Read it here Hospital Check List.
I came across this awesome post by Chelsea on the Usthreebirds Blog that is awesome! A definite must read for VBAC mammas birthing in a hospital!
Read it here Hospital Check List.
The Role of the Postpartum Doula
In traditional societies, women and men grow up around birth, breastfeeding, infants and children. After giving birth, women are surrounded for weeks or months by caring family members who have a great deal of experience and wisdom to offer. The community supports and cares for the new mother while she recovers from her birth and transitions into her new role as a mother. This kind of help is rarely available to new parents in many societies today. Often times new moms are left on their own after a week or two when their partner must return to work, and may not yet have had adequate time to build the confidence needed to forge ahead on the journey alone.
The birth of a baby has a long-‐lasting impact on the physical and mental health of the mother, baby and family. The way in which the individual members of the family transition into a new unit have a long-‐lasting impact on their physical and emotional health.
Enter the postpartum doula. A doula’s job is to ‘mother the mother’. She will quietly blend into your family and encourage mom and dad as they find their way, encouraging, supporting, and guiding them on their journey as new parents.
The role of the doula will vary, as it is completely dependent on the needs of each family. The support she offers may include breastfeeding, teaching about newborn care, screening for postpartum mood changes, providing community resources and referrals to other professionals, helping to establish routines to make the transition to life with a newborn easier. She may offer to do light housekeeping, baby laundry, or preparing nutritious meals. She may spend time with older siblings, or care for baby so mom can spend time with siblings. Maybe she will care for baby so mom can take a coveted nap or shower.
Some doulas will have other areas of expertise as well, perhaps in massage therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, or sleep consulting. Night doulas will come to the home at bedtime and provide support through the night, encouraging appropriate feeding schedules or supporting on-‐demand feeding. Night doulas will take on all baby care (except breastfeeding) in order to optimize sleep for mom to help avoid excessive sleep deprivation. Mom may need a companion to attend doctor’s appointments, or somebody to make her a cup of tea and just chat with her.
A doula is all of these things or just a few of these things. The job description is flexible and as varied as the families that benefit from the support. The doula's support is intended to fill the gaps left by our current postpartum traditions, which usually include only medical procedures, occasional checkups and the purchase of baby-‐related paraphernalia. The doula's education, quiet support and guidance are a manifestation of traditional postpartum support that many cultures are missing.
LeeAnne Hamilton CMCSC, CLD, CPD,CBEd
Mia Bella Mamma Birth Services & Goodnight SleepyHead Family Sleep Solutions
The topic of vaccines and vaccinations is a hot one. Many parents are now taking control over their family's health and want to learn about their options before making such a permanent and long term decision for their child's health. In the first 18 months of life, a Canadian child will receive 32-41 doses of 13-16 vaccines, while their grandparents, over the course of their lifetime, received a maximum of 12 doses of 4 vaccines. With this increase in vaccinations over the last 25+ years we’ve seen a concurrent increase in chronic childhood conditions. With the exponential rise in autism, ADD/ADHD, and learning and developmental disorders, many parents are questioning the role of vaccines in this explosion of chronic childhood illness and disease - something we have never seen as a civilization to date.
This article is not meant to pass judgement on your decision or to tell you outright whether you should or shouldn’t vaccinate. Rather my hope is this information will alert you to your options and encourage you to make a well thought out, carefully weighted decision that you are confident and comfortable with and that is a good fit for your family’s health needs.
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, That is the Question!
Whatever your final decision is regarding vaccines, you should be able to come to it using the same criteria. Your decision should not be made out of fear; fear that your doctor will not agree with you, fear that your child will be denied access to daycare or school, or fear that you will be persecuted for choosing not to vaccinate. Your doctor does not have to agree with your healthcare decisions, nor can they 'fire' you for not complying with their recommendations. If this is the case, ask yourself why your doctor has had such a heated and strong reaction. Your decision should also not be made out of ignorance or a lack of knowledge. This is definitely one of the main reasons parents cite in my office for why they chose to vaccinate. They didn't realize they had options or were not fully informed of the pros, cons, and side effects, or what the true incidence of illness is for these infections. (Example: in Canada, there are 0 to 5 cases of diphtheria reported each year1. Knowing this statistic, many parents may accept the risk for infection, finding it unnecessary to vaccinate against such a rare bacteria).
