Saturday, November 27, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
The "Business" Of Birthing
Note: All of the information here represents fact, not opinion, of birthing within the United States. If you don't believe it, check the references listed at the end of the article. That being said, you may want to sit down before reading further...
Each year, the U.S. spends over $50 billion dollars on childbirth. This is more than any other nation in the world. (This number does not include babies in the NICU or readmissions during the first month.)
Maternity care is the largest source of income for American hospitals.
The U.S. ranks 37th in the world for the quality of its health care.
Over HALF of all hospital admissions in America are for maternity.
Hospitals are NOT the safest place to have a baby. 25 infectious strains exist that are resistant to ALL known antibiotics. These are found primarily in hospitals.
75 years of routine hospital birth have produced NO studies to show it is safer than having a baby at home with a skilled birth attendant.
Both homebirth and birth centers have been scientifically proven to be as safe or safer than hospitals with a skilled labor attendant (i.e. midwives, not doctors).
The more technology used in childbirth, the more dangerous it becomes.
The larger the hospital, the greater the risks to both mother and baby.
Of the 4.3 million babies born annually in the U.S., a mere 5% represent natural childbirth.
America ranks 29th in the world for its infant mortality rate, the number of babies who die in their first year per 1,000 live births, meaning the US loses more babies than 28 other nations per year.
The U.S.A. ranks 14th among developed nations for its maternal mortality ratio, the ratio of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, meaning 13 other countries lose less mothers within 6 weeks of childbirth than the US does per year.
Over 90% of all infants in the U.S. are born with drugs (e.g. narcotics from epidurals, pitocin, acetaminophen, etc) in their systems. NONE of these drugs have been tested for safe use in infants.
A 24-hour hospital stay, uncomplicated delivery in the U.S.A. costs anywhere from $8,000-10,000. This cost DOUBLES for a c-section.
ALL families in the U.S. are charged newborn nursery charges, even if the babyNEVER leaves the mother's room. This "routine" charge amounts to about $1.3 billion dollars annually, for services that are NOT rendered. (I'm not quite sure why this doesn't constitute insurance fraud - billing for services not rendered.)
Every year, 1 million, or about 20%, full-term, healthy infants are sent to the NICU for "observation" for an average stay of 3 days, totaling a whopping $6,000.
For newborns suspected to have serious medical conditions, the same NICU stay totals $20,000.
1 in 3 American women has an episiotomy. Episiotomies are medically indicated for less than 10% of all women. Over 1 million unnecessary episiotomies are performed annually in the U.S.
1 in 5 births in the U.S.A. are induced. 44% of women surveyed in 2002 reported their doctor wanted to induce. Only 16% reported medically-indicated reasons.
American women who elect epidurals are FOUR times as likely to have cesarean sections.
31.8% of American babies (nearly 1 in 3) in 2007 were delivered by cesarean section. The World Health Organization recommends a c-section rate of less than 10-15% as acceptable.
U.S. hospital policies for routine tests, practices, policies and procedures are based on financial considerations, which include malpractice insurance costs. They are not based on evidence, research, or appropriateness of care.
I truly hope you found these statistics disturbing. If they don't speak to the medicalization of childbirth in this country, I don't know what does.
The true horror comes in the fact that these views are being exported across the world. As the U.S. is such a powerhouse of marketing, more impressionable regions are adapting to these customs, despite the overwhelming evidence that the U.S. approach to childbirth IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!
American obstetricians are taught to view birth as "a disaster waiting to happen." The average delivery in the U.S. is neither natural nor healthy. We have embraced a cascading system of successively more intense, unneeded interventions termed "active management" or the "standard of care".
So what do we do? How can we change the system?
We as a country need to reach beyond our own boundaries to embrace an effective model of maternity care. We, as women, mothers, and families, must educate ourselves as to the true process of labor and childbirth.
We must regain our faith in our bodies' perfect ability to have a baby. We must look at what the research is already telling us - that nature has it right!
In short, we must take back our births!
