Canadian Pediatric Society Advocates Repealing Law
Did you know it is the law in Ontario that all babies receive prophylactic erythromycin eye drops? This law is to help protect newborns against blindness that may be caused by a number of sexually transmitted diseases, namely gonorrhea or chlamydia, transmitted vaginally at birth.
The Society's Position Statement of March 2015 states that most infants in Canada do not require this treatment, that testing during pregnancy or at birth are alternatives. Most importantly, they suggest, that evidence shows, that the erythromycin ointment does not work and at best is NOT the most effective treatment if these STDs were in fact present and posing a danger to the newborn. It is important that you discuss any concerns regarding transmission of STD to your unborn or newborn baby with your doctors and/or midwives.
You can access the link to the Canadian Pediatric Society Position Statement here:
If you’re expecting a baby, you will probably have an ultrasound in your first semester - this helps your doctor or midwife have an idea of your estimated due date. You will probably have another ultrasound around 20 weeks of pregnancy called the anatomical scan. In this second ultrasound your caregiver will be checking that your baby’s organs are developing normally as they should be.
Sometimes doctors and midwives will request a third ultrasound closer to the end of your pregnancy, if there are any concerns regarding your baby’s growth, position (such as breech) or the health of your placenta. If you are high risk or pregnant with twins, additional scans may be recommended. Part 2 of this blog will discuss the accuracy of ultrasounds for estimating due dates and size of your baby.
Potential Concerns with Ultrasounds
Even though the appropriate use of ultrasound is deemed to be safe during pregnancy, experts like Shazam Vaezy, Ph.D., an FDA biomedical engineer have concerns regarding over-exposure: "Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important. Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues." (1)
Since the long-term effects of tissue heating and cavitation are not known, the FDA in the U.S. therefore recommends that prenatal ultrasound scans be performed only when there is a medical need.
3D/4D ultrasounds are not standard prenatal tests. A 3D ultrasound creates a three-dimensional image of your baby, while 4D ultrasounds create a live video so you can watch your baby smile or yawn.
A 3D ultrasound may be occasionally recommended by your OB if there is a particular area of concern. In some cases 3D scans allow doctors to detect a problem which can be addressed while baby is still in the womb. However, the most frequent reason pregnant couples go for a 3D scan is to bond with their baby. This can be especially cool for dads and help them feel more connected during the pregnancy!
While ultrasounds are safe, too much exposure may not be good for your baby. In some private clinics your baby may be exposed for up to an hour in order to get a good video. This has raised controversy over the increasing number of pregnant parents who opt for keepsake videos.
Health Canada Warnings
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) have issued a warning against "entertainment" ultrasounds in a joint policy statement issued in 2014: “The CAR and SOGC strongly oppose the non-medical use of fetal ultrasound and encourage governments to join with our organizations to find appropriate means to deal with this public health issue…Both Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. have recommended against commercial and entertainment ultrasound. Health Canada recommends that ultrasound should not be used to take a picture of the fetus solely for non-medical reasons.. or to learn the sex of the fetus solely for non-medical reasons...The fetus should not be exposed to ultrasound for commercial and entertainment purposes, and it could be considered unethical to perform these scans.” (2)
The potential for false-positive diagnoses is also a major concern, according to the SOGC. It can lead to unnecessary investigations and incredible anxiety for pregnant couples. Some parents, having experienced a scare during their previous pregnancy as a result of a scan, opt out of standard prenatal ultrasound tests altogether during subsequent pregnancies. This is more likely for parents who have decided that they will not terminate a pregnancy irrespective of any medical condition their baby may have.
Ultimately, parents today want to be informed and it is a good idea to do your research and discuss with your OB or midwife. Part 2 of this Blog will discuss the accuracy of ultrasounds for estimating your due date and for evaluating baby’s size.
When pregnant women call to inquire about HypnoBirthing®, they often tell me they want to take the classes later in pregnancy, so as not to "forget" what they have learned in class. In fact HypnoBirthing educators worldwide know from experience that it is better for women to start classes earlier in pregnancy. You can start HypnoBirthing classes anytime from the beginning of the second trimester. The more time to practice, the better women can integrate their newly learned techniques. While many moms-to-be contact us around 15-22 weeks pregnant, some wait quite late in pregnancy. In order to encourage more women to start classes early, we should call our classes Pregnancy Classes, rather than Childbirth Classes! Clients invariably tell us that the amazing benefits derived during the pregnancy alone were worth taking HypnoBirthing, as they feel less anxious and more relaxed, both physically and emotionally, starting from the first class.
