Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's New Wednesday: Top 10 Things Every New Mommy Needs (For herself, NOT baby)

Here is a list of things you'll need for AFTER your baby is born. 

10. A Breastfeeding Bracelet - This is a very helpful little gadget that helps you keep track of baby's feeding times, which breast nursed last, naps, and medication given (it can also be used for kick counts before baby arrives). Mother's Minder

9. A Hobby- This can be a hobby you already had (for me it was reading) or one you pick up after your baby is born (for me this was blogging).  Having something you can do - even if it is only for a few minutes a day - to help you relax and get a little me time is vital to you New-Mommy-Sanity.

8. Stretch Mark Lotion/Cream- If you are like me, your baby gave you some nice, new stripes.  There are a lot of options out there and some of them are pretty expensive.  Here are a few options that won't make you go broke: Bio Oil, Palmer's Cocoa Butter, AVON Solutions Stretchmark

7. Lanolin- If you plan to breastfeed you are going to occasionally get tender nipples.  Lanolin will sooth and heal and it is safe for baby.

6. A useful AND stylish diaper bag- Probably not all moms will agre with me on this one, but it was important to me.  Most moms get a diaper bag that is just a big ugly duffle, but that wasn't for me!  It isn't my baby's bag, it's mine. I'm the one who has to carry it around, so it should fit my style, not my baby's.  Here are some designers who make great looking diaper bags: Timi & Leslie, Skip Hop, Amy Michelle, Oi Oi, Kate Spade, Coach, etc.

5. Pre-cooked Meals- I made a bunch of meals toward the end of my pregnancy and then froze them.  It was a life saver! It was so nice not having to worry about planning or cooking meals.  I just pulled something from the freezer and thawed it out.  Some meals that work well for freezing are spaghetti, stroganoff, meatoaf, lasagna, casseroles, pizza bagels, pie fillings (meat or fruit), and cookie doughs.

4. A Heating Pad-  Pull that heating pad back out that you used for labor.  The aches and pains aren't over.  I had a lot of back pain after my pregnancy and the heating pad helped quite a bit. It is also good for helping with mastitis and engorgement, the heat helps to ease the pain and bring the milk down.

3. A good quality camera- You are going to be taking TONS of photos once baby is born, so make sure they are great ones!

2. Lots of nursing bras- I have around 7 (in assorted colors) and so far that seems to be a good number for me. I also have 2 sleep bras that have been a life saver. If you are nursing you will not be able to sleep without a bra and it is sooo uncomfortable sleeping in a regular nursing bra!

1. A "Push Present"- Ok, so Mom should not have to get this one on her own! Every mommy deserves something to say "Thank you for carrying my baby for 9 long months and then pushing him from your hoo-haa".  Think expensive jewelry or electronics (Diamonds and Kindles make great push presents).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Main Topic Monday: Are You Really Better Off Getting an Episiotomy?

Many doctors will try to convince women that they are better off being cut than tearing, but this is simply NOT TRUE.

Doctors often say that it is better to have nice straight line than a jagged tear.  However, episiotomies are typically 2 to 4 INCHES in length, while tears are typically under an inch.  I'll take the ugly <1 inch tear over a pretty 3 inch cut anyday!

Another reason women are often given to have an episiotomy is to shorten the time spent pushing.  This I will admit, yes, it does shorten it... by maybe around 10 contractions which translates to only about 15 minutes.  This is not going to make much of a differences in the grand scheme of things considering by this time you have already been contracting for hours (maybe even days).

Women are also told that an episiotomy can help to prevent the baby's head from pounding on the perineum.  Let's think about this one though... the baby has already been making it's way through the cervix for hours which is a much more difficult journey than the vagina.

Some facilities even perform routine episiotomies! DO NOT buy into the hype, the overwhelming majority of episiotomies are completely unnecessary. 
Episiotomies are NOT fun, so avoid it if you can!

Here are just some of the problems and risks associated with episiotomies:
  • Can cause permanent damage to PC muscles
  • Can cause lingering pain that may continue for months (and in some cases years)
  • Creates scar tissue which can cause permanent numbness
  • Interferes with sex life
  • Due to the pressure on the perineum, the depth and length of the cut cannot always be controlled
  • Can get severely infected
For most women an episiotomy is unecessary and there is absolutely NO REASON to do it as a matter of routine. Discuss this with your doctor and make sure that they don't give routine episiotomies. 

