Monday, February 25, 2008

Eating During Labor

Until the 1940's, women were actually told to eat and drink as they desired during labor. All of that changed in 1949, when 1 study showed that women who ate during labor had a higher chance of aspiration (food entering the lungs during anesthesia.) Since then, women have often been told that as soon as they feel contractions or think they are in labor, they should stop eating.

There are several reasons why this study, done nearly 60 years ago, should no longer apply to women in labor today:

1. The original study was based on very high amounts of anesthesia, which are no longer used on women during cesarean births.
2. Fasting during labor does not guarantee an empty stomach.
3. The risk of aspiration only occurs with general anesthesia, which is used very rarely for cesareans.
4. Prolonged fasting increases the amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach which can increase the complications with aspiration.
5. It is not good to base recommendations for practice on one study, especially given that this particular study is extremely outdated.

Arguments made for eating during labor include:

1. Eating small amounts of easily-digested foods during labor can give you the energy you need to keep going.
2. A 1989 National Birth Center study showed that 11,814 women who ate and drank at will during labor did not have a single case of aspiration, even among the 22% of women in the total group who required a cesarean.
3. Sometimes the knowledge that you can't eat during your labor can affect your sense of control. That alone might make you feel like giving up sooner.
4. Often midwives and doulas report that if a mother's labor is not progressing, often eating and drinking during labor helps to get things moving.

Read the rest of this article here.

Risks of Using Pitocin

I have a friend who is sitting in her labor and delivery room as I type this post. Someone just commented on her blog that "no one gets a superwoman prize for enduring more pain, we all come out with a baby." This was in an attempt to make her not feel bad for the chance that she might have to get some Pitocin because she is not contracting enough and her water has already broken.

But knowing full well, she wants to go as natural as possible it irks me that someone would make a comment like that. This woman clearly is not being stubborn and refusing things she 'needs,' she is simply trying to do what is best for her and her baby. Being medicated during labor and delivery is NOT what is best for you and your baby, bottom line! Why do women not know this?

I wish people would realize that woman who want to have a natural childbirth are not trying to gain bragging points. They simply are convicted that it's the best for both them and their baby and they are willing to endure a little more pain to achieve their goal.

Here are some facts about Pitocin.

Risks of using Pitocin

Risks for Mother

  • Mothers using Pitocin frequently report increased pain with contractions. Most mother using Pitocin also use pain medication to handle the increased pain.

  • Pitocin use requires continuous monitoring to detect complications and/or progress which interferes with mobility.

  • Pitocin use requires an IV for administration.

  • Pitocin use can cause long contractions and contractions with double peaks.

  • Pitocin use slightly increases the possibility of a uterine rupture.

  • Pitocin use increases the likelihood of a fetal malpresentation or malposition.

  • Pitocin use is associated with an increased need for cesarean surgery for distocia and fetal distress.

Risks for Baby

  • Pitocin use increases the likelihood of depressed fetal heart rate patterns.

  • Pitocin use increases the chances of Fetal Distress due to decreased oxygen availability.

  • There are increased risks to your baby if you have a cesarean surgery.

You can read the entire article here. I have been reading two books from the author of this article and they are incredible. I highly recommend them to any Christian mom who is interested in birthing naturally.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Party after Party

Two weekends ago we were quite busy celebrating the upcoming arrival of Joseph. My midwife, Penny, threw me a Blessingway at our home and then the next day after church our Sunday school class had a baby shower for us. We had a great time at both, but I especially loved the Blessingway.

I did not have a Blessingway with Samuel because I didn't even know about them. It was wonderful. Now that I know about them, I wish everyone new mom could have one! I had my mom and some close friends and our birth attendants over to our home and we had a time of celebration and prayer for this upcoming birth. It was not a time for them to shower me with gifts, but with love and prayer. It meant more to me than I could have ever imagined. They washed my feet and joined me in celebrating this miracle of life. They each brought verses of inspiration for me to encourage me during this waiting period and throughout the birth. They also each brought one or two plants symbolizing new life and growth of our family. I love plants, so it was quite appropriate. I feel very comforted knowing I have so many friends lifting this pregnancy and birth up to the Lord. I know they make a difference. I wrote out a list of things that I want specific prayer for and they each took a copy of them home so they can continue to be praying. It's only a matter of about 3-4 weeks and then our precious bundle will be in our arms.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More Bible / Scripture Verses for Labor and Delivery

Thanks to A Joyful Birth website, I now have found many more verses that are bringing comfort and will continue to through the delivery. The Bible is filled with all the answers to life we could possibly want, you just have to look a little deeper for some of them!

  • "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever." Ps. 111:10
  • "Wise men store up knowledge" Prov. 10:14a
  • "A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power." Prov. 24:5
  • "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5
  • "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil.4:13
  • "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." Is. 40:31
  • "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Josh. 1:9
  • "But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." 2 Chron. 15:7
  • "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt him." Ex. 15:2
  • "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." Ps. 28:7
  • "He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power." Is. 40:29
  • "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Neh. 8:10b
  • "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Ps. 121:1-2
  • "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6
  • "For we walk by faith, not by sight.." 2 Cor. 5:7
  • "Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God." Ps. 22:9-10
  • "'Shall I bring to the point of birth, and not give delivery?' says the Lord." Is. 66:9a
  • "From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you." Ps. 71:6
  • "For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'move from here to there', and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you." Matt. 17:20b
  • "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7
  • "In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid." Ps. 56:11a
  • "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6
  • "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it." Ps. 37:4-5
  • "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him." 1 John 5:14-15
  • "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28
  • "I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." Ps. 34.4
  • "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Ps. 37:7b
  • "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16
  • "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound judgment." 2 Tim. 1:7
  • "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam though the mountains quake at its swelling pride." Ps. 46:1-3