Joy In Birthing Fertility, Birth, and Baby Advocacy Community http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing <![CDATA[ Interview with Ibu Robin Lim – 2011 "CNN" Hero]]> I am sitting with 2011 CNN Nominee Hero Robin Lim, in her bungalow in Ubud Bali. This unassuming midwife has been a true hero in her village taking many low income women and giving them the opportunity to bringing their babies into this world naturally and with love. As we sat over a cup of tea I asked her a few questions.

What inspired you to become a midwife?
 35 years ago I became a teenage mom. My daughter, Déjà, was born gently and safely at home.
My first experience of having a baby was about as natural as birth can be, and though I didn’t know it at the time, it set my feet on a path that eventually led me to become a childbirth author and a midwife.
I became a passionate seeker of childbirth knowledge.  I found that the research points to the fact that being born without trauma is the foundation for having an intact capacity to love and trust.  I learned that a healthy society is made up of loving, trusting individuals, and that these individuals in turn protect their environment, become stewards of our land, air and water, and they make peace, rather than war. I came to the conclusion that bringing Humans to earth with an intact ability to LOVE is essential if we are to survive as a species. So, I became a fierce advocate for gentle birth as a solution for the most pressing problems of our times. A solution that begins at the source. Gentle Birth, protecting mother and baby, is a solution that I believe will result in positive change for our society.

And Then Something Else happened that fired my passion

20 years ago Christine Jehle Kim died due to a complication of her third pregnancy.  Medical interventions beginning in her youth led to hypertension related difficulties with Christine’s heart and circulation.  Toward the end of her pregnancy, she suffered a stroke in her sleep, and never woke up. Christine was my younger sister. 
My sister and the baby she was carrying died in the United States of America.  They died in the country that spends more money on pregnancy and birth technology than any other country in this world.
Statistically, the United States rates number 39 in maternal mortality. This means that it is safer to be pregnant and to give birth in 38 other countries than the USA…and less expensive too.
According to Amnesty International’s report Deadly Delivery:The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the US,there is a largely ignored health care calamity in the United States of America that sees between two and three women die every day during pregnancy and childbirth.
World widethat number is exponentially higher: nearly 1,000 women die everydayfrom pregnancy and birth related complications.

What is even more discouraging is that according to Amnesty International, the number of maternal deaths is significantly understated because of a lack of effective data collection in the USA, and may I add, in the world.

Pregnant women who are at risk for suffering complications and even dying, are in the prime of their lives, Minorities, those living in poverty, Native American and immigrant women and those who speak little or no English are most affected. My sister had health insurance, she should have been warned by her doctors that she was at risk. But she was a minority. The doctors took little interest in her as an individual, and she fell through the cracks.  And died.

My passion for maternal and child health led me to continue my studies and pursue the path of midwifery.

Not long after my sister’s death, I moved to Bali, Indonesia with my family. While I was pregnant with my fifth child, my son Hanoman, I faced inadequate healthcare for myself and the other pregnant women I came to know in Bali.

Dr. Inne Susante came to my home, she showed me the study she had conducted for UNICEF on Maternal Mortality in Bali, it proved that complications of pregnancy and childbirth were the leading cause of adult deaths on this island. She encouraged me to do something about it.

So how did you begin?
With the help of many concerned Indonesian volunteers, we started by providing prenatal care in my home.  We involved midwives and the Dinas Kesehata (Dept. of Health) in our regency, and eventually, Yayasan Bumi Sehat opened its Community Health and Childbirth clinic in Bali. A grass roots service not-for-profit organization, run primarily by the people it most benefits, was born. 

What does Yaysasan Bumi Sehat mean?
In Bahasa Indonesia, Yayasan means Not-for-profit, Bumi is the Earth as a Mother, Sehat means healthy – Yayasan Bumi Sehat means “Healthy Mother Earth Foundation”.

Bumi Sehat is built on three simple principals: Respect for Nature, Respect for Culture, and the wise implementation of the Science of Medicine.

Our focus is equalityin reproductive health, including prenatal care, birth services, postpartum and breastfeeding support.  We also run projects that support education, capacity building, recycling and environmental protection.

We build clinicsand we staff them, we educate midwifery students, we pick up trash, we patch up wounds, treat illnesses, and we receive babies into the world. We advocate for marginalized, displaced, low-income people from all islands, faiths and cultures.

How did you become involved in Disaster Relief?
Following disasters reproductive health care falls by the wayside. Yet babies continue to be born. When all infrastructures falls apart, when the hospitals and all their technological equipment are destroyed, midwives come in handy.  They can help women give birth with or without electricity, running water, equipment, even shelter is optional when babies are ready, they come.
In December 2004 a 9.3 earthquakes and subsequent Tsunami devastated Aceh, Indonesia. Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Maldives were all affected.  Bumi Sehat was an early responder, we transported supplies, some tents, and we trucked in food and drinking water. When Aceh was utterly destroyed, we helped with our hearts and our hands. 

We trained midwives and grandmothers in protocols to safely deliver babies, even in a disaster zone.  With a lot of help from International and Indonesian donors, especially the Rotary and Direct Relief Int., we built a Bumi Sehat Community Health clinic in Samatiga, West Aceh.

Long after other NGOs have left Aceh, the Bumi Sehat Tsunami Relief Clinic continues to be the only viable medical care resource the people of Samatiga have.  Bumi Sehat has no exit strategy. We work hard, and we’re stubborn.

This is how from our humble beginning as a community health and childbirth clinic in Bali, we ended up going to Aceh following the Tsunami of 2004. And when earthquakes struck, we took Bumi Sehat’s heart and hands to Yogyakarta in 2006, Padang in 2008 and to Haiti in 2010. 

Right now, somewhere on our planet someone’s mother is dyingfrom a complication of pregnancy or childbirth. This tragedy will occur 981 times today, and every day, according to anew report, Trends in maternal mortality, released by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Bank.

We will lose 42 moms every hour. The lion’s share of these deaths is related to poverty and malnutrition. This means the loss of these mother’s lives could be prevented. 

Also, because the cost of childbirth often exhausts the family’s income,the poor and even the middle income people of the world find themselves in a downward spiral of suffering and loss, just when they should be celebrating the births of their babies. 

Midwifery is fraught with responsibility and stress. Not to mention, the hours are awful! One would have to be some kind of crazy woman…even a witch… to want to be a midwife!

The rewards… are bringing healthy babies into the arms of healthy mothers. The rewards are in helping build families, who have a foundation in gentle peaceful living. The rewards are of the heart.

 There are so many more questions I have for this angel, but our time is up as she gets called off to a birth and she invites me to attend. I encourage all of you to vote so she can become the 2011 CNN hero and she can build her beautiful clinic and make so many deserving women's dream come true. To vote for her visit this page you can vote up to ten times, it will not cost you anything but you can make a significant difference.

 

 ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-2011_CNN_Hero_Robin_LIm-35-1784452-215574-Interview_with_Ibu_Robin_Lim_2011_CNN_Hero.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-2011_CNN_Hero_Robin_LIm-35-1784452-215574-Interview_with_Ibu_Robin_Lim_2011_CNN_Hero.html Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:30:43 +0000
<![CDATA[Moby Wrap Baby Carrier-Moss Quick Tip by JadeLouiseDesigns]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/product/UserReview-Moby_Wrap_Baby_Carrier_Moss-51-1422191-213840.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/product/UserReview-Moby_Wrap_Baby_Carrier_Moss-51-1422191-213840.html Fri, 30 Sep 2011 07:41:49 +0000 <![CDATA[ Teething Blues - Baby Tylenol is it good for your baby?]]> baby Tylenol,” or “It’s baby Orajel.” As if the word baby before a medicine makes it safe.

Baby Tylenol has been recalled twice in the last two years. On May 4th, 2010, the drugs Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl were voluntarily recalled by manufacturer McNeil. Spokesman Marc Boston reported that there may be tiny metal speaks and more of the active drug than specified. Over 50 products are included in this recall and Johnson & Johnson has recommended that special care be taken, especially in medication for children. (To view the list visit here)

If you are breastfeeding, a tooth sensitizer like Orajel can make it difficult for your baby to nurse because your baby will undoubtedly swallow a certain amount which can numb the throat and tongue and result in an incorrect latch.

So what are the Natural Remedies for teething?

Numb with Cold – A wet washcloth is the perfect thing to wet and place in the freezer.

Teething Toys – When buying teething toys always check the components list. Recent studies have linked BPA and phthalates with a horrific number of diseases and this period of your baby’s neurological and organ development puts him at the highest risk point of his life.  According to Silicone Zone USA, Silicone is the safest plastic alternative on the market today with no known side effects.

Soothe Teething Rash – Drool contains stomach acids that can irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Be sure to put a protective layer of an all natural skin barrier around his mouth to keep the rash at bay.  Petroleum is the main ingredient in many popular baby oils and moisturizers, READ THE LABELS. You can find shea butter and coconut oil online or at health food stores and they both make excellent safe and natural moisturizing barriers for your baby’s face (and his body.)

Keep Baby’s Clothing Dry – All that constant drooling often means your baby’s clothes are wet which can increase irritability. Double up on bibs or switch to large towel bibs and change clothing frequently to keep your baby dry and comfortable.

Teething Amber Necklaces – This is my favorite and I have heard many of my clients rave about it. Amber teething necklace is a traditional baby teething remedy. A natural analgesic, amber used for centuries in Europe. Wearing Baltic amber close to the skin will help calm a baby without resorting to drugs. Natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of Baltic amber are perfect to soothe teething babies.

Many parents are looking for a homeopathic product that provides relief for teething symptoms. Baltic Amber teething necklaces are the ideal solution when you choose to care for your baby in a natural way.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Baby_Tylenol-35-1727637-205317-Teething_Blues_Baby_Tylenol_is_it_good_for_your.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Baby_Tylenol-35-1727637-205317-Teething_Blues_Baby_Tylenol_is_it_good_for_your.html Fri, 8 Apr 2011 19:16:10 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vernix Caseosa – Mother Nature's Perfect Moisturizer]]> The vernix caseosa is the waxy looking white substance that covers your newborn baby. When you see videos of a birth on television, you may see the doctors wiping off the “dirty” looking baby. If you think that this is a good idea, you may want to reconsider. This substance, made up of the skin oil and dead cells that the baby has shed in the womb, helps protect him or her from dehydration. Without the vernix caseosa, the baby would be born wrinkly from constantly being exposed to amniotic fluid.

GOOD STUFF FROM MOTHER EARTH

Many babies suffer drying of their skin after birth. This causes them to become more easily irritated and scaly looking. If the vernix caseosa is left intact, the newborn will have more hydrated skin. In addition, the vernix caseosa also contains antimicrobials that are active against E. Coli, Group B Streptococcus, and other bacteria. So, leaving this substance intact, even though it's not very pretty, can prevent your child from becoming ill. Keeping the child together with his or her mother, and delaying the bath, can prevent some infections that are caused by the presence of these bacteria in hospitals.

Scientific studies have shown that vernix works not only as a moisturizer. It's also an effective cleanser, anti-infective agent, anti-oxidant and a wound healer. Studies are underway to find out how to synthesize the substance for use in helping children and adults who are in need of this substance's benefits, and to act as a delivery system for medication and other treatments.

Preterm babies tend to have more vernix on them than those born at full term. This is because the amount of vernix caseosa present decreases as birth nears. This substance originally develops at around 27 weeks, and is present up until birth. Babies who are born before 27 weeks may not have any vernix present. Stable preterm babies should especially be allowed to spend some time with their mothers immediately after birth, without being bathed. This may assist them in feeling less discomfort and remaining healthier than if they were cleaned.

If you're due to have a baby soon tell everyone not to wash your baby as soon as he or she is born, in fact put it in your birth plan if you are going to the hospital.Spend a minimum of 2 hours skin to skin with your baby even before you allow the nurse to take him/her to be weighed and measured. Avoid washing your child, even if he or she appears dirty, for at least a four to five days. You may wish to rub this fatty, waxy substance into the skin to reduce the danger of dehydration. Vernix caseosa might look unappealing, but it's really one of Nature's defenses against dryness, bacterial infections, and other dangers that your newborn might encounter.

Joseph Chilton Pierce in his book Magical Child, tells us that massaging the vernix in the baby's skin, as he is on our chest, immediately following his birth, may help the newborn begin to learn and be aware of his/her body.  Usually the attending nurse will vigorously, and even roughly massaging the baby with the receiving blanket.  She has been instructed to do so to stimulate the baby so that he may take the first breath and voice the shrilling cry, she’ll tell you “will clear his lungs.” In the past doctors would, for the same reason, take the baby by the feet and spank their little tush. “It’s good for the lungs” the doctor would pronounce, the more the baby cries the healthier he is. As baby advocates screamed abuse the practice as simply changed to scrubbing hard and even pulling hair. Following a birth, a nurse has a lot to attend to and needs to make sure the baby is breathing while on the mother’s chest from a distance. Best then is to rough him up a bit so that he will cry and she can go back to help the doctor either suture up, or catch the placenta etc.  How could anyone blame her? 

