(Photo by Meg Wintory)
“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”
(Photo by Meg Wintory)
On its face, Joseph’s prenatal and postpartum clinic might not seem unusual. But when you look into her statistics, you find something quite rare: Almost all of her patients give birth to healthy, full-term babies. Again, maybe not surprising until you learn that the majority of them are low-income African-Americans, Haitians and Latinas.
African-American women in the United States are four times more likely than their white counterparts to die during pregnancy or childbirth. Their infants are also twice as likely to die in their first year as white infants, and two to three times more likely to be born premature or underweight — a sign of insufficient development that can lead to a lifetime of health difficulties. Native Americans also suffer from higher rates of these problems than whites, as do some groups of Latinas.
(click link to read on nytimes.com)
Women struggling in labour should be given bicarbonate of soda to boost their chances of a safe and natural birth, a study suggests.
British researchers say the commonly available chemical, given in drink form, rectifies acidity around the womb and could significantly reduce the number of women forced to undergo emergency caesarean sections.
(click link to read about this new study)
Ahh, new motherhood. You go from dreaming of the day your baby will arrive to holding that tiny, wriggling bundle in your arms and thinking, “What the heck do I do now?” Hang tight, mamas! We’re here to help. We asked women to tell us one thing they wish they’d known when they first became a mommy. Read on for mom wisdom on sleep, self-care, getting perspective on those intense early days, and much more.
(click link at top to continue reading on redtri.com)
If it baby announcements seem to come all at once from a close group of friends, research shows there may be a reason: Pregnancy can be contagious.
“A friend’s childbearing positively influences an individual’s risk of becoming a parent,” concluded the authors of a 2014 study published in the journal American Sociological Association.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data on 1,720 women who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health) in the United States from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Tracking female participants who were at least 15 years old in 1995 with home interviews throughout the next decade, the researchers saw that roughly half of the women had a child by the time the final interviews were conducted in 2008 or 2009.
(Click link at top to read the studies)
Despite prodromal labor not being mentioned in the most common pregnancy books, you’ll still hear it frequently being discussed among friends, with care providers and in online communities. Because of this discrepancy, it makes sense that there is confusion and frustration surrounding the topic. In this post I hope to define prodromal labor, but more importantly offer onlutions and encouragement if you find yourself experiencing this frustrating phenomenon.
The reason why prodromal labor is not mentioned in pregnancy books is because it is more commonly known as pre-labor or even misnamed as false labor. It seems as if our birthing culture uses these three terms interchangeably – prodromal labor, pre-labor and false labor. This is so confusing! If this has confused me, I bet I’m not the only one wondering what’s going on.
(click link above to read on MotherRisingBirth.com, an amazing resource…)
Cesarean delivery of a baby—or C-section—is the most commonly performed surgery in the world.
Rising C-section rates are a problem all over the world—but it’s particularly notable in the United States.
C-sections have skyrocketed in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. In just one generation, this country’s C-section rate has increased 500%.
One in three babies are now born via C-section—compare that one in 20 in the mid-70s.
And a mother who has a C-section for her first delivery is overwhelmingly more likely to have C-sections for future deliveries.
And while it’s incredibly common—it’s still major surgery—with a range of potential complications such as hemorrhage or infection.
It’s estimated that nearly half of C-sections may be avoidable—but to prevent them, researchers need to find out what exactly is driving the dramatic increase in their use.
(click the link above to listen to the podcast from Harvard School of Public Health)
Imagine sitting up in your bed nursing your babe at 3 am. Quietly looking out the window, while your partner sleeps blissfully next to you. Your baby coos and finally drifts off to sleep. You gently place your sweet little baby in the bassinet next to the bed, simultaneously saying a prayer for a successful transfer. It worked! Now your eyes close. Dreams enter. And then, not five minutes later, baby cries and you do it all over again. Sound familiar?
How about this one? Home alone with your darling baby. You offer a bottle. Baby, with a full belly, spits up between your breasts all the way down to your elastic waistband and you realize that you are desperate for the shower that feels so far away.
I could create a million of these scenarios with a million variables. Older siblings, twins, single parents, visiting family, social pressures, public places, you name it.
As a parent, doula, educator and lactation support person, I hear and see new parents regularly with their shoulders hovering somewhere around ear height. If not fully at the end of their rope, they are darn close to it. And why? My guess is because we are constantly hammered with the idea that babies are more precious than their parents are. It’s simple really. We will suffer so our children don’t have to. Makes sense, right? They are just babies after all.
But by setting ourselves up in this way, we all suffer, babies too. In the short term and the long. And, you know what, we know this. We know that if we are going to take care of others we have to take care of ourselves as well. We know this because on airplanes, every single time the flight attendant tells us we have to put our own mask on first. It’s hard though, right? I mean, how can we put our mask on when we can’t even find it?
(Click link at top to read the rest of this guest post from the amazing Samantha Huggins, Carriage House Birth co-owner and certified intuitive birth doula.)