What do you think about the new report stating “Water Births are NOT Safe”?

"There's actually pretty good evidence that it's safe to labor in the tub," says Dr. Aaron Caughey,

My daughter's water birth

My daughter’s water birth

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Peer-reviewed, landmark study confirms home birth is safe!

Overwhelmingly positive health benefits for low-risk mothers and babies who choose to birth at home with a midwife.

New Studies Confirm Safety of Home Birth With Midwives in the U.S.

New Studies Confirm Safety of Home Birth With Midwives in the U.S.

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New Study: Midwifery Care Leads to Better Outcomes

"Expecting women who received care from midwives throughout their pregnancy were happier and needed fewer medical interventions, according to researchers."

Expecting women who received care from midwives throughout their pregnancy were happier and needed fewer medical interventions

Expecting women who received care from midwives throughout their pregnancy were happier and needed fewer medical interventions

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TEDx: Reducing fear of birth in U.S. culture: Ina May Gaskin [video]

New Mexico: US’ highest midwife delivery rate of 24% for all births

Screen shot 2013-07-09 at 8.30.24 AMThe trend towards midwife assisted deliveries is growing in the United States.  The rate is still not that of the world average, but the rates are increasing.  Healthland Time even went so far as to call the increase a “spike”.

In other developed nations, midwives are routinely tasked with bringing new life into the world. Not so in the U.S., where delivery is largely presided over by obstetricians. But a new study finds that midwives are getting busier, delivering 8.1% of the country’s babies in 2009 — a record high.

Slice the data differently and the proportion rises even further. Consider vaginal births only — midwives don’t do cesarean sections — and the figure rises to 12.1%, or about one of every eight deliveries, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“If this trend continues, it will bring us more in line with the rest of the world in giving midwives a central role in prenatal care and birth,” says study author Eugene Declercq, professor of community-health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Given that other countries have lower costs and better outcomes, it would be a positive thing for this country.”

The state with the highest rate of midwife assisted deliveries is New Mexico.   24 percent of all births (not excluding c-sections) are presided over by midwives. That is three times the US national average.

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Delayed Cord Clamping [video]

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Is the childhood obesity epidemic linked to c-sections?

Just over nine per cent of the children in the study were born by caesarean, and on average were two ounces lighter than those delivered naturally. But by the age of six weeks, those surgically delivered were consistently heavier than their naturally-born counterparts at almost all points - even when other factors such as their mother’s weight and whether they were breastfed were taken into account. The risk of obesity was particularly marked among children born to overweight mothers, the researchers said. In total, a third of all the three-year-olds in the study were overweight, while at the age of seven and 15 there was a 17 per cent chance of a child being obese. The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, also highlighted the risks to women of undertaking a caesarean including increased chance of bowel or bladder injuries as well as future pregnancy complications.   New research has confirmed older studies about the benefit of probiotics in the birth canal.  There is an interesting connection between method of birth and children’s weight.

 Bacteria found in the birth canal helps regulate metabolism, thus it seems likely there is a link between the childhood obesity epidemic and increased rates of c-section deliveries.

I’ve always felt that childhood obesity was largely a result of diet, genetics, and sedentary lifestyle.   Junk food, fast food, and processed food coupled with tv watching and lack of physical exercise in school has led to overweight children.  When I see overweight children, I have great empathy, as I think of the struggles they will face their whole lives with weight gain and health.

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US maternity practices: routine vs. evidence-based


Via: ImprovingBirth.org

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Natural childbirth: Benefits of lotus birth vs. delayed cord clamping

Benefits of lotus birth vs. delayed cord clampingThere’s a new trend amongst natural home birthers getting attention by the media…the lotus birth. When I first heard the term, images from Ina May’s book Spiritual Midwifery  came to mind of women having natural, orgasmic births imagining a lotus flower opening to help them open for birth.   The term actually refers to an extreme version of delayed cord clamping and not a natural childbirth practice as implied.

Inhabitots explains:

Otherwise known as umbilical nonseverance, Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord and placenta attached to your baby after he is born. It’s well documented that waiting to cut your baby’s umbilical cord is a healthy practice, but Lotus Birth keeps it attached to a newborn, along with the placenta, until it falls off naturally (which takes much longer than the recommended 90 second cord clamping delay recommended by Dr. Alan Greene).

Delayed cord clamping differs from lotus birth in that the cord is clamped and severed after it has stopped pumping, which is typically about 15 minutes.   The lotus birth allows for the placenta and umbilical cord to fall of naturally, which can take several days, at least that is how long I recall it took for my children’s cord stump to fall off.

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Why Midwifery Care is So Important [video]

Paid Maternity Leave Around the World [infographic]

Via: Think Progress

$98 billion a year, yet maternal mortality doubled in last 25 years [infographic]

Via: Huffington Post

Do You Know Where Your Placenta is Buried?

What is done with one’s placenta after giving birth is definitely cultural.  Within our green parenting community, especially if one gave birth at home, it is not unusual for mothers to eat or bury their placentas (or store them in the freezer).  What to do with my placentas was not really part of my birth plan.  I had thought of almost everything up to the point of the midwife asking this question.  The freezer was the best option until I could make a decision.

While reading National Geographic magazine‘s July 2012 issue, the idea of the cultural significance, or lack there of, placenta traditions struck me.  In the article titled, “Vanishing Voices“, languages at risk of being extinct are explored.  One such language Seri has a phrase that struck a cord with me and left me thinking:

Where is your placenta buried?

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Midwives Know Birth Matters [video]