When my son was born I asked the midwife not to wipe my son, but allow me and only me to touch him, I explained to her that I understood she needed to make sure he was breathing normally and that if there were any problems with that I would welcome her her professional help. As I confidently massaged his entire body, I I would get to his extremities and say “this is where your body ends and the world begins.” It simply felt much more natural, I also encouraged him to tell me his story, thus letting me hear his voice without having to hurt him to get a reaction. Most new moms can barely caress their new born let alone vigorously massage the vernix in. Thus it is understandable that nurses or midwives in attendance need to do it, but consider taking over that job (which is rightfully yours) and change your child first experience of touch for the rest of his life.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Vernex_Caseosa-35-1718375-203943-Vernix_Caseosa_Mother_Nature_s_Perfect.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Vernex_Caseosa-35-1718375-203943-Vernix_Caseosa_Mother_Nature_s_Perfect.html Tue, 15 Mar 2011 16:21:44 +0000
<![CDATA[Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> http://www.lunch.com/Grist_Org/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-714-1380400-198848.html http://www.lunch.com/Grist_Org/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-714-1380400-198848.html Fri, 7 Jan 2011 06:07:31 +0000 <![CDATA[Birth as a Human Rights Issue Quick Tip by Giuditta]]> http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Birth_as_a_Human_Rights_Issue-35-1664638-193505.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Birth_as_a_Human_Rights_Issue-35-1664638-193505.html Wed, 10 Nov 2010 19:01:44 +0000 <![CDATA[ The Nine Basic Human Rights of a Pregnant Womand and childThe Nine Basic Human Rights of a Pregnant]]> by Giuditta Tornetta

According to Amnesty International the likelihood of a woman’s dying in childbirth in the U.S. is five times greater than in Greece, four times greater than in Germany and three times greater than in Spain. After gathering their data from many sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AI concluded that approximately half of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable. In an article published in Time Magazines Ai’s stated that, “Women die in childbirth as a result of systemic failures including: barriers to accessing care, inadequate, neglectful or discriminatory care, and overuse of risky interventions like inducing labor and delivering via cesarean section.” Maureen Corry, executive director of Childbirth Connection, proposes that,  “We need to make sure that we reduce the overuse of interventions that are not always necessary, like C-sections, and increase access to the care that we know is good for mothers and babies, like labor support.” Recently the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a landmark resolution acknowledging maternal mortality and morbidity as a human rights issue. As more and more human rights organizations gather statistics to properly fight this terrible breech of a woman’s basic human right to life, we as birth professionals in the tranches need to inform and encourage women to identify, own and fight for their rights as individuals.

When thinking about basic human rights one might consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)   adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. The assembly came out with thirty different articles. Beginning with the first stating, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” to the very last Article 30 which says, “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.” Another common statement about the sovereign rights of all men can be found in the United States Declaration of Independence with its coin phrase, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In order to be granted basic human rights a pregnant woman must be considered and treated as a human being. However, today women are still described by the medical industry as a patient who needs fixing, managing and caretaking. Even the unborn child is often referred to as a mere passenger in the mother/vehicle. Both protagonists of the life-creating miracle are dismissed and treated like ignorant cogs caught in the wheel of the medical industrialization of birth.   It is common knowledge that, if the people we fight for do not fully believe in their own rights, we cannot make a difference. Jan Tritten of Midwiferytoday declares, “We must stand for the rights of mothers to be treated with reverence and respect during the birth process, including pregnancy and beyond.” But, how can a woman stand up for her rights if she doesn’t know what they are, or most importantly, if deep inside she does not feel like she deserves them?

Aside from the right to life, there are some more personal, subtle rights that are constantly challenged by our social, familial, cultural and even religious environment. These are the right to speak and hear the truth, the right to love and be loved, the right to take action, and the right to know, to name a few.  For example, if we were taught as children to never questions authority, we might not believe we can stand for our rights if they go against the medical norm. If these rights are denied in our childhood we might become incapable to stand up for ourselves or even believe we deserve to have any rights at all. Some of these right have been violated as early as during our time in the womb.

The study of perinatal and prenatal psychology, has taught us that the embryo begins learning and accumulating memory from the very beginning of its life in-utero. Mother’s personal choices and actions have significant impact upon the forming of the future, the coping mechanisms, the ability to grow and learn, and the relationship with all that surrounds the unborn baby. We know that what we learn as children bears a strong influence on our actions as adults. Research scientist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., explains in his lectures, how a child learns behavioral patterns: “A child’s can download at a super high rate of speed.  From the moment the child is born through about the first six years of life, she is in a super-learning state. Children learn and assimilate from how we treat them and how we respond to each other.” This means that from conception  to about six years old children learn and establish patterns of behavior from observing their parents, teachers or the media, and as a survival response to their environment.  In other words we learn to behave a certain way to please and receive the love and approval we so desperately seek. These behaviors often do not mature in adulthood and we find ourselves reacting to life’s challenges with the same coping mechanisms we used as children. Anytime is a great time to learn about one’s patterns and reinvent oneself, yet the nine months of pregnancy is the ideal time to birth a new self as we are bringing a new life into this world.  Helping mothers identify these patterns and letting go of unwanted beliefs will help her obtain the birthing experience she deserve and desires and help future generations.

While writing my book, Painless Childbirth, I began seeing a close relationship between the nine months of pregnancy, fetal development in the womb and what I call the Nine Basic Human Rights.  The inspiration for the Nine Basic Human Rights of a pregnant woman and her unborn child came from studying the chakras or energy center. Many Eastern and now quite a few Western healers, believe that there is a close correlation between the chakras and the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of a person. Chakras are centers of activity that receive, assimilate and express life force energy.  The activities in these energy centers influence our body shape, glandular processes, chronic physical ailments, thoughts, and behavior. When one (or more) chakras is blocked and the energy does not flow harmoniously imbalance is manifested in all areas of life. According to medical intuitive and author, Caroline Myss, who described chakras in her work Anatomy of the Spirit (1996), “Every thought and experience you’ve ever had in your life gets filtered through these chakra databases. Each event is recorded into your cells…” in effect your biography becomes your biology. If you think the chakras is too esoteric a concept,  remember that due to the similarities between the Chinese and Indian philosophies, the notion of chakras was quickly amalgamated to Chinese practices such as acupuncture which is more and more recognized as a valid healing modality. If you have gone to a yoga class you also have probably been introduced to the concept of the chakras.  Regardless of your belief in those energy centers, the Nine Basic Human Rights are very real.

In my work as a doula and a hypnotherapist I began to notice a relationship between these nine basic human rights, the labor process and birth outcome. For example:  I once worked with a woman who was herself born onto a family who outspokenly wanted a boy rather than a girl. She revealed this while we were on a walk at the very early onset of labor. Once at the hospital, she feared for her daughter-to-be feeding off of the ancient feeling of not belonging.  This prevent her from relaxing and birthing her baby drug-free, and, even worse made her incapable to stand up to her provider who forcibly suggested an elective intervention.  The basic human right that had been violated, when she was a child, had been her right to be here in this world and to have what she deserved.  In another instance, a woman came to me and acknowledged that she grew up in an environment where she was not allowed to express her feelings or speak up for herself. During her pregnancy she found herself incapable of changing provider even if she would end up feeling terrible following each prenatal visit. Only after we worked on her right to her feelings, and the right to take action, she was able to change provider and obtain the birthing experience she had been dreaming of. I witnessed a woman who had been emotionally abused, and never really felt loved as a baby. She recalled during one of our hypnosis sessions, how her mother had been very angry while pregnant with her and how she never felt loved or cherished as a child. In her labor she got stuck at six centimeter dilation unable to progress further for fear of becoming the unlovable mother she was raised by. Her unsolved right born in her forth chakra the right to love and be loved.

As birth advocates we need to encourage mothers to own their own basic human rights so that they can feed off of a new sense of entitlement when it comes to birthing their babies.  Using the Nine Basic Human Rights as a starting point, we can heal ourselves and teach our children the tools for self-confidence, serenity, and self-healing.  When we become conscious of our relationship with each basic human right, and we are willing to do the emotional and spiritual work to heal or harness this relationship, we can obtain deep healing of body and mind as we teach our unborn children the tools for self-confidence, serenity, and self-healing.  I propose that each woman work on healing those rights that have been denied her by family, cultural, or societal standards, and harness those rights she feels strong about, to prepare for the miraculous that is the birthing of her baby. This is not a new birthing technique, but a call for a shift in consciousness from, “Pregnancy and labor are happening to me”, to, “My baby and I are working together towards the same joyful goal: the making of and arrival of new life into this world.”

To learn more about all the rights and their correlations visit  here

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Birth_as_a_Human_Rights_Issue-35-1664638-193504-The_Nine_Basic_Human_Rights_of_a_Pregnant_Womand.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Birth_as_a_Human_Rights_Issue-35-1664638-193504-The_Nine_Basic_Human_Rights_of_a_Pregnant_Womand.html Wed, 10 Nov 2010 19:01:18 +0000
<![CDATA[ Mother and Baby Centered Pregnancy]]> As an expecting mother, this book has been a blessing to read.  The views expressed here are of a natural, holistic viewpoint, rather than a sterile, medical view.  "Pregnancy the Natural Way" empowers the expecting mother to take control during her pregnancy, learning to trust her own intuition and body rather than relying soley on the opinions of medical science.  Herbs, natural remedies, emotional support, and relaxation are just a few of the ways that are encouraged to help support a healthy pregnancy and delivery.   

One of the things this book addresses are choosing who to assist you during your pregnancy and birth (obstetrician, midwife, nurse-midwife, etc.).  It lists out what to expect from each, as well as questions to ask when choosing your birthing support.  The insight it offers is very helpful.  Information on a healthy diet is also discussed, with specific importance placed on natural foods.  Natural ways of dealing with common pregnancy discomforts are also discussed. 

One of my favorite things about this book is the emphasis it places on bonding with your unborn baby while it is still in the womb.  It offers information on the benefits of this bonding confirmed by science.  Simple ways of cultivating this bond are also discussed. 

I would recommend this book to any expecting mother and to anyone wanting to support her in the beautiful journey she is embarking on.  Expecting fathers could really benefit from this reading as well.  While reading, it feels as though you are being counciled by a warm friend, with lots of support and encouragement.  This is by far the best pregnancy guide I have found thus far.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Natural_Pregnancy_Book_Herbs_Nutrition_and_Other_Holistic_Choices-35-1500844-66864-Mother_and_Baby_Centered_Pregnancy.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Natural_Pregnancy_Book_Herbs_Nutrition_and_Other_Holistic_Choices-35-1500844-66864-Mother_and_Baby_Centered_Pregnancy.html Sun, 18 Jul 2010 17:46:42 +0000
<![CDATA[The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition and Other Holistic Choices Quick Tip by jlmonarchik]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Natural_Pregnancy_Book_Herbs_Nutrition_and_Other_Holistic_Choices-74-1500844-66859.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Natural_Pregnancy_Book_Herbs_Nutrition_and_Other_Holistic_Choices-74-1500844-66859.html Sun, 18 Jul 2010 17:09:29 +0000 <![CDATA[ What is Inner Programming?]]> Excerpt from Painless Childbirth: An Empowering Journey Through pregnancy and Birth

"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." -Gloria Steinem

The most constructive transformation I actually achieved in my life — becoming a mother — came  from unlearning. Reassessing my birthing blueprint — the thoughts, feelings and proscribed actions that my family, religious leaders, medical industry and media had conditioned me to hear, see and experience — helped me to birth my daughter naturally and painlessly. Here’s how I did it, and what I learned (and now teach) in the process:

Take A Stand And Break The Mold. The first element of all transformation is awareness. I began by writing down my birth-related programming, modeling, and the specific incidences I have witnessed in your family history. I became conscious and watched myself — observed my thoughts, beliefs, fears, habits, actions and inactions. In essence, I put myself under a microscope.

Oral programming. In order to stand by the right to have our birth wishes come true, we must first shed the skin we’ve inherited from our family of origin, environment and culture. All the hand-me-downs we have heard represent the rules we have learned: what is right and what is wrong; what is accepted and what is not; what is the norm and what is our truth. If we are not in charge of our own thoughts, decisions and opinions, someone else is.

Imitation. What we have seen and learned to imitate will be our natural default behavior. Have you noticed how at times you think your mom’s thoughts, or have taken over your dad’s opinion or even mannerisms? Our default behaviors come from imitation, and in new or emotionally-charged situations, our most primitive brain — the one responsible for our survival mechanisms — is activated and our behaviors become automatic. We then react the only way we know how to — namely, in the manner we have seen others react. If our mothers, sisters or friends had births that used interventions, were challenging or fueled by fear, we’re prone to follow the same path unless we stand on our own — unless we learn new behaviors and solutions.

Experience. In modern society, we are likely to have witnessed birth solely through the media. On TV, we commonly hear that birth is a long and painful event, that the hospital is the sane place to have our child, and that the use of drugs to numb our body during labor is truly the modern way to manage birth. Movies have shown us images of laboring women screaming in agony — insulting their husbands as they demand pain medication. The images of birth are routinely of a masked doctor who delivers the baby and shows him to the mother for a moment before he hands him off to a nurse. Regardless of how we want to feel about birth, the vividness of these images make us believe that this is the norm, and that this is what will happen to us.

Instinctively, women know what kind of birth they want, yet at times we fight ourselves and others over their right to achieve it. After examining each piece of our uniquely programmed puzzle, we must turn attention to our right to have the birthing experience we desire — and deserve. To have something new, we must let go of the old.

