Mommy Feel Good

May 22, 2010

Prenatal Massage: Massage During Pregnancy

article found at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/prenatalmassage.html

Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Pregnant women have often received ambivalent responses from the health community regarding the safety and purpose of massage during pregnancy. Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care and should be given careful consideration.

Although most massage training institutions teach massage therapy for women who are pregnant, it is best to find a massage therapist who is

The benefits of prenatal massage or massage during pregnancy:

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

    Hormone regulation

    Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. Hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression) were increased in women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks. These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when relaxing, therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

    Reduction of swelling

    Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.

    Improvement of nerve pain

    Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.

    Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced edema
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Better sleep

What precautions should be taken when seeking prenatal massage?

As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals.

    Body position during prenatal massage

    Many professionals consider the best position for a pregnant woman during massage is side-lying. Tables that provide a hole in which the uterus can fit may not be reliable and can still apply pressure to the abdomen, or allow the abdomen to dangle, causing uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments. Consult your massage therapist before your first appointment to verify what position they place their clients in during the massage.

    Seek an appropriate massage therapist

    It is important to seek care from a certified prenatal massage therapist. Certified therapists have received training beyond the national standards for massage therapists and know how to address specific pregnancy needs and sensitive areas of the body.

    Be aware of sensitive pressure points

    Trained prenatal or pregnancy massage therapists are aware of pressure points on the ankles and wrists that can gently stimulate pelvic muscles, including the uterus. Certified prenatal massage therapists are trained to avoid very specific and intentional pressure to these areas during pregnancy. Any woman who has experienced pre-term contractions or consistent Braxton-Hicks contractions should alert her therapist to that fact so that pressure points can be avoided completely.

    Women with the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:

  • High risk pregnancy
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Previous pre-term labor
  • Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
  • Recent birth

Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?

Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. Many facilities will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased statistics for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Incorporating Massage Into Your Prenatal Care

The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement proven to improve pregnancy outcome, and maternal health. Consult your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.

Compiled using information from the following sources:

Field, T. (1999). Pregnant Women Benefit From Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mar;20(1):31-8.

Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun;25(2):115-22.

Heimlich, Patti, RMT, CD, ICCE, The Benefits of Massage During Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum. http://www.expectantmothersguide.com/library/houston/massage/htm. Article accessed online 10/18/2007.

Howell ,Julie, NMT, PMT, Prenatal Health Through Massage Therapy: For Women and Their Babies. http://www.newlifejournal.com/decjan03/howell/01/03/full.shtml. Article accessed online 10/18/2007.

May 14, 2010

New York midwives lose right to deliver babies at home

Filed under: News — mommyfeelgood @ 4:02 pm
Tags: , ,

Closure of hospital leaves practitioners without backing or insurance, driving home births underground

Newborn baby after a home birthA midwife tests a newborn baby’s reflexes after a home birth. Photograph: Maartje Blijdenstein/AFP/Getty Images

As residents of the world’s consumer capital, New Yorkers can have anything delivered to their door at any time. They can have their hair cut in the living room, have champagne and caviar rushed to them on a whim, enjoy a shiatsu massage in their own bed or invite a clairvoyant to predict their future from Tarot cards laid out on the kitchen table.

But there is one thing that is currently unavailable for delivery to those who live in this most can-do of metropolises. Women can not legally give birth at home in the presence of a trained and experienced midwife.

This city of more than 8 million people, with its reputation for being at the cutting-edge of modern urban living, now lacks a single midwife legally permitted to help women have a baby in their own homes. “It’s pretty shocking that in a city where you can get anything any hour of the day a person cannot give birth at home with a trained practitioner,” said Elan McAllister, president of the New York-based Choices in Childbirth.

The collapse of New York’s legal home birth midwifery services has come as a result of the closure two weeks ago of one of the most progressive hospitals in the city, St Vincent’s in Manhattan. When the bankrupt hospital shut its doors on 30 April the midwives suddenly found themselves without any backing or support.

There are 13 midwives who practise home births in New York, and under a system introduced in 1992 they are all obliged under state law to be approved by a hospital or obstetrician, on top of their professional training.

St Vincent’s was prepared to underwrite their services, but most other doctors and institutions are not, and they now find themselves without the paperwork they need to work lawfully.

