The absence of science behind the safety of technological childbirth for the vast majority of women and babies allows me to make the following offer, which begins officially on December 25, 2005 (the publication date of the first e-book edition of Spontaneous Creation: 101 Reasons Not to Have Your Baby in a Hospital, Vol. 1):
I, Jock Doubleday, will pay $50,000.00 (fifty thousand U.S. dollars) to the first person who sends me by email, and in its entirety, a controlled comparative study published in a recognized industry journal from any country, in any time period, demonstrating hospital birth to be safer in any category (i.e., infant morbidity, infant mortality, maternal morbidity, or maternal mortality) for most mothers or babies than home birth with a midwife in attendance. The term "midwife" does not include Certified Nurse Midwives, who, because of their conventional medical training, and in spite of their good intentions, may bring the fear-based medical model of childbirth with them into the home, thus skewing home birth outcomes toward the technological. The sample size of the study in question must be, at minimum, 2,000 persons, with a minimum of 1,000 persons in each of two matched groups. The groups must be matched, at minimum, by age, socioeconomic status, nutritional history, nutrition during pregnancy (including the ratio of raw to cooked foods), drug history (including pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, alcohol, and vaccines), drug use during pregnancy (including pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, alcohol, and vaccines), and partner
status. Any written claim to the $50,000.00 reward is also an agreement to pay
the 501(c)3 California nonprofit corporation, Natural Woman, Natural Man, Inc.,
$100.00 (one hundred U.S. dollars), should the study attached to such claim be
found to be either 1) irrelevant to the offer or 2) methodologically or structurally flawed and thus invalid. This offer has no expiration date unless and until superseded by a similar offer of higher monetary compensation made by Jock Doubleday.
View at original site: http://www.spontaneouscreation.org/SC/50,000Reward.htm
Feel free to pass this article on to women who have experienced birth trauma.
This message is to announce a online discussion board called Solace For Mothers, An Online Community For Healing Birth Trauma. It is for women who have experienced trauma around the process of giving birth. For these women, giving birth has left them feeling deeply disappointed, traumatized, or even violated. We want these women to know that they are not alone, that birth trauma is very real, and that other women have had similar experiences and feelings. We have created an online community as a place for women to begin or continue their healing journey.
In the online community, there are different categories and forums, and the topics covered are issues that often come up for women dealing with birth trauma. It is our hope that women can virtually support each other on their healing journeys in this online community, and perhaps eventually connect with each other in the real world if they choose.
There is an introduction page here; http://www.solaceformothers.org/forum.html, and from this page you can register for the discussion board. Due to the very personal nature of this subject, we have made an effort to keep this community private, and women must register before being able to enter or view posts.
“Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve,” co-authored by Carol Sakala and Maureen P. Corry of the nonprofit Childbirth Connection analyzed hundreds of the most recent studies and systematic reviews of maternity care. The 70-page report was issued collaboratively by Childbirth Connection, the Reforming States Group (a voluntary association of state-level health policymakers), and Milbank Memorial Fund, and released on Oct. 8, 2008.
The report found that, in the U.S., too many healthy women with low-risk pregnancies are being routinely subjected to high-tech or invasive interventions that should be reserved for higher-risk pregnancies.
- Inducing labor. The percentage of women whose labor was induced more than doubled between 1990 and 2005
- Use of epidural painkillers, which might cause adverse effects, including rapid fetal heart rate and poor performance on newborn assessment tests
- Delivery by Cesarean section, which is estimated to account for one-third of all U.S births in 2008, will far exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended national rate of 5 to 10 percent.
- Electronic fetal monitoring, unnecessarily adding to delivery costs.
- Rupturing membranes (”breaking the waters”), intending to hasten onset of labor.
- Episiotomy, which is often unnecessary.
In fact, the current style of maternity care is so procedure-intensive that 6 of the 15 most common hospital procedures used in the entire U.S. are related to childbirth. Although most childbearing women in this country are healthy and at low risk for childbirth complications, national surveys reveal that essentially all women who give birth in U.S. hospitals have high rates of use of complex interventions, with risks of adverse effects. The reasons for this overuse might have more to do with profit and liability issues than with optimal care, the report points out. Hospitals and care providers can increase their insurance reimbursements by administering costly high-tech interventions rather than just watching, waiting, and shepherding the natural process of childbirth.
Convenience for health care workers and patients might be another factor. Naturally occurring labor is not limited to typical working hours. Evidence also shows that a disproportionate amount of tech-driven interventions like Cesarean sections occur during weekday “business hours,” rather than at night, on weekends, or on holidays.