Here is the short version of a “letting go” visualization that I use in my life, and also offer in my classes:

Letting Go Meditation

Immerse yourself in a warm tub, and let go of all that no longer serves you. Close your eyes and imagine that long silver strands connect you to those people, places and things that are no longer acceptable in your life. Ask your Higher Power to give you shears of light, and with loving thoughts begin to sever all ties that bind you to each and every person, place and thing that no longer works for you in your life. As you do this, send forgiveness, love and good wishes, and let go peacefully.

You are protecting yourself and your child; you are making room. You might need to do this paring more than once before you can feel you have truly let go. Don’t fear. It is OK. Cutting ties with those who encumber you doesn’t mean you will never see these people again, never talk to them again. With this spiritual pruning, you begin to learn to release the negative hold they have on you. You are making room for your baby, clearing away knots that shadow your life.

Studies have shown that in the U.S. alone, 45,000 women experience a natural and painless childbirth each year. As long as one person can, we all can.

Giuditta Tornetta is a certified birth and postpartum doula (DONA), lactation educator, certified clinical hypnotherapist and workshop facilitator. Giuditta is the best-selling author of “Painless Childbirth and Empowering Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth.” She also teaches infant mental, emotional, and cognitive health and development. Her practice is in Los Angeles, and she can be reached at (310) 435-6054 or via her Web site, www.JoyInBirthing.com.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Natural_Childbirth_Changing_Your_Inner_Programming-35-1494348-64985-What_is_Inner_Programming_.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Natural_Childbirth_Changing_Your_Inner_Programming-35-1494348-64985-What_is_Inner_Programming_.html Fri, 9 Jul 2010 17:30:38 +0000
<![CDATA[Slings are they good or a hazard? Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Slings_are_they_good_or_a_hazard_-35-1441533-63251.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Slings_are_they_good_or_a_hazard_-35-1441533-63251.html Thu, 1 Jul 2010 20:55:21 +0000 <![CDATA[ Positive Actions For Labor and Delivery]]> Excerpt from Painless Childbirth: An Emowering Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth

An important action to take, in manifesting your desired birthing experience, is to write, in detail, the story of your labor and delivery as you desire and intend it to be. Here’s a sample script from one of my clients.
Script by Margaret

Early labor comes on gently at night. I awaken with contractions and I am excited. I wake my husband up and tell him I think this is it. He smiles and helps me go back to sleep with a soothing massage and a cup of tea or a glass of my favorite wine. We tell our baby to prepare for the long day ahead and to go to sleep while I sing him a lullaby. Listening to a meditation tape helps me manage the waves and I go back to sleep for a few hours. In the morning, we go to my favorite breakfast place for chocolate chip pancakes. Every once in a while, I have to stop to manage a contraction. They are mild and it is easy to do. I feel so happy and a little apprehensive, so I discuss it with John. He tells me he is confident I can do it and allows me to feel my feelings. We leave the restaurant and go to the beach for a walk. The morning air is crisp and the colors are beautiful. I can hear the roaring of the waves and I take deep breaths of fresh air. When the contractions come, I put my arms around John and we slow dance. I feel so proud and lucky to have such a wonderful companion with me. John is such a trooper. I know he is scared, but he has great self-control and he is my rock. We return home and I get into the tub, as John calls the midwife and my doula. When it’s time to push the baby out, I simply stay in the tub and our child peeks his head out effortlessly. I reach for him and place him on my bosom. I look at him in awe, he is mine, I can’t believe it!

Details are important, but even more are the feelings you experience when you read your story. You are setting your intentions and taking action toward the goal of a natural and painless childbirth.

Once this vision is written, read it to yourself. Some of my clients have recorded themselves reading their stories and listen to them on their iPods as they go for their daily walk. Remember, once it is written, you can always modify it, embellish it, and rewrite it.

If you prefer, you can draw or paint the perfect birthing experience. Be sure to use color to show the atmosphere that will surround you, draw the people that will be there, and infuse the canvas with your feelings. Hang it up somewhere in your bedroom and as you look at it, feel the joy and ease of your upcoming birth.

Get the book click here

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Positive_Actions_Preparing_for_Labor-35-1478793-23283-Positive_Actions_For_Labor_and_Delivery.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Positive_Actions_Preparing_for_Labor-35-1478793-23283-Positive_Actions_For_Labor_and_Delivery.html Sun, 13 Jun 2010 17:27:50 +0000
<![CDATA[ Teething Blues]]> Your baby is fussy, sleeping poorly and desperately putting his hands in his mouth. How can you relieve your infant's teething pain? Babies teething have a range of teething symptoms but the main one is fussiness. There are many teething remedies on the market including teething tablets and drops you name it.  Some will even suggest you give your baby some Tylenol or some serious numbing gels. They’ll say “It’s baby Tylenol,” or “It’s baby Orajel.” As if the word baby before a medicine makes it safe.

Baby Tylenol has been recalled twice in the last two years. On May 4th, 2010, the drugs Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl were voluntarily recalled by manufacturer McNeil. Spokesman Marc Boston reported that there may be tiny metal speaks and more of the active drug than specified. Over 50 products are included in this recall and Johnson & Johnson has recommended that special care be taken, especially in medication for children. (To view the list visit here)

If you are breastfeeding, a tooth sensitizer like Orajel can make it difficult for your baby to nurse because your baby will undoubtedly swallow a certain amount which can numb the throat and tongue and result in an incorrect latch.

So what are the Natural Remedies for teething?

 Numb with Cold - A wet washcloth is the perfect thing to wet and place in the freezer. 

 

Teething Toys - When buying teething toys always check the components list. Recent studies have linked BPA and phthalates with a horrific number of diseases and this period of your baby's neurological and organ development puts him at the highest risk point of his life.  According to Silicone Zone USA, Silicone is the safest plastic alternative on the market today with no known side effects.

 

Soothe Teething Rash - Drool contains stomach acids that can irritate your baby's delicate skin. Be sure to put a protective layer of an all natural skin barrier around his mouth to keep the rash at bay.  Petroleum is the main ingredient in many popular baby oils and moisturizers, READ THE LABELS. You can find shea butter and coconut oil online or at health food stores and they both make excellent safe and natural moisturizing barriers for your baby's face (and his body.)

 

Keep Baby's Clothing Dry - All that constant drooling often means your baby's clothes are wet which can increase irritability. Double up on bibs or switch to large towel bibs and change clothing frequently to keep your baby dry and comfortable.

Teething Amber Necklaces – This is my favorite and I have heard many of my clients rave about it. Amber teething necklace is a traditional baby teething remedy. A natural analgesic, amber used for centuries in Europe. Wearing Baltic amber close to the skin will help calm a baby without resorting to drugs. Natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of Baltic amber are perfect to soothe teething babies.

Many parents are looking for a homeopathic product that provides relief for teething symptoms. Baltic Amber teething necklaces are the ideal solution when you choose to care for your baby in a natural way.

More about Amber Necklaces:

Because teething can cause congestion you may be able to comfort your baby somewhat by reducing congestion. Try a vaporizer in your baby's room or an all natural baby vapor rub.  

Baby necklace is not for chewing or wearing at night!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Natural_Teething_Remedies-35-1471333-22808-Teething_Blues.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Natural_Teething_Remedies-35-1471333-22808-Teething_Blues.html Wed, 2 Jun 2010 22:42:03 +0000
<![CDATA[ Waiting For The Right Time To Birth]]> The cesarean rate is alarmingly high in many industrialized countries, causing unnecessary risks to both mother and baby. In United States the cesarean rate in 2007 was 32% one of the highest among the industrialized countries. In California is as high as 37% and in some hospital it reaches 45%. This is a crime.

Most natural childbirth experts agree that there is an epidemic of medical interventions like induction or cesarean surgery all over this planet.    When otherwise healthy women are exposed to the risk of cesarean surgeries or induction without a distinct medical need, these women also will have an increased risk of death and injury in childbirth. 

“For a nation that’s spending more on maternity care than any other nation in the world, the U.S. trend line on mothers’ health is going in the absolute wrong direction,” said Sharon Dalrymple, president of Lamaze International.  “The irony is that too much medical care may be fueling the growing number of women being injured or dying in childbirth.” 

When doctors suggest a cesarean

Birth can be a slow and unpredictable process, which requires little or no technology. Yet, surrounded by all the gadgets and the gismos of modern technology, the industry of birth tends to want to use them. Many reasons given for a cesarean, especially prior to labor, can and should be questioned. A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery; the infant is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.

There are very few true indications for a cesarean section in which the risks of surgery will outweigh the risks of vaginal birth. Some cesareans occur in critical situations, some are used to prevent critical situations. Scheduled cesarean due to the size of the baby, done for convenience of the patient or doctor, the “too posh to push” trend, is mostly accepted by most mom due to lack of detail information on the consequences for both mom and babe of such procedure.

Berna Diehl, in her article Despite International Decline, Maternal Deaths a Growing Concern in U.S., for Lamaze International, tells us: “While better record keeping may account for part of the increased rate of maternal deaths in the United States, many experts agree that these data indicate a real increase in the number of women dying in childbirth.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified a 27 percent increase in maternal injuries, which were primarily related to cesarean surgeries.   Additional res earch also showed that for every 5 percent increase in the cesarean surgery rate, there are an expected 14-32 more maternal deaths and a total of 5,000-24,000 more surgical complications.  

The risk of death following cesarean surgeries is more than three times higher than for vaginal births.  According to an Amnesty International report, American women have a higher risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications than those in 40 other countries and cesarean surgeries are performed in nearly one third of all deliveries in the United States – twice as high as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).”  

From the latest document by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services here’s what we learned:

Potential Harms to the Mother[i]

Compared with vaginal birth, women who have a cesarean are more likely to experience:


·         Accidental surgical cuts to internal organs  

·         Major infection.

·         Emergency hysterectomy (because of uncontrollable bleeding)

·         Complications from anesthesia.28

·         Deep venous clots that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and brain (stroke). 

·         Admission to intensive care.58

·         Readmission to the hospital for complications related to the surgery. 

·         Pain that may last six months or longer after the delivery. More women report problems with pain from the cesarean incision than report pain in the genital area after vaginal birth.

·         Adhesions, thick internal scar tissue that may cause future chronic pain, in rare cases a twisted bowel, and can complicate future abdominal or pelvic surgeries.

·         Endometriosis (cells from the uterine lining that grow outside of the womb) causing pain, bleeding, or both severe enough to require major surgery to remove the abnormal cells.

·         Appendicitis, stroke, or gallstones in the ensuing year.

·         Gall bladder problems and stroke may be because high-weight women and women with high blood pressure are more likely to have cesareans.

·         Negative psychological consequences with unplanned cesarean. These include:

·         Poor birth experience, overall impaired mental health, and/or self-esteem  

·         Feelings of being overwhelmed, frightened, or helpless during the birth.

·         A sense of loss, grief, personal failure , acute trauma symptoms, posttraumatic stress, and clinical depression.

·         Death. 

Potential Harms to the Baby

Compared with vaginal birth, babies born by cesarean section are more likely to experience: Read the whole document by following this link.

• Accidental surgical cuts, sometimes severe enough to require suturing.

• Being born late-preterm (34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy) as a result of scheduled surgery.

• Complications from prematurity, including difficulties with respiration, digestion, liver function, jaundice, dehydration, infection, feeding, and regulating blood sugar levels and body temperature.25,26 Late-preterm babies also have more immature brains, and they are more likely to have learning and behavior problems at school age.

• Respiratory complications, sometimes severe enough to require admission to a special care nursery, even in infants born at early term (37 to 39 weeks of pregnancy). Scheduling surgery after 39 completed weeks minimizes, but does not eliminate, the risk.

• Readmission to the hospital.

• Childhood development of asthma,3,78 sensitivity to allergens,61 or Type 1 diabetes.

• Death in the first 28 days after birth.

The Risk of Late Preterm Birth[ii]

Prematurity is the leading cause of death in the first month of life, and even late preterm infants have a greater risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), feeding difficulties, temperature instability (hypothermia), jaundice and delayed brain development.

Inductions may contribute to the growing number of babies who are born “late preterm,” between 34 and 36 weeks gestation. While babies born at this time are usually considered healthy, they are more likely to have medical problems than babies born a few weeks later at full term (37-42 weeks).

A baby's lungs and brain mature late in pregnancy. Compared to a full-term baby, an infant born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation is more likely to have problems with:

  • Breathing
  • Feeding
  • Maintaining his or her temperature
  • Jaundice

Failed induction is one of the most common reasons for a cesarean

It can be hard to pinpoint the date your baby was conceived. Being off by just a week or two can result in a premature birth. This may make a difference in your baby's health.

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”. Read more about the lie of your estimated due date by  Misha Safranski.

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is concerned about the dramatic increase and ongoing overuse of induction of labor. The U.S. induction rate has more than doubled since 1989, rising from one woman in ten to one woman in five in 2001. This may, however, grossly undercount the true incidence of labor induction. Nearly half of women in a 2002 survey reported that some effort had been made to start labor artificially. The World Health Organization recommends no more than a 10 percent induction rate. Despite modern techniques, induction of labor still introduces considerable risk compared with natural onset of labor, and many, if not most, inductions are done for reasons that are not supported by sound medical research.

In some hospital nearly 50% of all women are either induced to start labor or augmented to speed up the process, in some practices here in Los Angeles the induction and augmentation rate is as high as 90%.  That is a staggering number.  Read more about the hazards of inductions.

