Posts Tagged ‘ Labor ’

Could Labor Be Considered Child Abuse?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

That’s the scary implication behind one hospital’s attempt to keep a mom-to-be from trying a vaginal birth after previous C-sections (VBAC). Mom-to-be Jennifer Goodall received a letter from the hospital where she planned to give birth, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in Florida, stating that “because she decided to have a trial of labor before agreeing to cesarean surgery, her prenatal care providers intended to report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, seek a court order to perform surgery, and to perform cesarean surgery on her ‘with or without [her] consent’ if she came to the hospital,” according to a press release from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Goodall tried to fight it in court, but was unsuccessful—the judge said that she had no “right to compel a physician or medical facility to perform a medical procedure in the manner she wishes against their best medical judgment.” (And that’s despite the fact that Goodall herself said she wasn’t adverse to having another C-section—but just wanted the chance to try laboring.) In the end, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy last weekend, at a different hospital where they were willing to allow her to labor—and had a C-section.

But this wasn’t the first time that a woman reported being bullied into a C-section. We reported about a woman who was suing a New York-area hospital for forcing her to have a C-section against her will.

VBACS aren’t right for everyone. But at a time when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is expressing concern over the startling numbers of C-sections (one in three babies is born via C-section now), why are so many hospitals still pushing for surgery? And why are they using scare tactics like reporting parents to Child Services for questioning the hospital protocol?

Labor & Delivery: Unplanned C-Section
Labor & Delivery: Unplanned C-Section
Labor & Delivery: Unplanned C-Section

 

Image: Rissy Story/Shutterstock.com

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Give a Mother’s Day Present of a Safe Childbirth!

Friday, May 9th, 2014

As your birth may be fast approaching, you might be getting palpitations (I’m not talking about contractions!) about whether the nursery will be done in time, if you’ve picked the best name for your baby, what labor might be like, how you’ll manage money while on maternity leave, or even whether you’ll be passed up for a promotion while you’re at home taking care of your newborn. It can be super-stressful just thinking about it!

But now imagine living in a developing country where just being pregnant is risky. Globally, 800 women die each day during pregnancy and childbirth, and 99 percent of all maternal deaths are in developing countries. (Pause a minute to let that sink in.) Less than half of pregnant women in developing countries visit a doctor, midwife, or trained birth professional during their pregnancy or childbirth because it’s just too expensive. But for the amount you spend on your weekly coffee fix, you can change that.

Kangu—a non-profit organization that crowdfunds safe births for women in underserviced communities in India, Nepal and Uganda (and which will soon expand to parts of Latin America)—gives you an opportunity to donate as little as $10 towards a woman’s birth in a clean, safe facility as well as prenatal and postnatal care.

The idea for the organization came to founder Casey Santiago, a mom of two, when she was in labor with her first son. “I imagined all the women around the world laboring at the same time,” she says. “It was a very intense feeling—I really felt like we were all in it together, helping each other through the contractions and comforting each other in between them.”

After giving birth, savoring every minute with her son in her arms, she was also haunted by the knowledge that so many women—those mamas that she had imagined laboring with—didn’t have access to the services that she did, and might die as a result. “I knew that I had to find a way to connect with those women and direct resources their way,” she says. “And so, Kangu was born.”

Sadly, most of these deaths are completely preventable, she says. “Many women deliver without proper lighting in unclean environments, with an unprepared family member. The majority of maternal deaths come from excessive bleeding, infection, and high-blood pressure, all of which can be prevented with access to a clean birthing place and a skilled helper by your side.”

To me, though, one of the coolest parts of Kangu is that, instead of just giving to a faceless charity, Kangu allows you to virtually meet the pregnant women who are in need of your help, by giving you their country of origin, names, photos, and stories about their lives and hopes for their babies. While you can give year round, this Mother’s Day, when you give a donation to a mom in need, Kangu will also send an electronic Mother’s Day card to the mama you love, telling her you’ve given your present in her honor. And the gift keeps giving! After your sponsored mom gives birth, “you get updates on the mama and baby, often with a photo,” says Casey, so you can see “how you’ve made an impact on the woman’s life and her baby. You’ve become a part of someone else’s birth story—which is very moving.”

Image of flowers courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Mila Kunis’ Pregnancy Workout? Prenatal Yoga!

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Pregnant Mila Kunis stepped out for a yoga class on May 1, just as a study out of Manchester University suggests taking up yoga in pregnancy can ease stress—and reduce women’s fear of childbirth. Apaprently, taking just one prenatal yoga class can cut anxiety in moms-to-be by a third!

Anxiety can be at an all-time high for first-time pregnant women, like Mila. You’re so excited to have this adorable little being inside you (in Mila’s case, a girl!), and you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep that peanut as healthy as possible. That can lead to stress about what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, what you shouldn’t be eating, how much sleep you’re getting…the list could go on and on.

The good news: Research has determined that working out with a baby onboard has oodles of benefits beside just stress relief. All of that core work from yoga can make giving birth easier and ease some of your overtaxed body’s pains. Keeping your weight down while being pregnant can help to prevent your child from being obese in later years, and some scientific evidence says your physical activity now can even make your baby smarter because when you work out for just 20 minutes three times a week, the baby is getting more oxygen and blood, leading to excelled brain development.

