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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

In Their Own Words: Annika's Story

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments ()
April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  As such, the blog topics this month will focus around cesarean birth journeys, and options that cesarean birth warriors have for subsequent pregnancies.  

If you would like to submit your story for our In Their Own Words series, please send your submission to krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com.

Here is Annika's story of her primary cesarean, and her VBAC journey with her second child:

When you are pregnant with your first child you have all these wonderful naive concepts about birth…well, at least I did. Not to say I had a traumatic birth with my first child, but I would say it definitely was a sobering lesson for my husband and I.
 
Our plan was to have Landan in a birthing center with minimal intervention and in a birthing tub. The entire idea of a water birth and a welcoming atmosphere to me was literally heaven and I would dream about it almost daily. At our 39 week check up our midwife seemed a bit puzzled when she was examining my belly and feeling around for Landan's position and promptly concluded after a ultrasound that he was in fact breech and very comfortably nesting in my right rib cage. So with a referral in hand and a last minute appointment with Dr. Medchill we made our way to his office for another ultrasound to determine if I was a good candidate for an external cephalic eversion (aka, external flipping or rotating of the baby).
 
Much to our delight, Dr Medchill concluded that there was sufficient fluid surrounding Landan and the umbilical cord was not wrapped around his neck. So off we were to the OB Triage at St Joe's to attempt flipping Landan with our bags packed "just in case." While the idea of externally having my baby flipped was not appealing, I really didn't have a whole lot of time to really understand the gravity of what I was about to experience, nor do I think I would have cared to be honest.
 
I had my mind made up that this was going to work and I was going to get my beautiful peaceful water birth I had been dreaming about for 9 months. With my husband sitting at my head, Dr Medchill on my right side pushing Landan's head and upper body, and a head resident pushing Landan's legs and butt, they attempted 4 times to flip Landan with no avail. My son was perfectly comfortable where he was at, and no one was going to convince him to move otherwise. At this point, my husband and I had been dealing with this ordeal all day and both of us were so incredibly burned out. I was shaking thanks to the muscle relaxers they gave me so they could perform the procedure and I didn't even want to dare to think about how sore my belly was going to be once the pain medication wore off. So, seeing our exhaustion, Dr Medchill offered to perform a cesarean birth within the hour.
 
Looking back on it now, I am actually very grateful for his willingness to help us in the midst of our exhaustion. Let me be clear, he was not pushy by any means and if you have ever encountered Dr. Medchill he is the most kind, but honest, human being on this planet. In his professional opinion especially since I had showed no sign of labor, my cervix was completely shut, minimal effacement, and Landan was definitely not going anywhere from his comfy spot, the chances of my body kicking into natural labor and Landan flipping and descending through the birth canal was really minimal.
 
Since I had never had a vaginal birth to begin with, I also had what the medical community deems as an "untried pelvis," which essentially means no baby has ever passed through. Which can diminish your chances of having a successful natural breech birth even farther.
 
So, my husband and I decided to go for the compromise and I was prepped for surgery before the ink was dry on the consent papers. Looking back on it now, I'm actually incredibly grateful for how quickly they moved as my husband and I weren't really given the chance to think too much about what was going on. The cesarean birth, from what I remember, was rather uneventful. I remember being extraordinarily cold, and feeling very alienated being so exposed on the table, but the staff was really pleasant and made me feel comfortable.
 
Once Landan was born he was quickly cleaned, weighed, and swaddled, and brought over to me where we snuggled our heads together for a fleeting moment. My husband was allowed to take him from there to the OB Triage area to have skin-to-skin contact while I was being put back together. Granted, I would have loved to have that contact with Landan myself, but stepping back from that, it really was a special time for Danial and Landan. They definitely formed an unbreakable bond and for that I am absolutely thankful for. That was such a special gift that Danial was able to have with Landan and I wouldn't take that away from him ever.
Fast forward 5 months and we were a busy family with a new(Ish) baby still taking over our house. Since having Landan I hadn't really thought much about his delivery or the ordeal much as I was happy to have my son earthside safely. It was when I found out I was pregnant with our second child that month that my feelings and emotions about Landan's delivery and my upcoming delivery would soon start to bring to the surface all sorts of emotions.
 
