Thursday, April 30, 2009

April is Cesarean Awareness Month

I'm slow on this one, but while it's still April, I want to acknowledge Cesarean Awareness Month. You can read anywhere that the cesarean birth rate in the United States is climbing each year - both because the rate of primary cesarean births is rising, and because the rate of VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) is falling. As of 2007, an average of one out of three babies are born surgically. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2007, 31.8% of women birthed by cesarean in the United States.

There is support for women who are recovering from a cesarean birth, including ICAN chapters in many states. If you live in Maine where there is currently no chapter listed, you can still request support. There are also online communities that support women recovering from traumatic birth (cesarean or vaginal), like Solace for Mothers.

In my opinion, one of the most troubling effects of cesarean birth is that it can severely limit women's options for future births. In Maine, there are only a handful of hospitals that "permit" VBACs. In central Maine, the only hospitals I know that do VBACs are CMMC in Lewiston and Maine General in Waterville. Nationally, VBACs are only permitted in about half of hospitals, and frequently only under certain specific conditions or with select care providers who are willing to attend them. Is this information that is offered to women as part of informed consent, especially in the many non-emergent situations like "failure to progress" or "you have a big baby"?

You can read about the lack of choice in Time Magazine, "The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans" and Pamela Paul's follow-up article in the Huffington Post, "Childbirth Without Choice".

You can read about why the rate of VBAC is so low at The Well-Rounded Mama.

Also, you can click on the Cesarean label below this post to read more blog entries on Cesarean birth.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birth: Assuming Control

The word assume has several meanings - three that I want to highlight here:
Assume can mean to take for granted or without proof; suppose. Clearly, this is the definition the well-known quip "assume makes an ass out of u and me" comes from.

Assume can also mean to take upon oneself; undertake, as in assuming responsibility for a task.

And, assume can mean to appropriate; seize; usurp - when a dictator assumes power, for example.
What does this have to do with birth? I was enjoying Anna Quindlen's back-page opinion article a few weeks ago in Newsweek, Dollars and Sense, when that phrase popped out at me and has been stuck in my head ever since. She was discussing how few of us understand the complexities of our financial world,
"the great unspoken issue behind the tanking of the market, the mess in subprime mortgages and the bailout bill is that Americans don't understand the basics of the economy. Faced with financial instruments increasingly arcane and complex and financial institutions increasingly faceless and vast, most outsourced knowledge and responsibility to those they assumed were ethical and responsible. The banker, the broker, the rating agencies: they would look out for us."
As I read this article, I was struck by how this whole article could also apply to birth. And towards the end of the article, she wrote
"Americans have given up understanding much of what passes for daily life . . . But there's also a precedent for assuming control, even of complex issues. Look at the way many Americans deal with health care today compared with a generation ago. Once doctors, like financial managers, were seen as keepers of a mysterious flame and patients as people who should simply do what they were told. Today many more patients think of themselves as partners and work hard to educate themselves about their health and their ailments before having surgery or taking medications."
Is this true, do you think: have American women "assumed control" of birth?

Unfortunately, I see and hear and read many, many more stories about women assuming (first definition) that they have control and many, many more stories about doctors and medwives assuming control (last definition). If I could make only one wish for my clients, it would be for them to assume control (second definition): not to assume that they can control birth, but that they would assume responsibility for making the choices that are right for themselves and their babies, with caring, responsive doctors and midwives to help them.

I want to share a blog with you that I think is absolutely amazing, called Nursing Birth. It's written by a labor & delivery nurse, and she's started a series called "Don't Let This Happen to You" because, as she says, "Throughout my time as a labor and delivery nurse at a large urban hospital in the Northeast, I have mentally tallied up a list of patients and circumstances that make me go “WHAT!?! Are you SERIOUS!? Oh come ON!”

Women need to read these stories and take them seriously. Just like any other aspect of life, don't just assume you're in control: assume control. What does that mean? Learn about birth and think about your options. Interview care providers and visit hospitals and birth centers. Find a good fit. If you find yourself in a situation that is not a good fit, make changes! Find support. Take classes (email me if you're in Maine!). Reflect, discuss, learn, practice what you've learned. Rehearse. Discuss some more. Assume control!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

HeartString

It can be such a challenge to purchase products and toys for infants - most of us want items that are safe, useful, and, if possible, aesthetically pleasing.

