicolor Amish". The interview was filmed after the broadcast interview with Ina May to the 2.2 million listeners of The Diane Rehm Show. (Lisa Reagan, Kindred's executive editor, is pictured with Stephen and Ina May at WAMU radio station on the left of this page.)

This intimate and memorable discussion between Ina May and Stephen, who have been together for more than 30 years, includes Stephen sharing his advice to men to "act like knights" and "pledge your sword to a lady. Protect those who need protecting." Ina May and Stephen remember the trucks on The Farm, why midwives are the best drivers and conversations with international physicians who have advocated for natural birth as a human right.

In this video, photographers like Robert Altman and David Frohman, chroniclers of the 1960s movement and The Farm history, show "professor" Stephen Gaskin talking to a group of 1500 young people about what was going on in their radically changing world. From The Farm's website:

In 1966, a young assistant professor at San Francisco State College began scheduling classes to talk about what was happening outside his window. The classes grew too large for the college halls, so the class moved to a church, a theater, and then, in 1969, to the Family Dog, Chet Helms' rock hall on the coast. Monday Night Class became a weekly pilgrimage of throngs of hippies from up and down the coast, from high schools and university campuses, from army bases and police academies, from mountain communes and Haight Street crash pads. Thousands of people, in various states of consciousness, came with tamborines and diaphanous gowns, love beads and bangles, Dr. Strange cloaks and top hats with feathers. The open-ended discussions ventured into Hermeneutic geometry, Masonic-Rosicrucian mysticism, Ekenkar and the Rolling Stones, but opened with a long, silent meditation and closed with a sense of purpose. At the center of this psychedelic crucible, the professor in the welder's hood, was 31-year-old Stephen Gaskin, known simply to most hippies as "Stephen."

Stephen would say, "Lets talk about how we're gonna be." Not "how we're gonna stop the war" or "how we're gonna make it fair," but "how we're gonna be."

To read the rest of this article click here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Etiquette Of Visiting Parents With Newborns

There are few things in life more heartwarming than meeting a newborn baby for the first time, especially if that baby is the son or daughter of a dear friend. But for the parents who have just had a baby, there are also few things that are more stressful and exhausting. The new mom or dad have probably not had more than three consecutive hours of sleep. The mom’s nipples are probably sore and bleeding. And neither have had time to eat a real meal. This post is dedicated to the etiquette of visiting new parents. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. It shouldn’t. I definitely violated these rules before I had a baby. This is meant to simply help friends understand the needs of a new parent.

To read the rest of this post click here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Study Shows Normal Labor Takes More Time Than OBs Are Allowing For

Obstetricians have been trained to expect labor to progress faster than it actually does, which may be the reason for the high rate of inductions and c-section deliveries in the US according to a new report. The study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology used information from over 62,000 normal, natural births and figured out the average labor time for dilation from 4 to 5 cm, 5 to 6 cm, and over 6 cm. Most cases of "failure to progress," which is the number one reason for inductions, occur during this part of the first stage of labor.

To read the rest of this article click here.