And if you're still not convinced, check these out:
Deneux-Tharaux D, Berg C, Bouvier-Colle MH, Gissler M, Harper M, Nannini A, Alexander S, Wildman K, Breart G, Buekens P. Underreporting of Pregnancy-Related Mortality in the United States and Europe. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106:684-92.
Hartmann K, Viswanathan M, Palmieri R, Gartlehner G, Thorp J, Lohr KN (2005). "Outcomes of routine episiotomy: a systematic review". JAMA 293 (17): 2141–8. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2141. PMID 15870418.
(2006) "ACOG Practice Bulletin. Episiotomy. Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists. Number 71, April 2006". Obstet Gynecol 107 (4): 957–62. PMID 16582142.
Macfarlane A, McCandlish R, Campbell R.
Choosing between home and hospital delivery. There is no evidence that hospital is the safest place to give birth.
British Medical Journal. 2000 Mar 18;320(7237):798.
Home versus hospital birth.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;(2)
The cost-effectiveness of home birth.
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. 44(1):30-5, 1999 Jan-Feb.
Peck P. Preinduction cervical ripening significantly increases risk of cesarean. Medscape Medical News, 2003
Goer H. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. New York: Perigee Books, 1999, p 228-9.
Fullerton JT and Severino R. In-hospital care for low-risk childbirth: comparison with results from the NationalBirth Center Study. J Nurse Midwifery 1992;37(5):331-340.
Giving Birth Naturally: "Business" of Birthing
It has been some time now, the many texts have ceased and the phone has gone silent. This tells me there may be some birthing going on. My thoughts and prayers are there with the birthing Mama and my dear friend, supporting her sister as her doula. May the Shechinah fill the room with Her sweet presence and usher this baby into the world in love and peace! Many birthing blessings!!!
"New ideas are flowing into your life now, but you must be ready to receive them. You may already be in touch with a philosophical perspective as beneficial Jupiter continues to inspire your 9th House of Higher Truth, but the Sun-Jupiter trine today can blast the doors of awareness open. Luckily, this shouldn't feel like hard work. Opportunities to expand your thinking and widen your horizons are more fun than you might expect."
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This afternoon I read this article . It is about Jews, Muslims and Christians all joining together to pray for the drought conditions in a valley near Yerushalayim. I was really excited when I saw it and eagerly read the post, only to end up being disappointed when I discovered that although they were all there at the same time, they did not actually pray together as a unified group. Each group prayed separately and on their own. I am happy that at least this seems like a step in the right direction, but saddened because it still feels like a matter of 'so close and yet still so far.' :::sigh:::
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I try to be a peaceful person. I am anti war(really is anyone PRO war?!) I want troops to come home. I don't want 18 year old men and women out fighting a war, giving their lives for a cause, that I personally don't think we should have been involved in, in the first place. I have always had the opinion since my teenage years that "If the politicians want a war let them battle it out themselves". I would protest war and the governments who cause it.
So with this is mind I wish all the Vets, near and far, present in body and spirit much PEACE and LOVE. I honor you for your self sacrifice, valor and courage.
May we all soon see the day when "nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war." Isa 2:4
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Gentle waves start from her heart
Flowing down her arms
Twisting wrists and flicking off fingers
Beckoning you to come, warning you to stay
Her heart pulses, lifting her breasts
Chest fills with desire
And collapses, coated with pain
Loneliness washes down her belly
Her body remembers fullness
Ecstasy and conception
The undulation of birth
Dancing children out of her womb
Her empty hands wait
Anxious for the next baby to catch
The next tuft to spin
The next florio to circle
Hips twist, thighs pump
Knees flex, calves tighten
She pushes against the ground
Feeling, needing the ground to push back
Spirit demands her body to dance
Ears strain to hear the changing tempo
Missed beats, stumbling feet
Her life song feels distorted
She looks more graceful then she feels
Swaying to the arrhythmic strain
Her muscles miss the old cadence
Spirit waits for body’s inevitable surrender
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
May Hashem turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The weather has also cooled down and the sun has returned after a very rainy last days of Sukkot. I'm ready for the sukkah to come down and return the sunlight to my home. Once I know the shach has dried I will start that process. A bit sad for me, I really do enjoy Sukkot and the removal of the sukkah means re-entry back into the 'real' world with work and responsibilities. I have to try to keep in mind the bit of chizuk (encouragement) I received on Simchat Torah. We rejoice when we enter the sukkah for obvious reasons, (think fun outside harvest festival and good food, woot!) but then we are also supposed to rejoice when we leave. (huh??) Well, the trick here, I was told, is to take with you all the joy that we felt in the sukkah and bring the sukkah in with you. I liked that thought and, like many other things, the ikar (main point) is basically to remain in your happy place, keeping your thoughts good and being joyful always.