Miriam Schwarzschild, one of the 13, is now in the invidious position of either abandoning her clients or operating illegally. “Apparently by taking a woman’s blood pressure I am committing an illegal act,” she said. She has no doubts about what she will do: she will stand by the six to eight women she helps in labour every month, law be damned. She said she intends to “fly under the radar”, but is anxious about what would happen should she be reported to the state authorities. “At any time a nurse or doctor could report me, and once that happens they could go after my licence and shut me down.”

Jitters are spreading among the tiny community of home birth midwives. The rumour has circulated that one of them has already been shopped to the authorities by an obstetrician at a hospital where she transferred one of her clients in need of medical attention.

The crisis of home birth in New York city is an extreme example of a pattern found across America. Fewer than 1% of babies are born at home in the US, and in New York that figure is as low as 0.48% — about 600 babies every year out of 125,000. That compares with a rate of about 30% in the Netherlands.

In much of Europe, midwives play the lead role in assisting most low-risk and healthy women to give birth, handing over to a specialist doctor or surgeon only when conditions demand. In the US, that relationship is reversed.

Obstetricians, who are trained to focus on interventionist methods and often have never even witnessed a natural birth, are in charge of about 92% of all cases. As a body, they are fiercely resistant both to midwives – who under the private medical system in America are their competitors – and to women choosing to remain at home.

In 2008 the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists put out a statement effectively instructing its members to have nothing to do with the “trendy” fashion towards home births. Yet despite Acog’s stance, and despite the fact that the US spends more money on pregnancy and childbirth-related hospital costs than any other type of hospital care ($86bn a year), the country has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the industrialised world. Its rate stands at 16.7 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared with 7.6% in the Netherlands and 3.9% in Italy. Britain’s rate is 8.2%.

On top of that, about one in three pregnancies in the US end in a caesarean section — a product, critics say, of the highly interventionist approach that includes frequent induced labours and epidurals. Amnesty International recently dubbed the US record on childbirth as a whole a “human rights crisis”.

Knowledge of these statistics, and of what is now happening to New York midwives, makes Julie Jacobowitz-Kelly see red. She is one of Schwarzschild’s clients and is preparing to give birth to her first child, a boy she and her partner have already named Benjamin, whose due date fell today.

She said the current illegal status of the home birth midwives was “a travesty, it’s absolutely ridiculous. It angers me that experienced midwives like Miriam are in jeopardy.”

That is a view shared by some senior New York politicians, including Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president. “There are 600 women who are going to give birth in the next year who want midwives with them at home, and to take away their rights and choices is so backwards it’s embarrassing,” he said.

Midwifery organisations are scrambling to persuade other hospitals to take over St Vincent’s role by signing the so-called “written practice agreements” the midwives need to be legal. So far 75 hospitals have been approached; not one has replied.

Meanwhile, a bill is sitting before the New York state assembly that would scrap the system of practice agreements and allow the midwives to offer their services free of the control of obstetricians. But the bill may not be put to a vote at all this year.

“At the end of the day, hospitals are for sick people, and I’m not sick,” said Jacobowitz-Kelly. “I’m going through one of the most natural processes women can go through, so why do it anywhere other than the most natural setting — my home.”

May 5, 2010

The Lie of the EDD: Why Your Due Date Isn’t When You Think

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyfeelgood @ 5:43 pm

Written by Misha Safranski

We have it ingrained in our heads throughout our entire adult lives-pregnancy is 40 weeks. The “due date” we are given at that first prenatal visit is based upon that 40 weeks, and we look forward to it with great anticipation. When we are still pregnant after that magical date, we call ourselves “overdue” and the days seem to drag on like years. The problem with this belief about the 40 week EDD is that it is not based in fact. It is one of many pregnancy and childbirth myths which has wormed its way into the standard of practice over the years-something that is still believed because “that’s the way it’s always been done”.

The folly of Naegele’s Rule

The 40 week due date is based upon Naegele’s Rule. This theory was originated by Harmanni Boerhaave, a botanist who in 1744 came up with a method of calculating the EDD based upon evidence in the Bible that human gestation lasts approximately 10 lunar months. The formula was publicized around 1812 by German obstetrician Franz Naegele and since has become the accepted norm for calculating the due date. There is one glaring flaw in Naegele’s rule. Strictly speaking, a lunar (or synodic – from new moon to new moon) month is actually 29.53 days, which makes 10 lunar months roughly 295 days, a full 15 days longer than the 280 days gestation we’ve been lead to believe is average. In fact, if left alone, 50-80% of mothers will gestate beyond 40 weeks.

