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NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY!

Midwife or Doctor?

Many pregnant women ask this question and the answer is not an easy one.

Let’s face it, we have all heard the ‘horror story’ labor and delivery tales. They are very frightening to the first time mom-to-be. It is a wonder any woman who has heard one of these stories chooses to get pregnant.

As a former labor and delivery nurse I surely have played a role in someone’s birth story…I hope it was one of the nice ones.

If you are planning to have a baby or are currently pregnant you may be considering going to a midwife for your prenatal care. There are a few things you need to consider;

  • Medical health: how is your general medical health and would you be considered high-risk due some underlying medical condition?
  • Approach: what type of approach do you prefer…are you looking for a practitioner that is more holistic in his/her approach?
  • Personal needs:you will need to know your own individual needs and find a practitioner who is respectful of them.
  • Setting:what kind of setting are you hoping for your labor and delivery…would you consider a birthing center or are you more inclined to want a natural delivery with options, such as epidural anesthesia, that are only available in a hospital?
  • Cost factor: what does your insurance cover … does it cover a birthing center delivery with a nurse mid-wife or a trained mid-wife home delivery.

Practitioner qualifications are sometimes confusing as well:

Obstetricians are generally board certified in obstetrics and gynecology…they are trained to deal with pregnancy, labor and delivery and any complications and emergencies that might occur. Physicians are many times waiting for a disaster to occur which is why they are quick to intervene in many cases. It is simply their focus as physicians and surgeons.

CNMs, (Certified Nurse Midwives) many times work alongside physicians…they tend to take more time with their patients; they are more apt to try measures in labor that will help to avoid use of pain medications and other interventions unless absolutely necessary. That is not to say you cannot find a physician that will do these things also.

Direct-entry midwives..they are not nurses but they are licensed and trained to deliver babies. They do home deliveries as do some CNMs.

Life is full of choices. When you are pregnant choosing the right person to take care of you during your pregnancy is extremely important…you need to feel comfortable, confident and secure in their approach and their qualifications to assist you through a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.

 How to find a midwife

  • American College of Nurse-Midwives operates a toll-free hotline (888/MIDWIFE) that lists CNMs in your area. For general information, call 202/728-9860; write to 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006; or check out the group’s website at www.midwife.org.
  • Maternity Center Association publishes a booklet, Journey to Parenthood($6), with information on choosing a maternity-care provider. Call 212/777-5000 or Write to 281 Park Ave. South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010. Visit the MCA website at www.maternity.org.
  • Midwives Alliance of North America can refer you to direct-entry midwives and CNMs in your area. Call 888/923-6262 or Visit their website atwww.mana.org.
  • National Association of Childbearing Centers can provide a list of birth centers in your area, as well as information on how to select a birth center. Send a $1 donation to 3123 Gottschall Rd., Perkiomenville, PA 18074.

Should You Use a Midwife? – Parenting.com.

Doctor or midwife: Which is right for you? | BabyCenter.

http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2011/The_American_College_of_Obstetricians_and_Gynecologists_Issues_Opinion_on_Planned_Home_Births

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Natural Birth and Hospital...can you ever have these words in the same sentence??? Can a natural birth be accomplished in a hospital setting?

In some cases, yes…but the key to accomplishing this feat is to “do your homework“. It is up to you to enable a ‘natural birth’ for yourself and your baby.

Whether or not you will be successful will be partly due to your preparation and partly due to your particular labor and your body’s and your fetus’ response to it.

It is my belief as a former Labor and Delivery nurse that every woman’s labor is unique as is their response to it. If you remember this, it will make sense for you to do your birth ‘homework’ because no one knows you like you.

You can use other mom’s experiences to help you plan what you would like your own birth experience to be. Always keep in mind that you are unique and things will happen that may throw your plan off kilter.

Homework Hints for Natural Hospital Birth:

  • Choose your obstetrical care very carefully… remember you should be aware of how your caregivers feel about ‘natural birth’. You will also need to know how their partners feel about it also. Remember to ask about what their hospital offers for women in labor. It will not help if your doctor is okay with tubs and showers during labor if they are not available at the hospital where you will be delivering. Put together a  great team…such as doctor, midwife, doula, coach/support person.
  • Take classes to learn all you can about labor and delivery … a one day class is, in my opinion, not enough…you are on overload by the time it is over. If it is the only option then by all means do it. Try to find classes to accommodate your needs…sometimes there are nurses who will do this privately if that is helpful to you. Remember, you have nine months to get ready use your time wisely and try not to procrastinate.
  • Get a good pregnancy book and use it…read it, dog ear it, discuss it with your partner. Stay away from multiple sources of information that will make you confused. Ask questions of your doctor, midwife and doula…trust them and yourself.

