Friends,

I have spent many many hours trying to think of a way to share the lessons I have learned from more than 20 years of parenting and a decade of serving families as a traditional naturopath and herbalist. I simply do not have time to effectively answer every single question that I am asked in person, and sadly many who WOULD ask me a question don’t even try because I can be hard to reach by telephone unless you are a midwifery client.

I think I have found a way to solve this that is affordable, convenient and thorough. I’m going to only send you this email/post once – and I won’t be bothering anyone again with the information. Just click “delete” if this doesn’t help you. That’s all I’m after: helping people reach their healthcare goals however I can!

I am publishing a free weekly health newsletter that you can sign up for it here.

And I have a 10 lesson eCourse available now called Family 1st Aid. For more information on that CLICK HERE.

I wish you all the best – and hope to hear form you all soon!

Yours,

Kelly

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On my soapbox again…

I just can’t believe it… I don’t WANT to believe it. That midwives (the “guardians of normal birth”) are using cytotec (also known as misoprostyl) to induce labor at home. The fact that they are using it in hospitals doesn’t shock me, makes me mad, but I just add it to their list of sins again women and babies. Nothing new there. But midwives… sweet, caring, lovely homebirth midwives. Thinking this doesn’t harm anyone. I hear it over and over again, “I’ve used it judiciously for years and have never seen a problem with it.”

Well good for you. Tell my blog-friend Anne that you’ve never had a problem with it’s use. That you’ve never seen a baby die from it, or a mother die or lose her uterus from it. Good for you. Put some flowers on her baby’s grave and say, “Well, we don’t know for SURE that cytotec caused her death.” That you have played the tables and had good luck doesn’t change the fact that this is a potentially dangerous drug that you are using for an OFF-LABEL situation. There are no safe dosing limits or instructions, no risks to inform your clients of because the company that makes cytotec has no intentions of marketing it for obstetrical use. I doubt their lawyers would allow them to. Too much of a liability perhaps?

Here is a quote about misoprostyl that sums up my own position and one that, I believe, should be taken by all birth workers:

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said she was “absolutely incredulous” that any hospital would give the drug to women outside of clinical trials.
She said: “This drug is not licensed for use in labour, and the NICE guidance is categorical on that point. In this country, misoprostol should only be used in labour if the baby is already dead, or after the birth, because otherwise the risks are simply too great.” [ click here for the newspaper story ]

I’m not likely to stop beating this drum for awhile yet. In fact, you might want to cover your ears because frankly? I plan on beating it louder.

VOICES: VBAC Women Share Their Journey

OH, it’s such a beautiful little book! Keep in mind that this is coming from the publisher directly (since it takes about 3 months to get it onto Amazon) so it ***CAN*** take 4 weeks to arrive. It shouldn’t and probably won’t, but I did have to warn you. I SO hate waiting for books!

Voices contains a full chapter of statistics and research surrounding VBAC success rates, real risks vs. fear-based risks, and the TRUTH about the risk of uterine rupture compared to other obstetrical emergencies. I’d like to say that this book was written for women wondering if their care provider is “right” that it is too “risky” to try to VBAC, but doesn’t have time or energy to sift through a mountain of studies or a pile of books that include only a small section on VBAC. It is also written for the woman who knows instinctively that she will have a VBAC and needs to win over a partner or care provider. But…

The real power of this book are the women’s birth stories. They are SO powerful. They are the true, real stories, unedited and unadulterated. They stand on their own. You will be changed by them. If you don’t understand what the “big deal” is about VBAC, then this book is for you as well.

At the end of the day, I believe in women having the right to birth as they choose, on their own power and in the climate and surroundings of their choosing. For women choosing VBAC and for their care givers, this book is a vehicle for those freedoms.

So many women today face VBAC “bans” or so many restrictions on their labors that they walk in the door with one foot in the operating room. Let’s put the TRUTH out there. I believe women are wise – and capable of making decisions based on facts, not fear.

