Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another Successful Homebirth!

I'm fairly certain I don't have many readers to this blog anymore since it's been forever since I've last posted, but I wanted to share with those of you who follow homebirth blogs and VBAC stories that I had my second homebirth last month. Our third child was born at home and it was an even better experience than the first.

I will be emailing out the (very long) birth story so if any of you are interested please leave a comment and make sure I have your email address and I will add you to the list.

And a picture of our girl, Annabelle Jane, moments after birth:

June 22, 2010
8lbs 8oz.
20 1/4 inches long

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The 5 Foods You Should Eat Everyday

Carrying a child is quite taxing on a woman's body. She needs all the help she can get. Here is a great list I found here of what foods we should strive to eat everyday, pregnant or not.

#1 Leafy greens
Medical experts call them one of nature's miracle foods. Leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale are high in nutrients like folate and vitamins A and C that can lower your risk of cancer. Just one cup of dark, leafy greens a day could also prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.

#2 Nuts
Many nutritionists recommend nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts because they're high in natural fiber. Fiber slows your digestive process, keeping hunger and unhealthy mid-afternoon snacks at bay. Goodbye vending machine runs!

#3 Onions
Studies show that consuming onions on a regular basis may reduce symptoms of asthma and the risk of developing stomach cancer. Add them to soups and stir-fry, and just remember -- the stronger the onion, the greater the health benefit.

#4 Whole grains
Refined grains, like white rice and pasta, have lost 90% of their nutritional value through the refining process. As if that weren't reason enough to choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and whole oats, a recent study showed that a diet rich in whole grains actually flattens your belly by reducing fat storage in your lower abdominal region.

#5 Yogurt
Making yogurt part of your daily eating routine can improve your digestion -- if you're buying the right stuff. Check that the label lists "active cultures" to make sure you're getting healthy probiotics, and pick a yogurt rich in vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Effects of Supplementing

I am copying all the text from a post from the Prayer of Hannah Blog. To go to the post at its original location, you can click here.

I thought this research was interesting and wondered if anyone might enjoy reading it as well. It pertains to the effects of supplementing in the hospital with bottles of water, glucose water, artificial baby milk, or adding supplements to the mother's milk. Some of the reasons for this include the following:

• to give the mother a rest
• because the mother doesn't have her milk 'in' yet
• to prevent hypoglycemia
• to prevent or reduce jaundice

None of these are indications for giving supplements, with some having the opposite effect to the desired result. Yet a 2005 study found that close to half of infants received artificial baby milk in the hospital!

Here are some of the effects on breastfeeding (and these effects were noted even if the baby received only one supplement!):

• Supplemented babies are significantly less likely to be exclusively or fully breastfed after hospital discharge.
• The risk for shortened duration of breastfeeding is increased 4-fold when supplements were given in hospital, even when the supplement used is predominantly donor breastmilk.
• Exclusively breastfed newborns are fed more frequently then breastfed-plus-supplemented infants. 93% of moms remember which brand of artificial baby milk was used in hospital and most will use that brand. Parents may interpret the use of artificial baby milk as an endorsement by hospital staff, despite clear verbal messages promoting breastfeeding.

So. . . if you hope to succeed in breastfeeding, do everything you can to make sure your baby rooms-in with you and doesn't receive any supplementation. . . both in the hospital and after you go home!
Written by Krista

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Need to Fast During Labor

By Megan Brooks - Wed Jan 20, 8:18 AM PST
SOURCE: Cochrane Library, 2010.

Go here to read the article.

There is no reason why pregnant women at low risk for complications during delivery should be denied fluids and food during labor, a new Cochrane research review concludes.

"Women should be free to eat and drink in labor, or not, as they wish," the authors of the review wrote in the Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.

Dr. Jennifer Milosavljevic, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, who was not involved in the Cochrane Review, agrees that pregnant women should be allowed to eat and/or drink during labor.

"In my experience," she told Reuters Health in an email, "most pregnant patients at Henry Ford are placed on a clear liquid diet during labor which includes water, apple juice, cranberry juice, broth, and jello. If a patient is brought in for a prolonged induction of labor, she will typically be permitted to eat a regular diet and order anything off the menu in between different induction modalities."

Milosavlievic has "not seen any adverse outcomes by allowing women the option of liquids and/or a regular diet in labor."

Standard hospital policy for many decades has been to allow only tiny sips of water or ice chips for pregnant women in labor if they were thirsty. Why? It was feared, and some studies in the 1940s showed, that if a woman needed to undergo general anesthesia for a cesarean delivery, she might inhale regurgitated liquids or food particles that could lead to pneumonia and other lung damage.

But anesthesia practices have changed and improved since the 1940s, with more use of regional anesthesia and safer general anesthesia.

And recently, attitudes on food and drink during labor have begun to relax. Last September, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a "Committee Opinion" advising doctors that women with a normal, uncomplicated labor may drink modest amounts of clear liquids such as water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee, and sports drinks. They fell short of saying food was okay, however, advising that women should avoid fluids with solid particles, such as soup.

"As for the continued restriction on food, the reality is that eating is the last thing most women are going to want to do since nausea and vomiting during labor is quite common," Dr. William H. Barth, Jr., chair of ACOGs Committee on Obstetric Practice, noted in a written statement at the time.

But based on the evidence, Mandisa Singata of the East London Hospital Complex in East London, South Africa, an author on the new Cochrane Review, says "women should be able to make their own decisions about whether they want to eat or drink during labor, or not."

Singata and colleagues systematically reviewed five studies involving more than 3100 pregnant that looked at the evidence for restricting food and drink in women who were considered unlikely to need anesthesia. One study looked at complete restriction versus giving women the freedom to eat and drink at will; two studies looked at water only versus giving women specific fluids and foods and two studies looked at water only versus giving women carbohydrate drinks.

The evidence showed no benefits or harms of restricting foods and fluids during labor in women at low risk of needing anesthesia.

Singata and colleagues acknowledge that many women may not feel like eating or drinking during labor. However, research has shown that some women find the food and drink restriction unpleasant. Poor nutritional balance may be also associated with longer and more painful labors. Drinking clear liquids in limited quantities has been found to bring comfort to women in labor and does not increase labor complications.

The researchers emphasize that they did not find any studies that assessed the risks of eating and drinking for women with a higher risk of needing anesthesia and so further research is need before specific recommendations can be made for this group.