Wednesday Wrap Up Oct 5

An interesting look at how the maternity care system in hospitals might be changed to reduce the cesarean rate. It’s a very different model, but one hospital in California is doing it.

If you’ve not already seen it, this Reddit post on how one family was charged $40 for skin-to-skin with their baby is somewhat surprising! (But given that the insurance company listed is the one I have my health insurance through, and that company also owns all the hospitals that are in network, maybe the unusual billing isn’t quite so unexpected…)

Some advice for When You’re Afraid of Giving Birth

One of the better explanations I’ve seen on How to Do Perineal Massage – now with illustrations and animated GIFs

It’s sad how quickly some moms have to go back to work. A while back, I assisted a mom who had to go back to work less than a week after giving birth. Not because she needed the money, but because she’d been threatened with losing her job if she didn’t! (Probably not legal, but she wasn’t going to risk it or sue.)

An interview with a mom who has had three unmedicated births in the hospital, includes her advice on how to best prepare for that kind of birth.


Wednesday Wrap Up Sept 28


Henci Goer takes a good hard look at the Trends in Maternal Mortality.

I don’t know that I’ve heard much controversy over this, but I agree with Stacie’s answer to the question “Should A Doula Thank a Nurse?” – verbal or written thanks, and praise to superiors, are good things for any professionals you collaborate with. (Not such a fan of gifts and bribes, but that’s maybe a rant for another day.)

An indepth video series on a host of topics surrounding motherhood: This is Birth, with Lisa Ling Covers cesareans, midwifery, discrimination, surrogacy and egg freezing.

And some thoughts from a friend of mine as she watched Lisa Ling’s series: Passion and Privilege in My Profession

I am a childbirth educator, so of course I agree with this: Why a Good Birth Class is SO Worth the Time and Money


Busting Birth Myths: Dels of Pain

delsI see it all the time. Friends and family share it with me, fellow birth professionals share it on their pages, people text it to my clients who ask me about it.

And it drives me crazy!

Here’s what I’m talking about:

“A Human body can bear only up to 45 del (units) of pain. Yet at time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 Del (units) of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time.”

So let me break this down.

First, if the “human body” can only bear 45 dels, and laboring women feel more than that, does that mean mothers are not human? Last time I checked, women were human beings. That means their bodies *are* “human bodies” – so clearly human bodies CAN bear more than whatever this mythical limit is. Unless, of course, you’re sexist enough that you think men are the default humans and women are the anomaly.

Second, there is no such thing as a unit of pain. Certainly nothing called a “del” as claimed here. Pain is very subjective, and simply cannot be measured. Back in the 1940s, some researchers named Hardy, Woolf and Goodell proposed a pain unit called the “dol” but even that scale only went from one to ten, nowhere near the numbers claimed in the myth. Hardy went on to do some experiments where he (quite literally) burned women’s hands in between labor contractions trying to get them to quantify the level of pain they were feeling.

But because pain is so subjective and the scale did little to distinguish pain from other intense sensation, the dol was never actually used outside of research studies and has never been considered a valid measurement of pain.

If you’d like to read more about Hardy’s attempts to develop a unit for pain, this article is a good place to start.

So can we PLEASE stop spreading this myth?

(Steps off soapbox)


Wednesday Wrap Up

WednesdayWrapUpTIt’s hard to imagine that someone could miss it, but here’s a pretty unique birth story: US Sailor Delivers Baby at Sea

A nice look at how childbirth has changed over the years: Childbirth Through the Decades

Collaboration (both between health care providers and between professionals and families) is an important part of good care. I’m a big proponent of avoiding conflict in the birth room by working ahead of time. And here’s one good reason why: Rudeness in Medical Settings Could Kill Patients

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Lamaze Conferences I have attended, and I’m very sad that I won’t be able to attend this year. But if you are on the fence, I highly recommend that you go, and if that isn’t enough, here are the Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Lamaze Conference.

And finally, something to make you laugh! I spent $100 on stock photos to show you what labor does NOT look like


Wednesday Wrap Up Sept 14


How to deliver a baby without pain meds if you’re not a spiritual person but are really geeky A fun how-to/birth story in 26 simple steps.

Please, read this article on obstetric violence and consent the true cases outlined here highlight much of the problems that lead to traumatized new parents.

Funny because it’s all too real:
33 Things to Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

And in case you’re not afraid to say anything, here are 33 things you can say to pregnant people

I’ve been concerned about mother blaming ever since I very first heard the word “epigenetics” and I’ve sadly seen it come true. Please pay close attention to the 4 caveats at the end and keep them in mind.

Good insights on the maternal mortality epidemic facing the US. Time to take a good look in the mirror and reevaluate the way we do things.

An to end on a note of humor: The 13 Little Known Stages of Breastfeeding, as told in Disney gifs.