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Monday, August 30, 2010

Vaccine Zombie


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Kangaroo care: the cuddle of life

This story brought tears to my eyes and it's not the first time I've heard of this miracle happening.  A preemie baby is literally brought back to life by cuddling naked on his mothers bare breast.

Mum's Miracle Cuddle Brings Baby Back To Life

Kate Ogg gave birth to twins in a hospital in Sydney, Australia.
They were delivered at 27 weeks, weighing just 2lb, and though Mrs Ogg's little girl Emily was healthy, her brother Jamie was not breathing.
After battling to save him for 20 minutes, medical staff told her he had not survived....
"I took my gown off and arranged him on my chest with his head over my arm and just held him.
"He wasn't moving at all and we just started talking to him.
"We told him what his name was and that he had a sister. We told him the things we wanted to do with him throughout his life."
After two hours, he began showing signs of life.
"Jamie occasionally gasped for air, which doctors said was a reflex action," Mrs Ogg explained.
"But then I felt him move as if he were startled, then he started gasping more and more regularly. I gave Jamie some breast milk on my finger, he took it and started regular breathing normally."
"I thought 'Oh my God, what's going on?' A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle.
"Then he held out his hand and grabbed my finger. He opened his eyes and moved his head from side to side. The doctor kept shaking his head saying: 'I don't believe it, I don't believe it'."
It is thought that the warmth of Mrs Ogg's body acted like an incubator to keep the baby warm and stimulated....
HERE To read the entire article

The mind boggles when you read stories like this.  A mother instinctively caring for her baby by keeping him skin to skin, even when all hope is lost... and a baby responding to his mothers warmth and touch and voice. Over the years I've read several stories of "Miracle" babies .  Babies who everyone had given up on, who were handed to their mothers to say "Good bye", only to confound the medical professionals by living because of that last cuddle.
Last december there was another miracle story of a tiny micro-preemie weighing a mere 20 oz who's mother also followed her instincts and cuddled her not breathing baby skin to skin. 

Parents Last Good-bye saved their baby

Sometimes a preemie doesn’t need to be hooked up to 10 different machines to be given the chance to survive.

Mrs. Isbister remembers saying:
“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 kick started Rachael’s heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.
“We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry.”
“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.”

The sad part is that when the baby was born, doctors took one look at her and said ‘no’.
“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,” her mom remembered. 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.”
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.
After just 5 weeks she was taken off the ventilator and four months she was released home.
 HERE to read the entire article

I wrote an article on Kangaroo Care a few months ago, and  researching for the article was truly amazing.

The Father of modern Kangaroo care is Dr. Nils Bergman. Dr Bergman worked in South Africa, Ciskei and Sweden, before working seven years as Medical Superintendent and District Medical Officer at Manama Mission, Zimbabwe. It was in Zimbabwe that he developed and implemented Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for premature infants right from birth. This resulted in a five-fold improvement in survival of Very Low Birth Weight babies raising the survival rate of these tiny preterm infants from 10% to 50%.

But Kangaroo Care isn't just for preemies. Skin to Skin contact is vitally important for all infants.

"The very best environment for a baby to grow and thrive, is the mother's body," says Dr Nils Bergman, "When placed skin-to-skin on the mother's chest, the baby receives warmth, protection and food, and its brain can develop optimally. Not feeding the baby often enough and leaving it to sleep alone after a feed can result in the baby getting colic", he adds. "The mother's skin is the baby's natural environment, and both physically and emotionally the healthiest place for the baby to be".
Skin to Skin is not just for preemies !!!!  I still enjoy skin to skin time with my youngest son who's now almost 7 months old.  When Kael is upset, overwrought, and thrashing around and crying, I know that the one thing I can do to calm him is to get us skin to skin, chest to chest, heart to heart.  Nothing calms him more than mommy's cuddles!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lactation Cookies

I love this recipe from Peaceful Parenting, and being a granola baker, I'll be updating my granola bars recipe to include some of these ingredients.... I'll post it as soon as I get the measurements worked out!!

Lactation Cookies: Recipe & Increasing Milk Supply

by Danelle Frisbie ©2010

I am frequently asked to pass along lactation cookie recipes. My own momma has been baking these up since she was a nursing mother and RN, striving to help other new moms with their babies, 35 years ago -- so I've consumed my fair share over the decades. While there are many variations out there, they are all essentially the same and boast three main ingredients commonly believed to impact milk supply: oatmeal, brewer's yeast, and flax....
So why are these three ingredients the core foundation in lactation cookies?

Oats (or oatmeal) are key in boosting milk supply because of the iron they contain that nursing moms are frequently in need of. Oats are also filling, dense with healthy calories - and nursing moms need calories! Oats are extremely nutritious and easy to work into the diet in a number of ways: cereals, granola, breads, casseroles, meatloaf, cookies - you can add oats to just about anything.Oats are also a great source of fiber. What does fiber have to do with milk supply? My 97 year old grandmother recently discussed the diets of her father's award winning, fatty-milk producing cows back in the 1920s. And guess what they did to increase milk supply? That's right -- boosted the fiber the cows had access to. Farmers have long known this trick, so I suppose milkin' moms can pick up on it too.

Brewer's yeast is an ingredient that has also long been touted to increase milk supply (although contested by some). Brewer's yeast is packed with B vitamins and these are essential to overall health of a nursing mom (and any woman). Even if milk supply were not impacted by brewer's yeast, the boost of energy that comes from its consumption is worth including it in lactation cookies. Once again, looking back on decades past, women have long passed on the knowledge that sipping a deep, hearty beer (sister to brewer's yeast) has a positive effect on milk supply.

The oil from flax seed is considered by many to be a galactagogue (substance that improves lactation). It is also a great form of fiber. And, while it is again debated among those who believe in flax's galactagogue properties or not, one thing is certain: flax is power packed with omega-3 (essential fatty acids) that are absolutely crucial to a nursing mom's diet (as well as baby's diet, and all human health in general). Human milk is super charged with heavy amounts of omega-3 because the brain (rapidly growing in our babies) is dependent on these fatty acids. It is important that a mother not be deficient in omega-3 (something that many are) and risk her baby not getting enough for optimal health, development, and wellbeing. [Note: artificial forms of omega-3 in manufactured formulas do not respond in a baby's body in the same way that natural omega-3 from mother's milk does. Do not buy into the hype that formulas 'fortified with DHA' are good for your baby. Rather, these artificial baby formulas with DHA have been linked with diarrhea, dehydration, seizures.] That said, omega-3 from fish and flax for mom are wonderful! They not only improve milk quality (and possibly quantity) but also boost brain function, memory, joint lubrication, and help to regulate hormones and decrease postpartum depression. It is unlikely that you could get too much omega-3 today, so when it comes to flax (and low-mercury fish if you like) - eat up!

HERE to read the entire article and recipe on Peaceful Parenting

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

6 month old babies develope stress from being ignored...

...for even just two minutes!!!  A new study in England shows that 6 month old babies not only have the capacity to be stressed out, but that they have the ability to anticipate stress and stressful circumstances!!

Stressed out: Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by mother

By Fiona Macrae

To investigate whether six-month-olds are capable of anticipating trouble, the Canadian researchers invited 30 mothers and babies into their laboratory and divided them into two groups.
Babies were placed in car seats and their mothers played with them and talked to them as normal.
The play was then interspersed with two-minute periods in which the mother simply stared over her child's head, keeping her face free of emotion.
The next day, she took her child back to the laboratory. Levels of cortisol were measured several times on both days. Amounts of cortisol shot up when the babies were ignored.
They then fell off, before rising again when the youngsters were taken back into the laboratory, despite them not being ignored on the second day....
Researcher Dr David Haley, of the University of Toronto, said: 'The results suggest that human infants have the capacity to produce an anticipatory stress response that is based on expectations about how their parents will treat them in a specific context.'
Professor Jay Belsky, of Birbeck College, University of London, said factors such as depression could affect a mother's relationship with her baby and send cortisol levels soaring time and time again.
This could lower a baby's immune system, while a troubled upbringing may also mean the child going on to become a less than perfect parent itself.

