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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: Thankfulness
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2009, 06:46:30 AM »

Thankfulness
26 November 2009, 6:42 am

At this time of year, it’s always a great time to reflect on all that you have in your life and to realize the many blessings you’ve been given.  Regarding my children and their natural births, I am thankful for so many things.

I am thankful that others went before us in the quest of having a natural, unmedicated, intervention-free birth and then had such passion to want to tell others about how to do it too.  I am thankful for a husband who knew to support me in any endeavor I chose.  I am thankful for a good teacher of natural childbirth who did not turn us off of the idea but make us more focused to achieve our desired birth.  I am thankful that The Lord led us to a doctor who was supportive (for the most part) of our birth plan and aided us in bringing our babies into the world.  I am thankful that in a small, poor county, our only choice, the county hospital was conducive to our natural births.  I am thankful that I had the conviction, dedication, strength and pain tolerance to give my babies the best start in life.  I am thankful that the health of myself and my children, although worrisome at times, was never compromised as The Lord does protect.  I am thankful that my breastfeeding relationships were strong and fruitful.  I am thankful that I did not ignore the fleeting ideas I had to teach natural childbirth myself and that I received my affiliation earlier this year.  I am thankful for the students that cross my path as I learn as much from them as I hope they do from me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: If breasts could talk
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2009, 04:14:53 PM »

If breasts could talk
11 December 2009, 3:40 pm

Interesting facts and fun trivia about breastfeeding and breastpumping from Medela®:
  • A breastfeed lasts an average of 16 minutes.
  • Almost three-quarters of moms produce more milk with their right breast (no correlation to being right- or left-handed!).
  • Babies will take more milk from the first breast offered.
  • The average time it takes for a mom’s milk to let-down, or start flowing, during a breastfeed is 56 seconds (but this can vary widely – so don’t get stressed if you take longer).
  • About a third of moms can’t sense let-down.  Watch for your milk to flow faster to see it happen.
  • Babies breastfeed until they’re full, not until the “empty” your breast.  On average, babies remove 67% of the milk you have available – this amount can vary widely among moms.
  • Whether breastfeeding or pumping, the amount of milk removed and its fat content are similar.
  • Babies instinctively know how to get your milk quickly and efficiently: they start breastfeeding with a faster suck for stimulation until you let-down.  Then when your milk is flowing, they switch to a slower, deeper suck and eat until they’re full.
  • It’s common for babies to have resting periods during breastfeeding – sometimes they “take breaks” in between sucks.
  • Your baby controls your breastmilk flow with an instinctive action that includes sucking, swallowing and breathing – your milk flows during the actual sucking part, when you baby moves his tongue a certain way (We know!  We’ve seen it on an ultrasound!).
  • Your milk sprays out of many holes, not just one.
  • 82% of breastfeeding moms use a breastpump.
  • 73% of breastfeeding/breastpumping moms get outside help.  There’s an entire profession dedicated to successful breastfeeding – lactation consultants (”LC’s”) are passionate about helping you and your baby breastfeed.  You can find one in your state at www.iblce.org .
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding (that means no formula – but pumped breastmilk is okay) for 6 months and continued breastfeeding for a minimum of 1 year.  Actual recent statistics:
    • 71% of babies ever breastfed
    • 36% still breastfeed at 6 months
    • 17% still breastfeed ay 1 year
  • Years ago, breastpumps resembled turkey basters.  We’ve come a long way.
  • No matter your size, you’ll make enough milk for your baby – A cups, rejoice!
  • When your child is grown, you’ll fondly remember the warm, unique bond you shared while breastfeeding- guaranteed.

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: C’mon Michigan!
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2009, 04:14:53 PM »

C’mon Michigan!
11 December 2009, 4:04 pm

The CDC has published it’s latest (2006) report card on state’s breastfeeding statistics

Here is where we stand:
  • 64.8 percent ever breastfed (73.9 percent national)
  • 23.5 percent exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months (33.1 percent national)
  • 31.2 percent breastfed at 6 months (43.4 percent national)
  • 10.7 percent exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months (13.6 percent national)
  • 14.4 percent breastfed at 12 months (22.7 percent national)
Michigan (and 21 other states) does not meet even one stat for the Healthy People 2010 goal (75 percent ever breastfed, 40 percent exclusively at 3 months, 50 percent at 6 months, 17 percent exclusively at 6 months and 25 percent at 12 months).  Congratulations to the 10 states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington) who have met every goal.