I just finished reading  “Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds” and I loved it! It’s written by medical anthropologist and doula, Cynthia Gabriel and it’s solidly helpful for women hoping for this kind of birth.

Home birth is not for everyone for a whole host of reasons, but some women feel they’d like to have something close to it in a hospital setting. And for those women there are strategies. This book is dedicated to that concept.

via 7 Tips for Having a Natural Hospital Birth | Being Pregnant. by Ceridwen

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Top 50 Pregnancy Blogs

Pregnancy can be quite a trip. From the first fluttering in your belly to the endless parade of minor (and major) discomforts, your mind is opened to a whole new world of bodily functions. As your body changes, your brain tries to catch up. Is this normal? What will birth be like? What’s a “boppy pillow”? And do I need one? Read More ↓

via Top 50 Pregnancy Blogs-Pregnant Chicken.

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I am a big fan of “Eat This, Not That” as well. This is a wonderful post my Amy Tara Koch even though I don’t think that some of these cravings will be satisfied by the alternatives.

Eating healthy during pregnancy and just in general is so important to mom’s overall health. We should all make an effort to ‘eat this, not that’ every day. We might not be as successful as we want to be but at least it is a place to start.

Good luck and don’t laugh at some of the alternatives to what you really crave. I like the saying…” a minute on the lips…a long time on the hips” when it comes to cravings…

I have become a huge fan of David Zincenko. His EAT THIS, NOT THAT books and appearances on TODAY SHOW brilliantly showcases how to make nutritionally superior food choices and avoid excessive caloric intake without sacrificing flavor. I especially love how he unearths saturated fat and sodium content and compares say, a Bacon Deluxe Double from Wendy’s to 42 deep fried jumbo onion rings with a Crisco chive dipping sauce. Genius. Master Z inspired me to craft a little post on how to rein in pregnancy cravings and choose healthier foods inspired by the flavor that you crave. The biggest issue? Sugar intake. Agave nectar and Stevia are stellar replacements for refined white sugar to sweeten tea, coffee, baked goods and oatmeal

via Amy Tara Koch Blog » Tame Your Cravings! Bump It Up Approved Cravings Replacement List.

http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/eating-well/week-7/pinch-hitters.aspx

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Maternity Clothes: Isabella Oliver Designer Maternity Clothes.

STYLE and PREGNANCY

Isabella Oliver is having a sale …catch it before Wednesday…lovely styles!

http://www.isabellaoliver.com/maternity-clothes/uk

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No it isn’t flu season yet but believe it or not another one will be upon us in the not too distant future.

So it is timely news for pregnant women to know that it has been found that a pregnant woman who gets a flu shot lowers her risk of preterm delivery.

This was just released by the March of Dimes…it is good news!

Flu shot lowers preterm birth risk

Aside from helping to prevent the miseries of the flu, a flu shot during pregnancy may reduce a woman’s risk of delivering a premature baby. Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States. Since 1981, the premature birth rate has risen by 30 percent. Babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities.

A new study reviewed data from over 4000 births over a two year time frame in the state of Georgia. Roughly 15% of pregnant women received flu shots. These women who delivered during flu season (defined as October through May) were on average 40% less likely to deliver prematurely, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. During the peak flu season (January & February), vaccinated women were 72% less likely to deliver prematurely as opposed to unvaccinated women.  Additionally, babies born during peak flu season to mothers who were vaccinated were 69% less likely to be small for gestational age.

At other times of year (not flu season), the study found no association between flu vaccination and reduced premature birth. Because of this, the researchers believe that it is the vaccine that is offering this protection. And an earlier study found that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy can even protect your baby after delivery.

When you’re pregnant, your immune system isn’t as quick to respond to illnesses as it was before pregnancy. Your body knows that pregnancy is OK and that it shouldn’t reject your baby. Your body naturally lowers your immune system’s ability to protect you and respond to illnesses so that it can welcome your growing baby. But a lowered immune system means you’re more likely to catch illnesses like the flu. Your lungs and heart are working harder to support you and your baby and this stress on your body also can make it more likely for you to get an illness like the flu.

For these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians and the March of Dimes all recommend women get vaccinated against the flu during pregnancy.

Tags: flu, flu shot, flu vaccine, influenza, Pregnancy, premature birth, preterm birth

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via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Flu shot lowers preterm birth risk.

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