I received an email a few months ago about a new baby product called the HeartString Baby's Companion. I requested one so I could show my clients and share it with you because I hadn't seen anything like it before. I handed it to a six-month old at one of my New Moms Circle support groups, and she loved it - turning it over and over in her hands and then gumming it for quite a while.

I think new babies would enjoy looking at it too. I remember back to nursing my infants, and as much as I usually loved their kneading little fists, sometimes their pinchy little nails hurt as they patted and prodded me. It would have been nice to have something like this necklace as a distraction!

More information from the HeartStrings website:
HeartString Baby’s Companion evolved from a simple concept: Babies like to tug and chew on anything they can touch. In a world full of hazards (keys, metal jewelry, glasses, watches etc.), we designed HeartString to be a touchable, tuggable product for your baby and a wearable accessory for you. With many colours from which to choose, our safe and non-toxic product can be used as a breastfeeding and parenting aid that includes Dad, siblings and grandparents!

HeartString Baby's CompanionTM is a versatile accessory used by breastfeeding moms and concerned infant caregivers. Initially conceived to be a purposeful distraction while bottle feeding, breastfeeding or holding a baby, the HeartString Companions has also been designed to support bonding, ease caregiver transfers and include a male figure. With the infant in mind, the HeartString Companions is safe, non-toxic and unbreakable, acting as a tactile and visual aid to soothe baby and to encourage cognitive development.
Also important to know that the HeartString:
  • Does NOT contain lead, PVC, phalates, BPA, latex of any known harmful materials.
  • Materials and products are sourced and made in North America.
  • Personally, I think this would be a fun add-on baby shower gift, maybe even as the package decoration. I'm excited to add it to my collection of "show and tell" products (sling, cloth diapers, breast pump) for the postpartum class.

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Birth Video Contest

    Birth Documentary Contest: $1,000 First Prize

    Birth Matters Virginia is soliciting 4-7 minute educational videos about birth in the hopes of reducing the incidence of medically unnecessary c-sections, infant and maternal morbidity, and skyrocketing health care costs. The first-place winner will receive a prize of $1,000. Second place $500 and an "honorable mention" prize of $100will also be awarded. The deadline for entering the contest is Mother's Day, May 10, 2009.

    Guest judges include: Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, acclaimed producers of the Business of Being Born and Sarah J. Buckley., MD, international birth expert and author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. Ricki, Abby, and Sarah will join a consumer-based panel of judges who will be evaluating the tone, educational content, creativity and more. You don't have to be a professional to enter and you don't have to be from Virginia. We'd love to get videos from mothers, fathers, filmmakers, film students, birth advocates, and anyone else who is interested in birth or film or wants to win $1000.

    Birth Matters Virginia advocates "evidence-based" maternity care, which simply means using the best available research on the safety and effectiveness of specific practices to help guide maternity care decisions and to facilitate optimal outcomes in mothers and newborns. There are a lot of ways to approach that topic and lots of opinions on what that means, and we're looking forward to the variety of entries.

    For rules, how to enter, or to sign up for updates, please visit http://www.birthmattersva.org/videocontest.html.

    You can also join our Facebook group to get updates about the contest and exchange ideas with other participants at
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=73753459808.

    And if you have questions, email Sarah at Richmond@birthmattersva.org.

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    The Birth Survey in Maine!

    Did you know that The Birth Survey now has information about Maine??! The survey results are searchable by doctor/midwife and hospital/birth center/homebirth. The best way to find information for our state is to type in your zip code, and select the distance in miles you are able to travel.

    Currently, there are only a few reviews for some of our local hospitals and some of our local doctors and midwives. Of course the information is still very well worth looking at! But how awesome would it be if it were even more complete?!! If you've had a baby in the past three years, and would like to help expecting families make an informed decision about the care they choose, consider sharing your experience! The survey only takes about thirty minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

    I would particularly encourage anyone who has birthed at our state's only independent, free-standing birth center (The Birth House), or with a homebirth midwife to share their experience, because there aren't any reviews yet, and I know there have been some fantastic experiences!

