Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Lifetime has had a full slate of questionable reality shows for a while, including the painful-to-watch therapy session of True Tori and the bitter backstage griping at Dance Moms. But the latest show they’re developing may just go a bit too far—called “Born in the Wild,” the show will chronicle women who decide to take home birth a few million steps further, and take their birth outdoors and into the woods. (Want to see the video that inspired it? Check it here!)
OB/GYNs, as you can imagine, have been extremely critical of the idea of the show, and the potential risks to both mom and baby should something go awry when they’re out in the middle of nowhere. (Heck, even home births have been shown to be more risky than their medically assisted counterparts—and those don’t include giving birth on a grassy knoll in the rain.) But the producers say that they have many safeguards in place, including requiring the birthing place to be a short distance from a hospital, having an EMT on site with the camera crew to intervene if needed, and casting only low-risk moms who already have an uneventful birth or two under their belts.
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Everything Pregnancy, Must Read, Pregnancy News
Monday, March 10th, 2014
That’s the question on everyone’s lips after Latham Thomas, who runs the pregnancy website Mama Glow, tweeted Thursday, “Highlight of my night – speaking about natural birth, home birth, & doulas with Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake & @jessicabiel.”
While Latham said Jessica is not pregnant—and she sure didn’t look like she had a bun in the oven at the Oscars in her form-fitting Chanel gown and her recent birthday was in a restaurant’s wine cellar in Miami—he said, “She’s a supporter of natural birth, doulas, and midwives. We talked about it for hours.”
I have to say, before my husband and I started talking about having a family, I would have been completely uninterested in all of the above. After deciding we were ready, on the other hand, I couldn’t read enough about my birth options. So there might be something to the rumor that JT and JB are ready to become parents since they are certainly doing their research if they’re talking to a birth expert for hours!
Though natural birth—without pain meds—sounds like a nightmare for a lot of women, those who get an epidural (as the majority giving birth vaginally in the U.S. do) actually have a greater incidence of needing birth interventions, such as vacuum extraction and delivery by forceps, or even a c-section, according to a recent study in National Vital Statistics Reports. An epidural can also mean short-lived but scary side effects for mom, including low blood pressure, headache, and fever. Women who skip the meds instinctively push, rather than exerting when they are told, which mean less pushing and less tearing too, and an overall shorter birth. So if you learn pain-reducing techniques and can handle the pain, in many ways you’re better off without an epidural.
If Jessica has a home birth using a midwife, she’ll certainly be on trend. Home births are at an all-time high. Home births jumped by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009, and now are thought to be at an all time high, though still only about 1 percent of women choose to give birth at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, home births are most common among women over the age of 35 who have already had at least one child. The biggest increase was in non-Hispanic white women. About 1 in 90 births in that segment of the population is now a home birth. But before deciding on a home birth, do your research. Recent data, also released by the CDC, found a growing number of infant deaths among babies who are birthed at home.
Using CDC data collected from 14 million infant births and deaths, the research team learned that the rate of newborn deaths was greater for home births delivered by midwives (12.6/10,000 births) compared to births delivered by midwives in a hospital (3.2/10,000 births). The death rates were even greater for first-time mothers having a midwife delivery at home (21.9/10,000 births). Births in a hospital–even if delivered by a midwife, were still safer than home deliveries.
In addition to having a midwife or OB, lots of women are now choosing to also include a doula. Doulas are professionally trained birth coaches, who offer prenatal education and emotional support to the mother, and serve as an advocate for her while in labor. My experience with a doula was amazing, she put me and my husband at ease before and during the birth, and was there to explain things in more detail since the OB and nurses were more often out of the room than in it. (See which stars have used doulas here).
TELL US: Share your experiences with natural births, home births and doulas with us! If you haven’t had your baby yet, tell us what’s included in your birth plan.
Image of Jessica Biel courtesy of Joe Seer/Shutterstock.
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Monday, January 6th, 2014
Can you imagine going into labor, and it being painfully obvious that you were going to have the baby before you got to the hospital? Scary, right? Even scarier if the only other person at home with you was your 9-year-old daughter.
Well, it actually wasn’t frightening for Monique Meza from Chicago. When Monique felt her baby crowning, her 9-year-old daughter, Alyssa, bravely jumped into action.
“She said she felt the baby coming out, and I told her to push the baby out and I’d catch the baby,” Alyssa told her local ABC news in Chicago of helping her mother through labor. “She got scared, and I caught the baby, grabbed the towel and wrapped her.”
The umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck twice—something that would freak out even most adults. But not Alyssa—she knew exactly what to do. The elementary-schooler had seen a medical TV show, where the baby was born with the umbilical cord around its neck, so she didn’t hesitate. “I had to unwrap it,” said Alyssa, “and I ran next door to grab my neighbor because the baby was a little purple,” she continued. The neighbor promptly called 911, and both mom and baby sister Aaliyah are fine, largely thanks to Alyssa, who now wants to be a paramedic when she grows up.
Alyssa showed such strength and bravery that her mom wasn’t just grateful for what her daughter had done, but she was also “very, very proud of her,” said Monique. “I expected it from her, but not as much maturity that she has shown me, at her age. I know she has a bright future ahead of her.” I couldn’t agree more!
TELL US: Did your labor not go as planned either? Share your crazy labor stories with us! Or your biggest labor fears!
Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
Use our due date calculator to find out when baby will make his big entrance!
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