Birth Stories: Juliet and Nora


 Juliet and Nora

While I was pregnant with my first daughter my pregnancy was anything but uneventful! As we got closer to the due date I could tell Juliet was not much of a mover, and I just had a feeling that there was more to the story than her just not wanting to move….I went in for my last ultrasound where they confirmed she was breech and the doctor gave me the option of turning her or a C-section. I was not seeing my “normal” doctor that day so I waited until the next week to discuss the options with me. Once I met with him at 37 weeks he informed me that turning her would not necessarily work, and would be very painful, once again my body told me not to go that route and at 39 weeks I had a cesarean section and my beautiful daughter … Now here comes the Fun part! I had never had any type of surgery before, first time with an I.V., first time in the hospital! My anesthesiologist had a student, who was very nice and much friendlier than the doctor, so I didn’t argue nor did I feel that I had a choice in the situation so I went with it. Nice girl, but after 7 pokes, YES 7 she finally got it, now I didn’t known that she was doing it “wrong” until the fourth poke…the nurses started to get a little closer, hold a little tighter, and talk a little nicer. Once she hit the spot I swore I was paralyzed. I then got a headache, sick to my stomach… The OR got very quiet and I knew something was going on, after a lot of tugging, nurses literally jumping on my stomach, Juliet was born, healthy and off with daddy! I then got stitched back together and off to recover, my doctor stopped by and informed me that Juliet had a short cord, and it was good that we didn’t try to turn her we could have not only lost her! They probably would have lost me too!!!

Even after my negative experiences I was still ok with having a C-section the second pregnancy. I signed a paper stating I would have to have a C-section the second time around if I wanted to have her at the same hospital. So throughout my second pregnancy I just knew what was at the end, but was going to do things a little different this time. So at 39 weeks I scheduled to deliver Nora, this time I asked more questions when speaking with the anesthesiologist told him my fears, and concerns from last time. He seemed to be on the ball, well then we got into the O.R…. It felt like forever for the actual “poking” to take place, things seemed slower this time, which not always a bad thing! After medicated, the sugary began. I felt very numb and comfortable this time, and the surgery went fine. After I went into the recovery room, I did not get to hold Nora I became so sick I couldn’t even move. Even after I was transferred back to my room I was vomiting sick and just plan out of it. I was unable to breast feed, I was unable to sit…I could barely move when Juliet came to meet her baby sister…I did my best for her but I was a mess. I asked my nurse why I was so sick and why Nora wasn’t crying or awake, she said it was the medication and it was affecting Nora also. I felt very sad about this since I had cut everything out to have a healthy baby… (even lunch meat) I was over the top! I am glad this was not my first C-section because I wouldn’t have wanted one a second time!

I have to say I loved my doctor, the hospital took care of us and even though it is not a fairy tale story! It is my story, and I have two beautiful daughters and I would do it all over again to have them here healthy and safe!


Cribs to fall in love with…


WOW. 10 most outrageous baby cribs: just posted Outrageous Cribs and they are definately outrageous in style and in price.  Some of these cribs go up to $20,000 and I’m guessing that is minus the bedding…not sure on the details.  I saved a few of my favorites but check out the link above to view them all.  They range from a crazy acrylic bed which looks like the mattress is floating, to a crib that is marked fragile and looks similar to a box, to the fancy pantsy carriage cribs.  I chose to post the more victorian style cribs.  Oh, how much fun I could have with a bunch of money that had no purpose.  Unfortunately for style sake I have a very strict sense of budgeting and practicality.    It’s fun to dream though, right?

Birth Story: Baby Joshua


I asked a lot of questions about labor from girlfriends since my mother and sister both had c-sections due to breech presentation with their first babies. I had heard that sometimes the speed and difficulty of labor runs in families, but since they weren’t able to offer any information on contractions, etc…. I even asked my doctor if breech presentation ran in families in her experience where it might become more likely for me. She said probably not. Well…my son was head down towards the end like he was supposed to be and 2 weeks before my due date at my appointment she thought maybe he had flipped butt first. She recommended going to get an ultrasound the first of the week (I think it was Friday) to confirm, then schedule a c-section for the end of that week if necessary. I had read about tricks to flip the baby using positions or manual manipulation, but was not dead-set against a c-section if it was recommended by the doctor.