Speaking of joy, we will be having a wedding here, b'ezrat Hashem, in three weeks! Sheesh talk about time flying! There is still alot to do and the whirlpool of emotions that goes along with it. I really haven't allowed myself to think about that, other than I am most happy for daughter and I am quite proud of the lady she has become. It's a new generation, facts are facts, but she does carry with her our core family values, traditions, stories and love so I am looking forward to what the future holds with this next generation. I have had the honor and priveldge of raising three of the finest human beings on the planet, and they have shown me much compassion and respect when the time came for each of them to leave my home. It's obviously hard to let go, but thankfully my children have been very gentle with their mother, letting go of my hand often times one finger at a time. It does make the transition easier for my heart becasue I know each one of them would have loved to simply have spread their wings and flown high into the sky, racing headlong into their lives. It is after all, what I did and truly what I have always hoped for them, to Live Life!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
After you read it you can comment there or here and read my comment below in the comment section.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Cloth Diaper Blog is having a huge giveway with a $500 gift certificate to Diaper Junction!
Essential Herbal has super tutorial for an herbal syrup for cough and conjestion.
Check out this pictorial on Positions for Labor and Delivery.
Great post by Public Health Doula delinating the role and usefullness of a doula and how she does not interfere with the birthing mom's partner or other birth team members.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tonight my husband set up the telescope and knowing how much I love the moon he called me out to see. How lovely! I could not believe the craters and the light that was reflected off the surface. There she is and here we are, drifting in space, spinning and twirling, dancers in time guided by the One, and I was privileged to have the joy in that moment and see her.
Kippur has come and gone and I am left with a feeling of joy and deep gratitude. Much prayer and petitions for help from Above enabled me to exchange my fear of not even being able to get through the fast (Tisha B'Av kicked my butt with a blazing headache by evening you would not believe) to sincere thanks that I made it and even experienced Joy in the Journey. I did not get hungry and I did not suffer the ever feared caffeine headache. Prior to the fast I did have a bad attitude. No, that's not entirely accurate because I knew I wanted to fast. I had been working on myself and I wanted very much to be there for the Kol Nidre and Neilah services. My stress level though felt like it was through the roof and it left me ultimately feeling quite unprepared to come before the King. Also I was struggling with a few of the pre Kippur traditions and these feelings were irking me. (Truth is, if someone wants to wave a chicken (or even money) over their head, more power to them, just don't go around feeling all smug and superior when someone else doesn't do it or even agree with it.)
After all this tremendous soul searching and mind wrestling/metal gymnastics, I finally came to the simplicity of it all. Elokai, neshama sh'natta be, tehora (My G-d the soul you have placed in my is Pure.) I remembered that I am ultimately a neshama, a soul ,a pure soul, and I came before the King as a pure soul/child. That is how I explained it to my preschool children. Kippur is the day where we do not focus on caring for our bodies, we focus only on our souls. That helped me so much. I had no fear as I have had in past years. I did not fear an unfavorable judgement nor did I fear my prayers would not be heard. I had absolute trust in that moment in time that Avinu, Malkeinu, (Our Father, Our King) would hear every word and would judge me favorably. I felt absolute love and peace in my Father's favor. I did not feel an obligation to do anything except fast and be. I meditated on atonement, At-One-Ment, and kept the holiness of the day foremost in my mind. I kept my thoughts, attitude and the words of my mouth in that Holy place and was blessed with a honestly meaningful and beautiful day.
