Friday, June 15, 2012


The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dr. Dan B Allender.
The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
In class, I mention how sexual abuse can affect a woman's ability to go through labor.  I tell couples that if sexual abuse has occurred in mom's past that she needs to work through it now and not wait.  I tell them they can ask me if they are needing resources, otherwise, they can speak with a therapist, counselor, pastor, priest, or other confidante.
I am currently reading a book and the author mentioned this book as a, "Further Reading," option.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Important Herbs to Remember

First off, my store of preference to purchase such things from is Herbs & More. Arnie, the owner, is a wonderful resource. That being said, you can get these items in many locations, including Circle Me.

Chlorophyll has become a hot topic of conversation in my world this week. I have recommended it to a couple moms and am thinking of trying it for myself, I'm natorious for having low iron.

Lavendar Oil was recommended for a mom I know when she had a c-section.

Peppermint Oil is recommended for helping a mom be able to fully empty her bladder after birth.

Olive Oil (no need for a specialty store here) is great for keep maconium from sticking to baby's butt. Also, can be used to help stretch the perineum before labor.

Which Hazel is good for hemorrhoids.

Breast Milk is good for in grown toe nails, clogged tear ducts, pink eye, etc.

ALJ from Nature's Sunshine is wonderful for allergies.

The Diva Cup is great for when your period returns.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life in the Uterus

"...every body cell--with two exceptions--there are 46 chromosomes, making 23 pairs. The two exceptions are the egg cell and the sperm cell, which have 23 chromosomes each, instead of 46." (p.71)

Boy or Girl?
"...statistically it appears that as women grow older, and also as they bear more children, then chance of having a girl is slightly increased." (p. 71)

Early Development
"...second week of the fertilized egg's life, the cells become differentiated. One set becomes the amniotic sac...the yolk sac...the placenta...cells that will form the baby...third week until there is a head and a tail..." (p. 74)

Six Weeks--"...embryo...neck and a head with rudimentary eyes and ears, a brain, and a heart that is already beating...bloodstream and a digestive system, kidneys, and a liver, and tiny buds that will become arms and legs." (p. 74)

Seven Weeks--"...nostrils, lips, and a tongue, and even the buds of its first teeth. Four chambers have developed in the heart." (p. 75)

Eight Weeks--"...heart has started the vigorous pumping...Even now the baby is trying out some gentle kicking..." (p. 75)
"The genitals have developed..." (p. 76)

The Placenta
"The flow of blood through the placenta in the fourth month of pregnancy is about 7.5 gallons (27.5 liters) a day, and by the end of pregnancy 87 gallons (330 liters) of blood are passing through the placenta each day." (p. 77)
"...when the placenta reduces its output of progesterone, estrogen takes over, initiates labor and ensures that the uterus begins to contract strongly." (p. 77)

The Growing Baby
16 weeks--lanugo-fine down covering baby (p. 79)

24 weeks--"If it is born, it must be registered as a birth. If the baby dies, it is now a stillbirth rather than a miscarriage." (p. 79)

28 weeks--"60 to 70 percent chance of survival" (p. 79)

36 weeks--"The baby is three times as heavy at birth as at 28 weeks." (p. 80)

"For centuries pregnancy had little social acknowledgment before quickening occurred. Only after quickening was the baby considered to be a 'life.'" (p. 80)
"By the 24th week, the baby is starting to listen to and learn the sounds of language." (p. 81)

Planning and Preparation

The Birth Room
"Women who can remain upright in the first stage of labor have less pain, so need fewer pain-relieving drugs, and dilate faster than those women who are lying down. Their babies' heart rates are also more likely to fall within the normal range.*
In the second stage, being upright also results in less pain, fewer drugs, easier pushing, fewer tears, more normal vaginal births, and a more positive birth experience.*" (p. 41)

"...sitting on a rigid chair or stool for a long time...develop swelling around your vulva, and the circulation of blood may be impeded...*" (p. 41 and 45)

A Birth Center
"A study of the experiences of 12,000 women who gave birth in 84 birth centers in the U.S. revealed that they had fewer obstetric interventions of all kinds than women in a hospital, while birth was equally safe.* In one English birth center, women have a 3 percent reduced risk of an emergency Cesarean compared with women giving birth in hospitals in the same area and are four times less likely to have an episiotomy.*" (p. 45)

