Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#Giving Tuesday - Birth Boot Camp joins forces with Best for Babes

As part of #GivingTuesday, Birth Boot Camp® will be donating $75 from every online childbirth education class sale to Best for Babes from Tuesday November 27 through Tuesday December 4.

The Best for Babes Foundation is the only mainstream non-profit cause dedicated to helping women overcome the many barriers they face that end their breastfeeding journey too early. Their mission is to help moms Beat the Booby Traps®-the cultural & institutional barriers that prevent moms from making informed feeding decisions and from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals, whether that’s 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, or not at all; to inspire, prepare & empower™ moms; and to give breastfeeding a makeover and give moms the solutions they need to make it work and feel fabulous!

They are harnessing the power of celebrities, the media, advertising, corporations, health-care professionals, health and disease foundations, moms and breastfeeding advocates to put positive pressure on the Booby Traps® to increase breastfeeding rates and improve the health of moms and babies.

Birth Boot Camp® is committed to training couples in natural birth and breastfeeding through accessible, contemporary education and offers online childbirth classes.

Birth Boot Camp makes childbirth education easy, effective and accessible with live or online classes to best fit your needs and desires. Our unique and fun curriculum is geared towards couples working to have an unmedicated natural birth.

Sign up for the most comprehensive online natural birth classes available today and support a wonderful cause!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's CYBER MONDAY at Birth Boot Camp®

I have two exciting things to share with you in regards to Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth classes.  First, with Cyber Monday taking place on Nov 26, we are offering an amazing deal for 24 hours.  If you are looking for a complete - and fun - natural childbirth education course, you found it!


The 10-week course is being offered for $75 off the regular price.  You'll have access to classes for 3 months, receive the 154-page workbook, and the breastfeeding DVD "The Ultimate MRE" is yours to keep.  This is what people are saying about Birth Boot Camp online classes:

“Classes have been awesome. I don’t want this to sound creepy, but I wish I could come out to Texas and give you a hug! I just love listening to you…and you even have my husband intrigued, asking when our next popcorn/movie night will be!   I’m due on June 15th… getting closer…. trying to be patient and relax as much as possible. I feel so prepared — I’m actually excited. I can hardly wait! Thanks for a great resource!” ~ Kiera

“The videos gave us reassurance that we were not on some pilgrimage to pull off something no one had ever done before. It was great to hear that others had not only done it, but instinctually did it well. I’m very grateful our midwife recommended Birth Boot Camp for us to take.” ~Ashton

"Last night I was doula for a couple who had taken the online Birth Boot Camp classes. They were so prepared and mom and dad were both amazing! After 19 hours, they got the natural birth they wanted, a sweet 9 lb 1 oz baby girl. At one point in labor mom was very discouraged and dad was telling her how he was proud of her and how everyone was impressed with how far she had come. Then, he said, "Baby, Ina May and Donna Ryan would be proud of you too." It inspired her into a whole new round of "I can do this".

It is recommended that you not begin classes until you are at least 25 weeks pregnant.  If you would like to take advantage of this once-a-year sale, but aren't quite 25 weeks yet, go ahead and register and we'll delay your classes until you reach 25 weeks.  In the meantime, we will send out your workbook and breastfeeding DVD.  If there is a live instructor in your area, check out their schedule.  (Some instructors may be willing to take the Cyber Monday coupon if you register on Nov 26.)

The second exciting bit of news is, when you go to the Birth Boot Camp website, you have an opportunity to receive a FREE PREGNANCY NUTRITION REPORT.  We are so proud of it!  Not only is it beautiful - and full of scrumptious recipes - the information is invaluable.  The email pop-up will appear when you go to the website and it'll take you no time at all to complete.  The report will be emailed to you.  If you are not interested, simply "x" out of it and continue on to the website.  

