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Crunchy= natural, green, environmental, granola.
Cradle= birth, baby, breastfeeding, pregnancy.
Catholic= One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Third Trimester

Ah, the third trimester.  The homestretch.  Almost there.  And yet the uncomfortableness of pregnancy can be almost unbearable. 

I think that the uncomfortable things about pregnancy help a woman to prepare for life as a mother.  When I was pregnant with our first baby.  People kept telling me that everything would change.  Our lives would be so different with a baby.  And of course I knew that things would be different, because, after all, we would have a baby!  But I didn't realize just how different things would be. 

Being a mother does change everything.  Life is no longer about you or you and your husband, it becomes about baby and family.  Even the simple things like going to the post office or grocery store become an event.  You can't just run in and run out.....you have to get the baby ready, the diaper bag, the carseat, the baby carrier- and try to carry all of this and open doors and lock the car and carry your packages into the post office.....I'm panting just thinking about it.  Q: How in the world can women make this transition to motherhood?  A: The third trimester.

Ok, so I might have to explain my thinking a little bit.  During the third trimester you really start to realize that life isn't just about you anymore.  It hard to move, to eat, to breathe, to go to the bathroom, to put on your shoes!!!  It's hard to sleep and you have to get up every few hours to go to the bathroom.  I think that this is nature's way of preparing you for the baby that is about to come.  This little 7 pound bundle of joy will demand most of your time and energy.  This little baby will want to eat every 2 hours, even during the night!  See, you're already ready for this because you've been getting up at night for several weeks prior to your baby's arrival.  All the parts of your life that seem difficult because you are big and pregnant will still be difficult when you have to do them all and also take care of a baby who is dependent on you for everything.

I used to hear women talk about not even having time to shower, and I thought, "How can you not even have time to shower? Doesn't the baby nap?"  Then I found out the answer, when I was also napping right along with baby.  Suddenly the whole day had gone by and I had not found time to take a shower.  Wow, my life had changed and more than I thought.  But all of these changes ultimately were good changes.

I realized that yes, the discomforts of pregnancy had prepared me for some of the discomforts of motherhood.  But despite the changes in my life and the juggling of baby and packages and groceries, I had become a better person.  I learned how to truly give of myself.  I learned that I had been a lot more selfish that I realized.  This little baby was so special that I would do anything for him.  I learned how to love more deeply than I knew I could and the joy, peace and love that he brought to our family is priceless.

I just smile to myself when I hear women talking about the discomforts of their pregnancies because I know that they are being prepared for a special journey-motherhood.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Iron

Many women during pregnancy become anemic and/or have low iron levels.  Low iron leads to true anemia which is a low red blood cell count.  Hemoglobin carries oxygen in red blood cells and your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin.  Why is this so common in pregnant women?  Pregnant women increase their blood supply by up to 50% while pregnant, and all this extra blood producing takes requires iron.  So, why do women need to increase their blood supply so much?  For one thing they are now circulating blood to the maternal side of the placenta and to the growing uterus.  It is also a protective mechanism so that the mother can compensate for blood loss after birth.

Iron supplements can be hard on the stomach and cause constipation.  Here are a few things to help increase your iron without upsetting your stomach.

  • eat foods that are high in iron: red meats, organ meats and dark green vegetables for example
  • cook with a cast iron skillet (learn how to season it properly so that your food won't stick)
  • Floradix-this supplement is available at health food stores.  It is a liquid with herbs and vitamins added for easy absorption.  It does not cause constipation or stomach irritation.
  • alfalfa-this is helpful in late pregnancy to help with digestion and also to increase levels of vitamin K which help with blood clotting and prevent blood loss and subsequent anemia post-partum
  • vitamin C-helps with iron absorption so take it or drink OJ with your other sources of iron
  • nettle tea
  • multi-vitamin with vitamin B12 for absorption
  • Slow Fe or iron in the form of ferrous gluconate which is easier to absorb than ferrous sulfate
  • chlorophyll-helps to make more red blood cells
  • don't drink milk with your vitamins-the calcium binds with the iron and then your body can't use it
Other suggestions are welcome in the comments!

New iPhone App

http://www.ibirthapp.com

I don't have an iPhone but this looks like a great app and I will be getting the DVD when it comes out in January.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Autism

http://www.mercuryexposure.org/index.php?article_id=165

This article is lengthy, but I found it very interesting.  There is much controversy over autism and its causes, but as stated in this article there are many factors to consider.  Events surrounding birth are also included.....food for thought.

Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes




1.  trying to blog regularly
2.  blogging is difficult with 3 small children
3.  I get writer's block when the kids are sleeping and I'm sitting at the computer
4.  I have great ideas to blog about when I'm no where near the computer or pen and paper
5.  I usually forget my great ideas when I finally get to the computer
6.  it's Friday and I've blogged twice this week
7. I also did some updating to the look of my blog=good week :)

The Movies

Don't forget to see my website: www.passion4birth.com


I just saw the movie Four Christmases.  It is a good example of the misinformation about birth and breastfeeding that is so prevelant in America. 

I find it ironic that women are afraid of being in labor for hours and hours or even days, and yet on the other hand people get nervous when you are out in public near your due date.  I personally experienced this when near or on my due date, store clerks or passers by at the mall seemed to get very nervous as if my baby might be born right then and there.  The babies that you hear about who are born in the car or on the airplane are the exception and not the rule.  But I digress...

The fear of pain in labor is perpetuated by the horrible labor scenes in so many movies and TV shows.  There was no labor scene in Four Christmases, however, but a comment by the main character, Kate, to her sister.  Kate asked, "Don't women want a natural birth?"  Her sister replied, "Only with their first, after that they schedule their C-section." (These quotes may not be the exact line from the movie, but close enough to get the point across). 

It seems that this trend of scheduling C-sections if becoming more and more common.  The C-section rate in the US is almost 32%.  The World Health Organization has stated that an acceptable rate is 10-15%.  After the C-section rate climbs above 15% the mortality rate of Moms and Babies also starts to climb due to complications from unnecessary surgery. 

The references to breastfeeding in this movie also portrayed it as trashy.  There were two women in the movie who mentioned breastfeeding and I felt both were distasteful references.

There was one other reference to labor in the movie that mentioned a vacuum as if this were common protocol.  The truth is that birth is by itself a normal and natural process.  Any use of a vacuum or other device is interference in the a beautiful life event.  I had three natural births all at hospitals, and I can tell you that they see very few natural births there.  While the nurses who worked with us were great, it was obvious that they did not know much about normal birth without any intervention.  During my last labor, my doctor had not arrived yet and the nurse just sat on my bed holding the fetal monitor and saying, "Don't push, it's not safe."  What is not safe about birth?