On that Monday the ultrasound confirmed he had flipped (so maybe that was the single “contraction” I had the other morning when I thought I might have finally experienced a Braxton-Hicks). Man! We had almost made it to the end! So maybe it does have a family component….

The next day I was babysitting my nephew and talking with my husband who had stopped home from work for a quick lunch. We were discussing the pros and cons of getting to plan the date of birth as far as using the fewest days of vacation for him to get the longest time off, etc. I was a little bummed about not getting to experience the excitement of my water breaking and the adrenaline of rushing to the hospital. My husband reminded me that that exciting moment might end up being at 3 am and I was a little less bummed. During this conversation I walked over to sit on the couch and thought I had an “accident”. Most pregnant women know this is not uncommon when you laugh or sneeze, but I had done neither. So I went to the restroom and there was more and then I called to my husband that I think my water broke. He kept asking if I was sure, which I wasn’t at first, but then I started mentally going through the checklist of the things I had read to watch for and then I was sure.

I just couldn’t stop smiling as we gathered our bags together, called his work, and called my mom to let her know we were dropping off my nephew and headed to the hospital. Bring on the adrenaline and excitement! Felt weird sitting on towels in the car on the way there (how much fluid is there?) but was excited to feel a few little contractions on the way as another confirmation that it was the real thing. When we were checked in and filled everyone in about the recent breech discovery, they wanted to confirm that again and had to do a lab test to confirm I was indeed in labor. I was told since I just had lunch they were going to have to wait and hour or two to do a c-section, which sounded okay because that would give our families some time to get there. The contractions were getting stronger, but just real bad cramps at this point. My doctor came in and checked me, then sat down to discuss c-section a little more since we were early and hadn’t more than briefly touched on it at my appointment the last week. She told me about how they can try to turn the baby, how successful that normally is and what it feels like (not comfortable), etc. When I told her I was okay with a c-section, she said she was relieved since most attempts are not successful and especially with it being my first baby a breech delivery would probably be very difficult. She also told me that I had the option of staples or stitches-she always does stitches because the scarring is usually less and they dissolve on their own. I was also was informed that most hospitals/doctors do staples because it takes about half the time and is therefore cheaper. Um, yes, stitches, please. She checked me again and I was dilating and progressing faster than they thought, so she upped the schedule and said I’d be in surgery in about half an hour.

I was grateful I had listened to the description of epidurals in our classes, and everything went just as described with who was there, what they’d tell me and what I would be able to feel. It felt like a long time before they held my little guy up for me to see right after, then they bundled him up and daddy got to hold him right by me as they started to patch me up. An even 8 pounds-so much for being a week early (our own figures were right all along!) ! I was coherent and could tell what was going on, although recovery was a little groggy (and a little nauseous) for the next half hour or so. Yes, that is precious bonding time, but the babe was with daddy and family and was in good hands. They made sure I was comfortable and gave me some anti-nausea medicine, anti-itch meds (the epidural can cause this reaction I guess) and pain meds that would not interfere with breastfeeding, then rolled me down to my room. And ladies-take advantage of the nursery! Of course when my husband and I were awake, he was with us in our room, but in the middle of the night while baby is sleeping, try to sleep too. My nurses were excellent in bringing him down whenever he was hungry, but not disturbing us if a diaper was all that needed fixing. They would come back after a bit to see if nursing was going okay, and if he was done, and then cuddle him back to bed. After the first night they didn’t check in as often which gave us some privacy, or they would just leave him to snooze with me until the next feeding.

