Just an FYI for all of you…
Midwives Resistance: How Native Women are Reclaiming Birth on Their Terms
2 FULL DAYS:
Indigenous Midwifery: Ancestral Knowledge Keepers – $150. (Proceeds go to Native American Midwives Alliance)
When: October 14-15, 8:00-5:00PM
Indigenous Birthworkers Network Birthworkers who are Midwives, Doulas, mothers…
What can you do to prevent problems in labor, and miscommunication with your doctor? My recommendation is to follow the recommended diet for pregnancy, exercise (for pregnant women), drink a lot of water, and attend to the prenatal visits.
Never be afraid to ask questions!
Why a certain test is being done, what does that word mean, etc. Some things I can assist you with during the Childbirth Education coursework…but asking the questions of your doctor is important. You get to know your doctor, and he/she can get to know you.
Your right as a patient is to have any procedure or test explained to you, by your doctor.
Questions such as:
-Is the particular procedure / test done because it is required?
-Who requires it?
-Why is it required?
-Is it because of doctor concern? What precipitated that concern?
Your doctor is not GOD.
If the doctor is not responding to your questions or you are not comfortable with the explanation / or attitude of the doctor you still can address the issue. Sometimes just a rewording of your question is helpful. If still you are not being listened to, the following outlines your rights…
HIPPA law outlines a patient’s rights:
To Clear Communication
The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics clearly states that it is a fundamental ethical requirement that a physician should at all times deal honestly and openly with patients. Patients have a right to know their past and present medical status and to be free of any mistaken beliefs concerning their conditions.
To Informed Consent
Informed consent involves the patient’s understanding of the following:
- What the doctor is proposing to do
- Whether the doctor’s proposal is a minor procedure or major surgery
- The nature and purpose of the treatment
- Intended effects versus possible side effects
- The risks and anticipated benefits involved
- All reasonable alternatives including risks and possible benefits.
Within the perimeters of informed consent, the doctor ethically understands the responsibility of:
- The patient being told what the doctor is going to do
- That the patient is helped to understand the medical implications
- Whether it is a minor or major procedure
- The risks and benefits
- Alternatives with the information about risks and benefits
The patient rights also include:
- Freedom from force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion
- The right to refuse or withdraw without influencing the patient’s future healthcare
- The right to ask questions and to negotiate aspects of treatment
The 3rd part follows in one week…
What needs to happen, in order to fix a broken system? Your probably wondering what I mean by a broken system. I am talking about the care of women, and especially birthing.
In a nation that has been considered “advanced” we are so far behind the eight-ball that it becomes shameful. Our c-Section rates were seriously through-the-roof, and although some improvement has been made still higher than most “civilized” countries! The average being around 31%.
Along with that outrageous number of c-Sections are the ever-climbing mortality rates of women in birth, predominately women of color. This is shameful in a country that is supposed to be “advanced”!
On top of both high c-Section rates, and high mortality rates for birthing, is the across-the-racial-board birth trauma. It should NEVER happen! But, we have nurses and doctors who force women into procedures, who intimidate and threaten.
The media makes it seem that birth is both dangerous and extremely painful. When that consciousness is embedded in the psyche of women, and you have a medical field that relies on mechanical means to monitor births… the stage is set. We have normalized bad birthing practices, and outdated concepts about birth.
That is without discussing the current political scenarios.
The next few blogs will address the history behind, and the current information about birthing in the United States. The outdated concepts surrounding birth practices need debunking. The normalization of bad birthing practices needs to have a light shown upon it, in order to make it STOP.
It is time to become educated,
and create a change!
My sister site will also be publishing this information, although later, at joyousbirth
Citris Aurantium: Fresh Fruit
Both the unripe and ripe fruits are used in Chinese Medicine. The unripe bitter fruit is more potent. The unripe bitter fruit (zhi shi) is used for constipation or to move stagnant chi energy. It can be used to make an expectorant for coughs. This bitter fruit is NOT recommended for use in pregnancy.
The ripe fruit has multiple properties for the pregnant woman. It is high in vitamin C and when eaten with the pulp, it contains Rutin.