    I would also particularly encourage anyone who has had care that they were not happy with to complete a survey. I think the tendency can sometimes be to "not make trouble" or take some of the blame for a negative experience on ourselves, and therefore decide not to share the experience... but I think it's crucial for as many women as possible to complete surveys, whether it's to recommend a care provider or location, or to express dissatisfaction with a care provider or location.

    "Our goal is to give women a mechanism that can be used to share information about maternity care practices in their community while at the same time providing practitioners and institutions feedback for quality of care improvement efforts."

    "We are dedicated to improving maternity care for all women. We will do this by 1) creating a higher level of transparency in maternity care so that women will be better able to make informed decisions about where and with whom to birth and 2) providing practitioners and hospitals with information that will aid in evaluating and improving quality of care."

    Objective 1
    Annually obtain maternity care intervention rates on an institutional level for all fifty states.

    Objective 2
    Collect feedback about women’s birth experiences using an online, ongoing survey, The Birth Survey.

    Objective 3
    Present official hospital intervention rates, results of The Birth Survey, and information about the MFCI in an on-line format.

    Objective 4
    Increase public awareness of differences among maternity care providers and facilities and increase recognition of the MFCI as the gold standard for maternity care.


    I am so excited by this project, and the difference it could make for birthing mothers and their new babies! I urge you to participate by either spreading the news, or completing a survey!!

    I'll leave you with this inspiring thought from Christiane Northrup:
    "Imagine what might happen if the majority of women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of the strength and power of their bodies and their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth. When enough women realize that birth is a time of great opportunity to get in touch with their true power, and then they are willing to assume responsibility for this, we will reclaim the power of birth and help move technology where it belongs--in the service of birthing women, not as their master."
    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Links!

    Thought I'd share:

    If you live in central Maine, there's a great guide to low-cost or free (mostly free) places to be active, courtesy of Healthy Communities. There are trails, parks & playgrounds, schools, and local resources listed for Augusta, Chelsea, Farmingdale, Fayette, Gardiner, West Gardiner, Hallowell, Litchfield, Manchester, Mount Vernon, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, Richmond, Wayne, Windsor, and Winthrop. Places to be Active

    The April Peaceful Birth Project newsletter asks
    "How are women making these fundamental choices? In a technology worshiping environment where can women find the information and support they need to make knowledge-based choices?

    How can that first cesarean be prevented?"
    And then goes on to provide some great resources to help families start answering those questions.

    Nicole at Bellies and Babies wrote a post this past week called "Vagina Anyone?" that made me laugh and squirm at the same time ("ta-ta"?!!), and goes back to the post I wrote recently re: the impact of language.

    The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog reviewed Your Best Birth, which I immediately put on my Amazon wishlist.

    Kathy at Woman to Woman Childbirth Education wrote "Nothing by Mouth?" - a clear look at the history of "it's not safe to eat or drink during labor" rule and then links and explanations re: whether this standard routine is evidence-based (short answer: it's not!). Here's more on this topic by Rixa, at Stand and Deliver, "Eating and Drinking during Labor".

    And finally, the juiciest for last, Navelgazing Midwife on "Freebirthing", the recent show on Discovery Channel.

    Enjoy!

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Scheduling Spring & Summer Birth Classes!

    I'm currently scheduling group and private classes for this spring and summer - moms with due dates from May to September! Classes are held in Winthrop, which is about half an hour from Waterville and the Lewiston/Auburn area, and fifteen minutes from Augusta.

    For more information, feel free to email me or visit Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine.

    Read on for some of the benefits of attending Birthing Your Baby classes!

    Birthing Your Baby classes are centered in a deep belief in a woman’s ability to give birth… that birth can be an empowering, transforming experience in a woman’s life…that birth is an essentially safe process for baby and mother. The philosophy that drives these classes also inspires confidence and joy in the birth process and in your new lives as parents.

    Birthing Your Baby classes are independent. I am not required to teach from a rigid curriculum that only “approves” of certain kinds of birth. This is your birth…your baby!! I will provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and then you can make your best decisions for a healthy and satisfying birth experience, whether it’s an all-natural home birth or a hospital birth with a planned epidural. We will also discuss and practice helpful communication skills so you can maintain an open dialogue with your careproviders.

