Commonly known as SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is sadly taking away about 2500 infants lives a year in the United States. It is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, because the cause is usually unknown. There are factors of things that can eliminate SIDS from happening though. Because of raising awareness, the 2500 deaths/year is still 50% less than it was in the 90’s! More babies are sleeping on their backs now- which is a huge eliminator of SIDS!
SIDS usually occurs while the infant is sleeping. Putting a baby on his or her stomach is one of the biggest contributor to SIDS. Many infants have not developed the strength to roll over when they can’t breath. Instead, they just stop breathing and their heart stops beating. As a parent, I don’t think anyone wants to be guilty of leading their child to suffering.
Because of this, providing tummy time can be such a valuable concept to improve the infants strength in coordination. It used to be that tummy time was encouraged around 3 months, but now they recommend infants to have tummy time right away. With supervision, the parents can help the infant to learn how to control his or her head and neck early on, so that they can avoid suffocation.
Here are some other factors that contribute to SIDS: (taken from Mayo Clinic)
- Between 1 month and 6 months of age.
- Premature or of low birth weight.
- Black, American Indian or Native Alaskan.
- Placed to sleep on their stomachs.
- Born to mothers who smoke or use drugs.
- Exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.
- Born during the fall or winter months.
- Recently recovered from an upper respiratory infection.
- Siblings of a baby who died of SIDS.
Also at risk are babies whose mothers had:
- Inadequate prenatal care
- Placental abnormalities — such as placenta previa, a condition where the placenta lies low in the uterus, sometimes covering the opening of the cervix
- Low weight gain during pregnancy
- Their first pregnancy at younger than 20 years of age
- History of sexually transmitted diseases or urinary tract infections
So the clip above talks up midwives, but I don’t know if I’m convinced that is safe. I feel like sometimes the intervention of medicine needs to be used because babies don’t exactly want to come out when they need to. When women are overdue, it can cause serious complications for both the mom and the baby. Even though I didn’t want to be induced, I realize why it was a necessity. My baby’s heart beat started and activity level began to decrease on the day I was induced. This was caused by my placenta calcifying. If a placenta calcifies, it does not deliver adequate nutrients to the baby, and my baby could have been a still born.
Anyway, I debated between the two options during my prenatal care. I heard great things about midwives, and their ability to coach you through delivery, but I also knew their limitations about not being able to give a C-section in case of an emergency.
I also looked into home births and giving birth at birthing centers. Home birth just sounded like a mess for me. I know that cleaning up would be a part of the service for home births, but I simply just didn’t want to have the risk of getting blood stain on the carpet or on my bed from me giving birth at home. hahaha. I spoke with a midwife from a birthing center and asked her what happens if I am needing a C-section. She told me that, in case of an emergency, I would just need to go to the hospital. Then I started to suspect that I was having twins. I asked what would happen if I had twins. She told me that by law, she had no authority to deliver twins or more. I was determined to give birth naturally, and midwives are trained to coach women through unmedicated births. The thought of having to be rushed to the hospital in case of an emergency just scared me, so I decided that this route was not for me.
So for my first prenatal visit, I went to a doctor’s office. A male OBGYN. I couldn’t find a female OB in the area that my insurance covered, so I went on ratemymd.com to read reviews, and decided to go with the doctor that I found. I was uncomfortable with the idea that a man who isn’t my husband to be examining me. So I had my husband come in for my first visit. I had a pap exam and a breast exam. Very knowledgeable man– but I wasn’t warned about the breast exam. That just made me more uncomfortable about continuing prenatal care from a male doctor.
So I looked hard for a female OB. Well I guess I just had no luck with finding a decent female OB that my insurance covered, because the one I went to– she just seemed to underestimate my knowledge on things all the time, just because I was a first time patient. I honestly felt like she treated me like a kindergardner when I was asking her questions.
So, because I was dead set on delivering naturally, and having heard great things about midwife, but was hesitant to do it at home or at a birthing center, I found out about Certified Nurse Midwives!! To me, this was the best of both worlds. I was able to deliver at a hospital, where equipments were available in case of an emergency, and I was with a midwife, who did not make me feel uncomfortable during any of my prenatal exams, and who coached me through labor. I’m so glad I didn’t settle. If I have to do it all over again, I’m going through a Certified Nurse Midwife from the beginning. The great thing about them is that they also have prescription previledges, so whenever you need medications during or after your pregnancy, they can prescribe the right ones for you 🙂
Choosing a doctor or a midwife is totally up to an individual. The chance of you delivering vaginally increases dramatically by going through a midwife. There is no clear research to why. My assumption is just because midwives typically try to avoid a C-section, because they are not certified to do that. So unless it is a HUGE emergency, they will coach you through delivering vaginally.
Which is safer? Medicated birth or unmedicated birth? Well, before I went through it myself, I would have definitely said “unmedicated,” because you don’t have to risk the side effects or permanent damage possibly caused by the strong drug, epidural.
After contracting for a couple of weeks and having barely any progression with dilation, my midwife decided that it is probably best to induce me using oxytocin. They decided to induce me also because my baby was making less movements, and his heart beat was dropping. He wasn’t getting the kind of nutrient that he needed from being overdue, and the placenta beginning to calcify. Oxytocin is the hormone released in a woman’s body when she begins to contract, and it is also released to trigger her mammal glands to supply milk for the baby. The thing about oxytocin or Pitocin is that it begins to make your body ton contract very fast. When I was finally admitted to the hospital, I was at a good start. I had finally dilated to 4 cm after 10 days of contractions that came every 6-10 minutes. My contractions were still coming at about the same frequency, and maybe slightly more intense. Once the Pitocin was inserted in my body through an IV fluid, my contractions began to come rapidly. I had 15 seconds to breathe in between contractions that lasted 2-3 minutes. Instead of breathing, the abdominal pain just triggered me to vomit. I was beginning to black out from lack of breathing and my baby’s heart beat was going down again. I was put on oxygen to help deliver oxygen to both me and the baby. The nurse checked to see how far I was dilated. 4.5 cm– after 3 hours of not being able to breathe and vomiting nothing but stomach acid at that point. One of the nurses suggested and epidural, and at that point- I said I wanted it.
Once I had the epidural, I could breathe again. I could have probably slept through labor- it was so easy. After 3.5 hours of getting the epidural, I was dilated to 10 cm and fully effaced. I pushed the baby out in 30 minutes, and I did not have serious side effects or permanent damage that I was worried about. In my situation, the epidural helped me to progress through labor quickly, because it allowed my muscle to relax. It allowed me to have a very positive birth experience.
The American Pregnancy Association states the pros and cons of an epidural.
What are the benefits of epidural anesthesia?
- Allows you to rest if your labor is prolonged
- Relieving the discomfort of childbirth can help some woman have a more positive birth experience
- Most of the time an epidural will allow you to remain alert and be an active participant in your birth
- If you deliver by cesarean, an epidural anesthesia will allow you to stay awake and also provide effective pain relief during recovery
- When other types of coping mechanisms are not helping any longer, an epidural may be what you need to move through exhaustion, irritability, and fatigue. An epidural may allow you to rest, relax, get focused and give you the strength to move forward as an active participant in your birth experience.
- The use of epidural anesthesia during childbirth is continually being perfected and much of its success depends on the care in which it is administered.
What are the Disadvantages of epidural anesthesia?
- Epidurals may cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop. For this reason your blood pressure will be routinely checked to make sure there is adequate blood flow to your baby. If this happens you may need to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen
- You may experience a severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid. Less than 1% of women experience this side effect from epidural use. If symptoms persist, a special procedure called a “blood patch”, an injection of your blood into the epidural space, can be done to relieve the headache
- After your epidural is placed, you will need to alternate from lying on one side to the other in bed and have continuous monitoring for changes in fetal heart rate. Lying in one position can sometimes cause labor to slow down or stop
- You may experience the following side effects: shivering, ringing of the ears, backache, soreness where the needle is inserted, nausea, or difficulty urinating
- You may find that your epidural makes pushing more difficult and additional interventions such as Pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction or cesarean may become necessary
- For a few hours after birth the lower half of your body may feel numb which will require you to walk with assistance
- In rare instances, permanent nerve damage may result in the area where the catheter was inserted.
- Though research is somewhat ambiguous, most studies suggest some babies will have trouble “latching on” which can lead to breastfeeding difficulties. Other studies suggest that the baby may experience respiratory depression, fetal malpositioning; and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, which may increase the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies.
I did not need any assistance with forceps or vacuum, cesarean or episiotomy. I had the Pitocin, but not because I got the epidural- but I had the Pitocin so I felt a need for an epidural. I experienced shivering from the epidural a little bit, but that went away after I increased the dose.
Anyway, I feel that it is entirely up to the woman to decide what she think is best. Going medicated or unmedicated. I loved going through a midwife, because she did not just give me medication to make her job easier. I often hear of doctors that do that, because they have so many patients. It is important to listen to a doctor if they feel that some other intervention may be necessary, but if the woman feels that she can go through childbirth without any intervention, I feel that the doctor should listen to her request, as long as the woman and the baby don’t look like they are at a terrible risk.
Experts from the American Academy of Pediatric suggest that using a pacifier is not recommended, especially in the first month of the baby’s life because it can cause nipple confusion for breastfed babies, if breastfeeding is not well established.
I don’t think it is right for parents to give the baby a pacifier when he or she is crying because of hunger. However, babies cry a lot because that is one of the only ways they communicate. You should learn to pay attention to your baby’s cry to figure out why he or she is crying.
Breastfed babies generally don’t overeat, but can overeat if you offer your breast every time they begin to cry. Their stomachs are too small to hold all of that milk, so often times, babies will purge from the excess milk that he or she had consumed. You don’t want to train your baby to overeat.
Pacifiers are a difficult habit to break, once a baby becomes accustomed to it. But when your baby just begins to cry and cry, and you do everything from talking to him, singing to him, massaging him, swaddling him, turn on background noise… then the pacifier can help.
Although the American Academy of Pediatric does not recommend it, my baby’s pediatrician has, and so did the nurses at the hospital. My son is going on 3 weeks old, and he has breastfeeding well-established. He hated the pacifier and didn’t want to have anything to do with it for a long time, but when we gently let him try to suck on it, he is beginning to take it.
It shouldn’t be the first thing you do when a baby begins to cry- but when all else fails, your baby can be comforted from the sucking of the pacifier. You don’t want your baby to overeat and you certainly don’t want your baby to suck on his or her thumb all the time. You can always throw away a pacifier to break the habit.
Here are the facts that the media informed the public.
- autism rates had increased since the introduction of MMR
- MMR vaccine lead to regression of milestones in children
- MMR caused a form of autism associated with bowel disorders
- MMR, but not the single vaccines of measles, mumps and rubella, overwhelms the immune system
But just as the link suggested, none of these facts actually have FACTS that support them.
Basically I don’t believe that immunization causes autism. There may be a random correlation that children who are immunized tend to be autistic. However, there hasn’t been enough evidence to prove that immunization causes autism.
The real fact is that Measles, Mumps and Rubella isn’t a problem in children anymore. Hepatitis B isn’t a problem anymore. Kids no longer have to be paralyzed because of Polio. Children don’t need to suffer from the chicken pox anymore. Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis aren’t the leading cause of death for children anymore.
Statistics on infant mortality rate speaks very loudly. I quickly compared it with countries that are not in the best condition and have less opportunities for immunizations. United States is doing a lot better compared to 50 years ago, and compared to developing countries.
Immunizations have helped society far more than anyone could ever imagine. As a mother of an infant, I’m so grateful that my baby can be less at risk for deadly diseases because of vaccines.
The idea of giving formula to your child just never intrigued me. I feel like I grew up knowing that breast milk is the best thing you can give to your baby, and there is nothing that can replace that. However, now that I’m nursing, I realize the challenges many moms go through. Nursing is demanding.
The high demands give you great rewards though. I can tell that my son feels a deep bond with me when he is being nursed. Because I’m not a stay-at-home-mom, I pump so that others can feed him while I’m away. He has a difficult time in taking a bottle from someone else. It’s a special bond that nobody can really explain, unless you go through it yourself.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you exclusively breastfeed your baby until 6 months and to continue for at least the first year of their life. There are many benefits to breastfeeding such as reducing the risk of infections, reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), higher IQ levels, being cost efficient and the list goes on and on.