HERE to read the entire article

Sadly, people still refuse to accept that ignoring their baby, letting him or her "Cry it out" , effects their child physically and emotionally.   I know that on the two occasions that my baby monitor failed and I didn't hear my youngest- now just 6 months old- crying immediately, he show signs of distress every time I walked away from him for days afterwards. Seeing that panicked look on his face was just torture to me, and I'd spend hours holding and hugging him and consoling him- telling him over and over "I'm so sorry I didn't hear you!"....

Hopefully more and more studies of this type will be picked up by the mainstream media. Parents need to stop ignoring their protective instincts and answer their babies needs immediately, instead of listening to misguided so-called "parenting experts" who tell them not to allow that manipulative baby to get their own way and "be spoiled rotten"!

There is a reason that babies cry: it's because they need you.

Hep B vaccine proven to cause increased risk of Autism

When the medical personnel at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops BC wanted me to allow them to Vaccinate my newborn daughter for Hepatitis B I told them to go jump in the lake.  The very thought of vaccinating my newborn with ANYTHING made me want to puke, but vaccinating against a disease that is considered a sexually transmitted disease (yes, I know, you can also get it through sharing needles....) was so beyond belief that I think I actually laughed in the public health nurses face.  There is just something inherently wrong about injecting any sort of chemical into a fragile newborn baby, let alone a vaccine to protect her from a disease she most like would only be at risk for if she had unprotected sex or became a heroine  addict!!!  At the time that this came about I was still on the fence about vaccines.  I had delayed my eldest daughters vaccines by several months but still had nagging doubts about the decision to give her the vaccinations at all.  I guess I really should thank the nurses and Kamloops public health for trying to push this Hep B vax on us, because it was that push that started  the stone rolling leading to several years of seriously researching vaccines and their ingredients.

My 3 youngest children are NOT vaccinated, and I oh so wish I could go back in time and unvaccinate my eldest daughter.  But I digress...

This study will be followed by several others according to this article, which of course will be closely followed by the usual Big Pharma backlash of spin doctoring and creative manufactured studies to prove that these studies are all wrong and that they are perfect- Big Pharma that is.
... I'm looking forward to reading them.

New Study: Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples Risk of Autism in Infant Boys
by David Kirby

Conventional wisdom holds that the autism-vaccine question has been "asked and answered," and that at least 16 large, well-constructed epidemiological studies have thoroughly addressed and debunked any hypothesis that childhood vaccination is in any way associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders.
But there are several critical flaws in such an oversimplified generalization, and they are rarely given close examination by public health experts or members of the media.
To begin with, it is unscientific and perilously misleading for anyone to assert that "vaccines and autism" have been studied and that no link has been found. That's because the 16 or so studies constantly cited by critics of the hypothesis have examined just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient.
And, the population studies themselves have had critical design flaws and limitations.
The current US childhood immunization schedule calls for 28 injections with 11 different vaccines against 15 different diseases by two years of age. Of those 11 vaccines, only the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) shot has been studied in association with autism, (although a CDC study of an MMR-plus-chickenpox vaccine did show that the risk for febrile seizures in infants was doubled.) Meanwhile, those 11 vaccines contain scores of ingredients, only one of which, thimerosal, has ever been tested in association with autism.
It is illogical to exonerate all vaccines, all vaccine ingredients, and the total US vaccine program as a whole, based solely on a handful of epidemiological studies of just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient. It is akin to claiming that every form of animal protein is beneficial to people, when all you have studied is fish.
Now, a new study has shown that giving Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn baby boys may triple the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.
An abstract of the study was published in the September, 2009 issue of the respected journal Annals of Epidemiology. In it, Carolyn Gallagher and Melody Goodman of the Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY, wrote that, "Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD compared to later- or unvaccinated boys."...
A study published last October in the journal Neurology found that children who received the Hepatitis B vaccine series were 50% more likely to develop "central nervous system inflammatory demyelination" than children who did not receive the vaccine.
Most of this increase was due to the Engerix B brand of the vaccine, manufactured by the UK's GlaxoSmithKline. That brand increased the risk of demyelination by 74%, and patients with confirmed multiple sclerosis were nearly three times more likely to develop the disorder. 

 HERE to read the entire article

Bumble wee nursing top contest continues....

You might remember that last week (or so) I posted about BumbleWee Nursing Wear having a contest all month and giving away one nursing top every day?   

....and I just won!!!!!!  YIPEEEEEEE!!!!  I never win anything like this, so when I woke up this morning and read that I'd won, I had to get up and dance a gig!!  Now I have to choose which top I want.... decisions decisions decisions....

So if it can happen for me, it can happen for you too!  Go enter!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Water birth pics- born in the caul!

Beautiful pictures taken of a mother and hubby labour in the the birth pool and birthing together.  The baby is born in the caul and with the cord wrapped around his neck.... no emergency, the father just calmly and peacefully deals with it.  Absolutely amazing and heart warming- a must view for all birth addicts (like me!)

pics of a watched birth…

March 28, 2010
Quantcast To go along with my previous post – special thanks to Moses and his sweet family for allowing me to share these photos. My apprentice, Laura Tanner, took these beautiful photographs.
Mom had requested that she and her husband work alone during labor until pushing. We were in the room some, then we were there when things got hard, she called for me, offered ice cold washcloths for face/neck and something to drink. I also gave her soft, verbal encouragement towards the end.
The girls were awesome – they laughed a lot at the noises and were generally more interested in the movie they were watching (and entertaining the midwives!) than the labor.

HERE to view all the wonderful and empowering Birth Pictures

"The Con of Controlled Crying"- Teleseminar

I thought that this free teleseminar might be of interest to many of you!

FREE Teleseminar
The "Con" of Controlled Crying and
Other Infant Sleep Myths

Are you.....

arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Confused about baby sleep advice ?
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Worried about creating 'bad habits' ?
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Stressed that you don't have your baby in a 'routine'?
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Anxious that you may be depriving your baby of important skills such as learning to self settle and sleep 'all night'?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted but can't bear leaving your baby to cry in order to 'train' him to sleep, you will breathe a sigh of relief as you listen to this FREE teleseminar "The Con of Controlled Crying and Other Infant Sleep Myths".
In this important teleseminar (listen on the phone or your computer), Pinky McKay, best-selling author of 'Sleeping Like a Baby' and '100 Ways to Calm the Crying' (Penguin), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and mother of five, Pinky McKay will reveal:
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Why the biology of mother-infant attachment makes it so heart wrenching to leave your baby to 'cry it out' - and why it's important to trust and honour this powerful connection.
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Why methods such as 'controlled crying' and 'ferberising' are not healthy options for your baby's development.
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes How leaving babies to cry in order to 'teach' them to sleep may cause long term adverse changes to immature infant brains.
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes The link between infant feeding and sleep - your diet, feeding routines and feeding to sleep, what's helpful and what isn't.
arrow.GIF - 1037 Bytes Why do babies wake - is it 'behavioural' or 'bad habits' and when should you worry and what can you do to help your baby (and you) get more sleep?

HERE to watch a short video of Pinky and to register

Monday, August 23, 2010

"In Defense of the Amniotic sac"

WOW!!  I just learned so much about the amniotic sac and all the wonderful things it does to protect our babies and WHY doctors and midwives should just leave it ALONE!!! 

