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Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
2:28 pm
The Business of Being Born
On Sat night I saw a fantastic documentary which created a huge emotional response in me. I want every woman or girl, especially those that haven't had children yet, to see this film.

In a nutshell, Ricki Lake (the talk show host) had her first baby and went through the system had the epidural etc, and felt that she didn't have the birth experience that she was after so before she had her second child she went and did her research to find out more. The result of that research is this documentary.

I desperately wish that I had seen this before my pregnancies. I had such a horrible time and I think that things could have been better if I knew then what I know now. But the only way that you can find this kind of thing out is either by seeing other birth experiences, or seeing a movie like this. My only experience with birth was seeing those movies in sex-ed where their goal is to prevent teenage pregnancy. Also those documentaries always show it from the POV of the clinician (ie watching the crowning) which is not what a woman actually sees. And in fact, nobody needs to see it.

The documentary shows a few homebirths, with one which ends up in a hospital. It also shows some hospital births. It explains the intervention cycle, which I never understood before, and also the hormonal implications of Caesareans. Put simply, the intervention cycle shows that once you add an artifical hormone to induce birth, then that causes labour to be harder and more painful, which increases your need for an epidural. But an epidural slows labour down, so the hormone is topped up, which causes painful contractions, so the epidural is needed again. Etc. So then what happens is that the baby gets distressed because the contractions are too strong, and so then the doctor uses forceps, vacuum or caesarean. And the statistics on those interventions clearly shows that the doctors often make their decision based on "quitting time".
The film is US-centric, so I don't know how similar it is to Australia, but it clearly showed that it doesn't matter what stage in labour that a woman arrives at the hospital, if she hasn't progressed by a certain time, then pitocin (hormone that brings on labour) is introduced. The doctors work to a timeline. I had no idea.

I thought that trusting the system was the right thing to do. That they had all the research, that they knew what they were doing. They don't. I am so disappointed. After I had an emergency Caesarean, I thought I was doing the right thing by having an elective Caeserean for baby 2. I asked the doctor and midwife whether going through the elective Caserean would be a problem because I wouldn't be experiencing the labour hormones. They said it didn't matter. This film shows that it does matter. And that I should have trusted my instincts. It impacts the bonding immediately afterwards. It impacts the success of breastfeeding.

I feel stupid, because I had read online that it would impact these things, but I trusted the system, and I feel foolish for doing that. I will never trust the system again. I am so disappointed.

Now if I had hired a private midwife, then maybe things would have ended up the same, but maybe they wouldn't. Maybe things could have been easier with baby 2 with breastfeeding. Maybe I might have bonded more easily with him. Maybe I wouldn't have got the severe PND that I got. And this movie has made me question all of that.

This film hasn't made me a convert to homebirth, but it has made me a convert to consistent midwife care throughout a pregnancy and birth and afterwards. I think that the model of having birth centres is a good one, where you have access to the hospital in case something goes wrong. But most women don't have access to birth centres.

I would like to have seen more about how there is not enough reassurance of women's fears and anxieties about childbirth. That nobody questions you about what your experience of birth is. They simply have a PND checklist, and then say "yes you are high risk". But nobody followed up.

I'm angry, sad, devastated. And I want to make a difference. So I'm now a member of "What Women Want", the new political party.

"The Business of Being Born" is not on at the cinema yet. It's been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, and at grassroots screenings. I am hoping to organise a screening of it, and I will communicate it out if it happens.

So, now I have two pieces of advice for anyone considering pregnancy or who are pregnant:
1. Join the ABA and go to a meeting while pregnant.
2. See "The Business of Being Born" before deciding conclusively how you plan to have your baby.

If you are on Facebook, check out the group "What Women Want"
Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
11:50 am
Here's what I sent them in regards to http://community.livejournal.com/may2006/209896.html:

To Whom it Concerns (and that should be all of us):

It has recently come to my attention that default icons depicting nursing mothers & babies may result in permanent livejournal user suspensions. I must confess that the logic of this decision defies me. It is one thing entirely to suspend someone for graphic obscenity, particularly of a violent nature (which I've seen plenty of in the 6 years that I've been a member of livejournal's community), but I can't fathom what could be so offensive about something so NATURAL as a mother feeding her child that would warrant permanent removal! Some of us mothers have been members of the community for a very long time and many of us have been paid members at one time or another, and this action just feels like a slap in the face.

