| The title may be an exaggeration but it is important to understand what a due date really is and why babies should be born at the right time for each individual baby.
Estimated Due Dates are as Accurate as a Crystal Ball
by Birth Without Fear on November 17, 2010
“The 40 week due date is based upon Naegele’s Rule. This theory was originated by Harmanni Boerhaave, a botanist who in 1744 came up with a method of calculating the EDD based upon evidence in the Bible that human gestation lasts approximately 10 lunar months. The formula was publicized around 1812 by German obstetrician Franz Naegele and since has become the accepted norm for calculating the due date. There is one glaring flaw in Naegele’s rule. Strictly speaking, a lunar (or synodic – from new moon to new moon) month is actually 29.53 days, which makes 10 lunar months roughly 295 days, a full 15 days longer than the 280 days gestation we’ve been lead to believe is average. In fact, if left alone, 50-80% of mothers will gestate beyond 40 weeks.”
At this point, I think most of you know not all women have the same length cycles and ovulate and the same exact day in that uniform cycle. Also, not all women gestate the same, nor babies grow the exact same rate. Do all babies start walking at 11 months, 4 days, hour 23 of their life?
So, why the rush to get babies out between 38-40 weeks? That question can be answered in two words… fear and control. Doctors feel more in control with babies on the outside. Why, I have not idea. How can our world, environment, plastic, etc. grow a baby better than a mother’s perfect womb? When care providers tell women the risks of going post dates (which are not accurate, but probably what they have been taught), they hardly ever counter that with all the risks of inducing before baby is ready. A parent can not truly decide what is safe and best for their unborn child with out all the facts.
What can you do?
- Make sure the EDD given is based off of YOUR cycle. There are also different ways a due date can be calculated.
- Hire a care provider that is comfortable with post dates, meaning gestating even past 42 weeks.
- Do your own research.
- Follow your instincts and be patient! Only your baby knows when s(he) is ready to be earthside.
To read the full article and comments
So once your baby is ready:
To Birth a Baby, Get Off Your Back!
Hopefully for most of you, the idea of birthing flat on your back brings up facts about how that's the least effective position short of hanging from the ceiling by your ankles, how it closes up the pelvis by approximately 30 percent, and how in some other countries, it's actually illegal for a provider to suggest a woman birth on her back unless it's necessary or of course, unless she actually wants to.
No? That's not what you were thinking?
It's because women rarely see anything other than birthing flat on the back (which isn't okay for your whole pregnancy but is for 5-10 hours in labor?), it can be hard to think of other ways you could give birth, and that's where I come in.
There are many other positions to labor or give birth!
- Sitting upright.
- Leaning forward.
- On all fours.
These are just some suggestions. During your labor and delivery, move around (or get help moving around) until you find what feels best and right to you, whether it's standing with one leg up on a chair or laying on your side with a leg held up. Moving and walking, swaying and squatting all can not only help alleviate pain, but can aid in a speedy labor with minimal trauma to your vaginal area, prevent the baby from getting "stuck" and make your birth experience much more pleasant in general.
If you feel you have to lay on your back, try to either sit the bed as upright as you can handle, or consider laying on your side, even with pillows propped behind you. Get creative! Don't let hospital procedures ruin your birth.
Much more on this topic
If you or anyone you know has a baby that is tongue-tied here are some great articles. Some of these articles may be just right to share with a health care provider who isn't supportive of clipping the frenulum in a tongue-tied infant who is having trouble breastfeeding. I recently got a call from the mom of a five day old who had really wanted to breastfeed. In the hospital her doctor told her that her baby who wouldn't latch was tongue-tied, he also refused to clip it as "the baby can bottle feed okay". I really wanted to drop my professionalism, go find this doctor and tell him that "he really didn't need to eat - I could insert a feeding tube into his stomach". I resisted and gave the mom referral for several supportive doctors.
Share these with anyone who many need to learn about tongue-tie:
Another one that might be useful to read.
Notice of Product Recall - Medela
Dear Customer: This letter is to notify you that Medela, Inc. is recalling a limited number of the Pump In Style Advanced breastpumps. The small percent of pumps affected by this recall were manufactured between February 10, 2010 and March 3, 2010 and shipped between February 10, 2010 and April 30
Read full notice
|Okay, I already posted this on the South Jersey Baby's Facebook page but I really dislike routine swaddling (and mittens - which I think deprive babies of needed sensory input), so here are some of the reasons why not to think you MUST swaddle your baby.
Latest Baby Danger: Swaddling
The art of swaddling is something many the father brags about being an expert in, and hospitals often take a newborn, wipe them off, swaddle them tightly and hand them back to mom within the first ten minutes after birth.
We've heard it makes babies sleep longer or better, prevents them from waking themselves up when they startle, and overall, helps babies be more secure.
But the problem is, it has negative health impacts, and even increases the risk of SIDS, but only if swaddling is being done at the wrong times and in the wrong sleep position.
Skin-on-skin contact, a.k.a. Kangaroo Care, is incredibly important to newborns. It can literally make the difference between life and death, as mom's body is designed to hold a newborn to warm them (no need for machines when mom is better, unless there's a medical reason mom can't hold baby right away). When on mom's chest, especially skin-to-skin, baby's breathing begins to mimic mom's respiration and even the heart rate levels out.
