Postpartum Visit Today

Saw Baby A and her momma today -- what a CUTE BABY. Big time!!!

Mom is recovering splendidly and whether it's the combination of being proactive with medication, getting more rest than she was able to with her older girls, or being a more confident mother this time around, she's not had even an inkling of baby blues, which is wonderful. She had PPD before and I hope it all keeps going well for her this time!

Being a doula is such a wonderful position and in addition to it being personally fulfilling, I really appreciate the chance to provide a service of value to other women. I know there are a ton of great resources in Pittsburgh for women's mental health but when one is experiencing the onset of postpartum depression, it's important that a third party be there to see the signs. In some lives we have mothers, sisters, cousins, and experienced friends all around. In other lives, we're not so lucky. I'm desperately glad that I can be that "someone" for someone.

Watch this Video: Autism Speaks

Five for Fighting... as if it wasn't enough that they're hockey fans, further proof of their awesomeness. Each time someone watches this short video, Five for Fighting donates $0.40 to autism research.

Autism Speaks/Five for Fighting

Breast-Feeding Protected Mice from Asthma

Breast-Feeding Protected Mice from Asthma

Breast-feeding helped protect baby mice from developing allergic asthma, a new study found.

The mice that were breast-fed by mothers that had been exposed to an allergen "inherited" the allergen and developed tolerance to it.

A lot of folks are talking about reframing the way we talk about formula and breastmilk, in that breastmilk should be the standard and formula should be the other. So instead of saying, "Breastmilk helps prevent asthma," one should say, "Formula puts children at risk for asthma."

I don't know exactly how I feel about that. I guess I'm just a positive person (ha) and framing things in a positive way just seems, well, nicer. There are more important things than being nice, though.

Ran into my recent mommy!

My client who delivered 10 days ago came to an indoor playplace here in Pittsburgh yesterday with her 2 older daughters. She looks just fantastic and feels great! We were able to chat a little about her birth and how I interacted with her for pain management. She's so sweet -- she's very direct and honest and absolutely kind. As a newer doula I really appreciate feedback like that! She is very happy with her birth and I'm really proud of her, and I'm thrilled that she's having a relatively easy time as a Mom of Three Girls! Seems that Baby A is a mellow little baby, which every mom deserves at least once.

Welcome to the House of Yuck.

Seems like both kids have something. Badger's been throwing up for 2 days (today was a doozie) and Chim broke out in hives this evening. I was supposed to schedule my postpartum visit this weekend with my client who recently delivered but I do think that she'd rather have a later postpartum visit than for me to spread my children's lovely barfy, splotchy germs to her newborn!

Pregnancy Problems Tied to Caffeine

Too much caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, a new study says, and the authors suggest that pregnant women may want to reduce their intake or cut it out entirely.

Many obstetricians already advise women to limit caffeine, though the subject has long been contentious, with conflicting studies, fuzzy data and various recommendations given over the years.

The new study, being published Monday in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, finds that pregnant women who consume 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day — the amount in 10 ounces of coffee or 25 ounces of tea — may double their risk of miscarriage.

I am frankly a little surprised at how dramatically the risks increased!

Hooray for choices!

N.H. House votes to require insurance coverage for home births
The House voted Wednesday to require insurance companies to pay for children delivered at home by midwives in New Hampshire if the mother's plan would have paid for the birth in a hospital.
more stories like this

Supporters noted that the federal government reimburses women for home delivery under the Medicaid program.

Currently, a woman with health insurance that includes maternity benefits must pay the entire cost if the delivery is at home.

Welcome Baby A!

My remaining client had her little baby girl yesterday. The labor was much more difficult for her than her two previous labors and I hope I did a good job for her. I need to know how to be a good doula when a client who had previously expressed a strong desire to go natural changes her mind. This mom was going SUPER fast, I could tell. She wanted the epidural. She got checked and was found to be at 7. Still wanted an epidural. Got the epi-man speech, dad sent out of the room, epi cart rolled in. Nurse asked her if she was having second thoughts. Was it in MY scope of practice to ask her this? Or was I working within my scope of practice when I made sure she understood all the risks and benefits of an epidural? I'm very glad the nurse did ask because the client did have second thoughts, and was checked, found to be at 9cm, and birthed her baby less than 30 minutes later. It was amazing, one good contraction and a new person entered the world.