Domicilary Obstetrics

Here in the US, homebirth midwives normally seek to remove and distinguish themselves from the term “obstetrics”. It conjurs images of sterile green hospital walls, episiotomies, paternalistic care, and the dreaded bed and stirrups of 2nd stage.

I recently came across the term used in a most delightful way at the Homebirth Australia site.. It’s definition most creativily defining what homebirth midwives do:

However, domiciliary obstetrics is the ‘art of invisibility’ and without complications a woman gives birth herself, supported and aided by her midwife. -Jan Pilgrim

I would love to have turned that phrase. “The art of invisibility”. Yes! A watchful eye, careful watching, gentle hands. THIS is the art of the midwife.

Oh my goodness.

This has to be the single most ridiculous “invention” I’ve ever heard of in relation to women’s health. Good grief.

Ever heard of GOOD NUTRITION strengthening and giving elasticity to pelvic floor tissues?

Ever heard of emotional/psychological conditioning to learn to accept the labor waves instead of fighting them?

Ever heard of, oh I don’t know, BIRTHING WITH A MIDWIFE? 🙂

Goodness. I applaud the idea that episiotomies are ugly, nasty inventions of man (which, by the way, nearly every “invention” in relation to birth has been an unmitigated disaster). But seriously folks. A balloon in the vagina to stretch out vaginal floor tissues? Good grief Charlie Brown.

Only if…

“It’s a numbers thing,” says Dr. Shelley Binkley, an ob-gyn in private practice in Colorado Springs who stopped offering VBACs in 2003. “You don’t get sued for doing a C-section. You get sued for not doing a C-section.”

I’ve seen this quote before, but it never quite made me as angry as it did this morning when I was reading it in the context of THIS TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE. This California mom has to drive 100 miles to have the chance for a VBAC. Give me a break!

I understand liability, I truly do, and I understand that to continue offering care for the majority of patients, one must sometimes eliminate care for the minority. But hey. This is ridiculous. As a VBAC mom myself, I would have to drive at least 100 miles and then only have “permission” for a “trial of labor” within a very small window of opportunity. “Only if” my incision was of type A, “Only if “ my bag of waters hadn’t been broken more than 12 hours, “Only if” the baby was in a perfect position (by obstetrical definitions), “Only if” the labor didn’t last more than X number of hours, “Only” if it progresses well, “Only” if I would have continuous fetal monitoring, “Only if………”

By the time all of the restrictions had been placed on me I’d have a better chance of delivering my baby vaginally in a snow storm in the middle of April. Yeah, it happens, but rarely. Birth was not meant to be a 3-ring circus with planned events and bright lights.

This mom, in the Time article, said her biggest fear was the drive and that she might not make it to the hospital.

If only… she gets that lucky. It might be her best chance at a natural birth.

Publications

I’m sure the rest of you “cool” moms, you “crunchy, granola eater” moms already know about these, but just in case you don’t, and just in case you don’t already subscribe, here’s a shameless plug for the following 2 natural mothering magazines. Fabulous. SIMPLY fabulous. (Goodness, that’s alot of commas in one sentence!)

And…

Independent Midwifery at Stake in the UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6435279.stm

It seems that independent midwifery is at stake all over the place these days. The UK, where independent midwifery is (almost) encouraged is contemplating a new legislation that would require all health care providers – independent or not – to acquire and maintain the US equivalent of malpractice insurance. That would, according to England’s Independent Midwifery Council, effectively render independent midwives illegal and unable to practice. This insurance is almost impossible to acquire for anyone not practicing under a corporate headship not only because of the cost involved but also because of the red tape that must be unraveled to get it. The IMC believes that the legislators are simply uninformed as to the effect this legislation would have on independent midwives. Whereas, if this were happening in the states, we would almost certainly assume that it was a calculated measure to undermind independent midwifery. 

Interesting read…