I've been a nurse for 6 years, I know that bad things can and do happen, but most of the time birth is perfectly safe.  The problem is we don't know what a normal birth is like.  There is that fear, that a woman might have her baby right in the middle of the mall!  What would you do?  Hopefully, nothing.  Women's bodies are very capable of having babies even without hospitals or doctors present, just look at the population of the earth.  Babies and mothers are surviving even in third world countries.  As a matter of fact the US has some of the worst startistics in the developed world for maternal and infant mortality.

Ok, back to the topic at hand.  We fear birth because we don't know what it is really supposed to be like.  We have a viewpoint of fear and pain that we have seen repeated in the movies and on TV.  Part of my goal with this blog is to dispell myths about birth.

I like to think back and remember each of my labors and births.  Each experience was as unique as my 3 children and just as wonderful.  I can't say that labor was pain-less or easy, it was definitely hard workand at times very uncomfortable.  But, I also don't think it was a horrible painful experience that I don't like to think about.  I love telling others about my labors and births because I think of them as good experiences in my life.  Birth is not supposed to be scary or very painful.  I like to think of it as a rite of passage into motherhood. The feeling right after each baby was born was so amazing.  I will never forget the overwhelming love, sense of accomplishment and pure joy that I felt the first time I held each baby.  This is what I hope to share with those taking my classes and reading this blog, that birth is beautiful and your baby IS worth a natural birth.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My personal experience with co-sleeping

When you are pregnant for the first time. You think of all the things you want to do different than your parents did. You want to be a great parent or "the cool mom". You start listening to advice from everyone who offers it. And no one is shy about telling you how you should raise your baby. I think everyone would be better off if they just listened to their heart and to their baby.

I heard many people say things like: that you shouldn't sleep with your baby, you shouldn't nurse the baby to sleep, don't hold the baby too much, he needs to learn to soothe himself, and on and on and on....
Since this is my blog, I'm going to give my own advice and if you don't like it-don't read it! I read about attachment parenting when I was pregnant and this theory seemed to make the most sense to me.  Babies want to be held and I believe they need to be held, often!

It just seems natural that since babies need to breastfeed often, as much as every 2 hours or more, they also need to be held this often. Breastfeeding also allows mom to get rest that she needs in those early days.  Speaking of rest or sleep, most new parents are often asked how much (or how little sleep they are getting).  And while I cannot claim to have gotten 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel I got more than many other new moms I talked to.  What was my secret?  Co-sleeping or bedsharing. 

That's right my babies slept in bed with me and my husband.  Nursing in the side-lying position is great for nighttime feedings.  None of my babies even had to cry to let me know they were hungry at night, I would wake when they woke because they were sleeping right beside me.  Crying is a late sign of hunger, babies have a rooting reflex when they are hungry.  This rooting reflex includes lip smacking, licking, or sucking on fingers.  I would wake when I heard the baby rooting. I did not have to get up out of bed, walk to my baby's room, calm him down from crying and then feed him.  No, I only had to lift my shirt and pull him close.  My babies did not sleep through the night at 6 weeks, but it didn't matter because we were getting plenty of sleep together.

There are many objections to this style of parenting and I do believe that this is not the solution for everyone.  But it worked for our family and allowed every to meet their needs for sleep, feeding, holding, etc.
Co-sleeping is safe, if you look at the statistics it is safer than a baby sleeping alone in a crib.  The AAP has recently changed their recommendations as well, that baby should sleep in the same room as his parents.  The AAP however does not endorse co-sleeping.

I never feared that I would roll over onto my baby.  There is an awareness of the baby being present in bed, just as you are aware of the edge of the bed or of your partner sleeping next to you in bed.  The risk comes for parents who are bottle feeding, obese, smoke, using drugs or alcohol.  See article in earlier post for references and recommendations for safe co-sleeping.

The other criticism I often encountered was that my children would never want to sleep in their own bed.  Speaking only from personal experience, this has not been the case.  As my babies weaned and no longer needed to feed often during the night, they also seemed to need more space for sleeping they would perhaps fall asleep in my bed but then we would move them to their own bed where they seemed more comfortable.  My children, despite being nursed to sleep for the first year or so of their lives have all learned to fall asleep on their own and rarely wake up at night and come into my bed.  I believe this to be so because I met their need for shared sleep, holding, and feeding when they were babies.

What about intimacy and privacy with your partner?  Again, this was not a concern with our babies, as they were too young or sleeping to be aware of anything else going on in the bedroom.  I heard someone say once, that it would be better for a child to walk in on his or her parents making love than to witness them fighting.  I think the reverse is probably more often the case.

Listen to your heart, listen to your baby and find the solution that works for your family.  Don't worry about what others might think or say.  Parenting requires you to make many decisions that not everyone else is always going to agree with.  You need to do what is best for your baby. 

I like Dr. Sears' book, The Baby Sleep Book for more information or see www.askdrsears.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bedsharing

Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?

December 08 2009

bedsharing, bed-sharing, co-sleeping, cosleeping, family bed, SIDSAccording to Dr. Jay Gordon, babies sleeping on a safe surface with sober, nonsmoking parents respond to their parents, and the parents respond to them. The chance of SIDS occurring in this situation are close to zero. Babies in a crib or in a room away from their parents, on the other hand, will breastfeed less and are at greater risk of infections, including life-threatening ones.

The medical profession, as it often does, is approaching the entire idea of the family bed backward. A baby in the same bed with his or her parents is surrounded by the best possible surveillance and safety system. It must be the responsibility of the manufacturers and proponents of cribs and separated sleep to prove that such disruption is safe, not the other way around.

Newborn babies breathe in irregular rhythms and even stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. To put it simply, they are not designed to sleep alone.


Sources:

Dr. Mercola's Comments:



Back in 2002, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA, the crib manufacturers' lobby) launched a campaign to discourage parents from sleeping with their infants.

They also warned about allowing babies to sleep alone in adult beds.

Both warnings were based on data that, presumably, showed infants had a small risk of dying in adult beds.

The Dangers Infants Face When Sleeping in an Adult Bed

For example, an article in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine stated that, based on records from the CPSC dating from January 1990 to December 1997, there were a total of 515 deaths of children younger than 2 years who were placed to sleep on adult beds.

Of those, 121 were caused by a parent or sibling lying on top of the child, and 394 were due to entrapment in the bed structure, causing suffocation or strangulation.

In conclusion, the authors stated:

“Placing children younger than 2 years to sleep in adult beds exposes them to potentially fatal hazards that are generally not recognized by the parent or caregiver.

These hazards include overlying by a parent, sibling, or other adult sharing the bed; entrapment or wedging of the child between the mattress and another object; head entrapment in bed railings; and suffocation on waterbeds.”

However, the recommendation to avoid co-sleeping with your infant has been heavily criticized by many child health experts who believe bedsharing is the healthiest alternative.