Variants in cycle length

Aside from the gross miscalculation of the lunar due date, there is another common problem associated with formulating a woman’s EDD: most methods of calculating gestational length are based upon a 28 day cycle. Not all women have a 28 day cycle; some are longer, some are shorter, and even those with a 28 day cycle do not always ovulate right on day 14. If a woman has a cycle which is significantly longer than 28 days and the baby is forced out too soon because her due date is calculated according to her LMP (last menstrual period), this can result in a premature baby with potential health problems at birth.

The inaccuracy of ultrasound

First trimester: 7 days

14 – 20 weeks: 10 days

21 – 30 weeks: 14 days

31 – 42 weeks: 21 days

Calculating an accurate EDD

Recent research offers a more accurate method of approximating gestational length. In 1990 Mittendorf et Al. undertook a study to calculate the average length of uncomplicated human pregnancy. They found that for first time mothers (nulliparas) pregnancy lasted an average of 288 days (41 weeks 1 day). For multiparas, mothers who had previously given birth, the average gestational length was 283 days or 40 weeks 3 days. To easily calculate this EDD formula, a nullipara would take the LMP, subtract 3 months, then add 15 days. Multiparas start with LMP, subtract 3 months and add 10 days. The best way to determine an accurate due date, no matter which method you use, is to chart your cycles so that you know what day you ovulate. There are online programs available for this purpose (refer to links in resources section). Complete classes on tracking your cycle are also available through the Couple to Couple League.

ACOG and postdates

One of the most vital pieces of information to know when you are expecting is that ACOG itself (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) does not recommend interfering with a normal pregnancy before 42 completed weeks. This is why knowing your true conception date and EDD is very important; if you come under pressure from a care provider to deliver at a certain point, you can be armed with ACOG’s official recommendations as well as your own exact due date. This can help you and your baby avoid much unnecessary trauma throughout the labor and delivery. Remember, babies can’t read calendars; they come on their own time and almost always without complication when left alone to be born when they are truly ready.

Sources:

Mittendorf, R. et al., “The length of uncomplicated human gestation,” OB/GYN, Vol. 75, No., 6 June, 1990, pp. 907-932.

ACOG Practice Bulletin #55: Clinical Management of Post-term Pregnancy

April 18, 2010

Pregnancy Awareness Month™ (aka: PAM)

Pregnancy Awareness Month™ (aka: PAM)

Declared and founded by author & holistic lifestyle expert Anna Getty, and co-founded by LCSW & mompreneur Alisa Donner, May 2010 marks the 3rd year of Pregnancy Awareness Month™ (PAM). Through PAM, Anna & Alisa aim to empower pregnant women and new parents with information, “how to” ideas and inspiration to incorporate PAM’s four key initiatives – education, exercise, nutrition & wellness and nurture – into their life routines and to show how easy it can be to make healthy changes in their lives, for themselves, and their children.

“My life was altered not only by the birth of my daughter, but by the experience and choices I made as I prepared my body, mind and spirit to become pregnant and the incredible inward journey of pregnancy itself. In PAM we have adopted the tagline: “Motherhood Begins Now,”™ and I really believe that. I took that message to heart before I actually became pregnant as a way to prepare my mind, body and household for this fabulous moment of creativity, and my life literally turned upside down, for the better.” (Anna Getty, March 2008)

PAM 2010 Events

“Motherhood Begins Now” Kick-Off Event:
Celebrating Motherhood & Mother Earth,
TreePeople & Pregnancy Awareness Month