The lactation nurse was very helpful the next day, and I was thankful the breastfeeding was going smoothly. I was also glad my husband was there to listen to her instructions too so he could help me remember and help move the baby into position. At first the pillows and boppies and stools are a lot to get arranged correctly when you are still figuring out what position works best. I had heard stories about other nurses being a little too helpful or intrusive, but mine were nice and asked before they started manhandling anything or showing me a technique that was touchy-feely. Another recommendation-make sure you go to the lactation nurse as recommended after discharge (maybe a week or two after?). It’s nice to hear confirmation that your baby is growing well and eating enough and her tips to help with the engorgement when your nipples are getting raw were way helpful. When they tell you you’ll know when your milk officially “comes in” they aren’t kidding! My trick I’ll for sure use next time is using those frozen slushy treats (all hooked together in plastic tubes) to help cool those milk-makers off for that 48 hours (or so) that is pretty uncomfortable.

So now my little guy is 1 year old and we are expecting number 2 this fall, and look forward to another good experience- whether c-section or natural this time I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

C-Sections on the rise: some of the reasons behind those stats

 I actually thought the elective c-sections rate would have been higher.  I do think many of the doctor recommended c-sections could be preventable depending on many aspects of pregnancy including diet, exercize, your practitioner, and lifestyle choices.  I do think women who want a natural birth should advocate for themselves and know they can ask questions and seek second opinions…and third opinions.  It’s okay to think the doctor might be wrong.  However, with all that said, some births are safer with medical intervention such as a c-section so I do not want to discredit them entirely.  I tend to believe that doctors prefer c-sections because they are timely and efficient.  I also think that women today are so fearful of childbirth pain that they are scared into thinking a c-section will eliminate those pains.   I am more fearful of my body being cut open and put back together…that makes me feel to vulnerable.  To each there own.  Knowledge is power so I say read as much as you can about all your options and choose what is best for you and your family. 

Why More Moms are Having C-Sections

Posted by heatherturgeon on June 22nd, 2011 at 2:18 pm
4070989885 fde37297c6 300x225 Why More Moms are Having C SectionsThe reasons for more c sections

In an early release article in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale researchers report the results of a new, large study examining the rise in c-section rates in the U.S.

After examining records from over 32,000 births, the researchers found that the c-section rate went from 26% in 2003 to 36.5% in 2009. The lowest rates are in Utah, highest in New Jersey.

Half of the rise was attributable to a rise in second-time cesarean births, since most doctors and hospitals encourage moms who have had a c-section before to use the method in subsequent births.

But the other 50% resulted from a rise in first-time cesareans. When the researchers looked into the reasons doctors do c-sections, they found that 32% were due to “nonreassuring fetal status,” for example, an abnormal heart rate during labor.

Elective c-sections have been blamed for the increase before, so in this study, what percentage of c-sections were at the request of the mom?


Maternal request accounted for 8% of the increase in c-sections since 2001. Other reasons included labor arrest disorders (18%), multiple babies (16%), suspected macrosomia (10%), preeclampsia (10%), and maternal-fetal conditions (5%).

The study found that objective reasons for c-sections, like placenta previa and breech babies stayed stable over time, but c-sections for more subjective reasons, like fetal distress, or slow labor have gone up over the years.

Also interesting is that more doctors do c-sections now because they suspect big babies, or because of multiple births, when the researchers say these conditions have been “relatively stable” in the population over recent years.

So doctors are more often making the call to do a c-section on their subjective opinion when things start to slow down, baby goes into distress, or the baby is judged to be too big.

Is that a good thing? Consider the fact that the infant mortality rate hasn’t gone down since 2001.

Coconut Oil could help slim your waistline

Dr. Mercola explains the benefits of coconut oil vs. soybean oil for reducing your waistline and many other health interests.  Very interesting.


The Amazing Oil That Trims Women’s Waistlines

Posted By Dr. Mercola | June 22 2011 |

A study has shown that dietary supplementation with coconut oil may result in a reduction in waist circumference and other benefits.

A randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 40 women divided them into two groups — one that received daily dietary supplements of soybean oil (group S) and another than received a similar amount of coconut oil (group C). Both groups were instructed to follow a balanced hypocaloric diet and to walk for 50 minutes each day.

According to the study,

“[After one week,] only group C exhibited a reduction in [waist circumference] … Group S presented an increase … in total cholesterol, LDL and LDL:HDL ratio, whilst HDL diminished … Such alterations were not observed in group C. It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.”


Green Med Info
Lipids July 2009;44(7):593-601

This is a great example of how many common theories on nutrition can be seriously mistaken. Saturated fat has been wrongfully vilified as the cause of high cholesterol and heart disease for the last 60 years, when in fact the converse was true all along.

The result of people following the misguided advice to replace saturated fats (like coconut oil) with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean oil) is reflected in the statistics for heart disease today. Prior to 1920, coronary artery disease was actually a rarity. In the 1950’s, rates began to rise in step with the increased consumption of hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fat), which replaced saturated fats like butter and lard that had been the norm in previous decades…

Today, soybean oil makes up 68 percent of the vegetable oils and fats consumed by Americans.

Double-Blind Clinical Trial Puts Coconut- versus Soybean Oil to the Test

In the featured 12-week long study, researchers evaluated the effects of coconut oil and soybean oil on the biochemical profiles and waist circumference on 40 obese women, aged 20-40. Belly fat, known as visceral fat, is the type of fat linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among many other chronic diseases.

Divided into two groups of 20 participants each, the women received a daily supplement of 30ml (about two tablespoons) of either soybean oil or coconut oil. They also followed a balanced low-calorie diet, and walked for 50 minutes per day. The end result?

The coconut oil group presented:

  • Increased levels of HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Decreased LDL/HDL ratio
  • Reduced waist circumference/abdominal obesity

The soybean oil group presented:

  • Increased total cholesterol
  • Increased LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Increased LDL/HDL ratio
  • Decreased HDL (good cholesterol)
  • No reduction in waist circumference/abdominal obesity

The authors concluded:

“It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia [an abnormal amount of cholesterol and/or fat in your blood] and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.”

This is exactly what I’ve been writing about for the last 15 years, and if you’ve been a long-time reader of this newsletter, you already knew that these kinds of results were to be expected.

The Truth about Soybean Oil

Polyunsaturated fats (soybean- and other vegetable oils) tend to go rancid (become oxidized) during cooking and processing, and once this happens, the free radicals created can wreak havoc in your body, attacking cell membranes and damaging DNA/RNA strands. Arterial plaque is the result of free radical damage in your blood vessels, which is the hallmark of cardiovascular- and heart disease.

Excess consumption of polyunsaturated fats has also been linked to other diseases and health problems, including:

Increased cancer risk Immune system dysfunction Liver and lung damage Damage to reproductive organs
Digestive disorders Reduced learning ability Stunted growth Weight gain

Several years ago, in response to the increased demand to reduce trans fats in food, and the mandatory labeling of trans fats, the food industry began switching over to a modified soybean oil from so-called ‘low linolenic soybeans.’ This low-linolenic oil does not require hydrogenation, a process that increases shelf life and flavor stability, but also creates trans-fat. How much of the food supply now contains this low-linolenic type of soybean oil is unknown, but I think it’s fair to guess that the prevalence would be quite high.

However, please do not be fooled, because these so-called “healthier” vegetable oils are still a disastrous choice for most people, as they can significantly distort the sensitive omega-6/omega-3 ratio that controls many delicate biochemical pathways, resulting in accelerating many chronic degenerative diseases.

Besides this traditionally-bred ‘low-lin’ soybean, over 90 percent of all soy, corn, and canola oils are made from genetically engineered seeds created to withstand otherwise lethal doses of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, which is yet another reason to steer clear of these harmful vegetable oils.

