Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mothers naturally

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." - Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote appears on a lovely new website. I like the flow and feel. Check it out! Mothersnaturally

Sunday, October 28, 2007

From Japan - unique toys for bf baby?

I keep seeing references to these toys from Japan - shaped liked dad on a blog writes:
The Funwari Milk-chan collection of plush breast toys includes three sizes: A cup [20cm diam.], B cup [28cm] and--sorry, key chain mascot size. They all live in Milk Village, which is about the size of the Tokyo Dome. Though "milk-chans tend to live together as couples," they are sold separately.

I am not quite sure what to think about them.
Do you?

Expectations and reality of birth vary by age group

I found this study interesting:
First time mothers' pregnancy and birth experiences varying by age.
E Zasloff, E Schytt, and U Waldenstrom
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, January 1, 2007; 86(11): 1328-36.
The whole abstract is available here:
"Background. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive picture of the young to the old first time mother as she presents to the clinician in terms of background, expectations, experiences and outcome of labour..........Results. The very young women, aged 15-20 years, had the most negative expectations of the upcoming birth. During pregnancy they were more worried and a depressive mood was more common than in the reference group, as were social problems such as unemployment and lack of support. After the birth, they remembered being more afraid and experiencing more pain and lack of control during labour. In spite of this, their overall experience of childbirth did not differ from the reference group. In contrast, the oldest women, aged 35-43 years, did not have negative feelings about the upcoming birth during pregnancy, and did not remember being afraid or experiencing more pain than the reference group, but experienced childbirth overall as more difficult.......When looking back at labour and birth, the youngest women probably felt that the total experience was better than expected, whereas the opposite may have been the case for the oldest group."

How will this impact the way you teach various age groups?

Wall Street Journal article on fetal monitoring

There is an interesting article on fetal monitoring in the Wall Street Journal. While fetal monitoring is done in over 85% of all labors, many of us realize that there are a high number of false alarms - where women are rushed off for a surgical birth or forceps are used and out comes a baby with a high APGAR score....was that baby ever really in trouble? Were unnecessary interventions and risks taken? Read this article to see an OBs perspective: WSJ article

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Pyramid for Moms

The CDC has published their guidelines for pregnant and breastfeeding women on line!

My Pyramid for Moms

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A new technology - STAN

BJOG Journal Podcast on STAN

As childbirth educators it is important to stay up on new technologies. Listen to this podcast to learn about STAN.

"STAN is a recently introduced method of fetal monitoring during labour. How is it different from monitors previously used? STAN not only measures fetal heart rate but also measures the ECG waveform, in particular the ST segment of the heart signal.

Trials on babies at full term have shown value in monitoring not only heart rate but also changes in the ST segment of the ECG, monitoring both is a better indicator of acidosis and babies at risk of neonatal encephalopathy, compared to fetal heart rate alone.

When continuous electronic fetal monitoring was first introduced in the 1960s, hopes were high that intrapartum fetal mortality and morbidity could be dramatically reduced, or even abolished. In the event, problems with user interpretation of the fetal heart rate patterns, and delay in delivering the compromised baby, have meant that the potential benefits of the technology have been difficult to realise in practice. Are we seeing a similar story with STAN?

In this third BJOG podcast, Mr Austin Ugwumadu, Mr Aris Papageorghiou and Professor Arulkumaran are interviewed. Hear about the advantages, limitations and pitfalls of the STAN monitoring system, and their hopes for the future"

Podcasts are a great way to learn while able to do the more mundane tasks!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Australian Breastfeeding Association advert

This 30 second clip comes from the Australian Breastfeeding Association!

Work in outreach or with underserved?

One of things that I am really proud that Lamaze does is it offers mini-grants for people who work with underserved/vulnerable people who normally wouldn't be coming to childbirth classes and also has mini-grants for Birth Networks. The deadline is coming up - November 2! Here's the info:

Community-Based Outreach Grants
The Community-Based Outreach Grants support Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators and Lamaze Approved Providers who currently provide or would like to expand their Lamaze childbirth education services to underserved or vulnerable populations. Lamaze International is offering five (5) $500 Community-Based Outreach Grants in 2007.

Lamaze Mini-grants

Gotta love it when research supports what we've been saying...

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews just published their review of Amniotomy and according to MedPage:

"Amniotomy during a spontaneous birth did not reduce the time of labor or improve the condition of the newborn, according to a systematic review of the literature.