12601 Mulholland Drive
Beverly Hills, 90210
Sunday May 2, 2010
12:30 – 4:00pm

PAM 2010 officially launches again this May with an inspiring FREE lifestyle event celebrating the four initiatives of our month-long campaign, in partnership with TreePeople, come on out and enjoy the fun!   “Motherhood Begins Now, Celebrating Motherhood & Mother Earth” will be hosted by PAM founder Anna Getty , Ricki Lake, Catherine McCordJosie Maran, and Trista Sutter at TreePeople off Mulholland Drive in Coldwater Canyon Park (free shuttle parking at Harvard Westlake).  Attendees will be invited to participate in panel discussions with pregnancy, child development  and green lifestyle experts including reknowned pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, author/filmaker Ricki Lake, actress Joely Fisher, and authors Elizabeth Rogers and Kim Barnouin.  A fabulous Pregnancy Fashion Show produced by Expecting Models will open with Grammy award winner, singer, songwriter, and the voice of Creed, Scott Stapp performing an acoustic rendition of “Arms Wide Open.”  Take a nature hike with mommy fitness expert Lisa Druxman or learn from Treepeople experts on planting, water conservation and more.  Ecostiletto & Bash Eco Events presents the Holistic Mommy Lounge Spa for your pampering pleasure. Enjoy tons of non-toxic toddler activities presented the Hot Mom’s Club.  Of course our sponsors & partners will have a focused area offering mommy-related & green product education and shopping!   Our day kicks-off with Trista Sutter & Jessica Denay’s book signing for The Hot Mom to Be Handbook at 1pm sharp!  (there is free shuttle from the Harvard Westlake parking lot, allot for extra time)  See you there!!

Stay tuned as each week of May will be devoted to one of the topics below challenging expecting women and new parents to make time to do something for themselves each week.  This information will be provided each week during the month of May via our weekly Twitter Parties & RadioBlogShows, Anna’s “PAM’s Blog” and our Online Newsletters directly to PAM participants. Click here to sign-up to participate!

  • Week 1 – Education
  • Week 2 – Exercise
  • Week 3 – Nutrition & Wellness
  • Week 4 – Nurture

ENTER TO WIN INCREDIBLE PRIZES

4 Twitter Parties in May – one to mark each week, attendees to include green, mom and celebrity bloggers.  Follow us now on Twitter at PregAwareness

Facebook Fan Page Contest & Sponsor Giveaways! Become a fan of Pregnancy Awareness Month on FB to stay on top of the happenings.  We’ll be giving away prizes and sharing life-changing information.

Pregnancy Awareness Month Internet Radio – LIVE BROADCASTS and podcasts on topics close to the heart for pregnant and newly parenting women and families.  Stay tuned for broadcast details and dates.  Anyone can listen and call-in.

Don’t forget to follow Anna on PAM’s Blog and sign up for our online newsletter.  Click here to find out more!

PAM’s Four Motherhood Begins Now events for 2010 – Check out an event near you!

pregnancy awareness month mamafest belly sprout the world's largest baby shower
Los Angeles
May 2nd
San Diego
May 7th
Orange County
May 15th
Atlanta
May 22nd-23rd

Sponsors

PAM is grateful to our wonderful sponsors.
Contact us to learn more about being a PAM partner/sponsor.

April 16, 2010

Vaginal Birth Better for Breech Babies Says Canadian Doctors

by Jennifer Lance on June 19, 2009

breech baby

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has announced that c-sections are no longer recommended for breech babies!

This is contrary to common practice in North America, in which very few doctors or midwives will attempt a vaginal delivery on a breech baby.  A c-section is automatically dictated for these babies who want to come out feet first.  Canada plans to train doctors in breech vaginal delivery following the new recommendation.  Carla Wintersgill writes for Globe and Mail:

Since 2000, C-sections have been the preferred method of delivery in breech births. Studies suggested that breached births were associated with an increased rate of complication when performed vaginally.  As a result, many medical schools have stopped training their physicians in breech vaginal delivery…With the release of the new guidelines, the SOGC will launch a nationwide training program to ensure that doctors will be adequately prepared to offer vaginal breech births..The new approach was prompted by a reassessment of earlier trials. It now appears that there is no difference in complication rates between vaginal and cesarean section deliveries in the case of breech births…Cesarean sections, in which incisions are made through a mother’s abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby, can lead to increased chance of bleeding and infections and can cause further complications for pregnancies later on.

70% of breech babies can be delivered safely without surgical intervention, according to Dr. André Lalonde.

My daughter was breech up until eight months in utero. We had our breech scare that the homebirth we envisioned would not be possible, but with the help of some exercises, she turned. We also could not find a doctor that would attempt a vaginal breech delivery, should we have to go that route.  I have two friends that have successfully delivered breech babies vaginally, only because they did not make it to the hospital in time for a c-section.

This change in Canadian policy is exciting and reflects the importance of natural childbirth choices for families, no matter what the baby’s orientation.