These genetically modified (GM) foods pose enormous hazards to human health, and according to Dr. Joseph Hibbeln at the National Institutes of Health, it’s estimated that soybeans, usually in the form of oil, account for 10 percent of the average person’s total calories in the United States! This is a double-whammy of bad news, because not only is most of this soy bean oil genetically modified, it’s also an unhealthy fat in and of itself, even if it’s organic, as you can see by the results of the featured study above.

Why Coconut Oil is “Special” Among Saturated Fats

Now on to coconut oil; a rare gem among saturated fats, with numerous health benefits. First, did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30-60 percent of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease?

Coconut oil can be helpful for pregnant women, nursing moms, the elderly, those concerned about digestive health, athletes (even weekend warriors), and those of you who just want to enhance your overall health. One of the explanations for its broad health applications is because it’s rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity.

Its medium chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT’s), also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, is another antimicrobial component.

Coconut oil is also excellent for your thyroid. Additionally, a very exciting and recent discovery is that coconut oil may even serve as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, as MCT’s are also a primary source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia.

Previous Studies Confirm: Coconut Oil Helpful for Fat Loss

Going back to the results in the featured study for a moment, previous studies have also found that the medium chain fatty acids (MCT’s) found in coconut oil promote weight loss, and are helpful for shedding adipose fat in particular. One such study showed that rats fed long chain fatty acids (LCTs, found in vegetable oils) stored body fat, while rats fed MCTs (found in coconut oil) reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Specifically, MCT’s were found to down-regulate the expression of adipogenic genes.

Another 2003 study found that MCT’s increased energy expenditure and decreased adiposity in overweight men—a similar finding as in the study above. Here, 24 overweight men consumed diets rich in either MCT or LCT for 28 days, and those consuming MCTs lost more weight and had more energy than those consuming LCTs (in this case olive oil, as opposed to soy bean oil).

Coconut Oil and Cholesterol

Most of the conventional advice relating to coconut oil and cholesterol are false and misleading. Coconut oil has been repeatedly shown to be beneficial rather than detrimental on cholesterol levels and heart health. As explained in a previous article written by Ray Pete, it’s been clearly established for over 80 years now that suppression of the thyroid raises serum cholesterol (and increases mortality from infections, cancer, and heart disease), while restoring the thyroid hormone brings cholesterol down to normal.

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil does both; it balances your thyroid and normalizes your cholesterol levels.

“As far as the evidence goes… coconut oil, added regularly to a balanced diet, lowers cholesterol to normal by promoting its conversion into pregnenolone,” he writes. “Coconut-eating cultures in the tropics have consistently lower cholesterol than people in the U.S.”

Mary Enig with the Weston A Price Foundation has also written at length about the beneficial effects of coconut oil on heart health and cholesterol levels.

Are You Ready to Make the Switch?

Generally speaking, foods that are likely to contain health-harming trans fats include deep-fried foods, processed baked goods, snack foods and processed foods, including fast foods. Aside from soybean oil, other varieties to avoid include corn and canola oil, so make sure to read the labels when shopping. If you want to avoid dangerous fats of all kinds, your best bet is to eliminate processed foods from your diet. From there, use these tips to make sure you’re eating the right fats for your health:

  • Use organic coconut oil for all your cooking needs. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits. Make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients.
  • Use organic butter (preferably made from raw milk) instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.
  • Be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

Following my comprehensive nutrition plan will also automatically reduce your trans-fat intake, as it will give you a guide to focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food.

Popular Moisturizer linked to tumors…eek!

This Popular Moisturizer Applied to Mice for 17 Weeks Got 69% More Tumors

Posted By Dr. Mercola | June 21 2011 | 46,456views

skin cancer risk from moisturizersA study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk.

Irradiated mice who were treated with the moisturizers exhibited a significant increase in their rate of tumor formation and increase in tumor size per mouse. Treatment of the mice with Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream for 17 weeks increased the total number of histologically characterized tumors by 69 percent.

