Dr. Danielle Drobbin

www.MidtownFamilyWellness.com

Chiropractic care can add comfort during pregnancy.

Chiropractic care can add much comfort during pregnancy and is an essential ingredient during prenatal choices.  Preexisting imbalances in your spine and pelvis that may have been previously unnoticed become stressed during pregnancy. These discomforts can make it difficult to perform routine, daily activities.
There are a large percentage of all pregnant women that experience back discomfort/ pain during pregnancy.  This is due to the rapid growth of the baby and interferences to your body’s ability to adapt to that growth.

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy.  Specific adjustments eliminate the causes of stress in the spine.

Not only can Chiropractic allow the mommy to feel more comfortable, but it helps the comfort levels of your baby too! As your baby develops, your uterus enlarges to accommodate the rapid growth.  When the pelvis is in a balanced state, the ligaments connected to the uterus maintain an equalized, supportive suspension for the uterus.  If your pelvis is out of balance in any way, the ligaments can become torque and twisted, causing a condition known as intrauterine constraint.  This constraint restricts the baby’s movement and eventual optimal positioning (possibly causing breech presentations).  Any compromised position for the baby throughout pregnancy can affect his or her development.  Conditions like torticollis can occur from a baby’s space being cramped in utero.
If there is intrauterine constraint as birth approaches, the baby is prevented from getting into the best possible position for birth.  Even in the desirable head down position, intrauterine constraint affects the baby’s head and can cause it to tilt off to one side, or even more traumatically, present in a posterior position.  In more extreme cases when the baby doesn’t have enough room to move head down and is considered to be breech.  Any baby position even slightly off during birth will slow down labor, and add pain and distress to both the mom and baby. Many women have been told that their babies were too big, or their labor “just slowed down” when it was really the baby’s position interfering with the normal process and progression. This usually leads into avoidable interventions, turning a beautiful and natural process into an unnatural and operative one. (more…)

http://www.healthcanal.com/pregnancy-childbirth/18241-Yale-Researchers-Pinpoint-Reasons-for-Dramatic-Rise–Sections.html

So usually I just post the study link on our facebook page and let you go to read about it. But today I wanted to share a bit more about what this study shows.

“New Haven, Conn. — In one of the first studies to examine the reasons for the rising number of women delivering their babies by cesarean section, Yale School of Medicine researchers found that while half of the increase was attributable to a rise in repeat cesarean delivery in women with a prior cesarean birth, an equal proportion was due to a rise in first time cesarean delivery. Among these deliveries, factors such as slowly progressing labor and fetal heart rate concerns were the largest contributors.”

It was not the 8% of women choosing an elective cesarean. It was not the placenta being low or placenta previa. It was not the baby being breech or even twins. It was not the decision to do a cesarean rather than use forceps or vacuum.  In fact the majority of the births by cesarean were done very early before an instrument assist could have even been used. In fact it was the less objective reasons that contributed the most to the increase cesareans.

“while less objective reasons, such as slow progress in labor and concerns about fetal heart tracings contributed large proportions (>50%) to the increasing primary cesarean delivery rate”

So labor arrest- or slow labors- or in other words being in a rush! And I wonder how much of the slow labors were due to the increase use of epidurals in early labor that slowed labor down or caused the baby to be malpositioned. I wondered if inductions were a reason- forcing a woman to evacuate her baby before the baby and mom’s body were ready. I wonder if the heart rate issues were due to the use of epidurals and pitocin when labor stalled. (more…)

Nicole shared her birth story before- but felt like she learned some things in that journey she wanted to share with you. Her original story can be found here: http://alaboroflove.org/2011/05/nicole-shares-her-story/

The funny thing about it is, I knew I was wrong. From the very beginning of my failed castor oil self-induction, I knew it wasn’t what I should be doing. Since I knew what I was doing was wrong, I had to sneak to do it. I polled friends about it – secretly. I surfed the net for castor oil recipes; then I deleted my searches. I made it a point not to mention it to my midwives or the doula team.  I wrote C.O. on my grocery list and snuck it into my cart – I didn’t even want to write the words. As the cashier scanned it, I was praying she wouldn’t ask any questions.  I didn’t want anyone to see or ask or even know about it because deep in my heart I knew I was wrong.