And some who have taken the time to review the data further have come to an entirely different conclusion than the CPSC, raising the question whether perhaps this recommendation was more about benefitting the juvenile products industry than promoting the safest sleeping habits.

Statistics Show Co-Sleeping is Likely Twice as Safe as Sleeping in a Crib!

In an article for Mothering magazine, Tina Kimmel dissected the statistics from an 18 year period (1980-1997), showing how co-sleeping with your infant may actually be twice as safe as letting them sleep alone in a crib.

Interestingly, the CPSC never actually presented the relative risk of each sleeping scenario, which may lead parents to think that letting their child sleep alongside them is the more dangerous alternative.

However, when the relative risk of each is assessed by dividing the measure of danger for each situation by the prevalence of that situation, and then comparing them, it turns out that infants are more than twice as safe in adult beds as in cribs.

In fact, using the CPSC’s own data for measuring the danger of each situation, and data from the CDC's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) to ascertain the prevalence or frequency of each sleeping scenario, Kimmel found that crib sleeping had a relative risk of 2.37, compared with sleeping in an adult bed.

Clearly, looking at the relative risk of each situation makes more sense than basing your decision on an arbitrary assumption that bedsharing is dangerous. Especially since it’s not necessarily true.

Bedsharing May Be a Safer Option for Breastfed Infants

Interestingly, in one British study, breastfeeding mothers who shared their bed with their infants were found to sleep in a characteristic manner that promotes safety for the child, whereas mothers who bottle-fed their babies did not.

The researchers explained:

“The mother spontaneously adopted a distinctive lateral position facing the infant, with her knees drawn up under the infant's feet and her upper arm positioned above the infant's head. This position facilitates the baby's easy access to mother's breasts, and babies orient themselves towards their mother's breasts for most of the night.

It also provides several safety benefits:

  • the baby is flat on the mattress, away from pillows

  • the baby is constrained by the mother's knees and arm so that it can't move up or down the bed

  • the mother controls the height of bed covers over the baby

  • it is very difficult for the baby to be rolled on by either parent, as the mother's elbow and knees are in the way

  • the mother is close enough to monitor the baby's temperature and breathing continually ·

Bedsharing families who did not breastfeed slept together differently, particularly with respect to the physical orientation to the infant.

Mothers who had never breastfed did not curl up around their infants for sleep and did not, therefore, use their own bodies to make a constrained space in the bed for the baby.

These mothers primarily positioned their infants at face height in the bed, either between or propped up on the parents' pillows. Mothers also spent a much smaller proportion of the night facing their infants, and although infants were still oriented towards their mothers for the majority of the night, the mother's position meant there was less face-to-face orientation.

It seems that the mothers who didn't breastfeed slept with their infants as if they were sleeping with another adult (faces at same height, no protective sleeping position, less persistent orientation towards infant).”

Safe Bedsharing Guidelines

Naturally, no single sleeping arrangement is 100 percent safe as there are many factors that can play a role. For example, as the study above discovered, whether or not you breastfeed your child may influence the instinctive positioning of your baby in relation to yourself, making bedsharing more or less safe.

Alcohol consumption and whether or not you smoke would also be factors to take into consideration. But overall, according to the research of James McKenna, Director of the University of Notre Dame's Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory, infant deaths are far more common in cribs than in beds shared with parents.

The single most dangerous thing you can do is to leave your child alone during sleep, he says.

There are a number of studies, several of which are discussed in McKenna’s paper “Why babies should never sleep alone: A review of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breastfeeding,” that show bedsharing, or sleeping in close proximity, actually protects against SIDS rather than cause it.

That said, there are certain common sense guidelines to keep in mind if you decide that bedsharing is right for you and your child.

Safebedsharing.org offers these sensible safety guidelines:

  • Never leave an infant or toddler unattended on an adult bed. Co-sleeping or family bed sharing consists of an adult and a child. Babies can roll off of beds (even when using a co-sleeping device), can become tangled in blankets, or otherwise need the attention of an adult. We recommend babies not be left unattended in the early months.

  • Never sleep with your baby on a water bed or on a couch. Water beds and couches are associated with suffocation of babies.

  • Avoid adding railings or putting furniture next to the side of your bed. Baby could become lodged next to railing or furniture and suffocate

  • Avoid pushing your bed against a wall. Baby could also be lodged between the bed and wall causing suffocation.

  • Never let another sibling sleep next to your baby. Children sleep deeply and may roll over on baby. Baby is best placed next to Mom or Dad only.

  • Never sleep next to your baby if you are intoxicated or have been using drugs, are taking medications, are overly tired or in any other way feel that your ability to be aroused could be affected.

  • It is not recommended that you bed share if are currently smoking. This has been associated with higher incidence of S.I.D.S.

  • Use a firm mattress for bed sharing. Soft mattresses can allow baby to accidentally roll over causing suffocation.

  • Make sure all bedding fits snuggly on the mattress. Fitted sheets that come loose could cover baby's face.

  • Make sure mattress is flush against head- and footboards. If there are any gaps baby could become lodged between head or footboard and mattress and cause suffocation.

  • Always place baby to sleep on her back. This has been shown to reduce the risk of S.I.D.S.

  • Avoid over-dressing your baby. Overheating is also associated with an increased risk of S.I.D.S.

  • Avoid strings or ties on night clothes or blankets. These could cause strangulation. Be sure to remove toys or other objects from bed before sleep time, to avoid suffocation.

  • If you have long hair tie it in a pony tail or braid it. Long hair could cause suffocation or strangulation.

Other Options, if Bedsharing is Not for You

For some people, the idea of sleeping with a baby beside them is just too worrisome. But there’s no reason to despair. The choice to share your bed with your child or let them sleep on their own is yours, and yours alone. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

However, avoiding sharing your bed for fear that it’s a more dangerous choice is most likely unwarranted. The research points to the opposite being true.

If you want your baby close but are still worried about accidentally laying on her, you could remove one of the side rails and place the crib level with your mattress. This way, your baby will have a space of her own, but you’ll still be in close proximity. Just take precautions to secure the crib to your bed so your baby can’t fall through the crack.

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, another one is psychological, as co-sleeping tends to enhance bonding and feelings of safety and comfort. Another option to achieve enhanced bonding is to wear your baby in a pouch or sling for several hours during the day.

Babywearing International is an interesting resource to learn more about the many benefits of cradling your baby close during those first few months of life. They also offer helpful tips on how to choose a suitable baby sling or carrier.



Related Links:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Local Freestanding Birth Center Catches Baby #500

ENGLEWOOD, CO, November 17, 2009 – On November 11th, a local family celebrated the birth of their first child and Mountain Midwifery Center, a freestanding birth center in Englewood, celebrated the 500th baby born in the facility. Mountain Midwifery Center (MMC) is Colorado’s only licensed birth center and baby #500 is a sign that this unique practice is established and here to stay.

