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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Info Sheet: Vaginal Exams

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 2:01 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Pelvic or Vaginal Exam during Pregnancy (3rd Trimester)

According to Mayo Clinic, “as your due date approaches, your prenatal visits might  include pelvic exams. These exams help your health care provider check the baby's position and detect cervical changes.”


*History

Pelvic examination during pregnancy is used to detect a number of clinical conditions such as anatomical abnormalities and sexually transmitted infections, to evaluate the size of a woman’s pelvis (pelvimetry) and to assess the uterine cervix so as to be able to detect signs of cervical incompetence (associated with recurrent mid-trimester miscarriages) or to predict preterm labour (see Section 11.3).

In an RCT that assessed the relationship between antenatal pelvic examinations and preterm rupture of the membranes (PROM), 175 women were assigned to no examinations and 174 women were assigned to routine digital pelvic examinations commencing at 37 weeks and continuing until delivery.233 In the group of women who had no pelvic examination, ten women developed PROM (6%) compared with 32 women (18%) from the group of women who were examined weekly. This three-fold increase in the occurrence of PROM among women who had pelvic examinations was significant. 

Based on the above study the NCBI concluded, “Routine antenatal pelvic examination does not accurately assess gestational age, nor does it accurately predict preterm birth or cephalopelvic disproportion. It is not recommended.” 

Another study completed by the NCBI concluded, “In patients with a US-documented viable pregnancy, the pelvic examination did not contribute to the patient's immediate obstetric treatment. Occult cervical pathogens may be present in these patients.” 

Sources:

*PROS

Vaginal Exams can possibly measure:


  • Cervical Dilation
  •  Cervical Ripeness
  • Cervical Effacement
  •  Station of baby (position in relation to pelvis -5 to +5)
  • Position of the baby (anterior vs. posterior)
  • Position of the cervix
  • May find cervical anomalies, like early dilation and effacement, so that appropriate changes can be made to the woman's care, including bedrest, hospitalization, tocolytics, etc.
  • May stimulate the cervix so that a medical induction does not become "necessary"



*CONS

  • Increased risks of infection, even when done carefully and with sterile gloves
  • Increased risk of rupturing the membranes
  • May stimulate the cervix prematurely
  • Information collected does not accurately predict when labor will begin and may excite or disappoint women unnecessarily 

Sources:

*Links to explore

Pelvic Exams Near Term: Benefit or Risk? Talking to Mothers About Informed Consent and Refusal

Premature rupture of membranes at term. Retrospective study of 88 cases

Chorioamnionitis in the delivery room

Bacterial vaginosis and intraamniotic infection

Premature rupture of the membranes and ascending infection

Did you have vaginal exams in your third trimester before your labor started? Thoughts?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

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®.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Q&A with SPB: Should I call my care provider?

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 10:11 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

This is another question I see come up pretty often on social media groups, or a text in the middle of the night from a student.  Really, if people are looking for validation, the best thing to do is call! However, our society tells is that we shouldn't be too needy....so moms end up seeking help from non-medical peers.



















When I get this question, the first question I ask is, "How is the baby moving?"

The second is, "What is your gut/instinct telling you when you sit still with this question?"

Depending on what is concerning them, there are other things to evaluate:
Are you having any contractions? Have you noticed a pattern?

Is there any discharge? If so, is there any color or odor?
Did you do anything differently today, or something that might have been stressful on your body?

If you have any of the following signs, we will always recommend that they follow their instinct, even if they feel they might be over-reacting.  When it comes to any questions throughout the childbearing year, our philosophy is "better safe than sorry."

Warning Signs in Pregnancy
1.) Bleeding in any quantity, especially if the blood is bright red.
2.) Discharge or fluid from the vagina
3.) Severe pain
4.) Persistent spots
5.) Swelling*
6.) Fever over 
7.) Pain when urinating
8.) Naseau or vomiting

*in the video, I talk about how swelling *is* a sign of blood-pressure changing.  I should have said "probably", because I am not a medical professional. Swelling is *probably* a sign that your blood pressure is changing.

Getting phone calls in the middle of the night is part of the job description when you work with birthing families and parents of newborns.  Choose a care provider who will be happy to take your call and ease your concerns, or who will be willing to meet you at the hospitalor your birth place if need be.




Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site and in the VLOG is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader/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 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®.




Info Sheet: Amniotomy

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 9:23 AM Comments comments (0)
Amniotomy, Artificial Rupture of the Membranes, AROM - Info sheet for Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
*Definition
Amniotomy, also known as Artificial Rupture of the Membranes (AROM) is the surgical rupture of fetal membranes to induce or expedite labor.

Source: 
American Heritage Medical Dictionary

 
*History
Amniotomy is used to start or speed up contractions and, as a result, shorten the length of labour.
 
Artificial rupture of the amniotic membranes during labour, sometimes called amniotomy or ’breaking of the waters’ was introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, first being described in 1756 by an English obstetrician, Thomas Denman (Calder 1999). Whilst he emphasized reliance on the natural process of labour, he acknowledged that rupture of the membranes might be necessary in order to induce or accelerate labour (Dunn 1992). Since then, the popularity of amniotomy as a procedure has varied over time (Busowski1995), more recently becoming common practice in many maternity units throughout the UK and Ireland (Downe 2001; Enkin 2000a ; O’Driscoll 1993) and in parts of the developing world (Camey 1996; Chanrachakul 2001; Rana 2003). The primary aim of amniotomy is to speed up contractions and, therefore, shorten the length of labour.
 
The first recorded use of amniotomy in the United States was in 1810; it was used to induce premature labor. Amniotomy and other mechanical methods remained the methods of labor induction most commonly employed until the 20th century. Amniotomy, or artificial rupture of the amniotic membranes, causes local synthesis and release of prostaglandins, leading to labor within 6 hours in nearly 90% of term patients. Turnbull and Anderson found that amniotomy without additional drug therapy successfully induced labor in approximately 75% of cases within 24 hours.
 
Sources: 
 
PROS
  • Amniotomy was associated with a reduction in labour duration of between 60 and 120 minutes in various trials
  • There was a statistically significant association of amniotomy with a decrease in the use of oxytocin: OR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.67-0.92 in several randomized trials
  • AROM does not involve any type of medication to mom or baby and is considered by some to be the most “natural” means of induction in a hospital setting.
 
CONS
  • In several randomized trials there was a marked trend toward an increase in the risk of Cesarean delivery: OR = 1.26; 95% Confidence Interval (CI)=0.96-1. 66.
  • Trial reviewers suggest that amniotomy should be reserved for women with abnormal labour progress.
  • In 15 studies containing 5583 women there was no clear statistically significant difference between women in the amniotomy and control groups in length of the first stage of labour
  • Evidence does not support routinely breaking the waters for women in normally progressing spontaneous labour or where labours have become prolonged.
  • [Once membranes are broken} most obstetricians want the baby birthed as soon as 6 hours post-onset to reduce the risk of infection from the introduction of bacteria into the vagina due to repeated vaginal exams. Some obstetricians will wait as long as 24 hours but that is less common. In contrast, midwives, who do not routinely perform cervical checks unless specifically indicated or requested, thus limiting the chance of infection, will often allow up to 36-48 hours as long as no indications of an active infection are present.
  • A large study of 3000 women’s opinions of the intervention was conducted by the National Childbirth Trust (1989). Two thirds of the women in this study reported an increase in rate, strength and pain of contractions following membrane rupture; they found these contractions more difficult to cope with, needed more analgesia and felt that the physiology of labour was disturbed.
  • When there is concern that labour is slowing down, benign measures to intensify contractions such as positional changes and movement may prevent the need for more invasive interventions (Simkin 2010). The Cochrane review of maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour supports the positive impact mobility has in shortening labour (Lawrence et al. 2009).
  • Smyth et al. 2007 studies showed that amniotomy is not an effective method of shortening spontaneous labour and increases the risk of caesarean section and more fetal heart abnormalities
 
Sources:


 
*Link List
 For further exploration on your part


What do you think? Is this an option you would consider, or that you chose for during your birth?
 

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®.

 

Birth News

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM Comments comments (0)
Happy New Year!!  Wishing all of our readers many blessings as you welcome the new year.  I trust your holidays were wonderful and that you are looking forward to all the promise of a fresh slate.