Image:  MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

10 Reasons to Choose VBAC

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyfeelgood @ 9:15 am
Tags: , ,

By, About.com Guide

http://pregnancy.about.com/od/vbac/a/reasons2vbac.htm

VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean doesn’t need to be something to stress over. Many women are choosing to try a vaginal birth these days and the literature is very supportive of this decision. Most studies and facilities are finding that over 80% of mothers who have had a previous cesarean birth are safely and successfully having a vaginal birth with subsequent pregnancies. Here are some reasons that you may wish to consider a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or you might have some of your own to add!

  • VBAC is usually safer for mom and baby.
  • VBAC reduces the risks of infection to the mother.
  • Labor is good for babies in most cases.
  • Not having surgery makes mom’s recovery easier.
  • VBAC reduces the risks of respiratory problems in babies.
  • VBAC involves a shorter hospital stay.
  • More than 80% of women will be able to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean.
  • Breastfeeding is easier after a vaginal birth. Usually for a variety of reasons, including faster and more direct access to your baby and less postpartum pain for mom.
  • VBAC can help prevent injury to your internal organs, like your bladder, intestines, or even the need for an emergency hysterectomy.
  • VBAC is less expensive.

April 5, 2010

Drug Watch: Keeping an Eye on Pharmaceuticals

Drugwatch.com is a comprehensive website featuring extensive information about medications, drug interactions, and drug side effects during pregnancy. The most recent pregnancy drug alert is from Accutane side effects.  Accutane causes birth defects, premature births, and death in babies whose mothers took Accutane while they were pregnant.

March 12, 2010

Baby-Wearing Is Safe! | momlogic.com

Baby-Wearing Is Safe! | momlogic.com.

This mom of two says to claim that ALL baby slings are dangerous because of a few isolated incidents is one-sided and unfair.

baby Sling

Natasha Stanton: I have been making baby slings for my company “Rockin’ Baby Sling” for almost eight years.

When I read an article about an upcoming baby-sling safety warning, I felt it was super extreme and really one-sided. With everything — like cribs, strollers and slings — you have to educate yourself as a parent about the safe way to use it.

Every one of our slings comes with safety warnings, and they are also posted on our website. In big, bold red letters, we say:

Be careful not to allow your newborn’s chin to rest on his or her chest, as it can restrict breathing. Make sure your newborn baby is laying flat in the sling or pouch, or put a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under baby’s neck to keep chin off chest.

Before using a baby sling, you have to educate yourself on how to use a sling and how to place your baby in it properly.

If you use a sling correctly, it is 100 percent safe. Saying all baby slings are unsafe because of a few tragic incidents is so unfair.

My business partner Lisa and I encountered this type of attitude a lot in the beginning when people didn’t know about baby-wearing. People gradually became more educated. The Dr. Sears books advocate baby-wearing, and he’s a great proponent. There are other ways to carry your baby than by pushing her in a stroller away from you!

Thousands and thousands of babies have been worn safely in slings for hundreds of years. It’s everywhere: Africa, Asia, Native-American cultures. We are not the first culture to embrace baby-wearing. In fact, we were one of the last to get on board, because we love our gadgets so much here.

But there are so many benefits to wearing your baby. You can be relaxed knowing baby is with you, you can feed on demand and you can go through your day wearing your baby.

Happy babies make for smart babies, because they’re more able to absorb their surroundings. I just love seeing a baby smiling in a sling as Mom walks down the street. It is so different from the expression a child has when she’s in a stroller. There’s a comfort level there. They can hear your heartbeat, and they can smell you. They feel safe.

How I got acquainted with baby slings is simple: Someone gave me one and raved about it. It took me forever to figure it out, but once I did, I loved it. Both my kids were really calm when they were on me. It was kind of a no-brainer: If it made them calm, I was all for it!

Even though I loved my first sling, it was hideous and padded. I said, “I’m too vain. It’s not me!”

I come from a costume background. I had a bunch of fabric, so I made some slings. People started asking me if I could make one for them. That’s how this all started — and it’s blossomed into the company it is today. Our Rockin’ Baby Slings and Pouches are now worn by celeb moms like Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani and Brooke Burke.