Couples are having amazing Birth Boot Camp births all over the world and we are proud to bring modern, contemporary childbirth classes to you, no matter where you are located.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fear of Rupture

I received a Facebook message from someone wanting to have a VBA2C, but dealing with a lot of fear.  I sent the message on to Abbey Robinson. I asked if I could post it here.  I hope you will find it helpful if you too are wanting a VBAC but dealing with the fear that is spoon-fed to our VBAC mamas.

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy.  I, personally, had a VBA3C so I can definitely understand where you are coming from.  VBAC is a huge commitment and learning everything you can about the process is crucial to success.

I think that it’s normal to be fearful when you hear so many scary stories on the internet and through friends, family, and acquaintances.  From what I am hearing, your major concern is that you may not know/feel when/if you have a uterine rupture.  I will try to address this for you.

I never speak in absolutes regarding anything, so I’m not one of those people who will reassure you that there is no risk and everything will be fine.  Simply being pregnant and carrying a baby has risk.  Having a 3rd c/section places you at risk for many complications, much more than your 1st c/section would have been likely to cause.  Your risk of 
•    major complications is a whopping 7.5% (including but not limited to are listed as  uterine rupture, hysterectomy, additional surgery due to hemorrhage, injury to the bladder or bowel, thromboembolism, and/or excessive blood loss.)
•    Placenta accreteta: 0.57%
•    Risk of hysterectomy: 0.9%
•    Risk of blood transfusion: 2.26%
•    Risk of dense adhesions: 32.2%  (can cause life long pain/bladder and bowel problems/back pain (from everything sticking together) and will heavily complicate any future c/sections)  If you want statistics on a 4th c/section (if you plan to have more children, let me know.  The risk goes up many more times for each complication)

That leaves you with VBA2C and the risk of “uterine rupture”.

There was an Australian study of over 29,000 women who spontaneously went into labor where the risk of UR without augmentation (pitocin, prostaglandins, cytotec, etc.) with one prior incision was found to be a very low 0.15%  Once you introduce labor augmenting and induction drugs, the risk of uterine rupture increases to 1.91%.  HUGE difference.  From the studies that have been done on VBA2C or more, there isn’t much difference in the UR rates.  Cochrane reviews have identified true UR rates to be around 0.4% when no augmenting drugs were used.  Most of those cases were uneventful and mother and baby were healthy and fine.

SOOOOO, now that we’ve established that statistically, you have much better odds of having a VBAC with no uterine rupture than the risks of having a 3rd c/section, let’s talk about what you might feel and how to identify a UR.

Much of what we refer to as ‘uterine rupture’ is what is medically known as ‘dehiscence’ or a ‘uterine window’.  This is where the scar tissue begins to separate but a thin piece of tissue is left so the muscle doesn’t completely rupture but it’s so thin you might even be able to see through it.  Even though this ‘window’ is included in the statistics for ‘rupture’ when it is identified (usually when a mother is having a RCS either scheduled or after a trial of labor) It has mostly been found as harmless…usually no repair or special care is needed and it heals on it’s own.  There’s not enough information to know if it increases your risk of rupture for the next pregnancy or not.  But if you didn’t have it last time, there is no reason to believe you will this time.

Sometimes a rupture is painful.  Sometimes there is absolutely no doubt that you are having one, but as you have found out, it’s not always that way.

What WILL happen is your body will act differently.  If your uterus has a tear, it will not function like it did before.  It may become boggy and limp.  It may suddenly change shape.  You will probably have actual bleeding (bright red blood rather than normal bloody show).  As long as you are not medicated (don’t have an epidural or narcotics) you will feel that something is different. 

Much of the time, when a mother goes back for a section and there is a dehiscence, the OB will make a point to tell the mother that her uterus was rupturing, she is then terrified into scheduling a RCS for any future births.  The OB only knows what he has seen and the mother only knows what she is told and even though there was no negative outcome, both are scared of VBAC from then on.

As long as no harm was done, there is no reason to assume that it’s a dangerous situation.  The pregnant body is AMAZING, and if there is a problem with your uterus, most of the time it will send that signal to your body and labor may slow or even stop to protect itself.  Contractions may space out and be gentler on you than if you didn’t have a scar.  Embrace it and enjoy your labor.  Even when babies are stressed out, the body will get the message and contractions will not intensify, changing positions will get things going again, because baby is getting more oxygen and sending the signal to get going again.