Luckily for us, we decided to stay with Dr. Medchill and continue care through him as he was most familiar with us, and our previous experience with him was really outstanding. He didn't hesitate when I asked if I had the option of attempting a normal VBAC and said that I was a really good candidate and that he actually would encourage me to at least try.
 
Let me tell you, that was music to my ears! But at the same time, the question in my head was "what exactly am I going to expect?" I couldn't have the water birth that I had fantasized about during Landan's pregnancy, and I was definitely not going to get a very birth center like atmosphere in the hospital, so what exactly COULD I expect?
 
That's where getting involved with the ICAN chapter in Phoenix really helped me wrap my head around my options but also internally deal with some unresolved feelings from Landan's delivery that I didn't even know I had. Also, getting involved with ICAN really gave me confidence to ask questions that I didn't even know were subjects I could ask!
 
For example, I had no idea that I could ask to have intermittent monitoring which would allow me to get in and out of the shower along with walking freely without being attached to a machine all the time. So armed with information, my husband and I navigated the months leading up to Adaline's birth with optimism and trust in our care provider that we could have a fair trial of labor.
 
I'm not going to lie, while we had an amazing support group around us from our care provider, to our doula, to our family, there was some SERIOUS fear in me of the entire process. No matter how you look at it, the incision is always going to be there. It doesn't go away and that doubt of whether or not that area will be able to withstand labor and birth is constantly lingering no matter how many statistics you look at of the success of VBACs.
 
I can say with confidence that there were MANY times where I just wanted to schedule a cesarean birth and go with what I knew and could expect. That is so much less scary then embarking on the marathon of labor and delivery where you have no idea what to expect. But, there was a really large part of me that just really wanted to experience the beauty of labor and be able to say that I could do it on my own.
 
So, I stuck to my guns and kept drawing from my support group of my husband, my doula, and my care provider. Much to my delight, on October 1, 2014 my water broke (which is definitely not a glamorous experience like Hollywood claims it is!!) and labor started with gusto about an hour later. My husband, doula and I made our quick exit to the hospital as my contractions were coming on with force and relatively quickly.
 
After a marathon of 17 1/2 hours of hard, active labor, my daughter was born on October 2, 2014 and was the most beautiful VBAC baby I could ever ask for. She absolutely made me work for my VBAC and I truly couldn't have done it without my doula and my husband, who stayed up with me the entire night going between the shower, birthing ball, holding the puke bin between contractions, making sure I drank water, and listening to me when I was so tired that I could feel my body giving in after 15 hours and asking for an epidural simply so I could take a 30 min power nap.
 
I have clients that ask me all the time how I was able to get through that VBAC and it’s really plain and simple to me. There is no part of me that hesitates when I say that I absolutely drew from the strength of my husband and my doula the entire time. Having my support group really helped me get through the toughest parts of that labor and then also being at peace with getting an epidural and taking a nap. When it boils down to it, that's what my body needed and having my support group there allowed me to listen to my body.
 
There is nothing I regret from Adaline's birth and in a way it was so healing for me and resolved so much self doubt from Landan's birth that I didn't even know existed in me until I was faced with the option of having a normal VBAC.

Now we are weeks away from meeting #3 and my husband and I feel so comfortable and armed with such confidence that we do know our options and are going into this second vaginal birth. I know, and for the first time, feel absolutely confident in my body; that it knows what to do and I also know how to listen to it as well. We have moved to a different state so having to switch providers was nerve racking until my husband and I really sat down and realized that we were completely confident with the criteria that we wanted and were setting for ourselves and also that we would find a care provider who was just as amazing as Dr Medchill was.
 
Luckily for us, we did find an amazing care provider and he is definitely on the same page as we are with this delivery. My hope and prayer for every single mother going through her VBAC whether it be after one or multiple cesarean births is that you really find your voice and find your support. I know that's what helped me navigate this incredible journey that I've been on the past 3 1/2 years and I only can hope that every single mother finds that strength as well.

Photographer Name: Allie Hannah Photography

Henna: Pheobe Sinclair 

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
 Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


 

Q&A with SPB: Breech babies & childbirth classes

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 8:15 AM Comments comments ()


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Can we prepare for a natural birth even if our baby is breech?

The answer is yes!!  The statistics are in your favor.  Only 4% of babies remain in the breech position at the time of labor and birth.























