"Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males.

It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson

"The Road Less Traveled..." of Parenthood

Following your instincts instead of the crowd

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Forks Over Knives - Official Trailer

This is an awesome trailer. I can't wait until the movie comes to my town. The research in it totally confirms Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book and Tandi Hartle's pregnancy nutrition recommendations I wrote about in another post.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is Homebirth Really Better for Babies?

There is an excellent post on Birth Unplugged entitled "How Homebirth Benefits Babies." It brings to mind ACOG's position on women who choose homebirth. They basically have accused women of trying to be trendy by following the example of Ricki Lake, or of putting their own birth experience ahead of the well-being and safety of their babies. I love this post because Brittany does a great job of pointing out that research shows babies, not just their mothers, are much better off being born at home. They have fewer complications, less birth trauma, and higher success rates with breastfeeding. Of course, I should mention that this research assumes the mother and baby are low-risk and using qualified attendants.

One statistic I've had first-hand experience with. That is that homebirthed babies are less likely to require resuscitation at birth. With my second daughter who was born in the hospital, she needed a whole resus team to get her breathing--on a table on the other side of the room. I couldn't see what they were doing but my husband said they were basically slapping her all over her body including her face. (No wonder that when she did start breathing, she started screaming at the top of her lungs and didn't calm down until after about 10 minutes of nursing, poor thing. Also another instance of the stupidity of immediate cord-clamping.) The whole reason for that delayed breathing had to do with the drug Nubain that I succumbed to receiving during transition. Wouldn't have happened at home.

One other research finding I found really interesting was that babies "had better outcomes for homebirths when comparing between home and hospital births with the same cohort of midwives." So much for the idea that we can have the "best of both worlds" by utilizing the superior midwifery model of care in the "safer" environment of the hospital. The fact is that hospitals have all their restrictive protocols and ways of doing things that are really just for the convenience of the OB's and nurses, and not usually in the best interest of mom and baby. I learned that when planning a hospital birth with a CNM. She was subject to the same legal restrictions and attitudes the OB's were. It would take such dramatic changes in hospital policies and staff attitudes (nearly impossible in today's legal climate) to negate the risks of unnecessary intervention, that I honestly can't see that ever happening, at least in the US.

Anyway I highly recommend reading her post. It's well-researched and a direct contradiction to the propaganda ACOG and the media try to shove down our throats. And Brittany is much more tactful and unoffensive than I am. (Sorry--I feel so passionate about this topic, I just can't help myself.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Excellent Video about Being Kinder to our Babies at Birth

I found this video on a blog called Mamas and Babies. It is excellent at explaining why it's better to not clamp the cord immediately. I also love that they suggest another option of waiting until the mother is ready for the cord to be clamped rather than the typical homebirth scenario of just waiting until the cord has stopped pulsating. With 2 of our homebirths we waited just until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, but blood still came out, and my own heart and instincts felt wrong about it, even though I had no known logical reason to believe we had done anything harmful. It will be different the next time.

This video also brings up the issue of just how cruelly our babies are assaulted at birth in the name of "medical care." Some of the hospital scenes are very disturbing to me. After having 3 homebirths and watching hundreds of homebirth videos (I know, I know, I'm a birth-junkie), I am shocked and sickened at how babies are treated in the hospital. This so needs to be changed. No wonder so many people struggle with lifetime depression, tendency to violence, etc. It's been imprinted on us at birth. This video is only a portion of a longer video called "The Other Side of the Glass." You can view a preview of the film here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lotus Birth

I really like her description and reasons for this kind of a birth. It feels kind of weird to me now to watch a video of a beautiful, natural, undisturbed birth where you see all this wonderful independence and strength displayed by the mother, then see the sweet joy and bonding that occurs with her baby, and then have to watch as she allows someone else to cut the cord that physically severs her baby from herself. It just isn't congruent to me anymore and makes me cringe every time I see it.

I also love the idea of mother and baby recuperating alone together for those first few days. Extended family and friends can visit later after the baby is ready, signaled by his/her own release of the cord.