Birth Center:  More than a facility!

Birth Center: More than a facility!

When I first experienced the birth center model of care as a client, I was so focused on the excellent prenatal care and different model for birth that I did not realize “birth center” encompasses so much more.  As we explored the model of care in our start-up phase looking at other birth centers, the depth of the community support and access point for the medical system was our goal.

The Business of Being Born recently featured the Health Foundations Birth Center in Minnesota, who has beautifully achieved this “birth center” model of care with the depth of services that have come to define the birth center experience.  Amy Johnson-Grass, the birth center’s founder and the current President of the American Association of Birth Centers explains:

We are unique because we are a lot more than just a birth center and midwifery practice. We are truly an integrative practice with a huge spectrum of offerings on-site.  We are not only familiar with herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, and counseling, but we are also prescribers. Plus, we have other providers that work with us too, like chiropractors and acupuncturists.  We’re a lactation center. We’re an education center with lots of different class offerings. And, we offer quite a few services for women, outside of maternity care, like annual exams, problem visits, and contraception offerings. This continuity of care (even extending to their kids with our Pediatricians!) really allows for us to focus on community building, which is so important because so many of us lack it. So we hold many events to continue and build those connections ranging from larger gatherings like Every Woman Can to smaller retreats, family picnics, and annual Valentine’s Day party…during Christmas we have about 100 kids come through to see Santa!

Read the entire interview and see more photos of the beautiful birth center.

Does early menstruation increase risk of GDM?

Does early menstruation increase risk of GDM?

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers linked an early start to menstruation with a greater risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) later in life.

After collecting data from 4,749 women, researchers determined that women who had begun menstruating before age 11 were 51% more likely to have gestational diabetes than those who started menstruation at 13 years.

A summary shared by Contemporary OB/GYN  by Judith M. Orvos and Miranda Hester  stated:

The investigators believe their findings illustrate that young age at the start of menarche may be a way of identifying women who are higher risk of developing GDM. They say that further studies are needed to confirm these initial results and to illuminate the role of early start of menarche and later risk of GDM.

Does your experience line up with the research? Wondering what you can do to decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes? Ask your midwife at your next appointment.

Women need a whole year to recover from childbirth despite the ‘fantasy’ image of celebrity mothers, study claims

Women need a whole year to recover from childbirth despite the ‘fantasy’ image of celebrity mothers, study claims

Did you expect to be back to “normal” within six weeks of your baby’s birth? Fitting into your previous clothes, returning to your former energy level, and being capable of the same physical tasks as you were pre-pregnancy?  I think a lot of us did, as we are inundated with photos of celebrities who have “bounced back” so soon after birth. But the reality of it tends to be something much different.

New research from Dr, Julie Wray of Salford University concludes that not only can it can take up to a year to recover from childbirth, but most women are dissatisfied with the care they received postpartum, beginning with their stay at the hospital.

An article from The Daily Mail summarizes:

The new mothers Dr Wray spoke to said that the six week recovery time was a ‘fantasy’. Many were disappointed by the six week check, which all mothers receive from either their midwife or their GP. Some did not receive a physical examination, and others were not told whether or not their bodies had recovered yet.  The psychological effects can also take much longer to recover from.  Dr Wray’s study found that hospital wards can have a negative impact on women’s ability to recoup and celebrate the birth of their child because of the constant stream of visitors and the unfamiliar rules and regulations.

The women in the study felt that recovery time takes longer than six or eight weeks, and therefore postpartum support should continue for longer than six to eight weeks as well.

We agree! Do you need more support? Call to schedule an appointment, come to one of our weekly support groups, or just pop into the office and say hi.

Read the entire article here.

Sing to your bump: lullabies to babies in the womb decrease crying when they are born

Sing to your bump: lullabies to babies in the womb decrease crying when they are born

Last fall, a few Babymoon staffers were lucky enough to attend a day-long seminar with Penny Simkin, renowned author, physical therapist, childbirth educator and doula. The day was chock-full of knowledge and “Penny-isms,” including Penny’s long-time insistence that parents-to-be sing to their babies in utero.

As usual, Penny was spot on with her advice, as new research from the University of Milan suggests that babies who are sung to in the womb will cry less during the newborn period.   summarized the study in the Telegraph:

A study of 160 women found that those who sang lullabies both during pregnancy and after giving birth had babies who spent significantly shorter periods crying. Around 170 pregnant women were split between those who were told to sing lullabies in the months immediately before and after birth and those who were not.

The babies in the singing group generally cried 18.5 per cent of the time compared to 28.2 per cent of the time in the group who were not sung to.  Meanwhile for those with colic – excessive or frequent crying where there is no ill health – the babies who had enjoyed prenatal lullabies tended to cry for about a quarter of the time.

So let’s get singing! What songs will you serenade your your little one with before he or she arrives?

Influence of Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact During Cesarean Surgery on Rate of Transfer of Newborns to NICU for Observation

Influence of Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact During Cesarean Surgery on Rate of Transfer of Newborns to NICU for Observation

Another study with shocking results.  Midwives all over are stunned.  KIDDING!  Take this entire study to your friends who ask you about evidence based care and the standard treatment of newborns in a traditional inpatient setting.  Here is the conclusion:

The proportion of newborns transferred to the NICU for observation was significantly different and lower after implementing skin-to-skin contact immediately after cesarean birth (Pearson’s χ2 = 32.004, df = 1, p < .001). These results add to the growing body of literature supporting immediate, uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact for all mother–newborn pairs, regardless of birth mode.

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