These are probably going to keep being evening editions - thank you for your patience as we ramp up posting again in the New Year.  I am really placing a high value on being Peaceful Mama for my kiddos, which means that being on the computer is taking a back seat to homeschooling and teaching classes this season.  

I will be back in full swing soon - until then, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com) if you have any pressing questions about pregnancy, natural birth or breastfeeding!

Birth News
 
FERTILITY
NOTE: Please read this with a grain of salt - we have had students have beautiful, term babies even though they used IVF to attain pregnancy.  Simply shared as a tool for discussion with your care providers as you weigh the benefits and the risks.

IVF Pregnancies Are More Likely To Result In Stillbirth, Preterm Birth, Low Birthweight, Or Neonatal Death

Couples struggling with infertility often turn to assisted reproductive therapy in an effort to start the family of their dreams. A study out of the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute found that pregnancies conceived with assistance such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to end in stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, or neonatal death, compared with natural pregnancies.

"More research is now urgently needed into longer term follow-up of those who have experienced comprehensive perinatal disadvantage," said lead researcher Professor Michael Davies from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute. "Our studies also need to be expanded to include more recent years of treatment, as the technology has been undergoing continual innovation, which may influence the associated risks."

Medical Daily http://bit.ly/19V24Sc

PREGNANCY
NOTE:I am by no means suggesting that you *should* go get a flu shot – again, I am simply offering this as information to discuss with your care provider.  See what Dr. Sears has to say about the flu shot during pregnancy HERE and HERE 

Flu shots in pregnancy protect babies from being born too soon, Canadian studies show

Pregnant women who are vaccinated against the flu are significantly less likely to deliver premature or low-birth-weight babies compared to unvaccinated expectant mothers, new Canadian research finds.

Based on more than 12,000 women in Nova Scotia who gave birth in the immediate aftermath of the H1N1 flu pandemic, the study adds to mounting evidence that the flu can have “really detrimental effects for both mothers and their babies,” said first author Alexandra Legge, a fourth-year medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Ottowa Citizen http://bit.ly/1gqKeoL


BIRTH
Premature 'Water Breaking' During Pregnancy Linked to Bacteria

High levels of bacteria are associated with water breaking 
prematurely in pregnant women, a new study indicates.

Researchers arrived at their findings by analyzing samples of amniotic sacs (fetal membranes) from 48 women after they gave birth. The report is published in the Jan. 8 online issue of the journal PLoS One.

Nearly one-third of early deliveries are associated with premature rupture of fetal membranes, and it's important to learn more about why this happens, the researchers noted.

WebMD http://bit.ly/1d31rF3

POSTPARTUM

Is Placenta Encapsulation the Answer to Postpartum Depression?

It's a sad reality that a lot of moms are familiar with postpartum depression. For anyone that has suffered from this type of clinical depression, you know the impact it can have on both the lives of the individual suffering, and those around her. There have been studies upon studies to find a way to eradicate the symptoms; some have been proven helpful and others not so much. But what if you knew of something that could eradicate all the above? Something so simple, natural and readily available. Would you give it a try? What if that particular “something” just happened to be encapsulating your placenta and eating it? Ew. But what if it really worked?

Not only does it work, but it does much more than combat the “baby blues.” January Jones, Kim Kardashian, Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamara Mowry-Housely all rave about their experiences with encapsulation. Before you allow your stomach to churn, put down your lunch for a few moments and take a few moments to learn more about placenta encapsulation and postpartum depression.

Mommy Noire http://bit.ly/1gqI3By

BABY

New causes of diabetes in babies discovered

Scientists have found two new genetic causes of neonatal diabetes - a form of diabetes that occurs in the first 6 months of life. 

The research by the University of Exeter Medical School provides further insights on how the insulin-producing beta cells are formed in the pancreas. 

The team discovered that mutations in two specific genes which are important for development of the pancreas can cause the disease. 

Business Standard http://bit.ly/1a3eaX5

'Kangaroo Care' May Have Lasting Benefits for Human Babies 
 
At age 10, the children who had received maternal contact as infants slept better, showed better hormonal response to stress, had a more mature functioning of their nervous system and displayed better thinking skills.

