12 “Standard of Care” Practices for Newborns (& Mom) You Should Skip

Induction of Early Labor

–If at all possible (leaving out emergency situations such as Preeclampsia, etc.) inducing early labor should be avoided.

“Women who are induced early are more likely to need other interventions and to wind up delivering their babies surgically through a cesarean section and the infants are more likely to require intensive care,” says Maureen Corry, M.P.H., Executive Director at Childbirth Connection.

It’s also valuable to remember 2 things when it comes to early delivery:

  • 1. There is something higher than you driving the force that determines how long a baby stays in the womb. I like to call it G-d but you can call it whatever you like. The fact is, babies come when they are ready and no one determines that better than “nature”, the baby, and G-d.
  • 2. A babies brain develops at an alarming rate during the final 4-6 weeks in the womb. You don’t want to miss out on this portion of growth for the baby simple due to your discomfort or impatience.

Induction of Labor at Full Term with Medical Necessity

–Induction of labor, even at “full term” often leads to a snowball of interventions which run the risk of leading to a c-section. In addition to the risk of a c-section, we know Pitocin and other labor augmenting drugs, can have an unpredictable effect upon the baby through the labor process.

An Elective C-Section for Otherwise Healthy Moms & Babies

– The squeezing process of labor primes a babies lungs to prepare them for their first breath and life in the outside world. This squeezing is vital in aiding in a newborn breathing efficiently. The further squeezing of delivery through vaginal canal is also vitally important as it removes all the fluid from the baby. It is also the best method of delivery for the mother. It removes the risk of cutting the mother, infection, cutting to deeply into the abdomen (which in the past has resulted in sliced baby bottoms), lowers recovery time, releases the proper bonding hormones and so much more.

“The safest method for both mom and baby is an uncomplicated vaginal birth,” says Catherine Spong, M.D., of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

It is also important to note in this section that repeat C-sections due to a c-section in a previous delivery is not based upon evidence. The risk of rupture is remarkably low (you can find tons of information to support this statement) and success among those who attempt a VBAC are remarkable high.

Ultrasounds Post 24 Weeks

–Ultrasounds already have a margin of error, even in the early weeks of pregnancy. As the baby develops, ultrasounds do not loose their margin of error or inaccuracy but do often lead towards “fear” induced decisions not entirely based upon truth. Late term ultrasounds are linked with an increase in C-sections. How could this be you ask? Easy, people believe the ultrasound gives a certain amount of insight as to a baby’s development, when in actuality is can be wrong, misinterpreted, or inaccurate leading the medical care provider and the parent to make hasty decisions resulting in augmented labor and/or c-sections.

Continuous Fetal Monitoring

–Unless you are in a high risk situation, continuous fetal monitoring is not necessary and often prohibits smooth progression of labor. Labor is often most successful when the laboring mother can utilize gravity, move about, stay comfortable in her positions, and go-with-the-flow. Continuous fetal monitoring restricts the mother’s ability to move labor along naturally. Monitoring the baby during labor can be done periodically with mobile heart monitors or occasionally allowing to be monitored for a 10-15min period of time then released again to labor independently.

Artificially Rupturing Membranes

–If this intervention is done too early or without a steady movement through transition, it does not ensure moving labor along. In fact, it can slow labor down at times, make it more “painful”, and/or put the laboring mother at risk for a c-section. It can intensify contractions for the mother, causing her to consider an epidural or tighten up during labor stalling labor and slowing it down. It can also cause the medical staff to believe the baby is at risk of infection if not delivered in a specific amount of time (I’m not a believer in this risk until 24-36 hours has passed).

Episiotomy

–This is against what nature already put into place. The Vagina has the ability to stretch and deliver a baby, especially when the delivery of the baby is done slowly, without rushing, which allows the stretching to happen naturally. Along with this, many midwives will use oil to aid in lubrication. I personally experienced a great midwife who used warm rags to counter the outward stretching while allowing me to push. It was incredibly gentle. Healing after an episiotomy can be difficult and painful and often it is entirely unnecessary.

Immediate Cord Clamping

–Clamping the cord within moments of delivery does 2 things.

  • 1. Restricts the oxygen rich blood from the placenta and cord (along with stem cells) from entering the baby.
  • 2. Delays skin-to-skin between mother and baby.
  • Babies naturally come out a little blue, they haven’t been breathing in the womb. Leaving the cord in tact (there are many, many benefits these are just a few) allows for the placenta and cord to work in unison with the babies lungs to help the baby continue to get oxygen while taking his first breaths. It also aids in “pinking” up the baby as the transition takes place from womb to world. Read here for more info on Delayed Cord Clamping.

    Letting the Baby Leave Your Arms (even for routine vitals)

    –Vitals can be taken of the baby directly on the mothers chest. Immediate skin-to-skin is what is best for both mom and baby. There is no rush. There is no medical necessity for the baby to go to the warmer. There is no reason to let go of your baby…well ever if you don’t want to.

