jump to navigation

new look and new server in the works May 13, 2009

Posted by ballet you say in birth, doula, pregnancy.
add a comment

this header crI have a brand new look to my website. I’m moving from a free blog at wordpress.com to hosting it myself on a different server.  The name and the URL will be the same as it always has been. There might be a few days where my URL points both at this old site and my new site. If you’re seeing this post, then you’re still at my “old” location.

Bradley childbirth class in Lexington, KY May 11, 2009

Posted by ballet you say in birth, pregnancy.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

For classes with a certified Bradley Method® instructor in Lexington, KY, please contact Deborah Tighe at (859)227-2700 or domesticengineer@insightbb.com

The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. Most women, with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach, can learn to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness, teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body. The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education.

The Bradley Method® focuses on ways to help couples to stay low risk. While occasionally there are risk factors over which no one has control, staying healthy and low risk can help to avoid complications, and low risk mothers have more choices. Another main focus in classes is that relaxation is the key to The Bradley Method® during labor. It is the safest and most effective way to reduce unnecessary pain and to handle any pain that is experienced. While other methods seek to control the sensations of labor (emphasizing distraction as their primary labor control technique), The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies (emphasizing relaxed abdominal breathing and relaxation throughout labor).

Each series run 12 weeks long and should be started no later than the 28th week of pregnancy. Class sizes are small with no more than 7 couples per series and are taught in a relaxed home setting.

surfing for pregnancy posts and finding the 7 best April 13, 2009

Posted by ballet you say in birth, doula, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
1 comment so far

If you want to read one woman’s chronicle of all her birth experiences from hospital to home,   including the heartache of miscarriage, check out relevant living.

That birth, as fast and furious as it was, was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I got to go into labor, labor however I wanted, in whatever position was the most comfortable, and deliver my baby without strangers poking, prodding and forcing or coercing me into taking drugs that weren’t necessary.

Birth talk explains how a woman communicates non-verbally during labor and how you can read her cues and help her through labor.

One mother writes detailed notes about Ina May’s guide to Childbirth which just so happens to be my personal favorite pregnancy book.

Here’s a conversation about inductions among obstetricians as reported by a certified nurse midwife . The OBs  were complaining about possibly working at 2 in the morning.

Not even once did the welfare of the mom and/or baby enter into the discussion.

On a similar vein,  nurses know that some OBs are cesarean happy.

The well-rounded mama is looking to write about fears during pregnancy.

Things like……how will I ever fit behind a steering wheel in my car at 9 months pregnant? Will my car’s seat belt go over my belly?

Kathy posted a video with 4D ultrasound images that show a baby’s growth in the womb.

think twice, no think three times before being induced for labor April 11, 2009

Posted by ballet you say in birth, labor, pregnancy.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

My pregnant readers often ask if I think they should be induced.  After reading each scenario, my usual thought is, “No.”  But that is a decision to be made by a woman after discussing it with her medical care provider.

Read “Don’t let this happen to you”  part 1 and part 2 written by a labor nurse all about a birth that started with an unnecessary induction.

Questions to consider before saying yes to induction:

  1. Will my health be compromised if I continue my pregnancy?
  2. Will the baby’s health be compromised if I just wait for labor to start on its own?
  3. What will happen if I don’t induce today, tomorrow or next week?
  4. Why does the doctor want to induce? Is it for his/her convenience or is it for the health of me and my baby?

Consider this:  50% of inductions in first-time mothers result in a cesarean birth. Yikes!  That’s half. The over-all cesarean rate in the U.S. is currently 31% according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention.)

The cesarean delivery rate rose 2 percent in 2007, to 31.8 percent, marking the 11th consecutive year of increase and another record high for the United States.

Not all inductions are bad or unwarranted. If you have a medical condition such as very high blood pressure, diabetes (not gestational diabetes), pre-eclampsia, an induction is desirable. An induction should be considered only when mother or baby is in danger if the pregnancy continues.

Common non-medical reasons for induction

  1. Doctor is going on vacation
  2. Doctor wants to do all his deliveries during the day and not get called in the middle of the night. He wants to control the timing of your labor.
  3. Doctor gets paid more for a surgical birth than for a vaginal birth.
  4. It’s the last week of December and the couple wants to be able to claim the new baby as a deduction on their taxes.
  5. Couple’s parents are in town for the birth and so they “need” to induce before they go back home.
  6. Mom wants to plan her birth so she can time her maternity leave for work.

So why do many inductions end in surgery?

It’s because the body just isn’t ready for birth. The cervix isn’t ready to dilate. If you’re nearing your due date and you or  your doctor wants to induce, please consider the bishop score which takes into account baby’s position, and the dilation and effacement of the cervix. You can take this short 5 question quiz based on the Bishop score to see if being induced might work for you.

Here’s an all too common labor scenario:  Mom can’t handle the high doses of pitocin so her blood pressure goes up. This affects the baby. Mom gets the epidural because she can’t handle the contractions on pitocin. The epidural makes the labor slow down, so the pitocin is increased. Afterall,  she can’t feel the contractions anymore. Baby increasingly gets worse and worse until a cesarean is needed to save the baby. Mom is worn out and can’t take care of her baby who is having trouble breastfeeding because he’s so lethargic from the drugs that crossed over the placenta.

induction 101

If your cervix is really soft, you might get to skip this first step and just go to the hospital in the morning. But if your cervix is hard like the tip of your nose, you’ll be asked to come in at night and you’ll be given a prostaglandin on your cervix for the purpose of softening it. Some women are able to sleep through the night. Other women feel contractions and are uncomfortable enough that a good night’s sleep is impossible. By morning, your cervix should be nice and soft and ready for the next step in the induction. How long does it take the cervix to dilate 5 centimeters?  But first, let’s answer the following question:

what’s a prostaglandin?

Naturally occurring prostaglandins are in semen. Therefore, you can have all the prostaglandins you could ever need and want in the comfort of your own home. The best way to soften your cervix is to have sex with your husband several times during the last month of your pregnancy.

There are two chemical prostaglandins approved by the FDA for the purpose of inducing labor. They’re the pge2 type and they’re cervidil which is similar to a tampon that is inserted and then can be pulled out and prepadil which is a gel that is rubbed onto the cervix.

But there’s another prostaglandin that’s a lot cheaper than the two mentioned above.  It is not approved by the FDA for labor.  It’s called cytotec and it is used in the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers. But because it is a prostaglandin and it’s cheap, doctors started experimenting with it to see if it would work during labor.  To quote a labor nurse,

Cytotec turns the cervix to mush. It works really well.

Another name for cytotec is misoprostol. Here’s the FDA fact sheet on misoprostol. Cytotec should not be used during labor; it can over-stimulate the uterus at the least and cause death of mother and child at the worst.

so what happens if you say no to induction?

Wait. Be patient. It’s hard sometimes; I know. Be aware of baby’s movements. Continue your pre-natal visits to monitor the baby’s health and your health. If everything is ok, be confident in your body’s ability to birth your baby. Your body has grown and nourished your baby for nine months and still can. Labor will start. No one was pregnant forever.

what does the cervix look like? October 7, 2008

Posted by ballet you say in doula, health, midwifery, pregnancy.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Ever wonder what your cervix looks like? Or the changes it goes through during your monthly cycle? Wonder no more. My beautiful cervix has a color photo of the cervix for every day during a  33 day cycle.

You’ll see the obvious changes that cervical fluid goes through from the dry, tacky, non-fertile discharge to the clear, slippery fertile fluid. Note the positional and color changes of the os.  See the cervix during the follicular, ovulation and luteal phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.