If your provider recommends induction before 40 weeks

I used to tell my clients remember there is no ‘induction police” no one can force you to be induced.  Ask the right questions and participate in your care.  I also want to remind you that it is better to ask for support than permission, so instead of saying “Unless it is an emergency can we wait to induce at 42 weeks’ I would suggest you use a more proactive tone something like, “Unless there is a medical emergency I would like not to be induced before the 42 week of gestation and would love your support on that.”   Here are some questions:

·         Is this an emergency? If not, I would like to wait a little longer? If it isn’t an emergency NEGOTIATE ask for the whole 42 and inch your way toward a compromise.  Be willing to go and do as many non-stress tests as the provider require (where they listen to the baby’s heart beat), use that time to talk to your baby and tell her she is welcome.

·         Is there a problem with my health or the health of my baby that may make me need to have my baby early?  Use studies and statistics about prematurity.  Bring flyers with you.  March of Dimes is a great place for info so it’s CIM. Also get specifics on the medical reasoning behind the induction.  Often the amniotic levels are cited as a reason.  Amniotic fluids at 5ccm or less can be a reason for induction.  More than 5ccm usually is O.K.

·         I would like to wait for as long as it is safe (even 42 weeks if all is well) before we consider other alternatives to a natural birth

·         What is my Bishop Score? Become familiar with the chart and make sure your body is ready to be induced. Follow the link of the Bishop Score.

·         Can you tell me how low the

·         Can we discontinue the induction if things aren't progressing? At what point?

·         How long will I be able to labor before a cesarean delivery becomes necessary?

What you can do
• Let labor begin on its own
• Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor
• Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support
• Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary
• Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body's urges to push
• Keep mother and baby together; it's best for mother, baby and breastfeeding


[ii] March of Dimes

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Waiting_For_The_Right_Time_To_Birth-35-1454386-22034-Waiting_For_The_Right_Time_To_Birth.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Waiting_For_The_Right_Time_To_Birth-35-1454386-22034-Waiting_For_The_Right_Time_To_Birth.html Mon, 17 May 2010 16:41:29 +0000
<![CDATA[ LAC-USC Medical Center - A Doula's Review]]> DASC (Doulas Association of Southern California) doulas are invited to tour the USC County Hospital on Marengo St. in Los Angeles. Our gracious host is legendary lactation guru Kittie Frantz, RN, CPNP-PC, Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. The doulas’ goal is to learn more about LAC-USC’s Labor and Delivery department, postpartum practices and to visit the NICU.  Doulas are prepared with a lot of questions, and visiting a facility and meeting the staff is going to be a valuable learning experience for us. I can only assume that having fourteen doulas in the same room asking questions is probably a first for the staff at LAC-USC.
 
In the entry to the historic USC County Hospital which now sits abandoned and lonely on the back of the new facility, the builders carved into stone the following edict: “ERECTED BY THE CITIZENS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO PROVIDE HOSPITAL CARE FOR THE ACUTELY ILL AND SUFFERING TO WHOM THE DOCTORS OF THE ATTENDING STAFF GIVE THEIR SERVICES WITHOUT CHARGE IN ORDER THAT NO CITIZEN OF THE COUNTY SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF HEALTH OR LIFE FOR THE LACK OF SUCH CARE AND SERVICES.”
 
In light of the new health care reform and all the talk we have heard about public health care and care for the uninsured, this gave me pause. Is there actually a hospital in town that would care for the uninsured (including yours truly,) and that is not plagued by long lines, huge crowds, untidiness, danger and maybe even a bit of chaos one associates with a free hospital?  Here is what I discovered: 
 
A bit of history:
 
LAC-USC Medical Center sits at the “hub” of the Department of Health Services for Los Angeles County, which is the most populous county of the state. It is not in a great neighborhood, but the building is impressive and new. I read that the medical center’s history is rich and extends to the pre-antibiotic era, the days of the iron lung. The medical center was born in the ‘30s from the social activism that was spawned by the great depression and, when it was built, it was the largest hospital in the United States (with close to 2000 in-patient beds). Kittie informed us that VBACs (vaginal births after cesarean) were first “invented here,” which is a good sign since there are very few doctors and/or hospitals who will even consider attempting this procedure.
 
Researching on the web I learn that about thirty years ago this hospital became a Burn Center, a Level I Trauma Center, a Neonatal Critical Care Nursery, a Pediatric Critical Care Center, and hosted one of the busiest Obstetric Services in the country delivering 1 out of every 4 babies in California. William Mallon, MD - President of the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians writes that, “When I was an intern [at LAC-USC 1991] we–our team—delivered over 100 infants per 24 hour call.”
 
Today
 
Unfortunately LAC-USC has had to reduce its services and the medical center shrunk in 2008 to host only 650 in-patient beds and Obstetrics now averages 2-4 deliveries in a 24-hour period. Of course this last detail brings a smile to my face as it only means that moms have a much greater chance to be cared for personally, find a bed when they reach the hospital in labor and have a comfortable room in postpartum.  But I am getting ahead of myself.
 
When we meet in the in-patient tower we have to go through an airport security-like check point, which might seem strange but it gives one a sense of safety. The lobby is clean and pleasant and not too populated. Everyone gets a wrist band at the information booth up front and all fourteen doulas and Kittie are now ready for the tour.  Before we begin, Kittie gives us the run down:
 
·         LAC-USC is a teaching hospital which means that there are doctors and anesthesiologists [or an anesthesiologist] on the premises at all times. For the consumer this translates into the ability to have a VBAC, not having to wait for the attending doctor to arrive at the hospital before you are allowed to push (it has happened to my clients in those hospital who have no residents or midwives on premise) or to manage an emergency by an OBGYN vs. an emergency physician.  It also means having anesthesia promptly available when you want it, and having a highly skilled neonatology staff on hand for emergencies with your baby. LAC-USC is one of the best facilities to handle any type of emergency.
·         Medical students and residents who are chosen to work here are in the top 3 percentile in their academic performance nationwide.
·         There are 10 nurse midwives on staff who work 24/7.  These midwives manage and deliver patients but also are part of the teaching staff.
·         Services are free to those women who have MediCAL .  Delivery for the uninsured or those non-eligible to get MediCAl is only billed at $2,000 and, if you include prenatal care, the total bill will be only $2,500. The fixed rate for the uninsured has one qualification. The baby has to qualify for MediCAL.
·         Child Birth Education classes are offered free of charge and baby care classes (4 of them taught by the residents themselves) are also free.  My readers know I am not a huge proponent of hospital-taught classes, as most educators who work in a hospital have to tailor their presentation to the ‘hospital policies’ vs. the best ways to obtain a natural drug and intervention free birth.  Nevertheless, free is a darn good price and education is better than ignorance.
·         All nurses have been trained as lactation experts and even though there are no lactation consultant on staff, Kittie explains that “if all our nurses are lactation experts then moms who have questions at 2 AM don’t need to wait for the LC (lactation consultant) to arrive for her shift in the morning, or wait around for her availability.”  And since Kittie is on call as well for all lactation questions I can confidently say that breastfeeding will not only be encouraged but closely followed for maximum success.
 
We are now jazzed and proceed on the tour.  The corridors are clean and Kittie tells us that the administration sought artists to donate their work to embellish the walls and create a calming experience. After all the modern-art-museum-like hallways of Cedars Sinai and UCLA (which also are teaching hospitals that accept MediCAl) are tough acts to follow.
 
The L & D department is quiet and we are told there are only two women in labor at the moment. The residents are welcoming and we pile up in their room as an avalanche of questions is presented to them.  Frankly, I could not share all the questions and answers or I would have to prepare a twenty page-paper, but suffice to say that all questions were answered, that the residents, who mostly manage critical care in this hospital (as all critical MediCAl patients, even those admitted at the emeritus UCLA or Cedars, are sent here,) were interested in what we have to say, but most importantly are open to witnessing a ‘natural childbirth,’ and willing to make some concessions. We discuss Heplock (a small tube connected to a catheter in a vein in the arm for easy access, which many moms prefer for better freedom of movement and less risk of engorgements following the birth) vs. mandatory IV fluids, intermittent monitoring of mom and babe during labor, freedom of movement during labor, and we hear that all is possible within safety.  Then Karen Grey, RN, CNM, a lovely and seasoned midwife takes us to see a laboring room. Clean, spacious and well equipped, it’s enough to host us all and once again the avalanche of questions comes pouring out. Karen skillfully and with great patience responds to all.  She tells us that if all is well moms can take a shower during labor, (they would use a Doppler to monitor the baby intermittently,) that they have and are open to using a squat bar or allow mom to deliver on all fours if that’s her preference.  To our questions about induction and augmentation of labor, she tells us that they use Cervidil and Pitocin, one as a ripening agent during an induction and the other to augment labor, versus Cytotec, which is a very dangerous, yet widely used drug.  This is good news. Unfortunately, the hospital policy is to induce at 41 weeks of gestation and not later; which is debatable but not unusual, as most hospitals and private doctors feel the same. Then again, I tell my clients that there are no induction patrols that will come to your house and force you to go to the hospital and be induced.  If the baby is ok and there is enough fluid in the placenta, and it is safe to wait a little longer, one can always negotiate the scheduled induction with their provider.
 
On our way to visit the postpartum wing we meet with Dr. Jamie MacGregor, OB faculty in the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, who is also welcoming and speaks with passion about the critical ‘golden hour,’ the first hour immediately following the birth where moms and babes bond and where successful breastfeeding starts.  I like to call it the two golden hours as it usually takes the babe up to 45 minutes to even want to breastfeed, but this is a good sign, as unfortunately, few OBGYN will even consider immediate skin to skin, option  for the nurses to admit and examine the child in the warmer before they give it back to mom.
 
The postpartum rooms are nice and comfortable, the nurses are very experienced (we ask how long they have been at this hospital and we hear “I have been here 25 years” “16 years for me,” loyalty to the place of work is a good sign) and as I mentioned before, all are trained in the art of breastfeeding by the guru herself.  Then a quick stop to a very empty nursery, only one baby on the premises and Kittie explains that mom and babe room in and very few newborns make it to the nursery.  Here we meet a lovely nurse Kelley Dantzler, RN who tells us that there is a huge diabetic population that comes to LAC-USC so babies are often checked for blood sugar and they feel comfortable with blood sugar levels at 50 (which is a bit higher than most hospital which consider 40 or 45 the minimum level before they intervene. Once again in a normal labor and delivery situation with a mother who is not diabetic, knowledge and asking questions can go a long way in having the right care.) We also learn that sugar water is not used in the nursery but that only formula is used in case of an emergency (i.e. low blood sugar.) 
 
Then we enter the NICU, which is huge, and we meet with Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan, also known as Dr. Ram, who is the head neonatologist in charge of the NICU  and also Pediatric faculty for University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He graciously stops to answer our questions and give us information on this impressive facility.  LAC-USC has one of the highest levels of critical care units in the city, about 10% of babies in the NICU are transported from other facilities. We can see that parents are welcomed as we observe mom and dad caring for and feeding their little one just to the right of us. The middle of the room is crowded with chairs for potential visiting parents. Dr. Ram answers questions about kangaroo care, (Kangaroo care is a technique practiced on newborn, usually preterm, infants wherein the infant is held, skin-to-skin, with an adult) and Dr. Ram tells us that, Kangaroo care for a pre-term infants may be restricted to a few hours per day, but if they are medically stable that time may be extended. He also tells us about a special room that has been set up for parents who, before taking their little one at home, can spend an overnight in the hospital rooming in with their child, in close proximity to the doctors and nurses available 24/7 to answer any question a new parent might have. It is called the transitional room, and I find this an amazing and unique service as I am sure many parents are afraid of their first night away from the hospital, especially if their little one has been in the NICU for long or have special needs.
 
Towards the end we discovered yet another pleasant surprise. Walking around the floor a lovely lady is available with her portable multimedia, multilingual translator in the guise of a   laptop, on a trolley rigged with a camera. In case there is a question or need for instructions for  a non-English speaking mom a live interpreter will be reached via computer used as a virtual video-phone. I believe there are nearly 25 language interpreters made available.
 
We end the visit in the very long corridor that conjoins the two towers of the medical center, as we meet an assistant nurse who stops by to steal a quick hug from Kittie and offers us a big smiling welcome and a little dance.
 
We leave the hospital after a very informative tour that lasted nearly three hours. I am personally impressed by what I’ve seen. Hoping to actually experience a birth there we all stop at the coffee shop just outside the in-patient tower entrance and enjoy an espresso and some delicious Porto’s pastries as we chat amongst ourselves.
 