According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:

“The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications of moisturizing creams … in humans.”

This also applies to tanning oils and lotions—which many of you may be using right now with summer in full swing—as well as the baby oil or lotion that many parents unwittingly slather on their babies.

Reason #482 Why You Should Throw “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” Out The Window

Posted by ceridwen on June 8th, 2011 at 12:41 pm
wte Reason #482 Why You Should Throw What To Expect When Youre Expecting Out The WindowWhat To Freak Out About When You’re Expecting

I’ve long resigned myself to the fact that What To Expect When You’re Expecting is basically a sh*t sandwich we all have to take a bite of, but every now and then I want to stand up and say, THROW THIS BOOK OUT THE WINDOW!

Yesterday, per chance, I opened the bestseller for the first time in years. And I was thrown right back by the very first page. If you scan it quickly these are the words and phrases you might catch, as they’re all in bold:


Diagnosing pregnancy

The Blood Test

The Medical Exam…

There’s the Vitamin Reminder where you’re told to “be sure” to take your vitamins. Yikes! Hope it’s not too late.

The one benign headline on the page is “The Home Pregnancy Test” but this segment includes lines like this: “The major drawback with the home pregnancy tests is that if a test produces a false negative and you actually are pregnant, you may postpone seeing a practitioner and taking appropriate care of yourself.” (My italics).

Welcome to pregnancy.

Do not trust yourself. Do not trust your body, manage it. You need exams, tests and diagnosis. You are sick and in need of immediate MEDICAL ATTENTION.

(Meanwhile, you go to the doctor on Day One and she’s like, What are you doing here? Call me in six weeks.)

The catatonic mom on the quilted cover of this pregnancy guide has been ushering us through an over-medicalized birth culture for decades now. I believe an earlier edition equated eating cake with smoking crack. This may have been a part of the famous “best odds” diet, a nutrition program that made expectant mothers feel like they were rotting fetal brains if they couldn’t stomach 5 servings of leafy greens a day. I once wound up in the hospital, strapped to monitors, after reading the section on counting fetal kicks. Holy cow, don’t even look at that page. My doctor thought I’d lost my mind when I showed up thinking the baby was dead. And then I told her I had been reading What To Expect and she sighed. Even doctors– who are so blatantly worshiped by this nerve-wracking best-seller– often find the book to be completely counterproductive for their patients. The message of the (crucial!) importance of getting prenatal care does not have to be delivered with the message that disaster is imminent.

OK. Vent over. But seriously, throw the book out the window. (The movie version is coming out soon. I’m assuming it will be of the horror genre.)

Any reasons you’d like to throw this book out the window? I’m all ears.

And PS, here’s a previous rant: What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor You’re Whole Family Is Dying.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is Dying

Retrieved from:

This is pretty extreme but makes some good points.


What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is Dying

Posted by ceridwen on October 29th, 2010 at 10:03 am

WTE 199x300 What To Expect When Youre Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is DyingMira Jacobs writes, in her hilarious piece about the adaptation of best-selling pregnancy bible, What To Expect When You’re Expecting for the big screen, that the concept seems more appropriate for the “horror” genre than the romantic comedy. She and her husband (and many others) found the book utterly frightening:

“Maybe it was the tone—dry and authoritative, with a hint of the-worst-is-yet-to-come. Maybe it was the connection of what seemed like mild symptoms to horrible your-fetus-is-melting scenarios. Maybe it was the scary picture of the sexless pregnant woman on the front cover, wearing the cardigan of “I’ve given up entirely.” Whatever the reason, WTEWYE made us more agitated, and paralyzed, and useless than any other new parent book on the block. Late in my pregnancy, my husband even renamed it Call the Doctor, You’re Whole Family is Dying.”