A Small Orange contains the following nutrients:
|Amount Per 1 small (2-3/8″ dia) (96 g) 100 grams 1 fruit (2-5/8″ dia)|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.1 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 0 mg||0%|
|Potassium 174 mg||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 11 g||3%|
|Dietary fiber 2.3 g||9%|
|Sugar 9 g|
|Protein 0.9 g||1%|
|Vitamin A||4%||Vitamin C||85%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
Sweet Orange Essence Oil
The essence oil of the sweet orange blossom can be used in a diffuser for lack of energy and / or depression. Sweet Orange is an excellent choice for women who are having difficulty in labor and who are lacking energy. Do not use the essence oil in the bath during pregnancy, and use with extreme caution with infants present. Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil, such as Sunflower or Almond.
Neroli Essence Oil
Neroli is derived from the bitter orange blossom. It should not be used during pregnancy, but can be used during labor and right after delivery. Neroli helps with stress, fright, exhaustion, and shock. It is also great for anxiety. An excellent choice when there are complications in labor causing the mother to be exhausted, and anxious. If there has been a traumatic birth it will assist with the shock after the birth. Use only with the advice of a trained professional who knows about aromatherapeutic treatments. Do not use in a bath and limit its use around infants.
In the next few blogs I will be discussing the healing aspects and nutritional aspects of some common foods. These are beneficial for a variety of reasons and good to use in dishes, or to have whole, on your plate!
These particular foods I would recommend to include in your diet for a healthier pregnancy…
These will be:
Any warnings for pregnancy and lactation will be included, and where possibility of a recipe or two. All references for these are on my reference page.
NOTE: Imagery is from free-domain imagery sites. If I have used any images that are not free to use, please email me [firstname.lastname@example.org] and I will remove them.
I am researching topics for posting in this blog. If you have areas you would like to see / read information on, please let me know.
The Fertility Awareness Method [FAM] works as a contraceptive only if you choose to either postpone intercourse or use a barrier method when you are fertile. You should be aware the method is most effective when you abstain.
Here are the reasons why:
- If the barrier method is going to fail, it will fail when you are in the fertile phase. ALL contraceptives have a failure rate.
- Using barriers with spermicides during the fertile phase can mask your cervical fluid.
Drawing the “Cover Line” For Charting
The purpose for charting your temperature is determine when ovulation occurs. Your temperature rises on the days after. But to accurately do this, you need to draw a cover line.
The instructions are as follows:
- After your menstruation ends and when charting your temperatures, always notice the highest temperature of the previous 6 days.
- Identify the first day your temperature rises at least 2/10ths of a degree above the highest temperature
- Now, go back and highlight the last 6 temperatures before the rise
- Draw the coverline 1/10th of a degree above the highest of that cluster of 6 highlighted days
Charting Cervical Fluids
Day 1 of the cycle is the first day menstrual bleeding. Brown or light spotting prior is considered a part of the last cycle.
- The graph below shows how the various types of cervical fluids are recorded in your chart.
Note: Menses are marked with * while spotting is marked (*)
Menses: Red Blood Flow
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*|
Spotting: Brown, pink, discolored
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*||(*)|
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*||(*)||—|
It is opaque, white, or yellow, and occasionally clear. Can be thick. The main quality is stickiness or lacking true moisture. It can be crumbly or flaky like a paste, of gummy and rubbery (similar to rubber cement). When separating fingers it forms peaks.
|Sticky|| fill in box
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*||(*)||—|
Milky, cloudy, white or yellow in color. Is “creamy” like lotion. Can be wet, watery or thin in nature. Does not form peaks when separating fingers.
|Creamy|| fill in
|Sticky|| fill in
|| fill in
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*||(*)||—|
Usually it is clear, but can have opaque streaks in it. Very slippery and wet like an eggwhite. Feels like extreme lubrication in the vaginal opening.
|Creamy|| fill in
|Sticky|| fill in
|| fill in
|Dry, Spotting or Menses||*||(*)||—|
NOTE: There would be an additional column on the right side, but due to constraints in page size, is omitted. The last column not shown has “eggwhite, “creamy”, and “sticky” boxes filled in.
AFTER A MISCARRIAGE
Miscarriage is a loss as much as a full-term pregnancy where the baby is stillborn. Allow yourself to grieve the loss. Those who know ahead of time, when early signs of miscarriage is observed or during premature labor, will begin the process of grieving. This is called “anticipatory grief” and it assists you to prepare for the loss. Don’t feel bad if you have a sense of relief, the uncertainty is now over and you may feel relieved your baby’s ordeal is over.
Other people may not understand your sense of loss, unless they too have had a miscarriage. You may feel alone and isolated. Don’t keep to yourself as this can add to your feeling of doubt, and sense of self-blame.