Notes from today's video:
Even if you end up with a cesarean birth after exhausting all your options, by preparing for a natural birth, you can still take advantage of the information you learned in your childbirth class:

Consumerism and informed consent: can help you negotiate to allow your labor to start naturally and then (if necessary) head to the operating room after a trial of labor. Babies have been known to turn vertex (head down) during labor - you may decide it's worth trying. At the very least, you will get some of the benefits of the hormones that you are meant to get during labor if your labor happens according to your body/baby's schedule.

Relaxation techniques: can help you be present and intentional during your cesarean birth.  HERE is a post we have done exploring the options around a gentle cesarean, also known as a family-centered cesarean.

Exercise and nutrition: Our students who have cesarean births in order to preserve their Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby birth plan often report that their recoveries are vastly different from their friends who did not take Bradley classes.  The physical aspect of their recoveries are easier and shorter thanks to the fact that their body that was physically prepared for the act of birthing.

What are some of your options?  Find 3 full lists of ideas plus a visualization script HERE

Here is a short list:
External Cephalic Version (medical solution)
Webster Protocol (chiropractic technique)
Acupuncture
Moxibustion
Inversions
Swimming
Music
Hot/Cold compresses
Light
Visualization
Prayer

Links For More Reading

SPB posts
5 Point Plan for Breech Babies: http://goo.gl/2WYf4n
 
Our Breech Story:  http://goo.gl/EP6F9V

Gentle Cesarean: http://goo.gl/xeixuI

Turning the baby:
External Cephalic Version: http://goo.gl/FSaFLV
 
Dr. Ross on Webster Protocol (chiropractic technique): https://youtu.be/A3762xOCMcs

Spinning Babies ("Natural" ways to encourage optimal fetal positioning): http://goo.gl/oHyHm

Breech Tilt: http://goo.gl/A6r9zV
 
Studies about Breech Babies
Statistics on the 3 different breech presentations: http://goo.gl/fJ0yxW

Acupuncture and Moxibustion: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280133
 
Long term outcomes the same for vaginal and cesarean deliveries of breech babies: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23197237


Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Humans Feeding Humans

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 9:29 AM Comments comments ()
World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center 

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

***


Celebrating Each Mother's Journey: Not every breastfeeding relationship looks the same. There are mothers who exclusively breastfed, exclusively pumped, breastfed with supplementation, breastfed for three hours or three years, never breastfed but wanted to, or did some combination of these. The important thing is that each mother is supported and given accurate information. Today let's discuss how we can celebrate every breastfeeding relationship. 


We can celebrate every breastfeeding relationship by acknowledging the variety of ways that women can feed their babies.  As described in today’s topic prompt, there are more ways to feed an infant than breast to baby.   Besides breastfeeding, there are relationships where the MotherBaby, “exclusively pumped, breastfed with supplementation, breastfed for three hours or three years, never breastfed but wanted to, or did some combination of these.” 

In addition to those scenarios, there are also women who educated themselves and participated in human milk sharing, or maybe allowed a friend or relative to wet nurse.  These are all available options besides the two most commonly acknowledged and debated food delivery systems: exclusive breastfeeding and formula feeding.

As a childbirth educator, it is my honor and privilege to offer information about breastfeeding in our classes and to introduce our students to the wide world of breastfeeding support for their journey.  Although I am not a certified lactation consultant, I have been the ear for mamas on their path to feed their children with their own milk.  The mothers in our student base have run the gamut all of those options.  Due to the amount of support our mamas have, so far all the families have found a path to breastfeed for at least the first six months of infancy as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  I have heard their tears of disappointment, and wept with joy when they share the news that their baby finally latched.  We celebrate when they are no longer pumping and cleaning pump parts and bottle-feeding systems.

These MotherBabys succeed in their pursuit of a breastfeeding relationship because they do not feel judgment for their inability to exclusively breastfeed.  Instead, they are provided with a plethora of options to support them in their journey to feed their human babies human milk.  They are provided with lists of breastfeeding support groups in our area that offer information and camaraderie.  They are offered names of lactation consultants when they need one-on-one support.  Even if a MotherBaby does not live in a metropolitan area with face-to-face support options, the age of the internet has given rise to video resources and websites available 24/7 via the world wide web (see some of our student's favorite resources at the end of today's post). 