I am one of those mothers. I have a year and a half old son whom, I am proud to say, still nurses heartily. I have another baby on the way, and I hope to have as much success the second time around. My children will nurse until they're ready to stop, and in the state of Kansas, their right to nurse anywhere they please is sanctioned. All over the world, breastfeeding is not only respected as a right, but revered as something beautiful and sacred and cherished -- it has only been in recent decades in western countries, particularly the United States, that breastfeeding has become something of an "abomination." We mothers have been working so hard to re-establish the sanctity of the nursing relationship that so many in the rest of the world take for granted, it's heartbreaking that a company such as yours, which has been so progressive in so many other ways, would turn on us.

I had been considering becoming a paid member again after a very long lapse. I have chosen not to send you any money until icons depicting nursing mothers and babies are no longer deemed offensive.

Thank you for your time,
Abby Campsey
lj user: abbydabby

(xposted to parenting groups)
Monday, May 16th, 2005
10:23 pm
New community
I have created a new community for posting recipes for babies, toddlers, children, as well as for asking questions about food.

Please feel free to join.

Sunday, April 10th, 2005
9:29 pm
New Member
My name is Helen, but mostly I am known as Nen or Neneithel.

I hope it doesn't bother anyone here that I'm not a parent. I'm writing fictional journals for some characters I am very fond of and, having decided to let two of my characters have a baby this October, I am very concerned with making their experiences as real as possible. This looks like a good place to learn about small babies. I promise I won't be fictionalising anyone's life.

If having me around upsets anyone, I will of course leave at once.
Wednesday, March 9th, 2005
10:54 am
New York Times Article
My husband left this article out for me to read this morning, and I thought I'd share it with all of you.
Since you have to login to read the nytimes, i've copied & pasted for you here...

Colicky Baby? Read This Before Calling an Exorcist

Published: March 8, 2005
Read more...Collapse )
Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
3:42 am
insurance question
I'm pregnant and due in Dec., right around Christmastime. If not sooner. :) My husband is sure that our insurance said not to change any info until after the baby, but I'm a little nervous/anxious/paranoid that the baby needs coverage as soon as he's born. Or will my maternity coverage take care of him until he leaves the hospital that first time, and then he needs coverage from then on?

Thanks for putting a new mom's mind at ease :)
Tuesday, May 11th, 2004
2:07 pm
What would you do? (Long, X-posted)

They say that parenting gets harder as children get older.  I feel exactly opposite.  Sure I loved my son when he was teeny tiny and helpless.  I cared for him just the same way, wanting the best for him and wanting to protect him.  But I also savored the time that I spent in class and plopped him in daycare.  It was far less stressful. 

Now he's 14 months old and I feel much differently.  I scheduled my classes for Spring so that I would only go 2 days a week.  Now that's not even enough.  With all the things he's learning and discovering I don't want to miss a second.  The more time I spend with him the more time I want to spend with him.  I don't want him in daycare anymore.  For a number of reasons. 

Number 1 is that while I don't feel like they actually listen to me at the daycare.  While it's an awesome daycare that my son loves and where he feels safe, they never pay attention to the schedule that I write down every day, so I've just started writing down DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.  Despite this, I love the school.  All the teachers have had at least 2 years of Early Childhood Development Education and 3 of them are actually degreed.  They treat Gabe wonderfully and they teach him sign language and many other wonderful things.

Number 2 reason is the other children.  Gabe has a so called best friend that he plays with every day.  Last few times I've been in there observing him, I've become more and more furious with this brat.  Today was the worst.  I came in to have lunch with Gabe and he was toddling around when the aforementioned child pushed him down and climbed on top of him.  My poor baby is face down with a kid 10 months older than him on top of him and Gabe isn't crying he's just saying "Ow, ow, ow."  I was hoping to see a teacher step in and discipline him, but I had to pry him off and was pissed to only hear, "Damarko, that hurts Gabe's body."  They didn't look him directly in the eye, or make any physical contact to try to get the message to sink in.  Also within the first 10 minutes of being there, Damarko pushed Gabe down 3 times, with his hands on his face, only to get a "Damarko, that hurts Gabe's body."  He also knocked him away from his baby shopping cart and commenced to slam said shopping cart into Gabriel's back, making him cry.  At lunch they were sitting side by side and Damarko kept slapping his hand.  Yesterday when I picked him up he was in a playpen "for his safety."  Translation:  Damarko was beating the crap out of him and rather than punish Damarko by putting him in the playpen, they punish my son.