" given by a midwife at home is safer than care from midwives in the hospital, and home birth with a midwife is safest of all.*" (p. 46)

Prenatal Care
Routine Tests--Anemia..."A pregnant woman has about 40 percent more blood flowing in her body...women whose hemoglobin concentration does fall are more likely to go to full term and to have babies of good birth weight. If hemoglobin concentration fails to fall, there is a marked increase in the incidence of low birth weight and preterm birth*...better able to absorb iron from food. If you drink orange juice instead of tea or coffee (both of which inhibit absorption of iron), your body will make good use of the iron that is naturally present in the food you eat.*" (p. 51)

Talking to Doctors
" may have to develop new social skills to create a satisfactory dialogue with those who care for you...The lack of continuity in care is one of the main criticisms that women make about childbirth in hospitals.*" (p. 53)

Preparing Your Questions
"There is no need to be apologetic about wanting further information or asking for help to achieve the kind of birth you would like." (p. 54)

"When a woman is feeling nervous, she tends to pitch her voice too high...You may also smile nervously without realizing the impression that you are content when you are not." (p. 54-55)

"It is a good idea to include requests that are not top priority, so that there is a possibility of compromise on some matters...Be assertive in a pleasant way." (p. 55)

"Make it clear that you are listening closely by 'playing back' the important statements: 'Do you mean...?' 'So you are saying that...?' and rephrase whatever has been said as accurately as you can." (p. 55)

"There is always a price to pay for being submissive. A woman avoids conflict, but afterward she is likely to feel that birth was something done to her, not something she did herself. Women who have suffered a sense of complete powerlessness in birth may go on feeling this long after the baby is born. It often leads to their feeling incompetent with the baby, too." (p. 56)

"Choice is eradicated when there is no continuity of care. Women speak and no one hears them...what they say gets passed on but is distorted...nurses are rushed off their feet trying to care for three or four patients in labor simultaneously...their [pregnant women] self-confidence is destroyed." (p.56)

What to Include in Your Birth Plan
"There is ample research now to show that a woman is most comfortable afterward when she has been helped to give birth gently without a cut or tear." (p. 59)

Finding Out You Are Pregnant

Finding Out You Are Pregnant

How To Diagnose
"the embryo releases a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG)...present in your urine approximately six days after conception...peak about 60 days after conception..." (p. 22-23)

"After perhaps one conception in every ten, the fertilized egg does not manage to embed itself in the lining of the uterus. In this case, a pregnancy test will give a positive result, but a second test a few days later will be negative. For this reason, some packs carry the recommendation that you always wait three to five days and then retest, and two tests are included in each pack so you can do this." (p. 23)

"If it is more than six weeks since the first day of your last period, they can feel the already softening lower part of the uterus, which is also slightly enlarged. The neck of the uterus, or cervix, which protrudes into the vagina, is felt as firmer than the lower part of the uterus, and it is about the same consistency as the tip of your nose...this internal change is known as 'Hegar's sign.'" (p. 23-24)

Dating Your Pregnancy
"The length of the average pregnancy is some 266 days from conception." (p. 24)

Conceiving While Using Contraception
"If you conceive with an IUD (intrauterine device or coil) still inside you, your chances of miscarrying are increased...Sometimes doctors advise termination. This is certainly not necessary...many women deliver the IUD with the placenta after an uneventful pregnancy and birth." (p. 25-26)

"If you conceive but continue to take the pill for several months while pregnant, there is a slightly increased risk to the baby of congenital abnormalities, though the vast majority of women who have taken the pill while pregnant give birth to babies who are healthy and normal." (p. 26)

Pregnancy and HIV Infection
"85 percent of babies of HIV-positive mothers are born healthy" (p. 26)

"testing a baby after 6 to 18 months will more accurately tell if a baby has become infected." (p. 26)

"The safety measures usually proposed to help avoid transmission include not breast-feeding; having a Cesarean section, because babies often pick up the infection as they come down the birth canal; and being treated with antiviral medications during the last six months of pregnancy. With these precautions, the transmission rate can be reduced to 2 percent." (p. 26)

Early Signs of Pregnancy
Nausea--"Women who experience pregnancy nausea are less likely than others to have miscarriages." (p. 27)

Pregnancy Week By Week

This is the first post from the book The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. Fourth edition published in 2008.