LiveScience http://bit.ly/1gpnkyc

Preemies who cry a lot may have problems later on

Premature babies who cry a lot may be more likely than other preemies to have behaviour problems by the time they reach preschool, a new study suggests.

Experts said the reasons for the finding are not certain, and no one knows whether "interventions" to soothe preemies' crying would ward off behaviour issues later.

"In many ways, this study raises more questions than it answers," said Dr Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioural paediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Centre in New Hyde Park, New York.

Health24 http://bit.ly/1iWKgZG

Doctors report uptick in number of babies with RSV, a respiratory virus, this flu season

For older children and adults, RSV is usually like a cold. Since there isn't a good vaccine against it, Dr. Starke says parents of babies should act fast if their baby has trouble breathing.

"You notice their chest going in and out, they're breathing rapidly, those kids need to be seen right away," he said.

Dr. Starke says there's no treatment for RSV, so parents may want to be extra cautious about taking their babies out in public during this RSV epidemic.

abc13.com http://bit.ly/1gqJ8cC

BREASTFEEDING
Study Links Breastfeeding to Lower Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The latest study documented in the journal Rheumatology, was conducted on more than 7,000 older Chinese women. It revealed that breastfeeding was strongly related to a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Mothers who breastfed, their risk of rheumatoid arthritis came down by almost half compared to those who never breastfed.

There were studies conducted prior to this that focused on the association between breastfeeding and RA, but the results produced were mixed.  It is a well known fact that breastfeeding benefits infants. But there has been growing evidence that breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of the mothers too. This latest cross sectional study examined the association between breastfeeding and RA and also on the intake of oral contraceptives.

Science World Report http://bit.ly/1iWMTKQ


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®.




Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Keeping Sweet Pea Healthy 2012

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)
December is here and it’s time for my yearly PSA on protecting your baby from respiratory viruses.  When there is a newborn in the house, everyone wants to come over to meet the baby!!  They are pretty hard to resist.

Bruss and I are big advocates for our children, especially the youngest members of our family, during cold and flu season.  Our Night Owl had a life-threatening experience with RSV when he was three months old, and that has made us painfully aware just how fragile our sweet peas can be. 

We have three sweet peas from our Fall 2012 class that we have not met yet because we have been passing around a cold for the last month at the Bowman House.  Otter finally succumbed yesterday, and in her, this cold manifested as croup.  A sobering reminder that an infant’s health is so much more important than our selfish desire to see the babies – I shudder to think what would have happened if we had seen those babies over the past weekend when the virus was active with no symptoms yet.

You can click HERE to read last year’s PSA with a list of precautions you can take to minimize your sweet pea’s exposure to germs.  I list 5 concrete steps to Keep Sweet Pea Healthy in that post.  In a nutshell, limit exposure and practice good hand washing.

This year, I want to take some time this year to share polite ways to insist that people who are not healthy keep their germs to themselves and away from your children.  It is unfortunate that people really do not understand how devastating their “little cold”, sniffle or runny nose can be to a child with small airways and an evolving immune system.

THE Announcement
Here is wording you can work into the text of an announcement via email or social media:
We respectfully request that you keep our child’s health in mind when planning your visit with us. As much as we are excited to introduce [Sweet Pea] to our closest friends and family, we also need your help in keeping him/her healthy.  If you are feeling unwell, or have been exposed to a fever within the last 24 hours, we ask that you reschedule your visit.  We will understand if you choose not to come due to illness and will look forward to seeing you when you are in full health.

People Want to Meet Sweet Pea
Here is a polite way to screen people when you talk to them on the phone and they want to come for a visit.  The reason I suggest asking people to wait a couple of days from the call is because a person can be contagious before the symptoms of infection are obvious.
Q: When can we come see you?
A:  We are resting and recovering right now.  As long as you are in full health, we would be happy to see you in a couple of days.  We completely understand if that day arrives and you need to reschedule if you are not feeling well.  As much as we want you to meet [Sweet Pea], keeping him/her healthy is our first priority.

How about if you are planning a gathering with a mixed bag of guests and an infant is going to be in attendance?
You can either mention your position on attending in full health when people RSVP, or you can send out an email a few days before the event to the guests that combines the ideas listed above:
We are so excited to celebrate with you on [date, time].  Since we have infants in attendance, their health is our priority.  If you are feeling unwell, or have been exposed to a fever within the last 24 hours, we ask that you refrain from attending.  We will understand if you choose not to come due to illness and will look forward to celebrating [occasion] with you when you are in full health.

I hope that these sample phrases give you some ideas to tactfully ask your family and friends to put your child’s health needs first.  As for my favorite public request, this is still my favorite for the times when you need and/or want to get out of the house:

Sign for Car Seat or Carrier
Sign for Car Seat or Carrier
www.healthylittleones.com
 You can purchase your own boy or girl themed card HERE http://www.healthylittleones.com/OnTheGo.html

The unfortunate reality is that someone may take offense – and that is too bad for them if they put their needs ahead of your child’s needs.  Health is something we all take for granted until we are faced with the harsh reality of how fragile life really is.  Your baby is counting on you to be their voice until they find theirs.  It is hard to regret putting their needs first when you consider the alternative.


RSV
RSV
Day 4: By this time, some of Night Owl's tubes had already been taken out.
RSV
RSV
Nurses working to straighten the remaining lines
RSV
RSV
Unhooked and still sedated

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson



















So speak up and advocate for your children.  We wish you the best and a healthy season this year!




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®.

Mental Relaxation

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleCoaches Corner
Today's post is from Bruss' perspective.  He led class on Monday and told a story he had never shared in a class setting before...here it is along with an introduction that shares the line of thinking that went along with the story...

An important part of The Bradley Method® (some say the most important) is relaxation.

The superficial view I had of relaxation going into our first Bradley class and subsequent birth was that of *physical* relaxation. Krystyna and I were/are regular Yoga practitioners and my mental picture of relaxation was the final Yoga posture where one lays prone on the floor after a hard workout where the only option is total physical relaxation. In my own mind I thought that getting Krystyna to the physical state of relaxation was the goal/benefit to her in pregnancy and labor.

The Bradley Method® instructs various methods of physical relaxation to the couples and encourages them to explore others that are meaningful to them. Among the methods are message, stroking, hot showers etc.

Combined with physical relaxation, The Bradley Method® teaches the importance of emotional and mental relaxation. Initially I considered these relaxation themes of less importance than physical relaxation. My thought process was if I can help get Krystyna to relax *physically* than the other relaxation components would take care of themselves. 

I have come to find out through our Birth experiences as well as the dozens of students that we have help teach/mentor that my initial approach to relaxation in pregnancy and birth was exactly backwards.

Physical relaxation is the *end* result and dependent on emotional and mental relaxation, Mom needs to be in a good emotional state, accepting of the baby and ready (as possible) to take on her labor, ready to be a Mother, has effectively dealt with any family dynamic issues *prior* to going into labor or any other *emotional* issues that may impact Mom's readiness for labor and beyond. 

As a strong compliment to emotional relaxation, Mom's ability to focus her mental energies effectively in pregnancy and labor can dramatically effect the outcomes for better or worse. I think of mental relaxation is the ability of Mom to affect her state of mind positively to overcome any externalities such as physical discomfort, emotional and environmental challenges.

What I have found through experience is that if Mom is not relaxed emotionally and is not able to focus her mental energies positively then *physical* relaxation is all but impossible. Conversely, by concentrating on emotional relaxation and positive mental focus then physical relaxation seemingly just happened and labor was able to progress more effectively.

.....

So what does all that mean?

For me as a husband and labor coach, what this means is that I have to (1) understand the importance/impact of emotional and mental relaxation to pregnancy and labor and (2) be ready, willing and able to effectively work/communicate with Krystyna on these components of relaxation during pregnancy, labor and beyond.

......

I'll end the post with a story from our first labor.

In our first labor Krystyna's water broke and labor contractions started soon thereafter. We went to the hospital after 6-8 hours and labored there for another dozen plus hours. While we were out walking the halls attempting to get labor to progress, Krystyna visibly became chilled and shaky. I reached up to her forehead and, sure enough, she was warm and very likely running a low grade fever. Krystyna told me, adamantly, 'do not tell the nurses/doctor that I have a fever or they're going to give us a C-section'.

OK, here I am as first time father, birth coach, with little or no experience, what to do?

