Monday, March 26, 2007

Midwife film clip

I know some of you are strong supporters of home birth and I know others are strong supporters of hospital birth. I think it's wonderful when we can each have a preference but understand the other person's perspective. I wish every community would have the resources to offer women the support they need to their choice of a birth environment - hospital, birth center or home - very few communities have that, unfortunately.

With the said, I was sent a link today of a home birth midwife sharing why she does what she does....4 minute presentation on midwives and found it very touching.

It's that time of year

It's that time of year - where many of the folks who have gone through Passion for Birth are completing the final steps and the paperwork in order to write the certification yours truly is trying to keep up as well as get through all the amazing course designs that have filled my mail/UPS box! There are not enough hours in a day!

If you have gone through Passion for Birth and getting ready to take the Lamaze certification, send me an email and sign up for our "question for the day" - I am trying to write a multiple choice question and sending it out to the email list, just to give you practice and to motivate you to maybe study a few minutes a day instead of cramming at the end! I need to polish today's question and send it out!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Twin birth on You tube

So many images around birth make birth look like it is on a one way track to's so nice when there are other images that make it quite normal and inspirational looking. I think mothers of twins,in particular, are bombarded with worries and warnings. I am on an Australian midwife/birth list and one of the midwives decided to post pictures/music of her own home waterbirth with twins. Couldn't look more normal! Check it out if you have time: twin birth

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lamaze releases report on the evidence!!

REPORT: ROUTINE INTERVENTIONS DO NOT IMPROVE BIRTH OUTCOMES - & MAY CAUSE HARM The report from a two-year review of maternity care science, “The Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps to Mother-Friendly Care,” is being published in Lamaze International’s Journal of Perinatal Education and was presented at last week’s Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Forum. Among the most striking findings: The common use of routine birth interventions, including labor induction for low-risk women, continuous electronic fetal monitoring and cesarean section “fails to improve health outcomes for mothers and their babies, and may cause harm.” Obstetric practices that were found to be harmful to mothers and their babies also included the routine use of intravenous fluids (IV), amniotomy (breaking the bag of waters), withholding food and water from women during labor and episiotomy. For more about this report and its findings, go to Routine Interventions

Grant writing tool

Not everyone who would like to take childbirth classes or have labor support is in a position to have those opportunities. Many communities have come to together to form Birth Networks, to promote the CIMS motherfriendly initiative and some have added making information and support more available. To learn about Birth Networks, check out all the resources at: Lamaze Birth Networks

Often times money is a barrier for these gass roots organizations to thrive. Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies just shared a great resource on grant writing. How to write a grant It walks you through step by step! Let me know if you use it and are successful! Let's make birth information more accessible!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

High tech to support high touch

On a doula list I am, there was a link to a new product - a contraction timer. At first my reaction was "why, when paper and pencil works fine" and timing is not really that important until labor is well established....but then I remembered that old Dick Van Dyke clip that Debby Amis shared at the Lamaze conference and how anxious everyone can get and then panic sets in to get to the place of birth too soon!
So I went to: contraction master and tried it out. It's free. It's easy once you practice and I could give it a thumbs up if it does what it claims " want to be at her side offering support. It was that night that I thought maybe I could make the process of timing contractions easier, thereby freeing up more of my time to be by my wife's side." So if you work with the clientele that would have their laptop with them and on at night, it might be a tool! Or maybe it would allow women to be at Starbucks...or any wifi zone! I also hear there may be a similar program for PalmPilots.
I am all for reviewing technology that supports more hands on support. Whether this tool does that, we will have to assess - but it might be a fun tool to mention in class...let me know if the result is more high touch support!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Teaching about Cesarean Birth

It is alarming how the percentage of cesarean births keeps going up and up...and no result in lowering infant or maternal mortality. With that said, I do feel as childbirth educators we need to look at how and what we teach about cesarean birth.

We have to remember the importance of her birth memories and the increase in her birth satisfaction if she is involved in decision making. I was so thrilled when I first heard how friend and childbirth educator Marilyn Hildreth gets babies to latch on while "mom" is still getting her cesarean incision closed. She is a strong advocate for "no separation of mother and baby."

