Friday, August 28, 2009

Woo-Hoo! Hooray for fruit juice without pulp!

Recommendations Relax On Liquid Intake During Labor

Women in labor may be allowed to quench their thirst with more than just the standard allowance of ice chips, according to a new Committee Opinion released today from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Although the guidelines on prohibiting solid food while in labor or before scheduled cesarean surgery remain the same, ACOG says that women with uncomplicated labor, as well as uncomplicated patients undergoing a planned cesarean, may drink modest amounts of clear liquids during labor if they wish.

Um... wow. Thanks!

From what I can gather, the risks of aspiration are only a problem when general anesthesia is used (3.5-13% of cesareans), and the technique has improved. I've searched for a study that shows an actual number or percentage of patients who do end up aspirating during a surgery, and I can't find anything. I'm thinking it's NOT at epidemic proportions...

It is honestly ridiculous to deprive every laboring woman of food! Labor is often long and it requires quite a bit of energy.

Obstetrics, yet again, is being practiced via a "one size fits all" mentality. Women with a high risk of needing a cesarean (ie women with known placental problems or other serious medical problems) should be monitored more carefully, but low risk women should not be automatically relegated to this bizarre list of approved beverages.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

This is WRONG on so many levels....

I am shocked... well maybe I'm not... but I am infuriated. This is wrong on so many levels...

Bedtime Feedings - Enfamil

Your baby needs a proper amount of sleep to keep her healthy and happy. That's why we created new Enfamil RestFull, the formula specially designed to naturally encourage a good night's sleep.

* A natural way to help keep your baby feeling satisfied.
* Thickens gently in baby's tummy and digests slowly.

Fact #1: Newborns need to be fed every two to four hours - and sometimes more.

Fact #2: For a new baby, a five-hour stretch is a full night.

Fact #3: One of the suspected deficits involved in some SIDS deaths is the apparent inability of the infant to arouse to re-initiate breathing during a prolonged breathing pause.

Fact #4: Breastmilk (babies preferred diet) digests within 90 minutes.

We need to, as a culture, understand that babies waking often during the night is NORMAL and HEALTHY! As a friend of mine said... "This product is trying to improve upon nature." SORRY! I think nature got it right.

I encourage you to contact Enfamil and let them know your concerns.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Parents ‘Last Good Bye’ Saved Their Baby’s Life

I can't take credit for this post, but I thought I'd copy it in it's entirety.
(Read the Original Article here.)

It was to be the one and only cuddle Carolyn Isbister would have with her tiny, premature daughter.

Rachael had been born minutes before - weighing a mere 20oz - and had only minutes to live. Her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.

As doctors gave up, Miss Isbister lifted her baby out of her hospital blanket and placed her on her chest.

Life-saver: The mother's hug that kickstarted Rachael's heart

She said: "I didn't want her to die being cold. So I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold.

"It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment." Then something remarkable happened. The warmth of her mother's skin kickstarted Rachael's heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.

Miss Isbister said: "We couldn't believe it - and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry.

Doing well: Carolyn Isbister at home with Rachael

"The doctors came in and said there was still no hope - but I wasn't letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away.

"But she still hung on. And then amazingly the pink colour began to return to her cheeks.

"She literally was turning from grey to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too."

Four months later, Rachael was allowed home weighing 8lb - the same as a newborn baby - and she has a healthy appetite.

Miss Isbister, a 36-year- old chemist from West Lothian, said: "Rachael has been such a little fighter - it is a miracle that she is here at all. When she was born the doctors told us that she would die within 20 minutes. But that one precious cuddle saved her life. I'll never forget it."

Miss Isbister and her partner David Elliott, 35, an electronics engineer, were thrilled when she became pregnant.

At the 20-week scan at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, doctors told them she was carrying a girl and they decided to name her Rachael.

But at 24 weeks a womb infection led to premature labour.

Miss Isbister, who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, eight, from a previous marriage, said: "We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn't think there was much hope." When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless.

"The doctor just took one look at her and said no," said Miss Isbister.

"They didn't even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying. Everyone just gave up on her."

Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: "All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.

"Two hours later the wee thing was crying. This is indeed a miracle baby and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother's love saved her daughter."