Per Tracy Ryan, founder and CEO of MMC, “We started slow, only catching 6 to 8 babies a month. Now we catch almost 30 babies a month and we’ve caught 500 babies in just over 3 years of operation, so we are very excited. It’s a real privilege to offer independent midwifery care to so many families.” MMC was licensed in September 2006 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a freestanding birth center. The center employs 5 midwives that focus on natural birth (no pain medications, no inductions, no extractions or surgical deliveries) and they achieve a natural birth rate of 90 percent. If the woman or unborn infant develop a condition where natural birth becomes too difficult or risky, MMC transfers their care to Swedish Medical Center, just a block away. MMC’s overall rate of Cesarean Section surgical delivery is 6 percent. For comparison, the national rate of C-Section delivery is 31 percent.

To achieve this high rate of natural births and such a low C-Section rate, MMC plans ahead for each birth. Expectant parents are assigned an education plan for child birth, breastfeeding and newborn care. At a minimum, births are attended by a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and a Registered Nurse (RN). Water birth or just laboring in a warm tub is available to every client. Doulas (birth assistants) are often present and are available for post-birth support. “Our immediate network of providers includes two wonderful physician practices and a strong and diversified team of doulas, including two ladies that also serve as our receptionists. We also work almost daily with a pregnancy-focused acupuncturist, an herbalist, and other holistic providers. This team is a critical asset that contributes to our high success rates in natural birth, breastfeeding and low newborn complications,” said Ryan.

Mountain Midwifery Center is located just a block from Swedish Medical Center at 3555 S. Clarkson Street, Suite 500, Englewood 80113. Those interested in learning more about Mountain Midwifery can visit www.MountainMidwifery.com or call (303) 788-0600.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you really need all that stuff?

You're expecting a baby. There is so much excitement at this time of your life. You are preparing for your labor and birth as well as for life with a baby. Maybe you are planning a baby shower or registering for baby items. But do you really need all that stuff at the baby store? They will most likely provide you with a list of things you "need" for your new baby.


Now that I have 3 children, I've learned a lot about taking care of babies and all that stuff from the registries and stores.


Needs:

  • sling, wrap or other carrier-great ways to carry your baby so that you don't need to spend money on swings, bouncy seats etc. Also baby can easily nurse in a sling or wrap while Mom is on the go!
  • nursing tank tops-I love these because you can wear them under any shirt and easily nurse without having to buy new "nursing shirts"
  • cloth diapers-try cloth, you will save $$
  • bed side rail or co-sleeper-it's easier to nurse frequently at night if you baby is close by either in your bed or in a co-sleeper of bassinet.
  • breast pump (if working outside the home)
  • diaper bag-or large purse that you can put some diapers and a change of clothes in

Waste of Money:

  • changing table-I have my cloth diapers in a basket that sits on the floor and now that I have older children I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor with them anyway, so why not get down on their level to change diapers too. It's good exercise!
  • crib-we've hardly used ours, all 3 of our babies have slept in bed with my husband and I, and have only used the crib for a few months before we tranistioned them to a big bed
  • wipe wamer-not a necessity
  • high chair-I personally think the seat that can sit on a regular dining room chair takes up less space than a high chair
  • pacifiers-let you baby nurse on demand and for as long as he or she needs for comfort. You will have a great milk supply and this will also delay the return of your menstrual cycles.
  • special hooded towels and wash cloths-they're pretty cute, but really a regular towel and wash cloth will do the trick just as well.
  • expensive baby monitor with video and room temperature ect.-as above, if your baby is sleeping in the same room with you, as recommended by the AAP, this is unnecessary.

*These are my personal opinions based on an attachment style of parenting. Every family is different and will have differnent syles of parenting. Use common sense when shopping at the baby superstores and remember that you don't reallly NEED everything on the list they will give you!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Breastfeeding beyond 1 year

My youngest son is turning one on Friday. This year has gone by so fast! It's hard to believe that he is already walking and can say, "mama" and "dada". And, he's still breastfeeding. In America most babies are done nursing by 6 months of age, so I know that we are in the minority. It is definitely a personal decision to decide when and how to wean your baby, or toddler, but I think there are some good reasons to continue breastfeeding for more than 6 months.


Babies have immature immune systems and breastfeeding helps prevent them from getting sick since they get antibodies from their mother through her milk. Our pediatrician made a comment one time that my kids had such thin charts because they hadn't been sick very much. Now, don't get me wrong, we've had our fair share of colds and stomach bugs, but we have not once had an ear infection or strep throat! I truly believe that my kids have been so healthy because they have all breastfed past one year.


The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at LEAST the first 2 years of life. Any woman in the USA who has breastfed her baby until he or she was 2 probably got some negative reactions from others. The average age of weaning worldwide is 4 years old. That's right 4!! Again, it is a very private and personal decision when to wean your baby, but I think that Americans can learn from the WHO and other countries that support long term breastfeeding.


I breastfed my first two children for 15 and 16 months respectively. I only stopped breastfeeding them because I was pregnant again. (There are a number of women though, who tandem nurse, or continue to nurse their toddler and a new baby). I intend to keep breastfeeding my youngest at least through this winter and hopefully until he turns two when his immune system is more fully developed.


For more information please see:

www.llli.org
http://www.parentingweb.com/lounge/ext_nursepage.htm

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cloth diaper update

I wrote last spring about our switch to cloth diapers. We are sill going strong! My youngest will be turning 1 next week, so we have been using them for about 7 months. That's big savings!! The diapers we chose are "All in Ones" or AIO diapers. This means that they do not have a separate diaper cover. They are also "pocket diapers" there is a slot to insert a liner, or a couple liners for overnight. I like that I can choose the absorbency as I need it for different situations. The above is an open diaper, the brand is Rumparooz. I particularly like the inner gussets in these diapers, they prevent leaks and blowouts!

The above picture shows how this type of diaper grows with your baby. All the snaps are undone, so this is sized for a large baby or toddler. To make the diaper smaller, you snap down the front of the diaper so the rise is lower and the leg openings are smaller. I love that we only need ONE size diaper!! It is true that they grow with your baby!!!


This picture shows the "pocket" with a liner inserted.


Here is my little man modeling his Bum Joy diaper!


Diaper with liner.


This shows the diaper snapped down for a newborn. Again, I can't say enough how much I like that they grow with your baby!


This is a Bum Joy brand diaper, sold on Etsy.

I have learned quite a bit about cloth diapers over the last few months. I'm sure that other mamas will have different opinions about some things, but hopefully this will help you decide which kind of diapers you will like. I like diapers with snaps and not velcro. I don't like that the velcro seems to stick all the diapers to each other in the wash. Other parents like the more custom fit that you can get with velcro vs. snaps. I like the fleece liners vs cotton liners. The fleece has microfiber on the inside for absorbency. Fleece does not feel as wet against the skin as cotton and seems to be more absorbent. I know that some will prefer a natural fiber such as organic cotton or wool.