You do not need an episiotomy and there are ways to avoid tearing all together. Come back on Friday when I will discuss the steps you can take to avoid tearing.

(Source: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon)

Sunday Funday Hop Featured Blogger!

Thank you so much to Cute-Ecakes and Beauty Brite for making me this week's featured blog!

Link up!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Up Friday: What is a Doula?

On Monday I discuss Midwives and what they do, but women can also benefit from the help of a doula.

Doula is a Greek word meaning "the woman who serves".  The role of the Birth Doula is to support for the mother during labor, while the Postpartum Doula supports the mother after delivery.  She is not a medical professional, but may have received some formal training.  Some of the techniques used by doulas are aromatherapy, visualization, massage therapy, positive positioning, and many others. 

It is important to note that a Doula should NOT replace the father, but should also support and encourage his invovement.

There are many benefits to using a  Birth Doula:

  • She recognizes that birth is an experience the mother will remember her whole life, and as such works to ensure the mother wishes are met

  • She understands BOTH the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor 

  • She assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth 

  • She stays with the woman throughout the entire labor 

  • She provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint

  • She helps the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision 

  • She facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers 

  • She allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level

  • (Source: DONA International)

    A Doula can be a great help to mothers AND fathers and they can help you have a birth experience that you will want to remember.

    You can start your search for a Doula here

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Birth Day Thursday: Loretta's Story

    Today's featured Birth Story is from Loretta of  Natural Birth Plan, here is her story in her own words:

    "I learned from my first birth that I needed more coping mechanisms during labour.  I studied hypnobirthing with my second son, Luke.  I practised yoga at home daily from about 26 weeks and used the affirmations and relaxation CD's from  hypnobirthing.  I had complete faith in my body. 

    My labour started at 3am and I welcomed the surges with a smile, realising that it was my baby's birthday today.  I stayed in bed having small surges until about 7am.  I then got up and helped my first son off to school.  I had a friend come round and pick him up so my husband could stay with me. 

    I stayed in the shower at home from 730-8am which was beautiful, the surges where at their peak at this time, but I still kept my positive focus and new that it was nearly time.  My husband and I hopped in the car and we drove off.  We got to the top of our street and I felt my baby coming, my husband pulled over and I as it was peak hour (845am) we called an ambulance.  I was helped into the back of the ambulance and lay down which was a relief from the pressure.  We flew to the hospital with my husband following. 

    When we arrived my midwife met me in the ambulance bay and she took me to the birth suite.  The surges were intense but the main focus was holding him in until I was at the birth suite.  I got onto all fours on the bed as this felt most comfortable and waited for my husband to park the car.  He came bursting into the room with camera ready and in one breath out came Luke, waters and all!! 

    My midwife used a towel to ease him out and I was able to touch him and gather him into my arms in one movement.  It was like he was never let go, from inside me and into my arms.  And there he stayed until he had his first breastfeed. 

    Luke was born at 856am and I was back home by 3pm with my new baby and my excited 5 year old. 

    We continued to breastfeed for 2 and a half wonderful years and he is now 4 and so so beautiful........

    This is my story and I cherish it every day."

    Loretta, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    What's New Wednesday: Top 10 Things Every Preggo Mama Needs

    This is a list I put together, some fun items and some serious, that goes a little beyond the more obvious things (good prenatal vitamin, cute maternity clothes, etc...). 

    10. Funny Maternity Shirt- I loved my shirts with the silly little sayings on them. My husband (a computer nerd) had his favorite too, it said "Baby Loading, Please Wait..." and had a picture of a loading bar over the belly. It's just a cute way to have the little fun with your growing belly. My favorite site for tshirts was Cafe Press

    9. Sleep Aids- No, I am not talking about Ambien. I bought myself a CD of Thunderstorm sounds, and it was very relaxing at night. I also found aroma therapy very helpful for sleeping, Lavender Vanilla for relaxation. Listen to different soothing sounds and test different scents to see what helps relax you. These sounds and scents can also be used to help you relax during labor.

