Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Orgasmic Birth and The Today Show:

Impressions of the two sensational reports

In reference to the controversial issues involved over our nation’s childbirth options, Beth Overton said

“The real power in changing things is to have mothers speak up. Otherwise this controversy is perceived as a turf war by providers.”

As an expectant mother, I have the responsibility to choose a provider that will care for me and my baby through pregnancy, birth and post-natal care.

Wait- there’s more than that. As a member of our community, I have a responsibility to listen to mothers- to hear what they want, what they consider safe, and what they know is right or best for them and their babies.

So, as I plan for the birth of my third baby, I pay attention when I get the opportunity to watch a movie like Orgasmic Birth. When I am referenced to a story on the Today Show entitled “The Perils of Home Births,” I pay attention. I study, observe, scrutinize and investigate the facts that are presented.

Here are a few of the things that made an impression on me from these video reports:

The hard face of the man who pulled on the attached-to-baby’s-head device during a documented vacuum extraction (Orgasmic Birth (OrB))

The special kiss shared by a couple as a woman experienced labor (OrB)

The sad voice of a mother, Kathryn McKenzie, as she regretted her choice for a midwife when her home birth experience ended in the death of her child. (The Today Show (TS))

The many pounds of baby (10lbs!) a woman was able to deliver through a positive, natural birth experience at home (TS)

The calm nature of a a little baby who just emerged from her mother’s womb and was welcome by the soft spoken song of her caring grandmother’s lullaby (OrB)

The intrusive yank a surgeon employed to pull a baby from an open stomach incision. The baby’s cry when it was rushed across the room away from its mother. The length of that foot-long looking tube that was crammed down its throat (OrB)

The presented fact that the rates of birth-related deaths are in direct correlation with the rates of c-sections. While the World Health Organization has found an optimal, safe c-section rate to be at 12%, the average rate of c-sections in the US is almost 30%- DOUBLE the safe rate (OrB)

The concern that hospitals often treat births like medical emergencies and may end up performing many unnecessary c-sections out of fear of malpractice lawsuits (TS)

Kathryn McKenzie’s lament, “I’d have a hundred c-sections over if I could just have my child in my arms. So c-section is not the worst thing. Losing our Noa was definitely the worse thing” (TS)

As I have just recently viewed these two reports, my commitment to mothers is renewed. I hope that I can help provide expectant mothers with accurate, honest information for safe options. I hope I respect individual choices that mothers make as they consider the specific locations and spiritual environments for their births. I hope that I recognize mothers’ devotion to and innate love for their babies.

As we consider health care reform, let us consider the expectant mothers of our nation. Let us listen to them. Let us hear what they wish for their babies and what they know is right for them and their families.

-Carrie K

Monday, September 21, 2009

IBCLCS- Who???

To all the moms who are breast feeding or planning on breast feeding- this one is for you! A BIG thanks to Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, IBCLC who so graciously serves the mommys in this area!

IBCLCS – International Board Certified Lactation Consultants – Who??

-Contributed by Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, IBCLC 9-21-09

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

It is a well known fact that breastmilk is the preferred and optimal nutrition for all babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies receive human breastmilk for the first 6 months of life and beyond. Moms are smart these days and have done their research. All moms want the best for their special babies. There are more resources available to moms than they have time to take advantage of. How hard could it be to breastfeed? Women around the world do it everyday and have been doing it for years!! There is an 80/20 Rule I came across in my career many years ago. Eighty percent of the women delivering babies do fine and don’t need assistance with breastfeeding, but then there are twenty percent of the moms that do experience breastfeeding difficulty. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a professional allied health care provider with expertise in the field of lactation who has spent hundreds of hours mentoring under an established IBCLC, attended a minimum of 75 hours of breastfeeding course work, and successfully passed the annual exam that is offered once a year. IBCLCs must recertify every five years and resit for the exam every 10 years.

Situations that may call for an IBCLC are: prenatal breastfeeding classes to prepare to successfully breastfeed, history of maternal infertility or breast reductions, mothers with multiples, mothers with low milk supply issues, difficulty with latching the infant onto the breast, returning to work and school, medications that are safe to take while breastfeeding, etc….

The goal of the IBCLC is to help the mother and the family to make the best decisions for their house. We want you to enjoy your newborn. Breastfeeding should be a positive experience.

If you need to find an IBCLC you can go to for a lactation consultant directory.