I am now looking forward to Sukkot, the Festival of the Ingathering. I have a lovely sukkah up just waiting for schach and to be decorated and will hopefully do that tomorrow as long as my mommy and baby that were due on Yom Kippur don't arrive before then...but then that's another story.
From Kikar Shabbat
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Medicinally the roots are used. You would recognize Valerian simply from the pungent odor. It is kind of a stinky herb, although it does not bother me, some folks find it quite repugnant. (For all that odor though, it's effectiveness is worth it, in my opinion.) You can take it either in a tincture or capsule form. The plant itself has lovely smelling bell shaped flowers. I do not have any Valerian growing in my garden but I read that "Gregory Tilford, in his book From Earth to Herbalist, writes that Valerian is easy to grow and can be a great addition to the herbalist's garden. The roots are harvested when at least two years old and can be divided and planted again."
Botanical name: Valeriana officinalis.
May help: Anxiety, insomnia, menstrual cramps, tension headaches, sleep problems associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle cramps, and muscle spasms.
Origin: Europe and Asia, although Valerian sitchensis is in the western mid elevations of North America
Cautions and possible side effects: Do not use with prescription medications such as diazepam (Valium) or amitriptyline (Elavil). Don't use Valerian if you experience heart palpitations or nervousness after taking it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
"Now, dear daughter relax. See how she flies so high above. You hear her voice from miles below; I too hear yours."
"I see you too kid. Hang in there."
Yep, that is what it felt like. It's good to look and listen. And whatever the message is, if you feel the touch of Love, of the Divine, I say bask in it. It's your gift to enjoy.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
It all started when I met one lady at shul (synagogue). Now allow me to preface this with just a little something about me. I tend to consider myself a bit shy, but when my radar goes up and says to me 'You must get to know this person.' , shyness be damned, I hone in and meet them. I do not ignore that inner voice because I know there is something I need to learn from them, some message they have for me. Well, lucky for me, this lady turned out to be a kindred, new to the neighborhood and even more shy. I was tickled to realize that the Divine had already prepped me for this meeting by having me read about her and her family in the local neighborhood paper in a "Welcome to Neighborhood" piece. I was so blessed and I knew I needed to make an effort to become friends. You see, my shyness was a direct combination and result of being hurt so badly by a few folks in the neighborhood and the loss of my mother two and half years ago. I certainly did not want to be hurt again and so I made sure not to be by holding back. But Hashem had other plans and deep within, I found the courage to take a chance and step forward. I am so happy I did! After a few weeks of the casual getting to know you type visiting, I noticed a book on her end table. It was a Breslov book, Crossing the Narrow Bridge and a light went off for me! Maybe, just maybe, this time would be different. We started talking about learning and she expressed interest in learning Breslov Chasidut as did my other friend who was with me and BOOM a study group emerged!
We decided it would be on shabbat and we would alternate homes. After a few weeks another friend joined us and now there is a core of four ladies. We have also enjoyed the occasional and added pleasure of having a reoccurring visitor to our group when she comes in to visit for shabbat and just this past week, another lady joined us! I felt like I was in heaven! Six ladies all sitting in the living room and learning the sweet teachings of my Rebbe, our Rebbe! Since it is a casual learning environment, all of us taking turns reading and commenting when we feel led, we have not gotten very far in the book, page 98 to be exact, but the depth to which I feel it in my soul and my heart is immense. I find myself opening up to these ladies. I have found myself being quite honest with myself and them, realizing where I have challenges, where I need to grow and where I can help. I feel my emunah(faith) growing and the sweetness of friendship blossoming! What a refreshment in my life! And what a need being fulfilled.
It amazes me the way the Universe aligns and provides for needs you may have given up hope at ever seeing fulfilled. I feel so blessed and full with my Shabbat Ladies. I feel so blessed for the precious gift of our learning and time. There has been laughter and jokes shared, struggles and 'I'm not quite there' moments, and through this time I am realizing one very important thing: Rebbe Nachman tells us that "The whole world is a very narrow bridge, the main this is not be afraid." Well, truth be told, it sure is a lot easier to not be afraid when there is someone else there on the bridge with you and even better if you know they will hold your hand and cross it with you.