In defence of the amniotic sac

Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) aka ‘breaking the waters’ is a common intervention during birth. However, an ARM should not be carried out without a good understanding of how the amniotic sac and fluid function in labour. Women need to be fully informed of the risks associated this intervention before agreeing to alter their labour in this way. This post will discuss how the ‘waters’ work in labour and the implications of breaking them.
Anatomy and physiology
By the end of pregnancy the baby is surrounded by around 500-1000mls of Fluid. This is mostly made up of amniotic fluid secreted by the amniotic sac (the membranes). The baby also contributes urine and respiratory tract secretions into the fluid. The amniotic fluid is constantly being produced and renewed – Baby swallows the fluid; it is passed through the gut into the baby’s circulation; then sent out through the placenta. This process continues even if the amniotic membranes have broken. So, even when the waters have ‘gone’ there is still some fluid present ie. there is no such thing as a ‘dry labour’.
The amniotic membrane is adhered to the chorion – another membrane between the amniotic membrane and the uterus. These membranes look like one, but you can tease them apart after birth.
During pregnancy
The amniotic sac protects and prepares baby by:
  • Cushioning any bumps to the abdomen.
  • Maintaining a constant temperature.
  • Allowing movement to aid muscle development.
  • Creating space for growth.
  • Protecting against infection – the membranes provide a barrier + the fluid contains antimicrobial peptides.
  • Assisting lung development – baby breathes fluid in and out of the lungs.
  • Taste and smell – the smell of amniotic fluid has been found to have a calming effect on newborns (Varendia et al. 1998).
After 40 weeks gestation around 20% of baby’s will pass meconium into their amniotic fluid as the bowels reach maturity and begin to work.  This is perfectly normal and is not a sign of distress. This meconium is diluted and processed with the amniotic fluid as described above.
During labour
Around 80-90% of women start their labour with their membranes intact. This is probably because the amniotic sac plays an important role in the physiology of a natural birth.
General fluid pressure
During a contraction the pressure is equalised throughout the fluid rather than directly squeezing the baby, placenta and umbilical cord. This protects the baby and his/her oxygen supply from the effects of the powerful uterine contractions. When the membranes have ruptured the placenta and baby get compressed during a contraction. Most babies can cope well with this, but the experience of birth for the baby is probably not as pleasant. When the placenta is compressed blood circulation is interrupted reducing the oxygen supply to baby. In addition, the umbilical cord may be in a position where it gets squashed between baby and uterus with contractions. When this happens the baby’s heart rate will dip during a contraction in response to the reduced blood flow. A healthy baby can cope with this intermittent reduction in oxygen supply for hours (it’s a bit like holding your breath for 30 seconds every few minutes). However, this is probably not so great to do for an extended period of time....

There are also risks associated with an ARM:
  • It may increase contraction intensity and pain which can result in the woman feeling unable to cope and choosing an epidural… intervention rollercoaster begins.
  • The baby may become distressed due to compression of the placenta, baby and/or cord (as described above).
  • The umbilical cord may be swept down by the waters and either past the baby’s head or wedged next to the baby’s head. This is called a ‘cord prolapse’ and is an emergency situation. The compression of the cord interrupts or stops the supply of oxygen to the baby and the baby must be born asap by c-section. The only cord prolapse I have been involved with happened after an ARM (not done by me  - honest!). The outcome for the woman was a live baby born by emergency c-section. Her previous 2 babies had been vaginal births.
  • If there is a blood vessel running through the membranes (see picture below) and the amni-hook ruptures the vessel the baby will lose blood volume fast – another emergency situation.
  • There is a slight increase in the risk of infection but mostly for the mother (not baby). This risk is minimal if nothing is put into the vagina during labour (ie. hands, instruments etc.)....

 HERE to Read the entire article with (great links for pictures ) on Midwifes Thinking Blog

Sunday, August 22, 2010

161 Reasons to Birth at Home!!!

Here is a Guest Blog by Peaceful Birth Project On Facebook.

One Hundred Sixty One Reasons to Birth at Home

by The Peaceful Birth Project on Sunday, 22 August 2010 at 13:00
A few weeks ago I posted this question on Facebook: From the sublime to the mundane, what is your reason to birth at home? Many women posted that SAFETY was their reason to birth at home. Other common responses were COMFORT, FREEDOM and BONDING with baby.

These are the voices of mothers.  My hope is that birth professionals reading this list can reflect on what women need from us and that mothers can be inspired to birth at home.   My deep appreciation goes to all the women who contributed their thoughts to this list. A CNM friend who practices in a hospital said about this list: "Incredible! I hope this blossoms and finds its way around the earth."  ENJOY and pass it on!

One Hundred Sixty One Reasons to Birth at Home

1. It's SAFER!!!!!!!!!!!!! Safety is at home, away from germs and interventions.

2. Comfort.

3. Because birth is a family event, not a medical one. Children should be welcomed into the world by the family in their family home!

4. My home has a 0% c/sec rate.

5. Freedom. Freedom to be myself, do what I want, make my own choices without pressure; birth my baby any way I want...

6. Knowing that if I had to transfer, it was a *true* need; not just something that was policy and wonder about for years after.

7. Why should I have to ride in a car while in labor, just to get to the hospital?

8. So that I may move at my own pace and not the pace imposed by another!

9. No need to pack a bag!

10. Eat your own food when you want to, sleep in your own bed, no noisy hospital roommates.

11. Because my vaj is no one's hand puppet!

12. Avoids the cascade of interventions!!

13. Because I can snack and drink during labor to keep me strong.

14. You can't forget anything,

15. You don't have to travel with a newborn.

16. You can always remember exactly where they were born (you may even have stains to prove it).

17. You can have your children or pets with you.

18. You're more likely to find something of comfort at home than in a sterile hospital.

19. No visiting hours, no "protocol", NO PRESSURE.

20. Freedom to walk around outside.

21. A kitchen full of food.

22. I want to poop and puke in my own toilet in my own bathroom.

23. Control of the birthing environment and your own body.

24. Freedom from foreign germs (all the germs are mine and my family's). The germs in your home are your own and you don't have to risk being exposed to other people's germs and/or drug-resistant strains prevalent in hospitals.

25. Freedom from hospital policy.

26. Freedom to eat and drink to keep up strength. My refrigerator would be stocked with food that I like!

27. Freedom from inhibitions.

28. Freedom from stirrups.

29. Freedom from constant badgering.

30. I can both labor in the tub and push in the tub.

31. I can get into my OWN bed right away and breastfeed in the comfort of my own home.

32. No shift changes!!! The people you invite to your birth are the people that will see you through... No "oh it's 6pm, gotta go, hope you like the next person"

33. Going to sleep in your own bed after baby is born. No one waking you up to take your vitals at 2am, usually right after you've finally fallen asleep.

34. Care providers who believe in my body's ability to birth and are there to support that experience, not that they are present to SAVE me from an inherently dangerous process.

35. My own smells, stuff, noises and all the stuff baby has already been exposed to in utero.

36. It's safe to walk around barefoot :) I felt like that was gross in the hospital.

37. You won't get shrieked at for getting out of bed.

38. To avoid 'moving quickly upon the earth'; it's ingrained in our psyche to be close to the earth in labor... moving at highway speeds goes against our instincts.

39. No separation for a few hours while the nurses take your baby to check on their vitals!!! Everything waits on you and your baby!!! It's so hard to be separated for that long after having the baby in you for 9 - 10 months!!!

40. You can make as much noise as you dang well please!

41. Traveling in labor sucks!

42. Midwife comes to me for post-partum checks.

43. My first son was injured by the traumatic birth in the hospital; I didn't want to repeat that.

44. Big brother could be sleeping in the same house while I was birthing.

45. My husband got to be my "birth stool" to support me.

46. I can say my child was conceived and birthed in the same bed. ;)

47. No IV's, EFM's (external or internal), forceps/vacuums, episiotomies, Pitocin, or scratchy blood pressure cuffs. No cranky nurses.

48. My midwife actually knew how to help a woman who wasn't numb other than using knives or needles.

49. I could scream as loud as I wanted without worry about upsetting other patients.

50. WAYYYYY Less chance of a c-section!!!!

51. You can light candles at home.

52. Waterbirth in the comfort of our own home, warm wonderful loving women attending, eating our own food, feeling safe and secure, no threat of interventions, curling up after baby is born in my own bed... and waking there with my baby the next morning... ah, homebirth - it's the BEST!!

53. Because my midwife makes me cookies and does the dishes.

54. No bright lights, calm atmosphere, comfort, familiar people around me. I can have family there.

55. I feel respected, I am not rushed, and I can use the tub to relax.

56. If I need a moment alone I can get that and be respected for it.

57. No one takes the baby away from me.

58. I can have my toddler with me.

59. My husband is able to 'catch' the baby.

60. If I don't want my midwives to touch me they will respect that.

61. Birth is way more fun at home!!

62. My MAIN reason for birthing at home is because it was a SAFER environment for me to birth in. I trusted my care provider and felt like an active participant in the decision-making process during my entire labor and birth.

63. I've experienced a HORRIBLE labor that ended in an unnecesarean and completely eroded my faith and trust in OBs. With that being my head-space about them, there's NO WAY I'd ever trust another OB enough to take any advice towards intervention.......which could potentially put me in danger of refusing an intervention that MIGHT be medically prudent. I know that's not something I have to worry about with my competent, trustworthy midwife who patiently coached me through my labor. That dynamic alone makes homebirth a safer option for me.........I know that I won't refuse an intervention based upon mistrust of my care provider and therefore, I'm in a safer birthing environment should I actually NEED intervention.

64. To quote my FAVORITE musician of all time, Dave Matthews, on the homebirth of his son, August Oliver: "We had him at home, which was nice, because I knew where the beer was." My husband shares his sentiments.

65. Being able to be naked without a big audience.

66. Being able to burp or toot at will without embarrassment.

67. Being able to yell, moan, or cuss without feeling bad.

68. Being able to birth a baby in the same bed she was lovingly made in (unless it was a patio conception after drinks)

69. Privacy and Peace.

70. No rush in cutting the cord.

71. Because I don't have to have the carseat properly installed... just roll over and cuddle my baby!

72. So I can be naked and comfortable, eat food, birth in whatever position I want, to lay there awhile and no one rush off with my baby.

73. So my hands or my husband's hands are first to touch our baby.

74. To avoid unnecessary interventions.

75. To lay on my own recliner to recover :)

76. To eliminate the when-to-leave build up! "Am I ripe enough?","Did we pack everything?","Will I get sent home?", "Birth in the car?", "traffic?"

77. To be able to not worry about the complications of a repeat c section, because the hospital doesn't allow VBACS.

78. Because my husband can TRULY be there (he has a brain injury and while fine at home doesn't do well in new places).

79. Because birth is normal and hospitals are for SICK people. Pregnancy is not a sickness.

80. Wonderful homebirth midwives!!!

81. Because I am a VBAC and wanted a vaginal birth.

82. To experience the spiritual event of birth without interference.

83. No one to take your baby away to 'check on them'. Or someone else to give them their first bath. (Always cracks me up when friends post pictures of their baby's 'first bath'. At home, after they got home from the hospital).

84. The endless list of benefits to both mom and baby from not touching them when everything is going fine (less tearing, baby rotating on its own, no 'purple pushing', delayed cord clamping [if at all], using vernix as a lotion [as opposed to thinking it's acid and has to come off NOW], immediate skin-to-skin [and nothing to interrupt that].

85. WAITING on the placenta= less chance for PP hemorrhage.

86. No one abusing my baby with "standard procedures" of unnecessary suctioning, scrubbing off vernix, poking with needles and enforced separation for warming. Seeing the way newborns are treated in hospital always makes me cry.

87. Made perfect sense for such an intimate, private event to be in the sanctuary of our home. x3

88. I have everything I need!

89. You feel so much more comfortable in your own home.

90. Avoiding transition (or any contraction for that matter) in the car!

91. Birthing at home let me create a reverent atmosphere to birth my baby into the world.

92. Your chiropractor can be a part of your birth team :)

93. Not getting cut open, not having CPS called for refusing medical care, no drug mix ups almost killing my kid or me.

94. Showering, in my own shower with my own towels, soap, and shampoo right after.

95. Baby watching football with daddy while I nap.

96. Chocolate chip cookies and roast beef for after-birth meal.

97. No worry about baby being kidnapped.

98. My belief in my body's ability to do what it was made to do - while avoiding this country's "standardized series of unfortunate events".

99. Sleeping with hubby (and baby, and other kids)

100. Home is the place where there's everything you need.

101. At home I can be naked, roar like a lioness and throw my head back with abandon without anyone batting an eye.

102. It is the only place where my 5 year old can assist "her baby" in coming into the world and "teach her/him to be alive."

103. Home is where I can hide in the corner if I need a break from everything, knowing that the floor is clean and I can nest there if I want.

104. At home, I can drink from my favorite cup and look at all of my family photos for strength.

105. I can light candles and "be alone" with my husband if labor slows.

106. I can birth my baby where/however I am most comfortable, shower with my own lovely towels, and feel truly safe for myself and my baby.

107. When it's over, it's over, and I can snuggle with everyone in my big bed and my oldest child, 1/4 of my lovely little family, will not be kicked out to stay with others while the other 3/4 of her family is going through an amazing transformation. That's truly the most important reason. No one will separate me from my baby - EITHER of them. :)

108. The postpartum is so so sweet.

109. The whole situation was about me and my baby. Everyone attending the birth was there for us and only us.

110. I can have a VBAC without fear of the medical staff pushing/scaring me to have a c-section like the first time around!

111. I don't want to wind up with the flu, since I'll be giving birth at the height of flu season.

112. As and L&D nurse (and midwife), I know what happens at the hospital. I didn't birth at home 3 times so much for me (I could take on anything), but for my babies. At home, there is no "accidental" formula feedings if he is found crying in the nursery after being taken there for "mandatory" procedures. No "accidental" procedures such as vit K, eye ointment, vaccinations (which are done so routinely that most nurses do a double take if you decline something). And for my sons, I didn't want them within 1000 feet of a scalpel or circ board... Most L&D nurses are well meaning (didn't know the babe was to be brought back to mom for breastfeeding after the nightly bath and weight and oops gave a bottle), but I didn't want any accidents happening. And as much as I'd like to think I'd protect them, even I know there are rules the most determined mother can't get around...

113. Being able to really let go and enjoy laborland... no reservations.

114. Plenty to keep you busy (dishes, scrapbooks, cleaning) and no one to rush you.

115. You'll never forget to pack anything.

116. No internal checks unless desired.

117. Drinking wine.

118. Thinking months later about how it all happened in this very room.

119. Making a snack afterwards in your own kitchen.

120. No annoying beeping to wake you up or nurses in and out pushing on your belly and micromanaging your nursing.

121. I was fortunate to have all of my seven babies at home. For me, it was about family, birthing the way I chose (with few interventions), and experiencing labor, birth and post partum in a peaceful way.

122. So that you can retreat to reach your power.

123. Bonding with baby!

124. Modesty and dignity.

125. It's family friendly.


127. It's our space, and people are coming into our space and need to respect our wishes.

128. I don't want to be abused!

129. My husband feels freer to be an active part of the labor process than if we were in the hospital.

130. As a doula I see women at home in labor, doing great in their own place, in their own surroundings, surrounded by those they love, doing their thing,... going into themselves, trusting their bodies, working with their bodies, trusting birth, trusting themselves, smiling at the joy of knowing it is going the way it should go, such beauty, candles, music, stripped off moving about the way they should and want, their husbands believing they can do this, encouraged, watching in disbelief at such a strong empowered women is their wife.

131. I can do what I want and also don't have "white coat syndrome" that they diagnose as PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) that happened with my first baby. No monitors, no IV's, no intruding guests... No one has to know except for me, my husband and my midwife!

132. The birth of my first daughter was horrific (in the hospital) I vowed never to do it again...... No impatient Dr.'s, no rude nurses, I don't have to be chained to the bed by IV's or internal monitors, or having someone telling what I can and can't do during labor, I had to BEG and beg for them to let move 2 feet from the bed to the rocker during my first birth.

133. No one taking my baby away 2 seconds after they are born to be poked and prodded against my will, they gave my daughter Vit K shot without my consent...

134. I can be in own comfortable bed in my own home and not feel like I am in prison!

135. Birth at home because home is where the heart is. Plain and simple.

136. I loved the fact that I was in control... that my body decided how and what will happen...

137. The fact that my family could spend the night with me and that my baby girl was with me all the time!!

138. No strangers! Being completely surrounded by the people of my choosing!

139. Getting to push without a doc's hand inside "telling you where" to push.

140. Getting to cuddle as a family afterward....

141. To be able to sit in firelight and tell stories with your midwife and best friend (when contractions are still coming 10 minutes apart of course).

142. You get to decide when you call your midwife and birth team... early on if you prefer to have someone nearby or late in labor if you prefer to labor alone.

143. Obstetricians are surgeons, childbirth is not a disease.

144. What is safer than having one (or more) care providers with you and only you, not being sidetracked by other clients with needs?

145. Deciding where and in what position you would like to birth your baby.

146. Reaching down and receiving your own baby.

147. You can focus all your energy and power into birthing your baby instead of preventing interventions and warding off strangers.

148. Recovery is faster with fewer interventions.

149. A homebirth is cheaper than a C-section.

150. I can be as green as I want.

151. You don't need an ID bracelet for the mother or the baby.

152. I can birth in my backyard.

153. You don't end up with a "gift bag" (marketing samples) from big corporate America, full of disposable diapers, formula, baby wipes, shampoo, soaps, and brand propaganda.

154. Your baby's placenta does not become a biohazard.

155. You can have a lotus birth.

156. Your best friend can make you a placenta smoothie.

157. I can choose the room for the birth, or change rooms in the middle of things.

158. Wear your own clothes or no clothes at all!

159. No pushy hospital nurses!!!!

160. Because I can.

161. Why not?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I wish that Breastfeeding was Normal"

Unfortunately we live in a society where  breastfeeding isn't treated as "Normal". Where a mother nursing her baby in a public place may be harassed.  Where a mother nursing her toddler is almost guaranteed to be harassed.  Where the average doctor doesn't have a clue about breastfeeding but can tell you just about anything you want to know about Formula. Where your mother is very likely to not have ever breastfed and therefore has no advice or experience to help you. Where even most of the so-called lactation consultants have minimal training and may be passing along information that is tainted by lack of experience and education.

How sad is that?  What does it say about our society as a whole that nursing mothers are stared at, made fun of, harassed, and worst of all: left to fend for themselves.  Has there ever been another time in history that mothers have been ridiculed for feeding their children? No, there hasn't been, and I'm sure that if any person from past history could see this future for mothers and children they would be beyond shocked.

I loved this article for it's pointed edge- straight truth, no velvet gloves or rose coloured glasses.

I Wish That Breastfeeding Was Normal by 

Jenny Allen

I wish that breastfeeding wasn’t such a “hot” topic.
I wish that formula feeding wasn’t so common place and normal that people assume that the way a formula fed baby behaves is the way babies should behave. So that long deep sleeps in very small babies were not expected, instead of the hourly feeds, short naps and light sleep that is actually normal baby behaviour. That people knew that vomiting was not normal, that baby poo shouldn’t stink to high heaven and that reflux isn’t to be expected. There’s a big difference between posseting now and then, and regularly chucking back large amounts of milk.
I wish people didn’t think that breastfeeding was the “Gold Standard”, but understood that it is simply the biological norm. What babies are meant to do, what boobs are for, and what gives our babies the things they need to grow up the way they were meant to. Physically, immunologically and emotionally.

I wish people didn’t think it was fair game to pass comment on the health of breastfed babies. Or to take the piss out of breastfeeding mothers. Imagine if a breastfeeding mother passed comment on the health of a non-breastfed baby, or belittled a woman who didn’t breastfeed? That people realised that childhood illnesses are just that, a part of normal, everyday childhood, that all babies and children get colds, and coughs and chicken pox, and that breastfeeding is not a Magical Forcefield which stops your baby ever getting ill, but what it actually does is makes your child able to resist a lot of infections, and means they can fight off the ones they do get. All babies and children get sick, the more contact they have with others the more likely they are to get sick, so a breastfed baby in a nursery will still catch infections, where as a formula fed baby that stays at home won’t be in contact with those infections, and that’s why they seem to get sick less often, not because breastfeeding makes no difference. I wish I didn’t have to defend the fact that I breastfeed. Ever. To anyone....

HERE to read the entire article on Lactivist Network

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cosmo Likes'em Intact!!!

Yay for Cosmo Magazine for reporting on the news that male circumcision rates are falling  in the US!!!!  As usual Danelle from Peaceful Parenting is on the news with her own great article :

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cosmopolitan Reports on the Decline of Circumcision in the United States

I highly commend Cosmopolitan for reporting today on the dramatic decline of circumcision surgery in the United States, and for highlighting the fact that the U.S. (and some parts of Israel for Judaic and Islamic reasons) are the only two nations in the world that needlessly cut healthy newborn babies....
...It's slightly amusing that it may just be pop media women's sex magazines making intact men look all the rage for parents to finally wake up before the birth of their sons and end the needless cutting. Maybe it is a result of my own naivety that I expect [most] parents to make educated, informed decisions - especially when it comes to the surgical amputation of their newborn baby's genitals. But, I guess whatever it takes to reach the remaining 32%... Those 1 in 3 boys deserve to keep their whole penis too.

HERE to read the entire article on Peaceful Parenting

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Being the change you wish to see in the world

I talk here on Informed Parenting about change and about women (and men) standing up and fighting for their Rights- their Rights to Birth their children in peace and without violence or emotional trauma. Their Right to birth at home. Their Rights to Nurse their babies, in public and at home, without guilt and without worry, and to be supported in their journey of nursing their children for as long as they wish.  Their Rights to take their WHOLE baby home, intact and unmolested.  Their RIGHTS. For without taking a stand our Rights will be trodden on and trampled by the galloping hoards of faceless bureaucrats and the cold medical machine that suffers a god complex. If we don't speak out, who will? If we don't speak out, who will encourage others to raise their voices with us? It all starts with one voice.

There are people that stand out as activists of the first order.  People who were not afraid to stand up and be heard, who saw injustice and inequality and said "This is WRONG!" And they stood tall and proud regardless of the ridicule and persecution. Dr. Martin Luther King comes to mind when we think of this kind of activist. Dr. King was arrested 30 times for taking a stand and speaking out against racism in the 50's and 60's, yet now he is revered as hero and the changes he stood up for are accepted as the norm in society. It didn't happen over night and it wasn't easy but nothing worth fighting for ever is. 

Within the circles of Childbirth and Childrens Rights activists there are a few names that stand out. Gloria Lemay is one of our greatest activists and heros, who has suffered over and over, including going to prison for what she believed in, but has never given up or bowed to the pressure that was put upon her.  In "Jan's Corner" of Midwifery Today Magazine Jan Tritten writes about "Midwifery under Fire".  Jan writes:

"We’ve had a period of relative calm in the North American midwifery community since 2002. In an issue of Midwifery Today E-News from July 2001 (, Sandra Stine, CNM, wrote about the history of midwives under fire:
“I am thinking about Yvonne Cryns, Nan Koehler, Abby Odam, the granny midwives and every other traditional birth attendant in this country who has been crucified by the AMA or another source,” Stine stated. “Wonderful, loving, competent midwives have been jailed, lost their homes, spent thousands of dollars defending themselves, or were placed under house arrest while serving families competently. The AMA (American Medical Association) has a track record of prosecuting midwives in almost every state!”
In July of 2002, Gloria Lemay was imprisoned for contempt of court in Canada. A few months later, Mennonite midwife Freida Miller was arrested and imprisoned for contempt of court in Ohio. Thanks to easy Internet access in 2002, the stories of these imprisonments—and of the events that built up to them—were relayed around the globe. Both women were mature adults and both went to prison knowing they had widespread support in the international community. They went to prison with their heads held high and their supporters worked behind the scenes, fundraising and researching to free them. Money and well wishes flowed in from all over the world. North American midwives had entered a new era.
While in prison, Lemay learned that she would be given an award for being “the woman in Canada who had made the biggest contribution to midwifery care in the year 2002.” (Women’s Voice Award).
 ""We’ve had a period of relative calm in the North American midwifery community since 2002" Jan says.... yet it would seem that this period of relative calm is coming to an end, and not just in the field of Midwifery.  Recently there have been negative articles in the media about the safety of home births, negative articles in the media about Breastfeeding, and now articles about male circumcision that hint that the CDC and the American Paediatric Society might be about to do a flip flop and change their official recommendations that there is no medical reason to support Male Circumcision. (which is absolutely false BTW).

All around us we see the Medical Machine, Big Pharma and other professional associations, with their assumed godhead, trying to chip away if not yank right out from under us our Human Rights. But worse is that there are the innocent sheeple out there that are going to listen and are going to assume that this is how it must be.  They will tow the official party line and maybe not discover until much too late that their Rights have been burned at the stake on the altar of the big green buck. That they have lost something precious that can never be reclaimed because they blindly followed the recommendations of those who serve themselves while pretending to be working for the people. Some people might sneer that it's their own damn fault for not researching and educating themselves about their choices, but we cannot blame the sheeple for their blind devotion- children grow up only knowing what they've been taught by their elders and if their elders knew no better than how can they teach the younger generation to think for themselves?  The sheeple will never learn about their Rights and the real information and choices unless those of us who DO know better stand up and tell them.

It isn't easy being the lone voice.  It isn't easy being that person standing above the bellowing crowds on a soap box trying to make yourself heard.  But if you don't do it who will?  There are voices of reason out there that are fighting for YOUR Rights, and the Rights of your children, every day.  People like Gloria Lemay who even in prison kept educating women. People like Danelle Frisbie  of  "Peaceful Parenting" who Fights for the Rights of infant boys everywhere to keep all of their body parts and not suffer mutilation at the hands of those who deem it "OK".  People like Dr. Jack Newman and Edith Kernerman of the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute who continually challenge the government to provide more Breastfeeding support and better education for medical personnel.  THESE people are your champions and deserve to hear OUR voices!!!

One of the worlds greatest activists Mahatma Gandhi once said "You must be the change that you want to see in the world". 

If you think the world is wrong, that the need for change is great, then lend your voices to the few so that they may soon become the many. A whisper can become a roar if enough voices are heard at once and NOW is the time to raise your voice!

Zonnie's Birth Story

This is the remarkable and empowering birth story of Zonnie.

Please note that the following is my original birth story, written one-week postpartum. This is my impression of what took place.
Labor begins

I noticed contractions while trick or treating with my little siblings around 7PM on Halloween. They got a little more serious around midnight, but I did manage to fall asleep until 4am, when active labor started. Contractions were close together and intense. I couldn't talk through them. Based on the rule of thumb about contractions, I figured this was the real deal. But I was in for a surprise!
I labored for most of the day, sure that soon I would have a baby in my arms. DH rushed around getting everything ready. Labor began a week early, so although we had most of our supplies, we weren't entirely set up for a water birth.

The contractions were intense from when I woke up to the very end. They remained the same level of intensity, even if timing varied. I would describe them as menstrual cramps, only lasting longer with clear peaks. With DH helping me by talking me through them (acting as a hypnobabies coach I suppose is the way to put it), I thought it was an exhilarating but not painful experience.
Then a twist

By nighttime, I began to feel a sharp sensation in my lower left quadrant that was truly painful. At first the pain was matching up with the contractions, but then it started to just stay on its own, not fading or getting worse. It felt to me like "bad" pain, not the intensity of exercising or contractions, but the pain of an ankle sprain. I couldn't relax through it and the pool made it worse. I described this pain to mamas on MDC and someone mentioned that is what she felt at the beginning of her placental abruption.

I began wondering what was going on and contacted an underground midwife. She listened to the symptoms and suggested transfer to the ER as she was also thinking abruption.
We stopped by the local hospital, hearts in our throats. I was hooked up to an EFM and left for about 10 minutes. Then the doctor came in, I consented to a vaginal exam and he did an ultrasound. His conclusion? Our baby was vertex, about 8.5lbs and I was 4cm dilated. He actually smiled at us, patted my foot as I lay on the table and recommended spending the night at home. We were actually discharged from the hospital! (Which without any emergency, we were definitely going to leave AMA anyways).

Continuing on

After that, I found renewed strength to help my baby out. I decided I had just been too eager in the beginning of the day and must have worn myself out with high expectations. Someone online recommended making hot rice socks for the sharp pains and it worked like a miracle! (Note: I later learned that it was round ligament pain related to pelvic problems from injuries I sustained as a gymnast). We went home and labored through the night. My contractions slowed down, giving me time to rest. I was having 90 second contractions about every 5-6 minutes, falling asleep in the pool in between them. My amazing DH, who got the flu the night before Halloween, was camped out on a futon cushion next to me.

So around 6-7am, I hit transition. I started shaking, puking, wanting to give up, etc. The contractions sped up a lot, one on top of the other and I asked DH to check my cervix. He confirmed I was 8-9cm dilated. Then, nothing. Literally. My contractions died off almost completely, with maybe one or two every 10-15 minutes. I was back to normal and able to walk, talk and eat.
We were both very confused. We decided I should rest, thinking this was my body trying to save up energy for the last stretch. Keep in mind that we had been monitoring the baby the whole time and she had great heart tones/fetal movement. It was a disappointment to wait longer, but didn't seem worrisome.

Anyways, at some point during the middle of the day my contractions came back and around 8/9PM that night, I hit transition again! Yes, I puked again, isn't that wonderful? Lol. I was fully dilated and we could both feel her head. That's when the contractions died off again. I got one pushy contraction and then nothing. Finally, I just really had this instinct that this was going nowhere and we needed assistance. So we called back the underground midwife and she agreed to visit to see what was happening.

Some answers and some progress

She listened to the baby's heart beat and then asked to do a vaginal exam. She started moving things around, saying the baby's head was cocked to one side (asynclitic). I got a contraction, yay! We used some herbs to help the contractions along and I had a few very pushy contractions in the pool. Then she did another check and found the baby's head was stuck behind my pubic bone. I moved out of the birth pool and tried a few positions, but it still didn't free her up so the midwife instructed DH on how to push her head down while I pushed through contractions. That was extremely unpleasant but worked!

According to DH, I pushed for over 5 hours through the night. At one point, my mom came in to help out, as DH was very busy helping to support me and move the baby. So our private birth turned into a little party, but I had become very uninhibited at this point and found myself enjoying my mom's excitement. (She seemed a lot more excited than me haha). DH had to continually reposition the baby as she came down the canal. My right leg gave out on me (went numb), so I was leaning against a birthing ball and trying to push on one knee. This was again a complication related to my pelvic instability/injury.

Baby is almost out!

I think I pushed for 3.5 hours, according to DH, to get her onto my perineum and visible. That's when the MW gave me a mirror. I  flipped around and maintained a squatting position with DH supporting me by the armpits so that I could "hang" in the air. This was extremely effective! I felt all my muscles loosen up and get used to the fullest. I highly recommend this position and wish I had tried it out much earlier. It took probably 20 contractions to crown her. Her head came out with her face towards my thigh, her head tilted to the side and forehead leaning back (transverse occiput, asynclitic, almost posterior).

Then the MW asked me to roll over onto all fours. I think she was suspecting Shoulder Dystocia after the way my baby's head was stuck. She easily slid out on the next contraction and her neck/head did not turtle so SD was not a problem.

Anyways, she came out with a nuchal hand, elbow sticking straight out and her other arm behind her back. I remember sitting there next to her, rubbing her legs and not saying a word. I was speechless. I was in bliss. The MW told DH to say something to our baby. As DH spoke, little Zonnie turned her head to him and looked him right in the eyes. Those moments after her birth are wonderful memories for me. I feel as if time stood still.

Although labor and birth wasn't painful, it was long and hard so I was exhausted. I was basically stuck on the ground clutching her but unable to move/relax. After about 10 minutes, I asked DH to hold her and to cut the cord. It was too much exertion for me to keep sitting and holding her. The cord was already flat and white by then, so I didn't feel too bad (we had been considering a lotus birth). I birthed the placenta about 2 minutes later on a birthing stool. It was almost 5lbs and looked really healthy with a heart shape. The next surprise came when we found out she weighed 11lbs, 4oz! Those ultrasounds and doctors aren't always accurate.

Post partum experience:

I purple pushed when she was crowning. It was a personal thing for me as I was so tired and just wanted to see her that I ignored the little spark of intuition telling me to wait. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear and went into the hospital a few hours after birth. We decided to go to the ER and bypass the maternity ward. It was a good decision. The ER doctor was fast and skilled. We didn't get any drama from him, although every few minutes he would pause, look up at me and ask, "She was 11lbs what?" It was cute lol. Those stitches made me tender for about a week but thankfully I did not experience any long term difficulties.

For paperwork reasons, we wanted to set up a meeting with our family physician. But when DH called to schedule a leisurely appointment, the nurse pointed out that our doctor was so busy we could get in the next day or wait 3 months! :o So we actually took her in at around 48 hours after the birth. The doctor was tickled at her weight and talked about how he had patients who birthed 15 pound babies. He joked that he knew how to draw a "big baby" growth chart from experience and that she needed an individual one!


Nursing was a slow start for us. She was obviously very sore in the neck and preferred one side. She also had a very tight anterior and posterior ankyloglossia. The MW recommended we clip her tongue tie as she was not getting a strong latch. We had an appointment scheduled 5 days after the birth. I started nursing around the clock with both of us naked. DH spent most of his day being the perfect chair for me, so we all had some great family time. Literally before walking out the door to that appointment, I confirmed good latch signs and my milk came in abundantly. We cancelled the appointment and have been nursing on cue ever since.

Regarding pain and birthing a large baby

The two top questions I get about my birth experience are about pain and macrosmia. They are both difficult to talk about as this was my first child. How am I supposed to know if it hurt more or less, or it was harder or easier to birth a large baby? Lol. But here is my feeling on the issues: what hurt? That round ligament pain hurt. The contractions didn't hurt. Feeling my body open didn't hurt. The ring of fire stung like the dickens. Sneezing with stitches hurt. I am one of "those" people who would agree that contractions are surges or waves and that birth is an orgasmic, awakening experience.

As for a big baby...I wasn't expecting a BIG baby. (She was measuring 2 weeks ahead, which is a number that could easily be position-related). Her positioning was really off and no doubt impacted the length of my labor and pushing stage. Maybe her position was related to her size, but in working with some birth professionals and my chiropractor, I think she did what she had to do to get out of my very imbalanced pelvic area. I think if I had paid more attention to aligning my pelvis and relaxing the ligaments of the uterus during my pregnancy, she would have been in an optimal position for birthing regardless of her size. Oh, and about her size...what caused it? It remains undiagnosed macrosomia. I did not have GD, or even mild glucose problems. I monitored my glucose levels daily during pregnancy. I ate a healthy diet. I worked full time and exercised until 38 weeks. I'm 5' 4" and weighed 118lbs pre-pregnancy. Who knows? It remains a great topic for birth conversations haha!

Well, there you have it. Thanks for reading!

ETA: As a first time mama choosing a freebirth, I hesitated for a long time to share this story. Choosing to birth at home gets enough judgment already! But as I get closer to Ian's birth day (whatever day that will be) I found myself biting my tongue at the question I often hear: "What happens if something goes wrong?"

What happens if something goes wrong...those words echo in my head when I read them or hear them. The general idea seems to be that if you choose to birth outside the hospital, 1) something will go wrong that would not go wrong in a hospital 2) and you will be stuck at home and forced to suffer the dire consequences.

My story shows that these assumptions aren't true. Homebirth is not "all or nothing." It's not an ordeal that you commit to, that you either accomplish or fail. This is about living out our lives and taking it one step at a time. My husband and I were drawn to birth at home without others present. Feeling that way did not take away our ability to consult with others, including doctors and midwives. And by reaching out to others in the community, we were able to experience a beautiful, peaceful homebirth.

So I just hope that my story provides some context for others who wonder what people do when a homebirth isn't a quick and easy experience. When someone says, "Well, you have easy labors, of course you birth at home!" I want her to know that it doesn't have to be easy; in fact, it's hard labor. :-) When someone says, "Well, you've had 4 kids, of course you're experienced enough to birth at home!" I want her to know that you don't have to go in flying blind and you don't have to reject the experience of others (e.g. doctors/midwives/lay people). The same goes to those who say they will birth at the hospital with their first child and then do homebirths.

Peace and happy birthing. <3

Eight months pregnant.
"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are." Augustine

Dedicated to my mom, who walked a path of darkness with me at my birth, and walked a path of joy with me at my daughter's birth. ♥
Fathers, if you want bonding and oxytocin, catch your baby!

Little Zonnie smiles in her daddy's arms on her birthday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nursing top contest

Well I don't usually do this, but it's a cute top sooooooo....

Bumblewear is giving away one nursing top every day for one month till Sept 15th- offer is free/no purchase necessary and is open to all residents of Canada and continental US. You can enter every day and if you mention my email address,( I get 10 extra entries(hint hint!)!!!!

Good luck everyone!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Conflict of Interest Much? Here a Swine, There a Swine....

The World Health Organization has released  for the first time a list of the 15 members of the Emergency Committee responsible for advising the World Health Organisation about swine flu pandemic alerts and for the mass hysteria caused by these so called "Pandemic" alerts, which caused a mass rush by world governments to buy up massive quantities of H1N1 Vaccines.  Of these 15 advisors, 5 have direct ties to Big Pharma and their wallets.

WHO list reveals flu advisors with industry ties

Nancy Cox, from the US Centers for Disease Control, disclosed financial support from a drugs industry group, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) for flu vaccine research and work on viruses in her unit.

US professor Arnold Monto declared current and past consultancies on pandemic or seasonal influenza research for GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur.
He also declared a grant from Sanofi for a clinical trial in 2007-2008 related to influenza vaccines.

John Wood's research unit at Britain's National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), had undertaken research for Sanofi Pasteur, CSL, IFPMA, Novartis and Powdermed on influenza vaccine.

Professor Maria Zambon's laboratory at the UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection received funding from several vaccine makers, including Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GSK.

British professor Neil Ferguson, an advisor to the committee, had acted as a consultant for Roche and GSK Biologicals until 2007, according to the list.

The WHO said those interests "do not give rise to a conflict of interest such that the experts concerned should be partially or totally excluded from participation in the Emergency Committee."

The panel provided expert advice to the WHO Director General Margaret Chan about the new swine flu virus, allowing her to raise the alert when it was first uncovered in Mexico and the United States in April 2009.
It was also instrumental in the declaration of a pandemic with global spread of the disease in June 2009, triggering a chain of public health precautions including development and production of an influenza vaccine....

HERE to read the entire article  

 So the truth is out yet WHO is still trying to cover their collective asses by denying that these advisers were in direct conflict of interest, considering their deep pockets were lined with Big Pharma's gold.  Even sadder is the fact that none of these people will be held accountable for their obvious bamboozling of the worlds government health agencies, costing us tax payers millions and millions of our hard earned cash in unused vaccines. 