    8. A heating pad- To help with the all aches and pains during labor (and after it)

    7. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy- No offense to the "What to Expect" series, but this book is much better. I had both books and I found that this one was much easier to use and covered quite a bit more information. purchase here

    6. Maternity Photos - Maybe you won't ever show these to anyone, maybe you won't display them, but it doesn't hurt to have them so you can look back at your pregnancy. You don't have to spend a ton of money on them. I just took mine myself because I had no plans of sharing them with anyone, but if you want to spend the money to get them professionally done, I say, GO FOR IT!

    5. BeBand- This is the Target brand of a maternity band that slip around your waist and belly. It turns your regular pants into maternity pants. It is great for those early days of pregnancy and postpartum when you can't quite fit into your normal pants, but you don't really need maternity pants. purchase here

    4. Morning Sickness Soothers- Some lucky mamas will skip this fun little pregnancy adventure, but for those of us who don't it's nice to have something that can ease a little bit of the nausea. Try Queasy Drops or Preggie Pops. Vitamin B is also often used to ease symptoms, Mommy's Bliss. (Always talk to your doctor/midwife before you take ANYTHING while pregnant) Queasy Drops Preggie Pops Mommy's Bliss

    3. A Maternity Pillow- I got one for Christmas and I LOVED it. I could finally sleep again. EVERY pregnant woman should have one of these!

    2. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth- There are a million books out there that cover pregnancy and parenting, but there aren't as many that do a good job of guiding you through pregnancy.  This book will help you experience your BEST birth. purchase here

    1. A labor kit- Technically this is more than one item. Here are some things you may want in your kit: a Tennis Ball, Sugar-Free Hard Candies, a focal point, etc... Basically, you want the little things that are going to help you through labor.

    Did I miss something? What were some of the things you had during your pregnancy that you loved?

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop

    Thank you to Haute Mom for making me this week's guest hostess!

    Haute Mom

    Blog Hop Rules: This is a low key hop. After is Welcome Wednesday, here to get the inspirational juices flowing and find other blogs we can stalk! Put those feet up, relax, and join the bloggy fun.
    There are a few rules though:
    1. Follow the hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
    2. Follow the guest hostess.
    3. Link up your blog for all of us to love.
    4. Make an attempt to check out at least two new blogs. Don't know where to start? How about the two blogs above you? If you love the blog, become a follower and leave them a comment letting them know.

    So link up! You don't have to post about the hop...but you know how we ladies work, the more the merrier. We would love it if you would help us spread the word and help Welcome Wednesday grow! One of you could be next week's spotlight guest hostess!

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Main Topic Monday: What is a Midwife?

    First, it is important to understand that there are two types of midwives, Certified Nurse Midwives and Lay Midwives.  Both have their pros and cons so it is important to weigh these when deciding who want to attend your birth. 

    A Certified Nurse Midwife is a registered nurse who has a specialized education in midwifery. 

    A Lay Midwife is a a women who has received training as a professional midwife and has attended many births and is able to care for women before, during, and after birth.  It is important to note that, sadly, this practice is not legal in all states, so you must be aware of you states laws.

    Midwives are trained solely for the purpose of caring for women in childbirth.  This is an important difference between them and obstetricians who are primarily gynecologists and RARELY get to witness a birth free of intervention. 

    Midwives help women labor and deliver mostly by allowing things to unfold naturally, but are well aware of when to intervene.  Because intervention is rare in most midwife assisted deliveries the main responsibilty of midwives is to be a strong support system for the laboring mother. 

    Just like with any professional that you entrust your care to, it is important that you feel completely comfortable with your choice of midwife. 

    Here are questions you should ask (taken from Homebirth by Sheila Kitzinger):

    -How long have you been a midwife?

    -Why did you become a midwife?

    -What was your training?

    -How many mothers have you delivered, and of these how many were homebirths? in a birth center? in a hospital?

    -Do you work alone or with other midwives?

    -If you work alone, what happens if two women are in labor at the same time?

    -If you work with others, will I be able to meet them?

    -What is your backup system? Do you work closely with any doctors?

    -What do you carry with you in terms of equipment and supplies? Do you carry drugs, for example, for pain relief and to stimulate the uterus? (only relevant to home/birth center)

    -What resuscitation equipment for the baby do you carry? (only relevant to home/birth center)

    -What prenatal care do you provide? Are there any home visits?

    -Do you offer childbirth classes or pregnancy discussion groups? If not, can you recommend classes?

    -What postpartum care do you provide?