I really want to take one class summer quarter because that's the only quarter they offer it.  But my daycare isn't subsidised if I don't go full time.  I don't even want him there the 2 hours that I would be in class, but he does love being there and he has fun with the activities and other babies.  Do I need to socialize him that much at such a young age?  I am really really torn.  Any suggestions?

Current Mood: distressed
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003
3:33 pm
tips for calming a crying baby
so it turns out my kids have been extremely happy babies because I'm actually knew a trick or two.

Didja what Dr. Phil today? He had a pediatrician on who gave 5 ways to calm a crying baby in seconds. I have always done all of those things. I guess I was lucky having a mom with ten kids because I learned from taking care of my siblings how to calm them down. Jasmine cried a little more than my other kids but although I had so many brothers and sisters, she was my first and I did have to make some adjustments. But since her, none of my kids have cried much at all. Just when they are desparately hungry and it's usually just a "wah" that sounds like they are fake crying. Like they know how to say "wah" instead of cry it.

So here are the five things:

1. swaddling - I posted this tip while I was pregnant with Lilyanne and some of my friends on lj were having some struggles with crying babies.

The trick to swaddling is to swaddle baby's arms down by their sides and to swaddle tightly. Some may think tight swaddling would be constrictive and uncomfortable - but babies love it. They are use to being wrapped up really tightly in the womb. When they are not swaddled - they feel like they are falling. That is why they will suddenly fling their arms out to the sides or stiffen up their bodies. They are use to soft, warm and tight.

If anyone needs to know how to swaddle - let me know and I will post it.

2. Turn baby onto side or onto tummy.

3. Shhhhhhhing. Loudly - as loud as they are crying. The pediatrician on Dr. Phil made a really good point. It isn't quiet in the womb. Baby hears the gurgling, the swishing heartbeat of mom, outside noises, the amniotic fluid swishing around - etc etc. They come out and we think they need quiet - but they don't. They need a rythmic, hypnotic sound (and motion) so "shhh shhhh shhhh" close to the ear and quite loudly will help. Or turning on a blow dryer or anything else that has a shhhhing sound.

When Lilyanne was a baby (well, a younger baby) she would never sleep if she was put in her crib. She would wake up and cry, so I would get her up and put her in her car seat and bring her into the noisy livingroom where all the kids were running around yelling and she would fall straight to sleep.

Like Dr. Phil said - baby's are born into our world - we are not born into theirs. Meaning - they are use to all the regular noise in our lives and will be more comfortable if we carry on as we normally would than if we try to shush everyone and everything.

4. rythmn - rocking - the doc demonstrated small rocking motions and I'm sure that works. I have always swaddled tightly then stood with baby cradled and either rocked side to side or bent slightly up and down. (like bending at the knees and then straightening) - kinda mimicing how it may feel to baby while in the womb with mom walking around. You've probably noticed your baby kicks way more when you sit down to relax and especially when you lay down. That's because they are rocked to sleep while we mom's are active during the day.

You know what - for the life of me - I can't remember number 5!


5. Sucking. offer a finger, a pacifier or a booby. Babies have a very strong need to suck. It is more than just a relfex to get milk - it is a calming reflex.

Anyway - I thought Dr. Phil was good today and I just thought I'd share with ya'll that the things the pediatrician was suggesting actually work. They work awesome!

By the way - I get to see a female OB/GyN afterall. I'm really excited!

My first appointment with her is Jan. 19 at 3:30 pm.
Saturday, November 1st, 2003
6:38 pm
Baby Stuffs
I have some baby items on sale on ebay
Read more...Collapse )
1:05 pm
Feeding Frenzy

Infants do change fast in the first few weeks, don't they? Yesterday's whiny question isn't at all today's.

Rhys is three days shy of three weeks. Today's story: feedings at 6:30, 8:45, 10:15, 11:15, 12:45 (and he's on the nipple now, at 1:00). Lazy ones, like usual, and he does keep falling asleep during them, like usual. When he's not on the breast, he sleeps or plays for half an hour, then starts crying, and only the breast will console him.

And beetiger and I can't agree on what's going on.

Is this...

A bad habit getting started?
The three-week growth spurt, a few days early?
Something else (leave a comment)?

Thanks for the advice!

Friday, October 31st, 2003
8:16 pm
Hard Breastfeeding

Rhys, age two-and-a-half weeks, is being breastfed. He has managed to learn pretty well how to latch on and suckle, and by a count of diapers and weight gain and suchlike he's doing just fine.

But it's being a lot of work. beetiger often needs to spend a whole hour feeding him. (I help out with hand-holding -- Rhys' hands that bat beetiger's breast out of the way by mistake, not beetiger's -- and fetching and carrying and hydrating, but I'm no good at lactation.) This is a pretty heavy load, eight or nine times a day.

