Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What do all the titles mean? CIO, AP, etc? What is the Big Deal???

If you are a mother now, you will soon realize that there are all sorts of debates, here or there that many mothers get into. Most mothers want what is best for their babies. But there are some that will go by what their mother taught them, they read in a book or on the internet and ignore any new research. Why? It worked for their relatives, the book people and plus, it sounds great.

This could pertain to anything from baby wearing to breastfeeding. I heard one mom claim that attachment parenting was a fad, a new fad, in fact. She was actually using biblical reasons for forgoing this "fad".

I would love to actually discuss and bring to the forefront that actually, some of the other parenting methods are the fads. The key components of attachment parenting have been around long before this century. I think that the idea AP is coming back around is more because it is what was done and is still done in many countries around the world. I used to stare at the foreign women that lived in the city, where I lived, trying to figure out how they kept that young child on their backs. I worked hard, outside on a piece of land, and had no place to set my baby down that was safe and longed for a way to safely wear him, just to keep him safe.

Baby wearing has been around since bible times. So has bed sharing. If you go to any historical forts and look at their sleeping arrangements, you will find that most pioneers and in history people were not as finicky about room and bed sharing as we are as spoiled Americans that believe we "need" our privacy. It didn't effect their marriage relationships too much. I think they had to use their imaginations a bit more. I have been in old cabins where there was one bed, very large bed above the oven for the whole family. Sometimes that included the grandparents as well.

This is not a fad. Much of it is going back to the roots of society.

However, I believe that above all, you need to make sure to check your heart in all things. But just because you have a wrong heart attitude about something, doesn't make it something wrong to do. I remember a mother telling me that she felt sewing had become an idol for her, so she was going to stop doing it. At that time, their family had no money, she had boxes of fabric and her children were wearing very worn out clothes. She chose to let them wear the worn clothing because she felt she had to give up her idol of sewing. I struggled with being obsessed with cooking. I remember thinking about it when my friend gave up sewing that perhaps I should step back from cooking. I immediately checked myself! I needed to change my heart attitude, not what I was doing. The same with attachment parenting...which was named by modern society. If your heart is not right about it, change it. But it doesn't make the actions of it wrong.

You want to battle it out?

There are plenty of mothers that will battle it out for you! Put 'em up!

Sleep training and the actual definition of the term "Cry-it-out" can bring up a lot of interesting thoughts. In 1985, Dr. Richard Ferber wrote a book about getting your babies to sleep. New mothers loved some of his ideas as it was formed to give them more sleep. His idea was that you can teach your babies to soothe themselves to sleep, rather than the traditional rocking the baby to sleep. This article from BabyCenter explains some of the ideas contained in the book. Here is another article by the author himself...The Truth about Ferberizing

Society was changing from the '70's where it went to some of the earth loving, peace loving, freedom society and parents were realizing that they were having to work two jobs, mothers didn't have time to cook, rock babies and they just were mostly too busy for it all. Ferberizing gave them the freedom to lay down the baby, ignore it, check to make sure he was okay occasionally, but mostly, you let the baby cry until he realized you were not coming for him, he gave up and went to sleep. This method is portrayed to work on every child, if done right.

However, Dr. Ferber has said that he did not agree with this (letting the child cry to no end). But still, much of what is in his book is still widely used by parents today, usually the ones that are sleep deprived, but occasionally, the selfish parent that is just done with the child.

I discovered in my research that some of Dr. Ferber's ideas were actually based on a book from the late 1800's. It is available on Gutenburg for free, if you are interested in reading it. The Care and Feeding of Children by L. Emmett Holt, M.D., LL.D.

The book is very interesting, but most of us would shudder in horror at what was advanced thinking at that time in child care and feeding. Yet, he was trying to encourage society for the best. This was addressing a more formal society, not the tribeswoman or pioneers that wore their babies, slept in a common room and breastfeeding was just second nature.

Many people will look back on past methods and claim "Those babies survived. My grandparents survived drinking cows milk at the age of 3 months, being aired outside in cages, and the like. Why can we say that it is not healthy now?" We have to look at the statistics as well. Infant mortality was much higher as well with this type of diets. Women gave birth to babies that were smaller, had faster deliveries often, but also lost a lot of children. It is common to also read books and families would have 2-4 living children, but gave birth to 8-10.

