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!

Midwives…

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

The Fruits of the Womb

December 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

No, I’m not talking about babies this time…I’m talking about the womb itself!

I was reading a midwife’s blog today and discovered this short instructive video on the various sizes and shapes of the womb as it grows and changes from the pre-pregnancy shape and size, to the 20 week size, to the term size, to the postpartum shape and size—all with fruits!

I thought it was a great way to give expecting moms and dads—and student midwives—a visual aid.

I believe…

November 25th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Each new life is a precious gift from God.

Having a baby is a normal function of a healthy woman.

The entire process of childbearing, from conception to postpartum is perfectly and elegantly designed by God, and is inherently safe.

The vast majority of healthy women who take good care of themselves will be able to deliver vaginally.

Midwifery care and home birth are safe and wise choices for healthy women.

What do you believe about pregnancy and birth?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Protocol

July 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I finally have my first-edition GBS protocol (see below). I imagine it might change slightly, though, as I gather more experience, and more research is done on this bacteria.

[Added later: This is a simple, but great article written by an Arkansas midwife on GBS. It shows the relatively low risk babies are at from this bacteria, and puts the risk in better perspective. Take a look.]

Group Beta-Streptococci

Definition:
Group Beta-Streptococci is a bacteria found in up to 40% of women. It originates in the intestinal tract, but because of the close proximity between the rectum and the vagina, if a mother has intestinal/rectal colonization she will most likely have vaginal colonization. Genital colonization can cause symptoms, but rarely results in maternal illness. It can carry significant risks for the baby, however, if he or she becomes colonized and develops an infection from the bacteria. Overall neonatal infection rate is 1-4/1000.

Early-onset GBS disease (within the first week of life) is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. The newborn may become infected in utero, or during passage through the birth canal. Vertical transmission from mother to baby primarily occurs after the onset of labor or after the membranes rupture.

Predisposing factors to colonization:
Age >20
Low parity
Colonization with Candida
Multiple sexual partners in the previous 12 months (although not all studies have found this a factor)
External genital erythema and scaling
Use of tampons
Purulent vaginal discharge
Vaginal pH >5

Increased risk for active neonatal infection in the following circumstances:

Preterm birth (<37 weeks), although less than 30% of all infected babies are preterm
Rupture of membranes (>18 hours)
Heavy maternal or neonatal colonization with GBS
Maternal fever over 100.4 F
Previous birth of a baby with active GBS infection
Internal fetal monitoring for over 12 hours
Maternal GBS urinary tract infection
Multiple birth (only one study found an increased risk independent of the prematurity factor)
Low maternal titers for anti-GBS capsular IgG antibodies

A baby can be colonized and infection in any of the following ways:
GBS ascends into the intrauterine space from the vagina in an asymptomatic mother
The fetus aspirates infected amniotic fluid (can lead to stillbirth, pneumonia, or sepsis)
The baby passes through a colonized genital tract during birth (usually leading to colonization of newborn skin/mucous membranes; most of these babies do not get sick)
On rare occasions, babies become ill with GBS without any evidence of colonization in their mothers.
Group B Strep, Continued

Plan:
An informed consent form giving a thorough description of the disease, the testing, the risks, and options for treatment will be given to each client. The client will read and decide what course of action to take. I will offer routine testing at 36 weeks, but will respect the client’s right to decline. The client may choose to:
Decline testing, and watch the baby closely after birth for signs/symptoms of GBS disease (see below)
Consent to testing and do nothing if GBS-
Consent to testing, and if GBS+ discuss treatment options (see below)

For clients testing GBS+ I shall inform the client of the risks, and the standard for care, which includes IV antibiotics during labor or upon rupture of membranes, if that occurs first. I will offer the following treatment options:
Do nothing prophylactically, carefully watch the baby for s/s of infection, and immediately transport to hospital for antibiotic treatment if signs of GBS disease develop.
Use natural treatments to suppress the bacteria and boost the mother’s and baby’s immune system from 36/37 weeks until the baby is born. I may recommend:
Naturally fermented foods (natural yogurt, keifer, miso, kombucha) to support naturally-occurring flora
Acidophilus 2x daily (lactobacillus- 2 billion per capsule)
Echinacea 2x daily (350 mg)
Garlic 2x daily (580 mg)
Insert a clove of peeled, unnicked garlic vaginally every other night (remove in the morning)
Vitamin C (2000 mg daily)
Vitamin E 2x daily (500 mg)
Grapefruit seed extract (33%) 10 drops 2-3x daily, along with HMF Probiotics 1-2 capsules 2x daily until birth
Tea tree oil suppositories- Soak cotton ball or small cotton tampon with 50/50 blend of tea tree oil/olive oil, every 4 to 6 waking hours for ten days (to be done near term)
Use Hibiclens vaginal washes during labor/upon rupture of membranes (if ROM occurs first).
If a client desires to have IV antibiotics during labor, I will refer her to a doctor or other health care provider able to provide antibiotics.

I will monitor the well-being of my client and her baby during labor and delivery and proceed with desired course of treatment for GBS.

I will fully inform the client of the s/s of GBS disease in the newborn, and shall instruct the client to call immediately if the baby develops s/s of GBS disease.
If baby develops signs of sepsis, I will transport immediately for testing and treatment as needed. Signs of sepsis include:
Temperature lability
Tachypnea (apneic periods)
Labored breathing
Poor color
Lethargy
Poor suck

References:
Holistic Midwifery Volume 1 by Anne Frye, pg. 573
Heart and Hands 3rd Edition by Elizabeth Davis, pg 30, 133-134 [4th edition, 40]
Varney’s Midwifery 4rd Edition by Helen Varney, pg 868-870
Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year 7th Edition by
Anne Frye, pg. 743-756

Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

June 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m working on my protocol for GBS, so of course, the books are coming out and I’m doing extra-intense research on this. I know what I would do in this situation (I wouldn’t test—I would just take good care of myself, eat well, and possibly get on immune supporting herbs), but figuring out what to put in a protocol, and what to recommend to a client who had a urine culture come back GBS + (which means she is more highly colonized) is a little bit trickier. :/ I just can’t believe that routine prophylactic antibiotics for all GBS+ moms is the right answer.

Some interesting things have come to light already. Mothers in a study who had developed antibodies to GBS, and passed them to their newborns via the placenta had babies who didn’t get sick, whereas other mothers who didn’t have antibodies and didn’t pass them to their newborns had their newborns get sick. I’m not sure it will be that cut-and-dry once I read the entire study and get all the details, but it is interesting, nevertheless. I also discovered that there is work being done on a vaccine for GBS in its final stages, and it is looking promising (not that I or any of my mothers would be interested in a vaccine).

Anyway, I’m planning to do a post that compiles all my research into a (hopefully!) easy-to-digest version that is still good and informative. Stay tuned!