Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Everybody is a Genius.
But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

I say this to myself as much as to anyone else: Remember this when dealing with your children! They are not miniature versions of ourselves, no matter how much they may look like it. They are their own unique people, and should be treated (and respected) as such.

I think one of the most important things I've learned as a parent is that my kids are NOT ME. Sure, they do a lot of things that I did, and react a lot of the ways that I did...but when it comes down to it they are not me and I don't really know what they are thinking and I should not assume that I do.
I don't always remember this, but when I do it sure saves me a lot of trouble.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Go read a banned book!

It's the American Library Association's Banned Book Week.
I will be the first to say that there are some books (yes, often found on banned lists) that I don't want my kids to read--books which are sexually explicit or have vulgar language for example. That said, I respect the right of authors to write whatever they like, and I think it's appropriate and acceptable for those writings to be available in libraries. If my child brings home a book which I feel is inappropriate, I will deal with that on a case by case basis...but I don't want someone else dictating what should or should not be in my public library, just as I do not dictate to other people (or parents) what they (or their children) should read.
So, treasure your right to read freely...go read a banned book! (And even if you don't want to read it yourself, be thankful for your right to read what you want!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mothers who know are Leaders

Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting.
These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.

Julie B Beck
"Mothers Who Know"

Friday, September 26, 2008

A postscript...

For those who didn't know (haven't read Bear's birth story) I gave birth in a hospital, with an OB. That was what felt like the right choice at the time.
I'm very pro homebirth, although I don't know if that will be in my future...I hope to have my next child with a midwife at an independent birth center, but will just take each baby on a case-by-case basis.
Anyway, after some of the responses to my prior post, I just wanted to make it clear that I'm not anti-hospital, nor even anti-intervention. I'm just anti-routine-intervention. I appreciate that it's difficult to stand up to hospital policy--I did choose my hospital and OB very carefully (there were three hospitals closer to me than the one I actually went to). I did have a doula. I had a detailed birth plan, and, well, if you read my blog very often you know I can be opinionated and stubborn to a fault. My hospital experience was not perfect (there were a couple of things I would change if I did it again), but for the most part it was very good--certainly better than many of the stories I've heard. I give the credit to choosing the right provider and location, and to praying a lot.

A Natural Birther takes on Epidurals

I've been thinking recently about this topic, and wanted to write about it again. I went back and re-read my post Musings on Birthing Naturally, which I wrote three days after having done so, and I must say I still feel all those things.
My reasons for choosing unmedicated delivery have nothing to do with being macho, or doing the 'in' thing, or saying hey, look what I did. It's not about proving anything. It's not about looking down on those who choose differently, or suggesting that I'm superior. I would have chosen this way even if no one ever knew, because it simply isn't about me. It is about what is healthier and safer for me and my baby. It is about the way God designed my body to do this work. It is about the way He intended birth to be.
A couple of months after my birth experience, my sister also had an unmedicated birth. Her baby was quite large and her experience was not so positive as mine. She said that it got her really thinking about epidurals, so she did some research on them. I've added a little research of my own, and wanted to share what we've found. For all you may hear, good, bad, or otherwise, here are the cumulative results from a number of scientific studies (keep in mind that these tend to be funded by the medical establishment, who of course wants us to like epidurals).

  • YES reduce pain for the mother (4 of 4 studies)
  • YES make labor longer, especially in the pushing stage (5 of 5 studies)
  • YES linked to a higher rate of instrument-assisted vaginal delivery and episiotomy (7 of 7 studies)
  • YES lead to the need for pitocin (2 of 3 studies)
  • YES cost more money (2 of 2 studies, plus any insurance company you ask) (and why do you think the medical establishment recommends them so much?! Did you actually think they had your interests in mind?)
  • MAY interfere with breastfeeding (1 study)
  • MAY lead to more cesareans (1 of 5 studies, but it's the most recent)
  • MAY have severe after effects, including spinal headaches or partial paralysis
  • NO no affect on infant apgar scores (1 study)
  • NO not linked to subsequent long-term backache (3 of 3 studies) (although I know some mothers who will disagree with that)
  • NO they do not increase mother satisfaction (2 of 3 studies)
(I have a list of reference sites below)