Note from Carrie: For those of you who made it to the Baby Expo, I hope you all had as good a time as I did. My son and I really enjoyed the festivities (ie. the children's dance performances) and all the free samples. Some of my favorite things included the display of new age potties, the free baby yogurt, and hand-out toys to the kids. I also found a plethora of information/resources to be useful and helpful. Thanks HEB!

What was REALLY valuable were all the conversations I had with the professionals who offer their resources to new moms in this area. At the Driscoll Children's Hospital booth I spoke with Laurie Beck, the Lactation Program Coordinator.

She gave me her undivided attention as I expressed some of my concerns about breast feeding. Even though I have breast fed two children already, I was able to receive many new insights from Laurie in just a few minutes. Her offer of information was very timely as I prepare to breast feed my third baby in the coming year.

Laurie was so gracious in sharing more information for the blog. I really appreciate her support and willingness to share. Thank you Laurie!

I'd also like to note that I have added a number of resources to the side bar of the blog. Please take a look :)

Coastal Bend Birth Connection

Driscoll Women's Center

Driscoll Services- Mom's Place (breastfeeding resource)

Holy Family Birth Center

International Lactation Consultant Association

Monday, September 14, 2009

Her First Face- A birth poem

Click to enlarge:


From Steph:

The physical structure of the poem itself conveyed the waxing and waning flow of contractions and birth. I loved the parallel experience of mother and daughter as partners in the process. Your poem reminded me that birth is a spiritual, extremely human experience...and not just a bloody mess of poop and baby and placenta. And honestly, I'm impressed you forced me consider the greater meaning and beauty of the experience, as I feel I have been permanently jaded after my rotation on Labor and Delivery.

To be perfectly honest, I have to admit that I am terrified of ever giving birth. My grandmother always says that a woman does not fully become a woman until she becomes a mother. Well, shoot, the whole thing sounds pretty terrifying. If I could build a mechanical uterus I would grow my baby, as if it were a fish in a fishbowl. I would say hi to it every morning and gawk and the coolness of its embryonic development. "Check it out, honey, the heart started beating today!" "Oh look, his neural tube closed!" Haha. Yes, I am abnormal, but you both love me anyway. Besides, if and when I do get pregnant, I plan to have my baby as a C-section and I plan to have lots of pain medication because personally the whole thing seems terrifying and I'm a huge chicken. Haha, Carrie, maybe I need to read more of your poems. :) My most profound respect to both of you for having undergone the unfathomable journey of growing someone inside your body and then bringing them into the world to make a new whole person. Amazing. Terrifying. Wow. Just wow.

From Debbie:

First of all, I believe what you grandma meant as to becoming a real woman through motherhood had little to do with the actual birth process (or being pregnant for that matter) and more to do with the wonderful challenges and changes that come with raising (and unconditionally loving despite the alien-like look of) the "slimy alien." And by the way, your own baby never looks slimy, or alien-like :)

I did have a very different experience than you though, Carrie and I appreciate your perspective on it. I also admire how passionate you have become about getting involved in the birthing process. I love the creativity of your poem, and even though our means of delivering babies was so different, I have to say I can still relate to the underlying theme of love and amazement and of becoming partners with your baby in the little "project" that we call delivering a baby.


SPRING!!! Has anyone else noticed how green it got in the last week???? Yeah, I know it is really the Fall time of year but with all the rain we've been getting this week, it feels like spring. And what better way to think about God's gift of birth than to celebrate this beautiful time of year with all the green grass and bright, blooming flowers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This post doesn't really have anything to offer by way of promoting natural childbirth... it is primarily meant to boost PR between my blog and expectant-mommy-friendly resources in our community; and it is a way for me to make more expectant-mommy friends!

So after I started the blog, Leann contacted me about her new business which you can find and look at here. I was so excited about this new mommy2be project and about the products it has to offer that I had to get down to the store and check it out. I was very impressed with the layout and selection- and it is in such a great location (right in the shopping plaza next to ToysRUs/BabiesRUS on 1220 Airline in Corpus).

Leann was VERY welcoming and accommodating. She sells m
aternity clothes, nursing clothes, baby items and she has even set up a toy area for small children to play while you shop and try on clothes. I enjoyed visiting with her and picking out a few items for myself.

I'd recommend a visit to the store and if you find something you like you can get a 15% DISCOUNT off your total purchase by mentioning this STxMomsBlog!