NOW, catastrophic uterine rupture is what we are really afraid of.  It’s what we always *think when we hear the term “uterine rupture”.  This is when the baby literally breaks the uterus and is born into the abdominal wall.  You better believe that this will be painful and you will bleed and this is very scary and dangerous.  It accounts for a VERY VERY tiny percentage of the statistics.  It has most often been reported with labor induction and augmentation.  We hear a lot about this kind of rupture when we think of induction on a VBAC with cytotec.  

Find out if you have an anterior placenta (the placenta is on the front of your belly, near the old c/section scar).  An anterior placenta makes UR more dangerous and gives you only minutes to get to the operating room.

Do you have access to your OP reports from previous c/sections?  Do you know how you were sewn up?  Double sutures don’t matter quite as much as whether the OB took time and care sewing you up.

No one can promise you any specific outcome.  You have to be willing to be accountable for the risk of either VBAC or RCS.  No choice is 100% risk free…but statistically you are MUCH safer having a VBAC than you are having a 3rd c/section.

I will promise you that if you are not able to let go of the fear and apprehension, you will sabotage your ability to labor and give birth.  Please find a way to move past your fear.  I highly recommend a great childbirth class, yoga classes, stellar diet (to build strong, healthy muscle tissue), seeing a Webster-certified chiropractor (to make sure that everything is lined up correctly and prevent obstructed labor and decrease the risk of rupture) Make sure your chiropractor can come and adjust you during labor to help things move along or keep them going.  www.spinningbabies.com is the most amazing resource for getting and keeping baby in a good position so that you aren’t ‘stuck’ in labor.

Do everything within your power to have an uneventful labor and your risk of rupture goes down.  Belly breathing was HUGE for me in labor and I believe it made the difference between success and failure for me. 

Ultimately, you have to be willing to accept the risk of getting your baby out, one way or another.  Build yourself up and be positive if you go through with labor.  Read positive affirmations daily out loud. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Her First Period

When I was in 3rd grade, I read Judy Blume's "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret" and became obsessed with getting my first period.  Unfortunately, I had another 4 long years to wait.  It happened at church on a Sunday night in late October of 7th grade.  It was the best day of my life.  My mom took me to the store for pads and told me I was now a woman.  Wow.  From a girl to a woman just like that.

At almost 42, I can tell a big shift in my cycles.  Two days and I'm done.  My two oldest daughters have both started in the last year.  One was excited (then 7th grader) and the other, not-so-much (almost 6th grader).  They both knew about it, but you never really know what to expect until it happens.

I asked the question this week on my Banned From Baby Showers Facebook page if women remember the exact date they first started and if they were happy or upset.  I've thought a lot about the answers this week and wanted to talk about it a bit here.  Here is a sampling of the responses:

I was scared out of my mind!! My mother never told me anything and I had major cramping as a teenager. I literally thought I was dying!

I remember it was August and I was 14 1/2. I was a late bloomer and embarrassed that my mom told EVERYONE! My dad hugged me and said that his little girl was becoming a woman. I had people from out of state calling me. I was so upset.

Dec 1st, 7th grade. It was a good day. Both of my parents made me feel very special. Took me out to dinner to celebrate.

I don't remember the day but it was just before my 10th birthday and it was a Saturday. My mom was sleeping in and I got up to pee and made my discovery. My mom is not a nice person when she wakes up, but on that day when I woke her up to tell her what was going on she shot out of bed, got me what I needed, and went on and on congratulating me on my entrance into womanhood, she treated me like a queen and called me a "woman." It was a really good day.

May 12 1996, I was excited but embarrassed to tell my mom who never told me what was going on. She was red in the face while standing at the store trying to pick out pads.