Rachael was moved on to a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress.

Miss Isbister said: "The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope.

"She had done it all on her own - without any medical intervention or drugs.

"She had clung on to life - and it was all because of that cuddle. It had warmed up her body enough for her to start fighting." Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems.

As the days passed, Rachael began to gain in strength and put on weight. She had laser treatment to save her sight because the blood vessels had not had a chance to develop properly in the womb. And she also had six blood transfusions.

"We couldn't believe that she was doing so well," her mother said.

"Her heart rate and breathing would suddenly sometimes drop without warning, but she just got stronger and stronger."

After five weeks she was taken off a ventilator and Miss Isbister was able to breastfeed her.

Then, after four months, the couple were allowed to take her home - a day they thought they would never see.

Miss Isbister said: "She is doing so well. When we finally brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl.

"And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest.

"It was that first cuddle which saved her life - and I'm just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did.

"Otherwise she wouldn't be here today."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preterm Birth = Low Progesterone?

An exploratory study to be published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, has shown that women going into early preterm labour (before 34 weeks gestation) have low-levels of progesterone in their saliva as early as 24 weeks, and that moreover, these levels fail to rise during pregnancy in the normal way.

Read more here:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mortality Rates

As you can see, the United States' infant mortality rates have risen over the past 40 years:

The CIA World Factbook shows that for 2009, the United States is ranked 46th in the World, with 6.26 deaths per 1,000 live births. See the complete list here.

With all the "advancements" and gadgets we have to monitor and "protect" pregnant women and their newborns, shouldn't we be in the top 5?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In the spirit of breastfeeding...

Breastfeeding in Bronze

Daniel Edwards' (remember the nude Britney Spears giving birth on a bear skin rug?) latest work, 'Landmark For Breastfeeding,' depicts Angelina Jolie nursing her two babies in the football hold.

I think it's wonderful that we are bringing attention to breastfeeding. That it is a beautiful and normal event in motherhood, but... I can't decide how a really feel about this statue. I am torn between the weirdness of it, and the absolute beauty of the work.

"I totally support shifting societal standards to make breastfeeding anywhere, any time totally cool," writes Celebitchy blogger. "I'm even okay with public art celebrating breast feeding. But to use Angelina's image for it? Just seems weird. Then again, they are raising awareness more with this than with a sculpture of just some random woman breastfeeding. So... well done?"

Now, as for the whole "but it's Angelina Jolie" thing - I honestly don't think it looks a lot like her anyway, but that is maybe beside the point.

I think I'm just going to resign myself to this:

It looks a bit robotic and mechanical, and maybe even a little weird, but I hope the message gets out there regardless.

The sculpture will debut in Norman, Oklahoma in the second week of September, as part of World Breastfeeding Week.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Ok, so it's been a few days since I posted. I've been tired and unable to think of a topic to post on.

I attended a birth on Monday that was a bit emotionally exhausting. Mom, Dad and baby are wonderful, and they did wonderful, but I find myself so demoralized just thinking about the birth itself.

Why do OB's think that they need to put down a woman's body to the woman while she is in labor? It is especially irritating when they do it after said woman has received an epidural because she just can't take anymore of the ridiculously and unnecessarily painful contractions caused by pitocin. And you know, "You could have never done this without an epidural. Don't you see how hard pushing is? Can you imagine how much pain you would be in without it?" Well, duh... maybe if you'd left her alone to go into labor naturally, she wouldn't have needed the epidural. Bah!

Being a doula is wonderful. I get to be a part of one of the most empowering and life changing experiences in a woman's life. The birth of her baby. I can't describe to you the feeling of seeing a brand new life enter into the world, and to see a mother born.

But sometimes, being a doula is hard, emotionally. It is hard to sit and listen to doctors or nurses tell women that their bodies are broken, when I know they aren't. It is hard to see a woman lose her voice, instead of find it, when she is about to go through one of the most important changes in her life. When she is no longer only responsible for herself, but for the life of another.

Birth is beautiful. It is amazing. It is hard. It is rewarding, in the most unimaginable way.

"There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don't ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it."
-Sheryl Feldman