The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Last weekend I hung out with a student just beginning her journey through nursing school. She’s planning on working in labor and delivery when she graduates and had a few questions. Not surprisingly, her questions are ones I’m asked a lot.
Movement and positioning in labor work magic. Movement enhances comfort by stimulating the receptors in the brain that decrease pain perception. The result is that you are able to tolerate increasingly strong contractions. When contractions become very strong, endorphins are released and pain perception decreases even more. Ultimately, your movement in response to your contractions decreases pain and facilitates labor – a win-win. Movement also helps the baby move through the pelvis, and some positions enlarge pelvic diameters.
Sticking close to home is a must for some moms-to-be. Especially when we're talking about giving birth.
Home births jumped 29 percent in the time period from 2004 to 2009, "its highest level since researchers began collecting data 20 years earlier," according to an MSNBC.com report based on figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Forty years ago, a book came out that changed women’s health forever.
I get this question a lot: How often do women deliver in their cars or at home because they couldn’t make it to the hospital in time? The answer depends on where you live. If you’re an American mother, these made-for-television, side-of-the-road deliveries don’t happen very often. If you live in parts of the world where healthcare facilities and providers are few and far between, well, they happen to thousands of women every day.
Home births constitute about one percent of all deliveries in the US and a much higher percent in other parts of the world. That’s about 40,000 American babies born at home and doesn’t include mothers who planned on having a homebirth, but for one reason or another, ended up transferring to a hospital.
1. Get to know yourself Think about what makes you tick and what you really want. Are you skeptical or respectful of the medical establishment? Ask yourself, if you had no constraints, how would you want to give birth? Does one option make you say: “Yes! That makes total sense!” Do others make you squirm and think: “Yikes! I would never do that in a million years.” Your gut reaction tells you which choice is right for you.
If a loved one can’t be there when you deliver your baby, consider using Skype or FaceTime so he or she can share in your birth experience. To make sure the process goes smoothly, keep these apps and their features in mind:
Skype: You can download Skype to an iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, PC, Mac, Android or Kindle Fire HD. Both parties will need a mobile device or computer with an internal camera or a web camera hooked up for video to work both ways on Skype.
Being pregnant can result in unexpected medical conditions. Here, three mothers share the emotional and physical hurdles they faced along the way.
“The idea of a C-section scared me because it is major surgery.” Rachel Rosen, Tarzana, Calif.
Whew, I really ticked off a few people with my blog last week about breastfeeding modestly. Most readers appreciated the concept of “middle ground,” neither hiding under a tent nor full-on exposure, there were a few readers who found my attitude shameful. It seems pulling the boys’ perspective into this was a bad plan. What can I say?
As a labor and delivery nurse in Illinois, Courtney Gustin, 30, has helped bring many babies into the world. But during her pregnancy with her third child last year, she decided to give birth at home. “Working in the hospital, I saw so many things that were harmful to women and babies, including unnecessary labor inductions and Cesarean sections, as well as a lack of regard for women’s desire not to be separated from their babies after they are born,” Gustin says.