I will repeat what I've said before--I do not believe that epidurals (or other interventions) are evil. Not by any stretch. I simply believe that they are interventions. In other words, they should never be routine. Do I ever plan to have one? No; but would I refuse one on moral grounds if I felt it was warranted? No. My labor with the Bear was 23 hours with 2 hours of pushing...was I worn out? You bet. Was it hard? Sure. My doula and husband--both knowing my desire for a natural birth--both subsequently told me that if I'd asked for an epidural they would have supported me wholeheartedly. But I never asked for one, why? Because I didn't want it. Because I didn't need it. I know women who have labored for 36 or 63 hours--should they get an epidural? You betcha--if they want it of course. I know women whose babies have died prior to birth, so they must labor to deliver a dead child while coping with the emotion of the loss--should they get an epidural? You betcha--if they want it. Should the average woman with an average labor get an epidural? No. It should never be a routine thing.

Hopefully most of you participated in my informal little survey there on the sidebar... I'm pretty pleased, I got 80 responses, so that's a decent sized sample (for a little one-woman blog). I noticed a few interesting things: of the 45 people who got epidurals, over a third (17) said they still experienced pain. This may have been because the epidural wasn't given properly, but sometimes even when it's done properly the woman has back labor or something which the epidural can't handle. In other words, planning for an epidural doesn't mean you're covered! Even if you plan for an epidural, you should learn coping techniques because you may need them (if you doubt that, just ask the 3 respondents who wanted epidurals but couldn't have them!)
Of those with epidurals, nearly half (19) reported that they had side effects, either at the time (11) or afterwards (8)... So, not only do you have a 30% chance of the epidural not working (or not working fully/properly), but you also have about a 50% chance of having negative side-effects. That's a big ugly number if you ask me! Furthermore, remember those scientific studies? If you get the epidural, you're all but guaranteed a longer labor and have a much higher chance of having an episiotomy or instrument-assisted delivery. In other words, you may have less pain during the labor, but the postpartum healing is going to SUCK.
So are the risks worth the benefits? Well, of the 36 respondents who chose unmedicated births, the vast majority (22) reported 'some pain or pressure' and 3 reported completely painless births. Less than a third reported 'extreme pain'...interestingly, that's the same as the failure rate for epidurals! I think the key difference here is that these women had planned and prepared for an unmedicated birth. This is the group where I would say that an epidural might be a compassionate and appropriate intervention...but may I remind you that they were the minority.

For what it's worth, I will say that I am certain that orgasmic birth can only happen without medication (and seriously, don't you want one of those?!).

Reference sites:
Penny Simkin "Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Epidural"
Marjorie Greenfield, MD "Epidural--Pros, Cons, and Considerations" (she heavily quotes Penny Simkins article)
Marjorie Greenfield, MD "Seven Myths about Epidural Anesthesia"
RevolutionHealth.com weighs in (they're in favor)
PhysOrg reports an Australian study concerning epidurals and breastfeeding
Severe negative side effects of epidurals and the need for a national database to report them
Less pain but more instruments

A few natural-birth friendly blogs if you need a little inspiration, or just some warm fuzzies:
The True Face of Birth (which has a million birthy links of its own)
Birth Junkie (not currently posting but some great stuff in the archives)
Blithe Birth celebrate birth and pregnancy
Babies and Bellies (please note that this blog frequently posts beautiful but graphic birth videos)
Descent into Motherhood

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stuff I love about your blog

As promised, this week we've got the positive side of blogging!

Make me laugh. You don't have to do it all the time, but those blogs that give me the giggles are going to have me as a regular reader. Jenni of JustChickenFeed and Lamina both put me in stitches on a regular basis.