Breastfeeding in the first hour, but as soon as possible even in that hour, is optimal for baby's initial health, since after about an hour or two, baby goes into a deep "recovery" sleep, and then will wake up ravenous, which can make the first feeding incredibly difficult. But when baby is swaddled, their senses are dulled and they can't use their hands to help them locate the breast and nipple. Yes, you can raise baby to your breast, but when they are allowed to be an active participant and get comfortable and naturally curl their arms around the breast or even knead it with their tiny hands to encourage letdown and flow, it goes more smoothly.
Swaddled babies separated during their first two hours lost more weight.
Swaddled babies kept in the nursery were colder and consumed less milk.
Swaddled babies in the nursery lost more weight despite consuming more formula. Possible reasons for this that the researchers suggested include:
- Severely limiting baby’s movements is stressful, which burns more calories.
- Swaddled babies receive less touch, which can compromise growth in preterm babies.
Swaddling, especially the tight swaddles dads pride themselves on, have even been showing evidence of being a significant factor in hip dysplasia. The reason some more primitive cultures don't have this issue with their 24/7 swaddled babies is they're wrapped in the frog position, with the legs folded up almost cross-legged, like they are in the womb.
Now, I know a lot of people swear their baby needs to be swaddled to sleep well, and that they sleep better that way and don't wake themselves up as often, but unfortunately, contrary to our country's belief that the most important thing in a baby is making them sleep well, too deep or secure of sleep is actually a bad thing.
Dads and Doulas
5 Reasons Dads Should Demand a Doula
From KH Weiss
Dads and doulas work together to help moms in labor.
When my wife told me that she wanted a doula, I was hurt. I truly thought with our first baby that I’d be able to be the end all be all for my wife. She showed me the research. She let me meet some of the doulas. I still wasn’t convinced that it would be the right choice for us. I subscribed to the “If you weren’t at the conception, you shouldn’t be at the birth rule.” My wife wound up vetoing me. Here are the reasons I’m glad that she did:
- A doula can spell you.
I really thought I’d be able to stay awake for a big event like childbirth. Who didn’t pull an all nighter in college? Bathroom breaks? Ha! I mean, if I could ride my bike for hours, drinking lots of water and not needing a bathroom break, surely I could wait a few hours while my wife was in labor, right? Wrong.
Thirty hours into my wife’s first labor and I was toast. I’d been up walking with her for what seemed like days as labor began. We’d come to the hospital and there wasn’t any sleeping for me. I was physically tired and mentally shot. The doula really helped me out. With my wife’s blessing, that 30 minute nap I caught helped me to refocus and be back on my game for the big event. And we won’t even talk about how much fun my wife made of me for my small bladder. Needless to say, having the knowledge that my wife had someone else with her while I scarfed down food, went to the bathroom and grabbed a few winks kept me sane.
- A doula remembers what she learned in childbirth class.
I paid attention in childbirth class. I’d hear enough horror stories to realize that there was a huge, comprehensive final exam for this course – childbirth. But when push came to shove, no pun intended, the knowledge went out of my brain. Those early hours of labor I couldn’t remember if we were supposed to eat or sleep, which positions were good or not so good. Thankfully, when the doula arrived, she saved my skin and made me look like the good guy. My wife never really realized that it wasn’t my idea that she try certain positions, but that I’d been privately coached by our doula.
- A doula knows the questions to ask.
When we arrived at the hospital, everyone was bombarding us. Questions were flying from all directions. I was busy trying to help soothe my wife, who was not happy with the bumpy car ride to the hospital. Our doula stepped in and gave them all the information that they needed. Magically doors opened and we were offered a prime birthing room.
Our doula also was very helpful in getting information. A nurse or a tech would come in and ask us if we wanted something, like a procedure or a medication. I had no clue. (See above where I forgot my childbirth class information!) Our doula would very calmly ask questions of them and of us until we had enough information to make the decision that matched what we wanted. It was never pushy or mean, just questions. She even reminded us that we could take some time alone to make a decision. That turned out to be a real blessing.
- A doula speaks the language of labor.
Our doula was an amazing translator. I’d ask a simple question like, “How’s the baby?” And the nurse would respond with something like, “The EFM indicates that there are no decels during periods of stimulation.” I’d give her my biggest smile and nod, like I knew what she was saying. Once she left the room, I’d ask our doula, who would carefully explain each part of what had been said. She also helped us decipher what AROM was as well as second stage.
- A doula keeps you calm.
Hard. Labor was so hard. And that’s just how it felt to me. Thankfully, when the going got tough and my wife was in hard labor, it was difficult for me to keep anything in my brain. I forgot everything from childbirth class and all I could think of was “Surely this isn’t normal!” Our doula would smile at me from across my wife on the birth ball and as if she had read my mind, would mouth the words “This is normal.” Her calm smile helped me focus again on loving on my wife and keeping her calm. She showed me how and where to touch, she modeled how to behave quietly and efficiently and she made me the star in my wife’s eyes.
When I first heard about doulas, I thought of them as birth interlopers. Now I don’t know how anyone could manage to give birth without one. Our doula really helped bring me together with my wife as she gave birth. My wife remembers my constant support and never failing love or knowledge. She remembers the doula as a nice person who did some stuff in the background. We won’t give birth without a doula.