This is a book on infant mortality as far as it related to the occupation of the mother. Infant Mortality and It's relation to the employment of mothers.

If you read book that was by Jennifer Worth, the woman that wrote the books which inspired the "Call the Midwife" TV series. The books detail in very clear pictures, the issues that faced society, not all that long ago, where they were pushing some of the regimented schedules, feedings, and lack of care that women and children faced.

When we are evaluating a parenting style for ourself or others, let's be careful to look at a complete picture. Are we moving forward or going backward? Are we simply cycling around? Is baby-wearing a fad or something that promotes healthier babies for convenience?

When we seek info on a parenting decision, do we simply look to the internet for opinion based posts, or do we look to science based posts? Do we evaluate our decision based on society or what is really best for our own individual child?

Be careful not to parent through emotion, religious ideals or even sleep deprivation. Make sure to evaluate daily what we are doing for our children as they grow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our Uterus- a Misunderstood Muscle

A uterus is a muscle. We all know if we know the muscular system that muscles need many things. If we do not take work our arm muscles, how long does it take them to get flabby? Not too long, huh? Uteruses are not as easy to work out either.

You may have a uterus that clamps down one baby and then because of many factors may not the next. Those factors include interventions as well as nutrition.

#1- They need to be fed. Protein feeds muscles, as well as other things that supply good nutrients to your muscles. Iron is a big one of these factors as well as calcium and magnesium.

#2- They need to be exercised and not over the top exercised or under exercised. This is the balance that is hard to find. Often artificial oxytocin will hyper-stimulate a uterus, which makes it unable to clamp down. This can also happen naturally too. A uterus after a hard labor, too many herbs someone took or other things can cause a uterus to be hypertonic. That is why something that is gentle can sometimes be recommended by doctors, midwives etc. to help uteruses stay healthy. Also, a uterus that stretched out, then never has had the chance to reduce in size, heal and begins stretching out again is more likely to struggle. (This would likely be the worry for you, Laura, since your babies are close in age).

#3- Uteruses need support after birth; they look like a heavy ball of muscle, hanging limply on ligaments in your pelvic area. When you are lying down, those ligaments tighten; the contractions of the uterine walls tighten and reduce it in size. When after birth, we stand for long periods of time, especially the first two weeks, sometimes we stretch out those ligaments, cause the uterus to not be able to go back to it's original size and struggle all the way around. Then if you get pregnant in the first 5-6 months PP, before it has had a 9-month healing time, you uterus can struggle.

Something else is hormone level. This can affect things with the uterus as well. If your hormone levels are not right you may not produce normal amounts of oxytocin on your own, or sometimes the baby is struggling to produce it.

Another big one is not your uterus as well, but your pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor is weak, when your uterus contracts, it sort of has a smooth pushing down motion and pushes against the pelvic floor.

I think though, sometimes you can do all you can, and some people just have a weaker uterine muscle than others. That is something you have to be thankful that we have artificial medications to force it to comply.

So, what is a good calcium and magnesium supplement? It differs for everyone. One that I find easy to take and many clients enjoy as well is Lifetime Liquid calcium. I prefer the strawberry flavor, but it comes in a variety of flavors. Vitacost has it for a fairly reasonable cost. Here is a link that as a referral will give you $10 off your first order! https://www.vitacostrewards.com/jTSZGtY Here is a direct link to the calcium Liquid Calcium and magnesium- Strawberry

Where can you go to find pelvic floor exercises? That varies, but there are some online resources available. This website offers some great exercise routines. I have not researched to see what they have available for pelvic floor exercises yet though. http://fit2b.us

These websites talk about for helping with bladder control issues, but it is the same muscles that help support the pelvic floor. They are easy and cheap to do. https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/IncontinenceExerProg.pdf

And another one.... http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/provider/juliealmeria/resources/dc/article?article=article_506667.xml&contentTitle=Ball%20and%20Band%20Exercises%20for%20Urinary%20Incontinence I hope these resources are helpful for you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Induction...is trying a natural induction a good idea?

Common Question: "I am 39 weeks, the doctor, midwife, care provider says that while they support natural birth, if I go over 40, 41 (insert number), they will induce me. I want to avoid an induction, what natural means can I use to induce labor?"
We are ready at the end to have our babies, aren't we?