Make me think. Take on deep topics now and then, and don't be afraid to really say what you think and feel. Get the wheels in my head turning. Alisa rocks in this department. So does her husband Bryan. My cousin Tim does it, and TheTrueFaceofBirth, and Descent into Motherhood. My Hubby does it regularly too, although he doesn't always blog it...*winkwink**nudgenudge* honey! (He's actually been blogging a lot more lately though)

Make me feel. Shared emotions are powerful, and when I read stories I can relate to (about miscarriage, or kitchen disasters, or frazzled mothering), I feel a connection to the writer...and I come back. This is why I read Picklebums, MagicallyMama, SmithFamilyTimes, RasJane, and SamuraiMom.

Make me inspired. These are the crafty blogs usually, although not always. KnittingFisher shows off knitting that makes me envious (I have to convince her to make me something, though I don't know what yet!). Lamina's crafty blog is both inspiring and funny. Jenni at OneThing has 12 kids. Go her!
ThrowsLikeAGirl inspires me with almost every post (yes, even as she makes me laugh) as she talks candidly about her battle with breast cancer.

Make me change, or, at least, teach me something I didn't know before. Bloggers introduced me to reusable menstrual products. Bloggers taught me how to make my etsy stores more successful. Bloggers have given me insight into political candidates and issues. Alisa here, and Tim, and the WordDork. ThrowsLikeAGirl has been teaching me lots of things I never knew about cancer--you can blame her for the fact that I now post feel-yourself-up-fridays.

Make my ego. Seriously, link to me, or my shops, or say nice stuff about me, or my shops, or buy something from me...and you've got a regular reader for a good long while. (These people know it!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


One of my favorite diapers I've ever made

For more awesome cloth diapers, visit the Etsy Cloth Diaper Team page.

Run on over to 5MinutesforMom or the new Wordless Wednesday HQ and check out some more wordless wednesdays!

(And while you're here, would you please respond to the epidural survey there on the right sidebar? I'm doing some research and I'd like to hear what real mothers say, not just what the official studies say! Thanks!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

WFMW--Wool Longies at Night

My little Bear is a heavy night wetter. Some kids just are. I tried disposable diapers, cloth diapers, doublers...I was putting huge fat diapers on him at night (diapers that I would have thought could hold anything) and yet the bed was still wet in the morning. I really hate changing sheets, so this was especially a drag for me.
And then I learned about wool. You can read a more detailed post about the properties of wool here, but the short version is that it doesn't leak. It absorbs whatever leaks into it, so it keeps the kiddo dry, but at the same time it keeps the wetness from leaking out into the bed! (Seriously, somebody should patent this stuff...oh wait, it grows on sheep...how did I not know about this?!) So I bought some cute wool longies (ie, wool pants) for Bear and he wears them to bed at night. I actually have several pairs now because I love them so much that he often wears them during the day as well. Wool has the added benefit of being very breathable, so it's comfortable. For those who live in warmer climates, there are also wool shorties.
For those who struggle with bedwetting, a little pair of wool shorts (over some absorbent underpants) is a discreet and effective way to keep the bed dry at any age.
If you're interested in trying out wool for yourself, I recommend checking out these guys. They're awesome.

Works For Me Wednesday is brought to you by Rocks in my Dryer. Come share your tips, or browse through the brilliance of others!

Monday, September 22, 2008


People often ask me what is my favorite season, and I usually say 'summer' because I have a summer birthday and I really do prefer the non-rainy season (yes I live in a rainforest and yes we're planning to stay, shutup!) On the other hand, I'd rather be cold than hot, which would point toward my being a wintery woman...
My mother always said "a change is as good as a rest" and I have repeatedly found that to be true. So I love the changing of seasons more than any particular season itself. In spite of the fact that many of us fear change, the truth is that change is one of the few constants in life. I think my mother was right, a change IS as good as a rest, because I always find rejuvination in the newness of each season. I have always wanted to celebrate the equinoxes and solstices, but I am at a loss for ideas of just how to do that. Do you celebrate them? What do you do?Just as the Earth goes through seasons, so do we. Just as people fixate on this season or that as their 'favorite,' I think we often fixate on this or that season of life is being the best or the most fun, and we forget to just enjoy where we are--no matter where that is. I remember when I was in college my mother (brilliant woman that she is) told me that I was in the season for me: the time to do what I wanted to do, to learn and experience and grow and fill my own cup...because the next season (motherhood) was going to be one of giving. I think I did a pretty good job of taking care of me for those 5 years, and it has left me able to now focus on this new season with joy and without regret.
I think it's important to recognize and celebrate the changes and seasons of life as well as the changes and seasons of the year. Some life changes are well-recognized, such as birthdays, weddings and graduations, but others are fairly overlooked... Baptisms, priesthood ordinations, menarche, pregnancy, menopause...all these things are worth celebrating. I am glad I was able to have a blessingway prior to Bear's birth: a celebration to 'bless the way' through the change into a new phase of motherhood. This last summer we celebrated Wolf's baptism as he left the season of innocent childhood and entered the season of accountability.

