Don't cut that cord!
We want to share with you one of our soap box ramblings, which we happily share with anyone who comes within earshot — it's about keeping your baby's umbilical cord intact after the birth, until it stops pulsing.
The practice of cutting the cord immediately after birth is an example of some of the medical industry not practicing what is called "evidence-based" medicine.
With the medicalization of labor and birth, the idea was passed around that the umbilical cord should be clamped and cut immediately after the baby's birth — presumably to prevent any of the baby's blood from washing back into the placenta.
We now know that this assumption is incorrect, and that this practice has created problems for babies.
There's quite a lot of blood (up to 180 mL) that continues to pump into a baby from the placenta after the birth, and when babies don't get this blood, it can create what's called low blood volume.
Think about this — a baby's body has a lot of systems to bring online immediately after the birth. The first breath alone is a huge change. The kidneys, liver, gut and skin are also being used for the first time in a brand new way, and need that oxygen-rich blood as well. When a baby has low blood volume it taxes her liver to a large degree. This can contribute to jaundice, which is sometimes considered an "iatrogenic" disorder (meaning caused by medical interventions).
There are a whole host of other problems associated with low blood volume too — from low blood pressure to anemia to respiratory distress. Many of the benefits of banking cord blood that you've read so much about are passed to your baby as well.
Read more about this piece of the puzzle in the Blissborn Manual, and do your own research. We're certain that when you look at this important choice you'll include it in your Birth Preferences document.
Tell your provider you want to leave the cord intact at least until it stops pulsing — give your baby the best start, and give him the placenta's final gift!
Times are changing
- Created on Monday, 07 December 2009 06:55
"It is not illogical to assume that the conditions of the mind affect the muscles active in childbirth. The best and safest aid to mothers will come when the obstetrician learns how to use suggestion. On occasion I have given a woman small doses of an innocuous substance, assuring her in doing so that the substance would put her to sleep. In such instances the woman actually did go to sleep, pure suggestion taking the place of drugs."
The physicians in the room didn't disagree, but they didn't embrace DeLee's ideas about suggestions either.
A well-respected leader in obstetrics, Dr. DeLee's ideas about various medical interventions changed the face of obstetrical practice, and his ban on midwives in his hospital, sadly, helped defame an ancient art. Many of his worst ideas persist today, but the use of suggestion apparently didn't have that staying power. Why?
Partly because a wide variety of pain-relief drugs were coming to the forefront, including chloroform, twilight sleep (morphine and scopolamine), and ether. Partly because most women were still giving birth at home with their family physician in the 1930s, and so the field of obstetrics, and all its comfort measures, was not in high demand. For those physicians who could attend AMA meetings, the drugs appeared to be the silver bullet to end women's suffering. And according to the dominant belief system at the time, to alleviate a woman's suffering in childbirth was contrary to God's decree to Eve in the Garden of Eden that she should suffer in childbearing.
Hypnosis and suggestion dwelt under the shadow of all this. Dr. DeLee was immensely bugged that hypnosis, "the only anesthetic without danger," was ignored. He later said to a gathering of physicians, "I am irked when I see my colleages neglect to avail themselves of this harmless and potent remedy."
Since then, obstetric procedures have improved, monitoring devices have been installed, drugs are safer, doctors specialize and sub-specialize, midwives are back and better than ever, and hypnosis is openly endorsed by the AMA and many other professional organizations ... but hypnosis seems to remain in the shadows.
That is, until now! More women than ever before are turning to this 'harmless and potent remedy.' Studies show that its use rises year over year as more women hear from friends and relatives how well it works. In fact, this appears to be the dawn of a new era in both hypnosis and obstetric medicine. Within a few years, some predict hypnosis will become a key player in safe, natural, empowered birthing.
So will you be among those who say, "Darn, I wish I had done that when I was having my babies..." Or will you join those of us who can say, "I was there when it happened! I did it!"
(The quotes and historical info in this blog are taken from Time Magazine: "Medicine: Childbirth: Nature v. Drugs," May 25, 1936.)
Home birth as safe as hospital birth?
- Created on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 06:56
Having your baby at home with a registered midwife is as safe as a conventional hospital birth, and may lead to fewer complications, a new study says. From the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2004, the new study compared almost 13,000 births in British Columbia. The groups were made up of home births attended by registered midwives, hospital births attended by the same group of midwives, and hospital births attended by doctors.
- by Blissborn Educator and Trainer Laura Wood, CHt
I have more in me
- Created on Monday, 17 August 2009 06:57