A risk-benefit analysis on an illness-by-illness case should also be included in your decision making process. First you need to decide if you are willing to risk the possibility your child will be exposed to the microorganism and become sick. If you are willing to risk this, then move on to the next question: if your child does in fact get sick, are you willing to accept the potential consequences? If you answered 'yes' to both questions, then you may choose to not vaccinate against that particular illness. Here's an example: are you willing to risk your child getting diphtheria, now knowing there are less than 5 reported cases per year in Canada? If you are willing to take that risk on behalf of your child, then are you willing to risk the consequences of diphtheria, which include a severe throat infection requiring antibiotic and antitoxin therapy2? If you answered yes to both, then you may not need to vaccinate against diphtheria. The bottom line is weighing the risks of infection and its consequences versus the risks involved in
vaccinating. Yes, there are risks involved and anyone who tells you vaccines are 100% safe are not being truthful.
There are many ingredients in vaccines aside from the live, weakened, or killed organisms. The safety of these ingredients and the effects these ingredients have on your child’s body should be an important consideration in your decision making. Even though most childhood vaccines have had mercury removed, it has been replaced by thimerosol, an organic mercury compound that is an effective preservative3 . But is thimerosol, which is 49.6% mercury by weight, any safer than ethylmercury, the breakdown product of thimerosol? You’d be surprised to know the answer is: we don’t know! In a position statement on thimerosol The Public Health Agency of Canada says “little is actually known about ethylmercury metabolism in humans, including whether it has the same potency as a neurotoxin, whether the blood concentration is ever significant and even whether it crosses the blood- brain barrier. It is presumed (emphasis added) that the majority of ethylmercury metabolized from thimerosal is rapidly excreted in the stool”4. We don’t have enough scientific information on the metabolism, excretion, and toxicity of ethylmercury on infants and children. As such, there are no established safety guidelines regarding exposure. Are you willing to let your child be a part of this massive global post-marketing experiment on the long term effects of thimerosol?
Other ingredients added to vaccines for their ability to stabilize, preserve, and heighten the immune response include:
to years, helps protect the natural growth and development of your baby's immune system. Another reason to consider delaying vaccines is to allow your baby's immature liver and its detoxification mechanisms a chance to mature. This gives your baby the best chance at processing and detoxifying all the vaccine ingredients to the best of his/her ability. Your third option is to implement an altered schedule whereby your doctor/pediatrician can separate some vaccines, reducing the toxic load injected into your child at each visit. It may require more needles overall, but you are injecting less bacteria/virus and chemicals into your child at any one time, possibly reducing the risk of adverse effects. Your fourth option is to vaccinate according to the recommended schedule6.
Choosing to vaccinate or not to vaccinate your child(ren) is not a simple decision. It requires time, careful thought, and reflection on the constantly increasing number of vaccines in the vaccine schedule, the simultaneous increase in chronic and debilitating childhood illness and disease (like autism and ADD), and the risks you are willing to assume in your decision. Ensure that whatever you decide is made knowledgeably, in consultation with different sources, and with confidence because you know you are making the best decision to protect the health of your child.
1. Diptheria Incidence: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/diphtheria-eng.php
2. The Vaccine Book, Dr. Robert Sears M.D.
4. . http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/07vol33/acs-06/index-eng.php
5. Vaccine Ingredients: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cig-gci/p01-tab01-eng.php
6. Routine Immunization Schedule: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/is-cv/index-eng.php
Dr. Carly Wendler BA.Sc., Naturopathic Doctor
Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the leading factors in developing a condition called pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Not every woman who gives birth will experience POP, but the dramatic changes that occur during the birth experience can leave a lasting effect on pelvic tissues. These effects may not be immediately noticeable.