Jeanne Green, another awesome educator, sent me this link - where mothers are lifting their own babies from their abdomens: Active Cesarean Birth

Think about how you will present options and making cesarean birth family oriented!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Staying energized (and feeling overwhelmed)

A fellow educator-in-training called me this morning. She asked if I might want to meet with her every other week or so for a study group. Good grief, YES!

Boy, did I need that phone call. Seems she and I are in the same boat: We’ve fallen behind on our path to becoming LCCEs. Since the PfB seminar in February, I’ve felt myself begin to slack off on the steps required before I can take the Lamaze exam. The next one is in April, but my personal goal is for the October exam.

That goal alternates between completely do-able, and completely impossible, depending on what’s going on in my life at any given moment. Between my full-time day job, two boys under four, a husband with two jobs, and my growing involvement in the local birth network, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to find the time to devote to my educator plan. Every night I promise myself that after the boys are asleep, I’m going to spend an hour or so on my study guide or course design. What actually happens is that I can barely get my brain to function enough to operate the TV remote, let alone crack open a book or turn on my laptop. I collapse into bed to sleep for one precious hour before my youngest begins his all-night nurse-fest.

I am deeply dedicated to achieving this educator certification, which means committing a chunk of time to it on a regular basis. I need to be honest with myself, though. All I can spare right now is three or four hours every couple of weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s all I can do. I WILL DO THIS!

Okay, I’m going to tack on a shameless plea for pity. My family currently has the poopy-barf bug that’s going around. There’s nothing more pitiful than a barfy baby. Send us good feel-better vibes, please.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A very fun tool!

Found a great website that allows you to make some original graphics!!

I had so much fun:

And this is where I wish all the seminars could be:

Back to grading course designs.....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Using U-tube as a tool

The development of new tools on the internet is incredible. Who would have imagined 10 years ago that classes would have discussion boards and list servs? That instructors would be sending out class reminders as text messages. That a great place to market classes would be Craig's List? Who knows what u-tube will bring us! I have seen a couple incredible births there. (one posted by the daughter of a student midwife/Passion for Birth partcipant who had a planned home waterbirth attended by PfB trainer, Pat Predmore, as her doula. Watch their calmness as they realize that the midwife is not going to make it in time! It was on utube - now at : Journey toward Birth

And there's another interesting video to watch on u-tube:
Nurse-Ins across America

Mothers in North America are increasingly taking to holding "Nurse-Ins"
to uphold their right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, in Mothers in
North America are increasingly taking to holding "Nurse-Ins" to uphold
their right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, in order to feed and
nurture their children. Organized primarily through Internet networks,
it is a mother's show of solidarity and community with each other, at
this time in our culture when this simple act of nurturing our
children, can bring dirty looks, nasty comments or even cause the mother and
child to be removed from businesses or airplanes.

While Nurse-Ins are often initiated by one person's negative response
to seeing Nursing in Public, the Nurse-in becomes an opportunity for
correction of breastfeeding misconceptions, education about the child's
right to breastfeed and its importance to the health and wellbeing of
mother and child, and a show of support from the general public.
Video created by Janice Reynolds, one of the Nurse-In organizers

Friday, March 02, 2007

Depression in pregnancy - important topic for CB classes

Sorry for the gap in posts! I travelled to Sacramento for a seminar! It was hosted in a beautiful home and the group was energetic, talkative (!), definitely "got it" as far as normal birth and the importance of the work we do. They did great at the peer teaching!

During one teaching session about postpartum depression, I shared that the rate of depression in pregnancy is just as high if not higher. One person asked me where that research was - as she would need it if she taught that and was ever challenged. So I appreciated her request, so often if you sound authoritative/knowledgeable enough, you can often say - "research says", "evidence supports" and nobody ever says - "show me!" So I did a quick google search and found an article about the research in the UK Depression rates higher than thought
and then found another article on a US study Depression in Pregnancy Undertreated

What I found really interesting was the fact that the depression peaks around week 32 - right when they might be in childbirth class. It would be important for us to include that in our classes or maybe if the depression is severe, it may be a barrier for them to come to class!

Now the next step is develop an effective teaching strategy for this topic!