Helpful hints for dealing with LAC-USC Hospital:

 
1.      If you have insurance do NOT use this hospital as your insurance company will pay very little and you will be stuck with a huge bill.
2.      Be proactive in your care. I can't emphasize this enough.  Know what you want, have a birth plan, find a doula (DASC is now working on a volunteer program for those who cannot afford a doula, visit DASCdoulas.org) and find a student doula who is looking for certification and will offer her services either free or at a very low cost.
3.      Know what your rights are, visit the hospital, go to the classes, get names of the midwives and call or visit them in the clinic and ASK questions and tell them your birthing preferences.
4.      Aside from Obstetrics the clinics are full and the wait is long. Emergency room is overcrowded, but you do not need to go to the emergency room if you are in labor, and that’s good news.
5.      Ask questions and don't stop until you get the answers you want.
6.      It is a county facility so, yes, you will see prisoners handcuffed walking with security officers in the hallways, and some homeless too. Bless them and send love, they need it.
7.      Don't worry if you cannot pay. They have an "ATP" (ability to pay) program. If you qualify, you will be allowed to pay what you can. If that's only $20 per month, then that's what it is. ASK. They will help you fill out the forms.
8.      Make friends with and get to know your nurses. They're the ones who run the day-to-day operations and often are a little more informed than the doctors. Get the nurses on your side.
9.      Have someone who can bring you food to eat. The hospital food, I hear, is not great. Art's Coffee Shop across the street on Zonal makes a superior al pastor burrito and the best fish tacos, so I heard from a former patient. There is a coffee shop in the courtyard that serves good sandwiches and Porto’s pastries. There is also a Subway across the street.
10. 
They do have patient parking, and it is free. However it is very limited. There is street parking and meter parking, but it might take a long time to find one and meter might not be a good idea as things might take more then you expect. You may just have to suck it up and pay the $8 to one of the private lots.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-LAC_USC_Medical_Center-35-1450567-21541-LAC_USC_Medical_Center_A_Doula_s_Review.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-LAC_USC_Medical_Center-35-1450567-21541-LAC_USC_Medical_Center_A_Doula_s_Review.html Sun, 2 May 2010 17:20:10 +0000
<![CDATA[The Vaccine War Quick Tip by Giuditta]]> http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Vaccine_War-35-1445287-56409.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Vaccine_War-35-1445287-56409.html Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:15:30 +0000 <![CDATA[ Despicable, frightening and often disdainful one sided view - The Vaccine War on PBS]]> This is an open letter to the producers of the Frontiline Show "Vaccine Wars" by Jay Gordon, MD., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA Medical School (reprinted with permission)


The "Frontline" show was disgraceful. You didn't even have the courtesy to put my interview or any part of the two hours we spent taping on your web site.

You created a pseudo-documentary with a preconceived set of conclusions: "Irresponsible moms against science" was an easy takeaway from the show.

Did you happen to notice that Vanessa, the child critically ill with pertussis, was not intubated nor on a respirator in the ER? She had nasal "prongs" delivering oxygen. I'm sorry for her parents' anxiety and very happy that she was cured of pertussis. But to use anecdotal reports like this as science is irresponsible and merely served the needs of the doctor you wanted to feature.

No one pursued Dr. Offit's response about becoming rich from the vaccine he invented. He was allowed to slide right by that question without any follow up. Dr. Paul Offit did not go into vaccine research to get rich. He is a scientist motivated by his desire to help children. But his profiting tens of millions of dollars from the creation of this vaccine and the pursuit of sales of this and other vaccines is definitely not what he says it is. His many millions "don't matter" he says. And you let it go.

Jenny McCarthy resumed being a "former Playboy" person and was not acknowledged as a successful author, actress and mother exploring every possible avenue to treating her own son and the children of tens of thousands of other families.

I trusted you by giving you two or three hours of my time for an interview and multiple background discussions. I expressed my heartfelt reservations about both vaccines and the polarizing of this issue into "pro-vaccine" and "anti-vaccine" camps. I told you that there was at least a third "camp." There are many doctors and even more parents who would like a more judicious approach to immunization. Give vaccines later, slower and with an individualized approach as we do in every other area of medicine.

What did you create instead?

"The Vaccine War."

A war. Not a discussion or a disagreement over facts and opinions, but a war. This show was unintelligent, dangerous and completely lacking in the balance that you promised me--and your viewers--when you produced and advertised this piece of biased unscientific journalism. "Tabloid journalism" I believe is the epithet often used. Even a good tabloid journalist could see through the screed you've presented.

You interviewed me, you spent hours with Dr. Robert Sears of the deservedly-illustri deservedly- illustri< WBR>ous Sears family and you spoke to support parents in their desire to find out what went wrong and why it's going wrong and what we might do to prevent this true epidemic.

Not a measles epidemic, not whooping cough. Autism. An epidemic caused by environmental triggers acting on genetic predisposition. The science is there and the evidence of harm is there. Proof will come over the next decade. TheNational Children's Study will, perhaps by accident, become a prospective look at many children with and without vaccines. But we don't have time to wait for the results of this twenty-one year research study: We know that certain pesticides cause cancer and we know that flame retardants in children's pajamas are dangerous. We are cleaning up our air and water slowly and parents know which paint to buy and which to leave on the shelves when they paint their babies' bedrooms.

The information parents and doctors don't have is contained in the huge question mark about the number of vaccines, the way we vaccinate and the dramatic increase in autism, ADD/ADHD, childhood depression and more. We pretend to have proof of harm or proof of no harm when what we really have is a large series of very important unanswered questions.

In case you were wondering, as I practice pediatrics every day of my career, I base nothing I do on Dr. Wakefield's research or on Jenny McCarthy's opinions. I respect what they both have done and respectfully disagree with them at times. I don't think that Dr. Wakefield's study proved anything except that we need to look harder at his hypothesis. I don't think that Jenny McCarthy has all the answers to treating or preventing autism, but there are tens of thousands of parents who have long needed her strong high-profile voice to draw attention to their families' needs: Most families with autism get inadequate reimbursement for their huge annual expenses and very little respect from the insurance industry, the government or the medical community. Jenny has demanded that a brighter light be shown on their circumstances, their frustration and their needs. I base everything I do on my reading of CDC and World Health Organization statistics about disease incidence in the United States and elsewhere. I base everything I do on having spent the past thirty years in pediatric practice watching tens of thousands of children get vaccines, not get vaccines and the differences I see.

Vaccines change children.

Most experts would argue that the changes are unequivocally good. My experience and three decades of observation and study tell me otherwise. Vaccines are neither all good--as this biased, miserable PBS treacle would have you believe--nor all bad as the strident anti-vaccine camp argues.

You say the decisions to edit 100% of my interview from your show (and omit my comments from your website) "were purely based on what's best for the show, not personal or political, and the others who didn't make it came from both sides of the vaccine debate." You are not telling the truth. You had a point to prove and removed material from your show which made the narrative balanced. "Distraught, confused moms against important, well-spoken calm doctors" was your narrative with a deep sure voice to, literally, narrate the entire artifice.

You should be ashamed of yourself, Kate. You knew what you put on the air was slanted and you cheated the viewers out of an opportunity for education and information. You cheated me out of hours of time, betrayed my trust and then you wasted an hour of PBS airtime. Shame on you.

The way vaccines are manufactured and administered right now in 2010 makes vaccines and their ingredients part of the group of toxins which have led to a huge increase in childhood diseases including autism. Your show made parents' decisions harder and did nothing except regurgitate old news.

Parents and children deserve far better from PBS.

Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP




]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Vaccine_War-35-1445287-21457-Despicable_frightening_and_often_disdainful_one.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Vaccine_War-35-1445287-21457-Despicable_frightening_and_often_disdainful_one.html Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:04:39 +0000
<![CDATA[Moby Wrap Baby Carrier-Moss Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/product/UserReview-Moby_Wrap_Baby_Carrier_Moss-51-1422191-56237.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/product/UserReview-Moby_Wrap_Baby_Carrier_Moss-51-1422191-56237.html Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:33:49 +0000 <![CDATA[ Birth Myths Debunked]]>
So many of us doulas, nurses, midwives and even doctors need to regularly do some continuing education courses to renew our certifications and or licenses. This is such an important part of what we do. Recently I went to the DONA conference and  I  came out with some great new insights, new info, and a renewed feeling that what I am doing is exactly what I want to do. You know how important your continuing education is for your clients. Many times I have heard parents come home from the hospital or from family gatherings with old fashion believes that some doctor, nurses, and even doulas and midwives, still have about breastfeeding, caring for a new born, or pregnancy and delivery. After many years in the business, we all gravitate to workshops on subjects we have not seen before, strange and unusual situations, diseases, complications etc. Yet, once in a while doing the tried and true breastfeeding workshop, or even hearing Dr. Karp’s lecture on the 5 Ss umpteen times has kept my practice up-to-date.

Here are some old fashion myths that are still perpetrated by many who have not bothered to know what is new up there:

“You must induce before 41 weeks, or your baby will be too big and it will get stuck and die – A breech baby must be delivered via cesarean due to the high mortality risk -Once a cesarean always a cesarean or you could lose mom and babe”

So many doctors induce as early at 39 weeks using all sort of reasoning, including fetal mortality. There are only a handful of doctors I know in Los Angeles that deliver a breech baby. For the most part a breech is an automatic cesarean, and don’t even get me started with the VBACs since now many hospital will not allow, even if you find a doctor who is willing. Here are the risk factors according to Andrew Kotaska MD, OBGYN, from his lecture Normalizing Birth in the 21st Century at the Dona Conference, 2008:

The risk of mortality is as follow:

  • 1/1000 Stillbirths risk from 41 to 42 weeks of gestation
  • 1/1000 Risk of perinetal death with cautious selective vaginal breech delivery
  • 1/1000 Composite risk of perinatal death or hypoxic inschemic encephalopathy
  • HIE – Reduced brain oxygen in the baby’s brain – with VBAC

Think this is too high consider the comparison:

  • 1/200 risk of miscarriage from genetic amniocentesis
  • 1/1000 yearly risk death in a 40 year-old non-smoking Canadian man (doc is from Canada)
  • 1/1000 background stillbirth risk over ten days at term
  • 1/1000 risk of trysomy 21 (down syndrome) infant in a 31 Y/O woman
  • 1/1000 risk of MVA (moving vehicle accident) driving for 4 years

It would seem that the risks we are willing to take with a routine amniocentesis are way higher than a simple VBAC. Dr Kotaska goes on to say that “The increased neonatal and maternal morbidity and cost in the index and future pregnancy make it unreasonable to perform 1000 C/S to prevent one perinatal death. The obstetrician should recommend against cesarean section to prevent risks similar in magnitude to background risks.” In short, women should be informed of their choices and the pitfalls of cesarean sections, and/or pitocin induction. Those pitfalls should be discussed with as much emphasis as the supposed advantages. Women need to demand that there is a discussion of all reasonable alternatives for all these situations. It is called informed consent, no longer should the doctor just establish that “the baby is too big, we need to induce, section” etc. Autonomy demands that the ultimate decision regarding care rests with the woman.

Marshall Klauss MD, in his lecture “How Doulas Can Reduce Cesareans by Their Care” (Dona International Conference 2008) told us that “With a cesarean section vs. a vaginal delivery, there is a higher illness rate as well as a higher death rate in the mother. (c/sec – 5.85/100,000 vs. vaginal – 2.06/100,000.)

He further went on to dispel yet another myth:

“Honey, you’d want an epidural as soon as you get into the hospital. It will not hurt mommy or baby”

Dr. Klauss tells us, “An epidural in the a first time mother can delay the first stage labor by an additional 4 hours, and the second stage by an additional 1 ½ hour for a total of 5 ½ hours. With an epidural, the baby receives medicine almost immediately, and 15% of the time the mother and infant develop a fever of 38 degrees centigrade. On delivery after the baby is born, the staff takes the baby to the NICU for observation and a blood culture. The baby is separated from the mother and father but usually there is no infection. If the epidural is started before 4-5 cm of dilation of the cervix, there is a reasonable chance that the infant might not complete rotation, which leads to a posterior position that often leads to a c/section” Let’s add also that often the epidural leads to pitocin and failed induction is the number one cause for cesareans in the United States.

To find out myths about breastfeeding visit here

Mothers can stand up for themselves demanding information that is accurate, proven and if needed with sound back up material. I often suggest, when a client has been told she must have a cesarean for elective reasons (such as your baby is too big, or VBACs are dangerous etc.,) that she should do as most people do when they are told they need major surgery – get a second opinion hopefully from a doctor who is mother-friendly. When it comes to feeding your baby, trust that you are the perfect mother and the perfect match for your baby, and unless you have a serious health problem all it takes is patience, loving support and when it gets difficult the resources to get professional help.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Myths_About_Birthing-35-1442759-20539-Birth_Myths_Debunked.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Myths_About_Birthing-35-1442759-20539-Birth_Myths_Debunked.html Sat, 3 Apr 2010 15:56:33 +0000
<![CDATA[ The ideal food that 'grows' with your baby!]]> comfortably breastfeed. 

I have read that it isn't exactly a walk in the park the first time around. But nobody told me it could hurt so much! The first two weeks were agonizing, but I was very determined and my husband supported me in this. Then we wound up in the hospital when our infant was two weeks old (vomit tinted with blood, no fun). After three days all they could tell us is that she cannot digest cow's milk protein in my breast milk. For five days we had to formula feed with Similac Alimentum and I went on a strict dairy free diet. The baby hated it. Thankfully the Children's Hospital in Boston was very supportive. After those five days we went back to exclusively breastfeeding and I was in heaven! Not to mention our daughter, the way she clung to me after being deprived of the breast will always be in my memory. No dry, cracked, and sore nipples could sway me any longer! It wasn't easy to go completely dairy free, but it was worth it. It actually improved my health and it was the best thing for the baby. 

Tomorrow our girl will be 14 months old. She has great eating habits and eats all the healthy food we eat. We are continuing to breastfeed despite the Western societal pressure to wean a baby after one year. I am quite opinionated on the subject. I don't think breastfeeding past one year old or even allowing self -weaning spoils a child. If anything, it makes them more independent than the average child once they actually do wean. I think it does even greater things for the mother-child bond past childhood. I'll tell you how it goes...