UNDERUSE OF HIGH-TOUCH, NONINVASIVE MEASURES
Many practices that have been proven effective and do little to no harm are underused in today’s maternity care for healthy low-risk women.
- Prenatal vitamins
- Use of midwife or family physician
- Continuous presence of a companion for the mother during labor
- Upright and side-lying positions during labor and delivery, which are associated with less severe pain than lying down on one’s back
- Vaginal birth
- (VBAC) for most women who have had a previous Cesarean section
- Early mother-baby skin-to-skin contact
The study suggests that those and other low-cost, beneficial practices are not routinely practiced for several reasons, including limited scope for economic gain, lack of national standards to measure providers’ performance, and a medical tradition that doesn’t prioritize the measurement of adverse effects, or take them into account.
Original article post from: http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/blog/
For many pregnant women in America, it is easier today to walk into a hospital and request major abdominal surgery than it is to give birth as nature intended. Jessica Barton knows this all too well. At 33, the curriculum developer in Santa Barbara, Calif., is expecting her second child in June. But since her first child ended up being delivered by cesarean section, she can't find an obstetrician in her county who will let her even try to push this go-round. And she could locate only one doctor in nearby Ventura County who allows the option of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). But what if he's not on call the day she goes into labor? That's why, in order to give birth the old-fashioned way, Barton is planning to go to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. "One of my biggest worries is the 100-mile drive to the hospital," she says. "It can take from 2 to 3 1/2 hours. I know it will be uncomfortable, and I worry about waiting too long and giving birth in the car."Much ado has been made recently of women who choose to have cesareans, but little attention has been paid to the vast number of moms who are forced to have them. More than 9 out of 10 births following a C-section are now surgical deliveries, proving that "once a cesarean, always a cesarean"--an axiom thought to be outmoded in the 1990s--is alive and kicking. Indeed, the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), a grass-roots group, recently called 2,850 hospitals that have labor and delivery wards and found that 28% of them don't allow VBACs, up from 10% in its previous survey, in 2004. ICAN's latest findings note that another 21% of hospitals have what it calls "de facto bans," i.e., the hospitals have no official policies against VBAC, but no obstetricians will perform them.Read the rest of the article here.
Here's a wonderful article about Menstruation and Breastfeeding:
Almost anything is considered normal when it comes to your periods while breastfeeding. All women experience a time of postpartum bleeding following birth which is not considered a menstrual period. If bottle-feeding, most mothers will have their first real period not long after this. Breastfeeding, however, suppresses menstruation at least for a while. For some mothers, there may be an absence of menstruation for weeks, months, and even years while still breastfeeding. Some mothers will even need to completely wean before they see their first period. Others, once their babies begin taking supplemental foods or sleeping longer periods at night, will see the first period. Once menstruation returns it may continue to be irregular during lactation. It's not uncommon to have a shorter or longer than normal period while breastfeeding. It's also not abnormal to skip a period or see the first period return and then find that months pass before the next one.
When the first period returns depends upon several factors: how frequently the baby is nursing, how often the baby is supplemented with bottles, whether or not the baby takes a pacifier, how long the baby is sleeping at night, whether or not solids have been introduced, and the mother's own individual body chemistry and the way it responds to hormonal influences associated with breastfeeding. Any time the stimulation to the breast is decreased, especially at night, menstruation is likely to return soon after.
When menstruation does return, you should consider yourself fertile and take precautions against pregnancy if desired. Some women consider their first period as their "warning period" that they are now capable of becoming pregnant. However, it IS possible to become pregnant before the first period returns, although quite rare.
The return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding. The milk does not sour or "go bad" when you are having a period. The milk is no less nutritious when you are menstruating than when you are not. Some women do notice a temporary drop in milk supply in the days just prior to a period and for a few days into one. This is due to hormonal fluctuations. Once the period begins and hormone levels begin to return to normal, the milk supply will boost back up again. Most babies can compensate well for this temporary drop in supply with more frequent nursing.
Nipple tenderness occurs for some women during ovulation, during the days before a period, or at both times. Some mothers report a feeling of antisiness while nursing at these times, too. As with the drop in supply this is also hormonally influenced and therefore temporary.
Some babies may detect a slight change in the taste of the milk just before a period, again, due to hormonal changes. These same babies may nurse less often or less enthusiastically during this time as a result.