As for cleaning the diapers, at first I was worried that I would be spending all my time washing or scrubbing diapers, but it isn't so! It has been so much easier than I thought. We have a diaper pail that sits on top of the washing machine, it is literally a bucket (like one that would be used to mop your floors). I just throw the diapers into the pail all day long. I do not pretreat or soak diapers. I do knock any solid waste into the toilet first before putting them into the pail. I haven't invested in a sprayer yet, but you can buy a sprayer that attaches to your toilet that can be used to spray off any solids that are stuck to the diapers. Each night before going to bed, or after my kids are in bed, I throw the diapers into my washer on the heavy cycle with regular detergent. If I'm still up when the wash is finished I will throw them in the dryer, otherwise I dry them first thing in the morning. There is no folding for me, as I just throw them in a basket once clean!

I'm still convincing my husband to also use cloth wipes, but I'm sold. It is just as easy to use cloth wipes once you are using cloth diapers, they go in the diaper pail and in the same wash load. I have flannel wipes that go right in the basket with my cloth diapers, I have squirt bottle of cleaning solution that I use to wet them right before I use them. You can make your own cleaning solution too:

Diaper cleaning solution:
-2 cups water
-2 tablespoons olive or other oil
-2 tablespoons baby soap (liquid)
-2 drops lavender essential oil (or other based on your preference)
-2 drops tea tree oil

Happy diapering!




Protein...are you getting enough?

Good nutrition is very important during pregnancy. You body is growing a baby! You can't give your baby what you don't have, so it is very important is eat a well balanced diet. Every day you should include fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, fats and protein. The Brewer diet stresses getting plenty of protein. Protein is so important because proteins are the building blocks for your baby. Also, Americans tend to already eat plenty of carbs and fats. You should be eating 80-100grams of protein every day. It is helpful to keep a food diary and tally your daily protein. Protein can help prevent swelling and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

Good sources of protein:
  • greek yogurt
  • other dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt
  • seeds and nuts
  • legumes served with rice or corn
  • quinoa
  • whole grains
  • meats
The following links have some further recommendations for your daily intake, as well as a protein tracker.

http://www.birthingnaturally.net/nutrition/nut101/brewer.html

http://www.bradleybirth.com/PD.aspx

Friday, October 23, 2009

H1N1-Swine flu

Should you get the H1N1, swine flu vaccine because you are pregnant? There is much controversy surrounding this issue...

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/vaccine-pregnant-h-2624607-n-women

Friday, October 16, 2009

New website

Please check out our new website for natural birth classes in Colorado.

http://coloradochildbirthclasses.com/


Please also don't forget my website:

www.passion4birth.com

And my upcoming class starting October 24th at Mountain Midwifery Center.

another reason to breastfeed your baby.....

I attended a nursing conference yesterday and one of the speakers was a pediatrician here in Denver, sharing some updates on formula changes and introducing solids to your baby. I have always been an advocate of breastfeeding, but as a nurse also get questions about formula from time to time, so I thought, I better pay attention. I actually learned a lot of new things including just one more reason to breastfeed your baby.....soy formula.

My disclaimer before I begin is that I first and foremost always recommend breastfeeding, and long term breastfeeding. I have 3 children and have never had to use formula. Even though I have always worked part-time, I have pumped breastmilk to feed my babies while I was working. It is very possible to avoid formula.

There is a recent study looking at the effects of soy protein on infants who are fed soy formulas. Soy contain phytoestrogens or plant estrogens that in the human body can mimic the hormone estrogen. While there may be some benefits to soy in the diet of an adult, there can also be negative effects from too much of these phytoestrogens. The amount of phytoestrogen an infant consumes in soy formula far exceeds the amount that if an adult consumed could cause sexual development and menstrual changes, autoimmune and thyroid dysfunction. Soy formula is no longer recommended for infants except in a few rare conditions.

Wow, I could not believe this. I also learned that soy allergies are just as common as milk allergies and that if you child is allergic to milk products chances are good that he or she is also allergic to soy. Of course the obvious alternative is breastfeeding, second to that would be partially hydrolyzed formulas such as Good Start and Gentlease. If your baby can't tolerate those then extremely hydrolyzed formulas would be the next choice, such as Nutramigen, Pregestamil, or Alimentum.

Here is the article:

AAP Updates Its Stance on Soy Formula

Many parents assume that formula plays a role in a baby's fussiness or colic — and that switching from cow's milk formula to soy-based formula (made from soybean proteins) will help. But that's not the case, says a new clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that revises the organization's 10-year-old position on soy formula.

Although many parents think soy formula is the obvious alternative for formula-fed babies who are allergic to cow's milk, the fact is that 10% to 14% of infants with a cow's milk allergy also have a soy protein allergy so a hypoallergenic formula should be considered, says the AAP. Hypoallergenic formulas should also be given to infants who have had a severe gastrointestinal reaction (abdominal pain with bloody diarrhea) to cow's milk, since anywhere from 30% to 64% of babies will also have a similar reaction to soy.

Considering that most babies in North America are drinking some kind of infant formula by 2 months old, with soy formula making up almost a quarter of U.S. formula sales, the pediatricians' group wants to make it clear that there are actually very few reasons to give babies soy formula instead of cow's milk formula — even if both contain the nutrients babies need.

According to the AAP, the only formula-bed babies who should get soy formula are those with:

  • parents who are strict vegans (vegetarians who don't eat red meat, poultry, fish, or any products that come from animals like eggs or dairy products)
  • a true diagnosis of lactose intolerance, which is actually rare in babies but more common among older kids and adults. Not the same thing as an allergy to cow's milk, lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the sugar lactose, found in cow's milk and cow's milk infant formulas. So, babies can have soy formula because it's "lactose free."
  • congenital galactosemia (in which babies lack the enzyme that converts galactose — one of two sugars found in lactose — into glucose, a sugar the body is able to use). If these children consume breast milk, cow's milk, or other dairy products, galactose can build up in the system and damage the body's cells and organs, leading to blindness, severe mental retardation, growth deficiency, and even death.)

The AAP report also addresses the concern about "phytoestrogens" found in soy formula, including a type of estrogen called "isoflavones" (found in legumes like peas and lentils, but occurring in the highest concentrations in soybeans). What they found: "there is no conclusive evidence from animal, adult human, or infant populations that dietary soy isoflavones may adversely affect human development, reproduction, or endocrine function."

But the AAP emphasizes that soy formula is not created or recommended for premature babies.

What This Means to You

All of the major health organizations agree that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies for at least the first 6 months. And, if both the mother and little one are willing, nursing should ideally continue — even after introducing solid foods — until the first birthday (and even beyond).