Sometimes Rhys falls asleep a dozen times in a feeding.

Sometimes he has a lot of trouble getting a latch he likes: he'll try, suck once or twice, drop it, over and over and over again.

Sometimes he'll do both of those.

Is this unusual? What can we do? Does it get better?

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, October 16th, 2003
1:53 pm
If not rice cereal, then what?!
My son is 5 1/2 months old, and we started rice cereal last week. He is definitely ready, grabbing the spoon, shoving it in his mouth, swallowing, reaching for anything I put in my mouth,.... but, it's making him fussier.

What do I do now?
I thought rice cereal was the easiest on their tummies? It didnt make him constipated, just really fussy, unable to sleep well, gassy...

I'm so confused! Please help!

Current Mood: confused
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
2:44 pm
my daughter is about to turn a year so i was wondering, i know they can have chocolate after a year but what about things like scrambled eggs or honey, or anything cooked with nuts or fish. are they are after a year or are they longer, i mean i'm not going to start giving my kid nuts and fish, but its just good to know, she might have something cooked in eanut oil or a fish stick ya know.

Current Mood: curious
Thursday, September 25th, 2003
1:08 pm
Cosleeping Question
Alan (11 months) sleeps in the crib next to the queen size bed in the master bedroom. That bed has a bedrail on either side as well as the adjacent crib on oneside. At the foot of the bed currently, is a laundry basket of clean clothes to be put away off to one side.

DH sleeps in the other bedroom (long story) so at night it is usually Alan and I. When he wakes up at night, I tend to get him out of the crib, nurse him and keep him with me. Sometimes if he falls asleep I put him back.

Well, the last 2 nights, I've nursed him and dozed back off only to be awakened by a loud thump and wahh...he fell/rolled/crawled off the bottom of the bed! He wasn't hurt, but 2 nights in a row? And he managed NOT to land in the laundry basket :(

Any ideas? Should I just be consistant about putting him back in the crib for his safety even if he cries?
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003
8:19 am
x-posted in many places
I don't know this LJer, but as a mom, I am hoping that you will all pass this on within your LJs and spread the word to help this parent whose child has been taken.

I know this is not neccessarily the type of community content you see, but this person and this child, need our help.

please pass this link on and read this LJ post

Monday, June 23rd, 2003
7:42 am
Free Stuff with Triple Coupons in NJ
Pathmark started it with trippling coupons to .99 cents, A&P is now doing it, and perhaps Shoprite is.

If you use the coupons mentioned here, you can get free Beechnut cereal, juice and baby food! Stock up or donate to your local food bank or any organization that can use baby supplies:


Current Mood: awake
Sunday, June 22nd, 2003
10:04 pm
First, I'm Nyla, mother to Victoria (8 days short of being 5 months old). Here's my question to ya'll.

I was taking Victoria out of her swing (that take-along one by Fisher-Price) and she stood up and she hit/tapped top of her head (like the spot right next to her soft spot) on one of the lights, and I'm afraid she hit her softspot. If she did hit her softspot, is there any way to tell if she did hit it? Gah, I feel so bad cause she was crying her lil eyes out.

Crossposted in Baby Steps.

Current Mood: scared
Wednesday, June 18th, 2003
9:34 am
Post pregnancy flubber
I may not want to hear the answer to this question, but it's been brought up a few times on my friends list, and I'm having the same problem. Here it is:

How do you get rid of or tighten that flabby jiggly skin on the belly after you have a baby?!?! It's been 7wks for me and I still have a pooch that's flabby (and of course hangs over my jeans when I sit because they only make LOW LOW rise jeans now... grrrrr).

If you did get rid of it or tighten it, when did that happen?

What types of abdominal excercises is everyone doing? Seems my muscles are stretched out or something... it's not tight anymore unless I flex my tummy.

Thank you!

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, May 29th, 2003
11:54 am
Shopping Suggestion
If you are due this fall/winter and will need to get a car seat, pick up a pool noodle at a toy/pool store. The noodle is often used for adjusting the angle of a car seat (both my cars are using them with the combination infant/toddler seat) and you'll have a harder time finding them when you install your seat. One noodle was 2.49 at Toys R'Us and fit both of our cars with some of the noodle left over.
Tuesday, May 27th, 2003
10:35 pm
We have a staircase with iron rails that are not even with the wall. Does anyone know a good gate we could get??


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