In order to celebrate the variety of ways that families feed their babies, I propose that we find some new ways to communicate about breastfeeding that are not so divisive.  In our eagerness to share the joy of breastfeeding, it is easy to forget that the questions we ask may unintentionally put people on the defensive. 

Instead of asking, “Are you breastfeeding,” with the implication that they should be, we can ask, “How are you feeding your baby?”  If the answer is not breastfeeding, then we can ask, “Did you want to breastfeed?”  If the answer is another “no,” we can share the benefits of skin-to-skin and eye contact when a baby is being bottle-fed, maybe let them know about babywearing, and then move on, making our best effort not to pass judgment.  We can also share information about milk sharing to open the door to the possibility, and offer to share more information in the future: “I don’t know if you knew that some families are choosing to supplement with human milk instead of formula.  If you ever want to know more about that, I would be happy to send you some resources so you can look into it.”

If the answer is something akin to “I tried and it hasn’t been working out for us”, we can follow up with “Would you let me help you find the resources to help you breastfeed?  Although it is natural, it is not always easy and there are many women who have needed help getting off to a good start.”  By asking gently, the door is open for us to share any and all information to help the MotherBaby develop the breastfeeding relationship that works for them.

We must also focus our ire on the lack of information about all the different ways to feed infants human milk where it originates.  Instead of pitting the breastfeeding camp against the formula feeding camp, we need to go back to the source of the challenge: the formula manufacturers.  



It is not in the formula companies best interest to have the majority of the population exclusively breastfeed, so the lie that formula is “as good as” breastmilk has persisted.  I am not anti-formula.  I know that formula is a great option to provide the necessary nutrients when there is no other option available.  However, the wholesale equality that has been attributed to formula has kept women and children from taking advantage of nature’s best nutrition simply because we are trusting.  We trust that our doctors would not withhold information, we trust the advertising campaigns, and we do not question the status quo.

So do celebrate breastfeeding in all its forms.  Commend the mother who is exclusively breastfeeding.  Praise the woman who exclusively pumped, because that is the mother of all commitments.  Support them women who breastfed with supplementation, and ask them what you can do to help them if they want to exclusively breastfeed.  Congratulate the woman who breastfed for three hours and educate her on how she can still achieve a breastfeeding-type bond with her child.  Cheer the woman who breastfed for three years, and encourage her to tell her story so that other families know it has been done and they are not alone.  Mourn with the woman never breastfed but wanted to, inform her that her past relationship does not dictate her future breastfeeding stories, and help her find the support groups to try breastfeeding again with her future children.  Applaud the human milk donors and the wet nurses.  Theirs is an ancient tradition that is coming out of the shadows of time and back into awareness. 

Last of all, we can celebrate by sharing a smile.  No matter how you see a woman feeding her child, smile at her because we are all sisters on the journey of motherhood.  Accept her, because in spite of different choices, we are all mothers doing the best we know how to do today.  At the end of the day, our children may be playmates, classmates, friends and lovers. 

Let’s set the tone for celebration and acceptance by living love, starting with the mothers who know of our sleep deprivation in the newborn phase, the tickle in our bellies when we get to share a smile with our baby, and the pure joy that we feel every time we look at the miracle that we loved so tenderly from their first moments on earth.  That really is something to celebrate.

Breastfeeding Support Groups:
La Leche League~ http://www.llli.org/
Hospital Support Groups – call your local hospital to see if they offer classes or support groups
 
How to find a Lactation Consultant:
Read THIS post that explains the different designations in lactation consultants.  Training can vary from a 16-40 hour course, with and without clinical hours, to IBCLC's who have the equivalent of a college degree in human lactation.

IBCLC:The gold standard in lactation care, these support people have the equivalent of a college degree in human lactation.  You can find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant HERE.