Now that’s a movie I’d like to see. Can they get the authors of the Scream franchise on board? Skeet Ulrich as the obstetrician? Neve Campbell as the now 40-odd “mature age mother” expecting her first baby and experiencing EVERY SINGLE nightmare scenario outlined in What To Expect? Or maybe it could be darker and spookier, a kind of Rosemary’s Baby where a woman is haunted not by her neighbors and devil spawn but by the contents of a book. Maybe that catatonic cardigan-wearing mommy on the rocking chair comes to life! OMG, the mind reels.

Let’s hope Tina Fey, Samantha Bee or some other clever mother gets a go at the script. There’s so much in this book that could make for great drama, but please, make the Halloween release that it was meant to be.

And PS, thanks for the shout-out Mira. She writes that she prefers From The Hips, the pregnancy and birth book I co-authored. This is quite heartwarming as one of the big reasons Rebecca and I wrote this book was to provide what we hoped would be a much needed antidote to What To Expect.

The Midwives of London: the Waterbirth of Baby Diana

Retrieved from:
This is very similar to what I hope I can do with my second pregnancy/birth.  I would love to have a water birth.

The Midwives of London: the Waterbirth of Baby Diana

Posted on June 9th, 2011 by Melanie, Web Editor | | Find Out More About Melanie, Web Editor |

Thank you to Jennifer Barton for this guest post.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was incredibly excited. And absolutely petrified. In addition to the big, scary questions – Is labor as painful as they say? Am I going to be a capable parent? – I had another worry.

Even though I’m from New York, I live in the United Kingdom. I would be having my baby in London, under a health system I didn’t know or understand.

This meant free healthcare throughout pregnancy (score!) and also midwife-led care, unless I developed complications or had a problematic labor. I was definitely worried about this non-interventionist approach in the beginning. I had always assumed I’d spend my pregnancy surrounded by doctors, ready to administer a shot of anything I needed – just in case.

I look back at that scared person who felt insecure and incapable of delivering a child and I can’t help but smile at the way things ended up. I never had to see a doctor during pregnancy and I never wanted or needed to. I ended up having a water birth with no intervention other than Entonox (gas and air). It was without a doubt the most intense and empowering experience of my life, and I have never felt happier or more fulfilled.

How did I go from natural birth skeptic to Spiritual Midwifery-convert? It was all thanks to my midwives. I registered with a caseload midwife team which meant that a group of midwives in my area were responsible for my prenatal, delivery and postnatal care. Two midwives were assigned to me and they were calming, gentle, confidence-inspiring and stern (when necessary!). I always had the utmost confidence that my baby and I were in the best of hands.

One of the brilliant aspects of the UK healthcare system is that many hospitals are equipped with birthing centers with pools. It was the ideal scenario for someone like me, who was determined to have a water birth but didn’t want to give birth at home. I understood that complications of any kind would mean that my dreams of water birth would sink, but as soon as I conquered my fear of laboring naturally (thanks in part to pregnancy yoga and prenatal childbirth classes), I felt I could cope with any given scenario.

As my due date approached, I frantically devoured pineapples in an attempt to get things moving (I was terrified of having to be induced since it seemed that often led to unnecessary intervention – how things change!) and I was rewarded for my efforts when my water broke at exactly midnight on my due date.

I labored through the night and when my midwife arrived in the morning and examined me I was told that I was 9 cm dilated and would only make it to the hospital in time if I took an ambulance. When I arrived, things had slowed down enough so that there was time to fill up the pool.

I felt almost relaxed as I sunk into the warm water and my midwife pressed cold compresses to my forehead and used lavender oil to help soothe me during contractions. Even when I shrieked and moaned and thought I wasn’t capable of going through with it, she helped me stay focused and positive.

After 12 hours of labor, my precious baby girl, Diana, was born, weighing 8 lbs, 8 oz. I got to hold her straightaway (even as I delivered the placenta, out of the pool) and because there hadn’t been any tearing or complications, I was never separated from her for a moment.

