05.14.2010

It’s Official, I’m on my Path to Being a Midwife!

YAY! I started yesterday-three classes online, plus a TA position with a level 4 undergraduate class entitled Clinical Instruction for the Rural and Underserved. I started that class today and was glad to meet all the great men and women who are interested in serving rural populations in New Mexico and around the world. I will be assisting in facilitating their class while the professor takes some of the students to Bolivia for clinical training. I wish we had such a class when I was an undergrad (although I wasn’t in a BSN program) as these students are being given a great opportunity to apply their skills in an international setting. I know that participating in this class will give me the ‘refresher’ that I need (having been out of nursing for five years) and get my brain rolling again. Our professor really seems to have her finger on the pulse of learning opportunities that are available throughout New Mexico and I hope to be able to participate in some of these clinical experiences in the coming months.

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04.02.2010

Newborns DO Feel Pain

There has been debate for years about a newborn’s ability to feel pain. Here’s an interesting video from Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaking to Dr. Whit Hall at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

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03.25.2010

Baby Slings Linked to Infant Deaths

I’ve always been told that ‘wearing your baby’ is the best thing you can do as a mom, or dad. Babies like to be close to their parents. The warmth and heartbeat of mom and dad are soothing, calming, and parents have been carrying their infants since the beginning of time.

With each of my three children, I tried the baby sling- the one that goes over one shoulder and acts like a little sack that they can sit in.
I had seen moms and dads carrying their babes (and toddlers) in these contraptions, and I was impressed. Two hands free with your baby on your hip. The problem was that my infants just didn’t take to it. They didn’t seem to like the ‘C’ shape that was forced on their little bodies and arched their backs in protest. They seemed to get lost in there, and the top of the sling would cover their face, which made me more than a little nervous. It hurt my shoulder. I couldn’t get it to be comfortable for either myself or my kids. I eventually gave up- feeling defeated and not quite up to snuff compared with all my hippy-mama friends who seemed to sling with ease.

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03.22.2010

About the Health Care Bill

Due to overwhelming commentary on the health care reform bill, I am attempting to read it all and highlight the main ‘talking points’. Although I agree that the bill has it’s flaws, it is a great step in the right direction.

The Constitutionality of the Health Care Bill

Opponents of the Health Care Bill, including the Attorney Generals of several states are planning to sue the government over the ‘unconstitutionality’ of the bill. “They are expected to sue over the bill’s mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance” saying that it infringes on ‘state sovereignty’. Yet federal law always trumps state law.
Furthermore, under the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8 of The Constitution) Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. People not purchasing health insurance unquestionably has this effect. Everyone, at some point in their lives will need health care, and requiring people to have health insurance to offset the costs of taxpayers having to pay for people who don’t have health insurance creates a scenario where no one will be an undo burden on the government. You would think that republicans would like this as it is a lesson in personal responsibility.

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03.17.2010

Nuns Put Women Before Religious Politics.

The National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, representing 59,000 Catholic Nuns came out in support of Obama’s health care plan today- going against the Catholic Bishops, who are opposed.

You go girls! : )

In their statement, they say, “We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.”

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02.22.2010

Separation of Church and Birth Control?

The Roman Catholic Church prohibits sterilization. Many women, particularly those who have just had a baby, choose sterilization (also known as a tubal ligation) as a permanent form of birth control after they have decided not to have more children. This procedure is also very commonly performed immediately after a c-section (which accounts for 30% of all births these days) when a woman chooses it.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in Southeastern Arizona has recently partnered with Carondelet Health Network, a Catholic not-for-profit health care system that follows the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, as a condition of the partnership, the hospital will stop performing sterilization procedures. The CEO of Sierra Vista insists that ‘we are not taking away anyone’s rights,” and states that these procedures can be done in a doctor’s office.

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02.01.2010

Midwives and Birthing Centers are the Answer to US Healthcare Problems

As I continue to read through the evidenced-based maternity report, I am more and more convinced that moving towards midwifery based care and free-standing birthing centers could be the answer to many of our country’s healthcare woes. Charges for childbirth vary considerably depending on the type and place of birth. “The average hospital charge in 2005 ranged from about $7,000 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth to about $16,000 for a complicated cesarean section, yet out-of-hospital birth centers were about one-quarter of the charges of uncomplicated vaginal birth in hospitals ($1,624 in 2003, when the national average charge for uncomplicated vaginal birth in hospitals was $6,239) three-quarters of the expense concentrated in the hospital stay.”

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01.31.2010

Help Send Nurses to Haiti

I recently joined the RN Response Network (RNRN) with hopes of going to Haiti for a couple of weeks to help out the laboring women there. The RNRN has over 8300 nurse volunteers ready to go, but the problem is that they don’t have enough money to send them. Please consider giving a donation to the “Send a Nurse” fund.

Thanks.

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01.28.2010

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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01.14.2010

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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