This video explains what the pelvic floor muscles are and why they're important to exercise in pregnancy. For more info about Kegels and other important exercises for pregnancy and postpartum, take my 10-week Birth Boot Camp!
A new study shows how some very common labor medications affect newborn behavior in the first hour. As the video below explains, there are 9 stages newborns go through after birth. Perhaps you've seen videos of the "breast crawl", which show babies finding their mother's nipple with minimal help. Keep in mind that these are unmedicated babies. If a mother has an epidural or gets Pitocin to speed up labor (and very often she gets both), it goes to her baby and depresses either the instinct to breast crawl or the ability to do so. The exposure to Pitocin and fentanyl was dose-dependent, meaning that the longer the mother had the epidural and/or the Pitocin the less likely it was for her baby to latch within the first hour.
It is very clear from other studies that breastfeeding sooner leads to better breastfeeding outcomes and less cases of dangerous jaundice. These relationships should be clearly explained and understood before labor, so that mothers know what they might be dealing with as a consequence of an intervention.
Today, most breastfeeding women own a breast pump to get milk for their baby when they are away or in order to increase the amount they make. If you're looking into pumps, here is a comprehensive guide to help you out.
If I told you there was a FREE way to get milk that's even better than a pump, would you be interested? Hand expression is using your own hands to get milk out, and it really works! In our technology-dependent culture it seems as if most of us are more comfortable with a machine, but breasts often don't respond to plastic as well as we'd like.
Here's a video that shows why hand expression is so important, followed by exactly how to do it. This one also gives instructions.
A study shows that of women who practiced hand expression, 96% were still breastfeeding at 2 months, while only 73% of mothers who pumped were still nursing.
Why would that be? Probably more women stayed with nursing because hand expression helps them get more, thereby making it more worthwhile. Women who hand expressed after a premature birth got 48% more milk than those who only pumped!
If you need more help with breastfeeding, hand expression, or pumping hopefully you have a doula who can help you with your individual situation and goals. If you need more help, a lactation consultant has expertise to help you keep breastfeeding going.
Most pictures in childbirth prep books and videos show mom lying flat on her back. The problem is, birth works better during the pushing stage when mom is in a more upright position. Think about it. When her weight is off her tailbone it can flex backwards and allow more room for the baby. Here's a short animated video showing birth in an upright position.
There seems to be lots of good birthy stuff online today. Here's a good read from the Washington Post, I Had a Home Birth and I'm Not Stupid or Brave.
I've never seen a birth of triplets, especially not a natural, vaginal one!
The giraffe, Katie, is also due soon at the Dallas Zoo and they have set up a live birth cam.
For Valentine's Day Birth Boot Camp hosted a "Why I Loved My Natural Birth" contest. Here's my video talking about Nicole's birth (my youngest).
The wonderful doula, Tammy Van Stockum, spoke to my class and mentioned this video by Penny Simkin, a well-known natural childbirth advocate and author. It's spot-on!
I'm a natural childbirth educator, lactation consultant (IBCLC), and doula in Athens, AL. Here is where I put healthy recipes, current research, and helpful articles for pregnancy, postpartum, and life in general. Check back often!