So, how was I able to convince myself that the wrong thing to do was the right thing to do? I let emotions carry me away. Fear, jealousy, desire to control, impatience – ugly dragons I thought that two years of motherhood had slain.

Impatience. Just about everyone gets there eventually. It’s not that I was “over” being pregnant. Compared to my first, this pregnancy was textbook and easy. No complications, no health scares, no high risk. I just wanted to meet my little girl. My first pregnancy had ended sooner than expected – why shouldn’t this one?

Control. I’ll admit it; I’m more comfortable when things conform to my plan. I like to make plans and see them happen – no, MAKE them happen.  I’m not really the type to sit around and wait for something to happen to me. Usually in life, that works in my favor. I should have learned by now that it doesn’t work that way with my pregnancies or my children.

Jealousy. Hurts to admit this one, too, but I had a friend who was due two days before I was and she had already had her baby. It sent me over the edge and I pouted like my toddler. I wanted my baby out and I wanted her now! Ugly, isn’t it?

The strongest ugly emotion, however, was fear. For some reason, I just didn’t believe that my body was going to go into labor on its own.  Silly, because it’s pretty much inevitable. I just feared that It wasn’t going to happen and that if it did, I wouldn’t know. Just how I wouldn’t know, I don’t know. And if my body did go into labor on its own and I knew it, I would get to the end of labor and not know how to push. Silly again because that’s pretty much inevitable, too.  I was just irrationally afraid.

That cocktail of emotions led me to make a cocktail of castor oil and orange juice and guzzle it down before bedtime the night before my due date.  I went to bed and started contracting about two hours later. I was so excited that everything was going to happen just the way I wanted it to. After about an hour of 10 minute apart contractions, I woke my husband to tell him what was going on and snuck into my closet to call Teresa. I wanted to sleep, but was too excited, so I went downstairs for a glass of Baileys on ice.  Just the way I planned it. I continued contracting through the night, so when the sun rose, we called Teresa and Intown Midwifery. I just knew this would be happening soon.

I got in my bathtub to soak and relax. When the water got too cold, Greg gave me a massage. This labor thing wasn’t so bad so far!

Teresa arrived and the day dragged on. When we decided to start timing my contractions, they were still only at 7 minutes apart. This was in the afternoon. Teresa suggested that Greg and I fool around some to see if that would help. No change in the pattern. Then, Greg and I went walking around the neighborhood. I was having 5 minute apart contractions at that point, but as soon as we got home, they fizzled out. I went to take a nap and my contractions slowed to 15 min apart. At that point, Greg offered me some more castor oil & OJ. That outed me to Teresa, so she asked to have a moment alone with me. She talked to me about castor oil and why she was against it except as a last resort and that it doesn’t work for most people until they’re past their due date. She prayed with me and cried with me (well, I was crying at least). We chatted for a bit and since my contractions were slowing down so much, she asked if I wanted her to head home for the day. I told her that would probably be best and I went to sleep.

I kept contracting through the night — but only once or twice an hour. My last contraction was at 6:30 or so on Saturday morning. When you try to control the uncontrollable, you quickly find out who is really in control.

I made myself get out of bed, but I was beating myself up pretty bad mentally. I blamed myself for being impatient and messing up and possibly harming my baby, and exhausting myself and was totally rethinking my natural childbirth plans. After 30 hours of useless contractions, I was just tensing myself up during every single one. I really didn’t think I could do it anymore. As tightly as I was squeezing my butt cheeks on each one, there was no way a baby was coming out!

In the end, my story turned out well. More wonderfully and beautifully than I could have written it myself.  I found myself in labor later that afternoon after a 9 hour break.  After a total of 37 hours of actual spontaneous labor and a bit of Pitocin at the end, my daughter made her appearance. It leaves me to wonder, however, that if I hadn’t worn myself out in practice rounds, if my body (and mind) would have been better prepared for the real deal entirely on its own. I’ll never know; I’m done having babies….
So, my words of wisdom from my journey – before you decide to take matters into your own hands or succumb to any interventions, make sure you address your fears. Dismiss any feelings that don’t correspond to reality and evidence. You need to give yourself permission to have these feelings, but not to let them rule over you.

