Informed Labor & Delivery

Nitrous Oxide in Labor 

There are many comfort measures available to laboring women. The most common medical option is epidural anesthesia which typically eliminates most or all of the pain, but also can severely limit your mobility. Other medical options exist including intramuscular and IV drugs.  Another option that is becoming more widely in available in the United States is ‘laughing gas’ also known as nitrous oxide. Nitrous Oxide was previously used in high concentrations for anesthesia or pain relief but can be used in smaller concentrations as an an anxiolytic or antipsychotic...

The Epidural Cocktail  By Angelica Ortiz 

Roughly 60% of women receive an epidural at birth, despite the popularity there are many misconceptions about receiving an epidural. One common misbelief is that every epidural is the same, or better yet, that there is only one type of epidural. Epidurals vary depending on the patient, anesthesiologist, and hospital protocol. Some hospitals even offer a somewhat ‘watered down’ combined spinal epidural (CSE), often referred to as a “walking epidural.....”

Meconium Happens By Angelica Ortiz  

Gotta go? Babies do too! Meconium is a fancy term for a baby’s first poop. Because a newborn has not yet consumed breast milk or formula, meconium consists of some rather unusual contents.  Often meconium contains almost everything a baby has consumed while in utero, like skin cells that have been shed, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, water, and lanugo, which is that fine hair covering a baby’s body at birth. When excreted, this green/black, tar-like substance may stick to the baby as meconium has a very high viscosity; but nothing a little petroleum jelly can’t wipe off, and the good news is...Meconium doesn’t smell!.....

The Nuchal Cord Myth By Angelica Ortiz  

After nearly a year of pregnancy, the labor journey or preparation for abdominal birth, your baby is about to be born…. That moment of anticipation as you are about to meet your bundle of perfection is filled with hope for complete health and to hear that long awaited first cry. But what if what you actually see, as your baby is brought to your fatigue arms, is their umbilical cord wrapped around their neck, not once but maybe even twice or three times. Your worst nightmare? Shouldn’t be......

Upside Down Birth Story By Marion Campbell Kammer 

My second pregnancy was going perfectly, no complications until the 35th week when we found out that the baby was in a frank breech position. My husband and I were not sure what to do. Our OB told us that she would be unable to do anything but a C-Section to deliver the baby.  But that didn’t feel right to us. I had given birth to our son vaginally and we felt like this was a situation didn’t require us jumping right into a C-Section....

Knowing Your Options: Is Homebirth For You?

By Marea Goodman, LM, CPM

One hundred years ago, almost all of the births in the United States occurred at home. Today, less than 1% of pregnant people in this country have homebirths. Many people assume that having their babies at home is less safe than having their babies in the hospital. However, we know from recent data that for normal, healthy pregnant people, birthing at home with a licensed midwife is as safe or safer than birthing in the hospital. Not only is homebirth just as safe from a medical perspective- it also comes with substantially lower rates of intervention....

Latest research shows that the mode of delivery utilized with a breech baby has NO additional long term risks! By Angelica Ortiz

  

Throughout pregnancy your baby is constantly growing, learning, moving, and towards the end of pregnancy, an exemplary baby is perfectly placed in a Left Anterior Occiput (LAO) position in which the baby’s head presses on mommy’s cervix and initiates labor. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and babies tend to change their mind on their positional preference. This is where the worry begins, moms are faced with essentially two options: the vanishing vaginal breech birth or a limiting cesarean section.....

Double the Trouble! By Angelica Ortiz

5-4-3-2-1…. Happy New Year!!!! One san Diego woman not only brought in the new year at countdown but also a set of twins born four minutes apart making them a paradox of twin sisters, born in different years. The New Year’s births happened at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in Kearny Mesa, Calif. Baby Scarlet was born on December 31st at 11:56pm and baby Virginia came close after on January 1st at 12:00am. Oh the irony!.......

Delayed Cord Clamping...Why Wait?? By Angelica Ortiz 

At last, your baby is out, all the preparing, stress and labor-related decisions are officially done… or so you thought! As your baby’s shoulders are expelled the umbilical cord is typically cut within ten short seconds. To most mothers this is standard, and they are so overwhelmed with joy and excitement that they do not even give any thought to what has just happened. However, what these exhilarated, exhausted mothers do not realize is they could potentially be supplying their child with a substantial amount of blood and iron by simply waiting two minutes before cutting the cord.....

