Mr. and Mrs. B and Baby T

Mr. and Mrs. B and Baby T

I was so thrilled to join Mr. and Mrs. B for the labor and birth of their third baby, a baby boy. Mrs. B had previously had an induced labor which led to a c-section and another induction which led to a medicated birth. This time around she wanted to have a natural birth.

At about 3:00 I got a text saying she was uncomfortable and most likely heading to the hospital in about an hour or so. I encouraged her to take a shower, really relax and give it a little time.

I arrived at the hospital at about 5:00. In the elevator her water had leaked. She was 3cm with leaking waters. This began a marathon labor.

They admitted her due to leaking waters but it would not be a quick delivery. She really experienced labor. She labored through the night, moving from bed, to ball, standing, walking, and in the shower to try and relax. Her birth photographer (and dear friend) and I attempted to encourage her and meet her needs.

In the night, early morning, Dr. came in and encouraged her to synthetically move along her labor. We discussed and all agreed that she would do Pitocin on a low dose to try and get things going but then stop it once labor picked up. She was concerned the Pitocin would lead to an epidural and I could see how desperately she wanted to avoid it. She’d been laboring through the night and desperately trying to keep it natural.

The Pitocin didn’t immediately change things. At 6 in the morning I had to run home (this is not typical of a doula but in this case it couldn’t be avoided). I kept in touch with her husband. When I left she was still at a soft 5-6cm. I knew I had some time.

When I was prepared to go back she wasn’t in the mood for people to be in the room. Her husband said to wait and he’d let me know. Her birth photographer had also gone home and was expecting to return.

We waited and got some updates. At 12:00 his texts were sounding like things were getting closer and closer, and he informed me she had gotten the epidural. She’d been laboring close to 24 hours and was exhausted. The contractions finally kicked in and took her by surprise (I think) and she needed some relief.

I headed to the hospital at about 2:00 and he was born around 2:30. He presented with a nuchal cord. When the Dr. attempted to remove the cord from his neck it snapped in half. This then altered her desire for delayed clamping and immediate skin to skin. But, baby was healthy and wonderful. Breathing great and pink with life.

I know they had a scare there for a few seconds, which probably felt like eternity, but in the end their little man was so beautiful and G-d was with them each step of the way.

It is hard to labor all night and into the next day, draining, exhausting, and emotionally trying. Mrs. B did a great job, she trusted herself, she tried so hard for the natural birth and she learned some valuable things in case they go for baby #4!

I was so honored to be see him on his first day of life.

Warnings about Ultrasounds

“However, there is sufficient evidence that multiple pulsed ultrasound scans, or as few as two continuous wave Doppler scans, or any ultrasound scan performed by an unskilled operator may cause harm. There is also a pressing need for large epidemiological studies to be performed using the higher ultrasound intensities commonly used today.”

“Giving all women ultrasounds may end up introducing unnecessary stress and anxiety, which in turn can produce real complications that would not have otherwise occurred. The screening for potential abnormalities can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“Based on the evidence we’ve reviewed in this article, I recommend minimizing exposure to ultrasound during pregnancy in the following three ways:

  • Using ultrasound only when medically indicated, i.e. only when a problem is suspected, rather than as a routine screening to determine the sex of the baby or check on its development.
  • Minimize total exposure time (by choosing a skilled and knowledgeable operator).
  • Minimize exposure intensity (i.e. avoiding Doppler during the first trimester especially).”

Read More here: Chris Kresser Dangers of Ultrasound

ACOG Study of Adverse Effects of Pitocin in Newborns

“Researchers found that induction and augmentation of labor with oxytocin was an independent risk factor for unexpected admission to the NICU lasting more than 24 hours for full-term infants. Augmentation also correlated with Apgar scores of fewer than seven at five minutes.”…

Read more about this research here. (It is a quick little article with a much larger implication).

Additional Information about Pitocin:

Stand and Deliver

Chris Kresser Natural Childbirth Series

Miracle Baby of 15 ounces Headed Home

The smallest surviving baby ever born at a Vancouver, Washington hospital is on her way home after spending her first five months struggling for life in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, reports The Columbian.

