36 hours before I was supposed to leave for an impromptu vacation, Sabrina calls me at midnight to inform me that she thinks she is in early labor. Still out under the moonlight looking for her missing dog, I encouraged her to go home and rest…
Did anyone listen to the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council (BBIC) launch event this past Tuesday? I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of solid facts they revealed from their database of 80,000 women. In case you missed it, here’s a snapshot of what they shared:
The Breastfeeding Conversation has changed! Share the excitement, the energy and the inside line from the Best Brains in Breastfeeding from our BBIC launch event- recorded live on Nov 10, 2009 in New York.
According to health ministers in Australia, new mothers should be encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their babies till they are six months old, while Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon met her state and territory counterparts in Adelaide today to put together a strategy for encouraging more women to breastfeed their babies.
In Aruba, especially when a women is under the care of an obstetrician, she is automatically put in the Lithotomy position. A Certain ob/gyn absolutely refuses to let you go in another position, such as on hands and knees because he doesn’t want to have a rear-side view. With midwives however, there are infinite possibilities, and most if not all, aim to comply with your wishes, and even suggest alternative positions that help the labor along. Here are Birthing positions 101. Included are the advantages and disadvantages for the mother, fetus and birth attendant.
Science tells us that when babies cry alone and unattended, they experience panic and anxiety. Their bodies and brains are flooded with adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones. Science has also found that when developing brain tissue is exposed to these hormones for prolonged periods these nerves won’t form connections to other nerves and will degenerate. Is it therefore possible that infants who endure many nights or weeks of crying-it-out alone are actually suffering harmful neurologic effects that may have permanent implications on the development of sections of their brain? Here is how science answers this alarming question.
Ensuring greater access to certified professional midwives (CPMs) is one way to address some of the distressing challenges facing pregnant and birthing women in this country. The Big Push, specifically, is asking for the Senate bill to include an amendment that would ensure CPMs are covered under Medicaid; this would encourage a uniform certification process for midwives in this country as well as make homebirth and CPM facilitated birth accessible to all women – not just those who can afford to pay for these services out-of-pocket.
Ask that your Senator take the lead in sponsoring an amendment to provide Medicaid payment for the services of Certified Professional Midwives, who are the only type of midwife in the U.S. with specialized training in out-of-hospital maternity care.
We offer you a hearty welcome to our Philadelphia conference. This is one of the richest programs we have ever offered, with classes for everyone, whether you are a seasoned or aspiring practitioner or an activist. We are especially excited to bring you two full pre-conference days on Traditional Midwifery Skills—a Midwifery Today first. We are also featuring the Motherbaby International Film Festival as a part of this conference, brought to you by filmmaker and distributor Diana Paul. Saturday evening’s cabaret is always a bonding experience and a blast, and is meant to showcase your talents—birth-related or not. We’ll have times of fun, mentoring, sharing and learning at this conference.
Categories: Legal, Midwifery
There has been stong interest on the issue of the future of private midwifery since the Health Minsiter’s announcement that clarified the meaning of “collaborative practice”. Collaborative practice will mean that every private midwife must have a collaborative agreement with a private obstetrician who can effectively sign off on the midwife’s work. If s/he does not agree with the plan of care for the woman, the obstetrician may sever the collaborative arrangement. Furthermore, with RANZCOG and the AMA being opposed to home birth, home birth will not be an option in the private system, as it is currently. The exemption that was granted to home birth will have no meaning since collaborative arrangements will be a requirement for registration for private midwifery practice.
Last time the New York Times reported on home birth it was in the “Home & Garden” section. Here’s another story, about the rise in birth video viewership on YouTube, in “Fashion & Style.” (Sigh. When will physiological birth get a page in the “Health” section??) Most of the thousands of birth videos are shot at home — as of today there are 10,900 results to the search terms “home birth” — because taping is rarely permitted in hospitals. It’s mindblowing to think that 30, 40 years ago, women didn’t have access to books or even photographs showing the normal birth process. Now you can spend a whole afternoon birth-surfing.
Premature single births have been increasing in the United States, mostly among infants delivered by Caesarean section, researchers are reporting. And they say some of the increase may be due to Caesareans that are not medically necessary.
The trend is worrisome because premature babies are at risk for breathing and feeding disorders, delayed brain development, other health problems and death.
High rates of premature birth are the main reason the United States has higher infant mortality than do many other rich countries, government researchers reported Tuesday in their first detailed analysis of a longstanding problem.
In Sweden, for instance, 6.3 percent of births were premature, compared with 12.4 percent in the United States in 2005, the latest year for which international rankings are available. Infant mortality also differed markedly: for every 1,000 births in the United States, 6.9 infants died before they turned 1, compared with 2.4 in Sweden. Twenty-nine other countries also had lower rates.
Earlier this year a birth activist contacted me for information about feminism and birth. Her “fire” was to write an article was lit by recent (at the time) articles praising elective cesareans. Her article was going to be about feminism and its history in birthwork as well as what she is seeing a current “backlash” against the work of doulas, chidlbirth educators, and midwives (so, elective cesarean being framed as a “feminist” choice in some articles). She asked me for additional articles about similar issues and questions.
The American Dietetic Association has released an updated position paper on breastfeeding that details health benefits for both infants and mothers and encourages promotion of breastfeeding whenever possible.
ADA’s position paper, published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the Association’s official stance on breastfeeding:
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Breastfeeding is an important public health strategy for improving infant and child morbidity and mortality and improving maternal morbidity and helping to control health care costs.
Categories: Legal, Midwifery
In March of this year, Nova Scotia became the first Atlantic province to legislate and regulate the profession of midwifery. While this move was celebrated by many as a step forward for women and families, activists with close ties to the midwifery movement feel their work is far from complete.
“All birthing women need a choice of where they birth and who their caregiver is—I think good midwife and family-led legislation could provide that,” remarks Halifax doula Lindsay Miller. “Yet here we are so tangled up in bureaucracy and old school policy that the potential benefits of legislation are not being seen by the people it is meant to serve.”
For many women in Nova Scotia, access to care based on the Canadian midwifery model—a model based on tenets of continuity of care and choice of birth place—has actually become more difficult since the introduction of legislation, rather than less.
RECENT reports have focused on the rising trend of home births and, unfortunately, many stories have zeroed in on a few tragic situations.
Although we recognize there is a contentious, ongoing debate about the safety of home birth, and we offer our concern and condolences to any parents suffering tragic loss, we are disappointed in the media’s continued implication that all midwifery care is somehow perilous.
It is puzzling that these stories often do not cite well-documented evidence about outcomes of the practice of midwifery in the United States, nor invite representatives of the American College of Nurse-Midwives or the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives to comment.
The official blog of the Controversies in Childbirth Conference being held in Tampa, Florida February 19-21, 2010. This blog covers current birth issues of interest to birth care providers, such as: obstetricians, midwives, doulas, nurses, administrators, educators and regulators. We also examine current issues that are important to birth care professionals, such as health-care reform and tort reform.
A reader just alerted me to the fact that Medical News Today has retracted the article they published last week falsely stating that the World Health Organization changed its recommendations for optimal cesarean rates. No doubt, this is due in large part to Henci Goer’s work debunking the article and the press release it was based upon.
Women do not lose their constitutional or common law rights by becoming pregnant.
Today, people who understand their rights as patients are more likely to successfully negotiate the health care system, use health insurance and managed care plans, and work with physicians and other health care professionals. Most important, a just health care system requires respect for the rights of patients.