Natural Childbirth — Only in the Hospital


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."

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:

Newborn Baby Eye Drops Explained 42

newborn baby eye dropsAuthor: Tom Sample Shortly after your baby is born, the nurse will probably take your baby to a warming table where they clean up your baby a little bit, weigh and measure him, and bring him back to you. When he comes back though you will probably notice that his eyes look wet or greasy. This is the result of him being given newborn baby eye drops. Sometimes it's more like a cream that the nurse rubs on the eye. This is rarely talked about, and most people don't even know why their child is given eye drops at birth. Eye drops at birth are given for the main purpose of helping to prevent any possible infection in your baby's eyes from their trip down the birth canal during labor. Eye infections used to be a major cause of blindness in children, and were often due to the same bacteria that cause gonorrhea or chlamydia in women. When a woman is infected with these bacteria (about 20 percent of women with gonorrhea and 70 percent of women with chlamydia don't have identifiable symptoms), they're present in her vagina. As a baby travels through the birth canal, s/he can pick up bacteria present in the mother's vaginal secretions or fluids. The eye drops are just a precaution. It is a practice that is accepted and done in much of the world, and is even a law in many states. The most common antibiotic given today is erythromycin, however some places still administer silver nitrate which is the first antibiotic that was given starting back in the late 1800's. Silver Nitrate, however, has been found to irritate the baby's eyes, and cause much discomfort. You might want to talk to your doctor about which drug they administer. The hospital should have both on hand. Just state your preferences. Some women will question why their baby was given eye drops after a c-section delivery. Because the possible infection only occurs during the trip down the birth canal, it would seem that it is unnecessary in a c-section. The opinions on this vary. Some people believe that if a woman's water was broken before delivery either naturally or by the doctor, that there is a chance that the baby could still have made contact with any infection that might be present. Also, when given vaginal exams, had internal monitors, etc that infection might have reached the baby. If your doctor or nurse believes this is possible, they might give your baby eye drops after your cesarean delivery. Other times it is routinely done by the hospital as part of the newborn care, whether you have a c-section or vaginal delivery, much like the Hepatitis B shot and hearing tests are routinely done in most hospitals today. If you have any concerns over your baby receiving eye drops, or any other of the routine baby care methods, you should be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife prior to your delivery, as well as put your instructions and concerns in your birth plan so that everyone is aware of your wishes on the day of delivery. Some states have laws stating that the eye drops are mandatory. The drawback of the eye drops is that it makes the baby's vision blurry for a little while. If the baby is given the drops right after birth, it can impede on the bonding process with the mother and father. This is something that you may wish to be delayed until after that first hour of life. Most states have laws that say it is up to the practitioner to provide the eye drops, with no specific time indicated. Oftentimes it is not medically necessary to apply the eye drops within the first hour after birth. Sheryl's comment: This is just one more example of why women are choosing unassisted childbirth and homebirth. If you are 100% certain that you do not have gonorrhea or chlamydia, then there is no reason the world that your newborn should receive painful/irritating eye drops as a "welcome to earth". It is part of the overall "psychology of birth" in which the mother is considered "dirty" and the product (baby) of that "unclean mother" must be removed and sterilized immediately or it is in grave danger of catching her dirty ways. I have heard stories of women arguing with their doctors about their sexual habits to try to protect their newborn. "Wow doctor! Thank you very much for implying that I am cheating on my husband - or that he is cheating on me".  The reality is that people do cheat and the laws are in place to protect those newborns from a mother who is in fact infected whether or not she knows or admits it. Nobody wants a blind baby. You can get tested for gonorrhea or chlamydia while pregnant and then have a peaceful homebirth free of eye drops. Know your rights and refuse the drops if you know you do not have an STD and are birthing in a hospital or birthing center. Image Source:

How to Avoid Cesarean Delivery 5

Avoid CesareanAuthor: Kara Spencer, LMT, CD A Cesarean section is major abdominal surgery performed in order to deliver a baby from its mother, through an incision in her abdomen. Cesareans are a vital emergency surgery for mothers and babies who are at severe risk. However, C-sections are on the rise in US and around the world, and it is reaching epidemic proportions. In the 1960's, only 5% of babies were born by Cesarean, in the 1970's and 1980's the surgery increased to 25% of women delivered their babies through surgery. Now, in the US, one in three women deliver their babies via Cesarean. You are having a baby and you want to avoid a cesarean - what do you do? The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of Cesarean is to hire a midwife for your prenatal care, labor and delivery. Midwives have dramatically higher rates of successful healthy vaginal delivery than obstetricians. A new research study by Sutter Health, shows that the two factors in hospital birth that most lead to a Cesarean are active management of early labor and medical induction. You can avoid active management of early labor through hiring a doula to support you through labor. A doula can come to your home in early labor, and is familiar with signs and behaviors of the different stages of labor, and may help you to cope at home, so you don't show up at the hospital too early. Try to stay at home until you are in active labor to avoid unnecessary interventions which may lead to iatrogenic complications. Increase your awareness of the realities of medical induction. Along with Cesareans, there is an epidemic of inductions happening in the United States. The baby's due date is an estimated due date, yet there is increasingly a medical and cultural belief that babies should be born on or before the due date. In fact, only 4% of babies are born on their estimated due dates, and most first time moms go about a week over due. Also, due dates can be tricky to calculate due to variations in women's menstrual cycles and the timing of ovulation. The Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth has a position paper on inductions, which I feel is a must-read for pregnant women. At one of my local hospitals, 70% of women who are medically induced end up delivering via Cesarean section. Also, choose your place of birth carefully. Midwives have lower c-section rates than doctors. Non-profit hospitals have lower c-section rates than for-profit or teaching hospitals. In Seattle, the non-profit Group Health has a c-section rate of 16%, while the nearby profit and teaching hospitals have c-section rates of 36%! Cesarean surgery is a hugely profitable industry, and 80% of cesareans happen Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. While surgery may be more convenient for the doctor, the increased risks are not convenient for mom and baby. Education increases your chances of a healthy informed birth. Hire a midwife, a doula, make informed choices, and trust in your body and your baby! Research and practice techniques for optimal fetal positioning, to encourage your baby to be in the best position for labor and birth. For more resources on Cesarean awareness and prevention, check out the ICAN website of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. About the author: Kara Maia Spencer envisions the birth of a peaceful humanity through midwives, doulas, gentle birth, conscious parenting, and sustainable living. She is the founder of the Birth Ecology Project and the owner of Maia Healing Arts Image Source:

Video: Actual Male Circumcision 8

Genital Integrity RibbonWould you cut off your daughter's breasts at birth so she doesn't get breast cancer? Would you cut off your baby's ears so they don't become infected? It is illogical and absurd to think of amputating any working, healthy part of your trusting, helpless infant. Why are most Americans aghast at female genital mutilations happening on the other side of the world yet they think nothing of mutilating and permanently disfiguring innocent infant boys right here at home? Circumcision crushes or rips off a healthy part of a human body. No medical or pediatric association recommends it because there is no valid scientific reason to engage in this practice. Your doctor does it for the money. As sick and abominable as that is, it is true. On top of charging for the procedure, the hospital will turn around and sell your baby boy's foreskin for profit. I get very fired up about childbirth. I believe in my heart that the atrocities visited upon women and children by the obstetrics community for profit is beyond deplorable. It makes me sick and I will do what I can in this lifetime to change it. Western women are able to read and research during their pregnancy however. They are able to rip out IVs, kick the doctor , check themselves out and run if they have to. They can, on many levels, protect themselves. A newborn boy cannot protect himself. He has to rely on his parents to protect him. This is the reason that I find the wholesale mutilation of boys so mind-bogglingly sick and wrong. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think of the horror that is seared into the brain of up to 70% of boys in this country. What a ghastly way to be welcomed into the world. Circumcision is a barbaric, cruel, unethical, morally reprehensible, sickening, irreversible, excruciating, human rights violation. Circumcision is a crime against the most innocent and helpless among us.