    - What do you do if a woman has a very long labor?

    -What is the plan of action if transfer to a hospital becomes necessary? (only relevant to home/birth center)

    - Under what conditions do you transfer? What are your transfer rates? (only relevant to home/birth center)

    - If you work with a birth center, are there any standard procedures that must be followed regarding admission and when in labor, such as compulsory fetal monitoring, birth positions, and so on?

    - What are your views on routine episiotomy? What is you episiotomy rate?

    - How often do your mothers have an intact perineum?

    -What happens if perineum requires suturing? Will you do this yourself or call a doctor?

    - When are your vacatons? If you plan to go on vacation toward the end of pregnancy or within three weeks of due date, and labor begins, who should I call?

    Some other things to ask about would be her beliefs about:

    - Fetal monitoring
    - Moving during labor
    - Birth positions
    - Methods to avoid episiotomy
    - Basic beliefs about birth
    - Basic beliefs about breastfeeding

    Remember it is important that you and your midwife mesh well, so discuss your birth plan and what you are hoping for your birth and be sure that you are on the same page. 

    If you are happy with her answers and you seem to get along well, you have probably found your midwife.  Now, you can book her, but you still have to pay her.  If she is a Certified Nurse Midwife she is likely covered by insurance, but if she is a Lay Midwife it is imprtant to discuss her fees and payment options.

    I really believe that a midwife is the BEST option for your birth attendant.  It is just a matter of finding the right one for you.  Here are some places for you to start your search:
    Midwife Directory

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Follow Up Friday: What is a Birth Center?

    Most women know they can give birth in a hospital or at home, but many are not aware that there is a third option, a Birth Center.  I gave birth in a birth center. On Monday I posted my blogtalkradio interview about my experience.

    A Birth Center (also known as a Birthing Center) is a healthcare facility, that may be located within a hospital (referred to as Alternative Birth Centers) or free-standing,  for labor and delivery that offers a more homelike environment.  Birth centers typically offer more options such as the freedom to move about the room, eat/drink, create a more personal environment with items such as candles, music, etc, and allow for the attendance of more family and friends.  The rooms are private and all stages of labor are done in the same room and they usually are equiped with soaking tubs/birthing tubs, and showers. 

    Birth centers are meant to normalize and take a more holistic and intervention-free approach to childbirth.  They cater to women who are looking to have a natural birth with the use of drug-free pain management methods. 

    What are some of the benefits of a Birth Center:

    -More Personal
    -More Freedom
    -Less Unecessary Medical Intervention
    -Great option for those who want a natural birth but do not want to birth at home
    -Most offer extra breastfeeding help
    -Typically lower costs
    -Most are covered by insurance
    -Speedier Checkout- mom and baby can often leave within 12-24 hrs of delivery
    -Encouragent and support for natural birth

    Here are a couple of photos of the center I birthed in:

    In this photo you can see the soaking tub that I labored in

    Here you can see more of the room and the queen-sized bed

    If you are interested in a natural birth, but aren't interested in having a homebirth, I would strongly recommend looking for a birth center in you area:  Birth Center Directory

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Birth Day Thursday: Allie's Story

    Today's featured Birth Story is from Allie of Texanese Mama, here is her story in her own words:

    "I’d always imagined a natural birth. In our 20s my cousin, Christina, and I would joke and laugh about squatting in the shade of a tree to have our babies—and we were just joking…but not completely.

    Through my 30s I watched not one or two, but almost all my friends enthusiastically enter the hospital in labor, having claimed for nine months that they would have a natural birth, and saw them come out 2-10 days later having been induced, forced to labor on their back, drugged, cut, observed by countless strangers, having had their babies taken from them immediately after birth, having nursing problems, and having been given food I would call “toxic”.

    If you’d asked them ahead of time if that would have been their story, none of them would have said yes. And these were fit, health conscious women. I wondered what was going on after they entered those doors of the L&D that all of them were checking out with dramatically changed birth stories.

    That question led me to do a lot of research and I discovered many things I’d never known.

    Growing up in the States, we are hardly surrounded by the images of natural motherhood such as: home birth, breast-only feeding until weening on homemade solids, mothers cared for and nurtured for a traditional 40 days postpartum. And we definitely don’t see many examples of women over 35 choosing home birth. If we desire to have an experience out of what is now the norm (as outlined above), we have to figure it out for ourselves. And so I did.

