May 31, 2010

Celebrating Memorial Day & Doula-ing for Our Troops

While you are enjoying your time off, grilling with family and friends or relaxing at the beach, take a moment to remember our brave men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for our freedom. They do so without hesitation and with great sacrifice. I have family and friends who have served in the armed forces and I am a proud volunteer doula with Operation Special Delivery. OSD provides doulas for pregnant moms whose husbands or partners are deployed or have been severely injured serving our country. If you or someone you know is pregnant and their spouse is deployed please visit Operation Special Delivery to learn more about the program. If you don't qualify for OSD, I do offer a discount for military families. It's just my small way of saying thank you for all that you do!

May 18, 2010

Mother & Baby Friendly Cesarean

The United States cesarean section rate is rising at an alarming pace. While we need to educate ourselves about and discourage the use of unnecessary cesareans, the medical necessity of the procedure has allowed for healthy outcomes for countless mothers and babies. (me to be included!)

For those mothers and babies that medically require delivery by cesarean I argue that we should explore the option of a mother/baby friendly experience. The Natural Cesarean: A Woman-Centred Technique (pdf file) is an article published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology exploring the option of the parents being active participants in the birth of their baby.

What would a mother/baby friendly cesarean look like? According to the authors of the article:
  • The drape would be lowered and the mother's headed elevated so that she may witness the birth.
  • The partner would be allowed to observe as well
  • Baby would be allowed to slowly emerge helping to expel liquid from its lungs as it would during a vaginal birth
  • Rest of delivery is allowed to occur passively as the uterus continues to contract
  • Clamping of the cord is done in front of both parents and the partner is permitted to cut if desired
  • Baby is brought between the mother's breasts for immediate skin to skin contact and offered a chance to suckle
  • Baby is allowed to remain on mother's chest until the surgery is complete. Procedures (labeling, Vitamin K, etc.) that can be completed in this position are.
  • Once surgery is complete, partner accompanies baby for weighing and remaining procedures
  • Upon completion of procedures, baby is immediately returned to mother for skin-to-skin contact
A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery. This birth experience is not suitable for all cesarean births, but I think, as suggested by the authors of the article, this option can be explored for non emergent situations. The International Cesarean Awareness Network has also written details about how to have a family centered cesarean.

If your medical situation dictates that a cesarean is the safest way to deliver your baby discuss your options with your doctor.

May 3, 2010

Don't Be Quiet - Share Your Amazing Birth Story!

You know if you're pregnant everyone has some advice for you. How you should do this or how you should do that. The other thing that often happens is that you will start to hear more birth stories. Not to make lite of the individuals who have had difficult births or things they wish they could change about their experience, but I think it's time to celebrate our amazing births.

If you had an inspirational birth tell your story. Don't be shy. Share what made your birth experience incredible. It doesn't have to be the birth you dreamed of or the one that was carefully laid out in your birth plan, but share it nonetheless. Your words of wisdom could help to empower and inspire other women throughout their pregnancy.

Don't be quiet. SHARE your amazing birth story!

Here. I'll start.......

While the birth of my twins was by no means the birth I thought I was going to have when I found out I was pregnant, it was very empowering. I went into labor on my own, I was able to see them being born via c-section and I had the support of my husband and amazing nurses that I had gotten to know during my antepartum stay in the hospital. If you wish to read the birth story of my twins visit my Twins Make 5 Blog. My experience was empowering because I was educated about my pregnancy and birth options and I strongly advocated to let my body and my boys make the decision about when they were going to come.