We went home later that night, completely euphoric. And after a sleepless (and scary) first night with my newborn, the next day, my other midwife was back to check in on me. They both came back to examine me and baby for the next several weeks, until I was confident with breastfeeding and Diana had regained her birth weight. And they were a phone call away when I had my first bout of mastitis at 8 weeks.

We’re still in touch. Last month – nine months after giving birth – I saw them at a reunion party they had for all of the mothers whose babies they delivered.

The IVs and injections and doctors I had once expected to be part and parcel of my birthing process turned out to be unnecessary, and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing experience. And if I am lucky enough to get pregnant a second time, there’s no question that I’ll be turning to my midwives once again.

Jennifer Barton is a freelance writer based in London who writes on pregnancy and birth for She also blogs on the (mis)adventures of life with a baby, The Newborn Diaries, on ParentDish UK. Follow her musings on motherhood on Twitter @JenBNYC.

Is Breastfeeding a Medical Issue?


While I am not supportive of breastfeeding being considered a medical issue I do support that breastfeeding assistance should be covered by insurance.  Breastfeeding can be difficult for many women and they often abandon their efforts if they do not have a good support system and realize that it is not a failure on their part.  A good lactation consultant can make a world of difference as to whether a woman is comfortable feeding their child, whether it is in private or public.  Speaking of public breastfeeding, I am so irritated and frustrated that people do not realize that babies do need to eat too and as long as the mother is discrete it should not be an issue for anyone.  Helloooo, this is a natural process and the healthiest option for feeding our children.

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Is Breastfeeding a Medical Issue?

Posted by Christie Haskell

on June 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I read a news story recently where a breastfeeding support and resource center called Upper Breast Side in NYC was engaged in a battle over the right to merely exist. They fought the local board over a sidewalk, then the front door, and now they’re battling because in addition to the breastfeeding medical counseling they provide — what the building is zoned for — they’re being told they’re trying to run retail by selling breastfeeding supplies.

They offers tons of services, from a latch-on clinic, pumping help, and yes, they sell breastfeeding supplies. They’re no more trying to “hide” a retail business under the guise of a community help center than a dermatologist office trying to “hide” a retail business in which they sell lotions and creams.

But the biggest issue here is the fact that breastfeeding isn’t treated like an actual medical issue, and it absolutely is.

You can go to the dermatologist, like I said, and meet up with a medical professional who can give you assistance with skin care, who can recommend (and often sell) you products, who also has products given to him by representatives that he can give out samples of or sell as well. You can pay out of pocket, or even have insurance cover your visits if you really have a problem that requires their medical expertise.

And I’m not talking about the more complex issues that dermatologists handle, by the way, such as melanomas. I’m talking about even something like uncontrolled acne, advice on ridding of blackheads, or how to reduce the appearance of the scar where you accidentally cut your hand a couple months ago.

Breastfeeding assistance usually isn’t covered by any insurance, and the lactation consultants in hospitals often have very little lactation training. Why aren’t we treating the certified, trained lactation consultants the same way we treat any other medical professional? Heck, some insurances are covering chiropractic and acupuncture which are still considered by some to be questionable — there’s nothing questionable about the affect breastfeeding has on the mother AND baby — not doing so has health, ecological, and even some psychological ramifications for the rest of baby and mom’s lives. We need to have GOOD, trained lactation consultants at least as accessible as Viagra, for god’s sake.

With the government pushing so much to have women breastfeed put not providing them any way to do it and in fact putting up Institutional Booby Traps that can prevent them from succeeding, it’s no surprise our rates are so low, is it? A building with trained lactation consultants, breastfeeding workshops, pumps and help using them, with nursing bras and pillows and breastfeeding books should be treated like a medical office. AND should be covered by insurance, not accused of trying to just hide a mommy boutique under the “guise of help.”

Imagine if Mom has her baby in the hospital, chooses to breastfeed, and then has a one week postpartum appointment at the lactation consultant’s office, covered by insurance. How many moms would that help?

Do you think treating breastfeeding more like any other health profession would help boost rates?

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