Welcome Baby A!!!

Postpartum hospital stays

In the news about today's birth of Nicole Richie's baby girl (yah, I read those sites. I have reformed NEARLY all the vices of my yout.), the report made it sound like she and the baby were discharged on the day of her delivery. I think that's fantastic for many reasons. First of all, it indicates to me that everything went smoothly and mom and baby are doing well. In fact, if she was discharged the same day of delivering, I can't imagine she had a medicated birth.

I was always really anxious to the the heck home after my kids were born. After Chim's birth, I think the care I received postpartum was just awful. I was given antibiotics for far too long (DAYS after the fever ceased, but the nurses couldn't find an MD to sign off on discontinuing the IV) which led to an IV infiltration that was no fun. On discharge day, one of the nurses asked if I needed to stay longer because she could see that I was distressed. I was distressed because of my hospital stay!! And after Zee's birth I was just so happy and I felt great, and I wanted to go home and start enjoying my new addition.

I am sure she has lots of support at home too, which is so important for new moms -- regardless of their circumstances. Thankfully she has myriad resources at her disposal: baby nurses, postpartum doulas, maybe even a private nurse for herself. A lot of moms will have their own moms or sisters there the first few weeks, and especially if the women in our lives can frankly share their experiences as new moms fall into motherhood (the sore nipples, the hormonal changes, the night sweats, the hormones, the vast surges of love you feel... did I mention the bormones?), it can ease the transition and make it less a trial by fire than a loving rite of passage.

Here's hoping that this new family, as well all new families (and yes, it seems there are quite a few in LA especially tonight) have a great start in the big adventure!

Mean people... not my favorite.

I shouldn't let myself get all worked up about blogs I read. I really shouldn't. I should know that if someone says something to the effect of, if you want to be an idiot and suffer through natural childbirth without an epidural, that's your call, then we probably won't agree on what color the sky is. But he was characterizing the film "Business of Being Born" based on the trailer alone. I didn't like that. I didn't think it was fair. I was polite and direct and suggested that he comment on the film and those who produced and directed it only after seeing it. He and who I assume is his brother, brother-in-law, or some family member, were sort of totally not cool. He accused me of being delusional, a cry-baby, narrow-minded (ME!!!!), and brainwashed.

Listen, dude -- I was raised Catholic. I know brainwashing when I see it. And if you can't understand that saying that someone is an idiot is name-calling, then you should talk to my 3 year old because she understands it.

I ended up banging my head up against a wall. This blogger thinks I'm a nutjob and the feeling is mutual. You just can't win for trying some days.

Maybe goin' birthin' soon!

I got a call from my 1/23 client this morning that she's been having some pre-labor signs. She will be welcoming her third child (her first two were early, to boot) so I have a lot of confidence in her knowledge of her body! This is my first client who has already been through labor and delivery and it's been a very interesting few months getting to know her and talking through her previous births, both of which were positive. So, my bags are packed, cell phone is charged, lunchboxes ready to go to daycare if needed!

And after this birth... I don't have anything lined up. I'm a bit worried, and a bit relieved as well. This will be my 5th birth in less than 2 months, which coincided with losing a friend, the holidays, 2 weeks of houseguests, and a weekend trip for a birthday party last weekend. I'm pretty ready for a break to get my household and family back in shape!

ChimChim can write her name!

Of course... her name isn't actually ChimChim. But she can write her REAL name. Even the hard letter, now. She used to skip it, or tack it on the end, if she felt ambitious.

Not too bad for 3 years old!

Met a new doula yesterday

I learned about a new doula in my city and we met for tea yesterday. Badger tagged along and he was on company behavior. In fact, he tends to be anxious and timid around new people but he took a real shine to New Doula, right away!

She is new to the city (well, she grew up here but lived away for a while) and I was able to give her the contact information for some birth professionals here in town. It was a little odd to be giving guidance, since I have not been doing this very long myself.

New Doula's enthusiasm was so wonderful. She has a real passion for birth and in our short time together she demonstrated a lot of kindness and thoughtfulness -- I'm sure that she'll do great as a doula!

And purely selfishly -- I *finally* made an IRL connection from a message board. Yay!