Human Milk Sharing:
Eats on Feets~ http://www.eatsonfeets.org/
Human Milk 4 Human Babies~ http://hm4hb.net/

On-line resources:
BreastFeeding, Inc.: “aim is to empower parents by ensuring they receive the most up-to-date information to assist them with their breastfeeding baby. We strive to provide them this information through breastfeeding resources which include, but are not limited to, free information sheets, video clips, and articles.”
http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/

KellyMom: “our goal is to provide support & evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting. I am the mother of three lovely children, and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).”
http://kellymom.com/

Stanford School of Medicine: Videos and articles about breastfeeding
http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/

Infant Risk Center: "The InfantRisk Center will be dedicated to providing up-to-date evidence-based information on the use of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding." 
http://www.infantrisk.com

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
*I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

More Posts From Nursing Freedom and San Diego Breastfeeding Coalition World Breastfeeding Week Blog Carnival:

August 5: Each Mother's Journey and Milk Sharing

  • An Unexpected Formula-Fed Attachment — Kyle (of JEDI Momster and) writing at Natural Parents Network, exclusively breastfed three healthy babies. So when she was pregnant with her fourth, she assumed she would have no breastfeeding troubles she could not overcome. Turns out, her fourth baby had his own ideas. Kyle shares her heartfelt thoughts on how she came to terms with the conclusion of her breastfeeding journey.
  • It Take a Village: Cross Nursing — Shannah at Breastfeeding Utahshares how cross-nursing helped her baby in their time of need, and how that experience inspired her to create a community of cross-nursing and milk-sharing women.
  • Random little influences and Large scale support communities lead to knowing better and doing better — amy at random mom shares how her ideas and successes involved with breastfeeding evolved with each of her children, how her first milk sharing experience completely floored her, and how small personal experiences combined with huge communities of online support were responsible for leading and educating her from point A to point D, and hopefully beyond.
  • Mikko's weaning story — After five years of breastfeeding, Lauren atHobo Mama shares how the nursing relationship with her firstborn came to a gentle end.
  • My Milk is Your Milk — Lola at What the Beep am I Doing? discusses her use of donor milk and hhow she paid the gift back to other families.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - Celebrating Each Mother's Journey — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy lists her experiences and journey as a breastfeeding mother.
  • Working Mom Nursing Twins — Sadia at How Do You Do It? breastfed her twin daughters breastfed for 7 months. They made it through premature birth and NICU stays, her return to full-time work, her husband's deployment to Iraq, and Baby J's nursing strike.
  • So, You Wanna Milkshare? — Milk banks, informed community sharing and friends, oh my! So many ways to share the milky love; That Mama Gretchen is sharing her experience with each.
  • Milk Siblings: One Mama's Milk Sharing Story (and Resources)Amber, guest posting at Code Name: Mama, shares how her views on milk sharing were influenced by her daughter receiving donor milk from a bank during a NICU stay, and how that inspired her to give her stash to a friend.
  • Humans Feeding Humans — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares ideas on how we can celebrate all the different ways modern mommies feed their babies. While we are comfortable with the breastmilk-formula paradigm, she proposes that we expand our horizons and embrace all the different ways mamas feed their infants.
  • When Breastfeeding Doesn't Go As Planned — MandyE of Twin Trials and Triumphs shares the challenges she faced in feeding her premature twins. She's still learning to cope with things not having gone exactly as she'd always hoped.
  • Taking Back My Life By Giving Away My Milk — When Amanda Rose Adams's first child was born, he was tube fed, airlifted, ventilated, and nearly died twice. In the chaos of her son's survival, pumping breast milk was physically and mentally soothing for Amanda. Before long her freezer was literally overflowing with milk - then she started giving it away.
  • The Tortoise and the Hare — Nona's Nipples at The Touch of Lifediscusses why we care about breast milk and formula with everything inbetween.
  • Finding My Tribe of Women Through Milk Sharing — Mj, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center shares her journey breastfeeding with low milk supply and supplementing with donor milk using an at the breast supplemental nursing system. She shares the impact milk sharing has had on her life, her family, and how it saved her breastfeeding relationship.
  • Human Milk for Human Babies — Sam at Nelson's Nest shares her perspective on milk-sharing after an unexpected premature delivery left her pumping in the hopes of breastfeeding her son one day. Sam's milk was an amazing gift to the other preemie who received it, but the connection was a blessing in the donor mom's life too!
  • Sister, I Honor You — A mother feeding her baby is a triumph and should be honored, not criticized. Before you judge or propagate your own cause, go find your sister. A post by Racher: Mama, CSW, at The Touch of Life.
  • Every Breastfeeding Journey Is Different, Every One Is Special — No two stories are alike, evidenced by That Mama Gretchen's collaboration of a few dear mama's reflections on their breastfeeding highs, lows and in betweens.
  • A Pumping Mom's Journey — Shannah at Breastfeeding Utah shares about her journey pumping for her son, who was born at 29 weeks.