We have never had any safety complaints about any of our products. We’re super sticklers about quality: If the fabric on a customer’s sling is torn or fraying, we replace it immediately. Our rings are not welded — it’s one solid piece of metal. We are so super vigilant about safety because we’re carrying our kids in these slings, too. They had to be the safest things we could make.

I definitely feel for the families of the infants who have died. But when a baby tragically dies in a crib, we don’t say “all cribs are dangerous” and stop using them.

These tragedies don’t happen all the time. Moms just need to educate themselves. Always read your safety manuals before using a baby sling, but continue to enjoy wearing your baby. There’s nothing better!

Check out our safety guidelines for baby slings here.
Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2010/03/baby_sling_maker_defends_baby_wearing.php#ixzz0hz5ooycG

Panel urges more choice in birth after C-section – latimes.com

Panel urges more choice in birth after C-section – latimes.com

By Shari Roan

Vaginal birth after caesarean, or VBAC, is reasonably safe and should be more widely available, a National Institutes of Health advisory panel concluded Wednesday.

Such deliveries once accounted for 25% of U.S. births among women with a previous caesarean delivery, but have now fallen to less than 9%. Many women would like to attempt a vaginal delivery, however, and the panel’s consensus statement is expected to increase their access to the option.

The panel, composed of independent experts in maternal and child health, found that although both VBAC and planned, repeat caesareans posed a range of risks and benefits, women should be allowed more choice. Thus, nonmedical deterrents such as hospital policies, legal liability concerns and doctor preferences should be dismantled, it said.

“The tide is to walk away from VBAC. But the panel is making a clear statement that we need to understand and better address the nonmedical barriers to VBAC,” said Carol Sakala, director of programs for Childbirth Connection, a national nonprofit organization that works to improve maternity care. “They want to give women the option of VBAC.”

The statement was released at the conclusion of a three-day meeting in Bethesda, Md., to reassess the scientific evidence on VBAC safety, taking into account women’s and doctors’ attitudes.

The U.S. caesarean delivery rate has risen 50% since 1996 and now stands at a record high of 31.8% of all births, and a policy of repeating caesareans once a woman has had one has contributed significantly to that climb. Federal health authorities have suggested the primary C-section rate should be about half of what it is now.

VBAC fell out of favor over the last 15 years because of criticism that it was performed too often, especially among women at high risk for complications. The most serious risk of VBAC is that the uterus will tear along the scar left by the previous caesarean delivery. A uterine rupture, which occurs in about 0.8% of women having their first VBAC, can be life-threatening.

Evidence presented this week found that an unsuccessful VBAC attempt — labor that concludes with a C-section — has a higher rate of complications than a planned repeat caesarean. Almost 75% of women who attempt vaginal delivery after a prior C-section do so successfully, although the panel noted that there was no way to predict who would be successful.

“One of the major goals of our panel was to be able to provide individual women with information on risk,” said Dr. Emily Spencer Lukacz, an associate professor of clinical reproductive medicine at UC San Diego. “Each individual woman will have different preferences and different levels of risk they are willing to accept in order to have the experience they are invested in having.”

Moreover, while uterine rupture is a clear risk of VBAC, there is growing recognition that women who have repeated caesareans have an increased risk for placenta-related complications. These can lead to dangerous maternal bleeding, pre-term birth and other adverse effects, and the risks increase steeply with each subsequent caesarean.

“There has been too much focus on the short-term risk of VBAC rather than looking at both the short-term and long-term risks,” said Debra Bingham, president-elect of Lamaze International. “There is now much more evidence on the long-term risks for women who undergo repeated caesarean sections.”

Because of the risk of uterine rupture, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1999 urged that VBAC should be offered only if a doctor was “immediately available” to provide emergency care. That policy is largely blamed for plummeting VBAC rates.

According to the panel’s consensus statement, 30% of hospitals in two nationwide surveys said they stopped providing VBAC because they could not provide immediate surgical care.

The consensus statement urges professional physician groups to “reassess this requirement.”

The obstetricians group is highly likely to do just that, said Dr. George A. Macones, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a member of the group. “In a way, VBAC has been singled out” for this special requirement, he said.

“I think the fact that VBAC is not even an option for a lot of women is a shame,” Macones said.

shari.roan@latimes.com

// Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

March 8, 2010

New Moms at Risk – ABC News

I am not posting this to scare anyone or put any added fear into childbirth, but to inform.  Please share your thoughts.

New Moms at Risk – ABC News.

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