Round Ligament Pain

I found an article explaining round ligament pain, and thought it might be useful to post it. My clients and students experience this frequently, especially with first babies, and so I get a lot of questions on it.

It can be helped with massage, and chiropractic adjustments if too uncomfortable, and moms can also do the pelvic rock exercise, or even just hang out on all fours for a bit and let their belly 'drop'. While this ligament stretches pain is common, but it generally fades, and will sometimes go away altogether once the baby drops.

This might answer a few questions for you, and I hope you enjoy!

Survivor Moms...

... are the strongest kind there are. Check out this link for more info.

Being a survivor mom, myself. I am well aware of the unique fears and vulnerabilities labor and delivery can present. I think for these moms the MOST IMPORTANT things are dignity, respect, and choices. It's SO IMPORTANT to have a good provider who you trust, and who knows your history.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a doula. She can soften, and change the tone of the room, hospital, staff, and much more. As a doula, I find that its important to make sure mom feels protected, and like she has choices, and also that everything that happens is okay. Safety is a concern when your body remembers pain and associates it with something so violent and scary. This is how birth can help to heal those wounds, but giving our body something new and amazing to remember that pain with.

There are several books out there on survivors and birth, but again, I really feel that the most empowering options you have are in how well you inform yourself, and what kind of a birth team you build. Get yourself a doula, it's important that this day be unsullied, powerful, and beautiful.

Consumerism and birth

This is a great article on Informed Decision Making for pregnancy and birth. It's a must read for all the newly-pregnant mommas out there!

It is my opinion that informed consent and mother's rights are two of the most important things a pregnant family should learn. I'm not suggesting that people are 'out to get you' or anything like that, but that you can't have
the birth you want if you don't educate yourself on your options, choices, and wishes. It's just as important to choose the right provider, something I cannot emphasize enough.

Informed consent is also SO important. Having an understanding of basic procedures, the reasons for them, and the potential risks/benefits is so important for parents to understand while laboring. I generally recommend
research of the common interventions before labor begins so that parents are aware of their options as situations present themselves. I also teach students and clients quite a bit about this, as a decision you make one moment can effect you and your baby for years to come. This is also where I help to navigate choices, and advocate for my clients in the delivery room. I am there to help with facts and information, as well as reassuring frightened laboring parents about what is being recommended and why.

Having babies can be such an amazing and inspiring thing, but we have to feel like we have rights and choices to create the kind of environment that spirituality comes with. Oh, and getting a doula also really, really helps. :) Especially if your doula is me!

Some Oddities

I found this list of oddities as they relate to pregnancy and birth because of the 19.2lb baby born this week, and I couldn't help but check it out. The baby is GINORMOUS, and I'm guessing he's probably going to start his life in 12 month clothes! It's really quite unbelievable.

Babies won't normally grow to a size that is so 'undeliverable'-- our bodies will generally go into labor when room runs out, or temper baby's size so he still fits his vessel. But in this case, the mom had a case of untreated gestational diabetes, which gives higher blood sugar and can make for some very large babies as a side effect.

Gestational Diabetes should be monitored to prevent extreme cases like this, but is generally not a major issue. If you have been diagnosed with GD, it's important to talk to your provider about their policies when it comes to monitoring baby, ultrasounds, and early induction. GD mothers will also have to monitor their sugar intake, and I've known a few who used a diabetes blood measuring machine to really feel like they had a handle on things. I generally recommend the Brewer Diet, but it's also important that moms with GD count sugars and calories as well.

There is also a story of mother who became pregnant and then ovulated a second time, becoming pregnant with a second child two weeks after the first. These types of medical anomalies are SO VERY rare, which makes them all the more fascinating to me! Imagine-- being pregnant after you're already pregnant! It wasn't clear until the kids were born that they had different fathers, and it was assumed they were from the same ovulation cycle.

This is just a little 'junk' reading to waste a few moments of your day... Enjoy!

Birth Vocab

Here is an article on Pregnancy Terminology, which might be helpful to the lay consumer.

This is just a list of common terms that can be heard while a woman is pregnant or delivering. Hearing words you don't understand can be alarming to a laboring couple, and so in this regard, it's my opinion that a little bit of homeword goes a long way.

Keep in mind, too, that having a doula at your birth can also make things less frightening by explaining new terms as they come. Doulas can also outline what may need to be done about a situation that arises, on how to make the best possible decision for each set of circumstances.
Remember to be an educated consumer, get yourself a doula, and choose wisely for the best possible expereince!

A Timely Birth

Here is a great article on the EDDs in pregnancy from Midwifery today.

Taken from the article on induction: But induction of labor causes so many problems that it should be a rarity, performed only when the benefits can be proven to outweigh the risks. Induction multiplies the risk of cesarean section, forceps-assisted delivery, shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, fetal distress and meconium aspiration. It is a major contributor to birth-related expenses and complications in the US. Yet it is so common that we almost think of it as normal. More than a third of American women were induced in 1999, and another third had labors augmented with Pitocin. (The FDA says that this is the lowest estimate and that the true incidence of induction is "widely under-reported.")