5 Point Plan To Turn A Breech Baby

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM Comments comments ()
We have had an interesting phenomenon in our Fall Bradley Method® class.  Three of our couples had/have breech babies – 30% of the class!  Interesting since the overall statistic ranges between 1-4% babies being breech at term – it depends which information you are reading.

In this post I will describe steps to take if you find out you have a breech baby at any point in your third trimester.  These are all ideas that do not involve the physical manipulation of the baby.  To read more about that option, click HERE.

1.)  Set your whole intention on turning your baby.
Focus your thoughts and your energy in every moment that you can to  turning your baby.  Envision that a non-breech baby is going to be your reality.  Devote time every day, whether it be 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 50 minutes, or more, to positive visualization.  We are also spiritual people, so we asked our family to pray for us.  I know that both of our parents put us on their church prayer lists and prayed for us to have the best birth possible for Charger.

2.) Webster Protocol.
The first thing we recommend to our mamas is to find a chiropractor who knows how to do the Webster Protocol.  To be clear, it is not a turning technique.  It is a series of checks that is done to make sure that the pelvis is stable to allow for the baby to feel safe in a head-down (vertex) presentation.  Babies that are going to turn will do so when the torsion is taken out and they can safely place their heads in the pelvis.

3.)  Take action and make a plan with your care provider.
There are two files that I am sharing as part of this post.  The first one is a compilation of ideas that I gathered and took to our care provider.  We went through the list together and she checked off all the things that she felt were safe to try.  This list is now three and a half years old – I encourage you to do your own research and come up with your own list to take to your care provider.  

The second is a script I wrote to play and meditate on every day.  I read it out loud so I could tape it and play it back.  This allowed me to focus on deep breathing and the intention of the words as I visualized our baby turning.  I listened to it when I was doing an inversion.
 
4.)  Do inversions.
When we found out Charger was breech, we were told by our nurse practitioner at our obstetrician’s office and a midwife who did a phone consult that inversions were the “old fashioned” way to turn breech babies.  The two most common inversions are the chest-knee position and the “ironing board” inversion (also known as the “breech tilt”).  The goal of these is to use gravity to prevent the baby from engaging into the pelvis in a breech position, and to encourage the baby to tuck their chin and encourage them to turn.  There are a lot of other techniques, and "everyone" has opinions about what is effective, so choose the positions that make sense to you.
 
  
    








Knee-Chest position
Breech Tilt Picture From

5.  Make Peace.
  If you do all of these things (or more) and your baby stays breech, know that you have done everything possible and allow yourself to open up to other options.  Do you want to try an external manipulation of the baby?  Do you want to find a care provider who knows how to manage a breech delivery?  Do you feel that you want to be allowed a trial of labor so that at least your baby chooses their birth-day before you agree to a cesarean birth? 

Believe that you and your baby will have the birth you are meant to have.  Your baby is not just a passenger in this process – they are a pilot – they know how they are meant to be born.  It is our responsibility to find the care provider who will inform us objectively and support us as we make the decisions that need to be made.

As parents, we are the only ones who can be the voice for our child(ren) before they are born.  Read, read, read.  Ask questions.  Make the decision that works the best for you and your family.

Want to know how the story ended for us? 
HERE is our breech baby story.

Do you know anyone with a breech baby story?  How did it go?

Link List:
External Cephalic Version
http://www.webmd.com/baby/external-cephalic-version-version-for-breech-position

Dr. Ross on Webster Protocol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3762xOCMcs

Breech Tilt
http://www.spinningbabies.com/techniques/242-breech-tilt

Studies about Breech Babies
Acupuncture and Moxibustion
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280133

Long term outcomes the same for vaginal and cesarean deliveries of breech babies
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23197237





Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


Chiropractic Care for Moms and Babies

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM Comments comments ()
I admit it - I was one of those complete skeptics about chiropractic care.  I used to call them "chiro-quackers" and felt 100% sure that I would never let one touch me or my back.

Then our third child, Bryan, was breech at 32 weeks.  And he stayed breech - at our 36 week ultrasound, there was definitely a bottom where there should have been a top!  Desperate to avoid a cesarean and willing to try any natural measure I could, I asked my natural momma tribe if they could recommend anyone for the Webster Protocol - the three with answers all sent me to the same person: Dr. Kevin Ross.