If these numbers are discouraging to you, check out this article which could be a step in the right direction with legislation in our state.  Of course, that news followed this story where a mother was harassed by a security guard at Target for nursing.

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: My Bradley teacher’s early Christmas gift
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2009, 01:10:46 PM »

My Bradley teacher’s early Christmas gift
28 December 2009, 1:06 pm

My Bradley class teacher and now, friend gave birth naturally to her second son Luke on December 20th.  He was 9 pounds 12 ounces and 22.75″ long.  Way to go Daedra!

Here is her birth story (check out her first natural birth here).  Pay attention as it is fairly quick but there’s a lot of great info and tidbits in there for those of us whose plan is an unmedicated, intervention-free birth…

Luke’s Birth Story

EDD: December 18, 2009

DOB: December 20, 2009

The only commonalities between the two births I’ve been through so far have been that A) they both are boys and B) they both started at 3AM.

I awoke at approximately 3AM on December 20th because when I rolled over in bed I felt a bit of wetness as if I had peed my pants. I decided I’d better get up to see what’s going on and when I did a big gush of water filled my pants. The water was clear and odorless and I awoke my husband to let him know that labor had started. We contacted our doula and doctor to let them know what had occurred and then went back to bed to try to rest.

Contractions did not start right away, it took approximately 45 minutes for them to kick in and when they did they were very strong. I spent the first few hours having bowel movements with every contraction and therefore couldn’t lie down and relax through them. Instead in between contractions I stood in the bathroom bent over the sink cabinet rocking my hips to soothe myself.

My contractions were so intense that I was working very hard to stay relaxed through them. I felt as if I was in transition most of this labor because of the physical signs I was exhibiting like shaking, being hot then cold and vomiting.

When my doula/home birth midwife arrived at 6:30AM she checked me and I was already dilated to 6cm. We decided to call the birth center to let them know we’re on our way and prepared the car for departure. The car ride was ok, I prayed the whole time that God would give me easy contractions for the car ride and thankfully He did!

We arrived at the Alternative Birth Center at Providence at 7:30AM and they didn’t have a room ready for me so I had to wait in the hallway while they cleaned my room (coincidentally the same room I gave birth to Adam in). They gave me the option to wait in a traditional labor & delivery room but I declined. Later we discovered that the L&D nurses were upset at the ABC nurse for not forcing me to go into one of their rooms, basically because they could’ve made money on my checking into one of their rooms. I’m so glad I had the patience to wait in the hallway!

I labored for about an hour and a half more trying to find a comfortable position but I stayed bent over the edge of the bed just as I was in the bathroom at home. By 9:00AM I was dilated to 9.5 cm. When it came time to push everyone was trying to help me get into a comfortable and safe pushing position (because standing beside the bed and pushing a baby out onto the floor isn’t ideally safe). I tried leaning over the exercise ball on the bed, side lying, and classic but none of those felt good. I ended up flipping mid-contraction from classic to hands and knees on the bed using a pile of pillows to rest on between contractions. While pushing the contractions were still very hard and painful down low in my pelvis so it didn’t feel good to work with my body but I still knew I needed to get this baby out. At one point I could actually feel the baby turning in my pelvis, which was a very odd sensation! I pushed for a total of about 20 minutes. When the head came out I was ready to wait for the next contraction to get his body out but the doctor insisted I keep pushing so I did, but with lots of yelling. Because of this I ended up with a second degree tear, I still don’t know why he made me continue to push.

Luke came out a healthy 9lb. 12 oz. and 22.75” long at 9:42AM. He had some bruising on his forearm, forehead and upper lip but those are beginning to clear up as time goes on.


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Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies
3 January 2010, 11:02 pm

I just realized I never posted a blog when an article I wrote was published in the September 2009 Parents Magazine.  The title (original as noted above) was revised to Women advised to take control of birthing details.

Click on below pdf to read the article – it’s on page 11.  Also, my kids are on page 5, top left…

issue-7

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: Fake Schmake
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2010, 07:50:45 AM »

Fake Schmake
5 March 2010, 7:40 am

How many have heard people term Braxton Hicks contractions as fake contractions?  There is nothing fake about what benefit they have for you and your baby.

Braxton Hicks contractions were named so as John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor, was the first to describe them in 1872 and now some medical professionals are ceasing to use the term Braxton Hicks as some women were ignoring signs and symptoms of pre-term labor.