This article goes on to talk about the risks of premature birth, the role of inductions (watch video), increased risks with induction, and the relatively unfounded worries of postdated babies. As the article states, induction is being used FAR TOO OFTEN for women with small risk, but the introduction of pitocin causes much higher risk than what was originally feared, and therefore, seems to be actively causing more danger to mother and child than if they were left alone. This is why I teach and push my students and clients toward an evidence-based medicine model of care, and birth team.

I really think this article gives priority to evidence based medicine, as well as talking plainly about the complicated topic of postdatism, which can be hard to get an answer on. Even the link I've used here considers 37 weeks postdate, of which it is not. It is simply past the general medical idea of 'term', which any professional will tell you is just a guess. HAppily, this article first lists that the EDD might be wrong, and second lists the nonsense!

Thank you Midwifery today-- a fine media outlet, promoting what's best for women and their babes.

Highlights from the Red Tent

The Red Tent was this past weekend, and though we had a low turnout, I did think the conversation flowed easily, and was very encouraging. It's a good sign to see women, even if only a few, who are willing to take time away from their families to discuss the subject of birth, and how it effects us as women, and as a community.
We all have stories that are unique, and beautiful. Even those birth stories that are scary, sad, or troubling are opportunities for women to learn, grow, and find their strength. We had stories of beauty, stories of fear, and women with a wealth of experiences that varied so much. I was so pleased to hear the women talk about their cesarean surgeries without fear or shame, as well as women who shared about complications with their pregnancies or deliveries.
As women, there is so much tied in with our births that is not given a voice. It can be a great source of power and strength to give in to our bodies, and trust our biology to do such an amazing thing. It can be humbling, spiritual, and powerful if we let it. It can also be frightening for a woman who has a history of not trusting her body, but if we could have more conversations like this, I think we would all be more willing to embrace our births and what they have to teach us.

Culturally speaking, we don't give much credit to women who bear children, or how they choose to do so. This is part of the problem in my eyes. For some women, there is a lot of fear and shame tied up in how they gave birth to their children, and they can feel labeled or judged for things not having gone as they would have liked. In my eyes, this is a life event that shapes us no matter how it goes down. I don't put too much credit in the idea of a 'natural' delivery being 'better than' or more powerful than an 'unnatural' delivery. Birth is about choices, and the only reason to be upset about how things went, is to be upset because you didn't prepare adequately, or vett your provider well enough. Those are the only things we have control over, and SHOULD BE the only source of shame with regard to our births.

The videos taken at the event are too long for me to post on here, but if I can figure out a way to share them, I will. I was glad to be able to facilitate such a powerful conversation, even if it wasn't in the way or on the scale I had hoped to.


a FABULOUS video on choices in birthing. This shows a little bit of how things look from the eyes of a hospital labor and delivery nurse, several other couples, and a midwifery student. This is such a good illustration of how who you choose now, and how you inform yourself about the events to come is PARAMOUNT for the type of experience you will have.

So, gather your information, analyze the risks and benefits to every choice, and choose wisely. :)

Breastfeeding Bashing hits the presses this week! D'oh!

An Article on the rampant masogynist legislation against mothers who breastfeed, and have the audacity to feed their children in public.

I try not to post overly negative press on here, but this one just can't be ignored. When will our culture learn to embrace what is healthy, what is good, and what is RIGHT??

Breast is BEST-- and women have the right to work and parent, just like their husbands do!!

And here is another article, written by a fellow lactivist and feminist, TFB. This was written in response to another article where breastfeeding discrimination is the topic, and the journalist thinks it's appropriate to say it's 'not illegal' instead of 'protected by law', or something else that makes it sound like breastfeeding is not a dirty, nasty habit that patchouli-wearing, basket-weaving, anti-establishment hippie moms do.

The RED TENT is coming!

We've had a venue change, but things are plugging along. I plan on flooding the streets with thousands of fliers and am excited about the interest that has been generated! Let's hope for a big, and magical event come September 19!!!

Labor drugs and breastfeeding problems... more news

Here is another Article on Labor drugs and breastfeeding difficulties.

Of course, I understand that these interventions were invented to fill a need, and that every situation is different. Some situations warrant medications to promote safety, but I just want to re-emphasize my firm belief in evidence-based medicine, and informed consent.

I cannot tell you how important it is to fully understand and appreciate the risks and benefits of each intervention BEFORE you need decide about them. Being prepared is the way to really have effective control and choice over tour situation, when there are so many other variables you don't get to choose.

My experience with LLL has revealed some interesting lessons to me, the largest of which is that
moms who have C-sections are at a much higher risk for breastfeeding problems. And as has
been proven, c-sections are MUCH more likely when an epidural and pitocin are involved. I also know that some of the medications administered can dry up milk, and that mom has less exposure to baby, and about a thousand other variables.... but it is my opinion that data like this should not be ignored.
Know your options, know your body, know what to expect, and know your doctor!!