Many people will expect you to ‘to be back to normal and may say things like ‘aren’t you over this yet?’ or ‘Buck up—no use crying over spilt milk!’ Because you are still grieving so intensely, these remarks can make you wonder if your feelings are silly or unjustified (41)”. Try to surround yourself with people who will listen and care, avoiding those people who are very insensitive.
If the baby miscarried late in the second trimester, you may have memories to grapple with. Such as, when you first heard you were pregnant, the ultrasound that showed you the baby is a boy or girl, and when you first felt the baby move. These types of things are important things to remember in the process of grieving.
You may wonder how long this process will take. It depends upon you and how well you work through the grieving process! Allow yourself the time to work through the shock, anger, denial, your memories, etc.
Davis, Deborah L. PhD. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: surviving the death of your baby. (1994) Fulcrum.
Romm, Aviva Jill. The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices (2003) Celestial Arts
Sphincters May Close Suddenly if the Owner is Frightened
The sudden contraction of the Sphincters is a fear-based reaction, as a part of the fight-or-flight response of adrenals. The Adrenaline/catecholamine level will rise in the bloodstream when frightened or angered.
If a female animal in the wild is in process of birth, the birth process will reverse if the animal is startled by a surprise encounter with a predator. Humans can do the same thing.
In her book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina describes a situation where during labor a woman developed a fever; soon it became apparent that there was a bladder infection. She was seven centimeters dilated, but stalled in labor. So Ina chose to transport her to a hospital.
The laboring woman was examined by a doctor that was rough…who stated she was only 4 centimeters. Her dilation retracted from 7 to 4 centimeters as an automatic response to the roughly-handled internal exam…a natural self-protection, evidence of the function of the sphincter function.
What Helps the Sphincters?
• Trust, comfort, familiarity and safety
• Slow and deep [abdominal] breathing
• Immersion in warm water which calms and relaxes
• Relaxation of the mouth and jaw
o Relax the throat and jaw by singing
o Release an audible low moaning sound (similar to the sounds of lovemaking)
o “horse-lips” similar to the tone that horses make when they make that sound with their lips flapping, or “raspberry” sound.
• Relaxed labor supporters
~This information was taken from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Ina May is an internationally known Midwife, who has delivered babies and written books on Midwifery and natural childbirth. She works at THE FARM, in Tennessee.
In birth work, obstetricians use the Law of Three Ps:
• Passenger (baby)
• The Passage (the pelvic structure and vagina)
• And the Powers (strength of uterine contractions)
From these Ina Gaskin believes stems the misunderstood capacity of a woman’s body from both the pregnant woman and the doctors who work with them. From the misunderstood capacities are the causative factors leading to all the interventions and procedures that now create problems in birthing, such as: Cesarean sections, Forceps use, vacuum extractors, etc.
The blame is placed upon women, for what obstetricians see as “dysfunctional birth”. Women have birthed for eons without a hitch; doctors perceive having a baby as “a problem of physics rather than a millions-of-years-old physiological process (168)”.
The Basics of Sphincter Law
• They function best when the atmosphere is private, and familiar.
• They do not open “at will” and do not respond to commands such as “Push!”
• When in the process of opening (relaxing) they will suddenly close down if a person is upset, frightened, humiliated, or self-conscious. This is the reason why in most traditional cultures women assist women in birth.
• If the mouth and jaw are relaxed, there is a direct correlation to the ability of the sphincters opening in the cervical and vaginal area (or the anus, for that matter).
What are the Sphincters?
These are a grouping of muscles that surround the rectum, bladder, the cervix and vagina. Each has a function for the body. These muscles remain contracted to keep the openings of certain organs held shut until something needs to pass through.
How do they work?
They work in conjunction with the brain. The brain has two sections that directly influence the functions of the Sphincters. These sections are the neocortex and the brain stem (or “primal” brain).
The brain stem is the portion that is directly connected to hormonal functions, and more instinctual. The hormones it releases (related to birth) are oxytocin (the main ingredient in the drug Pitocin, used to induce labor), endorphins, and prolactin.
Whereas the neocortex stimulation works to inhibit the brain stem from hormone release. It is “stimulated” during labor by asking too many questions of a woman in labor, bright light, and failure to protect her privacy during birth.
The sphincters work with the brain stem (and its many hormonal excretions) by a relaxation response. They respond to emotions. A good example of this relaxation response is what happens when toilet functions are interrupted. Everything gets held in, and it takes a while to relax again, right?
~more on the “Sphincters” next week!