Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The Blog has moved!



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bishops Score

Before considering labour induction, you can determine your chances of a successful induction by scoring yourself using the Bishops Score table, below.

A lower score can mean induction may be more difficult, longer, and will most likely be harder on you and your baby.

The higher the score, the more favorable the cervix. Clinical trials showing a score of 6-7 or more were associated with successful inductions, but most agree that a score of 9 is preferable.

Baby's Station-3-2-1+1, +2

Further Bishops Score considerations:

Add 1 point to your score for:
  • Preeclampsia
  • Each prior vaginal birth
Subtract 1 point from score for:
  • Postdates pregnancy
  • Nulliparity (if this is your first baby)
  • Premature or prolonged rupture of membranes

Website DOWN

So, my website is down and I'm bummed. So, while we are trying to figure it out, please feel free to just browse this site or the Wiregrass BirthNetwork site, or just email or call me if you have questions.

Hopefully it won't be down forever. :(

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What pain reliever is ten times more effective than Valium?


Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin rise by 5 times, determining a huge release of endorphins. These chemicals calm pain because the pressure in the brain's blood vessels is lowered while we love.

This is why natural oxytocin (the love hormone) in labor signals the brain for endorphins and lessons the pain of contractions.

The primary conscious behavior or thought process that increases oxytocin is caring for another. Appreciation, generous touch, gratitude, and emotional connections with others also raise oxytocin levels. In addition, oxytocin appears to be behind many of the health benefits from meditation, massage and acupuncture.

In addition to oxytocin's powerful effects on the body, it strongly affects your mind and behavior. It is nature's antidepressant and anti-anxiety hormone. It creates feelings of calm and a sense of connection, so it actually shapes how you view the world. The whole universe looks like a better place when you feel tranquil and loving.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cesarean Rate Jumps Again

For Immediate Release

Cesarean Rate Jumps Again To Record High; 32.3% of Births Resulting In Major Abdominal Surgery
12th Consecutive Year to Show Increase

Redondo Beach, CA, April 6, 2010 – The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate hit another record high in 2008 with a rate of 32.3 percent, up 2.6 percent from 2007. The findings reflect the 12th consecutive year of increase.

“Every U.S. woman in childbearing years should have deep concern over this rate,” said Desirre Andrews, president of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). “With the cesarean rate showing no signs of decreasing and VBAC access being limited in many areas across the U.S., women need to be well educated and well versed in self advocacy during pregnancy and birth.”

With the preliminary number of 4,251,095 U.S. births reported in 2008, a 32.3% cesarean rate results in approximately 1,373,103 women undergoing surgical deliveries. This total is equivalent to the entire population of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or the combined populations of Alaska and Washington, DC. “This real life comparison highlights how serious the near 1 in 3 percentage of pregnancies resulting in major abdominal surgery is,” said Andrews. “Evidence shows that cesareans put women and babies at increased risk for morbidity and mortality immediately and long term. Cesarean sections are being overused in the United States and as the rate continues to rise, mothers and babies are exposed to these risks avoidably. The repeat cesarean rate of over 90% is undoubtedly helping to drive this record setting data."

ICAN has a variety of educational, advocacy and support options on-line through webinars, forums, blog, twitter and white papers at www.ican-online.org.

About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved. Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations. Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death. http://ican-online.org/ican-white-papers.

Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. There are over 130 ICAN Chapters across North America and internationally, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Call Harri Anne Smith NOW!

Wiregrass Ladies! We need your help, NOW! From the Alabama Birth Coalition:
Dear ABC Supporters,

Although yesterday was a good day in Montgomery and we talked to many senators who said they will support SB414, as of this moment, we do not have the majority we will need for our bill to pass the Senate.

If your senator is on the following list, please make a call today or tomorrow and ask him/her to vote yes on SB414, the bill to license Certified Professional Midwives in Alabama:

• Scott Beason, district 17
• Roger Bedford, district 6
• Ben Brooks, district 35
• Steve French, district 15
• Rusty Glover, district 34
• Del Marsh, district 12
• Larry Means, district 10
• Hinton Mitchem, district 9
• Harri Anne Smith, district 29

Calling takes only a few minutes but can make a huge impact!

CALL Harri Anne today!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SB 414!

Now is the time for action!!!

From the Alabama Birth Coalition:

We have made monumental strides with our legislative effort this session, and now we need your help! Senate Bill 414, the bill to license Certified Professional Midwives in Alabama, will pass out of committee and be brought to the Senate floor for a vote within the coming week or two. Before the vote, our Senators need to hear the message loud and clear: Alabama families support licensed midwives.

We urgently need each of our supporters, their friends and family to call their state senator and ask him/her to vote yes on SB414!

Each and every phone call is vital to successful passage of the bill in the Senate. One does not need to have had (or plan to have) a midwife-assisted birth--anyone can still voice their desire for Alabama families to have that option. Please do not be intimidated by the idea of calling your legislator. Legislators do not know what their constituents want if they do not hear from them. Believe me, they will be hearing from our opposition so it is extremely important that they hear from constituents in even larger numbers.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Container Syndrome

I was reading an article from October today.