What do you do to celebrate the seasons of the year? of life?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Women of God

Women of God can never be like women of the world.
The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender.
There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind.
There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.
We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith.
We have enough greed; we need more goodness.
We have enough vanity; we need more virtue.
We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

Margaret D Nadauld
"The Joy of Womanhood"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's a good thing I like him...

...cuz for the last three days the little Bear has been dragging a pillow and blanket out to the living room to lay down and snuggle with...his blanket, MY pillow.
Just now he brought it out (yes, dragging it down the hall) and laid it exactly on top of the dog...then he sat down next to her and, with a winning smile at me, laid on the pillow (on the dog).
It's a good thing she's a patient dog.
It's also a good thing she's had a bath recently.
And you thought peeing on my bobby pins was good! HA!
(I think I will go change my pillowcase now.)

In honor of this, I have added a new tag to my blog: Kids do the darndest things. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh gee

This morning my sweet little Bear dumped out my box of bobby pins...and then peed on them.

Mommy is sad. The bobby pins will get boiled before going back to mommy's hair.

Also Bear has his diaper back on now. No more nakey bum for you kid!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hey look, they got something right!

Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth. Infants weaned before 12 months of age should not receive cow's milk feedings but should receive iron-fortified infant formula. Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breast milk diet. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.
The American Academy of Pediatrics--statement issued in 1997.

My happy little nurn-monkey is still goin' strong at 20 months old. Except last week Hubby tried to get him to start calling it 'nanu' instead of 'nurn.' Now sometimes he comes up to me and says 'nanu nanu...'

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For the Love of a Cup

No, don't you dare laugh at the title of this post. I really do love my diva cup. It has changed the way I feel about menstruation. At one point, far too long ago, I promised to tell you about menstrual cups. Well, recent events have reminded me about that, so here we go. (yes, you interpreted that correctly, I finally have good ol' AF back!)

Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Yes, I know it looks like a funnel. I promise, it's not a funnel--there's no hole in the bottom. That 'stem' is a handle that facilitates getting it back out...
  • Yes, it looks pretty wide, but yes, it will fit in you, even if you're a tiny little thing. I promise. Just think about what else can fit in there...this is not any bigger. I promise.
  • No, it's not hard. Geesh, do you think I'm a masochist?! It's soft and bendy...like surgical tubing or, um, I dunno. Something soft.
  • No, it won't give you a massive hickey when you pull it out. Just give it a little squeeze on the bottom and it breaks the seal and slips out quite easily.
  • No, it doesn't invite infection--you wash it off in warm water between uses, and many women boil it for a few minutes after each period.
And, in case you ever tried "Instead" no, it's not like those. Those never worked for me. this works like a charm.

So here are some real reasons to make the switch:
  • Most women experience shorter periods (mine went from 8 days to 3-4).
  • It's eco-friendly
  • It's economical ($30 will last you 10 years)
  • It requires less attention than disposable options (it only needs to be changed once every 12 or so hours)
  • I can't feel it--I could always feel tampons
  • It will never slide down when full...it might leak after 14 hours on the heavy day of your period because you totally forgot it was in there because you couldn't feel it (not that I would know of course), but it will not slip down and become painful.
I have only one caveat about menstrual cups: if you are uncomfortable with sticking your fingers in yourself, well, this is probably not a good choice for you.