Although both cow's milk and soy-based formula do provide infants with the nutrients they need, breastfeeding is considered ideal because:

  • breast milk is much easier for babies to digest and naturally contains all the vitamins and minerals a newborn requires
  • studies show it can lower the occurrence or severity of diarrhea, and reduce the number of respiratory infections and ear infections
  • it may provide babies with protection from diabetes, eczema, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • research indicates that it decreases nursing moms' risk of type 2 diabetes and ovarian and breast cancer

But for mothers who can't breastfeed, or decide not to, iron-fortified infant formula is a good alternative.

For babies who are allergic to the protein in cow's milk formula (although many children typically outgrow a milk allergy by 2 or 3 years old), symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • rash
  • even some blood in the baby's stools

If a cow's milk allergy turns out to be the culprit behind your baby's discomfort, your doctor may recommend a hypoallergenic formula (an extensively hydrolyzed protein formula or an amino-acid-based formula that's easier to digest) not soy formula — since many babies can't tolerate the cow's milk or soy-based formulas.

However, some babies may not be allergic to cow's milk at all, but could instead have lactose intolerance, which tends to develop over time and may cause symptoms like:

  • excessive gas
  • abdominal swelling and pain
  • diarrhea

Babies also may become temporarily lactose intolerant after they get an intestinal infection. Though most infants do well when reintroduced to breast milk or cow's milk formula following a bout a diarrhea, in some instances the doctor may recommend using soy formula or lactose-free formula during recovery.

Before making the decision to switch formulas for any reason, be sure to talk to your doctor since these symptoms could indicate something else altogether. Plus, hypoallergenic formulas can cost up to three times more than standard cow's milk or soy formulas, another reason to make sure your baby has a true milk protein allergy before you make the switch.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2008

Source: "Use of Soy Protein-Based Formulas in Infant Feeding," Pediatrics, May 2008

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

new website

check out this site for resources:
www.naturalbabypros.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is hard not to notice pink ribbons and pink products every where you go. Even NFL players are wearing pink.

Breast cancer rates are steadily increasing, up 40% since the 1970's. Also, younger and younger women are getting breast cancer. After doing some research about what could be causing this rise in rate and decrease in age, I was surprised at the research I found. I also was looking for preventative measures, it is easy to say stop smoking to decrease your risk of lung cancer. But what about breast cancer? Childbearing and breastfeeding can decrease your risk of breast cancer, and the longer you breastfeed, the lower your risk.

I don't want to turn this blog into a debate on abortion, but there is a substantial link between abortion and breast cancer. As this is Breast cancer Awareness month, I wanted to bring some awareness to this important issue.

Please see the following link for an article on this relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/abc.html

Please also see this video:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pants don't fit anymore?

Try this neat idea...
instantbuttonforjeans.com
You can add a button, without sewing, to adjust the size of your pants. This could be great for pregnancy or post-partum.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Want a shorter labor......stand up!

Women who stand or walk during 1st stage labor have shorter labors. This was published in a recent study, but is something that has been known for a long, long time. We seem have forgotten this fact in the United States where most women labor lying down in hospital beds. Standing, walking and remaining upright during labor can shorten 1st stage by an hour.

The study:
http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD003934/frame.html

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Timing contractions

This website will let you time contractions, giving you the length of the contraction and their frequency. There is also an app for the iphone.

www.contractionmaster.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BFUI-BreastFeeding Under the Influence?

I came across this link. A woman was arrested after a call about a domestic disturbance, she was intoxicated and breastfeeding and was charged with child abuse/neglect.

http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposhared/story/Drunken-Breast-Feeding-Arrest-Touches-Off-Debate/PQzy7OZ5hk2FsiNfWwEgxQ.cspx

This brings up an interesting point, how much alcohol is too much if you are breastfeeding, or should you completely abstain?

The article does bring up the position of both LLL and AAP.

Here are some guidelines:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/breastfeeding-alcohol-advice-guidelines.html


I welcome any comments....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Natural Childbirth Class

New class series starting September 5th at 9am at Mountain Midwifery Center in Englewood, CO. See www.passion4birth.com for more details.

Vaginal Breech Birth?

Interesting link.....Canada's OB/GYN's are changing their recommendations for breech babies-a breech baby does not have to mean an automatic C-section!

http://www.breechbirth.ca/Welcome.html

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breastfeeding and Family Planning

As a follow up to my last two posts, I have one more before moving on to a new topic. I have encountered many women who have had trouble with breastfeeding their new baby due to their choice of birth control.

If you are breastfeeding you should not also be using artificial hormones to prevent another pregnancy. The hormones in birth control pills and IUDs can interfere with milk production as well as be passed through your milk and to your baby.

It also cannot be assumed that just because you are breastfeeding that you cannot also get pregnant. While breastfeeding can and does delay ovulation, there are conditions to lactational amenorrhea:
  • exclusive breastfeeding (no supplementing or pacifiers)
  • first 56 days post-partum
  • OR after the first 56 days if you have not had a period AND are also monitoring cervical mucus (this is because your body will often ovulate before you have your first period)
Women who are breastfeeding exclusively can have many months of infertility (and no periods) before their regular cycles return. What is often forgotten or misunderstood is that the body ovulates before it menstruates, so unless you are watching for the more subtle signs of ovulation you may miss them and become pregnant.

My solution to the above concerns is Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) or Natural Family Planning (NFP). This natural way of monitoring for fertility avoids hormones that can interfere with breastfeeding and can help the breastfeeding mother to know when her fertility is returning.

Please see earlier blog posts for more information.

Fertility Awareness to Avoid Pregnancy

In my last post, I discussed using Fertility awareness to achieve a pregnancy. The same techniques can be used to avoid pregnancy as well. "Fertility Awareness Method" (FAM) or "Natural Family Planning" (NFP) is a great way to monitor your fertility and to be aware of the way your body works.

If you want to use FAM to avoid a pregnancy then abstinence is required during the fertile period. This is much different from the old "rhythm" method, Cycle Beads, or other methods that rely only on counting days of your cycle. These methods presume that you have a regular 28 day cycle with ovulation on day 14. FAM monitors for signs of fertility on a daily basis, thus there are no presumptions or guessing.

On a personal note I have been using NFP for the past 5 years. I have been successful at both achieving pregnancy and avoiding it. I love that I'm not taking any artificial hormones (in the form of birth control pills, injections, or IUDs) into my body. I like knowing what is going on in my body. I feel a greater sense of "control" over my body functions as I know when I'm fertile and when I'm not. I know that my body is working properly and I'm not suppressing it with hormones and their side effects. While there are IUDs that do not have hormones, I would still rather not have the risks of infection, torn uterus, or ectopic pregnancy that go along with them.