Why we love to breastfeed: 
  • It eases the role of becoming a mother, especially the first time around. I cannot fathom how I would be able to find the time to wash bottles and mix formula in between diaper changes, laundry, and cuddle time. ;)
  • The mother's milk is always the right temperature, consistency, clean, fresh, and comes in reusable, Eco-friendly containers!
  • Breast feeding is free! Honestly, I don't think we could afford formula (especially that she could not digest milk protein and the only formula she could have is crazy expensive).
  • You get all kinds of proven health perks both for mom and child (see Wiki).
  • Breast milk is a lot less likely to contain chemicals such as perchlorate, melamine, and BPA found in formula. I can't cite that and I have no proof. That is my own conclusion :)
  • My baby rarely gets sick, even in the winter. She had a teething fever once in October. My husband and I were both sick with a stomach bug this winter, she wasn't sick even once!
  • It is so easy to travel while breastfeeding! No need to pack any formula, clean water, bottles, gadgets. I can feed her anytime, anywhere I want (I just use a cover). If I was formula feeding I think I would be stuck at home for the first 6 months because of dreading packing everything with me. If you are not comfortable breastfeeding in public you can always pump some to take with you.
  • I lost all my baby weight just a couple of months after giving birth. No diets, just breastfeeding. Now I am trying to gain some!
  • Breast milk adjusts to the baby's needs as he/she grows. Did you know that the anti-viral agents increase as the baby grows into a toddler? How perfect! Just in time for all the world exploration they do on the floor, in your closet, and outdoors. 
What I love most about breastfeeding though is just the amazing feeling of nurturing my baby with everything I have. Those are priceless moments that I treasure amid my sometimes hectic days as a Work-at-Home mom. I love that it forces me to stop, relax, contemplate, and enjoy my baby's company. I would not change it for anything!

I encourage all mothers and moms-to-be to read the facts and choose to breastfeed. Make sure to feed within the first hour of birth, or things might go downhill if you don't. Stick to it the first few painful weeks! I don't think any baby should be deprived of being breastfed unless certain circumstances leave no other choice. Seriously, if you gave birth, breastfeeding the first days isn't even one quarter as painful. There really is nothing more you can do for the optimum health of your child, both now and for years to come. ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Breastfeeding-35-1442246-20285-The_ideal_food_that_grows_with_your_baby_.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Breastfeeding-35-1442246-20285-The_ideal_food_that_grows_with_your_baby_.html Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:21:54 +0000
<![CDATA[ Ergo Baby Carrier- SUPER product. Buy it early on and don't regret it!]]> Well, now my son is 18mo. old and we have some traveling in our near future and hiking trips as well. I wanted something to take on our trips to avoid using a stroller and I finally came upon this carrier and wished I had this one all along! This to me, is one of the most perfect carriers out there. It is so comfortable for both you and your baby and fairly easy to use. Yes, it seems a little pricey but really when you think about it- the use you will get from it will far outweigh the price. Had I just bought this in the beginning I would have saved money in the long run from ones I had and barely used. Plus this one grows so well with your baby and I can't wait to use this for a second child as well.  Another plus, my husband outweighs me by nearly 100lbs and has 9 inches on me and we both are able to wear it!

Some websites with better pricing are diapers.com (10% off much of time) and just google ergo baby clearance sales and they all seem to have great reviews and return options if for some reason it wouldn't work.

Pros:
Holds kids up to 50# and been tested up to 90#'s. 
Soft and comfortable material and evenly distributes weight well to parent and baby
Completely washable and has great color options/organic lines, too
Great and easily adjustable for tall/short/thin/heavier people
3 great ways to wear so baby can be comfortable
Great for newborns up to 4yrs old.
Easy to get the hang of using
Baby is comfortable and happy and you are bonding
Small and portable for travel
Sunhood for protection
Pocket pouch for keys/cell/diapers etc.

Cons:
Little pricer than some (but worth it- REALLY)
difficult to nurse in the carrier

I am not a clever person at all and get intimidated by the baby wearing contraptions.  This took me all of 3 tries to put muy son in  while around the house before I was able to put him in the back position by myself in under 15 seconds! There are great videos online on Youtube to check out plus the manual.  Really, this product is terrific and I would highly recommend anyone to get this who has a child that either loves to be held but you need a free hand (ever try vacuuming or stirring a hot pot of something while holding a baby for 20min?- not so easy!) or if you have multiple children and want to help yourself out by not chasing two or three in different directions while you are out on the town! This product would be so great to have in the beginning of your childs stages on up.  And the more you use it early on, the easier  it gets and the more your childs loves it as well. Bonding is so important especially in our busy lives and this really allows for us to keep that natural desire of closeness a part of our hectic modern lifestyles!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-20191-Ergo_Baby_Carrier_SUPER_product_Buy_it_early_on.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-20191-Ergo_Baby_Carrier_SUPER_product_Buy_it_early_on.html Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:51:59 +0000
<![CDATA[ Ten Ways to Cope with Bedrest During Pregnancy]]>

Bed rest has been prescribed for various pregnancy complications. It’s often prescribed if you’re at risk of preterm labor or for a eager (incompetent) cervix. While most women willingly abide by the doctors’ orders for bed rest, for many it’s an unwelcome inconvenience. There are always so many other things to do in addition to growing a baby. Yet when you consider that you will have plenty of other chances to do those things, but only one chance to complete this pregnancy, being in bed for nearly 24 hours a day can be managed. Make sure you understand why you were put on bed rest. Get informed, ask questions, and request specific answers. If you can, discuss it with your doula, or other birth professionals. Understanding why you are asked to do something is very important for your peace of mind. Once you feel comfortable with the decision, try to enjoy your state in the here and now. Here are ten ways to cope with your confinement and actually enjoy it.

1. Know exactly what you may and may not do.

Be sure you understand what your healthcare provider means by bed rest. You can pretty much figure that bed rest means refraining from most activities done outside the home. Check to be sure you know whether your doctor recommends total bed rest, which means sponge baths in bed and bedpans, or whether you get the luxury of bathroom privileges and an occasional walk to the kitchen. Ask if you can slowly walk up and down stairs, or if you are confined to one floor. Most doctors over prescribe the degree of bed rest, realizing that most human beings do not easily adapt to such drastic changes in lifestyle and will occasionally cheat. Ask specific questions to your doctor, so that you might spend hours wondering what is allowed and what is not, and then annoyed do it anyway. Can you deal with office work over the phone? How about your other children? Paint a clear picture so an overtly cautious care provider will understand what is feasible and what is asking too much for your life style. Also ask about sex and be specific: do you have to stay away from penetration and intercourse, or also orgasm. Depending on your condition even orgasm is off limits. When you are in bed make sure you change position often and place several pillows all around you and in between your legs.

2. Set up a comfortable nest.

If you have to stay in bed you might as well create a bed you like to stay in. Have your bed placed near or facing a window so you have fresh air and a view. Put anything you’ll need within arms’ reach on a table next to your bed. Use a cordless phone or one with a long cord if the phone jack isn’t near your bed. Keep address books, phone books, your journal and all kinds of reading material on an adjacent table. Move the television or the stereo and computer into the bedroom. Buy or rent a small refrigerator for your bedside snacks. Be kind to your body. Get lots of fun books as well as the usual instructional books. Get books on CD or tape so you don’t strain yourself.

3. Think positively.

Rather than dwell on what you’re missing, think about what you are enjoying. Even if you find yourself feeling bored and depressed, these feelings will eventually subside, and you will have happy days again. Focus on what you are doing for your baby, and on the benefits to you of resting and relaxing. The good thing about the emotions of pregnancy is that downs are usually followed by ups. Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis are very helpful. This is a great opportunity to work on yourself, and begin a conversation with your child.

4. Realize your feelings are normal.

With so much time to just sit and think, your emotions are likely to run wild. You may worry about the baby’s health and survival, fret about how your husband and kids are coping, be bored with too little to do, feel anxious about things you should be doing, and dislike feeling dependent. You may feel angry and disappointed about the course of your pregnancy. Each day in bed will bring on new emotions to work through, yet continuing to focus on the goal of your pregnancy will overcome these anxieties and keep you in bed as long as you need to stay there.

5. Seek your mate’s help.

This may be the first time in your life that your mate waits on you some women love it and others are overwhelmed with feelings of unworthiness, first of all may I remind you that you are carrying HIS baby! Some of us are control freaks and just don’t like how others (even our mate) do or prepare things. What a great opportunity to learn the art of letting go! Prolonged bed rest during pregnancy can bring couples together or tear them apart. He will miss your company in those activities that you usually do together and you’ll feel lonely if he goes ahead without you. Your marriage will be stressed out, but this is an amazing opportunity to strengthen your bond. Get creative when it comes to romance, you can still have a romantic dinner (in bed!), watch a movie together and yes you can exchange massage. You might just have to learn the delicate art of feather caressing, while he can rub all those sore muscles that have had no activities. There is usually no restriction in kissing, but orgasm might not be an option for you. You can still wear something sexy and have fun coming up with fun games to keep your love and intimacy going, this is a great time to practice giving unconditionally as well. But if you really don’t feel like having sex either be very frank with your partner. Some men will be supportive and some will have difficulty with this one, and communication is key here. Speak freely about your frustration and allow him to voice his as well, but don’t waste time whining as soon as he comes in the door, that will not bring positive returns. A lot is based on how you look at things.

6. Keep fit while in bed.

With your doctor’s okay, you could do some exercises in bed, such as leg lifts, calf stretches, and upper arm exercises with light weights. Exercising helps promote circulation, as well as keeping your muscles (including your heart) in shape. Make sure you do some breathing exercises as well, open your window daily and take ten deep breaths is at the count of ten. Hold for the count of ten, and exhale for the count of ten. Breathing deeply this way will keep your lungs in shape, your blood oxygenated and your spirit high.

7. Pamper yourself.

Staying in bed does not mean denying yourself all the pleasures of life. Hire a massage therapist (or ask a friend) to give you a head to toe massage at least once a week. See if your hairdresser will come to your bedside. Ask a girlfriend over and have a manicure and pedicure party. Start a book club and invite friends over for an animated conversation. If you have a grandma or old aunt who loves playing a good game of cards invite her over and play cards and ask her to tell you some good stories about your mom or dad. Don’t give up and lull all day in the ‘why me?’ mode, that’s a waist of time. Think of what you would do for your child if she was put on bed rest for months, how you would support her, how you would cheer her up. Well, my friend, that is exactly what you are doing and who you are doing it for!

8. Bond with your baby.

Many women on prolonged bed rest face a dilemma: though this would seem an ideal time to contemplate the miracle of pregnancy and to really bond with the baby, the usual reason for being on prolonged bed rest is the very real possibility of losing the baby. So some women find that even though they have plenty of time to think about and plan for the baby, they have difficulty doing so because of their fear of losing the baby. Remember that the vast majority of women who are confined to bed go on to deliver babies who survive and thrive. And the few who don’t, never regret loving the little person who was briefly part of their lives.

9. Get support.

Ask your practitioner to give you the phone numbers of other mothers similarly confined to bed. Sometimes you can talk each other through a particularly boring day. Or contact a support groups one in the US is called www.sidelines.org which maintains a national hotline of volunteers who offer support and match you with other bedridden moms-to-be. This group was started by a California mother who was confined to bed during her high-risk pregnancies and figured out a way to use her free time for the good of other women in her circumstances.

10. Get creative.

Get colored pencils and paper and draw your feelings. Freda Kalo, a famous Mexican painter, learned to paint during her long bed stay due to a back injury, she went on to become one of the most celebrated female painters of all times. A lot of her work is self-portraits; her father had hung a mirror over her bed so that she could copy her own face. You can turn anything that comes your way into a positive experience. If you don’t feel comfortable with your ability as a painter… paint anyway, or write. Anthony Robbins says “…a life worth living is worth recording….” These art works will be a wonderful way to look back at this period with tenderness.

Last but not least forget about yourself and help others. Yes, you can volunteer to do some phone work for a charity, you can be part of a prayer line, help line, or help with stamping and folding letter for a fundraiser. Call old relatives who are sick or alone and cheer them up. Doing service might turn your bed rest into the most fulfilling time in your life.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/article/UserReview-Ten_Ways_to_Cope_with_Bedrest-35-1441832-20118-Ten_Ways_to_Cope_with_Bedrest_During_Pregnancy.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/article/UserReview-Ten_Ways_to_Cope_with_Bedrest-35-1441832-20118-Ten_Ways_to_Cope_with_Bedrest_During_Pregnancy.html Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:03:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ Slings and Baby Carriers]]> On March 12, Consumer Product Safety Commission chairmen Inez Tenenbaum issued a warning about the safety of infant slings and officially advised parents and caregivers to be cautious when using them with babies younger than four months of age.  Fear spread so fast most women wondered if they should throw away their beloved slings all together regardless of the age of their baby, the type of sling etc.  It’s a typical American hysteria, one statement geared to create news, knowing that nothing better than fear and drama generates most clicks to websites and sells papers to the sound track of “Cha Ching!”

It seems that the people who advise us not to co-sleep, not to give birth at home, and to let our babies cry themselves to sleep, are out again to tell us we are not qualified to care for our children and should not babywear. I advise my clients to use their common sense and don’t just panic and throw the baby out with the bath water. Parents who want to bond with their baby and carry baby about in a sling should not be encouraged to toss away ANY sling they have. The slings that were responsible for the recent tragic deaths are not designed well and it is terrible that parents who were trying to do the best for their baby lost a child due to irresponsible baby product design.