The official menstrual cup reviews page includs reviews of, and links to the diva cup, keeper, moon cup, luna cup, lunette, femmecup, and lady cup. They are all very similar, with the diva, moon cup, and keeper being the most common. (The former two are made with medical grade silicone, and the last of laytex rubber.)

Here is another useful review of the diva cup. (The author is highly amusing, she just favors the use of certain euphemisms for her girly regions, that I, um, don't...)

If you've got questions, post to the comments...you know I have no shame and I'll answer them all!!!
Q~Why the shorter periods?
I don't know of any hard science on this, but I suspect two things: one, the cup collects, rather than absorbing. A tampon can absorb only so much, and then it becomes a dam, holding back any additional flow. The cup allows everything to come down as fast as it wants to (the first day especially). I don't know that the total volume of blood is any different, but it seems to be released more efficiently.
The second thing is that I have heard the hypothesis that disposable menstrual products actually contain chemicals that increase bleeding. Whether this is intentional (to increase sales of the products) or unintentional (because the manufacturing process simply creates a toxic product to begin with) I don't know. I have not been able to find evidence to back this up, but I have heard it repeatedly, and everyone I know who has switched to a cup or to cloth pads has reported a shorter period afterward.
Q~Does it really last 10 years? The site says to replace it yearly.
Well, I've had mine for about 3 years...of course, I only used it for about 6 months before getting pregnant. I had heard 10 years from several sources...I've never heard 1. I suspect there is some potential for the cup to wear or crack or something, so they recommend replacing annually as a preventative measure...but I sincerely doubt that it's really necessary to replace that often. For myself at least, I fully expect mine to last 10 years or more...but that's partly because I won't be using it every month during that time due to babies. :)
Q~ What do you think of the diva wash they offer on the site?
I don't know, I've never tried it. I am pretty happy with warm water and a little mild soap + boiling it occasionally...
Q~what if you have a IUD to prevent pregnancy. Do these interfere with those at all (as in knocking them out of place)?
I'm not 100% certain where the IUD sits...but I believe the IUD is "intra-uterine" right? So no, it would not be a problem. The cup sits below the cervix, in the vagina--not up in the cervix and certainly not in the uterus. ☺

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Something Scary

Last night I was sitting on the couch with Wolf, watching a movie. Hubby was in the kitchen getting stuff out to make some popcorn, and Bear was in there with him...dancing or something I guess. (Note that in our little apartment, this means he was two feet from Hubby, and 8 feet from me.) I don't know exactly what he was doing; nobody was looking at him. All of a sudden he fell down and started crying, so I ran over there. He was laying on his face on the floor (the chairs were pushed in to the table, so it's not like he had fallen off anything...) but when I rolled him over there was this big deep gash in his forehead. It was about 1cm wide, but I swear it looked almost that deep too...I could clearly see that it had gone well past the skin. Blood was starting to well up and I thought oh boy we're gonna have a gusher here. I mean, head wound, right? I hollered for Hubby to give me something to put pressure on Bear's head (yes, he was all of two feet away, but you try speaking quietly when your child has a gash in his head!).
Bear was crying but he wasn't shrieking like I would have expected for an injury that looked that bad, and he calmed down pretty fast. It didn't bleed as much as I expected...it actually didn't bleed very much at all. But it was deep, and at first look I was afraid he'd need stitches, so I told Hubby to call 911 (I would have just gone for urgent care if we lived anywhere else, but here there's nothing in the off-hours but 911--which gets the local EMT/health aid from home to come help out). Anyway, so we called her, and she said ok I'll meet you at the clinic in a minute...all the supplies are at the clinic, Bear was clearly fine to be moved, and it only took us a couple of minutes to walk there--we actually got there before her. Meanwhile Bear's head wasn't really bleeding anymore. We had realized by this point that he wasn't going to need stitches after all **sigh** but we didn't have anything fancier than bandaids at home, and we figured this needed some butterfly bandages/tape...
So she cleaned the blood off his forehead, and put tape on (which made him mad and he pulled the tape off). We tried again with the tape and again he was pulling at it...finally she just gave us the tape to bring home, and I brought him home and put him to bed and then put the tape on his head after he was asleep. In the middle of the night he woke up and was pulling at it again so I took it off for him...but his head does seem pretty well closed, it's not bleeding or anything...Really now it looks so small that part of me wonders why I was so worried last night, but i don't think I overreacted at the time. I mean, head wound--that's cause for worry, right?!
He looks ok now. He's acting totally normal and unbothered (he was acting that way last night too--the tape clearly bothered him a lot more than the actual gash!
I guess every little boy gets a scar on his head/face at some point, right? Hubby has one, Wolf has one, my dad does, my brothers all do...(heck, half my sisters do too)...
Still, I'm so relieved that it all turned out ok. It so didn't look like it was going to!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My first bit of handspun yarn...