For some women, the drop in milk supply and nipple tenderness associated with menstruation becomes more of a challenge. An effective treatment for these symptoms associated with the return of periods is to add a calcium/magnesium supplement to the diet upon ovulation and continue it through the second or third day of a period. The supplement should be 1500 calcium/750 magnesium but can be as low as 500 calcium/250 magnesium (the higher the dosage the more effective and quicker the results). It should be a combination pill. This much calcium should never be taken alone. If your cycles are not regular and you do not know when you ovulate, you can take the supplement the entire month until you begin to see a pattern to your flow. This type of supplement seems to work as it prevents the drop in blood calcium levels which occurs mid-cycle and continues through the second to third day of a period. It is this drop which is associated with the nipple tenderness and drop in milk supply as well as the uterine cramping so often experienced with menstruation. You only need to take one pill a day.
The herb, Evening Primrose, is also reported to alleviate nipple soreness brought on during ovulation or before a period. The dosage is one capsule per day.
Written by Becky Flora, BSed, IBCLC
Last revision: April 1, 2001
This is a wonderful article promoting the many benefits of a Vertical Birth, I know when I was in labor squatting was the most comfortable position I could find during a contraction, surely 100 times more comfortable than on my back in bed! This article also suggests that a vertical birth may be a quicker birth!
'Gravity Birth' Pulls Women to Ecuador Hospital
By Dominique Soguel - WeNews correspondent
OTAVALO, Ecuador (WOMENSENEWS) --Gravity is the invisible midwife in indigenous birthing rituals, says Rosa Colta, a traditional midwife and intercultural health promoter in Otavalo, a town in the Andean highlands of Ecuador.
For that reason a maternity ward in the dimly lit hospital of San Luis de Otavalo calls to mind a small yoga or ballet studio.
Six horizontal bars covered in colorful rope hang on the back wall, forming a gradient, or "chakana," in Kichwa, the dialect of the Quechua language spoken here.
In a room right around the corner from the hospital's emergency room, laboring women move down the chakana's rungs during delivery, transitioning from almost standing before contractions, to kneeling with their palms on the lowest rung, back curled like a cat, posterior high and ready for birth.
The practitioners believe the downward abdominal pressure as a woman moves down the steps or switches from standing to squatting helps push the child out and speeds up dilation of her cervix.
Part of a model effort to lower maternal and infant mortality and attract more women to hospital deliveries, San Luis de Otavalo is the first public hospital in Ecuador to provide a so-called vertical maternity ward that connects indigenous birthing practices with access to modern medicine. The ward opened in April 2008.
"It was a hard fight for us to get into the hospital and care for women with our ancestral wisdom and practices, with our teas and waters, our sacred cleansing rites," says Colta. "Everyone has bad energy. But we shoo it out at birth."
Traditional Herbs on Hand
In this small room, shelves spill over with herbs ranging from "patacun yuyo," a mountain weed that they believe reduces abdominal pain, to "hojas de higo," fig leaves used to clean and numb the vaginal area during birth and to enhance muscular activity.
Three traditional midwives take turns concocting teas and washing waters for the mother, who starts to ingest these special infusions when the cervix reaches a dilation of three to four inches.
Midwives here massage and bathe the mother until the baby is born. A "yatchak"--literall y "he who knows"--oversees the spiritual dimension of this process and ensures it follows ancestral cosmic laws. This Andean shaman welcomes the child into the world beating five stones on the door frame--representing the fingers of a hand--in the maternity ward.
"Every detail of the delivery is important to us," said yatchak Huillka Pukara Pakhsi, a name that means "moon force" in Kichwa. "It is a road map revealing the child's nature, foreshadowing its life. This hospital room becomes a sacred place, an altar, because this is where life begins."
The hospital has a team of six obstetricians, three interns, eight nurses, one gynecologist and 10 traditional midwives trained in vertical delivery.
Five to six babies arrive a day in accordance to ancient Kichwa lore in this medical setting.
The hospital continues to provide modern horizontal birthing care in an adjacent room but the demand for vertical births is growing.
From April to December 2008, the hospital hosted 128 vertical deliveries. In January alone, there were 68, more than half of overall deliveries.
"Vertical birth is quicker, easier," said Monica Pasmayo, as her husband wheeled her out of the hospital with a tiny newborn nestled in her arms earlier this month. "The baby comes out and you are free to go."
Five years ago, Pasmayo gave birth horizontally to her first daughter, Maria Fernanda. Labor lasted six hours then. Delivering a boy vertically on Feb. 5 took her half the time.
Pedro Luna, the chief gynecologist at the ward, attributes the speed of Pasmayo's delivery and other vertical deliveries to the use of a natural position.
"Vertical birth-delivery, adapted by the Kichwa tradition, is a natural and instinctive process that makes physiological sense," says Luna. "Horizontal birth is an occidental practice brought by the conquistadors with zero medical logic."
When the hospital opened the intercultural maternity ward, says Luna, indigenous women accounted for 95 percent of vertical deliveries. Most mestizas--women of mixed racial heritage--preferred horizontal, occidental delivery. The ratio is now 56 percent indigenous and 44 percent mestiza.
The hospital has an infant mortality of 7.8 per 1,000 live births, less than half the national average, which stands at 19 per 1,000. The vertical maternity ward witnessed one maternal death due to complications from an unrelated membrane infection, compared to eight deaths due to complications in horizontal deliveries the previous year.
Vertical deliveries, says Luna, have also helped reduce Caesarean sections from 18 to 8 percent at the hospital.
Providing a National Model
The hospital's successes have turned it into a model for a nation that is trying to reduce maternal mortality and neonatal fatalities by 30 to 35 percent. In January, the maternity ward became a training center for clinics hoping to introduce or master this ancestral practice.
Luna says he is working on an agreement with national universities and the health ministry to teach ancestral practices at the medical school. There are 40 trained traditional midwives who work in Otavalo and surrounding rural areas tending to a population of 102,000.
The Ministry of Health called for an accelerated national strategy in August 2008 to reduce maternal and neonatal fatalities. The training of traditional midwives and the creation of intercultural, vertical maternity wards were incorporated in the government's strategy. So far, intercultural maternity centers that incorporate vertical birthing practices have spread from Otavalo to the provinces of Chimborazo, Amazonia and Esmeraldas.
The United Nations Population Fund for Women supports Hospital San Luis de Otavalo's center as a way to help meet the millennium development goal of reduced maternal mortality by making hospitals friendlier to rural communities that follow traditional customs.
Lily Rodriguez, an assistant representative at the United Nations Population Fund in Ecuador, says the introduction of the ward
increased deliveries in hospitals by 8.3 percent.
"We figured out that the majority of indigenous and mestizas delivered babies at home because they were afraid of the hospital," says Rodriguez. "They didn't understand the technical language. They were uncomfortable with the request to undress. They missed their teas and families."
You'll have to copy and paste, I can't figure out how to embed the video!
If anyone on the planet could convince men that breast-feeding moms can have a sex life, it would be Salma Hayek. The beautifully busty actress, on a trip to Sierra Leone to support a tetanus-vaccination project, nursed a starving baby she encountered while being filmed by ABC News. She did this, she told the camera crew, in part out of compassion for a suffering child, but also to help lift the stigma against breast-feeding in Africa, where men often think women can't have sex if they're still nursing. "So the husbands, of course, of these women are really encouraging them to stop [breast-feeding]," Hayek said.
But if breast-feeding is taboo in Africa, cross-nursing — in which one woman suckles another's baby — is taboo in the U.S. While crunchy sites like Mothering.com have exploded with hundreds of giddy posts praising Hayek for promoting the cause of breast-feeding, plenty of online reactions were more squeamish. EW.com gave the YouTube clip its "biggest eyebrow raiser" of the day award. (See the top 10 pregnant performers.)
Although donating breast milk is becoming more mainstream — Nadya Suleman's octuplets have been consuming donated milk — cross-nursing still conjures up the specter of wet-nursing, with all its class issues and antiquated notions about women's bodies yoked in service to others. The official word on cross-nursing is still nix. It seems that no institution, even those that support milk-sharing, is willing to endorse women who offer their milk without a breast pump serving as an intermediary. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America, which screens and distributes donated milk to hospitals across the U.S. and Canada, insists that banked milk be pasteurized before being distributed.
"Babies benefit from human milk donated by other mothers when their own mother's milk is unavailable," La Leche League says in its cross-nursing and wet-nursing statement. But, the statement continues, the group's breast-feeding advocates "shall not ever suggest an informal milk-donation arrangement, including wet-nursing or cross-nursing."
La Leche's concerns include the possibility of transmitting infections, a decrease in supply for the donor's own baby, psychological confusion on the part of the infant and the fact that the composition of breast milk changes as children get older.
But assuming that Hayek wasn't at risk of contracting anything from the baby — who Hayek reported was healthy but whose mother simply had no milk — none of these caveats seem relevant. Hayek's emergency nursing more closely resembles Chinese policewoman Jiang Xiaojuan's heroic breast-feeding of several babies orphaned by the May earthquake, and few would argue she was anything but a lifesaver.
Sure, it was only one feeding, and that baby — who was born on the same day as Hayek's daughter — will need a lot more milk to see him safely out of infancy. But perhaps Hayek's gesture will indeed make a difference to the breast-feeding cause in Africa. And if nothing else, the world's cross-nursers — long equated with wet nurses and made to feel shame for their hippie ways — suddenly have the most glamorous spokeswoman they could ever have imagined.
I still don't think good things can come from overloading a babies system with the multiple shots so early. What we need is independent non-biased testing.
From CNN's website:
(CNN) -- A special court ruled Thursday that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation in their contention that certain vaccines caused autism in their children.
"I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence," one of the "special masters" hearing the case said in denying the families' claims, ruling that the families had not presented sufficient evidence to prove their allegations.
The decisions came in three test cases heard in 2007 involving children with autism that their parents contend was triggered by early childhood vaccinations.
The three families -- the Cedillos, the Hazlehursts and the Snyders -- were notified Wednesday that a decision had been reached, as were the more than 180 lawyers collectively representing the 4,800 families with claims in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceeding, said lead plaintiffs' attorney Thomas Powers.
At 14, Michelle Cedillo can't speak, wears a diaper and requires round-the-clock monitoring in case she has a seizure. Her parents say their only child was a happy, engaged toddler who responded to her name, said "mommy" and "daddy," and was otherwise normal until at 15 months she received several vaccinations -- one for measles, mumps and rubella, and others that contained thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. Watch more on the Cedillos »
The other two families described similar alterations in their children's development after receiving vaccinations in their first two years of life.
The government argued during the 2007 bench trials that th
e plaintiffs' claims linking the vaccines with autism are not supported by "good science."
Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine have found no credible link between vaccinations and autism.
Powers' litigation steering committee is representing thousands of families that fall into three categories: those who claim MMR vaccines and thimerosal-containing vaccines can combine to cause autism; those who claim thimerosal-containing vaccines alone can cause autism; and those who claim MMR vaccines, without any link to thimerosal, can cause autism.
Thursday's rulings will only affect the families that fall under the first category, Powers said.
Since 2001, thousands of parents of children with autism have filed petitions seeking compensation with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program at the Department of Health and Human Services.
By mid-2008, more than 5,300 cases were filed in the program. Five thousand of those are awaiting adjudication, according to the agency."
Today after hearing from more than 180 lawyers collectively representing the 4,800 families with claims, the Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceeding will issue a ruling about the following unanswered questions:
1. Does Thimerosal used in vaccines cause Autism?
2. Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?
3. Does the combination of Thimerosal-containing vaccines and the MMR vaccine cause autism?
According to CNN.com:
"Since 2001, thousands of parents with autistic children have filed petitions seeking compensation with Vaccine Injury Compensation Program at the Department of Health and Humans Services. By mid-2008, more than 5,300 cases were filed in the program — 5,000 of those await adjudication, according to the agency.”
I will be updating this post with the final ruling, once it’s released.
Thanks Carla for the site!
The answer is simple, with dedication and support from your employer it is possible and even enjoyable to pump at work.
I am blessed enough to say that 10 months later I am still pumping at work. 2-3 times a day even. I am lucky to have my own office that I can lock myself into. Not all working moms have it so good, and when it comes to supporting pumping moms not all jobs are created equal.
I had a friend that was unable to exclusively breastfeed because her work didn't have anywhere she could pump, she tried pumping in her car in the parking lot but for obvious reasons felt it was not private enough.
Oklahoma state law requires only that employers give mothers the option of nursing during their lunch breaks or during unpaid breaks. Perhaps realizing that this law offered very little beyond "you can do it and won't get fired for it", Oklahoma introduced new programs to encourage both mothers and employers to make every effort to make a good situation for everyone.
Companies in Oklahoma are now recognized for their efforts in promoting breast-feeding and its awareness. To be recognized, a company has to offer flexible break times for mothers to handle their business as well as a clean, private area with a sink nearby. A written policy on breast-feeding must be on display for employees to consult.
In case you are feeling that you should do more, your company can earn a "gold star", which means that you go beyond what's required for recognition and even offer a refrigerator to store breast milk and a hospital-grade breast pump.
I am sure there is some reluctance about implementing such policies, but I'm not sure I understand why.
A company that would go beyond the law is likely one to recognize the importance of home and work life balance and appreciate it not to mention the fact that employers should know that a breastfeed baby is generally a healthy baby which means less days off for mom taking baby to the doctor.
Oklahoma businesses, I challenge your companies to be recognized for your support efforts for pumping moms!
Referenced from: http://www.management-issues.com/2008/2/12/blog/gold-star-for-oklahoma.asp