    I read dozens of books, studied birthing and postpartum care methods from around the world, watched every DVD produced on home birth, went through several doctors and midwives until I found my match, and I came to the conclusion that so many other home birth mothers do:

    Birth is completely natural. My body and my baby know what to do. We will do our best to prepare, to have strength, and then we will let nature do her thing!

    Ah, Mother Nature. Just because she knows what to do and will take charge doesn’t mean that it won’t be incredibly difficult. My throat (among other things) was so sore from grunting and growling in labor that I could barely speak the next day. However, in the big picture, that was over in the blink of an eye, and the reward for my baby and me will last for a lifetime.

    If it had just been for me, perhaps I would have been tempted to use painkillers despite knowing the multiple benefits of natural birth for the mother. But I also wanted my baby to experience her birth and first few days out of the womb with bright eyes and a clear mind.

    I’d watched the movie Orgasmic Birth a dozen times for fun and inspiration, and though I did actually believe that it could happen that way, no, crowning did not feel like an orgasm. But I was prepared ahead of time for the fact that it must be incredibly painful–otherwise how could all of my strong friends have chosen drugs and surgery when they were so opposed originally?

    There was only one way to make my dream of a blissful, sacred birth happen…and that was to give myself no choice. If I stayed at home, when push came to shove (!), I would have no way to do it but go through it.
    Just like swimming in the surf.

    All lovers of the ocean know that to reach the open water, you need the courage to leave the shore and swim through the breakwater. And in using this metaphor, we should not let our minds drift to the warm ankle-slapping waves of the Caribbean. We’re talking about Mavericks and Waimea Bay here! When the waves between the shore and the open water are huge, you must dive right into them and let them roll over you. It can be terrifying, but with solid resolve, you reap the reward of an experience few people have.

    My original reason for pursuing home birth was just to be able to preserve my goal for a natural, drug-free birth. As I studied more and more, I found that a home birth in every way offered the opportunity for a deeply sacred experience, which it was.

    When I first spoke to my midwife, I asked if she thought I were “high-risk” for home birth. She looked surprised.
    “High-risk? Why? Are you sick? Do you have a problem?”
    “No,” I answered. “But I had two first-trimester miscarriages.”
    “So?” she replied. “That is a terribly painful experience, but there are millions of miscarriages before babies are born. If it were three or four, we’d have to do further consideration, but two doesn’t necessarily make you high-risk.”
    “And I have fibroids, but my OB-GYN said they were small and not positioned in a way that would cause a problem.”
    “OK, that’s good. What else?”
    “Well, I’m 42 years old.”
    “Women have always had babies in their 40s. Nothing new there. Are you fit?”, she asked.
    “Do you eat well?”
    “Is this what you want?”
    “Then of course you can have a home birth,” was her conclusion.

    I asked her to explain the differences in experience and risk for a home birth vs. a birthing center.
    She said that the only difference was that (given my home was equal distance from an excellent hospital as the birth center) at the birth center, I would not be alone with my husband in my own peaceful environment, and four hours after delivery I would have to pack up, walk to the car with my baby and drive home. If at home, four hours after delivery she and her team would have tucked my husband, baby, and me warmly in our bed, would have fed us, cleaned up, and would leave quietly.

    My husband and I looked at each other, smiled, and both shouted, “Home birth!”
    And so it happened. Eight hours after we realized I was in labor, my baby was born in a tub in our family room. The lights were dim; the room was warm; my husband had a fire going in our wood burning oven; he put on a traditional Japanese flute CD I love; and he served as my “squat chair” in the tub. Surrounded by our midwife and three doulas who stood back until they knew they were needed, my husband and I joked, kissed, and played together right until the intense pushing started. One hour later my baby was born, and I was lying on my yoga mat, pushing out the placenta while my baby crawled her way from my abdomen to my breast and started nursing.

    And just as they’d said, four hours later we were tucked in bed, the midwives had cleaned the house, and the three of us fell asleep in an ocean of bliss."

    Allie, Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story!

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    What's New Wednesday: Chinese Gender Chart

    Okay, this isn't new, in fact it's pretty ancient. The chart was originally found inside of a royal tomb in Beijing.  It was developed by the Chinese because most wanted boys since girls were not considered "useful" and were seen as an expense. So, to try to increase their chances of having a boy this chart was developed. The Chinese Gender Chart uses the mother's age at conception and the month of conception to determine whether she will have a boy or a girl and it is said to be OVER 90% ACCURATE. 