    I believe small classes work best, so there will never be more than five couples in a class. Small classes allow for more student interaction, for more discussion, and for the class content to be personalized to address each student’s particular needs. Private classes are also available.

    I offer a variety of classes – group classes that last four to six weeks, as well as private classes. We discuss everything from how you’re all feeling that particular week and addressing any questions that have come up, to self-care during pregnancy, prenatal testing, nutrition, and exercise, to the emotional and physical aspects of labor, comfort measures, birth positions, and communicating with your caregivers, to the transitions of post-partum life, new baby care, breastfeeding and a lot more – the time seems to fly by… you’ll be talking, writing, laughing, drawing, moving around (a lot!), viewing videos, discovering sensations, and practicing, practicing, practicing!

    Birthing Your Baby classes are consumer-oriented. In other words, I am not “prepping” you for the policies and routines for any particular birth place or caregiver. As Dr. Sears writes in The Birth Book, “some hospital-based educators, constrained by their own hospital’s birthing policies, prepare parents to more to be compliant patients than to be informed consumers” (53). Instead, Birthing Your Baby classes will teach you (and give you lots of time to practice) a variety of coping skills, relaxation techniques, and positions for labor and birth. Labor is impossible to predict, so the more tricks you can pull out of your bag, the better prepared you will be!

    In addition to the individualized class attention, I provide (free) unlimited telephone and email consultation. Any time (pregnancy, birth, post-partum) you have questions or concerns, I welcome your call or email. I can research a topic… offer emotional support and affirmation… or simply listen.

    I have a well-stocked pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting “lending library” that includes books, magazines, and videos that I encourage you to borrow from at any time. I have read all of these selections and can help you find ones which address the topics that interest you.

    Birthing Your Baby classes encourage you to be open to the possibilities of birth. I will help you create a birth “plan”, but we will also talk about what the “next best thing” is if everything doesn’t go according to plan. Studies have shown that women who feel like they coped well and were active in making decisions about their care had the most satisfying birth experiences. Regardless of your plans for birth, whether this is your first birth or your third, Birthing Your Baby can provide the information and hands-on practice time to enhance your birth experience.

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    Normal Childbirth?

    I've read lots of articles and blog posts and email conversations surrounding the many perceptions and definitions of "normal" childbirth and "natural" childbirth. One thing I've learned is that these definitions are extremely fluid and subjective. One person may define natural childbirth as any birth that is vaginal, others believe that a natural childbirth is one without any medical procedures or medications. What is defined as a procedure can even by tricky - while most of us would agree that artificially rupturing membranes is a procedure, what about a vaginal exam?

    Personally, I would define my first child's birth as natural, even though my membranes were ruptured (with my consent) when I got to 10cm and they were bulging, and I had some electronic fetal monitoring. Because I had nothing attached to me (IV, catheter, epidural) and no medication, that fits my personal definition of a natural birth.

    What's the big deal about this anyway? Well, as a former high school English teacher, I am a person who appreciates unambiguous language - I like it when people intentionally use the right word for something. In fact, this drives my husband crazy sometimes because he'll come home and use the word flu to describe just about anything going around his office. This word sets off a chain of (annoying, if you ask him) question: a stomach flu? the real flu? how long did it last? was there a fever? etc. Any cold with a fever or vomiting episode fits his definition of flu, but mine is much more narrow. What I want to know is what he might have been exposed to, and what symptoms I should be on the lookout for in the children, and his definition doesn't help me figure that out!

    Back to childbirth - does it matter if someone discussing a natural birth means that she didn't have a cesarean, and is basically using the word natural because she doesn't want to say the word vaginal in regular conversation?

    The word normal is even more slippery, because its definition is shaped so much by what is normal in any given culture or sub-culture. Normal could mean a very medicalized birth, with IV, epidural, catheter and prone pushing or it could be a homebirth with a midwife attending as a "guardian" who supports the mother and checks on the baby, but who does not do anything medical in nature beyond checking baby's heart tones and examining the placenta and the mother afterward for tears.