This question usually brings on a flurry of activity, opinions, ideas on what actually starts labor. First of all, we need to look at the facts. For each person, the reasons may be different as to why a care provider may be suggesting an induction. Most of them, have protocols they have set up and follow. Unless there is a medical reason or it is a law, you usually have an option to opt out of their normal protocols and choose an alternative course of action. An induction is not something they can force on you, unless you or the baby is in medical need of it, even then, it can be difficult.
You are not trying to be difficult. You just want what is best for your baby, so you turn to "natural" methods. You are done being pregnant and since the care provider has said the baby is ready, you are ready. First of all: We need to know what has to happen in order for labor to begin. There is a series of events that have to happen. Generally, while preterm labor can be an issue, often, in a healthy pregnancy, labor begins when the baby decides it is ready to be born. (Science of what happens)(Layman's article on the same topic)
When the baby is ready, the hormones are released to begin the process of labor. However, if these hormones are stirred, and baby is head down, but not quite in the right position, often contractions start, stop, start, stop. This can also happen with larger babies, uterus that needs a little more exercise, or positions like posterior, breech etc. Or if the mom has encouraged labor on her own with herbs, castor oil or other means. The hormones are often not steady when they are being induced by alternative means, natural or otherwise. Drugs used for inductions are often powerful enough to override the hormones and induce labor anyhow, but sometimes they can even fail. The danger in natural induction methods, especially when not overseen by a medical professional is the risks of overdosing on herbs, exhaustion, lack of sleep from up and down contractions, dehydration, and others. Often moms will have lack of sleep and when labor really hits, they are too tired to go through it and put themselves at risks of other interventions.
Here are some articles to read on the pros and cons of natural and drug induced induction. http://midwifethinking.com/2010/09/16/induction-of-labour-balancing-risks/ http://avivaromm.com/labor-induction-low-natural-approaches-midwife-md
My encouragement to mothers is to have patience. The baby usually knows when it should come. If your doctor insists on medical reasons for an induction, pay close attention. Check out the baby. Listen to your doctor and weigh what they say with care. They care for you for a reason. However, research the pros and cons of induction and discuss them with your doctor and why you are not wanting to go that route. Ask them if there would be any reason why you cannot have a couple more days and then reevaluate.
Here are some things usually that you can do, without risk, in most cases, to you or your baby. As with any exercise or regime, speak to your care provider before beginning anything.
At 32-34 weeks, I recommend all mothers, if okayed by their care provider, begin seeking chiropractic care on a weekly or twice weekly basis to help with position. Regular exercise should be repeated, walking, swimming and other low level forms of exercise.
At 38 weeks on, I recommend a repeating pattern of exercise to help encourage a good position. This is if the baby is in a head down position. 25-30 pelvic tilts - Rest 25-30 hula hoop motion in either direction on an exercise ball- Rest 10 lunges with leg up on chair on each leg - alternating legs (View this to see what I mean by lunges Lunge-Spinning Babies) Rest. Repeat this pattern twice a day. When you get closer to your due date, repeat this more like 3 to 4 times a day. The repeating motion helps encourage the baby into a good position, which also will help your aches and pains as well. These exercises can be repeated while in labor as well! In the end, research even natural methods of natural induction. They are not always worth trying!
Babies usually come when they are ready! Labor is much easier when left to it's own timing usually as well.











Monday, November 25, 2013

I am sorry for the neglect of this blog!

I have been busy with many things, but also am planning on writing a pregnancy book sometime here in the near future. I was thinking about different topics to include in the book. It seems often pregnancy books are just full of the same info, some books are considered outlandish, hippy, or just plain weird. Then there are the ones that the doctors office hands out, that mention to call your doctor if you have certain symptoms, but no explanation of what is going on. You try to call the doctor and the nurse informs you that it is normal, don't worry and discuss with doctor at the next appointment. Sometimes though, you will get a good care provider that is able to answer some of your questions, but sometimes you just wish there was a book that would give you some of those answers so you don't have to bother the doctor. That is the kind of book I want to write. Something that in layman's terms talks of the norms of pregnancy, the hard things and when the doctor or midwife really wants to see you! What topics do you want covered?

Friday, August 16, 2013

#1 reason I would want to pay for a doula....