There was no evidence of any statistical difference in the length of the first or second stage of labor, maternal satisfaction with the experience, or the infant's Apgar score, Rebecca Smyth of the University of Liverpool, and colleagues, wrote in an online Cochrane Review report."

How long until women are no longer told "I want to break your water to shorten labor?"

To read the study go to: Cochrane Review of Amniotomy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can't see the video clip?

I have heard from a couple people that they couldn't watch the new Passion for Birth clip right here on the blog - I am not sure why...could be servers or other stuff - but it is on You Tube. Try there. Passion for Birth You Tube video clip Let me know if that works for you.

And thanks to all the compliments I have received from those of you who could watch it!

And my friend Robin just reminded me that it was about 6 years ago that we first our pajamas! And I was trying to beg, bribe, cajole her into making a website for me! And she was such a great mentor and replied "you don't need anyone to make it for you. You can do it yourself." And it was a steep learning curve but I must say it is so rewarding to be able to do it yourself! (and cheaper too) Why were we in our pajamas? It was at a Lamaze fundraiser! The same Lamaze conference where we were all visualizing that the twins Robin was carrying would both re-settle in - head down. And they did! See what 300+ women can do!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sharing NEW PfB seminar video clip

Of course when the pictures are on a full screen, it's more inspirational but for the sake of uploading to a website, I had to go with the little one! The pictures were taken at two seminars - one in Philadelphia and one in Portland. Marilyn Nolt and Deanna Vanderzanden are the best! Marilyn is a commercial photographer and if you want information on her other projects like her breastfeeeding collage, email her at .

After watching the clip, if you want to come to a Passion for Birth seminar, sign up here: PfB

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An amazing birth pioneer story

Ruth Lubic's Story Listen to the wisdom and experience of this amazing birth advocate! She is interviewed on The Story, part of NPR.

Friday, October 12, 2007

CNN report re: C-section/birth

Kathy Chiocca is a Passion for Birth Trainer. She sent me the following email:

One of the recent PFB training attendees sent me this. It's a very powerful article directed toward consumers. I saw Michael Klein in Phoenix and he said the only way the C-section rate will stop rising is if consumers and LAWYERS take interest in it. Seems like this may be happening. It will be interesting to watch the evolution of this crisis.....
CNN report

As I typed in the title for this, I paused. As many of you know I HATE the word section. Grapefruit are sectioned, not women. But it is a common term in the media and some critics of cesarean birth say that term downplays the surgical aspect. Words are powerful and you are going to have to select your way! Others to consider: surgical birth, vaginal by-pass, and ???

National Midwife week is here.

Well, it almost went by without my highlighting it but this week has been National Midwifery week. It's a great time to drop your favorite midwife a note of appreciation! This could be an author, a birth advocate, a speaker you've enjoyed, a researcher or someone in your community. Not a card sending type? Drop off some pumpkin bread at the hospital if midwives practice there. Or maybe make your routine gynecological exam appointment with a midwife!

Or expand your knowledge about the history of midwifery at ACNM There are lots of little tidbits of information. For example here are the names for names for midwife: Caring for women in any language

Chinese Shou shen p'o
Danish Jorde moder ("god mother")
Dutch Vroedvrouw
French Sage-femme ("wise woman")
Greek Udiyovaio
German Hebammen
Hawaiian Pale Keike
Italian Levatrice
Japanese Samba
Korean Chosanwon
Maori Kaiawhina Whanau
Polish Akuszerka
Portuguese Partiera
Romanian Miduaif
Russian A kyme pka
Spanish Partera
Swedish Barmorska
Vietnamese Codo
Yiddish Varts-froy

Did you do something special for your favorite midwife? Leave a comment!

Framing Normal Birth

I was recently reminded that not only is it important what our message IS in the world of normal birth - but HOW we frame it is as important.

The story that reinforced this was a report about a new product "The Tanka" bar which is "a modern version of a traditional food called wasna, a mix of meat and berries that Plains Indians used to pack into buffalo horns to sustain them on long journeys."
The CEO Karlene wants this bar to be a bridge to healthier eating for those who are use to grabbing chips or a hot dog.

But Karlene is careful in how she delivers that message. "In Indian country we don't say, 'this is good for you' ...That will turn them away. We say, 'In traditional times our people could run great distances eating this food. So taste it. It tastes good'."