A new study published by the National Institute of Health in the US sheds light on why starting classes early would be important. In their survey on Fear of Childbirth and Preference for Cesarean Delivery Among Young American Women Before Childbirth (1), researchers found that fear of birth is similar among pregnant and non-pregnant women. The study concluded that attitudes toward birth are formed in young adulthood or earlier. Furthermore, women with a high degree of fear were FOUR times more likely to prefer Cesarean birth. Based on the results, researchers recommended that fears related to pregnancy and birth should be addressed by Public Health Initiatives before pregnancy, with a focus on promoting birth as a normal life event.
HypnoBirthing®, which is celebrating 25 year anniversary this year, is an extremely powerful method in releasing fears going back to early childhood by teaching pregnant women not only relaxation and breathing techniques, but self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is the most effective and fastest way to change deep-seated, negative beliefs about childbirth, ourselves, and the world around us. HypnoBirthing can greatly increase the success of VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). While there were amazing results even for women who started our HypnoBirthing classes as late as 37 weeks of pregnancy, it stands to reason that we all need time to shift beliefs held since childhood. HypnoBirthing allows women to have a more relaxed and better birth experience. To find out why Jessica Alba, Anna Trebunskaya, and the Duchess of Cambridge used HypnoBirthing, read some of our HypnoBirthing stories HERE and check out the statistics of over 2,000 HypnoBirths. Contact us to see how HypnoBirthing® can benefit you during your pregnancy, birth, and beyond!
Kris Pedder is owner and operator of Beautiful Bellies Doula Care in Toronto, Canada. Kris is a Doula, HypnoBirthing and Childbirth Educator, a Certified Hypnotist and Fertility Consultant, and HypnoBirthing Institute Regional Liaison for Ontario and Eastern Canada.
About the Film Trial of Labor
A documentary about modern childbirth from the mother's perspective, 'Trial of Labor' follows a small group of pregnant women and their journeys back to trusting themselves and their bodies after previous births ended in unplanned surgery. Each woman has chosen to plan a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC) and the uncertainty of their imminent births evokes in each a personal reckoning: finding a path through unresolved feelings and difficult decisions to the ultimate, unpredictable event of childbirth. The film also credits the support of these women by their midwives, doulas, and the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).
'Trial of Labor' can be streamed FREE for a limited time. Click HERE to watch the FULL movie.
Official Movie Trailer
Give your child the gift of self-esteem for a lifetime!
For 5 DAYS ONLY this valuable eBook "The Real Secret to Making Your Child Feel Loved, Safe and Happy" can be downloaded from Amazon for FREE, January 11-January 15, 2015.
Having trouble with the Amazon download? Would like to book a private consultation? Contact us!
IMPORTANT: When you are on the Amazon website and have the book page up in front of you and are being told you can't download it, look over to the right on the same page. You will see a link to go the the country relevant website. Click on that and you will be taken to the same book page but on your country's Amazon website. For example, CANADA: amazon.ca UK: amazon.co.uk
Screening for gestational diabetes commonly uses an oral glucose challenge test with a 50-g glucola beverage and subsequent venous puncture. If you have ever had this test before, you know how disgusting it is to drink this super sickly sugary beverage. In addition, up to 30% of pregnant women report significant side-effects, and the beverage is costly. Researchers hypothesized that equivalent glucose loads could be achieved from a popular candy twist (Twizzlers; The Hershey Company, Hershey, PA) and tested it as cost-effective, tolerable alternative with a test of equivalency.
According to the results published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the strawberry-flavored candy twists are potentially an equally effective screening test, compared with the gold standard glucola beverage. The good news is that the candy twits lead to fewer false-positive tests of gestational diabetes, and therefore would be a cost-effective alternative. Even better news for pregnant mothers, is that they taste better than the routine glucola drink.
You may have to wait a bit more before this becomes common practice among your care providers, but it will be a welcome change for pregnant women.
#MICROBIRTH is a new 60 minute documentary looking at birth through the lens of a microscope, launched worldwide on 20th Sept 2014. You can watch the full documentary courtesy of its producers until Jan 2, 2015. To access the link for free viewing, click HERE
MICROBIRTH explores the latest scientific research asking if how we give birth could have consequences for the life-long health of our children and potentially, could even impact humanity. Produced and directed by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford. Watch the amazing trailer below:
By: Catherine Porter Columnist, Published on Fri Mar 25 2011 Toronto Star
I chatted a spell about giving birth to Ina May Gaskin, before getting to the orgasm.
It wasn’t exactly foreplay, the grand dame of North American midwives sitting with me at her friend’s west end kitchen table, talk drifting from forceps babies to the first labour she attended in the back of a school bus, which at the time was her home.