Yesterday when I went to get an additional tattoo.  I sat in the chair and thought I was ready. When David put the needle to my back, I had second thoughts. It hurt! I told him that he needed to be prepared for some whine! I had to remember to take a deep breath and release my shoulders. I also realized how much I rely on music when needing a distraction for pain. David had forgotten to turn on the music. He stopped when I mentioned it and turned on his music for me.

The full tattoo took an hour. He worked mostly straight through with a few breaks to take care of other business and give me a chance to check it out at the mirror. But what I realized was that after about fifteen minutes of David putting the needles to my skin, the sharp pain that was at the beginning was gone. I am sure the music helped distract me. I am sure that the great conversation I have with David each time also helps.  But it also dawned on me that the pain receptors in our bodies had sent more endorphins to me to help me with the pain. I did not even consider the last 45 minutes of being tattooed as painful at all- instead a sensation that was uncomfortable but not grimacing in any way.

(more…)

My daughter had a strong conversation with me tonight about the lack or pro-activity toward breastfeeding. Women wait to be treated badly or have a law be unfair before initiating an action She said it would be so great to stir women to be strong lactivist long before someone treated them badly. When someone is told that they can not nurse in a store or restaurant, she turns to them and says shove it! I know the law and you can’t make me move an inch!

She said in our childbirth classes we teach women how to stand up for themselves but when it comes to breastfeeding we do not teach them the same resilient attitude. I took offense to her statements and started sharing how I feel in our classes we do arm moms to know the laws and try to encourage her to be her baby’s advocate in the area of breastfeeding rights. (more…)

There is a lot of misinformation regarding what is “required” by the newborn for poops. I recently had two moms at two different hospitals told that they could not discharge their baby until he/she had more poopy diapers. I was dismayed that both of these babies had already had two to three poopy diapers since they were born- in the first twenty four hours. Did you know that if the baby poops immediately at the birth that counts as their first poo? And that is all that is “required” in the first twenty four hours. Yet both of these moms were being told that the baby needed to poop at least two more times! What? This is a misconception based on a baby being fed artificial breast milk- formula. It is not the case for a breastfed baby.  I thought it may be helpful to have some documentation for the educating of the nursery staff. You may want to print this article out and take it with you to the hospital. Information is power. Just because you are hearing it from a staff nurse, does not mean it is accurate information. Arm yourself with information- accurate information is what is needed to make informed decisions. (more…)

I often tell women they marry their care provider based on referrals from others before dating them. Then as their pregnancies progress, they begin to date and realize they have married the wrong provider. What do you do then?

I wish I could chat with women when they were not pregnant about what they may want when they are. But often times they do not have a clue about what they want yet. They are still figuring out what being pregnant is about. They choose their care provider often based on using the same provider that has been their gynecologist. But a great gynecologist may not make for a great obstetrician. Or perhaps they choose their care provider from a referral from their girl friend, realtor, neighbor or co worker. But not knowing what made their care provider “good” to them may not be what is “good” to you.

Sometimes folks choose the location for their birth first. Again, sometimes it is based on a good NICU… or a fancy place that is nicely decorated… or the location in proximity to their home. This is a place where you will spend a few days- and most moms are in labor for 19+ hours- so distance and cosmetics are not as important as you may think. You will not be there long enough to really worry about decor and you most likely will have plenty of time to get there.

Recently we met with a mom who was already 32 weeks pregnant. Her first comments to me was how she realized she was looking for an experience that she did not think she would get without a doula. She had selected her practice based on a great relationship with one of the doctors. But after hearing about a birth of one of her friends with the same location and practice, she realized that was not the experience she desired. She also had learned that the practice has several doctors , who may not share the same philosophy, and they share call on weekends with another practice that she would never have an opportunity to meet.  The odds of having her favorite doctor were slim to none unless she scheduled an induction.

