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Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Sure, most pregnant women have wanted to kick their partners out of the delivery room for one reason or another (i.e. he’s too squeamish and you’re a little too busy to take care of him too; he’s making inappropriate and/or lame jokes to try to break the tension and keep your mind off the pain; or he’s squeezing your hand even tighter than you’re squeezing his). But would you ever really consider banning him? Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed recently ruled to uphold a mother’s right of privacy and the right to control her body, which says “she is neither required to notify the baby’s father that she is going into labor nor required to admit him into the delivery room against her wishes,” according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
This is a historical case because this subject has never been litigated anywhere else in the United States. In the case at hand, the couple—who are not married—is estranged, but technically this ruling could set precedence for all couples throughout the United States.
The judge felt that if his ruling was in favor of the father being allowed in against the mother’s will, he noted: “It would create practical concerns where the father’s unwelcomed presence could cause additional stress on the mother and child. Moreover, such a finding would also lead to a slippery slope where the mother’s interest could be subjugated to that of the father’s.”
So it seems that the act of carrying the baby inside you actually does come with (even more) privileges. I can’t imagine not having my husband beside me when I gave birth to my son. He was the right amount of supportive, without being an annoying rah-rah cheerleader. He made the best hospital playlist to pump me up when I needed it most. As cliché as it sounds, he was my rock.
But I agree that a woman should have the right to decide who is—and isn’t—with her during that sacred time when you’re giving birth. The last thing you want is something else to cause tension in an already stressful situation that could spike your blood pressure and put your baby in jeopardy. In my opinion, if a husband or partner is abusive, or hasn’t been there to support you throughout your pregnancy, his mere sperm donation should not grant him a golden ticket into that delivery room. So I’m glad this judge, who’s a dude, agrees!
TELL US: Do you think a father has a right to be in the delivery room no matter what? Who do you plan on having in the room with you when you give birth?
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Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
How is that for a birth story?! You can guilt your kid for years and years with that one!
You know how your doctor warns you not to come to the hospital at the first sign of contractions, because you’ll likely just be sent back home until you’re further along? (The joys of hospital overcrowding!) Well, one pregnant woman in New York City waited a bit too long.
At the peak of rush hour on Monday afternoon, an about-to-pop Polly Court waddled out of her apartment building on the corner of Third Avenue and 68th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. With the help of a doorman, the woman who was already far along in her labor tried to flag down a taxi. But finding a taxi in the Big Apple during rush hour is almost as unlikely as winning the Lotto. After several minutes of searching for a ride, onlookers say the mom-to-be dropped to the ground and began to give birth—on the street—still bundled up in her winter coat!
Complete strangers passing by ran to her side (and people say New Yorkers keep to themselves!) and assisted her until medics arrived. While most people were helpful, of course others just gawked and took photos to post on Twitter. But in the end, the crazy birth—which drew a big crowd of onlookers by the end of it—worked out fine. The woman gave birth to a seemingly healthy daughter, and New Yorkers sweetly offered the new mom scarves off their necks to protect the baby girl from the cold winds.
According to People magazine, shortly after the birth, the woman and her newborn—who she has named Ila Isabelle, with Isabelle being after the woman who offered Polly her coat as she went into labor—were “loaded into an ambulance and taken to Lenox Hill hospital. Both are said to be doing well.” I’m so glad to hear that. Giving birth—especially if it’s the first time—is an exhilarating, but terrifying experience even when every last detail is planned out with a super-specific birth plan in place. I can’t imagine having everything go wrong, and having to give birth without your partner by your side, with only your doorman and total strangers there to help you, in the middle of a cold winter day in one of the most congested cities in America! That’s the picture of strength right there—a mama moment that daughter can look up to and be proud of one day. Wow, just wow!
TELL US: Would you freak out if you gave birth in the middle of a busy street? Did you give birth in an equally-interesting place?
Image via Twitter.
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
They say all trends come in threes, so does that make baby boys the latest Hollywood “it accessory”? Because Orange is the New Black star Jason Biggs, X-Factor’s Simon Cowell, and adorable indie actors Teresa Palmer and Marc Webber all welcomed baby boys within days of each other!
Simon and his girlfriend Lauren Silverman were the first to welcome their blue-blanketed bundle on Valentine’s Day, which is the sweetest birthday ever, and one even the most date-challenged dad can’t forget. The couple named their son Eric Philip (Eric is Simon’s dad’s name), and he was born at 5:45 p.m., in New York City, and weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Within hours of the delivery, Simon tweeted, “Very happy to say Eric was born … Healthy and handsome,” and the first photos arrived two days later as he told his fans what a happy surprise being a father already was, “I never knew how much love and pride I would feel,” he tweeted.
On February 15—11 days past the baby’s due date—Jason and his wife Jenny Mollen announced via Instagram that their first child, Sid, was born at 5:33 p.m. at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces, and was 21.25 inches long. “Full head of hair, huge penis,” Jenny jokingly captioned the first photo of their son. Obviously, the couple shares the same sense of humor!
