Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Favorite soaps and toothpastes for mama and baby

My favorite natural bar soap for grown-ups is Tom's of Maine Daily Moisture beauty bar.  It smells wonderful yet not with a strong perfume scent.  It is very moisturizing to my naturally dry skin and my husband loves it as well

The best natural toothpaste for the grown-ups that I've found is once again a Tom's brand - Tom's of Maine Whole Care Toothpaste with Flouride, spearmint flavor.

Finding toothpaste for my toddler has been tricky.  She is picky about the flavor and does not like any of the Tom's or Burt's Bees brands. She, however loves both of the following: Kiss My Face brand toothpaste with flouride (Berry Smart flavor) AND Kid's Spry brand Tooth Gel (Original flavor).  I don't use the flouride kids toothpaste daily since she gets plenty of flouride in her drinking water.  However, since I am prone to cavities I prefer giving her a pea sized amount of the flouride toothpaste about every other day.

Our favorite baby/kid's bath shampoo and soap is California Baby Calming Shampoo & Bodywash with French Lavender scent.  It smells better than the unscented California Baby soaps but is still very gentle on my daughter's skin and works wonderfully.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Deciding where to deliver my baby

I am in limbo.  Do I deliver with a Certified Nurse Midwife at a big hospital or do I attempt a natural birth in a birth center with a Certified Professional Midwife.  The hospital is 30 minutes by interstate highway, the birth center is 40 minutes by interstate highway.

I do not want to have the baby in the big hospital downtown but I prefer to have the baby in a hospital setting.  So, now I'm considering changing practices to a smaller hospital, further away that also has Nurse Midwives.  (My local hospital that is 15 minutes away has no Nurse Midwives that deliver there.)

I visited the birth center last week for a consultation and loved it but my concerns are the distance (not even the same state!) and of course, that I do not have safety net of full emergency services immediately if something goes bad.  Everything I've read has reassured me that statistically, a birth out of a hospital free of medical intervention is much safer than a hospital birth that is full of interventions.  That being said I still worry.  Maybe after my consult with the new Nurse Midwife that delivers at the smaller hospital, I'll have a better idea of what I should do.  The clock is ticking, now that I'm nearly 22 weeks along!

At least I have a supportive husband that is all for having the baby at the birth center that is in the next state :)
Link to another mama's blog about her wonderful experience at the birth center that ended in a transfer to the hosptial, CMC-Pineville, due to labor slowing down. Great pictures.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why I believe it is safer to have a vaginal birth than a repeat c-section...

Research consistently reassures me that VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is safer than a repeated cesarean.  Common sense tells me that natural is better than surgical birth. Unfortunately, VBAC is not the accepted medial norm at this time (at least not where I live in North Carolina.)  Many women who have had a c-section once are urged by their doctor to schedule a repeat c-section for baby #2.  The problem is that with each subsequent pregnancy, c-sections become riskier and riskier.  To me, the risk associated with this major abdominal surgery for death does not seem worth it.  There is some research that if mom goes into labor and attempts to have a VBAC but ends up with emergency c-section, her risk is higher than scheduling the c-section before labor (2).  But, the most recent literature that I've seen shows that overall, going for the VBAC is safer than the scheduled repeated c-section (1). Click the links below to find more information on this topic.

1. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2007 Feb 13; 176(4) http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/176/4/455

2. American Journal of Obstetric Gynecology. 2001 Jun; 184(7):1365-71 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11408854

3. International Cesarean Awareness Network http://ican-online.org/

Here are some excerpts from the article "Maternal Mortality Rates Rising in California" published March 4, 2010 on the website for ABC Worldnews with Diane Sawyer at http://abcnews.go.com/WN/changing-life-preventing-maternal-mortality/story?id=9914009
     "According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks behind more than 40 other countries when it comes to maternal death rates, with 11 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies when measured in 2005. More women die in the U.S. after giving birth than die in countries including Poland, Croatia, Italy and Canada, to name a few."
    "Doctors say it's hard to pinpoint exactly why the numbers are rising. Experts have cited the growing number of obese mothers as a big factor -- 20 percent of all pregnant women in the U.S. are now obese at the start of their pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control. These women are more likely to have underlying health conditions, including diabetes or asthma, which can lead to pregnancy-related complications.
     "The popularity of scheduled C-sections has also been cited by public health experts as a possible cause for rising maternal mortality rates. The latest data from the CDC shows that 31 percent of the mothers now choose to have C-sections, up 50 percent since 1996. Studies have repeatedly shown a higher rate of mortality in mothers who have a C-section delivery, especially those who have multiple C-sections.
'If the risks of a Cesarean birth are small, they're magnified greatly when you add many more Cesarean births each year," said Main, adding that "not that many women actually choose to have an elective C-section at the beginning, but it's easy to fall into a pattern of care that ends up resulting in a C-section.'
And, finally, a beautiful You-tube video about one mom's experience with a c-section then successful vaginal birth after cesarean:

My Grocery List

Shopping for organic and natural groceries can be a bit of a challenge where I live.  The closest natural grocery store with organic and local produce is in Davidson, NC which is about 25 minutes away.  Trader Joe's in the University area, is about 15 minutes away and has more affordable natural foods but they aren't local.  There is also Bradford Store in Huntersville and the Farmer's Market in Concord which, at the height of summer, have plenty of locally grown fresh produce, eggs, and meat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Preparing for baby

It has been a while since my last post.  FINALLY, at 19 weeks of pregnancy I have gone one whole week without vomiting.  Hallelujah.  Seriously, this pregnancy has not been fun so far.  Exciting, yes, but fun, absolutely not.  Now I just have a lot of nausea, especially if I go more than 3 hours without eating.  If I eat regularly throughout the day, however, and drink plenty of water, I'm managing to feel alright.

Next week is the much anticipated ultrasound that will allow us to know the sex of the baby.  Hmmm...  I'm still not sure if we want to know if it is a boy or girl.

My belly is big enough where I can't see my toes when I stand up straight.

Last week strangers started to ask if I'm pregnant.

I'm in maternity pants now.

My nipples are getting larger and darker. My breasts are getting bigger and heavier.

My SI joints are starting to ache.

I can't sleep on my belly anymore.

Last week I started to feel the baby move!

I sometimes envy women who say they "felt great" while pregnant because I am not so fortunate.  With sweet child #1, I was sick and uncomfortable just like this time but there was a very high point - my delivery went very well.  Also, I am very thankful that I had a healthy (although uncomfortable) pregnancy the first time.  I am praying this one goes so well.  Hopefully my efforts to keep it natural and intervention-free will contribute to a delivery without complications.  I already did my squatting exercises tonight in the shower to prepare for my natural birth.  Time to say my prayers and go to sleep.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breastfeeding Problems: Tongue-tie

I struggled with breastfeeding. I had nipple soreness and damaged skin on my nipples until my daughter was 3 months old!  My daughter was about two months old when two lactation consultants decided she had a mild tongue-tie.  They called the type she had, a posterior tongue-tie.  If you are having nipple pain and nothing seems to be helping, and especially if your baby is on the skinny side, please look into this.  There is a simple fix - it can be clipped.  First try to get help from a lactation consultant, since they are experts on this matter, and if they haven't considered it please suggest it as a possible problem.  I had excellent lactation consultants who didn't diagnose it until my daughter was two months old because she didn't have a severe tongue tie that was easy to see when she cried. Also, ask your baby's pediatrician about it because some can do the procedure called a frenulotomy, in their office.  If the pediatrician won't do it, an Ear, Nose, and Throat docotor (ENT) will do the procedure. The procedure is painless for your baby and done in the office. 

Watch a fabulous video about it on an episode of "The Doctors" at http://www.thedoctorstv.com/main/home_page?init_type=Feature&init_id=2192

Breastfeeding my daughter was never easy and I continued to nurse her until she was almost two years old. Knowing what I know now, If  sweet child #2 has any type of tongue-tie, that thing is getting snipped!

Pregnancy, here we go again.

I have known for 10 days now that I'm expecting my second child.  Mixed emotions swirl as I think about what is to come.  My husband and I planned this pregnancy. We are thrilled that after four months of trying we finally got a positive pregnancy test.  That being said, I'm not looking forward to the sickness and the overall discomfort that I experienced with my first baby.  I'd like to think I'm a pretty healthy person but I can honestly say that I am not nearly as fit as I was when I had my first baby, and that makes me a little worried.  I've got a few extra pounds on me, and a lot less muscle due to not exercising like I used to.  I have not started getting sick but I remember that with sweet child #1 it took 6 weeks before it hit.  I'm 5.5 weeks along now.  Today I felt more queasy than I did yesterday...uh oh.  I'm hoping that I'll have an easier time with this one but the pessimist in me says that it will be just as hard or worse soooo..... I'VE STARTED TO ASSEMBLE A PREGNANCY TOOL KIT!!!

Here's the glorious kit so far:
1. Sea-band wrist bands - supposed to relieve nausea without any medication, just pressure on wrists!
2. Ginger gum - for first trimester nausea (which really lasted much longer for me with baby #1)
3.Ginger Root tablets - also for nausea
4. Ginger candies - again for nausea
5. Ellasti Belli Organic Stretch Mark Miracle Caviar - hopefully to prevent any stretch marks and keep my belly skin nice and soft.

What do you think?  Am I fully armed for the first 20 months?  Do I need anything else?

Despite all my worries about the dreaded morning sickness, I'm super excited about feeling a baby move inside me again.  I am looking forward to a pregnant belly again.  And, I know I'm going to get some really cool pictures of my sweet girl snuggling up to my belly because she's already saying (at only 2 and 1/2) that's she's ready for a brother or sister!

UPDATE: I am 19 weeks pregnant now and none of this stuff worked too well.  I heard ginger helps other women and I've heard good things about sea-band too - but other women are not me!  My problem though, I think, is that I was SO SICK that I vomited daily and lost 7 pounds in my first trimester.  I don't think there was any help for me, natural or pharmaceutical. Once I was out of my first trimester, I took the medicine Zofran for nausea.  It helped some with nausea but gave me a terrible headache. Also, I felt terrible about taking a drug that could be bad for my baby (although my midwife assured me it is safe.)