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The Squat Bar

The squat bar can be an awesome tool to use when you are pushing your baby into this world. But it can be very confusing as to how to use it…and feel strange. I will try to give you a feel for it with the pictures and comments below. Unfortunately, it is rare to have an opportunity to actually practice with a bar.

3cbd034e9e27cd1efe410ff6801cc37b.wix_mp_1024 This is how the bar and the bed are positioned. You sit right on edge of raised portion until a contraction comes. Then with a contraction, you squat so your bottom is not touching bed, and you push.

khkhjymjjkujPushing like this at first can feel a little insecure because all of your weight is on that lowered portion of the bed. It will help you to know that your support person is right there with you.
It may also help to have entire bed lower to the ground so you do not feel like you might fall off a cliff.

hNote how the bar is tilted towards the foot of the bed and all of your weight is on lowered portion.

 

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Between contractions, you can try to rest the weight of your body back onto the higher portion of the bed.

 

index (2)Then, with a contraction go into a deep squat, supporting yourself with the bar.

squatting bar on hospital bedRemember, your support people are right there for you and will help steady you. And having the entire bed lower to the floor will also help you to feel more secure in this position. Everyone else will accommodate your position.

a4128bd43637fbfa63d5aa40946a1e19.wix_mp_1024This is an awesome way to use the squat bar and “tug-of-war” position. Please note how she is not on her bottom; how she is really in a squat but on her side. Very useful with an epidural. “Tug-of-war” position is usually used for pushing; not labor.

maxresdefaultI’m not sure about this kind of position because while it simulates a squat, it leaves her sitting on her butt. It does, however, allow for that “tug-of-war” position.

fThis position allows you to be asymmetrical while being able to take some weight off of the lower body by leaning on the bar. If possible, spread your legs as wide as you can.

 

Most of these positions can also be good for labor. It is considered best to use the bar for a deep squat during a contraction. Sit back and rest in between. You want to be sure that when you are in that deep squat, you are NOT PUSHING until your cervix is ready.

If your hospital does not have squat bars…start asking for them. This is how change can occur!

Kelly’s (hospital) Waterbirth…so pure

Thank you, Kelly, for your willingness to share your experience so other women may feel a sense of how such a natural birth may occur.
You are a courageous and strong woman.
I believe in you!
Kenny

Thank you, Meagan (M. Gioeli Photography), for sharing your wonderful photography!

Happy Holidays!

May you and your family

have a most wonderful

holiday season!!!

Hugs!!!  Kenny

Tools for Birth

When you are ready to give birth, you will have an arsenal full of tools you wish to use during this most important and exciting experience.  <<   

You will have all of your recent education, your birth wishes, your doula, your midwife. You will <have your birth ball, your birth pool, your willingness to do what you need to do.

Your desired ambiance will be created through lighting, music and aromatherapy. <And most important…you will have your open mind.

If things might not go as you originally hoped they would…you will have another set of tools that some call interventions. And you will know in your heart that there is a time and place for every intervention that man has created. <And so your tools will have grown to include pitocin, pain medication, epidural, and if need be, a cesarean.

And in the end, you will have your new baby in your arms. <Your dream of many days and weeks will be complete.< Perhaps not exactly as you had hoped and planned. And for that you may need to grieve. And that grieving will be good.

But you will forever know that you had prepared, and used,  your tools. And you had prepared, and used, your open mind. <And then, and for always, you will have your baby; your family.

 

Hypnobabies®

Hypnobabies® says…
“Enjoy your baby’s birth in comfort, joy and love…”

And that is exactly what I witnessed!

But this type of birth is only going to work for you if you believe and if you invest yourself…also known as practice and prepare.

Hypnobabies® was not the only thing going on with this birth.

There was just so much love in this room…between mom and dad and son and parents. It was perfect the way dad read the script while son performed the touching. And, of course, when there is this much love you know that the oxytocin levels are unbelievable. Then add the soothing effect of the warm waters of a birth pool…well, no wonder this labor did not go on for hours on end.

And just to make this birth even more special…a well known doctor, Dr. Stringer of Central Carolina OB/GYN in Greensboro, NC, was the one who had the privilege of guiding this baby to her momma’s waiting arms.

A week or so later and it was finally my turn…

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     I love my work!!! Thank you, Mom & Dad!!!

https://www.hypnobabies.com/

100 and Counting!!!

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It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce you to my 100th Baby and Family!!!

Congratulations to all!!!

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What Impact Can IV Fluids Have on Mother, Baby and Breastfeeding?