Mila’s not the only pregnant celebrity to swear by prenatal yoga. Recent mamas Drew Barrymore, Jessica Alba and Miranda Kerr all made a point to practice yoga while pregnant, too!

Shop for cute maternity yoga gear!

TELL US: Have you been taking prenatal yoga? 

Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction
Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction
Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction

Image of Mila Kunis courtesy of Feature Flash/Shutterstock.

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“I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant—Till Labor!”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

“A woman feels a little ill. Not knowing why she’s queasy or has excruciating stomach pains, she calls for an ambulance. Shortly after it arrives, she gives birth — to a baby she never knew she was pregnant with,” reports the Connecticut Post.

These stories come up every now and then where women all over the world have no idea they are pregnant for three whole trimesters until to their surprise out comes a baby! I cannot understand at all how that is humanly possible. I know some women’s pregnancy symptoms aren’t as substantial as others, but I put on 20 pounds and looked like I swallowed a basketball—and padded my butt, and not in a bootylicious Kim Kardashian way. I had severe headaches, abdominal cramps, back pain, foot swelling, heartburn, morning sickness, bouts of alternating constipation, diarrhea and gas. I don’t know about you, but those symptoms weren’t an every day occurrence for me before getting pregnant. So if any of those things suddenly happened to me—and I hadn’t had a period in ages—I think I would have thought, “Hmm…something must be up. Time to get a pregnancy test!”

But that’s not at all what happened to Connecticut native Jennifer Scolin, who gave birth to her second child in an ambulance in her driveway. That’s right—her second child. After giving birth to her daughter Kelsey four years ago, Jennifer knew what it felt like to be pregnant. But she says this time around it was totally different. Her period was still regular until last month, and she felt totally fine until the day of her son Cole’s birth, when she woke up with sharp stomach pains. She called her husband to come home from work because she was feeling ill. Moments later, her water broke—that’s when the couple realized she was pregnant and called 911. She barely made it into the ambulance in time. In fact, two pushes and her 9 pound, 3 ounce son was out! Can you imagine? Most of us have pretty excruciating birth stories with hours and hours of labor involved. Two pushes and you have a baby? Unbelievable! And he was no little thing! Over nine pounds, and you didn’t realize you were pregnant? All I can say is wow!

The most shocking thing, though, is that this is the second story like this, this week! Across the pond in England, 20-year-old Sophie Aldridge went to the hospital complaining about back pain she chalked up to severe period cramps. According to The Daily Mail, the doctors sent her home with a dose of painkillers. Hours later she was back in the hospital—giving birth!

After the pains became increasingly strong, Sophie’s mom called an ambulance to take her back to the hospital. In the ambulance, her water broke and the medics realized she was pregnant. Sophie says her period kept coming, she didn’t put on any weight, and never had morning sickness so she was surprised (to say the least!) to give birth to a 5 pound, 8 ounce son, Thomas, just 30 minutes after entering the hospital the second time.

According to studies, undiagnosed pregnancies aren’t as rare as you’d think. One in 600 mothers-to-be report they didn’t realize they were pregnant until going into labor.

TELL US: Can you believe someone wouldn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor? Has this happened to you or someone you know? Share the details!

Think you may be pregnant? Take our quiz to find out so you don’t get an unexpected surprise in nine months!

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "I Was Sent Home Three Times"

 

Image of woman courtesy of Shutterstock.

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You Must Read This One-in-a-Million Birth Story!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Talk about the opposite of sibling rivalry! This is the epitome of togetherness!

By chance step-sisters  and best friends Lydia Crispin and Dawn Bamber shared a birthday of April 1. Nothing too odd there, but then they both also found out they were pregnant on June 18, 2013.

“On June 18, I did a pregnancy test and found out it was positive, and the first person I phoned was Dawn.

“That night, she texted me to see if I was still awake and if she could phone me.

“She was crying her eyes out and told me she was pregnant.”

Then—even though they both had different due dates—they gave birth on the same date, in the same hospital, and they both delivered daughters too!

Dawn was originally due on February 15, while Lydia was expecting her bundle of joy on February 20. Lydia gave birth to baby Summer at 12:30 a.m. on February 28, who weighed in at 7 lbs and 12 oz. Meanwhile, Dawn—who was almost two weeks past her due date—was induced before having 10 lb, 11 oz. baby Courtney at 7:50 p.m.

“For our girls to have the same birthday, like us, is lovely,” said Lydia. Dawn agreed: “I think they will be best friends like me and Lydia.”

According to a piece in The Daily Mail, Experts say the odds of two sisters discovering they are pregnant and giving birth on the same days are a million to one.

It’s a little crazy, but it got me thinking: You know how they say female family members, or even coworkers, who spend a lot of time together can have their periods sync up? Is it possible to have pregnancies somehow miraculously sync up too? A good friend of mine and I—unbeknownst to each other—found out we were pregnant around the same time, and our due dates ended up being just a week apart. We couldn’t believe it. If we had the story of these two step-sisters, we really would have lost it!

TELL US: Do you and a friend have close due dates? Do you think pregnancies can sync up?

When will your baby make his grand entrance? Use our Due Date Calculator to find out.

Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline
Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline
Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline

Image of calendar courtesy of Shutterstock.

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