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!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Induction Increases Cesarean Rate

REALLY? No... You must be joking.

Ok, so enough of my sarcasm and on with the facts...

To start with, here is the full text of the article.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 15 - Elective induction of labor significantly shortens the active phase - by an hour, on average - but nearly doubles the risk of cesarean section, researchers report in the May issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Did you get that, one hour. You are shortening your active labor time by one hour, and in return, you're doubling your chances of getting major abdominal surgery. What is the draw here?

Forgive me, I'm feeling annoyed about our skyrocketing induction and c-section rates. No, make that ANGRY.

With all this hot-air about health care reform and lowering health care costs... what on earth are we letting happen in Maternity Care? No matter how many studies are done, no matter the results.. nothing is changing. Studies have shown over and over that modern obstetrical protocols are causing more c-sections, more deaths and more bad outcomes than the traditional methods that midwives use.

This is NOT rocket-science people. Why is it so hard for us to understand that a c-section is not a minor, no-big-deal procedure? When are we going to start telling women openly , honestly that c-sections are major surgeries, with major risks, both for the current and in the future when that same woman gets pregnant again, and maybe again after that?

The induction rate MUST be addressed. It's insane for this many women to be consenting to inductions that are completely unnecessary.

You can wait another 2 weeks for your baby to be born. They will be healthier for it, and so will you... and so will the rest of the babies you have.

Tell me, which looks like more fun?




Ok, rant done. Go ahead - call me the EVIL, ANTI-INDUCTION DOULA.