Recently I was asked to be a part of a prime time special on the risks of inductions. The camera woman, Leona came out to tape me teaching a group of students on the risks of inductions and the real reasons they were sometimes necessary. She ended up also interviewing four of my students and then spent another hour interviewing me. I had also given them the names of another student and one of my doula clients who had been induced previously and wanted to share the ramifications it had caused the child that was the induced birth. Shannon and Tinika did a great job sharing their stories. The show was originally supposed to be a full hour but then it was whittled down to a half hour. I ended up getting two sound bites… but information was shared and that was what was most important. I thought I would share the link with you here so you can watch it and gather some information as well!

Labor of Love Television  Special

Npr has been having a plethora of articles on labor and birth. The Baby Project. They are packed full of information and power for a pregnant woman. Here is one that a client sent to me to help understand her fears of her upcoming labor. The article seemed to resonate with her concerns. I am going to address some of the things and how they could be handled differently. This is the second half of a birth story that was begun in a previous article. The Broken Epidural.

“However, due to HIPAA regulations, I was separated from Frank while a nursing assistant asked me 100,000 admission questions. Didn’t we pre-register to avoid this? I constantly repeated to anyone who would listen: “My husband has a copy of my medical records.””

Recently a mom came in in active labor to the hospital with me along side of her- her doula. The mom’s husband was moving the car and she wanted me to stay with her. But due to the privacy act of HIPPA, I was asked to leave the room. She was about to be alone with a nurse she had yet to learn the name of and answer questions of a personal and private matter. I had been hired to help her with pain coping techniques and this nurse was dismissing me. I asked later what we could have done to avoid that as this had left my client feeling abandoned.

You can waive your privacy rights and tell the staff that you want your doula or partner to stay with you. It is your right to waive them. This could have been offered to her but it was not. But knowing this now- I think it is important to understand it may be hospital protocol to have your support people leave, but you can refuse it.

“Yet the hospital’s system required that I give fresh answers to inane questions such as, “Do you remember when you had your last period?” while I was having intense contractions. There were also incredibly vague questions like, “Do you have any medical issues?” Later, a resident came in to ask me the same questions yet again and when I mentioned a tonsillectomy a few years back, the nurse’s aide admonished me, “You didn’t tell me that!”” (more…)

This is a great article that tells it like it is. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/08/hospitals-bad-job-breast-feeding/ and this is the study link http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/breastfeeding/

Yesterday I got a call from a mom who had had a baby less than 18 hours earlier. Her daughter had been born unmedicated and gently. She was a VBAC baby who weighed 9 pound even. Beautiful baby that within the first hour after birth had nursed beautifully. She then began to have her heel lanced and her blood sugar checked before feeding each time. This is not a little prick- it is a full lance of her foot- making it quite sore I am sure. Her blood sugar was fantastic. But this baby girl cried after nursing often times. She had 12 bowel movements- so obviously it was not because she was not getting enough colostrum to make her bowels move great- and we all know her stomach is the size of a marble irregardless of how big she was! But guess what? Instead of teaching the mom to swaddle or soothe her baby, the nurses convinced her that her baby was hungry and crying because the mom was not producing enough!!! AUGH! It makes me want to SCREAM!!!! So, this article shares what the CDC studies prove- the hospitals sabotage the nursing relationship-

“– (And this one is astounding to me, hence the bold) In nearly 80 percent of hospitals, healthy breastfeeding infants are given formula when it is not medically necessary, a practice that makes it much harder for mothers and babies to learn how to breastfeed and continue breastfeeding at home.”

Baby Bottles

I wonder how much formula she was sent home with! Why can’t we educate those who could really make a difference for moms and babies? I honestly tell people there is not one hospital in our area that I think does an excellent job after the baby is born. There is either some stupid policy about bathing the baby or having to pay for an isolete like a recent hospital I doula’d at… or stupid stuff like this mom went through. ENOUGH! We need to stand up and SCREAM NO! STOP IT! ENOUGH!

I recently had a conversation with a mom about the birth she desired. She told me about the location and care providers she had chosen. She told me she had shared she wanted a natural birth with her doctors and they did not dismiss the idea. She has chosen the hospital in the metro area that has the highest cesarean rate. And it is one of the large metro hospitals that has well over a 95% epidural rate. So what does that mean?

Often times when you say I want a natural birth, the assumption is that you mean the baby comes out of the part of your baby that is natural- not having a cesarean birth. So when you say to a care provider you want a natural birth, perhaps the use of the term non-medicated, intervention free would be better used. (more…)

Having No Birth Plan Is Worst Birth Plan Ever is an article written by Christie Haskell. It is a tongue in cheek article with a substantial bite. I totally agree that not having a plan of action to get the birth you desire is a bad idea. But I am not a proponent of having a lengthy plan typed out with information and an expectation that it is going to be followed or even read by many of your care providers, much less even honored. Plus sometimes folks think that if they write it out, it will insure it will happen, although they make no other provisions for making it so. They read an article about the use of a birth stool for instance and then put it in their plan to use one. Well guess what, most hospitals don’t have one to be used. There is information about laboring at home in early labor- but they read it after you arrive…so why is it there? There is something about pushing in whatever position you desire, but you chose a doctor who always puts “his little mamas” in the stirrups and breaks the bed down.

I think there is a strong need for the desires of a woman to be met in a different way. She needs to educate herself by taking a comprehensive childbirth class to investigate what her options are. I think a lot of introspective thinking about what she wants is also needed. She need not choose a birth based on the medical model, what her insurance company demands, what her mama wants for her or her girl friends, and also honestly not just what her partner thinks either- it is her body and primarily her experience in the end. I don’t want to diminish the partner’s role, but he is a support person here, not the leading role, she is.  (more…)