Friday, January 06, 2012

Birth News!

On December 3rd I was witness to the birth of an adorable 8 lb. 9 oz. baby boy and a new family. It was also my birthday. The laboring mama and papa sang happy birthday to me as the clock struck midnight and then together we sang happy birthday to the worlds newest member ten hours later. Dad popped the champagne and we toasted to a their son and his wonderful birth! It was the best birthday breakfast this doula has ever had! In other birth news, San Diego Moms, Doulas, Midwifes and professionals held a Rally for Change in front of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital on December 17, 2011. Here is a picture of me at the Rally playing with Mykael Richards baby girl, Miss Annalise. To read more about our human rights march you can go to to the Rally for Change on facebook.
Our goal is to bring awareness to the rising c-section rates in this country. We are asking for evidence based care that is based on scientific studies, not tradition or "doctor convenience" based care. We also ask for full informed consent for every procedure and/or drug that is suggested or offered so that patients know the full benefits and risks to make an evidenced based decision on their care. We ask that it also be explained that 40-50% of inductions do not work and that may lead to a c-section. We ask that induction drugs that are NOT FDA approved for women and pregnancy stop being used as it increased the risk of maternal death and infant heart abnormalities and brain damage. We ask that policies be changed to reflect scientific studies on the following: 1. Allowing mothers to labor at home as long as possible 2. Allowing labor to start on it's own within 24 hrs of water rupturing as long as mother and baby are within normal range 3. Allowing mothers to eat and drink during labor 4. Allowing intermittent monitoring of fetal heart tones 5. Allowing mobility during labor 6. Allowing different pushing positions(birth stools, squatting, standing) other than on the patients back 7. Allowing delayed cord clamping until cord has finished pulsating 8. Allowing skin to skin contact for the first two hours after birth or until the first breastfeeding Evidence DOES NOT support elective c-sections or elective inductions. Evidence supports that mothers are not postdate until 42 weeks and induction should not be forced upon mothers before that time as long as mother and baby are within normal range. VBACs(Vaginal Births After Caesareans) should be accepted and fully supported as evidence for rupture is minimal. VBACS should be the standard.
Doula Dawn Thompson headed up the Rally and will be continuing in this effort with a soon to be up webpage and national and global initiative.  Stay tuned!

The next noteworthy item is that CNN Hero of the Year 2011 winner is Midwife, Robin Lim! If you haven't met Robin please click on this link and see her accept her award. Also look around at all the CNN Hero's. There are many amazing nominees which makes Robin's achievement that much more noteworthy. As Robin is quoted saying,
"Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet."
Model Christy Turlington Burns writes about her visit to Robin's clinic in Indonesia in this Huffington Post story, My hero, Ibu Robin Lim. Robin's award makes me hopeful that mothers in my town, my country and my world will be safer during birth, be treated with more dignity and respect and that birth will be treated like a Human Rights issue that it is.

Now my most favorite midwife in the whole world (and I love many) is Ina May Gaskin and I saved the best for last as far as noteworthy birth news! The Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called a alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize, is awarded for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people. This year Ina May Gaskin was one of the four Laureates! You can read about the other winners at The Right Livelihood Award webpage and you can watch Ina May's acceptance speech here.

“… for her whole-life’s work teaching and advocating safe, woman-centred childbirth methods that best promote the physical and mental health of mother and child.“
Bravo Ina May! And as Ina May would say, Bravo to all the men, women and mothers of the world who fight to birth their baby's in safety and peace and help their sisters, daughters, neighbors birth their babies into a better world.
Quotation ”A society that places a low value on its mothers and the process of birth will suffer an array of negative repercussions for doing so. Good beginnings make a positive difference in the world, so it is worth our while to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies throughout this extraordinarily influential part of life.” Ina May Gaskin

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