"Car Seats can be Dangerous Outside the Car"

Ok, so finally - an article to back up my thoughts! I see the desire to have one of those "travel systems".. it's convenient, it's easy... but what is NOT easy about wearing your baby? And it is so much nicer to be close to your baby, and you can snuggle them and smell their "BABY" smell. Ahhh.... I digress.
More than 8,700 infants end up in the emergency room each year because their car seats are used improperly outside the car, according to study presented Monday at the American Academy of Pediatrics' annual meeting in Washington.

Interesting. So first, I was wondering what on earth are they doing with these car seats? Leaving them on the roof? Flinging them around? But then I read on...
Most of the injuries in Parikh's study occurred when car seats fell off tables, countertops or other high surfaces. In some cases, babies who weren't securely buckled fell out of the seats. Babies also were injured when car seats flipped over on soft surfaces, such as beds and couches, where infants can suffocate, he says.

But, THIS is what I thought was the MOST important part of the whole article.
Spending too much time in car seats can cause other problems.

Physical therapists are seeing more babies with "container syndrome," or weak muscles and flat heads caused by too much time spent lying on their backs, says Colleen Coulter-O'Berry of the American Physical Therapy Association.

And a study in Pediatrics in August found that car seats can make it difficult for babies to get enough oxygen, which led the authors to suggest that the seats be used only while infants are in cars.

Think about it... how often are we putting our babies "IN" things. Swings, Bouncers, Car Seats, etc. They don't NEED these things. Sure, they help if you need a shower... but you just can't use them ALL day because they calm them.
Container syndrome is a relatively new term, first popularly used in mid 2008 to describe a condition observed by a variety of pediatric health care providers. In a survey sponsored by Pathways Awareness, pediatric health care workers have noted an increase in motor delays in infants, that may well be related to the amount of time infants spend on their backs. The broad strokes of container syndrome theory is that children who are not given adequate time on their tummies (tummy time) may be missing opportunities for natural and developmentally appropriate muscle development, especially of head and neck muscles.-WiseGeek

I suppose the bottomline is that we, as mothers, need to be MORE connected to our babies, both physically AND emotionally. We have to take them out of the "container" and hold them, love them, nurse them, carry them, wear them, interact with them.

Yeah yeah - I know! You have "things" to do, laundry to fold, dinner to cook. Why not try a sling - AND NOT THE ONES AT TARGET - but a real sling or wrap... Check out Maya Wraps for a good place to start.

It's not THAT hard to hold your baby. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Maternal Mortality Rates Rising

"New Study Shows More Women are Dying After Childbirth, but Most Deaths are Preventable"

Full Text Here
According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks behind more than 40 other countries when it comes to maternal death rates, with 11 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies when measured in 2005. More women die in the U.S. after giving birth than die in countries including Poland, Croatia, Italy and Canada, to name a few.

My first instinct is to loudly shout, "I told you so!!!", but I am going to refrain. At least for the moment.
The popularity of scheduled C-sections has also been cited by public health experts as a possible cause for rising maternal mortality rates. The latest data from the CDC shows that 31 percent of the mothers now choose to have C-sections, up 50 percent since 1996. Studies have repeatedly shown a higher rate of mortality in mothers who have a C-section delivery, especially those who have multiple C-sections. "If the risks of a Cesarean birth are small, they're magnified greatly when you add many more Cesarean births each year," said Main, adding that "not that many women actually choose to have an elective C-section at the beginning, but it's easy to fall into a pattern of care that ends up resulting in a C-section."

I'm really biting my tongue now. I mean, HELLO!!!!!! Where have the doctors been when the natural birth advocates are shouting - "NO, it's not JUST about OUR experience... it's about safety!"

And, it drives me crazy - because they aren't looking at ways to REDUCE the underlying cause - the cesarean - they are looking for better ways to warn and treat mothers AFTER they have the cesarean. While this is important, this DOES NOT solve the problem... or even ATTEMPT to solve the problem.

Essentially we're saying - "Hey, I know that your risk of dying is higher if you have this completely unnecessary elective cesarean, and even more so if you decide you want more children... but we'll just put some compression boots on your legs and let you know that if you feel funny, you should tell someone... and that will make it all better."


Cesarean surgery is associated with 33 serious complications – a number 8 times greater that the risks of vaginal birth.

In comparison with vaginal birth, a cesarean increased harm due to:

- Death, related to surgery or anesthesia (rare)
- Emergency hysterectomy
- Blood clots and stroke
- Injuries from surgery
- Longer hospitalization
- Rehospitalization
- Infection
- Severe and long-lasting pain
- Ongoing pelvic pain
- Bowel obstruction (due to scar tissue and adhesions)

In comparison with cesarean, vaginal birth (both spontaneous and assisted with vacuum or forceps) increased harms due to:

- Perineal pain
- Any urinary incontinence
- Any bowel incontinence

The risk of maternal death 3 to 5 times greater during or after operative delivery.

We should be focusing on the cesarean rate, the induction rate, the rate of routine and unnecessary interventions to the normal labor and birth process...

But, now I'm moving on to a completely NEW post, and I will save that for later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Placenta Encapsulation, Part 2

So, Amy and I finished the encapsulation process today. We took the dried placenta pieces and ground them up in a coffee grinder. Then, we PAINSTAKINGLY filled each capsule. My capsule machine didn't come it, AHH!

It took about an hour and a half, and in the end we had 138 capsules.

Dosage is 2 capsules, 3x a day for the first 2 weeks postpartum, and then taper off as desired.

I will post pictures when I have them!