But our conversation was kind and calm — the two ingredients she says are necessary for a joyous, even ecstatic natural labour.
“She looked so gorgeous. Of course she had an orgasm. She was ah, ah ah ah. . . that kind of thing,” Gaskin said, describing that inaugural labour. “I didn’t see a woman who was scared. I didn’t see a woman who was in pain. We were all ecstatic.”
Gaskin is a legend among midwives. Americans often credit her for resuscitating the profession there. She is lauded for inspiring Canadian midwives to become a recognized, legislated profession. In 1976, she published Spiritual Midwifery, which recounted the natural childbirths she had attended at The Farm, a hippie commune she and her husband Stephen founded in southern Tennessee a few years earlier. There, she worked to correct the brutality of her own first labour in a hospital — strapped to the bed, a needle forced into her back, forceps gripping the emerging head of her daughter, who was whisked away for a full day.
“The doctor said, since she was my first, I’d cause brain damage to the baby if I delivered her naturally,” she said. “How likely is it that out of 5,000 species of mammals, we are the only ones too screwed up to give birth?”
She learned by doing and listening to her intuition, she says. The results spoke for themselves. Of the first 2,200 babies she and her partners delivered, only a dozen required forceps or a vacuum. At a time when one quarter of American babies arrived through surgery, they welcomed 186 babies naturally before having to rush to the hospital for their first caesarean.
Her tools were kindness, snacks, outdoor walks, laughter, reassuring words, maybe a little foreplay from a husband to stimulate some oxytocin, the love-hormone that stimulates “rushes,” Gaskin’s word for contractions.
Women, she proved, were not cursed to painful, clinical labours. Delivering a baby could be spiritual and pleasurable.
I read Gaskin’s second book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, while pregnant with my second baby. It was an antidote to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Instead of cataloguing every gruesome doomsday scenario, here I found women’s stories of difficult but joyous, drug-free labours. On Page 163, there is a photo of ‘Therese’ — head thrown back, delirious smile, the head and face of her baby emerging from her vagina.
“My job is not to make you want to have a home birth,” Gaskin says of her books. “I want you to be less scared of birth.”
Her theory: A woman scared to give birth hums with adrenaline, which signals the cervix to tighten, while a little French kissing will have the opposite effect.
“The elephant in the room is denying that birth is sexual, when it occurs using our sexual organs,” says Gaskin, now 71.
Gaskin is in Toronto to lecture at a birthing conference on Saturday and to promote her latest book, Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta. It covers a lot of the same ground, but focuses sharply on the ever-swelling rates of both caesarean sections (32.3 per cent) and maternal mortality in the United States, now higher than all of Western Europe, and even Bosnia at 17 per 100,000 births. Canada, by comparison, has remained stable at 7. She pegs both to “hyper-medicalization.”
“It’s a real pathological level when you frighten women into surgery,” she says.
I read it this week at night after tucking in my two kids — both born naturally. They were delivered in hospitals by midwives. Here’s another thing we’ve gotten right here in Canada. While the political battle between midwives and obstetricians drones on across the border and it’s still illegal to give birth at home in many states, 500 registered midwives in Ontario deliver babies, sometimes in concert with obstetricians. We have achieved Gaskin’s dream.
“I’ve often thought, we should come to Canada,” she says, laughing. “But we’re too old. You wouldn’t take us.”
After finishing her book, I dug through my cluttered bedside table and fished out an old diary. There I found my account of Noah’s birth. He was a wrestler of a baby at 10 pounds. Just before I started pushing, I floated in a hospital Jacuzzi bath, my body rising and falling like spaghetti.
“I can truthfully say I enjoyed this,” I wrote. “The contractions felt deep, but fleeting and I simply let them ride through me without resistance.”
Catherine Porter’s column usually appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. She can be reached at email@example.com
Birth Matters -- a song about why birth matters, written for the South Dakota Birth Matters video contest
"The birth of a baby is the birth of a mother.
We know that health matters,
we know that babies matter,
we know that moms matter,
so so does birth"
Lyrics, melody, harmony, ukulele, bass, beats, claps, illustrations and animation by Rebecca McKeever with great appreciation for those who helped her have a confident, healthy, natural childbirth.
The negative aspects of labour are often the focus but here are ten reasons to stay positive. - by Emily McElarney
You are not squeezing something the size of a melon out a hole the size of a grape
No you can't believe all you hear in the movies - looking at you Look Who's Talking. A woman's body is perfectly engineered for birthing and so is a baby's.