    I started thinking about these definitions because of a question I read in the Midwifery Today newsletter:
    "If the general public continues to be indoctrinated into medicalized birth, how can we expect women to stand up and fight against the marginalization of freestanding birth centers and midwifery in this country?"

    — Colleen Bak
    Indoctrination is a serious word. This question (or call to arms!) is all about definition, to me. If the definition of natural birth encompasses physiological birth and birth that is medicalized with procedures and medications that may or may not be evidence-based, it becomes very, very hard for people to understand and appreciate the benefits of physiological birth to mother and baby, as well as making that type of birth seem even more unusual than it is. A big part of why I offer independent childbirth classes (and write this blog) is because these are my ways of making a difference: they're my small way to fight against the indoctrination that pervades birth as portrayed on mainstream television and in movies, on TLC's Baby Story, and in some books and classes about birth.

    [And yes, I threw another birth category into that paragraph: physiological. What is physiological birth? Dictionary.com defines physiological as "characteristic of or appropriate to an organism's healthy or normal functioning". I like Dr. Kotaska's explanation, from Jennifer Block's book Pushed, “An unmedicated birth in an environment where a woman feels comfortable, where she’s adequately supported, where she has a degree of privacy that allows her brain and her uterus to do the dance that we understand very poorly called labor, is physiological birth.”]

    Before I eat lunch I want to wrap this up with a few more links. Lamaze International offers its defining qualities of normal birth with these six care practices. By normal, they mean normal physiologically, not culturally.

    And I want to point you to the free online sample of the excellent journal, Birth, where they've posted the articles from current issue (March 2009). The article that directly applies to this post is the editorial, "What is Normal Childbirth and Do We Need More Statements About It?", where you can read more about the words normal, natural, and physiological as they relate to birth. I'll leave you with a quote from the editorial,
    "Clearly, 'normal’ has a different meaning in different countries. The dominant cultural definition and experience of childbirth in North America and elsewhere are widely recognized to be medical and technological in both philosophy and practice (3,5), and as evidenced from the medical inclusion criteria for ‘normal birth’ listed in the British and Canadian statements (1,4). As long as birthing systems continue to evolve in this direction, definition of ‘normal’ will evolve to keep up. Provider and consumer groups will have to continue to make their voices heard in support of natural childbirth and, hopefully, a more normal ‘normal childbirth.’"
    And that's my addition to what I hope will swell to a growing chorus of women who support a more normal "normal childbirth".

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Preparing for Birth: "What If?" Can Be Motivating

    The most recent Midwifery Today e-newsletter has a quote that ties in well to yesterday's post re: what do childbirth educators teach anyway? and re: how some of the most important work a woman does to birth her baby happens before the birth.
    "When we are aware of potential risk factors or when mothers express extreme anxiety we can take steps to remedy the situation and facilitate a smooth birth. Our actions will depend on the particular situation, but often just identifying the source of worry and getting it out into the open may be all that is needed to prevent related problems from arising in labor. Ultimately we want to empower moms to use the resources and address the problems before labor begins."

    — Heidi Nielson Sylvester
    Excerpted from "Psychological and Emotional Dystocia," Midwifery Today, Issue 81
    The above quote resonates so well with me because I've seen so many a-ha moments come from the activities we do in class around worrying. After we talk about the purpose of worrying, I encourage families to come up with a "worry list". I suggest they use the "what if" questions that linger in the back (and front!) of their minds as motivation to prepare during birth. One of my favorite activities we do together is the Birthing From Within "taming your birth tiger" visualization. I sometimes see a dramatic shift following this activity: moms and dads relax their shoulders and jaws and leave the class looking like a weight has literally been lifted away. I would love to be a fly on the dashboard of the car sometimes, to hear what conversations are sparked from this exercise.

    These discussions in class pave the way for couples to communicate concerns and preferences together, as well as with their care providers and other birth support people. Framing worry as a motivator instead of something to be suppressed and avoided totally changes a lot of people's perceptions and helps them feel more directed and in-control.