For a very clear look calculated look at the history of the flu vaccine production within the business sector of Big Pharma, read my article "How Vaccines became Big Business".  Many of us have known all along: The drug companies were motivated by money and profits in pushing the "Swine Flu Pandemic" scare. Billions of Dollars/Pounds/Euros have been squandered to order massive quantities of vaccines and flu drugs as governments got prepared for the massive death toll and riots that were suppose to be caused by the H1N1 Virus.... Now governments are left with stock piles of vaccines that are completely useless, and gaping holes in their health budgets to pay for actual medical emergencies and routine services.

Who wants to bet on what the next "Pandemic" scare will be, and whose pockets will be lined this time?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Birth and Violence", Part 1

"Birth Rape" by Dani Arnold-McKenny 2010

"Trauma" "Rape" "Violence"... Shocking words that conjure shocking images, yet when you put the word "Birth" in front of them, immediately you will get a hoard of people pooh poohing you, telling you that there is no such thing, it's all in your head,  or my  two favorites:

"Get Over It!" & "At least you have a healthy baby".

Nothing subjugates modern western women more than those two sentences. Not just because they belittle, humiliate and demean women, but because they are spoken constantly and by the very people that these women thought they could trust: Doctors and Husbands, Fathers and Brothers, Friends and Co-Workers.... and yes, even by their own mothers and sisters and female friends.

... "get over it" as in: Stop your whining and trying to get attention- just grow up and get on with it.

... "at least you have a healthy baby" as in: you have absolutely no value other than as a baby incubator.

And yet women will utter those words to post partum mothers all the time!!!

One article I've read talks about the experience of one women "Lynsey" who was subjected to verbal ridicule and physical assault by her midwife in England:
As a result of this trauma, Lynsey suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and tokophobia (fear of childbirth). She became deeply depressed, had nightmares and flashbacks, trouble bonding with her son, and her marriage nearly broke down because her husband couldn’t acknowledge that she was raped by the midwife and he had stood by while it happened. He begged her to stop calling it rape and to let it go, get on with her life. As so many new mothers can attest, any anger, sadness or disappointment expressed about the birth is usually swept under the rug. Everyone says: “Yes, but it’s all in the past now. You have a healthy baby and that’s all that matters.” As if the woman who endured the birthing experience was merely a passive observer, the emotionless vehicle through which the baby arrived.

We like to think that the bygone era of  "Twilight Birthing" is over, that the Cruelty of Maternity wards during the 40's and 50's is just a bad memory that we try not to talk about, but we have a much bigger problem in our society.  A dilemma that is so pervasive and enigmatic that it stares us in the face daily, yet society as a whole is incapable of seeing it. Sexism is alive and well in our so called "developed nations".  For generations women have fought for the Right to Vote, the Right to advanced schooling, the Right to have "Equal Rights".  We cheered when court battles were won that pushed the Rights of women into the media and force laws to be changed.  Yet When it comes to the ultimate of Human and Womens Rights, the Right to birth in peace, the Right to informed consent and the Right to be treated with dignity, we are kept completely in the dark.  So much so that many many women don't even realize that their Rights have been violated. And when they leave the hospital to begin that incredible journey of motherhood feeling traumatized and degraded, as if they've just returned home from a horrific battle, they are told to smile and get over it.  They are told that the anxiety and depression is just because they are tired and it will get better.  They are told that their inability to bond with their child is just because it's "all new" and that they'll get use to parenting soon. And when they can't "get over it" they are treated as if they are lazy, weak, selfish or even crazy. So these women suffer in silence and internalize their pain until many times it overwhelms them.

 If they were members of the Armed Forces, they  would get attention and treatment and councilling for their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but as mothers they are are left to fend for themselves.

More and more women develop some of the symptoms of PTSD.  All of these women suffer birth trauma.  An Australian study found 1 out of 3 women reported a stressful birthing event with three or more trauma symptoms when interviewed 4-6 weeks after a vaginal delivery.  [Creedy et al Childbirth and the Development of Acute Trauma Symptoms: Incidence & Contributing Factors Birth 27(2), 104 – 111]. 

Birth Trauma Canada gives an extensive outline of what causes birth trauma. A vast proportion of  these causes are those things that have "been done to" the mother- medical interventions being forced without full consent or full disclosure, poor labour support, being denied food, water, clothing, courtesy or respect by medical personnel, being ignored, dismissed, disrespected and denied.  I just finished reading the NavelGazing Midwife's article about Birth Rape and wanted to cry as I can remember going through so many of these examples my self through several of my births.

Birthrape: The experience of having fingers, scissors, and/or tools put/pushed/shoved inside a woman's vagina or rectum without her direct (or indirect) permission.

Being coerced, manipulated, or lied to regarding the health and safety of the baby or themselves so the midwife is able to do something to the mother's vagina, rectum, cervix, or perineum, usually with excuses; rarely with apologies.

Some find the definition expanded to:

The midwife taking the woman's Power by using disparaging comments, unsupportive expressions, speaking around her as if she is unable to hear or process requests or information.


Even though consent forms are signed in the hospital, birth center, and at home, consent for care does not include the manipulations or coercive words to get women to obey the caregiver....

Directives That Disembody Her Being
* Lift her leg.
* Move her to the bed.
* Grab her knees.
* Put her feet in the stirrups.
* Put her hands on the grips.
* Push her head to her chest.
* Push her chin to her chest.
* Put pillows under her head.
* Put pillows under her butt.
* Pull her down to the edge of the bed.
* Push with her so she knows how to do it right.
* Count for her so she knows how to do it right.
Coercive and Manipulative Remarks
* pressing knees apart - I need to do a vaginal exam.
* C'mon, just let me see what is going on.
* I'll do it quick and fast, I promise.
* I promise to be gentle.
* I just want to see how dilated you are.
 * I'm just feeling your cervix... it might hurt a little. (as manipulations to the cervix are done... from stripping the membranes to manual dilation)
* I'm just feeling your cervix. (as cytotec is put onto the cervix)
* Do you want your baby to die?...

 Where does a woman go for help, when the medical professionals themselves give no credence to their mental state and pooh pooh their birthing experience? Not just Doctors and Nurses, but Midwives too!! Who does a woman turn to for support when she wishes to have another child?  The NavelGazing Midwife goes on to say

"I share them and am writing about them and speaking about them and nearly screaming about them in the hopes that midwives will hear what they are saying that is sending their clients into therapy, pushing them to depressions that require medication and alternative therapies, keeping them from coming back to the midwife at all because of her Power Hunger and covert misogyny. Too many women (in my opinion) find Unattended Birth their only acceptable option after their experiences with professional caregivers in birth."
 Women would rather have their babies at home with just their partner for help and comfort, than to face the very real trauma of dealing with the medical personnel that inflicted them with so much physical, emotional and mental pain and abuse. And some women will forgo having another child altogether to insure that they never have to live through the ordeal again.

Our patriarchal society has for generations kept a close rein on pregnancy and childbirth, insisting that women be denigrated and treated as if they are too stupid to have any control over their own bodies- an automatic incubator that functions within the parameters of the medical machines controlling arms.  If the incubator is unable to fulfil it's designated roll within those parameters then the necessary steps must be taken to put the machine back on track..... regardless of the will of the incubator..I mean "Woman". Though we might look to midwives to change this, they too are under the thumb of "the man", and are under constant pressure from medical associations, hospitals and doctors to toe the line or else loose their privileges in their catchment hospital or even their own midwifery governing body.

So what do you do? Women need to take back their births and use their power to empower other women to follow suit.  Until we stand up for ourselves change will not happen. Until we support each other through our experiences in childbirth and educate and share our knowledge and voices, we will not be free to exercise our Womens Rights to give birth and reclaim our births.

To Quote Amity Reed from "The F Word":

"No means No, even in the delivery room"