Firstly, the hormone relaxin softens both mum's and baby's joints and ligaments (including the pelvic joints) making everything pliable, movable and accommodating. Even baby's shoulder blades and collar bone become smaller in span to allow for birth. Then the fontanelles in the baby's skull allow for the overlapping of the bony plates giving the baby that beautiful cone-shaped head and guess what, the circumference is then nothing near the size of a melon.
And now for that hole the size of a grape. The perineum or the 'final frontier' is super stretchy but it needs time to 'unfold' which is why forced pushing to achieve birth isn't recommended. Allowing the baby's head to gently 'knead' the perineum open in its own time usually results in a perfectly in-tact perineum after birth.
It doesn't have to involve pain
If we look at the body rationally, and accept that the birthing muscles are no different to any other muscles in our body, then there is no reason for them to be in pain when they are exerted.
We're not in pain when we're gardening, playing sport, practicing yoga or any other situation where we're using our muscles. We might however feel a bit stiff and tender a day or two after!
Childbirth is certainly hard work, a physical challenge and involves sensations of pressure, fullness, tightening - but not always pain. Pain is usually brought about by fear and the resulting tension it creates in the body. And don't forget the lovely endorphins our body produces.
Nature's own morphine - in fact 200 times stronger then morphine - produced right there in your own body. And don't be afraid of the contractions, as birthing guru Ina May Gaskin says: "Your rushes (contractions) cannot be stronger then you, because they are you".
Childbirth is one of the most empowering things a woman can ever do
There's nothing that even compares to that feeling of giving birth to your baby. That complete euphoria. It's there whether you have a cesarean section or a drug-free natural birth - a complete rush and a total sense of accomplishment and pride. You'll never experience anything else like it! (Until the next baby!)
It unlocks a whole new part of you that you didn't know was there
When a mother gives birth to her first baby it's as if a trap door of emotion is opened within her. Being a mother for the first time is an intense, mind-blowing emotional experience. Lots of parents find a part of themselves they never knew was there when they become a parent.
Relaxing and trusting in the process is the most beneficial thing you can practice in childbirth
When you are relaxed about birth, your body relaxes and stays soft and open to the whole process of changes which take place inside. Stressing out and being afraid tenses the body and causes a conflict of processes.
Adrenaline make the body want to hold off birthing until a safer time. It also causes blood circulation to divert away from the uterus, and baby, and head for the defence organs and limbs. The best thing you can do is lie back and relax and trust in the amazing process of birth.
You'll fall in love with your partner all over again!
There's nothing to bring a couple closer then childbirth. Though the birthing partner may feel like 'a spare' and like they're contributing nothing at all - just being there and whispering little messages of support to their beloved is perhaps the most important and effective third party contribution to birth. Once the baby is out they'll look at you in awe of the goddess you truly are!
There's lots you can do to make it easier even before your baby is due
Baby's position is half the battle. If you get baby into the optimal position for birth before the head engages you've half the work done.
Always check with your midwife/consultant what position your baby is in at each visit from 30 weeks on - not just the head, but where the baby's spine is. The perfect position is head engaged into the pelvis, with baby nestled into your left side, looking over at your right hip.
This is known as LOA or Left Occiput Anterior. Yoga, swimming, gentle lunges and avoiding reclined seats and bucket seats in cars can really help achieve this position.
There's lots you can do to make it easier on the day too!
Stay at home as long as possible - that way you can relax and feel safe and secure. Going in to hospital too early leaves you more likely to be induced or have medical intervention. Be active - move around, work with your body. Help baby make that journey through the birth path with your movement. Use gravity - giving birth lying on your back is absolutely the toughest way. Gravity will help hugely so give birth on all fours, on your knees or best of all, squatting.
There's a reason babies are meant to come out that particular exit
Yes they come out facing your bum for a reason - another nod to nature's amazing design of the birthing body.
On the way down the birth canal, the movement of the contractions expels amniotic fluid from the baby's lungs allowing them to be ready for breathing. Then on the way out, the baby takes a gulp of mum's bacteria found lying in and around the perineum. This bacteria kickstarts the baby's entire digestive system by populating the gut with flora or good bacteria.
Once the head emerges, it's the air hitting the baby's face which allows the breathing reflex to kick in - that's how babies can be born safely under water.
You actually only have to move that baby an average of 5 inches
Yes that's all. If you're in the last weeks of pregnancy, stand in front of the mirror and look at where you reckon the head is and where the exit doors are. It's really not that far. You can totally do this!
Health & Living
- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/life/family/mothers-babies/10-positives-no-one-tells-you-about-childbirth-30477675.html#sthash.oURDlfWD.dpuf