Acupuncture: Bring on the Labor

My first child, born just a little over 14 years ago, was 11 days late. As any pregnant family knows, the waiting game can be tough. Babies are usually born right on time, but sometimes they just aren’t. I was pretty sure of my dates back then, yet I had absolutely no cervical effacement or dilation after 10 days past dates. My midwife suggested a pitocin induction. Pitocin induced labor can be brutal as the contractions tend to come more quickly and forcefully with little to no break in between. Because I was hoping to have a ‘natural’ birth with no drugs, I was dismayed by the thought of induction. All in all, it worked out in the end. I labored for just 4 hours to complete dilation, and did it without an epidural (although I pushed for another four-a story for another day).

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HELP Save UNM Midwifery program

The University of New Mexico’s Nurse-Midwifery Program is in danger of closure due to budget cuts if the House Appropriations Committee of New Mexico votes to axe its funds.

Nurse-Midwives deliver 30% of New Mexico babies. 61% of UNM graduates stay and work in New Mexico.
There are approximately 160 Certified Nurse-Midwives working in NM. One-third of them have graduated from UNM.

The Nurse Midwifery program is targeted for $117,000 cut– 33% of its budget.

This vote is happening tomorrow.

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The Birth Survey

If you are pregnant or know anyone who is or has a baby in the last three years, please steer them in the direction of this site: The Birth Survey.

It was developed by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. They “believe that women of childbearing age must have access to information that will help them choose maternity care providers and institutions that are most compatible with their own philosophies and needs. We hope that the Transparency in Maternity Care Project will provide information that will help women make fully informed maternity care decisions.”

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Bed Rest Court-Ordered?

Thank goodness for the ACLU. They have taken on the case of Samantha Burton, who at 25 weeks started experiencing premature labor and was told by her doctor to remain on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. When she explained that she had two toddlers at home and would unlikely be able to achieve complete bed rest and did not want to stay in the hospital, she was court ordered by the hospital to remain on bed rest to “preserve the life and health of [her] unborn child.” Sadly, she miscarried three days later.

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Jenny’s Light- A Postpartum Foundation.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I feel very compelled to share this website that I just stumbled upon today. Jenny’s Light is a foundation that was created to support women and families that are dealing with postpartum depression. The story of Jenny highlights the importance of identifying, treating and supporting women with perinatal mood disorders and postpartum depression.

I am very happy to learn that such an organization exists. They are doing everything they can to spread the word and support other organizations that assist women and their families with postpartum depression.

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Postpartum Care in Santa Fe

Last year, I built a website for one of my former colleagues, Joy Lanumn, RN. It’s called the Santa Fe Birthing Community and it’s a network of a couple of women who offer prenatal classes, doula services, and then postpartum assistance, help with care for multiples (twins, triplets etc) or premies and breastfeeding support and assistance.

joyBW200Joy provides all the postpartum help and does it in the comfort of your home. She is very reasonably priced (on a sliding scale). Joy is a Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Consultant with many, many years experience in postpartum support. She has a wealth of knowledge and good connections to other services in Santa Fe. If you know of anyone who is need of these types of services, I encourage you to call her. 505-984-8225 or visit her site on Santa Fe Postpartum Care

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Most Recent Birth Data and Evidence Based Report Now Available

Stats from 2006 and 2007 on hospital birth, outcomes and payment are out.

I will pull some interesting figures:

-In 2007, there were more than 4.3 million births — the largest number ever registered — in the United States.
-Cesarean section was the most common operating room procedure in the country in 2007, with a cumulative increase from 1997-2007 of 85%.
-The rate of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) within childbirth-related hospitalizations was 9.7% in 2006, a decline of 73% from 1997, when the VBAC rate was 35.3%
-In 2006, combined facility charges billed for “mother’s pregnancy and delivery” and “newborn infants” ($86 billion) far exceeded charges for any other hospital condition in the United States.

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Reiki- Oh what a feeling!

I had previously posted about my interest in and practice of Reiki. In the first week of January I finally attended my Reiki training and got attuned to Level 1. Very exciting stuff.

I had no idea what was going to happen because ‘attunement’ is such strange thing really. Basically you are subject to a ritual and no one knows why it works, but its purpose is to allow you to channel universal energy without having the energy of the person you are working on come back into you. This is important because using healing energy on others can make you sick if you are not careful. Attunement will also help make the conduit of energy stronger. My instructor, Shari Krauser explained how attunement can also effect your life in other ways. People have been known to manifest long-desired dreams, and become more intuitive and almost psychic.

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Breastfeeding Under Fire? Still?

Come on already.

A European “pregnancy expert” has come out today saying that breast milk is no better than formula. I thought this debate died in 1974 or so. Apparently not.

His argument is that although breast-fed babies are slightly heavier than formula fed babies, it wasn’t the milk that made the difference. He says it’s the pregnancy. He says that a healthy placenta lowers the level of testosterone in the womb, and testosterone is linked to a women’s ability to produce milk and to breastfeed. So if a woman has a less than perfect placenta, she will produce more testosterone which will in turn lower her milk production. It has something to do with the milk gland production.

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