    I think this chart is fascinating. I have yet to come across a person that it didn't work for! I have tested it on all of my family and friends... 100% so far! I have a few preggo friends and I can't wait to see if theirs are right too!

    Try for yourself: Chinese Gender Chart

    Was it right?

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Birth Center Interview for

    Over the weekend I was interviewed for My Natural Motherhood Journey 's blogtalkradio show about my birth center experience. 

    You can hear the full show here:
    Birth Center Radio Show

    My Natural Motherhood Journey is an incredible resource for all mothers interested in natural birth and parenting.  The site is full of helpful links, videos, articles and more on topics like natural child birth, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, and so much more. 

    The site is run by awesome natural-mama, Chante.  Here is her bio:
       "I started this site in the hopes that natural mothers would come together and share our knowledge on the many different aspects and methods of natural parenting. I've come to realize that not all mothers will practice every aspect of natural parenting or has to.
       With the birth of their first child, most mothers become aware of a feeling or certain intuition that acts as a mothering conscience. If we are encouraged to listen to that still small voice inside of us, we find that it guides us in out mothering. There may still be lots of things that we don't know, but we're not left entirely in the dark either.

       As the years progressed in my mothering, I began to listen more and more to that still small voice. I find that it leads me to practice various aspects of natural motherhood. I searched online for answers to my questions along my way. I found many websites that went into depth about a certain aspect or method, but none seemed to pull everything together for me. This site is my attempt to do just that.
       My Natural Motherhood Journey has been born through much prayer, hard work and determination. It accurately reflects who I am and who I am striving to be. I do hope you enjoy your time here."

    I want to say a special thanks to Chante for having me on the show. It was truly a pleasure!

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Friday Follow Up: Why It's Best to Avoid Intervention

    This post is not meant to bash those who need emergency interventions during labor, but rather is intended to point out how ELECTIVE interventions can lead to an unpleasant birth experience.

    On Monday I talked about women choosing to have elective cesareans.  This is so far from what I believe the birth experience should be.  I believe that women should strive for a birth as free from medical intervention as possible.  Medical interventions often take on a snowball effect and you end up undergoing much more intervention than intended. 

    The newest trend in intervention that I am seeing is early induction.  Many doctors, including mine, push to induce women at just 41 weeks (thank God I didn't get to that point) despite the fact that normal gestation is considered 38-42 weeks.  Some doctors will even allow their patients to have "elective inductions" as early as 36 weeks for no reason other than being "sick of being pregnant" or wanting to choose your due date.

    An induction typically involves giving the mother pitocin which causes unnaturally strong, and sometimes dangerous, contractions. These contractions can be harmful to the baby and because of the increased pain often make you more likely to want pain relief, such as an epidural. 

    An epidural (aside from all of the other side effects they can cause, check them out here) can cause contractions to slow down.  Once this happens many women will be given even more pitocin to again bump up the contractions.

    Now, it's time to push, but because of the epidural most women are unable to feel their contractions and therefore can't tell when to push.  This inability to push on cue with your contractions can lead to more time spent pushing, the need to use vacuum or forceps, and tearing or episiotomies. 

    Of course, we can't forget that through all of this your doctor has you on the clock.  As soon as they have decided that you are taking too long to progress during labor or while pushing, it's off to the operating room you go.  

    Does this mean I think you have to have a homebirth? No, I had my baby in a hospital with no medical intervention of any kind.

    Does this mean that I think all intervention is wrong and bad? No, when it is MEDICALLY necessary, it is great that we have options available to keep ourselves and our babies safe. 

    Does this mean that I think that EVERYONE should have a completely natural birth? No, women with high risk pregnancies should always discuss their plans with their doctor or midwife and decide what is right and safe for them.

    I DO think that the majority of women are healthy enough and strong enough to give birth without intervention.  I believe that women are built to give birth.

    Women are being robbed of a beautiful and rewarding experience because they are being scared away from natural birth, most of the time by people who have never experienced or witnessed one.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    What's New Wednesday: Liebster Blog Award

    I was given this award by inSOMniasms, thanks mama!