Before we define what they are, let’s talk about what they aren’t:
  • fake contractions
  • a trick from your body
  • something to ignore
  • non beneficial
Braxton Hicks contractions are:
  • sporadic uterine contractions
  • a tightening of the abdomen
  • essentially painless but may be uncomfortable
  • felt usually after mid-pregnancy but start around 6 weeks
  • unestablished in pattern
When I was pregnant with my first two babies, I never felt any Braxton Hicks contractions but I could have easily passed them off as the baby moving.  With my third, it seemed every time I sat down at the computer during my last month, I would have one or two.  It is a very subject occurrence and not the same for every woman or every pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks contractions can be brought on by dehydration, full bladder, activeness, stress and orgasm.  Dr. Robert Bradley, in Husband-Coached Childbirth recommends eating, drinking, napping, showering or walking as things to do to distinguish between Braxton Hicks contractions and pre-labor.  If you try those five things, they will cause Braxton Hicks contractions to cease.  If the contractions continue and you are having 4 or more within an hour, or they are less than 10 minutes apart, you are most likely having some pre or early labor contractions.

Braxton Hicks contractions are believed to help your body prepare for labor (perhaps softening the cervix, increasing blood flow to the placenta) as well as stimulate your baby for birth even though no cervical progress is realized.

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: When will this trend end?
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2010, 10:52:59 AM »

When will this trend end?
26 March 2010, 9:54 am

The CDC just released the 2007 cesarean section rate for The United States.  What sad numbers.  The United States has worse statistics than some of the countries we’d consider third world.  What are we doing wrong and why has there not been an improvement?

Doctors seem to know how bad our statistics are here in the US but those statistics are largely related to scheduled cesareans (not necessarily for medical reasons) and repeat c-sections.  Here are some things you as the medical consumer can do (by danielzrib on eHow) to lower the incidence of c-sections:
  • Create a Birth Plan, in which you express your desires for the birth of your baby, and what you expect from the birth attendant(s). Make sure you are being realistic! While not everything will go according to your plan, it will serve as a guide for everyone involved, and will increase your chances of having just the kind of birth you are hoping for.
  • Educate yourself about labor and delivery. You and your husband (or whoever your “coach” will be) should be familiar with the process of birth, and confident in the ability of your body to give birth naturally. Fear is your worst enemy when you are having a baby, and the more you know, the less fear you will have. Also, the more your coach knows, the more he will be able to help you and/or speak for you as needed.
  • Find a birth attendant (doctor or midwife) who has lots of experience with non-intervened (“natural”) births. Midwives and doulas specialize in natural births, and many are willing to assist you in the home, clinic, or hospital setting. It is important that you interview a few, and that you find someone with whom you are comfortable.
  • Consider carefully where you plan to deliver your baby. If you prefer a hospital, tour their facilities, and ask what their rate of C-sections is. If it is unacceptable to you, then look up some birth centers. Of course, 100% of all C-sections are performed in hospitals. (Is that too obvious?)
  • Call your doctor/midwife, but stay home as long as you can, going about your business until the labor will not be ignored. Stay active, take a walk; this keeps labor from slowing down. Your coach and birth attendant can help you by being positive about your labor’s progress, and you can be confident that your body was made to give birth naturally!

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: Baby Albright #3 is here!!!!
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2010, 07:43:03 PM »

Baby Albright #3 is here!!!!
29 April 2010, 6:11 pm

Weston Weis Albright was born on April 20, 2010 at 6:02pm.  He weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces and was 21″ long.  Mom and son are doing great!  His birth story is soon to follow…

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: My birth story #3
« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2010, 11:24:21 AM »

My birth story #3
6 May 2010, 11:09 am

Weston Weis Albright Born April 20, 2010 at 6:02pm 9 pounds 5.7 ounces 21” long   Our third pregnancy was a planned surprise as we were trying but we did not know I was pregnant for two cycles as I had been having some really irregular bleeding and we actually thought this might be due to my age and [...]

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Childbirth and Beyond...Naturally: The Year in Review
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2010, 03:47:05 PM »

The Year in Review
17 May 2010, 2:47 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHILDBIRTH & BEYOND…NATURALLY!!!! I just realized that I gave birth to this blog one year ago on April 21st.  This has only slipped my mind as literally birthed my 3rd child on April 20th and we’ve been in postpartum bonding mode, not really taking time out for the online world… However, I cannot believe how [...]

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