30 July 2010

take that, lame study on home birth dangers!

Home birth has been in the media a lot lately due to a recent study saying that although home birth is safe for low-risk moms, babies born at home had a 3x greater mortality rate. But how did they get that number? The American College of Nurse-Midwives' (ACNM response is great at picking apart the findings...bottom-line, it was a poorly done compilation.

In part, ACNM president, Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN, says the study is flawed because,
They included studies that did not distinguish between planned and unplanned home births. For example, if you had planned a hospital birth, but your labor progressed so quickly that you gave birth before you even made it to the hospital, then you wouldn’t have had a skilled attendant or necessary resources present.

In contrast, a planned home birth means that the woman and her health care provider have determined she is healthy, at low risk for complications, and has the necessary resources in place for a safe birth. By combining the two types of home births, the findings are limited.

Second, a meta-analysis is a way of combining the results of many studies. But in this case, there seems to be no clear reason as to which studies they included versus those they excluded. In fact, they actually did not include the best and by far largest study that's been done—which did not find a higher neonatal mortality rate.

13 July 2010

Welcome Lilianna Sarah

Born Monday, 7/12/10 at 11:06pm, 7lbs even and 19' long.

You heard about the scheduled induction and decided to head out on your own - and when you did, man did you fly...so much so that I had to help the doctor catch you! Your momma was a rock star and your daddy rock solid ...enjoy the pictures of her examining you herself, complete with stethoscope and him cutting the cord - priceless. You are blessed with a wonderful family: auntie, uncles, grandparents and big dog brother, Whiskey Bob, who helped doula you throughout labor.

Welcome to the world, Lilianna!

06 July 2010

sling it good!

be sure to watch until the end!

04 July 2010

Happy Internal Activist Day

Happy Independence Day!

I went to yoga this morning and the talk at the start of class was about freedom and what that means. It so perfectly meshed with the choices we make around birth and life. Apologies for the ramble that is to come...I'm choosing (ha!) not to edit very much because that is my right! ;-)

I think we mostly think of that "Yahoo! I'm free!! School's out for summer!!" kind of feeling when we think about freedom. Other times we feel a lack of freedom and might say, "I'd love to, but my hands are tied". These can both be valid, but you never really have one without the other...with freedom comes responsibility. If we are free to choose, then we acknowledge that we are in charge at least of the things we are choosing. We always have freedoms if we choose to see them and take them on, even if those freedoms are small. Like in yoga, creating alignment in life, birth, death - it's a choice.

Many times we create the construct for ourselves that we have no choice because to do otherwise means that we have to take action. If someone is 39 weeks pregnant and knows deep down that she is not on the same page as her care provider, she might say she has no option but to hope for the best. Not true (unless she allows it to be). She might not have every choice - not all other providers will want to take her on, or maybe her insurance limits her choices, she could go into labor before switching. BUT, she does have a choice whether to continue in the relationship that is not working for her without entertaining her other options. She can try on other care providers for size...in fact, she might learn that the care provider she wanted to leave now may feel like the best choice after all...and then she CHOOSES to stay with an open heart, rather then stay because she feels she has no other option. That's powerful.

But I get it...feeling like someone else is in charge and calling the shots is appealing on a certain level. My mom is very ill and part of me just wants to sit back and let others tell us what to do...what is the best course of action, what will be easiest. I do get it on a deep level. And yet, I hope that I will find the courage to proceed with awareness, even if it is frightening or overwhelming. I know I have options, freedoms...and that they come with a price.

Ultimately, freedom is a good thing. So even if your only bit of freedom (it feels like) is to take three deep and relaxing breaths right at this moment, choose to do so, knowing that you are doing what you can. My yoga teacher would call this "internal activism" (I think! - I may be totally misinterpreting...) .
Happy Independence Day.
Happy Internal Activist Day too.

01 July 2010

seeking doula in Portland, ME

This is for a friend of a client...due around 8/18...