    Check her out here:inSOMniasms

    An award like this is meant to be passed on. Here's how it works.

    In case you are not aware, this award spotlights the up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers.

    By accepting this award, I get to:

    1. Copy and paste the award on my blog. Copy and paste this post as your new post to announce you have won, but edit to fit you.

    2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to me.

    3. Reveal my top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

    4. Hope that followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

    Here are some notable mom blogs that you really should check out:

    Accidental Baby Maker

    Fashionably Domestic

    Growing Up Downing

    In Love by the Beach

    More Ketchup Please

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    "Too Posh to Push" Epidemic

    The fight over the right to choose to have an elective cesarean in the UK is getting heated. I am terrified and disgusted by this campaign! Women who are part of the "too posh to push" crew are playing the "our bodies, our choice" card to try to get the government (who pays for healthcare in the UK) to pay for elective c-sections.   They often make the complaint that women shouldn't have to "suffer" through the birth process and are, as a result, turning this into a feminism issue.  If you want to fight for women's rights, how about you pick an issue like equality in the workplace or the freedom to breastfeed in public instead of fighting for something that puts women and babies at such great -and unnecessary- risk.

    I am beyond disgusted by some of the ridiculous arguments the proponents are attempting to make.  For example, Pauline Hull of  actually says, "Planned cesarean delivery is a legitimate birth plan when compared with the risks of a planned vaginal delivery".   Really!!!??? You are not seriously trying to convince people that there is less risk associated with cesarean delivery than with a natural vaginal birth!  Not only is the maternal mortality rate higher, but the infant mortality rate is also higher when a cesarean is performed instead of a natural birth. These women seem to forget that this is MAJOR SURGERY!  Why are we throwing away something that has been instilled in women for thousands and thousands of years?

    I also came across this article by Catherine Bennett recently and couldn't be more appalled
    Directly under the article headline she writes, "The response by the natural birth brigade to Nice's decision to endorse c-sections is unthinking prejudice".  Unthinking??? Really???  I'll tell you what is unthinking, having a major surgical procedure meerly for vanity despite the risks it might impose on your child and yourself!

    If you are as disgusted as I am please leave feedback on these sites! Let's hit especially hard!
    REMEMBER! Always present your views in a respectful way. We want to be heard, not looked at like a bunch of natural birth fanatics.

    More articles I found on the topic:

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Friday Follow Up: Encapsulating Your Placenta

    So, this post was originally planned to be a how-to on encapsulating.  Then, I did the research and realized how much is involved.  The majority of women will not have the tools needed (dehydrator, grinder) or the workspace to do the encapsulation themselves (and after seeing the photos, I can guarantee that my husband would not be too happy if I did this in my kitchen!).  So, instead I will just give you a brief description of the process and then I will tell you where to go to find an encapsulator near you.

    Encapsulation starts by rinsing the placenta and severing the cord.  Next, the placenta is sliced into thin, uniform strips and dehydrated.  After the placenta is dried it is ground to a powder.  The powder is then putting into capsules to be taken every day.

    This should yield between 150 and 200 capsules.  The capsules should be kept in the refrigerator and will keep indefinitely.  The recommended dose is 2 capsules twice a day, but this may be increased depending the needs of the mother. 

    Again, the benefits of doing this are numerous, so I highly recommend looking into it. 
    Here are some places to start:

    Placenta Network

    International Directory

    Placenta Benefits

    Also, get in touch with your midwife, doula, or birth center to see if they offer this service or if they can direct you to someone who does.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    What's New Wednesday: Rockabye Baby!

    This is a discovery that I recently made and just had to share. So, these aren't technically new (they debuted in 2006), but they're new to my husband and I. So, I decided that counts for What's New Wednesday post.

    It's rock music for babies! I love it. It's popular music (mostly classic rock) made into lullabies.  It's all instrumental, no singing, so you don't have some dorky children's music singer destroying the songs! We've already made two purchases for our baby (Pink Floyd and Queen). There are currently over 40 albums, so I'm sure we'll be making a few more purchases (there are 2 Beatles cds).

    While spending some time on the website I found a place where you can suggest artists that you want them to cover, so I suggested Prince.  I kept searching the site and discovered even more really cool things.  They have healthy baby food recipes, activities, widgets, and playlists for your baby shower. 

    I would highly recommend these cds. Check them out, they are available at: