Natural Childbirth


Doulas on The Today Show 0

Doulas are a wonderful addition to the modern, medical birthing environment. They are proven to reduce a number of unnecessary interventions, including cesarean. They offer emotional support and in many instances, doulas will gently remind a woman who is being coerced into unnecessary procedures about her original intentions and birth plan. Doctors (and CNMs) hate this. The following clip is from the Today Show which aired on November 20, 2008 and in which mother and doula's opinions were downplayed while the obstetrician got the lion's share of the interview and the woman basically blamed doulas for less than favorable outcomes which is absolutely and utterly ridiculous. They (the cogs in the medical model) have no one to blame but themselves, their wallets and their watch for less than favorable outcomes.

Circumcision In The News - Nov 2008 0

Circumcision In The News - Nov 2008 Of all the choices that parents can make surrounding birthing options, none is more permanent or devastating than routine infant circumcision which is usually done for cultural, cosmetic or religious reasons. It is permanent, mutilates your helpless little boy, is a human rights violation, is not the parent's choice (unless you think it is a batterer's choice to beat his wife as well) and yes, there is a thriving market for infant foreskins. Let your son make his own choice about changing his body at 18 or at least wait and see if he is REALLY being made fun of in the locker room. In recent news: From Denmark: The focus of this article is on the human rights violation side of the issue. Wait until your little boy can make up his own mind about this permanently disfiguring practice. "While there are laws preventing female genital mutilation in Denmark, there are none preventing male genital mutilation. Demands for action." "There is a deep problem here. Society is in no doubt that the genital mutilation of girls is unacceptable - but we accept it with boys and have tolerated it for many years because it is linked to religion. It is gender discrimination from birth that we make a distinction between boys and girls," says Gulberg, who adds that circumcision should be banned for boys under 15 years of age. According to tradition, young Jewish boys are circumcised at the age of eight days." From the land of sick and disgusting: Most anti-circumcision advocates are aware that foreskins are sold to cosmetics companies, a fact that most of those who circumcise their sons without any research would rather not know. Ignorance is bliss, right? Let's just ignore the fact that doctors and hospitals have an ulterior motive for performing this cruel and unjust procedure on our most helpless and innocent arrivals. Sick - sick - sick. From Gloria Lemay:Are we getting anywhere with ending circumcision?: Gloria is discussing her battle to end circumcision in B.C., Canada where the circumcision rate is only 10% but is no less an outrage as she notes. (US rates vary by region but are well over 50% in many parts of the country). On the decline yes, but every single baby who is mutilated unnecessarily is an absolute and utter tragedy. and my favorite, and older post from one smarmy mama: Click over to read the whole post which is just hysterical (in a tragic sort of way) and includes comebacks to all the traditional arguments for circumcision. It really makes you wonder if ANYONE thinks before doing this to their innocent boy. From on circing which takes from a Livejournal article: "Why? Because of the slight possibility an infection might occur with the foreskin? Might as well start hacking out tonsils and appendixes at birth too, since the rate of infection with those later in life is much higher. Might as well chop off every prepubescent girl's breasts to avoid the chance of breast cancer later. Why? Because it's easier to "do it now than later"? How do you know it'll be needed later? Or he'll want to remove it later? Don't parents realize an adult will get much better anesthetic than an infant? Why? Because it's just easier now? Yeah, performing an amputation without a patient's permission is pretty damn easy. Why? Because you think it's ugly? Best excuse ever. Way to call your baby's gentitalia "ugly". Stop placing your sexual preferences on your newborn baby, douchebag. Why? Because he may get made fun of? Considering that only 11% of newborn boys were circumcised in Canada in 2003, I doubt that. And if a kid was staring at one of my son's penises in the locker room I'd have better questions. Why? Because you have to clean it? A foreskin is wash and wear until it retracts. Jayden's hasn't even yet. And when it does it will probably take me 10 minutes to show him how to pull it back and wipe in the bath. OHHHHHH THE WORK."

Homebirth in the News 11/2008 2

Generally speaking, when homebirth is covered in the media, it is usually with a condescending attitude or outright horror at the "risks" that women take for a homebirth. As many of us now know, that is nonsense and it appears that the trend of homebirth for well screened, low risk women is on the rise. Not just on the rise with the fringe either. Homebirthers are a highly educated, professional bunch. Homebirth in the News Yesterday's issue of the NY Times had a great piece on the rising trend of homebirths in the NY area with credit given to "The Business of Being Born" for bringing much needed attention to the ridiculous state of hospital births in America today. (Go Ricky! Go Ricky!) There was another very positive article on homebirthing in today's issue of In other news... Why do we (in N America) feel such righteous indignation toward those who practice genital mutilation on girls, yet we continue to look the other way when baby boys are routinely mutilated for religious, cultural or worse yet, cosmetic reasons?? A quote from the article: "The term “female circumcision” is synonymous with female genital mutilation, and acts as a blanket term for a variety of disfiguring surgical alterations. The World Health Organization firmly opposes female circumcision and considers the removal of the clitoral hood to be a prevailing form of genital mutilation. Male circumcision, however, is a term applied only to a single, familiar cultural practice, and is not considered mutilation. Male foreskin and the clitoral hood are biologically homologous and so mutilation of these body parts should be treated with similar concern. The acceptance of male genital mutilation is an outdated social construct that needs to be looked at from a less dichotomous perspective. It’s almost the same thing, so why treat it differently?" Also see how high copper levels may have an influence on postpartum depression at Apparently blood copper levels rise in pregnancy and fail to go back down post partum in a number of PPD cases. Risk factors from the article: "Copper excess risk factors: Pregnancy Presently taking estrogen containing medication (e.g. OCP, HRT) Currently take multivitamin containing copper Regularly use copper tea kettles or pans Blue-green stains in bathtub, toilet or sink (suggestive of elevated copper content of water) Family history of: Postpartum depression ADD/ADHD/Autism Wilson’s Disease" Last, check out these great tips from Gloria Lemay's wonderful blog about very specific ways you can really help out someone who just had a baby. Funny reading for someone who just had a baby and had to entertain tons of visitors and very useful information for someone who genuinely wants to help out.

Parenting, Postnatal and Postpartum Tips 0

Parenting tipsby Julian Hall Shortly after your baby is born, you may be somewhat focused on what you experienced during labor and delivery and less on your baby. This is perfectly normal. It was a monumental event in your life, and there is a transition period. Don't be afraid to share your feelings with others or write about your experience in a journal. As you adapt to your role as a mother, you may find yourself feeling stressed or anxious. You might question whether or not you will be a good mother, and you are probably feeling a bit exhausted and overwhelmed. You might even feel a little let down or blue. If you understand whats happening to your body and emotions, you will be much more likely to face the challenging first few months of motherhood. The following postpartum tips may help. Taking good care of your physical health is vital right now. Schedule time to eat meals, exercise (even if its just a walk around the block), and rest. Your body has worked hard through the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and it will take another 40 weeks or more for things to return to normal. Immediately after delivery, your uterus will begin rapidly decreasing in size. Within several weeks, it will have returned to normal size. As well, you can expect to have vaginal bleeding, called lochia, for a couple of weeks while your uterus sheds its lining. If you are not breastfeeding, you will probably have a menstrual period within 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, it may be many months or even years before menstruation returns. You can expect that you will be experiencing some postpartum pains and discomforts for a few days and possibly weeks, especially if you had a cesarean birth or an episiotomy. Don't try to overexert yourself until you are feeling, for the most part, pain-free. Other common complaints of women after giving birth include:
  • Constipation
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Sweating
  • Swollen, painful breasts (from breastfeeding)
  • Overall fatigue
Try to keep in mind that the aches, pains, and fatigue of being a new mother will go away on their own quickly. If, however, you feel that there may be a complication or problem, such as excessive bleeding, unexplained pain, or fever, don't hesitate to call your doctor. It is also very important to take care of your emotional wellbeing during this transition period. Many new mothers are surprised by how drained, sad or fragile they feel after giving birth. These feelings are normal, and it is frequently referred to as the baby blues. It is estimated that about 7 in 10 women develop some degree of the baby blues, and it is thought to be caused by both a drop in hormone levels and dealing with the stresses of taking care of a newborn. While these feelings may be confusing or even scary, they will fade quickly. When you are feeling down, remind yourself that you have taken on a huge responsibility being a mother. Feeling sad, angry or anxious occasionally does not mean that you are a failure as a mother, and it does not mean that you are mentally ill. What it does mean is that your body is adjusting to the changes that follow giving birth. For a small percentage of women, new motherhood brings feelings of despair, hopelessness, or severe anxiety. This is referred to as postpartum depression. Women who have mood disorders prior to pregnancy or who have a family history of mood disorders are more likely to develop this condition. If you are prone to depression, you may want to discuss this with your doctor or midwife before the baby arrives. There are many good treatments and counselors who can help relieve postpartum depression. Make sure to talk to a medical professional right away if you experience any of the following signs of postpartum depression:
  • Baby blues that last for more than a couple of weeks
  • Unexplained anger or depression that develops one or two months after delivery
  • Feelings of hopelessness or sadness that seem to be getting worse each day
  • Inability to sleep, even when tired
  • Sleeping most of the time, even when the baby is awake
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lack of feelings for your baby
  • Panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
About the Author: Julian Hall of - The Baby Gifts Company - The Most Unique, Innovative Gift Ideas for Babies, Christening Gifts, Newborn Gifts, Personalized Gifts, Organic Clothing, Nappies, Blankets and New Baby Gifts Image Source:

Infant Abduction - It Really Happens 0

Prevent Infant Abductions in Your Hospital by Karen Cinpinski An article from CNN "Missing 5-Day-Old Girl Found in Texas" demonstrates the reality of infant abduction. "On June 5, 2006 an ailing 5-day-old girl, snatched from her mother by a woman who had posed as a hospital worker, has been found and is being evaluated at University Medical Center," hospital spokesman Greg Bruce said according to the article. The article states, "It appears that she established something of a relationship -- went in the hospital, presented herself as a nurse, checked on the status of the baby and that kind of stuff," said Lt. Roy Basset, a Lubbock Police Department spokesman. According to everyone involved in this particular abduction, no one suspected the woman to be a fraud. She even wore scrubs and had a fake ID. Still, it was clear that this incident was something the woman had been planning over a period of several days. From 1983 to 1998, 177 infants were abducted according to the national Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of that total, 100 babies were taken from the hospital (57 from the mother's hospital room) and 94 were recovered. According to JCAHO, infant abductions are usually premeditated acts; however, in most cases the particular infant abducted is taken out of impulse or opportunity. According to Child Find ( there is a general profile for potential abductors and the infants abducted. These behaviors/characteristics should be known by hospital staff and mothers. Profile of the Abductor * Usually female and on average 30-years-old. * Normally overweight * Generally no prior criminal record. * Appearing normal, but emotionally immature or compulsive. * Has low self-esteem * Wants to replace a lost infant or one unable to conceive. * Announces "phantom" pregnancyand prepares for an awaiting birth as an expectant mother would. * Will make themselves known and become familiar with the hospital personnel and even the infant's parents. * Usually visits the nursery prior to the abduction asking detailed questions about hospital procedures and unit layout. * May visit more than one hospital to assess security measures and explore infant populations * Might not target a particular infant, but take the most available. * Unlikely to leave the community from which the infant was taken. Profile of the Infant * Usually seven days old or younger. * Perceived by the abductor as their newborn. * Same race as the abductor or abductor's companion. Prevention Tips Safety and security are key areas that should be involved in systems designed to prevent infant abduction. Multiple vendors have products, alarms, and other measures for protection. Hospitals should evaluate the various product options to ensure selections meet their needs. Additionally, hospitals should establish specific guidelines for staff to follow in the event of an infant abduction. Families should also be instructed concerning abduction prevention. The following are information and ideas to aid in creating guidelines and precautions for infant abduction prevention. From ankle bracelets to private entrance codes, hospitals go to great lengths to provide a secure environment for mothers and their newborns. Safe Environment The hospital environment should be assessed for potential security measures. Make sure your hospital is equipped with the following: * Security cameras in strategic locations like the nursery, stairwells, doorways, elevators, and hallways to monitor the incoming and outgoing activity. * Fire doors equipped with special alarms. Install alarms with time-delay locks on stairwells and exit doors. * Consider installing an electronic surveillance detection system. * Use baby identification bands and check the band number with the mother/father/caregiver's number before giving the infant to either parent. Also, staff should know to check the same bands for corresponding numbers before the infant is released from the hospital. * Electronic key-card system in newborn areas for staff. * Nurseries and maternity wards are located away from lobbies with street access with doors always locked. Patient Information Measures for infant identification include a variety of standard methods plus new devices: * Foot prints * Hand/finger prints * Head shots * Written description of the infant, medical records, and special identifying marks * Infant Protection Systems with baby identification bracelets and alarms ( Such systems have special ID devices that will set off alarms if the bracelet is cut or if an infant is taken from the unit/facility without permission. * Numbered umbilical cord clamps with matching identification wrist bands. These bands should be secured on the infant's ankle and wrist and the matching two should be placed on both the mother and father/caregiver's wrists. * Mark infant gowns at the neckline with the hospital name and logo so the infant is able to be quickly identified as a patient of the hospital. * Infant blankets should be marked on all four corners so the infant is readily identified as a patient of the hospital. Staff Identification Proper identification of hospital personnel is critical as an abductor may pose as a nurse, doctor, or other staff member. * All hospital personnel must wear photo identification badges with the hospital logo. Each ID badge must be worn on the outside of their clothing with the photograph facing outward. "I look for the pink badges," said Amey Walters, a new mother at Intermountain Healthcare Hospital in Utah. She said she appreciates the hospital's security measures. The hospital workers wear special pink bars on their name tags to identify them as nurses who are allowed to handle the newborns. * Anyone transporting the infant outside of the mother's room must wear an identification wristband and can only transport a newborn by use of a crib or isolette. Nursing staff, physicians, mother/father/caregiver with valid corresponding wristband are the only people to transport the infant. Nurse Janet Frank, public relations director for Orem Community, American Fork, and Utah Valley Regional Medical hospitals in Utah, said baby transporters have a special method of carrying the infant. "If a baby isn't being transported that way, we know there is a problem," she said. * Staff should identify themselves to the mother, instruct the mother of procedures their infant will be taken for, and expect the mother to question anyone not properly identified. Visitor Identification Consider ways to provide visiting times for families and friends while ensuring proper precautions are in place. * All visitors must immediately sign-in at the nurses' station upon arrival. Ask the visitor which mother they want to see, and each visitor must be signed out when leaving. * Distinctive stickers with the date of the visit should be obtained at the check-in area and given to visitors to wear while in the hospital. * No person should be allowed in without proper identification. * Mothers should be asked to designate a limited number of visitors who can come to the nursery. "We only allow people to view the baby with permission from the parents," said Kim Harmon, director of women's services at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Utah. * Only allow visitors up to five minutes of observation time per visit to the neonatal nursery. Staff Related Factors Poor preparation and training create inconsistency and confusion, which abductors can use as an opportune time for a potential abduction. Ensure the following: * Abduction prevention measures should be reviewed regularly and there should be adequate ongoing, in-service training. Infant-abduction drills should be preformed on a regular basis. Many hospitals are aware of the risk of infant abduction and several of these hospitals do routine "baby abduction drills" in the mother/baby units. Hospital staff doesn't always know if the code called is a drill or the real thing; and they all have to make sure their patients are accounted for. Timpanogos Regional Hospital's marketing and public relations director, Jacque Brown, said at one of the drills they used a test patient, where a baby was registered with an identification badge, and then taken out of the hospital by a family member. The mother played along as though her baby was actually missing. "I think the scariest thing we've ever done is actually one of these drills. We knew what was going on, but the staff did not," Brown said. As it is done with all of the drills, the hospital went into lockdown, but this time there was a real baby missing. * Hospital personnel should be alert to any unusual behavior they encounter from individuals such as: o Repeated visiting "just to see" or "hold" the infants o Questioning about hospital procedures and floor layout such as "When is feeding?" or "Where are the stairs located?" o Taking uniforms or other means of hospital identification. o Physically carrying an infant in the hospital instead of using a crib or isolette. o Anyone carrying large packages, totes or duffel bags off the nursing unit should have their belongings examined. Such behavior should be reported immediately to the unit supervisor. * Be aware of the possibility of diversionary tactics being used as a part of the abduction. An abductor could create a disturbance in another area of the hospital to create an opportune distraction. * Be conscious of targeted rooms like those out of view of the nurses' station, close to stairwells, fire exits or elevators. * Nursery doors should remain locked and never left unattended. Policies and Procedures * All infant abduction protocols and response plans should be in writing and known to all hospital staff. * Ensure that either the mother or the nursing staff always supervises infants. The infant should always remain in the direct line of sight of either the hospital staff or mother/father/caregiver. Infants should never be left unsupervised. * Provide the parent(s) with educational material and handouts explaining hospital policies in place to protect the safety of infants. Also, teach the parents/family the importance of abduction precautions. * Instruct the patient/family to notify the nursing staff immediately if they have any questions or concerns. * Do not post the mother or infant's name, address, or telephone number where it is visible to visitors. * Only give out information about the infant to the mother/father/caregiver and always verify the infant ID number on the wristbands before releasing the information. * Infants should be taken to mothers one at a time. * Require visual proof of the identification and matching wristband for a person taking an infant from the hospital. * At the time of discharge, the mother/dischargee must bring the mother's ID band and photo ID. After analysis of several recently reported infant abductions, JCAHO found problems in the procedures and systems of hospitals. Common Problems * Security equipment not available, operational or used as intended * Problems in visualization of key areas * Inadequate patient education * Staff related problems * Information related problems * Cultural factors inhibiting confronting unidentified visitors Ways to Minimize Error 1. Reduce reliance on memory. Nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff have an overwhelming amount to remember daily. Use checklists for assessments and procedures. 2. Simplify. Keep policies and procedures simple to guarantee staff compliance, but complete to ensure patient safety. Reducing the number of steps makes it easier for staff to remember, fulfill and perform policies and procedures. 3. Regulate. All policies, procedures and forms should be clearly documented and standardized. Staff must be oriented, trained and demonstrate competence in these policies. All nurses should be instructed during an initial orientation and each quarter in abduction prevention procedures, precautions, and guidelines. 4. Use restrictions. If a divergence/discrepancy occurs in procedure, create a "stop" process so that proper action must be ensured before proceeding. If any difference occurs in patient identification or transport to mother, create "stops" so the baby is identified and secured. 5. Inform. Actively involve mothers in the care of their newborn. Inform the parent(s) about policies and procedures that are designed for infant safety and security. 6. Reduce handoffs. Reducing the number of steps, persons involved and handoffs will reduce the risk of errors. "If mom wants to give the baby to grandma, that's mom's choice, but the hospital staff [is] only going to give the baby to mom," said Brown. Have the same personnel provide care as much as possible to reduce inconsistency and risk of unfamiliar personnel. Multiple caregivers or handoffs to other departments increase the chance that the mother may not know who is with her baby. 7. Keep a safe environment. Make sure the hospital work environment focuses on safety and prevention. Ensure that there is good visibility of infants and entry/exits, restricted access to unauthorized personnel and the ability to "lock down" quickly. 8. Team training. An effective team will make fewer errors so training can enhance teamwork. Develop mechanisms to train new and current staff on policies/procedures, safety measures, new equipment and ensure proficiency. Also, encourage feedback because this will correct behaviors leading to problems and will minimize error. A good idea is to establish a review mechanism for identifying system errors to reduce errors rather than focusing blame on individuals. Infant abductions are generally infrequent, yet devastating for anyone involved. It is important for hospital staff, nurses, and the mother and father/caregiver to be aware of the potential threat and to keep security measures in mind. Preventative methods and guidelines are the first step to creating a safe environment for a newborn. The second is continuing to follow through with the precautions. This is something that can be prevented. For a list of references please contact Karen Cinpinski at or 800-356-2671 ext 1130. About the Author: Karen Cinpinski is the Marketing Associate at Accutech-ICS (Innovative Control Systems) headquartered in Franklin, Wisconsin. Karen has been vital to the marketing and development of the Accutech product line. Accutech-ICS is a market leader in RFID security systems for infant, pediatric, and long-term care facilities and maintains a strong role in RFID asset tracking solutions. Visit Accutech on the web for more information! Sheryl's comment: This highlights another benefit of home birth. You just don't have to worry about a stranger walking in your living room and running off with your newborn when you homebirth. The likelihood of babies getting switched is also fairly slim in a homebirth. If you do choose to deliver in a hospital for whatever reason, then insist on room-sharing or co-sleeping with your baby. Don't let your baby out of your sight. Send somebody along with your newborn if they need to remove him/her and you cant go along. Infant abductions, while rare, are a horrifying reality and one that can easily be prevented by keeping a family event away from institutions and at home where it belongs. Image Source: