Breastfeeding laws, state-by-state

The federal government allows protections for breastfeeding moms on public federal property. But what about breastfeeding or pumping breast milk at work? What about breastfeeding in a restaurant? How does your state protect breastfeeding moms?

Click here, the National Conference of State Legislatures to find how your state stacks up.

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doot..doot…and now, a Public Service Announcement…doot…doot..

Hot or Bikram Yoga during pregnancy?

I love hot yoga. Some of my Yogi and Yogini friends dislike it for various reasons, but I really enjoy the feeling of becoming completely exhausted. I love to stretch my body when it gets a little tight from running so much and the class is the perfect length for me. I haven’t been doing it forever and generally I bounce around to different studios in North or North East Portland. I haven’t tried them all yet, but so far each one has a specific charm and I am close to making a commitment to one of them, I’m sure.

Today there was a pregnant woman in class. Nobody noticed until she started heading toward the door about 45 minutes into it and the instructor stopped instructing to ask what she was doing. All of our heads turned to her to watch what was happening, as we stood there like Flamingos in Tree Pose, balancing on one leg. (I felt for her at the time, I am sure all of us have had the urge to run for the door at one point practicing hot yoga.)

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Food’s Erin Brockovich and…Epigentics

Why, do we, in these great United States of America, have more cancer and food allergies than the rest of the world?

Please understand that I am a BIG fan of food, I love to cook and I love my local farmers. Without farmers we would have no food. However, when it comes to something like genetically modifying the food that I eat, I have to take a step back and do some critical thinking. Shouldn’t the food we eat be nourishing and healthy, helping us to combat the very things (cancer & illnesses ) that it is now possibly causing?

When we know so little still, about the manner in which our genes are expressed and how their expression is influenced by our nutrition (and our mother’s nutrition), isn’t it smart to take a look at what we’re eating, not just in our daily lives, but especially in pregnancy?

Next time you’re in the grocery store try this;  instead of looking at the offerings before you as possible meals and snacks, take a step back and see them as products that are being sold to you by a corporation trying to make a profit. (Don’t get me wrong here, I love businesses. I have one or two myself – all businesses need to make profits – but hopefully they do it in a SAFE and HONEST manner.)

Who made this tomato? Where does it come from? Is it in season, grown with care by a local farmer, or was is put in a gas chamber to ripen, then painted or waxed to make it look better? How about this Hydrolyzed Soy Protein? Does it contain MSG? What does that mean to me?

The big question is, what are you eating and is it healthy for you and your family?

Remember, eat well and take good care!

First-time Mom says, “The Techniques Work, End of Story”!

(Originally posted July 5, 2011 by enjoybirth)

I cannot thank you enough for Hypnobabies!  Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a mom, but was terrified of an epidural.  My mom had all 3 of us naturally, but I did not think I was strong enough as I have never really had to deal with pain.  Growing up I always hoped there would be a “better or new way” by the time I got pregnant, and there was!  It feels like an out of body experience and I cannot believe that the same person who used to be unable to get a shot or blood test without almost passing out, gave birth naturally and peacefully.  The techniques work, end of story.  We now have a neighbor planning a home water birth and going to our instructor Carole’s Hypnobabies class as well.

Read Jennifer’s whole birth story, along with pictures here.

Why are you a Hypnobabies instructor?

I get this question a lot. It hasn’t come from a student of mine (yet), but from my hypnosis clients and people in general who are usually also very curious about what Hypnobabies is and how it works. They might see me running, or maybe at the grocery store sniffing cantaloupe – you know, the kind of conversation that just pops up and turns into more than you expected. I LOVE these conversations!

I also LOVE to tell people about my passion for educating women about what goes on in their bodies, what might happen in the hospital, the importance of nutrition, – all about the entire birthing process. The bonus is this-  at the same time, I get to teach them awesome, deep, anesthesia-grade hypnosis techniques for the best birth possible. It’s truly something that I had never imagined myself doing and I love, love, love it. Maybe this makes it even more exciting for me? It’s all so amazing!

Here’s another story from an L&D RN about becoming a Hypnobabies Instructor. (Thank you, Kiersten!) Shared by enjoybirth

From I started my RN and L&D career in NYC at a hospital that had a 99% epidural rate. It was a great place to learn as a RN since I saw every sort of complication imaginable but after 5 years I was burnt out.

Meanwhile I also had a baby (induction & epidural) and me and the hubbie were looking to make a lifestyle change. We moved out to Colorado and I started working at Boulder Community Hospital which actually supported natural birth!

They are soooooo different from any place I have worked.

