Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CIMS Conference in Orlando

I am working on my presentation for the CIMS conference next week. I am speaking on honoring the physio-structural systems of women: with a focus on positioning and the pelvis. It is going to be a great opportunity to see FL friends and go to a conference that I have not been to before.

In doing some additional research for the CIMS session, my rep from Injoy Videos told me about their new DVD, Positions for Labor. It is a really good video with an accompanying handout. The DVD is only 19 minutes which makes it great for teaching and it is only $150. Injoy is really committed to developing videos that portray the evidence based information. I really like their stuff.

Soon, we will be carrying the book "Blessing Ways" ~ I am excited because it will pair nicely with our blessing way kits.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Waterbirth Credentialing Coming to Midwest

For those of you who live in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, WV, Tennessee OR who don't mind a small trip, the Waterbirth Credentialing Workshop taught by Barbara Harper RN will be in Dayton Ohio on June 20, 2008 from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Barbara is the founder and director of Waterbirth International and the Global Maternal/Child Health Association, a non profit organization. The mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the well-being of women and children during pregnancy, birth and early childhood. A Midwesterner herself, Barbara has been referred to as the "Billy Graham of waterbirth" due to her expertise, enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge. She has lectured in 35 countries including medical schools, nursing schools and midwifery programs.

What does this mean? It means that we can better meet the needs of our expectant clients who wish to labor and/or birth using hydrotherapy! Whether you are a physician, midwife, nurse, childbirth educator, doula or other maternity/child health specialist, this workshop is ideal.

Watch www.birthsource.com and my quarterly newsletter for more information about Early Bird Registrations and how to register.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lacking Evidence

On February 6, 2008, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a press release advising expectant mothers against home birth and births with CPMs (certified professional midwives). Ignoring the fact that 22 US states allow births with CPM and the facts that the US infant mortality and morbidity is still ranked in the low 20's (meaning that 20+ countries have birth outcomes better than the US), they propose to keep the management of birth the same.

This press release was without footnotes or evidence based references. It would be interesting to see where the basis for their statements came from. This press release is also somewhat opposite of the latest issue by their sister organization, AWHONN's (Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing) journal: Journal of Obstetric and Gynocology, Neonatal Nursing. In the January/February 2008 issue, several writers demonstrate the evidence based research FOR normal birth and the choice more and more women are making for a more normal AND natural birthing experience.

The tide has been ready to turn. Now it is time...in shadow of the videos "The Business of Being Born" and "Pregnant in America" the change in the conversation about birth has begun!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Conference Season

I know it is only February but conference season is coming quickly. I was asked to speak at the CIMS (Coalition for Improving Maternity Services) conference in Orlando in March - it will be nice the thaw out PLUS get a jump start on networking with my birthing colleagues. It will be interesting to see what the buzz is regarding the latest issue of JOGNN - I was delighted to see information about normal birth and how nurses are urged to learn about caring for women who desire NO INTERVENTIONS. I get very frustrated when my nursing colleagues practice what I call "macromanagement" of their patients - a.k.a. sitting in front of the computers and monitors instead of helping to facilitate the birthing process. I am convinced that nursing schools do not give them the tools they need to care for normal birth situations. They give nurses GREAT skills to handle a crisis but virtually none for normal birth - which is the higher percentage of births. How can we change this? Can we shove the paradigm?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Birth Pendulum Finally Finds Momentum

The Business of Being Born. Pregnant In America. An increase in the number of women seeking unmedicated birthing options. More women asking for water labor and water birth.

This generation of birthing women, the iGeneration or Millenials, are very comfortable with technology. They have not really known a time without computers, MP3 players or cell phones. So EFM, IUPC or IV drips are not alarming to them. BUT they are asking for a more natural and less toxic way to birth. AND it is becoming harder and harder for nurses to work with these clients because nurses typically do not learn the gentle labor comfort skills in nursing school - unless they have been mentored by a nurse who HAS these skills. It is also becoming harder for careproviders to encourage 37 week inductions as these women have the knowledge (through childbirth classes, internet learning, books and magazines) that some babies may not be fully developed by 37 weeks and then have to spend a great deal of time in the NICU.

This generation of birthing women are also finding their way back to childbirth class. Where as early in this decade attendance at childbirth education classes were down to between 30 and 50%, a surge has been seen lately and more women and their support persons are registering for and attending classes: childbirth, baby care, infant cpr, infant massage - really any class they can find. This surge toward MORE education will help prepare them for their birth experience and life with baby.

What we are ALL learning is that in the U.S., maternity care is not always based in the evidence. For example, there is little evidence to support such a high episiotomy rate amongst first time mothers. Little evidence to support routine withholding of food and fluids during labor. There is nearly 30 years of research to support doula care - yet doulas are not generally encouraged by careproviders.

We need to stop and think - we need to treat each other better in all aspects of our lives. Why not start with birth?