Herbal Bath Recipe

November 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Almost every birth I’ve attended was followed by a warm, healing and soothing herbal bath for the mother and baby. Here is a recipe I like and use.

Mix together:

1/3 cup each of dry sage and comfrey

1/8 cup each of goldenseal, sea salt, garlic powder and white oak bark

Bring a medium-sized pot of purified water to a gentle boil. Add the herbs, turn down heat, and allow to simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Strain, and add the “tea” to bathwater. The herbs can be wrapped in sterile gauze (about 1/8 cup of herbs per compress) and used as compresses to aid in perineal healing.

A Perspective on Risk

September 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Michele at “Birth After Cesarean”, shares a good perspective on the risks with VBAC, compared to other risks we encounter in our everyday lives. It’s a great post!


June 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

“I don’t believe that midwives deliver babies. I believe that midwives help women deliver their own babies into this world.” —a midwife

This labor and birth was SO much harder than I expected

April 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s hard for the entire birth team (mom, dad, midwives, doula) when the labor and birth become unexpectedly difficult, or complicated, or long.

No one likes it.

If we could choose, most of us would make all labors 4-6 hours long, with a fairly short pushing time, and a tear-free delivery. Baby pinks up nicely right away, and calmly (but not too calmly!) transitions to breathing and suckling, and doing all the things that normal healthy babies do on earth. Mother would feel a happy after-labor glow, be delighted and totally in love with her baby, bond and nurse very successfully, and without much difficulty…and they all live happily ever after.

Often, things do go fabulously well, especially when mothers are well-informed, well-prepared, and well-nourished. 🙂

But life is not always that smooth—or simple.

So when a labor or birth goes differently, or MUCH differently than a mother was expecting, even if she did what she needed to do, and successfully birthed her baby, it can cause feelings of disappointment. A mother may feel like she failed because she didn’t labor how she thought she should have.

Leslie Spradlin has written a beautiful blog post about “Healing from the Birth That Should’ve Been“. Discover ways to encourage, support, and build up a mother after her birth, or how to get a new perspective on your own [difficult] birth.

What is a CPM?

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings. ~http://narm.org

What do labor and birth feel like?

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Rixa Freeze, blogger at “Stand and Deliver”, asks mothers to share in their own words…

What do labor and birth feel like?

When making a decision about your health care…

February 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I found this little acronym on Rixa Freeze’s “Stand and Deliver” blog. I thought it was good, and might be helpful to some mothers and fathers. So often the “routine” procedures, tests, and ways pregnancy and birth are managed are viewed as absolutely essential—when actually, they aren’t always necessary. So for the thinking mothers and fathers who truly want to be involved in their care…here are some questions to help you determine (along with your care provider) what tests and procedures are truly of benefit, and those that are just “routine”.

(Disclaimer: Although she does have some excellent articles on various pregnancy and birth topics, I do not endorse everything on her site.)

Trying to make a decision? Get BRAINED!

Ask yourself, and your caregivers, these questions:
Benefits – How could the recommended course of action help me or my baby?
Risks – How could the recommended course of action harm me or my baby?
Alternatives – Are there any other courses of action I could consider?
Intuition – What are my gut feelings about this?
Nothing – What happens if I do nothing?
Evaluate – Can you give me some time to consider my choices? Then…
Decide – Now that I have the information I need, I’m ready to make a decision.

Benefits- How will this procedure benefit me and my baby?
Risks – What are the risks to me and my baby?
Alternatives – What are some other things we might try instead?
Instinct/Intuition – What is your gut telling you?
Now/Never/Nothing – What if we don’t do the procedure right now? What if we never do it? What if we do nothing?
Safety/Satisfaction – Will this procedure increase the safety and satisfaction of the birth for me and my baby?

(At the end of her post, she adds this addendum.) To give credit where it’s due: the BRAINED acronym comes from a handout that someone gave me from “Lucina Birth Services.” The BRAINS acronym was passed around on a doula list serve.

What’s a girl to do? Making sense of the Group B Strep confusion

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

If you happen to be confused by discussions about Group B Strep, you’re not alone. This article, published by Midwifery Today, and by Mothering Magazine goes through the commonly-known, and some of the lesser-known facts about this bacteria (which, by the way, is different from the one that causes strep throat). Should I test for it? Should I have IV antibiotics if I test positive? What are the risks to my baby and myself? These questions and more are explored in the following article.

Breastfeeding helps babies sleep better at night…

January 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve always believed that breastmilk was best for babies, because God perfectly designed it to nourish babies (He created the human body, so He would know what formula would be best, right?!). However, I always find it fascinating to discover the different ways in which breastmilk and babies are perfectly suited for each other. The article below explores one such aspect of breastmilk. Enjoy!

“Sleep Inducers” in Breastmilk Change over 24-Hour Period


Sánchez, Cristina L.; Cubero, Javier; Sánchez, Javier; Chanclón, Belén; Rivero, Montserrat; Rodríguez, Ana B.; Barriga, Carmen. “The possible role of human milk nucleotides as sleep inducers”. Nutritional Neuroscience Vol. 12(1):2-8. 2009.

As reported at PHYSORG.COM

Breast milk contains various ingredients, such as , which perform a very important role in regulating babies’ . The new study, published recently in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, confirms that the composition of changes quite markedly throughout the day.

The scientists looked for three nucleotides in breast milk (adenosine, guanosine and uridine), which excite or relax the central nervous system, promoting restfulness and sleep, and observed how these varied throughout a 24-hour period.

The milk, collected from 30 women living in Extremadura, was expressed over a 24-hour period, with six to eight daily samples. The highest nucleotide concentrations were found in the night-time samples (8pm to 8am).

“This made us realise that milk induces sleep in “, Cristina L. Sánchez, lead author of the article and a researcher at the Chrononutrition Laboratory at the University of Extremadura, tells SINC.

“You wouldn’t give anyone a coffee at night, and the same is true of milk – it has day-specific ingredients that stimulate activity in the infant, and other night-time components that help the baby to rest”, explains Sánchez.

In order to ensure correct nutrition, the baby should be given milk at the same time of day that it was expressed from the mother’s breast. “It is a mistake for the mother to express the milk at a certain time and then store it and feed it to the baby at a different time”, points out the researcher.

The benefits of breast milk

The World Health Organization (WHO) says breast milk is the best food for the newborn, and should not be substituted, since it meets all the child’s physiological requirements during the first twelve months of life. It not only protects the baby against many illnesses such as colds, diarrhea and sudden infant death syndrome, but can also prevent future diseases such as asthma, allergies and obesity, and promotes intellectual development.

The benefits of breastfeeding also extend to the mother. Women who breastfeed lose the weight gained during pregnancy more quickly, and it also helps prevent against anemia, high blood pressure and postnatal depression. Osteoporosis and breast cancer are also less common among women who breastfeed their children.

More information: Sánchez, Cristina L.; Cubero, Javier; Sánchez, Javier; Chanclón, Belén; Rivero, Montserrat; Rodríguez, Ana B.; Barriga, Carmen. “The possible role of human milk nucleotides as sleep inducers”. Nutritional Neuroscience Vol. 12(1):2-8. 2009.

Source: FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Breast is Best

December 27th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s a brief, but helpful video on breastfeeding. The first thing it shows is a mother who has a cesarean delivery, but the baby is still put skin-to-skin almost right away. Unusual, but a good idea!