When Harley Daylee Gulliksen was born on Dec. 20 by emergency Caesarean section at 27 weeks gestation, she weighed just 15 ounces and was only 10 inches in length. …

…to read more visit the article here.

Baby’s Stomach Capacity

I have a great little visual to help new moms understand their babies stomach capacity. It is important to allow your child to lead their eating because only they know when they feel full.
This is best accomplished with breastfeeding. There are so many reasons why this is best but I can give a few here.

Facts About Breastfeeding:

  • 1.When milk — from the breast or from a cow — is digested, it breaks down into two byproducts: curds and whey. The curd is white and rubbery, and the whey is liquid.

    When cow’s milk breaks down, the curd that forms is hard for human babies to digest. Breast milk, on the other hand, forms more whey than curd, and the curd is softer and more easily digested. Because the baby can digest breast milk more easily than cow’s milk, he’s less likely to decorate your favorite sweater with spit-up.

  • 2. One of the amazing things about breast milk is that your milk is specially formulated to have the right composition for your baby, and to contain exactly the right amounts of nutrients. Bottle-fed babies receive the exact same nutrients every time they eat. Breast milk, on the other hand, continually changes in composition so that your baby gets what he or she needs at any age.
  • 3. Colostrum-the wonder agent in Breastmilk
    The first liquid the breasts produce (starting a few months before the baby is born) actually doesn’t even look like milk. Colostrum, which is yellow and thicker than breast milk, is a great example of how your body custom-makes the right nutrition for your baby. Here are some of its benefits:

    • Colostrum has a high concentration of antibodies, especially IgA, an antibody that helps protect the lungs, throat, and intestines.
    • Colostrum helps “seal” the permeable newborn intestines to prevent harmful substances from penetrating the gut.
    • Colostrum is very high in concentrated nutrition.
    • Colostrum has a laxative effect, which helps the baby pass the first bowel movements (and prevents newborn jaundice).
    • Colostrum is low in fat, high in proteins and carbohydrates, and very easy to digest.

    Within a few days after delivery, your body begins to produce mature milk that takes over the work of giving your baby the necessary ingredients for healthy growth. Colostrum is still present for around two weeks; the milk produced during this time is called transitional milk.

  • 4. Breastfed babies eat more often than bottle-fed babies because the fats and proteins in breast milk are more easily broken down than the fats and proteins in formula, so they are absorbed and used more quickly. This means that breastfed babies often have fewer digestive troubles than bottle-fed babies. (Fats in formula aren’t as well absorbed, which is one reason why bottle-fed babies have more unpleasant smelling bowel movements.) However, it also means that if you choose to breastfeed, you can expect to be on call for feedings every few hours. (A bottle-fed baby, by contrast, may be able to sleep longer between feedings.)

    An important consideration for breastfeeding mothers is the length of time your baby spends nursing on each breast. A baby receives thinner breast milk known as foremilk (with a lower fat content) at the beginning of a feeding, and thicker milk (with a higher fat content) after he has been nursing for several minutes. This thicker milk is called hindmilk. Allowing the baby to completely empty the breast ensures that he gets an adequate amount of hindmilk. Hindmilk has a sleep-inducing effect, resulting in the relaxed look your baby may have at the end of a meal.

  • 5. As a breastfeeding infant is feeding the process is generally much slower and requires work on the part of the infant. This slows eating and allows the baby to gauge whether they are full or not much more accurately. When being fed formula through a bottle, babies often receive their formula much more quickly and with less work. Therefore their gauge as to whether they are full or not does not react as accurately. It is very similar to eating quickly as an adult. It takes a bit of time for the body to register being full.

Here are some wonderful resources about breastfeeding and as promised a great little visual guide.

Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding is Priceless Sheet from DONA

Mr. and Mrs. R and Baby A

Mr. and Mrs. R and Baby A

In March 2013 (just three weeks before my own birth of baby #6), I was able to attend the birth of the most precious little boy, baby A. His parent have three other children, two girls and 1 boy. Mrs. R shared with me the most special story of how they were led to have another baby and she knew it would be a boy. The Lord had guided her, changed her husband’s heart towards having another baby, and confirmed for her they would in fact be raising another special little boy.

Baby A’s birth was so gentle. Mrs. A called me as the sun was setting and let me know she was in labor. As I headed to the hospital I felt confident she was going to rock this birth. She’s such a confident, loving, and wise mother.

The plan was to labor for a while unmedicated and then eventually get an epidural for the remainder of the labor. She labored effortlessly (I’m sure she wouldn’t describe it that way, but from my perspective she really let labor work for her). Each contraction brought their little guy on down. We did lots of counter pressure on her back and breathing. She really did an inspiring job.

It didn’t take long and at about 6-7cm she decided she wanted an epidural. Once the epidural was in she settled in for a relaxing finish. She had her friends with us (a couple who had yet to have children and wanted to witness a birth) and her lovely birth photographer, her sister arrived and of course her supportive husband. Everyone enjoyed talking and waiting for baby to arrive.

Nearing 10cm, she began to feel more pressure for each contraction. Her breathing picked up and we could tell she was ready.

In as many as four solid pushes, she gave life to baby A as he took his first breath and was placed into her arms.

One very exciting part of her delivery was that fact that until she began pushing her waters were still in tact. She thought maybe she might be able to deliver baby A in the caul. She was bearing down with her friend (the one who hasn’t had any children yet) standing out in front in direct line with the action. As she pushed, her waters broke and shot out spraying out all over the floor and nearly hitting her friend. Everyone was shocked and began to laugh, including mom. It made her birth quite memorable.

Baby A emerged, perfect, beautiful and with a divine purpose for life. It was truly a privilege to be there for her and watch this miracle happen. A special perk…Baby A was born in the night before any of my children awoke so I was back home with my family before anyone noticed my absence!

Photos shared with permission of Mr. and Mrs. R
Taken by Inloveness Photography

My Own Homebirth–Beau Everett MacIsaac

My Own Homebirth–Beau Everett MacIsaac

Being a doula makes having your own baby challenging (lots of info in your head!) but also VERY exciting. This being our sixth baby and having an awesome support system I did not hire a doula for myself. I was completely confident and fully committed to having our son at home. I have had several previous natural deliveries. My first was a birth center birth which went flawlessly and was extremely empowering for me and my husband.

We then conceived twins, naturally, for our second pregnancy when our oldest was just 11 months. I was not as informed with my choices at the age of 26. I had been seeing a midwife when we became pregnant with twins and she did not inform me as to my choices with twins either. It was just clear my arrangement with them changed. So, due to an insurance issue, we decided I would go to California (where my husband’s company was located) to deliver the babies. We had been connected to a doctor who had experience with multiples and although I was adamant I would have a natural delivery I was not given many options concerning delivery location (an OR), movement while laboring, etc. I reflect now and realize I could have had so much more of what I wanted in my delivery with twins.

None-the-less I ended up with one vaginal delivery and one c-section in the birth of our twin boys. This then made me a VBAC candidate for future births.

Our daughter arrived 22 months after our twins in a hospital with a midwife and a natural delivery VBAC. Then our fourth son 22 months after our daughter again with a midwife at the same hospital, natural VBAC.

So, our sixth child was scheduled to arrive 29 months after our fourth son and we decided to have a homebirth. We are uninsured, by choice, and a homebirth just made perfect sense. I was over the moon excited and made lots of labor and birth plans for this delivery. We had had a loss the April prior to conceiving Beau so my anticipation and desire for this baby was heightened.

We knew all along the children would join us for the birth as well as my parents, my two good friends, my birth photographer, husband, and midwife and her assistant who was also my friend. I was anxiously anticipating the opportunity to share the labor and birth with my children and my friends (1 of which had never witnessed a birth).