  • Their epidural rate is only 50%!
  • They have midwives!
  • You can labor and birth anyway you want!

After participating in countless natural births it really reprogramed my way of thinking about birth completely. So when I got pregnant with my youngest I really wanted to go natural and that is when I found Hypnobabies.

I did the Hypnobabies Home Study course and had an amazing birth! I stayed home throughout the labor and I was sure that things hadn’t gotten going yet since it was so painless and easy. Then suddenly I couldn’t get comfortable and decided to head to the hospital.

I thought I was about 4cm. I tried to check myself but I couldn’t reach!

When I got out of the car at the hospital I started involuntarily pushing. Managed to get to L&D and had my son 15min later :-)

After that I was hooked! I’ve since turned 3 other friends on to Hypnobabies.  One is also an RN I work with, and they all had wonderful natural births too. So I just knew I had to start teaching so that I could help other women to have a wonderful comfortable birth also.

Kiersten

Is the FDA after your kiddie pool?

Does the FDA not have anything better to do? How about checking into the nutrition content in food that’s served to our children in public schools daily, and it’s connection to childhood obesity and diabetes? No? You have to go after our kiddie pools?? WHAT?!

According to Barbara Harper, author of Gentle Birth Choices and founder of  Waterbirth International, the FDA has seized a shipping container of AquaBorn birthing pools at a dock in Portland, Oregon, and have ordered agents to “inspect and destroy.”

Birth Pool, ready to work it's magic.

“They claim they are unregistered medical equipment, but they are not providing a way or means to get them registered. In

other words, if the medical authorities can’t stop waterbirth, then just have the FDA take away the

birth pools,” she explains in a lengthy discussion that began yesterday.

While birth pools are imported to Canada under the category “paddling pools” and some are imported here in the U.S. under the category “sitz baths,” they have no legal standing as medical equipment at this time.

As the medical community continues it’s attempt at treating pregnancy as an illness, we will continue to use and promote the methods of giving birth that we know are safe for our bodies and our babies. Pregnancy is not an illness, and a birthing tub is not a medical device to be regulated.

Read on for interesting facts about waterbirth from Heather at Witnessing Birth

Hip-hip-hooray for waterbirth!

During my labor & delivery rotation, I research birth methods and found a great article that presents some compelling evidence to support waterbirth. Titled “Waterbirths: A Comparative Study”, the article appeared in Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy in 2000; the study itself was completed in Switzerland by researchers Verena Geissbuhler and Jakob Eberhard. Looking at data compiled over a period of 6 1/2 years, 7508 births were analyzed with specific attention to birth method – bedbirth, waterbirth, and birthing stool were the options considered for this study.

So, let’s fast-forward to the results: episiotomies were more commonly performed on women who gave birth in the bed (35.45), followed by those who birthed on the stool (27.7%), with the lowest rate belonging to the women who birthed in water (12.8%). Talk about statistical significance! What’s more, bedbirthers also had the highest rate of 3rd- and 4th-degree lacerations (4.1%) and women who gave birth in the bed experienced more blood loss and pain than those who chose another birthing method. In contrast, maternal blood loss, use of pharmacological pain medicine, and dissatisfaction with the birth were decreased in women who had waterbirths, as compared to bedbirthers and those who used the birthing stool.

What’s more, the APGAR scores of babies born in water were significantly higher at 5 and 10 minutes when compared with babies born on land. No increase in incidence of infection or water aspiration after waterbirths was reported. In fact, the researchers posit “waterbirths may enhance the experience of birth.” Yeehaw!

The take-home message: alternative forms of birthing (such as waterbirth and usage of a birth stool) do not increase the risk of poor health outcomes for mom or baby and actually provide some protection against restrictive and invasive obstetrical procedures. Thus, waterbirth and usage of a birth stool should be integrated into maternity care settings, and used alongside classical birth management. What does this mean? Bring waterbirth into the hospital! Special note to nurses, doctors, midwives, and other members of the obsterical team: form a working group, research birth methods, make a policy (or update an old one to reflect current research), and change the face of maternity care at your hospital.

After all, waterbirth should not exist on the obstetrical fringe, huddled in the corner next to homebirth. Rather, introducing waterbirth and the usage of a birth stool into the hospital will pave the way for women to exercise choice with regard to birthing position and method, and fosters an empowering, respectful, caring environment. Always, careful vigilance, regular monitoring, and prompt treatment of emergencies is paramount. However, with a positive, trusting provider-parent-child relationship, cultivating more choices in childbirth has the potential to make a life-long impact on the way women view and experience birth.

So FDA, why this attack on birth pools?