I'm always surprised that with so many people these days that want to be environmentally friendly, eat organic or natural foods, and be "green" that more couples do not know about NFP or FAM. To me this seems like a great way to live naturally, to avoid taking chemicals into your body and to save money! FAM only requires paper and pencil. My husband and I have been very happy with this method of family planning and I love telling others about it too! It is healthy and natural.

www.mymonthlycycles.com

free online calendar and charting for fertility

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trying to get Pregnant?

Let's go back to the very beginning....getting pregnant! While we all know "the birds and the bees", many couples have trouble getting pregnant. There are many reasons for infertility which I won't address here. What I want to focus on is how to track your cycle and fertility to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

A woman's body cycles every 28 days (+ or - a few days). Her body gives signals as to where she is in her cycle. The menstrual flow is considered the beginning of the cycle, peak fertility occurs at ovulation (usually occurs in the middle of her cycle) and then the cycle wanes and the menstrual flow begins again. How do you know when you are ovulating? While there are tests (similar to pregnancy tests) that can tell you when your hormone levels are high, these can be expensive.

Your body gives another signal that it is preparing to ovulate and this is cervical mucus. You may have noticed a white vaginal discharge from time to time, this is your cervical mucus. Cervical mucus changes preceding ovulation to be more abundant, clear, stretchy, and lubricative. These changes in mucus can be observed and charted. While the egg that is ovulated only lives for 24 hours, sperm can live for up to 3-5 days inside a woman's body. The longer life of sperm gives a patch of fertility rather than just one 24 hour period.

The other sign that a woman has ovulated is basal body temperature. Daily temperatures are taken are recorded at the same time every morning. There is a temperature spike after ovulation occurs.

These two signs can be used together (or mucus alone) to help a woman determine the optimum time of ovulation and optimum fertility.

For more information:
www.creightonmodel.com
www.ccli.org

Friday, July 31, 2009

Impressive Statistics here in Denver

The following are statistics for Mountain Midwifery Center, in Dever. I'm impressed!

Mountain Midwifery Center
Statistics

September 2006-June 2009 (34 months)
Registered for care and reach term and/or risk-out (AP transfers, move, etc.)
462
Pre-Admit Intrapartum Referral: risk factor that is found before admission that makes birth center care inappropriate. Examples include malpresentation on admission, fever, prolonged prodromal labor, meconium stained fluid, rupture of membranes > 24 hours with no labor, hypertension.
24
Admitted to MMC in labor
438
Intrapartum transfers: risk factor such as failure to progress, meconium in active labor, fetal distress
43
Overall IP transfer rate 10%
Births in MMC
Year 1 67
Year 2 120
Year 3 227
Total 417
Cesarean Section Rate: c/s divided by birth center admission
6%
Postpartum transfers: PPH, retained placenta, laceration repair
9
Newborn transfers: all TTN
7
GBS rate 6%
Waterbirth rate 44%

Monday, July 27, 2009

Induction of labor

During each of my three pregnancies, I was most often asked, "When is your due date?" And, I have to admit, that I too ask pregnant Mamas that question all too often. We all know that due dates are just an estimate of when your baby will make his or her entrance into our world. If you are like me, after that first visit to your doctor or midwife you circle that magical date on the calendar and the next nine months revolve around that day. You start counting down the weeks until that day arrives, and so does your doctor. What all of us forget is that the "due date" is not a guarantee that your baby will be born on that day and not one minute past midnight. It might be better to think of having a "due week", as in "My baby is due the first week in January."

Having been pregnant three times, I also know the discomfort of those final weeks of pregnancy. I think my husband was ready to kick me out of the house if I asked him one more time, "When is this baby going to come?!" It is very tempting to ask your doctor or midwife to do something to make labor start. I think I tried almost every home remedy and old wives tale cure to induce labor, but each time my baby knew when was the perfect time for labor to begin. Alas, pregnancy does not last forever, even though I swore I would be pregnant forever (for the last two weeks or so of each pregnancy).

The uncomfortableness of the last weeks of pregnancy does serve a purpose (in my opinion). I remember in the early months of my first pregnancy fearing the actual labor and birth. I had heard so many horror stories about labor lasting for days and that the pain could be unbearable. My husband and I attended childbirth classes, which made me feel a little bit better, but I was still scared.....until those last few weeks when I became very uncomfortable. All of a sudden, I didn't care how long labor lasted or how painful it might be, I just wanted the baby out! I truly believe that the final weeks of pregnancy are uncomfortable to help change that fear of the unknown to a desire for labor to begin and a desire to finally be able to hold your baby.

What I don't understand is that after having acknowledged that (1) due dates are estimates (2) pregnancy does not last forever & (3) the last weeks of pregnancy, while uncomfortable help mothers to anticipate labor rather than fear it, why are so many labors induced?

Maybe there is another question to ask, "Are there any risks to labor induction?"
Yes, there are many. Inducing labor is asking your body to do something that it is not yet ready to do. Women whose labors are induced are more likely to have a C-section. Cervical softeners can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus which can lead to fetal distress (which in turn can lead to a Cesarean); rupturing membranes prematurely can cause umbilical cord prolapse, infection, and stronger contractions; and pitocin can also cause hyperstimulation of the uterus, and leads to more jaundice post-partum. To use a cliche, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Inducing labor for convenience leads to complications that can lead to surgical delivery.

Some of you may be thinking, "What if I go past my due date and the placenta gets old?" There is some concern that going too far "post dates" can lead to a post-mature baby and a placenta that stops working. This is a rare occurrance, and furthermore infant and maternal mortality rates have continued to increase despite all the advances in medical technology.

The bottom line: BE PATIENT! You're baby is worth the wait.

A related story:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/20197929/detail.html

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pregnant in Summer...

Summer is here! In Colorado it seems to have taken until July before it has really felt like summer. How can you cope with the heat while pregnant during the summer?

  • drink plenty of water-it is important that you do not become dehydrated
  • wear cotton other other natural fabrics and loose fitting clothing
  • stay indoors during the afternoon when temperature are highest- go for your walk or other outside activities in the early morning or in the evening
  • eat plenty of protein-this will help you avoid swelling
  • eat small frequent meals as your appetite may be small with the heat
  • salt food to taste-you will be sweating out some of this essential nutrient
  • go swimming-this is the ideal summer exercise for pregnant women
  • take a nap if you're tired
Remember to enjoy your pregnancy, while there are discomforts of being pregnant, you are doing it all for your baby! He or she is worth it!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

support birthing centers

click the link below to show your support for free-standing birth centers


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=XGO2ZxaqKojCOGBg_2fBVxWg_3d_3dsu

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our switch to Cloth Diapers

"Why would you use cloth diapers?'' I keep getting this question, since we decided to switch from disposables to cloth. When our first son was born we bought some cloth diapers and thought we were trying to be "green". We did not do our research and the brand that we bought was not very high quality. We used them for only a short while and then gave up.