Before I send you to read the story on my personal blog I wanted to say a few things:
1. Giving life to a child is incredible. In my opinion it is the essence of motherhood and the woman. G-d has shared with us the ability to give and bring forth life. Pretty incredible.
2. I do not agree with the feminist movement that children are a sidenote, an accessory, that somehow choosing not to have children empowers women… I believe that having children and being a SAHM, raising warriors for the Lord, is the singular most important calling as a woman and the most empowering (in addition to being our husbands gal).
3. I am blessed to be their mother and this experience has been one of the greatest of my life.
4. I am excited to share this story with whomever wants to read it. I hope you find it empowering, inspiring and that it encourages you to do something amazing with your own labor and birth.

You can read the rest of my story here, at my personal blog space. There is also a neat video as well.

Thank you for reading! Be Blessed today.


Breastfeeding and Ovarian Cancer:May Cut Mothers’ Risk of Ovarian Cancer by up to 91 Percent

Article published here.

The slogan “breast is best” is intended to highlight the various health benefits that babies receive from breastfeeding. However, a new study highlights that breastfeeding can have health benefits for moms as well. According to the recent study, which will be published next month in the print version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, breastfeeding can cut the risk of breast cancer by up to 91 percent.

In the United States, the American Cancer Society states, the ovarian cancer is the ninth most prevalent cancer in women, excluding the non-melanoma skin cancer. Ovarian cancer is also the fifth leading cause of cancer death for women. Part of the reason that the cancer is so deadly is that spotting the cancer is quite rare; only 20 percent of ovarian tumors are caught early. This is because ovarian tumors are hard to spot from pelvic examinations and because the symptoms for the disease, like abdominal pain, feeling full quickly and having to go to the restroom often, are quite subtle and commonly caused by other conditions.

The study was conducted by researchers at Curtin University in Australia. The study examined 493 patients who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The ovarian cancer patients were compared with 472 controls that were at the hospital for unrelated problems. Both groups were an average of 59 years old. Each of the women were asked about how many children they had and how long they breastfed each one.

The study found that women who breastfed for more than 13 months were 63 percent less likely to develop an ovarian tumor than women who breastfed for less than seven months. The benefits jumped the longer that women breastfed. The researchers found that mothers who had three children and who breastfed for over 31 months were up to 91 percent less likely to suffer from ovarian cancer than women who breastfed for under 10 months.

It is believed that breastfeeding helps prevent ovarian cancer because it can delay ovulation. Researchers believe that the more ovulations occur, the greater the risk of cell mutation, which can trigger the disease.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention states that breastfeeding is on the rise, with 76.9 percent of new mothers choosing to breastfeed in 2009. That percentage drops to 47.2 percent of mothers when their infants are six months old, and 25.5 percent of mothers when their babies are 12 months old.

If We Know Breast Best, Why Are We Allowing the Baby Food Industry to Get Away with Murder?

A great article from the Huffington Post on Breastfeeding and the Baby Food Industry. You can read the full article here.

On the eve of the World Breast Feeding Conference taking place in Delhi this weekend, a special international report released by the World Breastfeeding Trends initiative reveals some profoundly shocking and worrying statistics. The study of 51 countries, which makes up two thirds of the world’s children, demonstrates that only 40% of children born in these countries were exclusively breast fed for the first six months as recommended by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The science underpinning the importance of breast feeding has been well documented and cannot be overstated. In 2003 the Lancet published a series on child survival emphasizing that exclusive breast feeding, if universalized, could save 13% of all under five deaths, (an estimated 1.3million in the 42 high mortality countries). Breast milk is a unique nutritional source that not only helps protect infants from infection, but is also extremely important for child brain development and the prevention of child obesity, hypertension and cardiac diseases in later life.

…further on in the article

There are also tremendous health benefits for breast feeding mothers, who are less likely to develop osteoporosis, are able to lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily and are at a reduced risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. But this is not just an issue confined to developing countries. The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of breast feeding in Europe with the latest statistics for England stating that while 73% of new mothers initiate breastfeeding the number rapidly declines to 45% by 6-8 weeks.