My Mother was on the phone with some relative and she proceeded to blather the news out to everyone she could, despite the fact that pieces of my soul were crumbling into ashes. Because of this, my sister told me vs. our Mom when hers came, so she wouldn't call people and tell them.  I was so ANGRY that day. I felt ashamed and betrayed by my body and full of the sort of powerless rage that I'd never experianced before or after. I just HATED my body for doing that to me. I was a couple months shy of turning 11. I was too young.  It was horrendous. Not a good memory, sorry.    

I was in 7th grade and cried... I didn't want my childhood to end. I was mad that I was becoming grown up. Or so I thought in 7th grade. Plus my mom is not great with that stuff and we didn't really talk about it. My dad was much better about it. Still not a great day in my life.

I was eleven and mum was so happy she rented a movie and bought pizza.

I got mine Sept. 9th.  My mother had explained it to me but never actually mentioned blood. I knew I would get my period. I knew it meant I could become pregnant etc...I came home from school feeling awful and went to the bathroom. There was BLOOD!!!! I had watched enough episodes of Emergency - yes, dating myself - to know that internal bleeding meant I was going to DIE! After my mother got me to stop screaming, she found it all very amusing - I did not.

Thursday, May 12, in 6th grade. I've always said that nothing ever happens on Friday the 13th. It's Thursday the 12th that will get ya.

I was 12. I woke up and used the bathroom and saw blood in my underwear. It was long-awaited because I had an older sister who had it. I was so excited!!

Summer camp and completely uninformed and unprepared. Totally terrible.

13 years old. I was home in bed, with strep throat. My mom sat down on the steps of our house and cried, "My baby's growing up!"

Now that I'm older I appreciate my body and the miracle of motherhood, but I pray that all my girls are much older and more prepared when they first start.

I do remember my first cycle. My mom had just moved out so it was just my dad & I. I woke up several times that night with horrible cramps, was in & out of the bathroom thinking maybe I had to have a bowel movement....  By the morning I knew what was going on (it was pretty much like labor in that way).  My father had heard me all night getting up & down & had a pretty good idea of what was happening, poor guy. He ran out that morning & picked me up some pads & let me stay home from school!  Major props to my father for taking care of me in what must have been a very awkward situation for him. I was 15.       

I was mortified, but she (mom) was all happy and wanted to take me out to lunch. And I told her I didn't want lunch or to ever talk about it again. Also, to make sure no one said anything to me about it. And that was that.

I couldn't wait to get my period until I got it. As soon as I saw the blood, I thought "Oh no." Darn you Judy Blume and your romanticizing of it!

September 11th 2001. Yep. I was 14, my mother was in the states (we live in Canada) so it was a bad day. We didn't know where she was, couldn't get a hold of her, not to mention. I couldn't talk to my dad about these things so I was very embarrassed and just kept it a secret, luckily my mom had prepared me well so I knew what to do but I just needed my mom!  I had really bad cramps, was really emotional and on top of that scared about 9-11. When my mom came home a week later she walked into my room at midnight, I remember so clearly... before bed I had done my own laundry because I was embarrassed my dad would find out, so I had them folded by my bed... when she walked into the room I was half asleep and I said 'Mom!" and pointed at my clothes (like that explains it) and first she was like 'What? I dont get it.. What? You did the laundry? Wow you never do laundry.. WAIT!" and she knew just like that. 

A few final thoughts...
As embarrassing as it may be for you as the mother, remember how you felt -- or were made to feel -- when you first started.   If you think it is the most awful week of the month, don't tell your daughter(s) that.  She'll come to expect it.  It's just like birth - if you hear enough awful stories, you'll think that is what it is like for everyone.  It's terrible to think of a young girl scared of what is happening to her and the adults in her life are not helpful.  

While a menstrual cycle may be inconvenient and even uncomfortable, it is a sign that your body is working right.  It is an honor to be a woman and having a period each month reminds us of the sacredness of our bodies.  Arm her with the facts, but more importantly, empower her with the joy of growing older, into a lovely young woman whose body can and will do amazing things.