    Even if baby has a concerning color (which we discussed in the previous point, and can be helped by leaving the cord in tact, baby will resuscitate better with the warmth and comfort of the mother. Often all that is needed is some time and encouragement to breath.

    In addition to this is the “rooming in” recommendation. This means baby does not leave your sight or room the entire time after delivery. No nursery. If, baby needs to leave for some reason, daddy goes too.

    Baby Bathing

    –Bathing the baby removes all the vernix. The vernix, in addition to being a great moisturizer, also sends a signal to mommy’s brain which identifies her baby to her and releases the bonding hormones. Vernix also provides a protective covering which increases immunities! Don’t Bathe the Baby!

    In addition, it is advantageous to both mother and baby if mommy doesn’t bathe either. The sense of smell for both mom and baby is heightened at this time and bonding increases with the smells. It increases breastfeeding success as well. You can read more here.

    Vaccines

    –Contrary to popular belief you can say NO to vaccines in the hospital and at the Dr.’s office. These are still a right in which you have to choose. And you should reconsider for a number of reasons. But, primarily I’d like to address the Hep B Vaccine they administer in the hospital or shortly after if you deliver as a homebirth/birth center.

    Hepatitis B is a vaccines administered for those at risk of being poked with a used needle or of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Here on Mercola’s website is a statement about the transmission of Hep B:
    Secondly this vaccine given on the day of birth is the least justifiable of any vaccine that I can think of. A child can ONLY get the disease from IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected partner, a blood transfusion using contaminated blood, OR from the mother.

    The website Green Med Info has assembled 44 articles which together list 60 diseases or adverse unintended consequences associated with hepatitis B vaccination.

    Among the problems the vaccination may cause are:

    Autoimmune inflammatory polyneuropathy
    Multiple sclerosis
    Anaphylactic shock and death in infants
    Chronic arthritis
    Autism
    Bell’s palsy

    To put it bluntly, unless you are a prostitute drug user or an infected mother your baby is safe from Hepatitis B at birth (frankly probably for most of their childhood). In addition to the fact that it is unnecessary, it causes risk for vaccine injury. A baby is born chalk full of immunities, given to him from the mother only to gain more as he breastfeeds. Babies who received vaccines so early are then being injected with toxins. A healthy baby injected with toxins and thus begins the cycle of toxicity our children endure here in the US.

    You can say NO! You can also say NO to all vaccines in the future. At at a minimum you should consider a delayed schedule for vaccines, breastfeed, and encourage healthy exposure to the world which encourages further, natural immunity. Here is an alternative schedule to follow.

    Throwing Away Your Placenta

    –Placenta Encapsulation is a growing practice since the public has widely accepted the benefits of consuming placenta. The benefits really are substantial.

    TRADITIONALLY PLACENTA CAPSULES ARE USED TO HELP:

    – balance your hormones
    – enhance milk supply
    – increase your energy.

    PLACENTA CAPSULES MAY ALSO HELP:

    – You to recover more quickly from birth
    – To bring the body back into balance
    – Prevent the “baby blues”
    – Shorten postpartum bleeding
    – Assist the uterus to return to size
    – Increase postpartum iron levels

    You can read more here.

    BONUS

    Wearing a Hospital Gown

    –I was reminded by a client last night how uncomfortable and ridiculous those hospital gowns are when laboring and delivering a baby. We are so lucky to live in an age where we have these adorable gowns to choose from to replace those boring, drab, and drafty hospital gowns.

    I’m sure there are many more out there to choose from, these are just a few. I also recommend sometimes considering just wearing a comfortable tube top under a nursing tank with a skirt. Whatever makes you comfortable and feel good.


    It seems to me the labor/birthing community has made substantial improvements in bringing awareness to common practices that are not based upon evidence. In light of this, more and more women are choosing to go against the grain of standard practice for the benefits of both their baby and themselves.

    You can also find great information about Evidence Based Birthing here.

    Don’t Bathe the Baby

    Read this awesome article about not washing a newborn. It is also important for momma not to bathe immediately after birth as the baby is programmed to know her smell and they equally benefit from getting to know one another and snuggle in the “raw”!

    Read Article here.

    During delivery, vernix caseosa acts as a lubricant while postnatally, it exhibits antioxidant, skin cleansing, temperature-regulating and antibacterial properties.”

    Proven to have such great benefits postnatally, it makes you wonder why we are in such a rush to give newborns their first bath—removing the vernix.

    Now Available, 2ml “labor” day Essential Oils

    We are now selling Essential Oils in 2ml vials just perfect for your “labor” day! We have selected a handful of oils perfect to create a relaxing atmosphere perfectly lending itself towards a natural delivery. The Nesting Place posted an article in which they stated that in a traditional case they would expect the uptake for opiate pain relievers to be 30%, when essential oils were involved the uptake was only .4%. Incredible results.

    You can read more on our most recent blog post here.

    And you can purchase the oils here!