Why would I want to pay for a doula? This is a question that many pregnant moms may ask themselves, I guarantee that their partner may ask it more often.

So, what is the reasoning behind paying for a doula. Often I hear the comment...."If you can't afford a doula, there are free or volunteer doulas to be had." While that is often true, I am hear to tell you that if you want the best experience, pay for one.

There are times when a close friend may be trained as a doula, and can, because of the closeness, be able to provide the same level of support that a paid doula can. But one of the interesting studies that talk about why you might want a doula, they found that while there was positives from having support from female relatives and friends, a companion that was not related to you had the best results.

Here is a link from DONA on some of the results.... http://www.dona.org/publications/position_paper_birth_table1.php

But why would I say that it is important to pay your doula?

I am a frugal person! You can ask most anyone and I can usually find a way to save some money! I have scrimped and saved money like most people never even think of! But.....I have come to realize that when we pay for something, we appreciate it more. We tend to be more careful in how we might care for a table that we paid $300 for, rather than the table we got for free, even if the table we got for free is worth $300. It is something about the human mind that tends to cause us to believe that if others did not value their service or item for more than that, it is not really worth the cost. I have learned this over the years in doing some volunteer doula work...it is those births that you can work yourself to the utmost, supporting the client in pregnancy, and the last minute, she forgets to call you when she is in labor or when you arrive, you find the family members are resentful of your presence as they were not notified of her desire. We are a culture that values what we pay for! Now, I am not encouraging you to go into debt to hire the most expensive doula you can find! I am encouraging you to think outside the box for paying your doula, but pay your doula!

Here are some alternative ideas to traditional payment: -Bartering- think of anything you could do for your doula. She is giving you a service, so think of a service you could do for her. Some ideas may be cleaning, handcrafts, haircuts, weeding a flower or vegetable garden or other things along that line.

- Home baked goods or freezer meals- If you are on a very low income, you may have extra food stuff and be able to offer this in exchange.

- A piece of nice furniture or other items

-Labor work- perhaps your partner or if you have older children have skills they would be willing to offer to do work such as painting, yard work etc. Someone suggested recently having a collection at your baby shower for a doula. I was thinking about it and we have often done raffle drawings for a small gift where the entry ticket was the bag of diapers or wipes at a shower. Another idea would be to do a similar raffle drawing with raffle tickets for $2 each for a prize, to help raise money for your doula. In the scheme of things, most of us really would have the money to pay for a doula if we look hard enough. But I have met people whom truly do not have it. I have been one of those people myself. Often though, while you are not really out being able to get a job at the moment, you usually can offer some services, once a month to help pay for your doula!!

Think outside the box and pay for your doula....one way or another! She is worth it....and you will be grateful for the extra care.

So, what is the #1 reason I would want to pay for a doula than for taking the cheapest and free doula? I truly believe you will both get better care and have a better experience. The doula will feel like you appreciate her service and will be on her top game. You will value what you paid for and be more on top of actually using the services you paid for!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Breastfeeding week events- Kalispell, MT

Our doula booth at the All about the Kids- breastfeeding event we held here in the Flathead. It was a wonderful day, despite ominous warnings about the weather. It stayed nice most of the afternoon, even though it was cool and cloudy. There were lots of moms visiting and checking out all the booths, the giveaways, raffles and other fun activities. There were activities for the kids to do as well! I really enjoyed visiting with the other moms that stopped by the booth as well as visiting and getting to know the others in the other booths. The Breastfeeding coalition group was amazing to get to work with!
I am so glad to see all the breastfeeding support available out there. What made your breastfeeding journey easier? Did it help to know other moms were there along side you? A link to the website about our event as well! http://www.flatheadvalleydoulas.com/news--events.html

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recent events in our local doula community

We recently formed a doula group, where we could present a unified front of doulas to the community. We are hoping through this, to be able to give the public education and options to find the best doula fit for them! Our website is up and running and it is beautiful! http://www.flatheadvalleydoulas.com Flathead Valley Doulas operates in the Flathead Valley, primarily in Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls, MT. But also, some of the doulas extend out to Libby, Eureka and other surrounding towns. If you are in the area and in search of a doula, check out our website and get an interview with one of our doulas! We are here and ready to support you!