In a recent press release the Baby Sling & Carrier Manufacturers Speak Out speak out:

  “… Slings and carriers of concern are popularly categorized under the token term "bag-style" slings. In "bag-style" slings, the deep pouch where baby sits puts the baby in a potentially suffocating curved or "C" like position. Also, excessive fabric with an elasticized edge may cover baby's face inhibiting breathing. Furthermore, the design may cause the baby's face to turn in toward a caregiver's body, potentially smothering the baby.

Because of the popularity and gaining market share of small baby carrier companies, a few years ago the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association (JPMA) was approached by a handful of these companies asking for a standard to be created. These companies were initially alarmed by the creation of some carriers, mostly by home crafters, fashioned from materials unsuitable for baby products. Soon after, M'liss Stelzer, a pediatric nurse, did an oxygenation study discovering a potential link between infant deaths and "bag-style" style slings therefore creating even more need for the standard as well as further study.

Upon this need the ASTM, an internationally recognized creator of standards for consumer products and test procedures, created a subcommittee for Sling Carrier Standards. The ASTM Subcommittee is made up of manufacturers, consumer advocates and  

Shallow pouch-style slings, ring slings, mei tais and wraps hold baby in proper alignment and they fit snugly by design and instruction. They have been engineered, developed and tested by parents, often the manufacturers themselves with their own children. These carriers are often simple and without gimmicks. Dedicated and concerned manufacturers of these types of safe slings and carriers have sponsored this release.

Best slings and SAFE are
Hotslings, Maya Wrap, Moby Wrap, Wrapsody, Gypsymama, Together Be, Kangaroo Korner, Taylormade Slings, Scootababy, Bellala Baby, Catbird Baby, SlingEZee, ZoloWear, HAVA, SlingRings and Sakura Bloom. 



 



 

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Slings_are_they_good_or_a_hazard_-35-1441533-19941-Slings_and_Baby_Carriers.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Slings_are_they_good_or_a_hazard_-35-1441533-19941-Slings_and_Baby_Carriers.html Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:51:42 +0000
<![CDATA[Doula Quick Tip by Giuditta]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Doula-51-1380749-55111.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Doula-51-1380749-55111.html Tue, 16 Mar 2010 21:38:58 +0000 <![CDATA[ 4 Ways to Bust a Bad Mood]]> Remember that morning when your panty hose ripped and your shoe heel broke on the way to an important job interview? What about when you were about to go on a first date with this great guy and your mom called to remind you that you better find a man soon because you are not getting any younger? Certain events seem to put you instantly into a bad mood. At other times, we might wake up in a blah mood for no particular reason and it seems to linger, hovering over us and coloring the entire day. As a birth and postpartum doula, I am constantly surrounded by maternity mood swings but no matter what the reason for your bad mood, you can empower yourself to take charge and turn those moody moments around to a good time. Here are 4 simple suggestions you can use as quick bad mood-busters:

1. How Do I Love Me?

How many times have you heard the cliché you must love yourself before you can truly love anyone else? But how does one love oneself? Here are some simple quick tasks that can point you in the direction of self-love. When you feel a bad mood bubbling up, close your eyes and think about a recent accomplishment.

Let’s say you finally joined a yoga class and are committed to it but a year ago you had a membership at a gym you never used. How about that promotion you had wanted and worked on for a long time and finally got it. You can also find mood busters in the little things. Like you finally have learned how to delegate more or to say no at work, instead always people please and overwork. How about when you at last decided you were worthy of hiring a housekeeper to clean your home? If you need to go back all the way to your childhood and rejoice in the trophy you won on the local soccer team, go ahead there are no time limits set for accomplishments.

If you are in a really bad mood before a date, get the sexiest outfit you got, get yourself in front of the mirror and remind yourself of all the compliments you have received in the past. Ok this might seem silly but truly works, repeat the compliments to yourself out loud. If nothing else it will make you crack up and despite your mood.

Create a compliment’s journal: start writing down the compliments you receive and store them for a rainy, teary day. Think of how people have complimented you on a particular recipe. What about how your friends always tell you they can count on you, or how you never seem to forget a birthday. What do friends and family tell you they appreciate about you? You don’t want to forget these things and if you have them stored in a journal you can turn to them when you need them most.

2. Have A Bad Mood Buster Kit.

All those of us who live in earthquake, hurricane, and flood prone regions are familiar with readiness kits. We have been taught to be prepared for all eventualities. Why not be ready with a bad mood buster kit you can have handy at home, in the office and yes even in the car.

Kit supplies:

Go to a card store and write yourself a few “You go girl!” cards, make sure your compliment yourself on your accomplishments you have just come up with in the first mood buster tip. Now post them, send them to yourself and finally store them in your kit.

How about a few photos of you and your honey on vacation? Of course at times you might be in a bad mood because of your honey so make sure you also have a picture of your kitty or dog smiling at you, anything that inspires in you an immediate smile. I’d also add a picture of you looking and feeling great. Make sure when you look at those pictures you close your eyes and go back to the feeling you felt at that exact moment and try to bring that feeling into the present moment.

Add your favorite CD, and in your home kit add you favorite DVD. Add some mementos from the exotic courtiers you have visited, or a cut out beautiful pictures from magazines, like jewelry you love, clothes you adore or places you want to visit and let them transport you far away from the nasty mood.

Don’t forget “emergency” phone numbers a list of all the friends you can call to feel better.

3. Have A Silly Party.

If your mood is not budging get on the phone and call a few funny people to come over and help you out of the funk.

How about inviting over that crazy single-mom friend that tells riotous story about her dating life? Or your buddy who knows a million jokes. Include your traveling buddy that can reminisce with you about some of the silly things you did on your last trip?

Think about what food you will serve. If you really don’t feel like cooking how about pizza or take out? Get a few tubs of ice cream (or non-fat yogurt) several toppings and invite your guest to make the most outrageous Sunday.

Be sure to play some fun music you can dance to and shake those blues away. Rent a couple of hilarious DVDs.

4. Look Around – How Good Do You Really Have It?

Comparing ourselves, our lives, our jobs or families, to others is not really good, especially when we are looking at how much better they are from us. But when we are in a bad mood it might help to realize how good our life really is compared to the less fortunate.

Drive around your neighborhood and rejoice at the amazing homes, front lawns and beautiful people walking around. If you need to there is nothing better then a ride downtown (or to a poorer area) to remind you how lucky you are living where you do.

How about volunteering for a great cause? After all serving others ends up ‘serving’ us. Visit volunteermatch.org type in your zip code and find out lists of volunteering opportunities.

Volunteer at your local school or your kid’s school by becoming a mentor. Go to your library and see if they need volunteers to read children’s stories.

Remember the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? Kathy Bates’ character had a major life changing experience just by visiting and elder woman and listening to her stories. Go to a retirement home and see about reading to the elders.

I found this wonderful program called Fostering Imagination recruiting mentors for its adventure program for foster youth between 13-19 years old. They hike, bike, kayak, sail, and lots more. Check them out www.fosteringimagination.com

Been in a foul mood, even if you are righteously indignant, will not change the situation you are in, so you might as well bust out of it and feel good. We cannot always control what happens, what other do and say, but we are in charge of our moods. I feel good, I feel great…]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Moods_psychological_-35-1440913-19570-4_Ways_to_Bust_a_Bad_Mood.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Moods_psychological_-35-1440913-19570-4_Ways_to_Bust_a_Bad_Mood.html Wed, 10 Mar 2010 23:27:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ I Am So Tired, When Will My Baby Sleep Through The Night?]]>
Most new mothers face the unpleasant reality that their baby will not sleep through the night. Dealing with round the clock feedings means many weary parents would do just about anything to get their baby to sleep through the night. But please reconsider, there are no healthy solutions to sleeping through the night. All we ask is one year of your life, things will get a lot better after that, just one year of patience and love and adaptability.
It is very healthy for your baby to sleep with you, or at least in the same room as you for the first one year of life, and no you are not spoiling your child.  Trust me, this too shall pass.

Why is baby awake?

There are many reasons why your baby is waking up. The first reason is hunger. Their little tummies are just too small to eat very much at once and they are growing so fast. After the first few weeks they will get bigger and as they are able to eat more at one setting they will be able to sleep longer. It does not matter if you are breast or bottle feeding, baby still needs to eat frequently.

Another reason your baby wakes often is dreaming. Babies do not sleep the same way adults do. Adults fall into a deeper state of sleep first and then they enter the dream state on and off for short periods of time. Babies enter the dreaming stage first and then slowly move into deeper sleep. This dreaming is vital to their brain’s development, but it is easier for your baby to be woken up during this dream state. When your baby is dreaming, their eyes will flutter and their bodies will twitch. It is very noticeable when this stops and they enter a deeper sleep; wait until they reach this deeper sleep to lay them down. By the age of four months babies are sleeping more like their parents and entering the deeper dream state when they fall asleep. You should notice and improvement in their sleeping by this time and they should be sleeping through the night by six to nine months.

Babies also wake up to stay safe. Newborns have just come into this world with new legs, arms, lungs and brains. If they were to sleep too deeply they would not wake when they needed to move their muscles or find a position where they can breathe a little better. After your babies first six weeks they should settle into a pattern of sleeping three or four hours at a time and as they get older, this time will increase.

But What About Me?

This can be a very difficult time for new moms and dads, but take heart in the fact that you are doing what is best for your little one. This time will pass by more quickly than you can ever imagine. One day you will look back and wonder how your baby got so big so fast. The early years fly by in a heartbeat. There are things that you can do to help alleviate some of the difficulty during these first weeks. The most important thing to do is sleep when your baby sleeps. You may be tempted to get up and get things done, but you need your rest and everything else can wait. When people offer to help you, you should say yes. You should welcome help from family and friends whenever it is offered, even if it is just for an hour so that you can take a nap.

It is very important that you get help if you start to feel overwhelmed. Being constantly woken up can lead people to not think clearly. If you find yourself feeling angry at your baby for waking you take the time to wake up fully before you pick up the baby. Get a drink or wash your face; you will be much better at handling the stress when you are fully awake. If it gets to a point where you cannot handle it anymore, and this can happen to anyone, call someone immediately. Get your mother, sister or a friend to come help you. Consider hiring a postpartum doula, go to DONA.org and search for a postpartum doula near you. Many cities have a crisis nursery for people who do not have a support system. If all else fails go outside until you calm down. As long as your baby is in a safe place it will not hurt them to cry for a few minutes while you take a break, hand him over to your partner and take a shower or warm bath.  Keep remind yourself that this too shall pass.

Your baby is changing rapidly in the first few weeks of his or her young life. Things will continue to get better everyday, so try and keep your spirits up. Pretty soon your little one will be sleeping through the night.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Sleep_and_Newborns-35-1440908-19565-I_Am_So_Tired_When_Will_My_Baby_Sleep_Through_The.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Sleep_and_Newborns-35-1440908-19565-I_Am_So_Tired_When_Will_My_Baby_Sleep_Through_The.html Wed, 10 Mar 2010 22:56:14 +0000
<![CDATA[ How Dilated Am I? Assessing Dilation in Labor WITHOUT an Internal Exam.]]> Reprinted with permission- written by sarah vine

It’s the magic question weighing on most laboring mothers’ minds: (as well as the minds of her partner or birth attendants!) How much longer? Is there any way to tell how far along I am in the birthing process? I’ve seen mothers beg for an internal exam and then be gutted about the answer (What? ONLY 4cm STILL!?) and suddenly *poof* she looses her resolve. It’s akin to having a test and finding out you’ve failed it, in front of your loved ones as well as complete strangers. Everyone knows this feeling is not conducive to labor – suddenly doubt and fear slide in and the laboring mother feels tense. Her oxytocin levels (our body’s natural pain-killer and labor inducer) take a nose dive and immediately she feels much more pain and she starts to run away from the contractions.

Happily, there are a number of external cues that can help you and birth partners get clued in to how much labor is advancing. Some are more subtle than others, but if you are ignoring the clock and keeping focused on staying in tune with your body, you will see them. Listen, embrace, wait.  Enjoy the way it responds! It is amazing what it can do, this body that God gave you.

1. Sound. The way you talk changes from stage to stage in labor. With the first contractions, you can speak during them if you try, or if something surprises you, or if someone says something you strongly disagree with. You may be getting into breathing and moving and ignoring people – but if you really want to you can raise your head and speak in a normal voice. When the contraction disappears you can chat and laugh at people’s jokes and move about getting preparations done. During established labor, There is very little you can do to speak during a contraction. You feel like resting in between, you are not bothered what people are doing around you. As you near transition and birth, you seem to go to ‘another’ level of awareness – it’s almost like a spiritual hideaway. You may share this with someone else, staring into their eyes with each surge, or you may close them and go into yourself. In between surges you stay in this place. It is imperative for birth assistants and partners to stay quiet and support the sanctity of this space: there are no more jokes, and should be as little small talk as possible. Suddenly, the sounds start to change involuntarily: you may have been vocalizing before (moaning, talking and expressing your discomfort, singing, etc) or you may have been silent. Listen – there are deep gutteral sounds along with everything you have heard before, just slipping in there. You are about to start pushing.

2. Smell. There is a smell to birth, that hits towards the end of dilation, during intense labor, just before birth. It is a cross between mown hay and semen and dampness. It has a fresh, yet enclosed quality, and is pervasive. The Navelgazing Midwife has also observed this scent and writes about it here.