Thanks to the massive "learn to spin" kit I just from Lamina's Closet on etsy.
Look, it's not even too uneven!

WFMW--Messy Eaters

Every time we go out to eat I am reminded of something: paper napkins are useless when you're trying to clean up a kid. The napkins shred and tear, bits of napkin stick to the kid, and very little of the goomp comes off.
Many families use cloth napkins. This is definitely an improvement, but they're still dry, and still lack the ability to cleanse a child who has truly gotten into his dinner.
[here I was going to put a picture of a really messy kid...but Bear just doesn't get that messy]
So what do I do? Oddly enough, I do exactly what my mother taught me: I have a set of washcloths that I keep in the kitchen for fingers and faces. At each meal I just bring the fresh damp cloth to the table...it's quick and easy to clean up kids, but is also very helpful for mommy and daddy when we get sicky fingers. Also it's eco-friendly, and you all know how I favor that!

Works For Me Wednesday is brought to you by Rocks in my Dryer. Come share your tips, or browse through the brilliance of others!

Movies: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Most of these movies are new (or newish), although a few are oldies that I've just seen recently.

August Rush--PG--The cover story on this one is a little corny—I won’t even touch on that. What I WILL say is that if you have ever loved music (any type), or especially if you have ever FELT music, this movie will move you.
The Pursuit of Happyness--PG-13--based on a true story (and the real life protagonist was involved with the movie throughout).
The Ex--(not sure)--Admittedly somewhat of a stupid story, but I really enjoyed it--mostly because of the super-hippie mommy's group that the woman joins. The movie was clearly making fun of them, but I love poking fun at myself, and this had me in stitches.
Twelfth Night (this one by Trevor Nunn)--Very well done. I like Shakespeare anyway, but some people really botch it...not so here. This is done in such a way that the non-bard-junkies should like it too. :)

Nim's Island--PG--The previews made it look fun and funny. I was thoroughly disappointed.
Wall-E--PG--The humans were robotic and the robots were pretty human. The only redeeming factor was that it had some clips (and a lot of music) from Hello Dolly.
Vantage Point--PG-13--I had the strange expectation of an intriguing plot...but there was none. Just brainless action...which, well, I just didn't like it.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age--PG-13--the costumes were as awesome as the first, and the actors are great, but they forgot about the history...and the scriptwriting...

Mr Bean's Holiday--PG--*gag**choke**die* Hubby brought it home for Wolf, and wow, it was painful.
Lions for Lambs
--PG-13--can we just say propaganda!!!
Munich--R--This was horribly misrepresented in the previews. I thought it would be about the terrorist attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympics, and about the investigation afterwards...um, scratch that. They should have mentioned it was based on the book "Vengeance" that would have been much more informative. For all that it was full of bombs, guns and chase scenes, it also moved very slowly. Go figure.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ten Steps towards Mother-Friendly Birth

I encourage you to read CIMS's full statement here.
This list is also available on CIMS's website here.
I think it is worth noting that, while CIMS is obviously in favor of natural, unmedicated birthing, their efforts are helping all birthing women by simply increasing the woman's ability to know what her options are, and her right to choose what she wants!