Now I have 3 kids and at the time we made the switch, two were in diapers. We were spending about $80/month on diapers. I kept thinking, there has to be a better way. So I spent some time looking on the internet and talking to some other Moms who I knew used cloth diapers. We bought 5 to start because I was still a little unsure. This time we made the switch not only to be green, but to save a little green as well! It's been just over a month and we are loving cloth diapers!

We decided to buy "One size" diapers since we had two who would be using them. Again, at first I was skeptical, how could one diaper fit my 5 month old and 2 1/2 year old? These diapers have lots of snaps on the front of them to make them adjustable. They really will fit your baby until potty training time. They are also AIO or all-in-one diapers, meaning that you don't need a separate cover. They have a waterproof layer sewn on the outside.

The best part about switching, honestly isn't that we're saving hundreds of diapers from going into the landfill, or that we're saving money every month, BUT that my 2 year old hated them. That's right, he kept asking to wear the old disposables. He hated them so much he started using the toilet, and is now completely potty trained! He could feel that he was wet in the cloth diapers, and it motivated him to get to the potty.

Now, to take things one step further, we are using cloth baby wipes! At first, again, I didn't like this idea, but it only makes sense that as you are wiping baby, you want to put the dirty wipe inside the diaper. Now I can put the cloth wipe inside the diaper and throw the whole thing in the wash. (See older post with recipe for making your own cloth wipe solution).


Hospital, Birthing Center, Home?

Have you given thought to your options for the PLACE where you will give birth? Most women in the US give birth in a hospital. But have you considered your other options? A Birthing Center can be part of a hospital or freestanding. And there is always a home birth, just like great, great, great, great grandma! In the last few years the number of home and birth center births has been climbing. Why are more women choosing to have their birth outside of a hospital? Women who choose to have a home birth or a birthing center birth do so because they see birth as a natural and normal process. They feel that a hospital is a place to go if you are sick. By choosing a home birth or birthing center, you have more options for how your birth will take place, who will be there and the atmosphere you will be birthing in. A woman can choose to have a water birth, can choose to have her birth in a place where she feels safe and relaxed, and is free to move around and use many positions for birth. Is this safe? Yes. Midwives are trained to recognize signs of a problem and to intervene early before a problem arises. For instance, any woman who is seen as high risk during pregnancy will be referred to an OB/GYN and will probably have her birth in a hospital as this is the safest option for her. Freestanding birthing centers are usually located close to a hospital so that if a woman needs to be transferred during labor it can be done quickly and safely. The majority of births are normal and uncomplicated, it is truly the minority who need to have a hospital birth or a cesarean section, not the majority. Consider all your options, and visit www.motherfriendly.org for a list of 10 questions to ask your care provider.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Women's Fair & Pampering Day

We will have a table at the Women's Fair & Pampering Day at the Roxborough Marketplace on May 23 from 9am to 1 pm.
Please join us!
8357 N Rampart Range Rd, Littleton, CO 80125, Roxborough Marketplace

Monday, May 11, 2009

Working while Breastfeeding

Is is possible to keep up a good milk supply and work outside the home? The answer is, yes! I am currently breastfeeding my 3rd baby, and have worked part time outside the home with all 3 babies. My youngest is 6 months old now.

There are a few important things to remember: breastfeeding works on supply and demand. The more baby nurses the more milk you will have. Also the reverse is true: the less baby nurses, the less milk you will have. In order to be successful, you should not supplement with formula. Every feeding that you use formula is one less time that baby is nursing, and therefore will decrease your supply of milk. Before going back to work, pump at home to store up a supply of milk in your freezer. Date the bottles with a small sticker, so you can use the oldest milk first.

Once you are at work, you should try to pump as often as baby is feeding, usually every 3 hours. Again, the principles of supply and demand apply. If you are not pumping as often as baby would be nursing, you are decreasing your supply. It is also very helpful to nurse on demand at home and not put baby on a strict feeding schedule. Babies use "cluster feeding" to increase your milk supply, especially if they are having a growth spurt. It is best to follow baby's cues and nurse when he or she wants to nurse. Your baby will also learn to self regulate how much he or she eats.

Like I said, I'm nursing my third baby and we have never had to use formula, not once!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blog in transition

I'm creating a new website, so I'm transitioning this to be more of a typical blog. I will be updating this more regularly, and keeping my class info in my new website
www.passion4birth.com
hope you like the new format!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Make your own baby wipes

Recipe for baby wipes:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid baby soap
  • 2 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
You can use this in a spray bottle to wet dry cloth baby wipes or pour into a container of paper towels or cloth wipes. If you keep the wipes wet in a container, use them quickly because if they sit around for a long time, they could grow mold.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ask the right questions

"You won't find the right answers if you're not asking the right questions." Matthew Kelly.

The Bradley Method(R) will help you ask the right questions so that you find the right answers. Many couples are unaware of the choices they have for their labor and birth. My hope is to teach you many of those choices so that you can make informed decisions for yourself and for your baby.

Celebrate Earth Day...

Have a Natural Birth!

Monday, March 23, 2009

vitamin K

Is the Vitamin K Shot Right for Your Newborn?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with the vitamin K shot, and it may not be the best choice for every baby.
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/337901/is_the_vitamin_k_shot_right_for_your.html

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Relaxation Poem

Close your eyes.

Inhale, exhale.

Feel your belly rise & fall with your breath.

Imagine your baby, safe & secure within your body, within your love.

Your baby is warm, held tight in your womb, floating within you.

Now imagine yourself also warm & floating on water.

Feel the warmth in your belly & radiating through your body,

To your back,

Shoulders,

Down your arms

To your hands,

Back up to your neck ,

Face,

Jaw &

Head.

Now the warmth is moving down to your back again to your

Legs,

Calves,

Feet &

Toes.

You are still floating on gentle waves.

Smell the salt water.

Feel the warm water wash over your body.

Float with the waves,

Up & down.

Breathe deep.

Inhale & exhale.

Your contractions come like the waves,

Rising & falling.

Feel the strength of your womb as it massages your baby,

Like a hug encouraging him into our world.

Inhale & exhale.

Feel your belly rise & fall.

Float to the top of your contraction & gently come down with it.

Be conscious of your muscles,

Relax your body.

Float.

Let go to allow your uterus to do its work, massaging your baby,

Keeping him warm.

Your baby is floating within you.

Inhale & exhale.

Float.

Inhale

Exhale.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Can I have a Natual Childbirth?

YES!! YES!! YES!!
You can have a natural birth. Many women desire a natural birth, but are scared of the pain. The Bradley Method(R) teaches you how to work WITH your body, to relax, to have confidence and not fear. Many women, even first time Mom's have natural births. You don't need to have an abnormally high tolerance for pain, you just need to be willing to work hard for something that has great rewards! There is no better feeling that giving birth naturally and holding your just born baby, knowing your great accomplishment. This is a moment that you will never forget. Make it a pleasant memory.

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