We invite him to speak to our students because we feel that his care is one of the keys for our whole family to continue along the path of natural living that ties into our passion for natural birth.  He is passionate about chiropractic care and the benefits for mom, baby and the nursing relationship.  As an added bonus, he is also a Bradley dad® and can speak directly to the families coach to coach.

Today's post is short on written words - I will let Dr. Ross' videos speak for themselves.  You will see a title and a synopsis; click on the videos to learn more about the topics.  Enjoy!

The topics are:
- What is chiropractic care?
- What is "interfering" with the body's natural processes?
- What is "adjusting"?
- Chiropractic and Pregnancy
- Chiropractic and Babies
- The Webster Protocol explained

For Part 2 of this post, which is Coaching Back Labor click here.

What is chiropractic care?  
Dr. Ross introduces the concept of chiropractic care to our students.




What is "interfering" with the body's natural process?
Chemical, physical and emotional stressors interfere with the body's ability to heal itself.  Good chiropractors don't "fix" things - they clear the way for the body to do the work.


What is "adjusting"?
The common understanding of chiropractic care is a lot of pops and cracking.  Dr. Ross explains the different ways of adjusting - and there are many ways to adjust without "cracking".


Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Chiropractic care can help ease some of the physical discomforts of pregnancy.


Chiropractic and Pediatric Work
Babies can also be safely adjusted - do your research and find a chiropractor trained to do pediatric work.

The Webster Protocol
Guess what - it's not a turning technique!  It is actually stabilizing the mother so that the baby can safely turn head-down.

What do you think?  Have you considered chiropractic care as an option during pregnancy?

About Dr. Kevin Ross: 
Dr. Ross has been in practice for 20 years in Tempe, Arizona. His passion and love is pediatric and pregnancy care but his office cares for people of all ages. He is certified in the Webster Protocol for malpositioned babies.  If you would like to contact Dr. Ross, you can reach him at 480.730.7950, or visit his site at www.rechargeyourlife.com


Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
We are now enrolling for our Spring Series
March 5, 2012 to May 21, 2012
 
For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected]

How we turned our breech baby

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 6:52 AM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® baby - turned from breech to vertex at 36 weeks
I am sharing this because I am hoping this will allow other mommies-to-be with breech babies avoid a cesarean section in the hospital.  One of our students is working at turning their baby right now, so I thought it apropos to share this online today.

Journal: July 19, 2009
Bryan's Estimated Due Date (EDD): August 14, 2009
     As advocates of natural childbirth, and after two amazing birth experiences, I wanted the same for our third child. We found out in early June that he was breech, but didn't give it much thought at the time since we figured we still had time left for him to turn head-down.
      When our ultrasound at the beginning of July showed he was still breech and we already had a guess-timated seven pound baby, red-flags started going up. I was willing to try anything and everything that would safely encourage him to turn to a head down position.
      My thinking was very clear as we started these alternative therapies to an external cephalic version in the hospital: I would do everything in my power to help the natural process along, and knowing that we had done everything we could, accept a cesarean section if that meant we had a healthy son in our arms at the end of the pregnancy.
      Here is what we did to turn him - YEAH! And we are now praying he will stay that way until delivery day.

1. Talked to the baby: Every quiet moment, I would take the opportunity to send my thoughts to him, sometimes speaking out loud. I would tell him to move towards the exit, that I was taking long, deep breaths that were making room for him to turn, to tuck his chin and move towards the exit that was his safe entry into the world, that we, his family were eager to meet him and wanted him to be born naturally.

2. Visual imagery: I visualized him turning down and tucking into the right position. Now that he is turned, I am visualizing him staying there!!

3. Inversion: Method 1 - Prop an ironing board or similar object against a couch or ledge 12-18 inches above the ground. MAKE SURE IT IS SECURE!!! Lay back on it with your hips higher than your shoulders. Do this twice a day for 10-15 minutes.
     Inversion: Method 2 - Knee-Chest position - You begin by getting into a hands and knees position. Slowly lower your shoulders to the floor or bed, resting your head in a comfortable position.  You can try to move your knees further apart, causing your bottom to lower slightly while widening your pelvis.  You should look like you are in a frog position. Keeping your bottom higher than the shoulders while widening the pelvis may give the baby more room to turn.
     While I was in either of these positions, I also did some deep breathing, talked to him and visualized him turning.