3. Irrationality. I love this clue – it often is a sign of transition. It always makes me smile, and I always warn women about this phenomenon so that when we hit it during labor I can remind them that what they’ve just said is irrational, and that I told her this would happen, and here it is! Relax, it means we’re nearing the end. Sometimes a mother will say she wants to go home, she is done now she’ll come back and do this later, she wants to put on her trousers and coat and go out the door. A mother who wants a natural birth and has been coping brilliantly will suddenly say she was crazy and needs pain killers right now, or that she didn’t want another baby anyways, who said they wanted a baby? Some will just curl up and say they’re going to sleep now. If she does this, that’s okay. The contractions may die down, get farther apart, and maybe she (and the baby) will get a few minutes of sleep. This slowed down transition sometimes freaks out doctors or hospital midwives and pitocin is offered – try to see if you can put them off for half an hour. Send every one out, lie on your left side propped up by pillows and have a little nap before pushing; it is such a wonderful gift.

4. Feel. Here come some of the more fun tools that you might not have heard of before! Think about the shape of the uterus. Before labor, the muscle of the uterus is thick evenly around all sides, above, below, behind. As the cervix starts thinning and dilating, all that muscle has to go somewhere – it bunches up at that top. The top of the uterus thickens dramatically the more the cervix opens. During a contraction, at the beginning of labor, check how many fingers you can fit between the fundus (top of your bump) and the bra line – you will be able to fit 5 fingers. As the top of the fundus rises higher during labor, you will fit fewer and fewer fingers. When you can fit 3 fingers, I usually tell mothers they can think about going into hospital as they will find they are around 5cm dilated. At 1 finger, you are fully dilated. (Awesome, huh!)

5. Look. There is something called the ‘bottom line’, which is shadow that extends from the anus up towards the back along the crease of the buttocks. It begins as 1cm and lengthens to 10cm, and it’s length correlates with cervical dilation. Why not look down there before inviting a stranger to put their fingers up inside you? It makes sense to me.

6. Gooey Stuff. Also known as bloody show; there is usually one at around 2-3 cm dilation, and it can happen during the beginning of labor or a few days before hand. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is or isn’t a show, since during the days before labor the amount of vaginal mucus increases in preparation and this can be confusing. A show is up to a couple of tablespoons in quantity, so quite a lot. It can be clear, but is usually streaked with pink, brown, or bright blood. If there is more than a couple of tablespoons of blood then you do need to go straight into hospital to make sure the placenta is not detaching, but if there is just a bit and then it stops, then it is just show. There is a SECOND show at around 8cm dilation. This second show means that birth is near.

7. Opening of the Back. This is just at the spot where your birth partner has been doing lower back massage, at the area above the tailbone. It is a little smaller than palm sized, rather triangular-shaped area that bulges out during pushing. At this point you’ve waited too long to go into hospital, and you need to refer to my last post, 4 rules of what to do when delivering a baby!

8. Check yourself. Okay, so technically this one is an internal check, but it done by YOU. You don’t have to announce the results or write them down: it is not an exam. To me it’s obvious that as the owner of your body, you have more of a right than anyone else to feel comfortable with it and understand how it works. It is best to get to know what your own cervix feels like from early on in your pregnancy, if not before, and then to keep a regular check on what feels normal. If you do this through out your pregnancy you will keep your flexibility into the 9th month. This is also an excellent time to remind you to not neglect perineal massage since you’re already down there! Check out the website My Beautiful Cervix to see photos and descriptions of what a cervix should feel like. At 1 cm you can fit the tip of one finger inside. Use a ruler to practice discerning how many centimeters dilation feels like, measuring with your pointer and middle finger. NOTE: Always, always, always wash your hands thoroughly beforehand, up to the elbows, for 4 minutes at least. Do not assess your own dilation after your waters have gone.

For more labor tips and information about external assessment of dilation, I recommend finding a copy of Anada Lowe’s book, The Doula Guide to Birth, Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know.  This is one book packed with practical and useful information!

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Cervical_Dilation-35-1440906-19564-How_Dilated_Am_I_Assessing_Dilation_in_Labor.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Cervical_Dilation-35-1440906-19564-How_Dilated_Am_I_Assessing_Dilation_in_Labor.html Wed, 10 Mar 2010 22:52:35 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Perfect Carrier From Newborn to Toddler]]> Dr. Sears website.

I was recently given the opportunity to test out an ERGObaby Organic carrier for our Go Green, Baby feature. I was sent the Organic Cranberry carrier with the Nautilus print lining. The carrier is made up of 100% organic cotton twill with 100% organic cotton sateen lining and hood, and has 100% organic cotton batting in the body of the carrier to soften the edges, now that is 100% green!

ERGObaby is a family owned and operated company located on Maui, Hawaii. The carrier was initially developed by Karin Frost, owner and designer, when she had her son in 2001.

One thing (well, one of many!) I love about ERGObaby is their fair labor practices. Only workers 18 and above are accepted. In China, their total workforce is 100 employees and they are reimbursed for transportation expenses and any employees that rent receive housing assistance. They are paid a fair wage and receive a lunch break AND a one hour naptime mid day. That's better than most places I've worked! You can rest assured that you are receiving a quality product from a loving company.


The ERGObaby has a recommended weight limit of 40lbs, but it has been tested to hold up to 90lbs. This is the only carrier you'll ever need! My son has bypassed the weight limit for a lot of carriers at 22lbs (and only 6 months!), and a lot of them are not comfortable for me to carry since he is pretty heavy. Not only does the ERGObaby have a great weight range, it's the most versatile carrier out there. You can carry your baby on your front, hip, or back.


Fit:
The minute I put this carrier on I could tell it was going to be comfortable. I have a bad left shoulder from a recent surgery, so things can get uncomfortable pretty quickly for me. I was able to wear the ERGObaby carrier for several hours around my house! The ERGObaby carriers are built for both your babies and your comfort.  The waist strap feels very secure, which is very important. Not only is it comfortable but it has a waist belt circumference of 25" to 43" and fits from 5' to 6.5' body height with adjustable shoulder and chest straps.

Ease of use:
I've always been pretty intimidated of putting my son on my back, I'm scared I might drop him while I am getting him into the carrier! I watched all of the videos on the ERGObaby website before I used the carrier, and I'm glad I did, but the ERGObaby is so easy to use! It took a little practice for the hip placement, and then actually getting my son onto my back, but I was able to do it alone, and I am sure the more you do it the easier it gets. I really like that there aren't straps dangling, and you only need to buckle one thing once you get your baby in.

Value: The ERGObaby organic carriers range from $120 to $148. It might seem like a lot at first, but this is the only carrier you'll need! The weight limit is greater than most carriers out there and it's the most versatile since you can wear it on the front, side, and back. It's definitely worth every penny.

All in all I am in love with this carrier. It's comfortable, it looks nice, it has a zippered pocket on the front for keys and money (or even a diaper and a cloth wipe, there's a lot of room in there), it's extremely versatile, and will last a long time. Oh, and it's organic cotton, I love all things organic.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-19229-The_Perfect_Carrier_From_Newborn_to_Toddler.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-19229-The_Perfect_Carrier_From_Newborn_to_Toddler.html Fri, 5 Mar 2010 01:12:54 +0000
<![CDATA[Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers Quick Tip by lyssachttr]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-51-1380400-51155.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-51-1380400-51155.html Sun, 27 Sep 2009 00:12:33 +0000 <![CDATA[ Magic teething pill that isn't toxic medicine? You bet!]]> I am a recent convert to homeopathy after having had enough with modern medicine that just keeps proving itself ineffective or at the least - harmful (for me and my family that is). While it does have its place, modern medicine is often not the best remedy for everyday aches and pains, and often even for common disorders and diseases. A lot of our health problems are actually nutritionally based...but when it comes to babies teething - of course that is not the case, it is just a natural process of life! To make that natural process less painful both for mom and baby I decided to give Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets a try.

I ordered mine at Drugstore.com, and yay, they are FSA eligible! So it is a great buy if you are an infant or toddler parent (or soon-to-be) looking to spend FSA dollars that will otherwise expire. They range from about $4 to $5 for 125 tablets, and worth every penny!

There are no side effects, no worries of building intolerance to pain killers at such an early age, nothing toxic and no chemicals. My little daughter is only three and a half months and is already teething. While it doesn't seem to bother her to the point of crying, she gets really fussy, chews her hands, doesn't eat, etc. So I gave these a try and since she is so little I decided to just use 1 tablet at first as opposed to the 2 as recommended. I don't know... was it magic? The wisdom of homeopathic remedies? All of the above? It worked instantly and calmed her down, she was all happy again and ready to nap or play.

The tablets themselves are really tiny and dissolve instantly under the tongue, so no fear of choking. They are not messy, really easy to use, and they are set in a natural lactose base. I don't know what else a parent could ask for! I need to stock up on these so that we have them when the molars come in too! :)

A couple of words of caution:
1. The bottle is not childproof, so please keep it away from kids. Homepathic medicine is potent, and while very safe in small doses, you don't want an overdose on it!
2. One of the ingredients is Belladonna, in very rare instances individuals may be allergic to this ingredient in homeopathy. Use with caution and always follow the dosage directions on package. You will encounter pediatricians who will scare you with 'it isn't safe and can even be deadly', but if you are a responsible parent and do your research as well as consult with a reputable doctor who practices homeopathic medicine, you will learn that the statement is a lie and it is perfectly safe if used properly. Any medicine, whether modern or homeopathy can be deadly if it is overdosed on, end of question. Most modern doctors are not educated in homeopathy and are not a reliable reference for it, so use your judgment.

EcoMama Green Factor: +4 on 'greeness'! A sugar free, 100% natural homeopathic remedy. If the ingredients would be listed as organic I would give it a +5. It is made in the US.

Disclaimer: This review is not intended as medical advice.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Hyland_s_Teething_Tablets-35-1389694-9758-Magic_teething_pill_that_isn_t_toxic_medicine_You.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Hyland_s_Teething_Tablets-35-1389694-9758-Magic_teething_pill_that_isn_t_toxic_medicine_You.html Mon, 18 May 2009 23:21:12 +0000
<![CDATA[ The de-commercialized version of the disposable diaper]]> I am holding my Seventh Generation diapered baby as I am typing this review... While I haven't tried many other brand diapers, these chlorine free disposables top my list. I would love to have tried organic cloth diapers, but I am lazy and can barely keep up with her laundry (I hand wash her things!). So the next best thing for me was either the flushable/biodegradable gDiapers or these 'forever in a landfill' chlorine free ones... I found these more affordable, so that narrowed it down.

[After typing the above I had to save this as a draft to finish later because my lovely, adorable, cutie 1 month old daughter decided she does not want to keep her dinner down and gave it back to mommy, all over her splendid outfit]

Here are some of the things I love about these disposables:
  • The absence of hideous cartoon characters on the diaper.
  • The fact that there is no chlorine in the diaper (no toxic dioxin).
  • Nice neutral color.
  • The absorbency and ability to keep in the things nobody wants to see.
  • The price that is not a lot more than chlorinated diapers, especially if you know how to get a good deal (sales, coupons, or in my case cheaper than buying any other diaper thanks to craigslist!)
  • The ethics and environmental commitment of the brand, Seventh Generation.
  • The ability to keep away diaper rashes on sensitive baby skin.
  • The fact that I cannot think of anything negative about this diaper.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-35-1380400-5384-The_de_commercialized_version_of_the_disposable.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/d/UserReview-Seventh_Generation_chlorine_free_diapers-35-1380400-5384-The_de_commercialized_version_of_the_disposable.html Mon, 2 Mar 2009 18:53:18 +0000
<![CDATA[ Great all purpose baby carrier!]]> I finally tried the ErgoBaby outside of the house today when we went for a walk with my daughter who is 1 month old. I love it! The best thing is that it works from infant to toddler, no need for multiple carriers as your children grow.

I am not quite sure what I would do without the Ergo baby carrier. It calms a crying baby, it is great for walks outside in the rain with an umbrella (no bulky wet stroller), it is gentle on my back, fits both mommy and daddy, super durable, practical, safe, and just all around praise-worthy!
It is designed by a mother, everything is taken into consideration and it is extremely convenient, fits well (both on me, I am 5 feet, and my husband who is 6 feet tall), distributes weight evenly, and is overall very comfortable. It was a really windy day and the hood came in handy to block the wind even though she is not big enough to put her head in to sleep in it yet. She fell asleep in two minutes!

The infant insert is so handy, I use it sometimes to just lull her to sleep, that way she does not wake up when I put her down. It also keeps her from waking up when transferring from carrier to crib. Snuggly warm in the winter too.

As with any baby carrier, keep in mind though that if your baby's diaper happens to leak, it will likely be on you too, so keep a change of clothes handy for youself also!

I am eager to try the front, back, and side carry as she gets a little older. The reasons I chose the Ergo over the popular Baby Bjorn are:

a) Versatility of age 0-4 (although I am not planning on using it past 2 years old)

b) 3 carrying positions

c) The much healthier sitting position of the child where the weight is distributed on the butt and thighs as opposed to all the pressure on the spine in a carrier like the Bjorn (the same reasons chiropractors advise againsts bouncy jumpies and walkers)

d) I was convinced by other parent reviews who said the Bjorn hurt their back but the Ergo didn'

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-5276-Great_all_purpose_baby_carrier_.html http://www.lunch.com/joyinbirthing/reviews/product/UserReview-Ergo_Baby_Carrier-35-1380333-5276-Great_all_purpose_baby_carrier_.html Fri, 27 Feb 2009 23:19:32 +0000