Then Australian actress Teresa announced via Instagram, “Thank you God for blessing us with the most divine gift of our baby son. Introducing Bodhi Rain Palmer born safely, lovingly and naturally last night [on February 17].” Bodhi—who weighed 8 pounds at birth—means “Enlightened one,” Rain means “Abundant Blessings From Above,” and the couple chose Palmer as his last name, explains Teresa, because “Mark’s [5-year-old] son Isaac didn’t take his dad’s name either.”
So much baby testosterone going around! The next Hollywood wave will have to be girls!
TELL US: What are you having: a boy or a girl?
Image of Simon Cowell and son Eric via Twitter.
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Monday, February 10th, 2014
For years there have been the two camps of mamas-to-be: Those who want a completely natural birth, free of all drugs, and those who can’t get an epidural fast enough. Now French researchers who’ve studied pregnant mice are suggesting that there is a link between women getting an epidural during childbirth and their children developing autism.
The reason being that when you’re given an epidural, it is blocking your body’s natural release of oxytocin—which helps your uterus contract; is considered the love hormone because it helps you bond with your baby post-birth; and serves as a diuretic, reducing chloride levels. According to the Independent, chloride ions are kept deliberately high in the neurons of the fetus while developing in the womb. But in a natural birth the mother’s production of oxytocin lowers the chloride levels quickly during labor. In the pregnant mice studied, when the oxytocin was blocked similarly to what an epidural does, chloride ions continue to remain high after birth, leading to developmental brain disorders and autism.
However, the study doesn’t answer what happens when synthetic oxtytocin, called pitocin, is introduced into the system. Pitocin is usually given to a woman to help induce labor, either because she is past her due date or the doctor thinks the labor needs to be sped up in order to have a safer delivery.
Another recent study sings the praises of inducing a pregnancy (which is when a doctor gives you medicine like pitocin, or other drugs, to artificially start or speed up your contractions) as a major way to stave off the need for a C-section. Though this is contrary to a British study from two years ago that said the use of pitocin doesn’t lower the risk of a Cesarean section. Their findings stated that the use of pitocin sped up labor by about two hours, but that it did not lessen the need for a C-section or increase the number of unassisted births.
Meanwhile, an anxiety-inducing study was also recently published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, that says inducing a pregnancy can increase a child’s chance of having autism. Researchers say the method used to kick-start the labor process likely doesn’t cause the autism, but it comes from a larger underlying problem with the pregnancy. Studies have found that children are at higher risk for autism if they are born early or very small; if they are in medical distress during delivery; if they have older mothers or fathers; or if they are born less than a year after an older sibling. Autism risk also goes up if a mother has diabetes or high blood pressure; is obese; is exposed to significant air pollution during pregnancy; had low levels of folic acid; or makes antibodies toxic to the fetal brain.
So what’s a pregnant woman to do? Freak out, it seems! And of course, talk to your doctor, read up as much as you can, and make informed decisions about what’s right for you. Epidural or no epidural? To induce or not to induce?
TELL US: Are you planning on having an epidural? Why or why not? If your child has autism, did you have an epidural? Please share your stories below.
Image of woman with newborn courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Friday, February 7th, 2014
As it is, childbirth is a super-scary unknown for first-time moms. Of course you want the cuddly prize at the end. But the step-by-step pain and suffering that gets you said cutie? Not so much. Not to completely freak you out, but the bad news—according to a new study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco—is that a healthy birth can actually take much longer than doctors originally thought.
Usually, OBs intervene and try to speed up labor if it doesn’t seem to be progressing in a timely manner. Often, that’s based on the length of the second stage of labor. As reported in the New York Times, anything over three hours for first-time moms, who’ve been given epidurals, is considered “abnormally long,” as is more than two hours for first timers without an epidural (Yes, getting an epidural seems to prolong birth, but doctors warn not to jump to conclusions, because longer labor could be caused by other factors that influence whether a woman chooses an epidural rather than the epidural itself).
The thing is those times used to judge what’s normal versus dangerous are based on outdated data from decades ago when fetal monitoring was pretty non-existent, medical interventions were the norm, and on average pregnant women were younger and weighed less. According to this new study that compared data from over 42,000 women who delivered children between 1976 to 2008, a normal second stage can actually be more like 5. 6 hours for first-time moms using epidurals and 3.3 hours for those without epidurals; 4.25 hours for women receiving epidurals, who’ve previously had children, and 1.35 hours for repeat moms who didn’t use an epidural. Ugh!
Before I scare you to death, there is a silver lining! If longer second labor is normal, fewer drugs, forceps, vacuums, and C-sections may be needed than previously thought. Now doctors are quick to jump the gun and want to intervene. Not without cause, though. Longer labor does mean increased risk of tearing and postpartum hemorrhage (neither of which sounds very comfortable!). But C-Sections—which are now used for about one in every three births in the US, an increase of nearly 50 percent over C-sections used in the mid-1990s—can also come with big risks for mom and baby. So even though the thought of labor taking even longer is hard to swallow, the need for fewer C-sections is something to celebrate!
TELL US: What’s your biggest childbirth fear? Would you rather have a longer birth, or a C-section? Share your experiences below.
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Image of mom and newborn courtesy of Shutterstock.
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