A mother-friendly hospital, birth center, or home birth service:

  1. Offers all birthing mothers:
    • Unrestricted access to the birth companions of her choice, including fathers, partners, children, family members, and friends;
    • Unrestricted access to continuous emotional and physical support from a skilled woman-for example, a doula or labor-support professional:
    • Access to professional midwifery care. (References )
  2. Provides accurate descriptive and statistical information to the public about its practices and procedures for birth care, including measures of interventions and outcomes.( References )
  3. Provides culturally competent care -- that is, care that is sensitive and responsive to the specific beliefs, values, and customs of the mother's ethnicity and religion.( References )
  4. Provides the birthing woman with the freedom to walk, move about, and assume the positions of her choice during labor and birth (unless restriction is specifically required to correct a complication), and discourages the use of the lithotomy (flat on back with legs elevated) position.( References )
  5. Has clearly defined policies and procedures for:
    • collaborating and consulting throughout the perinatal period with other maternity services, including communicating with the original caregiver when transfer from one birth site to another is necessary;
    • linking the mother and baby to appropriate community resources, including prenatal and post-discharge follow-up and breastfeeding support.( References )
  6. Does not routinely employ practices and procedures that are unsupported by scientific evidence, including but not limited to the following:
  7. Other interventions are limited as follows:

    • Has an induction rate of 10% or less;
    • Has an episiotomy rate of 20% or less, with a goal of 5% or less;
    • Has a total cesarean rate of 10% or less in community hospitals, and 15% or less in tertiary care (high-risk) hospitals;
    • Has a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) rate of 60% or more with a goal of 75% or more.(References )
  8. Educates staff in non-drug methods of pain relief and does not promote the use of analgesic or anesthetic drugs not specifically required to correct a complication. ( References )
  9. Encourages all mothers and families, including those with sick or premature newborns or infants with congenital problems, to touch, hold, breastfeed, and care for their babies to the extent compatible with their conditions.( References )
  10. Discourages non-religious circumcision of the newborn.( References )
  11. Strives to achieve the WHO-UNICEF "Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative" to promote successful breastfeeding:
  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff;
  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy;
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding;
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth;
  • Show mothers how to breast feed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants;
  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated;
  • Practice rooming in: allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day;
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand;
  • Give no artificial teat or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants;
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from hospitals or clinics.

©1996 by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services(CIMS).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Some places you should visit

The Bee in your Bonnet on Nursing in Public

BembosZoo (click on W first, would you? It's extra special!) (So is D) (but not as special as W)(O is really cute too though)

Wall-E wasn't about pollution after all (nope, it was about sex!)

And, if you've ever miscarried, or known someone who has, SarcasticMom has a series of posts that will rip your heart out...and I know exactly how she felt. I just didn't have a blog yet when I was miscarrying.

And this one isn't something to read per se...but I just wanted to officially declare my love of the Natural LDS Living forums. There are LDS forums, and there are crunchy forums (such as Mothering.com), but this one was set up specifically for those of us who are both...most 'crunchies' seem to look down on religion, and most religious folks seem to think we're psycho hippies...so it's nice to have a place where I can fit in fully. (By the way, the forums are totally private, so you won't be able to see anything unless you actually join...that said, once you are a member, you can post away in privacy and peace!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Breast Cancer and Breastfeeding

Time for monthly breast self exams!
I have not been very good about remembering to post these regularly...but I'm trying to work on that. Meanwhile, a "feel yourself up" post by itself isn't terribly exciting, so I've decided to start adding Breast Cancer facts to these monthly posts.

This month: breastfeeding
(while I am staunchly pro-breastfeeding, please realize that I'm not saying that breastfeeding is a sure-fire way to prevent breast cancer...just the research shows a correlation...)

Dr Andrew Weil: "Breastfeeding does appear to protect against breast cancer, probably by affecting levels of estrogen in a woman's body. Results of a study published in the July 20, 2002, issue of The Lancet showed that the more babies a woman has and the longer she nurses them, the lower her risk of breast cancer. The researchers reviewed 47 reports of studies in 30 countries that contained information about 50,000 women with breast cancer and almost 97,000 women who didn’t develop breast cancer."