 A Quick Look.

images (4)Written by guest author, Jacqueline Levine

Having IV fluids is a medical procedure. It’s meant to restore normal body fluid balance when there’s blood loss or dehydration, but the Listening to Mother’s Survey1 reports that 83% of women have IV in labor. Having a routine IV , as so many do, isn’t risk-free.2 An excess of IV fluid can dilute red blood cells and other components of the blood like clotting factors, so that less oxygen gets to the uterus and less to the fetus, increasing the possibility of post partum anemia or hemorrhage3,4.
Too much fluid can overcome normal pressure in blood vessels, and fluid goes where it shouldn’t. The mother’s and/or baby’s lungs can become “wet”5. Large amounts of fluid given quickly (a bolus) can interfere with the activity of the uterus.6 The type of IV fluids given can have unhappy effects as well, such as hyponatremia which can cause seizures, and symptomatic hypoglycemia in the baby7,8,9. Plastic IV lines may “off-gas” phthalates and other chemicals that are harmful. This list is brief. There are lots of studies that show harms from routine use of IV. Even the safety of “normal saline” has come under scrutiny.10 And the effect of IV administration lasts well into the days after the mother is disconnected from her hanging bag of fluids.
Fluid has weight, of course; haven’t you heard that helpful little reminder, “a pint’s a pound the world around”? If a laboring mother gets bag after bag of IV fluids, odds are that her baby will be born with an inflated birth weight. Breastfeeding success is often measured by how quickly the baby regains its birth weight after the normal weight loss in the first week or so. What exactly might that baby’s normal birth weight have been? What does it mean to the motherbaby pair when of them both are full of extra fluids? Water moves everywhere in the mother’s body and aside from ankles and wrists and fingers and toes that can be swollen like sausages, breasts and nipples hold water as well. A swollen breast with taut skin makes latching difficult. This scenario is often the beginning of early nursing troubles10: the transition from colostrum to mature milk may be delayed in a water-swollen breast, and a newborn may not able to achieve a deep latch so he can’t get sufficient food and cannot stimulate the breast well. Supplementation comes next. We know it and the studies show it. There are remedies to those situations…good support for mother and baby… but best-evidence, optimal maternity care is the answer.
Supplementation frequently comes next. We know it and the studies show it. There surely are remedies to the problem of swollen breasts, like Reverse Pressure Softening, and methods to build up milk supply, and ways to support better positioning for a baby who is having latch difficulties..
But the overarching answer is for mothers to be aware of best-evidence, optimal maternity care, and to understand their rights as patients to refuse routine interventions. By avoiding IV fluids except for compelling medical reasons, mothers will be able to avoid the negative consequences of fluid overload to their babies and themselves, and give themselves a chance at better breastfeeding beginnings.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Levine, LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), CLC is committed to providing a continuum of care for underserved women at PlannedJackie-Levine Parenthood, on Long Island, NY, where she has provided free Lamaze education, birth and breastfeeding support to all the women in her classes for the last 9 years. She is a guest lecturer on Childbirth in the US at CW Post, has worked for CIMS, contributed to the Lamaze e-newsletter Building Confidence Week-by-Week , all after her 30-year career as a designer in the garment center. Jackie is a recipient of the Lamaze Community Outreach Award, mother of three and Grandmother of five.” Science & Sensibility

 
References:
1-DeClerq E, Sakala C, Corry MP, et al. Listening to Mothers ll: Report of the Second National US Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences. New York: Childbirth Connection
2-Wasserfstrum N. Issues in fluid management during labor; general considerations. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1992;35(3):505-13
3-Carvalho JC, Mathias RS, Intravenous Hydration in obstetrics. Intl Anesthesiol Clin 1994:32(2):103-15
4- Carvalho JC, Mathias RS,Senra WG et al. Hemoglobin concentration variation and blood volume expansion during epidural anesthesia for cesarean section. Reg Anesth1991;16(1S):73
5-Gonik B., Cotton DB.,Peripartum colloid osmotic changes; influence of intravenous hydration. American Journal Obstet Gynecol1984;150(1):99-100
6-Cheek, T.G., Samuels, P.,Miller, F., Tobin, M., Gutshe, B.B. Iv load decreases uterine activity in active labor. Journal of Anaesthesia 1996;77:632-635
7-Stratton JF, Stronge J, Boylan PC. Hyponatremia and non-electrolyte solutions in laboring primigravida. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1995;59(2):149-151
8-west CR, Harding JE. Maternal water intoxication as a cause of neonatal seizures. J Pediatr Child Health 2004;40(12):709-10
9-Nordstrom L, Arulkumaran S, et al. Continuous maternal glucose infusion during labor; effects on maternal and fetal glucose and lactate levels. Am J Perina. Am J Perinatol;1995;12(5);357-62
10-http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedicine/Modern+Medicine+Now/Normal-saline-is-not-normal-may-be-harmful/ArticleNewsFeed/Article/detail/776186?ref=25
11-Chantry CJ, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Peerson JM et al. Excess Weight Loss in First-Born Breastfed Newborns Relates to Maternal Intrapartum Fluid Balance. Pediatrics 2010

Fire Them

1654409_772290742834062_2112665148391680840_nIt is most important for you to feel completely comfortable with, and even trust, all those who are around you during your labor & birth.
If you don’t, your labor can be impacted by your emotions.
I have seen this happen. I have seen a good labor come to a halt because the woman did not like or was intimidated by those who were caring for her.
If you are feeling the least bit uncomfortable, fire whoever it is that is causing your discomfort.
That’s right! Fire them!
I don’t care if it is your nurse, your doctor or midwife, even me, your doula! Fire them! You have that right!
Even if you are in the middle of your labor…you can fire them!
Then replace them with someone else…
Feeling comfortable with your team is that important!

No…thank you!

No Thank you

The Latch On Song

In honor of my friend, who has left us all too soon, and in honor of her passion to promote breastfeeding…

Janna Melsness; CNM, MSN, MPH, RN, BSN

January 28, 1981 – April 5, 2015