Week 11--"The amount of blood circulating through your body has started to increase, and will go on increasing until about the 30th week." (p. 12)

Week 15-- "Your enlarged heart has increased its output by 20 percent." (p. 13)

Week 17-- "Baby weighs more than its placenta." (p. 13)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Get Ready Now: What Really Happens Postpartum

"You have to function as a responsible adult; there's no going back." (p. 218)

"...according to La Leche League, feeding a newborn takes forty hours a week or more. You'll change multiple diapers a day, wash several loads of laundry, and you will handle these new responsibilities in a sleep-deprived state." (p. 219)

Postpartum Plan

"The things that help most are fairly low tech and designed to get your basic needs met: sleeping, eating, connecting with your baby, and making sure that your emotional support system is strong." (p. 220)

"Usually it takes at least three to five months (but sometimes longer) to establish a pattern...first long nighttime sleep (five to six hours)." (p. 220)

"...sleep when your baby sleeps." (p. 222)

"If you are serious about sleep and can budget for it, night nurses, overnight nannies, and nighttime postpartum doulas are available to lovingly handle your baby through much of the night. They also help teach you about healthy sleep routines, scheduling options, swaddling, and other skills. Consider hiring a service for even one night a week through several weeks or asking a friend or relative to do an overnight." (p. 224)

"...stay in bed until (you) amassed the correct amount of (sleep) hours..." (p. 225)


Up to 85 percent of all new mothers in the U.S. experience postpartum 'blues' during the first ten days or so after birth...during the first twelve months, between 10 and 20 percent of new mothers, as many as 850,000 women in the U.S., experience diagnosable postpartum depression. Sleep Disorders in Women: A Guide to Practical Management (Current Clinical Neurology), 'Increased sleep, which can be improved with daytime activities such as light exposure and exercise, may be more therapeutic in treating the depressed state than counseling, psychotherapy or antidepressant medication.'...being in labor during the night, coupled with sleep disruption at the end of pregnancy, might result in a higher incidence of postpartum blues. ...survey 2007 called 'Sleep in America,' National Sleep Foundation...'Poor sleep is associated with poor mood.' Among postpartum women in the study, 42 percent report that they rarely or never get a good night's sleep...what awakens them most during the nigt, 90 percent of postpartum women say giving care to a child. Nearly one-half of postpartum women say that they have no one helping them with child care at night. Sleep also helps strengthen your emerging role as a primary caretaker. ...2007...Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing...four overlapping stages...'committing, attaching and preparing for the infant during pregnancy; becoming acquainted and attached with the infant, including learning how to car for the infant and restoring maternal health; moving toward a 'new normal'; and achieving a maternal identity.'" (p. 226-227)


"You need protein, carbohydrates, fresh fruits, vegetables, and calcium in the form of tasty, healthy snacks...this is not the time to diet. You need energy! ...before you have the baby, prepare some simple dishes that can be doubled--lasagna, burritos, soups, potpies--and freeze the extra portions. Stock up on simple, nutritious foods: yogurt, baby carrots, fruits, nuts, hard-boiled eggs." (p. 227-228)


"Decide in advance who is planning to come 'visit' and who is planning to come 'help.' The visitors can wait a few weeks until you've gotten to know your new baby..." (p. 228)

" are not a hostess right now." (p. 229)

STAY CONNECTED (Personally, I like BSF. It is a wonderful way for moms to get and stay connected with other women.)


"...2000...Journal of Family Psychology...two-thirds of couples experience a significant decline in marriage satisfaction--including less-frequent or less-satisfying sex, more conflict, and more emotional distance--after the first baby arrives." (p. 230)

"...most studies suggest men want sex--and more of it--shortly after birth while women need more time." (p. 231)

"When your body has recovered, sex--even quick, less-than-fabulous sex--can help give both of you a viseral memory of the romance of life before kids. When you're ready, start thinking about regular date nights." (p. 232)


"If harmonizing your sleep, meals, chores, and key relationships still seems too overwhelming, look into hiring a postpartum doula." (p. 232)

"Postpartum doulas charge around $25 to $40 an hour in big U.S. cities." (p. 232)


"One in three women in the U.S. now gives birth by cesarean section, major surgery that significantly lengthens postpartum recovery time. These mothers won't be able to drive for about a month and lifting will be difficult for some time. In this situation it is even more important to have backup help. Doulas will give you ideas on how to get this support, for instance a father might be eligible for a longer family medical leave from work if the mother underwent surgery." (p. 234)