You are currently browsing the archives for July, 2009.

Did a mom REALLY loose her baby due to refusal to consent to a cesarean?

When I last blogged on this topic, I said in the comments:

Right now I’m not willing to string the appellate court as far up a pole as many people are doing… Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 3:43 pm.


Vaccination Worries – Second in a Series

As I explained in my first post of this series, I am writing in response to an article that came out in a health organization’s newsletter.  The original article was just one page long, but I’m afraid I have MUCH more than one page to say in response to it.  The article was written in a “Q&A” format, with a small side bar box with a few “interesting facts.”  In this post, I’ll address the first Q&A in the article.  I will continue to answer them, then move on to the “interesting facts,” which will each have their own post of response.

Question 1:  Haven’t whooping cough, measles, and mumps been wiped out?  Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 12:24 am.


A Woman’s Right to Refuse Cesarean

When I teach my classes I always tell my students that they have the right to refuse any medical intervention, even if doing so endangers them or their baby.  I often point out that there is no situation where one person is required to have surgery to protect the health of another, which is essentially what many cesareans boil down to–a woman having a surgery that she likely does not need, but her baby might need.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m very much pro-life.  I wouldn’t encourage any woman in labor to endanger her baby–and I truly believe that most women would not endanger their baby.  But so often, Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 11:09 pm.


Labor Induction – Dinner and a Date

One of my friends is past her due date…wondering when her baby will come…so I thought I’d revive this blog post I wrote about 2.5 years ago.

So often when I talk to women in the last weeks of pregnancy, what I hear is a recollection of all the “natural” methods they have tried to induce labor. And frankly, I find this disturbing.

I have to admit, the most after my due date that I’ve gone with any of my 5 pregnancies was 2 days…and I was in denial that I was in labor when it started because “I’m not having this baby for another week–I have things to do!” And each pregnancy there after I birthed at 39 weeks on the dot (until my 5th, which I birthed at 38 weeks 6 days), so with the exception of the 4th I was still repeating the same mantra as labor started “I’m not having this baby for another week–I have things to do!” By the 4th I had accepted my reality, and predicted the birth date 2-3 months in advance.

So anyway, bottom line…I’ve not been one to eagerly pursue induction (though I was induced with my second–water broke but no labor). But I’ve also not gone through the waiting many women experience when they go past their “best before date.” Oh, wait, that’s an “ESTIMATED due date!” I can’t really say if I wouldn’t be in the “what can I do to get this baby out?” camp if I did go much past my due date. But the thing I find most disturbing is the women who are starting the natural induction techniques as early as 37 weeks.

Just because it is “natural” does not mean that it is “risk free,” which I think is a distinction that many people fail to make. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac are all natural. So is a bite from a Viper. Blue and Black cohashes have been linked to heart problems in the infant. Castor oil can cause the baby to pass meconium in utero. (Note: It has been pointed out to me that many midwives dispute this notion linking castor oil to meconium. I don’t know of any research one way or the other…so for now I’ll drop that from my list of “known” side effects and just stick with the annoyance of running to the bathroom over and over and over…) Nipple stimulation and walking really don’t seem to work to induce labor so moms may needlessly tire/discourage themselves trying these methods (but they can be very effective for augmenting labor). Most importantly, if the natural method does trigger labor a few days sooner than it would have started on its own, who is to say that the baby is quite ready yet? Or the mom’s body? My own experience with having my membranes stripped in my first pregnancy (without my consent) was that I had a very long labor–I think in part because my body was not quite ready to labor yet. There were other factors too, but I think that one was high on the list.

So when moms ask my opinion on labor induction, my first advice is that they try to hang in there…the average nulipara (woman who hasn’t given birth before) will be pregnant for 41 weeks 1 day, while the average multipara goes to 40 weeks 3 days. So for many women, they are stressing about being “late” when they haven’t even reached the average gestation for their situation. Further, for there to be averages, some moms have to go even longer than that. Adding to the reasons to avoid induction is research that indicates that induction in a first time mom may double or even triple the risk of having a cesarean.

Beyond that, I encourage moms–really and truly–to QUIT trying to start labor. Try to take their minds off the question of “will I EVER have this baby???” I know..hard to do. With my 4th pregnancy I experienced for the first time being tired of being pregnant…and I was only 6 months along–LOL!

But seriously, adrenaline, created from stress, can inhibit labor. So I think that trying to relax and just giving the whole “I’ve got to get labor going!” thing a break may be very helpful.

I encourage moms to take a day for some pampering. If she has older kids, she might want to get them involved in this, though she should use her own judgement on whether they would relax her, or keep her “on the ready.” Anyway…I encourage mom to take a nice long soak in a tub complete with dim lighting, scented candles, and some soft music. When she gets out, perhaps the kids can have heated towels waiting, and maybe they could have been preparing the master bedroom to be a haven while mom was bathing–putting fresh sheets on the bed, setting up a light snack and some candles, music, and dim lighting. Mom should enjoy the snack. Let the kids (if they can do it well) give a foot massage. Let partner give a full body massage (kick the kiddos out of the room for this of course–LOL!). If the massage leads to something…hey, go for it. But if it doesn’t–mom shouldn’t stress herself and think “I need to have sex, it might kick start labor.”

Mom should then take a nap. A nice, long, deliciously decadant one. One of those ones that mom wakes up feeling kind of like a cat who was basking in sunlight, and wonders with thankful amazement at how the kids didn’t wake her up (because they were sent outside or to friends to play, or her partner kept them busy reading books).

When she wakes up, her kind partner will have dinner ready for her (yes, he will, mom should let him know that is his job. ;-), or will have made arrangements to take mom to a restaraunt that makes her feel relaxed & pampered. This is not the time for a buffet or fast food (unless you want to bring Boston Market food home to eat by candle-light–that is yummy!). Mom should let someone else serve her.

Mom can tuck the kids into bed to get those nice maternal hormones going. 😉 Then more massaging if she is in the mood–at the very least, a nice cup of chamomile tea, and off to sleep early.

If calming down the adrenaline in her system allows labor to begin–GREAT! She is well rested for the task. And if it doesn’t–GREAT! When is she going to get a chance to rest like that after the new baby comes? 😉 And taking the break will allow her to be more energized to pick back up on trying some way to give labor a kick start.

And that’s it. It’s worked for several of my clients. 😉

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 7:38 pm.


Vaccination Worries – First in a Series

Recently I received a copy of a local hospital network’s “Healthy You” magazine.  I usually find articles of interest in it–some that I agree with, some that I passionately disagree with.  This particular issue had one of the latter type.

My husband and I have chosen to partially vaccinate our children.  This is not a decision that we have come to easily.  Actually, our first daughter is nearly fully vaccinated–the only vaccine she has not gotten on schedule is Chicken Pox.  When she was an infant a vaccine for RSV was recalled because it was suspected of causing a condition called bowel intussusception–when the bowel folds on itself, causing a blockage.  Ironically, though our daughter had not received the vaccine, Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 11:45 pm.


Pit to Distress…Does it Really Happen?

The blog-o-sphere is buzzing right now about a practice called “Pit to Distress.”  Apparently Keyboard Revolutionary started it all with her post, which was quickly followed by Unnecesarean the same day.  Now both of these blogs are written by “lay women”–that is, “JUST” moms, not medical professionals.  So I was quite happy to see one of my favorite L&D nurse blogs jump into the fray–Nursing Birth.  The Nursing Birth piece should be required reading for ANY woman who is planning a hospital birth, so that she doesn’t let this happen to her.

Pitocin seems to be almost synonomous with hospital labors anymore. I wonder how many women who labor actually manage to get through without using it at some point. One client I had switched OB practices because she had been informed that when she arrived at the hospital in active labor she would be put on Pitocin. No waiting to see how labor was progressing and if it was really needed…it was just the policy of this practice to use Pitocin on all laboring women. Medical staff will often explain away any concerns with the use of Pitocin by saying that it is just a synthetic form of the same hormone that your body produces. Which is true. But that doesn’t mean that putting it into an IV is the same as letting your body produce it!

I’ve seen some “interesting” things happen with Pitocin in my doula experience. 

Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 12:50 am.


Summer 2009 Class Schedule is up!

I just posted my class schedule for the summer, going into early fall.  To view it, please go here:

Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 10:33 am.

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Happy Independence Day–for Newborn Boys

Circumstraint Board

Circumstraint Board

Circumcision in the land of the free, home of the brave…its a touchy topic!

Here in America most men are circumcised–in contrast to the rest of the world where at least 80% of men are not circumcised.  While groups opposed to circumcision say that circumcision rates have declined to the point that it is now 50/50 with babies born in America today, I certainly don’t see that in my area.  I know very few parents other than my clients who leave their sons intact.

Recently I came across a rather unique argument in favor of circumcision.  I asked an expectant couple why they were planning to circumcise, and they gave some of the usual answers:  so he’ll look like dad, and for hygiene.

I chuckled and quickly answered Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 1:59 am.


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