…further on in the article

It’s important to recognise and be sensitive to the fact that for various reasons not all women will be able to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months, but this should apply to a small minority, not the overwhelming majority. So what is the most important cause of this noncompliance which is resulting in hundreds of thousands of premature infant deaths and unspeakable suffering throughout the world? I believe it is the over promotion and aggressive unregulated marketing of baby food products to vulnerable young mothers that not only increases the acceptability of infant formula but is contributing to this significant disease burden including rocketing rates of child obesity.

Patti Rundall, director of Baby Milk Action UK, is particularly scathing of the industry. “The most irresponsible baby companies see malnutrition as a profitable business and the perfect cover for their ‘ top strategic priority’ which is as it always has been – to change traditional food patterns and cultures, extend bottle-feeding for years on end and encourage everyone to snack on ‘slightly better for you’ junk foods all day long.”

Profit is clearly a very powerful motivator even at the expense of children’s health. The global baby foods and infant formula market is projected to reach a staggering 30billion US dollars by 2018, but as the report highlights there are also major gaps in policies to protect breastfeeding including weak implementation for the marketing of breast milk substitutes. Earlier this year one of India’s leading paediatricians Dr Arun Gupta filed charges against Nestle for allegedly violating laws against the correct labelling of infant formula products and for associated failings regarding advertisements in women’s magazines.

The Undervalued Art of Vaginal Breech Birth: Ina May Gaskin

A Wonderful article from Ina May on Breech birthing. A must read. Here is just a snippet. Go to the website to finish the article, you won’t be sorry.

A Skill Every Birth Attendant Should Learn

Little did I know, when I witnessed my first vaginal breech delivery at a small county hospital in middle Tennessee in 1972, that I was seeing a physiological process that was being rapidly phased out in the US. The birth was to a mother having her first baby. She had planned a homebirth, with me as her midwife. I discovered in early labor that the baby was a frank breech (buttocks first, legs straight up), and my training had not included how to deal with such a presentation. Off we went to the hospital. When we arrived, no one there even considered a cesarean section as an option. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who had had a cesarean. This isn’t surprising—30 years ago, the cesarean rate in the US was a little more than 5 percent, and then as now, women with breech presentations accounted for only 3 to 4 percent of all births. Exalt Birth Services Phoenix AZ

Over the next two years, six more breech babies in our practice were vaginally born at that same hospital, and a surprise breech fell into the hands of my midwifery partner, Pamela Hunt, at the mother’s home. There was never a hint from any of the several physicians involved that a cesarean might be better or safer for the baby. At our local hospital, it appeared that all physicians attending births, whether they were family doctors or obstetricians, were expected to be competent in the art of vaginal breech birth. It was the policies of other US hospitals that later made us aware of the trend taking place in the rest of the country vis-a-vis breech birth—the increasing use of cesarean section, without a trial of labor.

…continued further into the article

The majority of injuries in cases of vaginal breech delivery are those caused by pulling or jerking on the baby’s body in an effort to hasten delivery. A panicked, inexperienced physician might resort to such measures, unaware of how much force he or she is using. It was precisely for this reason that some obstetricians, writing a generation ago, called for taking more time, using mannequin demonstrations of proper breech technique and other ways of training younger obstetricians in breech delivery. Videos of well-conducted breech births might also be a good resource in medical schools, but these are now in short supply because insurance companies have threatened to refuse malpractice insurance to hospitals that permit planned vaginal breech births.

…continued further into the article

A British epidemiologist cites an eightfold increase in maternal death following elective cesarean section above the death rate associated with vaginal birth. The risk of a mother dying after an elective cesarean with no emergency taking place was 2.84 times greater than if she had a vaginal birth, according to one study. Other studies show an increase of 3 to 13 times the. maternal death rate for cesarean above the rate for vaginal birth when both elective and emergency cesareans are included.