Nesting and Nurturing for Postpartum Mama Parts 

By Melinda Olson

Mamas in the final trimester are notorious for nesting and getting everything ready for baby. Birth bag packed, they have blankets, onesies, a little hat, and sometimes even their own safe soap and lotion for baby’s first bath. But what about mama? Don’t overlook the fact that once you bring this miracle into...

Roadside Delivery Part 1 By Danielle Vouvalides

I went in for my 38 week check-up with my OB, Jason, and everything was looking great. My baby boy was positioned low, and I was already 3.5 cm dilated. I wasn’t even thinking about delivering early because I also dilated early with my first son, and didn’t deliver him until two days after my due date. Around 8 pm that same night, I started having some...

Roadside Delivery Part 2 By Laura Battat

 

My labor started off easily enough. I was athome with my twenty-month-old daughter,with her chanting and dancing with me through the light contractions that came every fifteen minutes. This went on for a few hours. Considering that I labored with her for more than a day, the onset of labor didnot concern me. I expected to have several hours to get to the hospital, see my...

Roadside Delivery Part 3  By Marisa Callahan

On the day before Zeke was born, I had a regular check-up with my OB. She told me I was one centimeter dilated and 80% effaced, and should expect to go into labor sometime in the next week. So we knew the show was coming soon! I wanted a natural delivery, so our birth...

13 Myths About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean 

By Jennifer Kamel I Director of VBACFacts.com

Many women believe that the only safe choice after a cesarean is another cesarean. Social pressure plays a huge role in a woman’s decision making process. The prevailing conventional wisdom in the United States is greatly influenced by persistent and pervasive myths about VBAC, or Vaginal Birth after Cesarean. The result is a 92% repeat...

Selecting Your Birth Team By Ana Paula Markel I CCE, CD

In the days before modern medicine and hospitals, laboring women would often be supported by other ‘wise women’ in their communities, who held and passed along the knowledge needed for the next generation to assist women during the process of labor and birth. These women were among the earliest ‘doulas’- women...

Demystifying Waterbirth

By Aleksandra Evanguelidi I LM, CPM; Molly Jarchow I ND, LM;

Stuart Fischbein I MD, OB/GYN

Even if you know someone who has had a waterbirth, or have done some research on your own, the very idea of birthing underwater may seem strange or even dangerous. However, in reality, waterbirth provides great benefits to both mother and child and is a safe option for women to explore and experience. When...

It’s Not Your Mother-in-Law’s Birth:

Speak Up and Stand Firm! By Hailey Murray

It used to be that women labored alone while their husbands stood in waiting rooms smoking cigars; boy, have things changed! Today hospitals and birth centers often allow multiple supporters with you as you labor and even during delivery (our hospital allowed four – I chose my husband, our doula... 

A Second Chance and a New Beginning By Kate Eales

My VBAC journey began, as many do, with an unwanted cesarean. It wasn’t that the labor and delivery of my first child were terribly traumatic. But for five hours after my son’s birth - time I had hoped to spend bonding with my new baby - I was alone in a recovery room, my sense of failure growing by the minute...

Know Your Options: The Birth Center 

By Hailey Murray

Birthing at a freestanding birth center, often described as in between home and hospital birth, is an attractive option for many parents-to-be seeking “the best of birth worlds” – the comforts of home with the facilities, expertise (and emergency backup!) of a hospital birth.....

The Pelvic Paradox By Elliot Berlin I DC

During third-trimester prenatal visits, many well-intentioned practitioners place a great deal of emphasis on measuring the unborn baby, relaying information and subliminal expectations to the expectant mother. As a result of this practice, many women have become fearful that their baby is...

Group B-Strep By Davi K Khalsa I CNM

Usually being positive is a good thing, but what happens if you are pregnant and you find out that you have tested positive for group B (or beta) strep (commonly called GBS)? First, don’t panic – a positive test for GBS is very common, and there are relatively simple ways to prevent transmitting a GBS infection to your...

Healthy Babies, Healthy Mothers By Beth Townsend

My journey into motherhood began in late 2010, when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We felt so excited; we’d waited a long time to have children, wanting to get school, travel and all of that ‘out of our systems,’ but now we both felt sure we were ready...

The Real Cost of Childbirth By Rhondda Evans Hartman | RN

Birth is a normal, natural function of your female body. Knowing this is the first step towards taking power over your body during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum. When we allow someone else, even someone with good intentions, to take that power, we are no longer in...

Two New Lives By Allison Sowers-Altman

Every woman needs extra support during pregnancy. Not only do you need support from your family and friends, but also support for your ever-changing body. One way to support your body as pregnancy progresses and into the post partum period is through investing in well-fitted maternity and...