Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Sexual Abuse Can Affect Labor

The following is a wonderful blog post about how a history of sexual abuse can affect pregnancy and childbirth. Once resource that I didn't see listed is a book called "When Survivors Give Birth" by Penny Simkin. I am hoping to have a copy in our lending library soon.

If you don't feel like you can talk about your care provider about your history you may want to consider finding one who you do feel you can talk to or hire a doula that you are comfortable with to talk with about it. Your doula will also help you maintain some sense of modesty during the process if she is aware but your care provider isn't. It's also very important for your partner to be aware of the history and to know what is going to make you feel more comfortable during childbirth.

What Causes Back Labor?

I hear a lot of birth stories from mom's and I hear a lot of stories from women who have complained of horrific back labor. Most people don't know what causes back labor and the simple things they can do to avoid it.

Back labor is caused the majority of the time by a malpositioned baby. This technical term is Occiput Posterior (OP). This means that the back of the baby's head is against mom's back. What really causes the discomfort associated with this is that it is like bone rubbing against bone.

The following is an article about posterior positioning and some things that can be done to prevent/correct it.

There is an awesome website that talks about Optimal Fetal Positioning called

Posterior babies are something that didn't really happen 30, 40 or 50 years ago or even before that. I'm sure it happened but it is something that has become more and more prevalent.

Some of the reasoning as to why the huge increase is that we've become a couch potato society. If you consider that the back of the baby's head is the heaviest part what do you think happens when you plop down in the recliner with the remote? Gravity spins the baby around so that the back of his/her head is towards your back. Some great pointers are to stay upright, spend some time doing a hands-knee position or knee chest postion daily. If you have a good prenatal yoga class nearby take it. Chiropractic is great because it keeps the pelvis in good alignment and gives the baby the maximum amount of space to turn in. As with everything prevention certainly work better than trying to "cure" the problem once in labor.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What is a Nuchal Cord?

I hear birth stories all the time where people talk about the umbilical cord being around the baby's neck at delivery. This is called a "nuchal cord". I often hear people saying that they were lucky that they had a c-section because of a nuchal cord. Is it really dangerous for the baby to have the cord around its neck? The following is a blog post that references several studies showing that it usually is not an issue when it happens. I personally have seen it a couple of times at births I've been to. I was at the birth of my niece and her cord was wrapped 3 times and because it was very loosely wrapped she just unlooped it before delivering her shoulders.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pennsylvania Department of Health Releases 2008's Stats

The following is the link to Pennsylvania Hospitals statistics for 2008 on Cesareans and VBAC's. How does the hospital you are going to measure up to others in the state. I am sure glad I didn't have my children at Clarion Hospital I can tell you that much.

As expectant mom's you must also ask your care provider what their groups rates are too so that you have an accurate picture of your chances of vaginal birth are. Your hospital may have a 30% rate but your physician may have a 50% rate so you need to know that. If they can't tell you what their rates are shop around for a new provider.

The Christmas Eve Miracle

I am sure by now most of the country has heard the story about the mom and baby who appeared to have died during childbirth only to come back to life after an emergency cesarean delivery. This is an amazing thing to be sure and this mom and baby are so lucky and blessed to be here to celebrate the new year. The following are links to the interview on Good Morning America with the mom, dad and physician who did the crash section and a link to a blog post with a theory of why things went so horribly wrong during this birth.

Probably nobody will ever no what caused this mother's heart to stop but you can bet that if it was because of hospital error it will never be known.

The Duggars and VBAC's

Whether you like the Duggars or not the fact that she has given birth to 13 of their children via VBAC is quite impressive. She had c-sections with the twins which were the second pregnancy, the 15th and the latest at 25 weeks for preeclampsia.

Jim-Bob is quoted in this article advocating for women to have the choice to VBAC.

Cesarean Recovery

The following is an article with tips on recovering from a Cesarean Delivery. It's a great list. It would be nice if only 10-15% of women giving birth needed this list but as the c-section rate has reached 50% or more in some parts of the country I think it's a necessary evil. If you or someone you know has recently had a Cesarean Delivery this has very useful information.

Considering Induction?

I discovered this doula through a doula message board that I frequent. I love her website! She has such wonderful, thorough, evidence-based information on her website. Following is the letter she wrote to clients considering elective inductions. It's awesome. If you or someone you know is considering induction because they are tired of being pregnant or are expecting a "large" baby check it out.

Cesarean Suites?

Sounds like a hotel doesn't it? A hospital in Utah is basically trying to provide hotel treatment to C-section moms. I guess it's a nice thought if it didn't reek of greed. C-section mom's (as well as all post-partum mom's) lactation support and education about recovering from birth and how to care for their newborns not wi-fi and flat screens. Why don't mom's who are looking to have an unmedicated, spontaneous vaginal birth get 5 star treatment as well? Thoughts?

Informed Consent for Epidurals

Here is a lot more information about epidurals and the potential side effects and reactions that can occur with them. While a lot of the really extreme things you will read about on here are rare they can happen so should be included in for true informed consent.