Friday, September 27, 2013

elective induction

I know, I know.

It's so hard to not be able to plan the day you're baby would arrive.  You're a busy gal, you've got plenty on your plate ... dropping it all and bringing a new life into the world feels impossible in our scheduled world.  I understand; I do it on a monthly basis for my clients and it is no small thing.

But there is quite a bit of research out there showing that babies do best inside their mamas.  Your baby is staying inside of you for a reason, and most of the time ... it's best to go with the flow.  Now, of course there are times where this is not at all true; and thank heaven we have technology advanced enough to help your baby!

If the word "induction" starts getting thrown around, ask your caregiver for what they would call a "risk analysis".  It's essentially a big pros and cons list; giving you a much more detailed idea of what would be best for your baby.

Be aware that most hospitals aren't even allowing elective induction any more, according to Medscape.  There is simply too much information out there supporting those last few weeks of development in the womb; enough that professional caregivers can't justify early inductions without a serious cause.
" 'Something we didn't even anticipate as a benefit of this policy, but was a delightful surprise to see, was a decreased admission rate to the neonatal intensive care unit,' Dr. Healy told Medscape Medical News at the meeting."
Read the whole article; it's not too long and quite interesting!

Educate yourself so you can feel confident in what you chose.  If your baby needs anything, he or she needs confident, loving parents.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

pitocin warning

Pitocin is overused.

It is a brand of oxytocin that doctors will use to either start contractions, or keep the ones you've got going.  In the business-world of a hospital, it is an invaluable tool for managing an event that does not work on a dependable time clock.

But you see, it's so important that we don't forget that birth is not on a time clock.  Of course averages have been measured, but who is really average?  Your body is your body, and its uniqueness combined with that of your baby results in a truly singular birth that is far from average.

It is normal for labor to pause.  In fact, it's a coping mechanism.  If you were a cave woman back in the day, laboring to bring your baby into the world and suddenly -- ack! -- a saber-toothed tiger interrupts your focus.  What would you do?  Adrenaline would kick in, oxytocin would all but stop, blood flow would leave your uterus and shoot out to your appendages to get you the crap out of there.

That hasn't changed today.  If you're stressed and that saber-toothed tiger waltzes in the room in the form of your doctor, mother-in-law, or some bizarre point in labor that you've always dreaded, you're more than likely to stall out.  It's instinct.  It's survival.

So if your doctors start throwing out the word pitocin, first ask, "Is this an emergency?"  And if the answer is no, then give yourself some time.  Relax.  Take a deep breath.  Find a way to defeat that tiger and let your body continue doing it's thing.

Not only is pitocin harder on you (inhuman contractions on a very human uterus), there are also studies finally being done on pitocin's effects on your baby.  There are some.  ACOG just released a statement about it:

Now don't fret, of course there are risks no matter what kind of birth you have.  Do your research, have an intelligent conversation with your partner, doctor, and support people.  You need to feel good about what you experience.  Your ability to care for that baby after he or she arrives will trump any experience your baby had during birth.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a friend's laboring tips

I have a beautiful, wonderful friend.  She lives very far.  But she keeps up on an adorable blog and it has been so nice to stay in touch ... albeit electronically.

She recently had a baby.

We emailed a few times, and she finally found a moment to give me details on her birth and what worked best for her.  I think they are brilliant, and worth adding to your tool bag as you prepare for you ideal experience.

I just saw your comment on facebook, and I'd been meaning to email you anyway, wanting to thank you for answering all my pregnancy/labor questions and give you a quick update on how everything went (you know, since you were my virtual doula and all :).  I went into labor at midnight on my due date (it started with me passing my mucus plug) and was able to labor naturally for 14 hours and then deliver my baby boy after 2 hours of pushing.  It was wonderful and empowering and went just as I hoped (well, it was more painful then I was expecting...I was laboring in my back... but nothing too terrible.).  I read SO MUCH before hand and really tried to do my part to be educated about this whole labor business, and these are the things that I found worked best for me: 
::  I swam three times a week and went on long daily walks (or waddles towards the end, haha!), and I really think those activities helped me have the strength to keep laboring. 
::  I drank my raspberry leaf tea religiously and towards the end started taking Evening Primrose Oil orally.  I'd like to think those helped me, but I have nothing to compare it to. 
::  I read a hypnobirthing book (there were no classes in my area), and listened to the relaxation exercise cd that came with the book every night before bed for the last 3 months of pregnancy.  
The best thing I learned from hypnobirthing was to keep my face relaxed.  I coached Evan on this, and so he was able to remind me to relax my face whenever he could tell I was tensing up.  It was amazing how much calmer I'd feel! 
I had a 1.5 hour nap right in the middle of labor and then woke up ready to push.  Everyone was kind of scratching their heads wondering how I was able to relax so fully, but I think I was able to be so relaxed because I had practiced every night before bed, and it always put me to sleep.  I needed to rest before the pushing began! 
Thanks again for all your advice and for helping other women through this amazing process, what a wonderful life calling! 
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

pain is a perception

Have you seen this video yet?  I love it.

Besides being hilarious, it proves one thing that I try to teach each of my clients:  pain is a perception.  These two men are seriously so far from experiencing childbirth ... sorry guys, there's just no way to really replicate it for you.  It's beautiful and intense and empowering and humbling all at once, and these little machines just can't do that. 

However ...
The guys in this movie are both experiencing pain.  And they handle it very differently.

Ladies, your birth can be whatever you want it to be.  Don't fight it.  Let it happen.  And for heaven's sake, think happy thoughts!