Here's what went through my mind at the time.

1. Fever is sign of infection and potentially very dangerous to Krystyna and baby (we didn't know boy or girl yet)

2. Krystyna is *very* mentally strong and her mind is completely set on an intervention *free* labor and delivery.

3. Krystyna is *very* emotionally invested in this labor being natural and intervention free.

4. My last thought before coming up with a plan was I need to be careful how I handle this. Krystyna is very tired after 20+ hours of labor and on edge. If I don't handle this correctly there's a chance that she will just give up and then we're highly likely to be getting a C-section.

So here's what I did.

I told her that she was doing such a great job and was laboring really, really well. I also reminded her that she worked so hard in preparing for the birth with nutrition and education and I was *proud* of everything that she had done for our child. She was/is the absolutely the best and that I love her.

Next I looked at her and told her that she/we had done all these things to have the best outcome possible and the end goal of all this work was ultimately for her and the baby to be healthy and happy.

Then and only then did I tell her that the fever was dangerous. It was dangerous to her and the baby. And that we were not going to *hide* the fever from the birth team because that would go against our primary goal of having her and the baby be healthy.

Then I said that I was there for her and that we were going to do this *together* regardless of what labor interventions we might be faced with even if that meant we were looking at a C-section.

After that conversation we walked back to the room and told the nurse that we likely had a fever and started to discuss the options. The option we chose was to start a penicillin drip to take care of any infection. Several hours later (and 2 more interventions) Krystyna delivered Ysabella vaginally. Mom and Ysabella were healthy and Krystyna and I were *very* happy.

So my role as a coach in this birth was to help Krystyna deal with the emotional and mental challenges in being faced with medical interventions in labor despite her *very* strong emotional and mental investment in a natural, *intervention* free birth. In my opinion the emotional and mental aspects of this birth were the primary challenges that we had to get past *together* so that Krystyna could relax physically, let go and deliver Ysabella into this world. 

In the moment and in retrospect it was one of our very best days as husband/wife and new *parents*.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale
Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleThe 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®.


Staying Healthy

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® baby - It is important totake precautions and protect  baby from in utero infeectionsI am getting a little nervous about my class.  They don’t have any questions!!  Maybe they are still warming up to us, or maybe it’s late when we finish, or maybe they really are the smart crew!
 
So today I am going to write about something that one of the dad’s shared when we went around the circle and talked about what they learned in class.  We watched The Bradley Method® video production, “Gestation – The First Days of Life” last night, to go along with Class 3 Topic: Pregnancy.
 
One dad mentioned that the “something new” he learned last night came from the movie.  He learned that a fetus can be exposed to any virus that the mom is exposed to through the umbilical cord.  In medical terms, it’s called a “transplacental” infection.  The consequences of some infections mom has, such as a common cold or flu, are less risky to a pregnancy.  Other infections, syphilis and toxoplasma for example, are more dangerous and can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. 
 
Some of these infections are time sensitive to the weeks of gestation. Avoiding contact with contagious people is of utmost importance if you are trying to get pregnant or during your pregnancy.
 
For a good list, you can go to http://www.womens-health.co.uk/infect.asp to read more about common infections and their effect during pregnancy.  There is a lot of information on the internet and not all of it is reliable.  We suggest that you check the validity of what you find with your care provider – yes – this includes anything on our blog, too.
 
So on the positive side, what can you do to protect mom and your baby?  If you are trying to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to know if you have any STD’s before you conceive so that you can discuss the risks with your care team.  If you know what to expect, you and your care team can develop a management plan for your pregnancy if you decide that you are willing to accept the risks.
 
Once you are pregnant, be overly cautious.  Although some of these suggestions sound extreme, keep in mind that the mania only needs to be temporary.  You may find that these become a habit, and hopefully you will all have a healthier life by being more aware of protecting yourself.  From personal experience, guard mom through her pregnancy and baby through six months of birth or at least through flu season, which ever comes last.
 
Here are some common-sense precautions you can take:
1. Hand-washing: it is the most effective way to prevent infection.  The CDC has a campaign slogan: Clean Hands Save Lives.  They suggest that you wash your hands
      -  Before, during and after preparing food
      -  Before eating food
      -  After using the toilet
      -  After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the
          toilet
      -  Before and after caring for someone who is sick
      -  After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
      -  After touching an animal or animal waste
      -  After touching garbage
      -  Before and after treating a cut or wound
 
Soap and water are the best way to kill germs.  A common suggestion is to since the “Happy Birthday” song two times from beginning to end; the goal is to lather and scrub them well for at least 20 seconds.
 
If there is no soap and water available, you could use a hand sanitizer that has a minimum of 60% alcohol content.  Sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, and they are not effective when hands are visibly dirty (1).
 
2.  Change your clothes after you have been around crowds.  Did you know that some germs can survive outside the body for 48 hours? They survive best on hard surfaces, but they can also survive on clothing (2).  If you are going to be around a crowd and then going solo, bring a change of clothes with you.  For example, if you are going to fly, bring clothes for the trip, and then have clothing ready that you can change into after you have picked up your bags and washed your hands.  Working parents can consider changing clothes once they get home when mom is pregnant.  We suggest changing clothes before handling your newborn if your baby is born during flu season (peak is generally accepted as November-March).  I am not suggesting that you would throw caution to wind off-peak of flu season.  From personal experience we are vigilant year-round, and even more so during flu season.

3Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluid.  Your body needs to rest to function and to fight infection.  It needs fluids to stay hydrated and to eliminate toxins efficiently.  If you aren’t getting rid of the toxins, they are playing games with your immune system.  Not a good thing in general, and definitely not when you are pregnant and working overtime for you and your baby.

4."Stay out of church and Walmart during flu season."  No joke – this is what the respiratory therapist told us when we were in the hospital with our second child when he was three months old and fighting RSV.  He said that there are so many people going through those buildings, and people go to church and Walmart sick or healthy – if they have a need, they are going to be there.  By extension, we suggest that our students and their newborns stay out of any situation where they don’t have control over who is going to be there.

5. Advocate for yourself and for your baby.  It is okay to ask people to stay away if they are sick.  Whether its as obvious as a fever or phlegm-y cough, or seemingly innocuous like a little cough or runny nose, keep your distance.  As one of our pediatrician friends told us last week, “If they say they have ‘allergies’, tell them that you can wait to see them.”  We send a note with any invitation to our home that reads like this, “As much as we want to celebrate with our closest friends and family, we also need your help in keeping (mom and/or baby) healthy.  We will understand if you choose not to come due to illness and will look forward to celebrating with you when you are in full health.”

6. Avoid harmful substances.  If you see someone smoking, move away from them if you are not comfortable asking them to move away or stop in your presence.  Examine labels for food and health and beauty products.  Whatever mom puts into her body transfers to the baby through the placenta in one form or another – there is no barrier.  That is why it is so important to discuss any concerns with your care team – that is why you hired them, so use their knowledge to your full advantage.
 
You will never regret taking care of yourself or your baby.  If you look at the big picture, you may decide that it is better to risk offending someone than risking your health or your baby’s health just for the sake of “being nice” or “keeping the peace”.
 
References:
(1)  www.cdc.gov/handwashing
(2)  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infectious-disease/AN01238
 
Interesting internet reads:
(A)  Foundations of nursing, Lois White, Second Edition, page 361
"A portal of entry is the route by which an infectious agent enters the host.  Portals of entry include the following:…Transplacental, through transfer of microorganisms from mother to fetus via the placental and umbilical cord (including HIV, hepatitis B)"
 
(B)  Infections of the central nervous system, W. Michael Scheld, Richard J. Whitley, Christina M. Marra, page 132
"In utero disease is likely a consequence of transplacental infection and usually involves skin, brain, eye, liver and adrenals."
 
(C)  www.dhh.louisiana.gov - IsolationTransmissionLearnLink.pdf
Microorganisms present in the blood of the mother go through the placenta to infect the fetus.  In some cases [*] it is difficult to differentiate between perinatal or transplacental transmission, since both modes of transmission are known to occur.
-  Syphilis
-  Toxoplasma
-  CMV, HBV*
-  HIV*
-  HSV*
-  Rubella, Varicella
 
 
Disclaimer:
The material included on this site and blog 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 site and blog 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 on this site and blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.