But what does she do now? She hires a doula. She takes another childbirth class- the one day hospital class did not equip her for the birth knowledge she desired. But is it too late to change practices? It may be. But she feels like she does not want to change- she really has a great relationship with her doctor of choice.  I told her that there are seveal pieces to the pie for her birth.

Recently I met a couple at a local hospital Meet and Greet the Midwives meeting. They had come to hear their options. They too were 32 weeks.  Her husband asked me about their current birth location and my experience there. He asked if she could have a “good” experience there. It is a hospital that has the highest cesarean rate in the metro area. I asked what makes for a “good” experience. If you are looking for 24/7 availability of OB anesthesia- quick epidurals and physicians that are quite skilled in operative birth, then yes it could prove to be a good hospital for them. But if they were looking for a less interventionist experience, it would be possible but not easy to do.

You can have a great birth experience anywhere. But it does take a lot more work at some locations. It does mean being ready to know how to miss punches that may be thrown your way. This mom has already been told nothing but ice chips once she is in labor- although she knows evidence based medicine shows this is not appropriate. She knows she will have to fight to get what she wants. I cringe when I think about a woman having to fight in labor. It is her most vulnerable time and she needs to be surrounded by those who love and care about her desires. (more…)

I wrote an article http://alaboroflove.org/2011/04/patience/ and then one of the moms who inspired that blog article went into labor and it has inspired the second leg of this story!

Patience is one of the “P’s I teach in my childbirth class that helps avoid a cesarean. Yes there is the patience on the part of the couple… but the patience of the provider is also imperative. I have attended births for over 18 years and in the 478 births one of the most important things a woman can do is choose her care provider carefully! This couple had certainly done so!

Prodromal labor of 30 hours, just days before that had been instigated by a dose of castor oil, was not the way to start labor! But when her labor kicked in- it did so in a slow mode! She was tired but having irregular and not very close together contractions. They chose to head into the hospital although they knew it was early. Although attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), she was given the option of returning home once she was checked, although she was dilated to 4-5 cm. She did not live that far away and the thought was it would be a long haul still. The mom declined and chose to stay. (more…)

Patience: –noun

the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation,annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

How do you encourage a woman who is bloated, peeing all the time, feeling fat, can’t sleep, getting kankels, hearing rude comments from strangers about how you look like you are gonna pop, feeling so unsexy, afraid of getting stretch marks- or more of them, scared that the baby is only getting bigger and won’t fit, hearing all of the horror stories from “friends” about birth, wanting support and wanting to schedule having help who needs to buy a plane ticket, desiring to stomach sleep again…. and more…. to be patient?
Waiting to go into labor on your own without an induction or without any fiddling on your part or on the doctor’s part is difficult. But birth is not broken. It is a wonderful thing to wake and realize that your baby has chosen their birth date. It is an empowering thing to realize your body knows how to do this without any nudges.
I have been there- ten days post due date each time. I know how she feels. Her fears may be different than mine- but they were there.  So I encourage, support, cry with, pray with, scream with, listen to her vent and complain and love her through the days and weeks up to her baby arrives. And sometimes I go with her to be fiddled with and induced supporting her decision although I keep praying for a gentle birth to occur in spite of the intervention.
Patience- she will learn it either during her pregnancy or soon after when she has that baby in her arms who seems to be inconsolable in the wee hours of the morning. My mantra is “control is merely an illusion, God is in control.” And yes I have that tattooed on me too!

When  a baby is  born in the hospital everyone seems so rushed to get things done. Ideally the mom would reach down and lift her baby onto her chest. The baby would be dried off gently and warmed by his or her mom’s skin. After all, she just worked hard and is very warm. The baby’s “juices” and vernix would be then smeared all over the mom’s breasts. The flavor of those juices are familiar to the baby. This attracts the baby even more to those darkened nipples. He or she bobs her head around to line up for a great latch. No one is measuring, poking, prodding, putting on a plastic bracelet, offering to remove the baby to weigh him or her, or to assess them in the warmer… but the baby and mom are left without interference.  And when that is done…. this is made possible. But it takes time. Often it will take twenty minutes or more… so I ask, why the rush? Can we just step  back and allow the dyad to bond and have this gentle introduction?

Breastfeeding Crawl