    For example, one of the my first clients turned out to be very, very afraid of and worried about needles, especially having an IV. I think she felt a little silly about this, but getting it out in the open seemed to be a relief. So we talked about ways needles and IVs in labor - why they are used and how they might be avoided. I strongly encouraged her to talk to her care provider about the routine care she provided during labor so she could be prepared ahead of time. Turns out this OB was very uncomfortable with anything less than a routine IV, and told the mom I was working with that she might die or her baby might die without one. Instead of frightening this mom, the OB's comment made her very angry, and motivated her to change care providers entirely, to a midwife who practiced at a different hospital. She went on to have a very satisfying (and safe) birth experience - without an IV!

    While we spend a lot of time on the birth process, and coping strategies, as well as discussing common procedures and medications, one thing that makes my classes different from the standard prenatal class is the focus on preparation that can be done now, while pregnant - whether it's nutrition, or exercise, or communicating, or reflection.

    Preparing for birth and parenting starts, in my opinion, during pregnancy - and it goes far beyond getting the baby's room ready and installing a car seat! To read more, click on the What If post I wrote a few months ago.

    I'm curious - what did you do (or are doing now) to prepare for your baby's birth? Was there anything you wished you had done?

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Reply Turned Post: What DO Childbirth Educators Teach??

    I've been thoroughly enjoying the posts over at Mom's Tinfoil Hat, and the whole idea of "reply turned post" seems to fit my response to this very interesting post from RedRN, "On Childbirth Education", which I highly recommend clicking over to read and respond to.

    This is my response:

    "Interesting post! It strikes me how "in the middle" nurses sometimes are, and impresses me all the more when I read about the patient advocating you and others like you do over & over.

    One of the things I tell clients (and write in my blog - see the sidebar on popular posts) over & over again is that the prep work done before the birth is extremely important. The mom needs to think about how she wants the birth to go (a set of educated preferences, not demands) and then do the work she can ahead of time to set herself up well: get support from partner and/or friend/family and/or doula; choose a careprovider who is a good match; choose a birth place that's a good match etc. & etc. And then keep reflecting and communicating.

    One thing I've noticed about teaching anything (I've taught high school, Sunday School, and birth classes) is that a teacher can say one thing, and there are as many interpretations of that thing as there are students. People tend to hear, in general I think, what makes sense to them, what fits in with their perceptions and experiences. So what you're seeing may or may not accurately reflect the information presented in a class.

    People do zone out - so few people contact me in enough time, with enough time, to do shorter classes over more weeks. Families usually choose two or four session classes of three or four hours each. Those are *full* classes, and it's hard to pay attention and process everything. Edited here to add that with breaks, and food, and a balance of activities, brainstorming, groupwork, movies and presentations I think families in my classes have a better shot at staying fully engaged!

    And I think you hit on something else important to keep in mind - there are some care providers who *say* one thing and then do another, or are misleadingly ambiguous, especially if asked vague questions with no follow-up. Add that to the fact that many women get care from a practice and may or may not see all the care providers to discuss each partners' routine management ahead of time... I really encourage and role-play with families ahead of time how to ask questions during their appointments, and how to follow-up to get the information they're looking for."

    A few more things I've thought of after I posted the reply:

    ** Some hospitals do allow doppler monitoring instead of electronic fetal monitoring. Other than a five minute test-strip when I first arrived, my son's heart rate was only tracked via doppler. I did discuss this ahead of time with my midwife, to be sure that doppler monitoring was possible.

    ** That some hospitals still don't allow moms to eat and/or drink during labor astounds me, given how many studies have shown that this is not evidence-based care. And like I tell clients: we're not advised to avoid eating or drinking before getting in the car, just in case there's an accident and we'll need anesthesia, are we? We're not given an IV just in case, either.

    ** I also continue to be amazed at how "railroaded" some families are during labor, like the scenario mentioned in the original blog post, with Dr. Ass. It's amazing to me that care providers act that way and it's amazing that women and their partners accept it. I understand that there will always be sub-par performers in any profession, and I understand that labor/birth is a very vulnerable time for women, and when providers pull out the "dead baby" card it would be very, very hard to be non-compliant.

    So, if you didn't - go read the original post and leave a reply!

    Or, to get more information about Birthing Your Baby classes, visit my Class Information page!

    Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
    Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
    New Mothers Support Circle

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