Labor Drugs Hinder Breastfeeding Efforts

Have you ever heard, “I couldn’t breastfeed“? I sure have. Some women simply can’t. They’re a rare bunch, accounting for only a small percentage of mothers overall, approximately 3 to 6 million women worldwide.

Those of us who believe in natural processes, like breastfeeding and childbirth without medical interventions, won’t be surprised to hear this news:

Labor drugs interfere with breastfeeding.

*Shock*

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Labor of Love: My Daughter's Home Birth, Hemorrhage Story

Almost seven years ago, I gave birth to my daughter.  My pregnancy began with really bad “all day” sickness in the first trimester, where I would watch Dr. Zhivago between trips to the bathroom to puke. My second trimester was grand, as I was big enough to look pregnant and not just fat, and I felt really good. I had the glow. The third trimester was a challenge, as I gained 55 pounds overall and cried when I couldn’t squat long enough to plant my onions. Then, exactly on her due date, my daughter entered the world.

We live in a very remote region of Northern California.  Our closest hospital (that won’t do births) is an hour and half away.  Our midwives would not take the risk of a home birth at our off-the-grid homestead, nor did we feel entirely comfortable with the idea, so we decided rent a house in town for our birth.  A couple was going to Senegal for the summer, so it worked out perfectly that we could use their home for a month. It was about 15 minutes from the closest hospital, although no hospitals on the coast have an neo-natal intensive care unit.  I wanted a home birth, and this was the closest I could get to one.

Everyone feared I would go into labor in the mountains, so several days before my due date, we went to town to wait it out. I was restless and knew I would never go into labor in town, so we returned home.  I went for a long hike, and that night the real contractions began.  I was walking down our driveway as my husband pulled up, and I said, I think it is time to go.  My mother was here, but I feared her driving on the mountain roads, and we needed to take two cars for our dog to accompany us to town and fit everyone. So, I drove myself in labor two hours to the house we rented. My mother and I timed my contractions, but even though they were five minutes apart, I kept on driving (that’s how much I fear my mother’s driving!). [Read more…]