So maybe we need to get away from normal birth because it is good for you....and find out what the cultural value/motivator is and reframe the message. Any thoughts?

BIRTH, A Play by Karen Brody--BOLD (Birth On Labor Day)

Watch this and see a glimpse of the power that's in women's experience with birth

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Robin's affirmations

I know I already posted today but when I opened my email, I had received a pregnancy affirmation from Robin Weiss (no I am not pregnant, I signed up as if I was so I could see what the affirmations were like before I recommended childbirth educators to have people in their classes sign up!)

I only started a couple days ago but I can already recommend them - it would be a great reaffirming way to start each day. To check them out and read her article about affirmations go to Pregnancy affirmations

And I want to challenge you to think about adapting this while bringing your childbirth classes into the modern age. How about sending text affirmations to people in your classes on a regular basis! (At least during the classes....but I would recommend going beyond remind them of important to skin, waiting for labor to start on its own, taking care of themselves, etc etc.) Not a "texter"? Make it a homework assignment. Give ideas to labor partners and tell them they need to send a daily affirmation to the person they are supporting in labor!

Quick Start Teaching Strategy

Just learned of a new review technique that I thought I would share:

It's a great energizer and review called "Quick Start". Tell the group to "get ready to stand and ask as many people as you can what they already know about a topic." Topics could be anything from role of the labor partner to routine interventions to breastfeeding. The person who collects the most facts in one minute wins!

Get them started. At the end of the minute, ask them to raise their hands if they collected 1 - 5 facts, 6 - 10 facts or more than 10. The person who collected the most wins a round of applause or a treat. Then ask participants to state some of the topic related facts they heard.

You can also repeat "Quick Start". It can be used when you introduce a topic to assess where the knowledge level is, it can be used as a review to reinforce the topics. There are a lot of possibilities! The best thing is that it is a short time strategy. Use it and let me know how it goes! For those who are coming to a Passion for Birth Training, you will get to try this technique - hands on!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Depression in Pregnancy

Maybe it's my background in counseling, but whenever I see resources for helping women deal with depression during pregnancy and after the baby arrives, it catches my heart. I truly hope every childbirth educator talks about depression during pregnancy and highlights resources available. Post-partum depression has gotten a whole lot more press but depression during pregnancy is also rampant and often undiagnosed. This publication caught my eye and I wanted to pass it on.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Another CBE shares her birth thoughts

Another Passion for Birth graduate, Jennifer Roskamp, read about Beth's experience as a childbirth educator and a woman in labor and shared these thoughts:
I was reading in the newsletter the posting from Beth who just had a baby and I have to say that I completely echo her thoughts. I just had my 4th baby in August and even though I know all the things that I teach in my classes, I remember while I was working hard in labor thinking that LCCE status aside, I still was a woman participating in the greatest experience of bringing forth a new life like all of the women I have taught over the past year. I still had the same job to do and LCCE experience and past birth experience meant nothing in those moments. I think somehow I thought it would be easier because of these things this time around (not quite)...but what I wasn't prepared for is how much more special and miraculous the experience was now that it was me on the receiving end of the experience I live to teach others about. I loved every moment even more than I did in the past (if that's even possible)
Thanks for sharing, both Jennifer and Beth!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

As long as you are watching on-line

Here is another video montage created by an Oregon midwife and plays to one of my favorite songs. Circle of Life

Lamaze and Yoga Journal project - free viewing!

Lamaze and Yoga Journal worked together on a dvd that has great clips on it. Yoga Journal now shows one of the 15 minutes sessions "Yoga Practice for Your Pregnancy" free on their home page Yoga Journal. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Virtual Birth Pathway

virtual birth path

This is an interesting tool - not sure how actual pregnant women will use - but interesting to assess your own responses....

"Conferenced" Out!

Well three conferences in September was way too many! I went to the Lamaze conference in Phoenix and then the ICEA conference outside Chicago and just got home from the Gentle Birth Expo in role in each one was different - I was the conference chair for Lamaze, I presented two concurrent sessions for ICEA and was an exhibitor/attendee for the Gentle Birth conference.
While I left each one exhausted for different reasons I also left re-energized in the reality of how many of us want to improve birth!
So now I am for a month and I can't wait!!