[According to the study mentioned above] "breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer by 4.3% for every year of feeding. There is also a 7% reduction in risk of breast cancer for each child born. A 4% lowering of risk doesn't sound much but, as breast cancer is quite a common disease in developed countries, breast feeding every child for an extra 6 months would mean about 1,000 fewer cases of breast cancer in Britain each year.
"Interestingly, in Japan 90% of women who have children breast feed. Japan is often talked about in relation to the incidence of breast cancer because, although it is obviously a developed country, breast cancer rates are much lower than they are in Western countries. Usually, people talk about diet as the explanation for this. But it may well be cultural differences in feeding babies that explains it."


"After analyzing data from 98 studies on lactation and breast cancer risk, the group said the evidence is now "convincing" that breastfeeding lowers the risk of both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal breast cancer. There is a 2 percent drop in breast cancer risk for each five months of breastfeeding." The Boston Globe, April 2008

And for those who have, or have previously had breast cancer, the FDA has some comfort to offer:
"Breast cancer is not passed through breast milk. Women who have had breast cancer can usually breast-feed from the unaffected breast. There is some concern that the hormones produced during pregnancy and lactation may trigger a recurrence of cancer, but so far this has not been proven. Studies have shown, however, that breast-feeding a child reduces a woman's chance of developing breast cancer later."

Some Political Thoughts...

I'm going to go ahead and delve into politics again. I don't do that very often, but sometimes writing about things helps me sort them out in my own head. I have been struggling to reach conclusions about our current presidential race, and I guess I just want to ramble about it a little.
I do not vote by party, nor do I declare affiliation with any party. I try to learn all I can about the issues and the candidates' positions, and then I vote by those. My views on things have not really changed over the years, however as I become aware of more and more issues, my preferred candidates have varied. I consider myself a moderate, although it's more accurate to say that on certain topics I'm very conservative, and on others I'm very liberal...I actually don't stand on middle ground on many issues at all...I just appear to land there because of the diversity of my other views. (If you really want to know my specific views, I'll answer questions in the comments...feel free to ask what you like.) In liberal Washington state, I voted for the most conservative guys. In conservative Utah, I was a "bleeding liberal." Alaska is an interesting place, because we appear 'conservative' on many fronts, but then we go off and legalize marijuana for personal use (yup, you can grow your own, you just can't sell it to anybody...I can see gro-lights in kitchen windows here in town). We're pro-gun and pro-oil...and also concerned about the environment, endangered animals, and climate change. Many of us run on hydro-power.
Of course, the big news this week is that my governor has been selected as McCain's vice presidential nominee. (Scribbit: Motherhood in Alaska, wrote a nice little piece about her today.) When I first heard that I (like many others) thought it was some kind of last-ditch effort to get attention away from Obama (and the timing was exquisite in that regard), but now I am seeing the wisdom in his choice. Sarah Palin was elected before we got to Alaska, and until this week I knew very little about her--just that she'd had a baby this last spring. But the more I learn of her the more I like her. If only the ticket were Palin/McCain, I would not have any trouble deciding how to vote!
If you've been reading here for long, you know that I've mentioned pro-Obama things before, and my feelings on him have not really changed--he is a rousing speaker and definitely gets me excited. I want change too! I agree with his stance on many many issues, and I don't have a problem with him being a celebrity, or being young and less-experienced...however I have begun to question his integrity, and that concerns me. McCain, on the other hand, seems quite trustworthy, and I trust that he'll do what he says...I'm just not sure how much I agree with him about what he should do!! McCain's speech last night did put my mind at ease about his positions and plans on a number of issues, although I still disagree with him on some things. Then, of course, there is always the option of voting for a third party candidate, someone like Nader (green party) who is closer to my personal convictions anyway, even though I know he won't win. With Palin on the republican ticket, there's little doubt as to which way this state will swing, so maybe I should say to heck with the big guys and use my vote instead to make a statement about what I really think of two-party politics.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Linked Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...