Formula is the next best alternative for babies. Some mothers should not breastfeed because of their medical condition. HIV positive individuals can pass on the virus through breast milk. Some babies have a difficult time keeping breast milk down because of allergies to what the mother is eating. Formula may be the best alternative, if you cannot figure out what he or she is allergic to. My baby’s pediatrician recommends every moms to avoid dairy, nuts, and eggs for a little while to see if the baby can keep milk down. If your baby can’t keep food down, giving formula is not the worse thing you can do. It’s better to give formula than to starve your child. Formula can’t give the same protection and immunity breast milk can provide for babies, but it does provide extra vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the child’s growth.
This blog caught my attention about induction with acupuncture. According to the author who is an acupuncture specialist, average labor time with acupuncture is only 4-5 hours! Most first time moms according to hospital statistics are 12-14 hours, so that’s quite the difference!
Now the points they use are not even something you would think of. They are in your ankle and your feet, so there isn’t need to worry about needles going through your belly and possibly harming the child. Below is a picture of the points.
Another blog also references a study that was done in Europe to measure the effects of acupuncture on induction. Unlike pitocin, a common drug used to induce labor, acupuncture points needles to specific pressure points that triggers the body to prepare for labor. The study proved that acupuncture was effective, compared to those who did not get any treatment. However, the timing varied for every patient. The point is, unlike forcing a labor, acupuncture just prepares your body to deliver a baby. If the baby is not ready to come out, the baby will remain in the womb.
In conclusion, I’ve had it done three times now, and I’m still pregnant. However, I tried almost everything else in the book, and acupuncture seems to be the most effective. After my first time having the needles in my pressure points, I felt contractions immediately. Until then, I never really felt contractions. After my second time, my contractions have gotten stronger. After my third time, my cervix is beginning to dilate. I can’t say my labor is going to be 4-5 hours, but I at least know that it is preparing my body to go through labor. Let’s hope that the baby decides to come out soon before I have to be induced with pitocin.
Something I never considered doing, and I still don’t think I will do it- but cord blood banking was brought to my attention when I became pregnant. I guess it is because cancer doesn’t run in my family, and how costly it is to store the blood in the umbilical cord just turns me away from it. Saving the cord blood, however, is not only beneficial for cancer treatments but has proven to treat juvenile diabetes and brain injuries that could not have been treated otherwise.
I have read about how saving the cord blood has changed the lives of some families. It does seem like a very beneficial thing to do. The cost of storing it is probably what gets to me the most. The initial cost to have a company store cord blood is anywhere from $900-$2100. Then you have to pay $100 annually to have them store it for you. Since it is a new thing I’m not really sure if it is worth it. I guess I mainly want to know what others think. I’m definitely not storing my cord blood for this pregnancy, mainly because we do not want to come up with the money to store it. However, I am thinking about it for future pregnancies. I just don’t know if it’s worth paying that much.
I started going to a chiropractor beginning at the third trimester of my pregnancy. Although I wasn’t carrying a big baby, or carrying big at all, it was so hard for me to do daily tasks without feeling severe back pain. During my first visit, the doctor had a difficult time adjusting me because my muscles were cramped up due to all of the hormones that my body was producing. After a few visits, I stopped having sleep disturbances or excruciating back pain that prevented me from doing daily tasks.
However, your joints are loose because of hormones called relaxin, it is so easy for your bones to be out of alignment again. Therefore it is important to keep going. Some people think that this is a technique on how chiropractors try to make money, but really- you do have a choice. If you don’t want to go back and spend the money on chiropractic care, then don’t.
Recent studies have indicated that women who seek chiropractic care during pregnancy have less complication with labor and delivery. Your child is less likely to be breech. Know that chiropractic care isn’t going to fix any chronic diseases, but it can be very beneficial in many ways. Too many people think chiropractic care is a scam, but I don’t. I can’t speak from experience about an easier labor, but I definitely know that chiropractic care has helped reduce my excruciating back pain and allowed me to do day-to-day activities more promptly. My baby also hasn’t been breech and has dropped closer to my cervix since receiving chiropractic care- which is a good indicator of less complication during childbirth 🙂