4. Play music near the "exit": it is believed that babies will move towards music and light. I put my phone between my legs when I am in the car and play music that he responds to. I also read that light would work, but didn't try that one. The idea there was to shine a light at the top of the abdomen and then move it down, or just shine it at the exit point.  Since then I have read that some babies move away from light - so glad I did not try it.

5. Acupuncture: There is a specific therapy for turning a breech baby. In the doctor's office, they placed five needles in my head and one at a point in each inner ankle. Then they would apply heat (moxibustion) at the outer edge of my pinkie toes. This created a "turning" energy - more than any other therapy, I felt baby responding to this. He was active every time heat was applied to the toes!! We would do the moxi at home before going to bed on the days we didn't have acupuncture. Now that the baby is turned, we are not doing this anymore.  (We did have a couple more sessions with acupuncture only to help ease the labor.)

6. Webster protocol: Done by a chiropractor who is knowledgeable in this protocol. It is about aligning the pelvis, making sure it is open and "sublaxation-free" to receive the baby. This felt the best - after my first adjustment, the excruciating back pain I had felt on my right side was gone. We will keep checking the "Webster protocol" three times a week until delivery to make sure the pelvis is a safe place for baby to hang out.

7. Since he is a summer baby, we are lucky enough to use the pool.  Swimming is thought to help because it relaxes the abdominal muscles and the horizontal position in the water removes the gravitational pressure.  If nothing else, it felt great to have the pressure off my pelvis for a while.

     There are many more ideas on-line if you google "turn breech baby". The respected website is: www.spinningbabies.com.  No matter where you get your information, make sure you review any turning techniques with your care provider before trying them.

     Add again - lots of prayer.  We asked grandparents to put us on their prayer lists at church that Bryan would turn if that was God's will, and we also asked our friends to be in prayer for us. 

Journal:  August 15, 2009
     How the story ended and Bryan’s life "outside" began:  After 46 hours of labor, Bryan Victor Bowman was born on July 30, 2009 – 11 days after he turned. We had a vaginal birth and he was 9 pounds and 3 ounces. His cord was wrapped around his neck – maybe from turning?  I do not begrudge him the time he took since we are so grateful he is alive and well.

If you are in the Phoenix area, here are the doctors we used:
Dr. Deng – Accupuncture/Moxibustion
480-970-0000
164 East Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282
You can save money by having him do the consultation and then having his students execute the treatment plan.
 
Dr. Kevin Ross – Webster Protocol
480-730-7950
2405 E Southern Ave, Ste.4
Tempe, AZ

     Looking back, Bruss and I agreed that if the natural techniques did not work, we would not do an external cephalic version (ECV) because we were not comfortable with the risks, which include
  • Premature labor
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • A small blood loss for either the baby or the mother
  • Fetal distress leading to an emergency cesarean delivery
  • The possibility the baby might turn back to the breech position after the external cephalic version is done
  • Placental abruption - the placenta separating from the implantation site before delivery
 
     The more I learn about birth through reading, observation and listening to our students birth stories, the more I find myself agreeing with Jay Hathaway, one of the founders of the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.  He did a presentation during our teacher training about breech presentation.  His philosophy is that babies are not merely "passengers" in the labor process, instead they are "pilots".  He believes that a baby knows how they need to get out, and they have an ability to control their position in the uterus.  If they choose a breech presentation, then it is for a reason that they know about, and it sometimes becomes apparent after they are born why they were in the breech position.

     I am so glad we were not faced with saying no to an ECV and waiting for labor to begin naturally so we could be wheeled into an operating room.  However, in a conversation with a doctor today as I researched doctors in the Phoenix area who do vaginal breech deliveries, she had an interesting analogy.  If you consider turning techniques on a ladder, the natural techniques are ranked at the lower rungs - and you work your way up the ladder to techniques like ECV.  If you want to avoid a cesarean, her advice was to work on the natural techniques and try an ECV at 38 weeks.

    I will close with my Bradley teacher mantra:  it is up to the parents to take responsibilty, do your research, and arrive at a decision that you agree is best for mom and baby.


Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


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