There are other risk factors, including smoking, obesity, traumatic pelvic injury and a family history of POP. The sooner a woman begins to strengthen her pelvic muscles and tissues, the less likely she is to develop POP.
What are the Consequences of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is not a disease. It is a condition that, in worst-case scenarios, has uncomfortable side effects. Because of this, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend using the most conservative treatment(s) that will eliminate uncomfortable symptoms. They do not recommend anatomical reconstruction - which happens via surgery - unless non-invasive methods haven't been successful, or in less-common cases where symptoms are so severe that conservative treatments aren't effective.
Surgical procedures can be used to treat the symptoms of POP but they come with health risks attached. One of the most common surgical procedures - vaginal mesh surgery - has been linked to thousands of cases of serious health complications. For many women, these side effects can be irreversible. Thousands of women suffering from these complications have sought justice for their pain through the filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits against mesh manufacturers.
More than 11 percent of women who have surgery using transvaginal mesh will report a complication, and sometimes these complications are unable to be reversed. It usually takes more than one revision surgery to reverse complications associated with transvaginal mesh.
Methods for Preventing and/or Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Most of the conservative methods used to treat POP can also be used to prevent its onset, or to mitigate its symptoms. The sooner women begin addressing pelvic health, the better. However, it is never too late to start strengthening the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.
· Pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles, as well as vaginal muscles, can be exercised just like any other muscle in the body. The most common exercises are called Kegels. When done correctly and on a regular basis, they can help prevent organs from prolapsing and will also help to prevent stress urinary incontinence.
· Core exercises. Strong core muscles can help to provide support for pelvic muscles. Exercises like yoga and Pilates work to strengthen core muscles.
· Pelvic physical therapy. Women who have experienced a traumatic vaginal birth, have had a pelvic injury and/or have a genetic predisposition toward POP can seek pelvic physical therapy for more varied techniques to strengthen pelvic and vaginal tissues.
· Vaginal pessary. Vaginal pessaries can be used successfully to support pelvic muscles, prevent incontinence, and often prevent women with moderate to severe cases of POP from requiring surgery.
· Lifestyle choices. Ultimately, the more healthy a woman is in general, the more healthy her pelvic tissues will be. Women should eat well, maintain healthy weights, quit smoking and make good lifestyle choices for overall well-being.
Women who prioritize pelvic health, in addition to their overall health, will be less likely to experience forms of POP that would require surgical intervention.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes to inform the public about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.
Yesterday I was at the park with a friend and our kids. There were two other mums there and they were having a very heated discussion about their careers. The discussion was mostly a series of complaints about how much they hated their careers and how they would both leave if they won the lottery or inherited a small fortune. One thing that stuck with me was, as they were getting their small army of children ready to leave the quieter of the two looked at her friend and said " honestly some days I don't know why I go back to it" ...
On my walk home my mind kept drifting back to these two women who were obviously miserable with the path that their careers have taken and I thought- Why do I do Doula? Why do I keep going back? I mean, the hours suck- no benefits-no over time. Why do I still get butterflies on my way to a birth? The same reason I go back is the same thing that drew me towards this path in the first place. Because quite simply, birth is like nothing else- in a word breathtaking.
I have been fortunate enough on my Doula journey to be in the company of strong and powerful laboring women. To be in the presence of such strength is not a privilege that I take for granted. Every birth that I have been blessed enough to be part of reminds me of the light in the world- regardless of the darkness and negativity that we feel sometimes surrounds us. New life is a reminder that there is good, there is purity, there is love and there is light even in the darkest of places.
Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by that. That is why I Doula
Mia Bella Mamma Doulas
Here on our Blog you may find the musings of LeeAnne and our team of amazing doulas and community partners. We are moms, doulas, childbirth educators, placenta ladies, future midwives, doctors and specialists, some crunchier than others, but all passionate birth professionals.
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