Doctor, nurses, partner, doula… Oh my! There’s a place for everyone

Its part of the learning curve to figure out everyone’s role at birth and can be a little overwhelming. For those of you who like to know what’s going on, let me see if I can give you an idea.

Let’s break it down. First of all, you should know that your doctor plans to only be in the room with you for the very last moments of your birth.  Like, once they can see the head, they will be with you and stay until the birth of the placenta. Then they are saying, “Congratulations!” and are out the door. It’s not that they don’t care about you,  its just that they don’t want to be a disruption. So they do their work and wait to be summoned by the nurses.  At the very end, it’s very exciting, you can feel how close you are and the doctor flies in like a burst of light! They catch your beautiful baby and then are gone to let you mask in the glow of one of the sweetest babies you have ever seen!

The nurses are in and out of the room.  There’s no way to tell who you will get, and shifts change whether you want them to or not.  They are smiling at you while they monitor you and the baby.  They do vitals, listening to the babies heart rate and charting everything.  If you need ice chips or more pillows, they will be happy to grab them for you.  They are so sweet but usually have other moms to help too.

Your partner is your rock.  They aren’t leaving your side and are supporting you through every contraction. They are encouraging you,  massaging you and sneaking you honey straws. Your partner is a dream until they don’t know what to do anymore.  Here’s where the doula comes in. 

The doula is the gap filler, the runner, the second support to the partner and laboring mom. It can get tribal during labors, because well, I’ll say it… it hurts! Not only does it hurt but you also have to give in to the sensations (blog post about that here https://dreamcatcherbirth.com/2018/01/01/the-hardest-part-of-birth/). You can get interrupted, lose your flow and start getting anxious, scared, or feeling out of control. The doula is there to know what to say, and what positions to try next. The doula reminds everyone that this is normal, that we can continue to say, “yes” to the process, and that, “this is the feeling of your baby getting closer to meeting you”! She will also do little things like making sure your cup is full, you are emptying your bladder and that your partner doesn’t need anything. She is well educated in birth and can give you a really good idea of where you are in the process and will help you know your options when things come up. She is your constant support, ready to fill all sorts of roles.

Laboring mom, partner and doula are the three constants in the room. While nurses and doctors come in and out, the partner and doula are charged with maintaining a calm and supportive atmosphere, your doula especially is a sponge of things that could affect the couple.  Simple questions, comments, opened curtains are no match for her! 

Really, with a role for everyone, it works together really nicely. You can even add a photographer in there or best friend who’s only job is to hold your hand and it would be great.  

*Refreshed from my prior blog post in August of 2017. It’s too good not to share again.

Encapsulation, Raw Placenta Smoothies or both!

Convinced??

The cows say it, soooo… Eat Mor Plasinta 😉

Did you see I have options? You can encapsulate, have me prepare raw smoothies for you OR both. The benefits of eating more ‘plasinta’ await you.

Whats the process of placenta Encapsulation

I’m sure you know all the great benefits of placenta encapsulation, like increased milk supply, mood stability, and increased energy. So I’ll go ahead and explain the process. Once you decide you would like to move forward, and I have received your intake form that Ill attach below (and encapsulation deposit of $50), you will want to mention to your care provider that you will be taking your placenta home. I have not worked with the hospital you mentioned before, but all hospitals have a policy around this. Each is different, so you will want to find out yours. You will probably want to know how soon after the birth you will be able to take it (some hsp don’t allow you to have the placenta until you are discharged in case they need to send it to the lab). Also ask if they will store the placenta for you until you can have someone pick it up, or if you need to bring a cooler when you go into labor. The main reason I wouldn’t be able to complete the encapsulation for you would be if they had to send the placenta to the lab/pathology.
I work hard to have your capsules back to you in about 24 hours, so you can experience the benefits right away. My process of working with the actual placenta is easy. I simply cut the placenta into small pieces, place on my dehydrator until all moisture is removed, grind into powder and then put into capsules so you can take them like vitamins every morning. Each placenta will make anywhere from 80 to 160 capsules. I average at around 120. I dry the placenta until there’s absolutely no moisture remaining, so the capsules are shelf-stable. If you want to keep them for years I would suggest that you store them in your freezer.
As always feel free to reach out with any other questions or comments!

Comparison of Cincinnati Hospitals C-Section Rates and Reputations

I have been curious for a while about my cities c-section, and episiotomy rates for our individual hospitals. Up until the writing of this blog, I have just had the general statistic of Cincinnati hospitals having a 30% cesarean section rate and then each hospitals reputation. Their reputations would come to me through other birth workers and be passed around like a cute baby. I knew I had to share these reputations as a service to the pregnant population of Cincinnati. Anyone utilizing these hospitals should have all the information possible so they can make an informed choice. In this blog, I’ll share the general reputations and the statistics that I have been able to get my hands on.  As a warning, take my opinions with a breath. I understand that any woman can have an amazing birth anywhere and any negative comments from me, is only my understanding and is in no way meant to discount your experience. That being said, if you would like to share your experience, please comment below or contact me directly. You can help round me out, LOL.  

I know, as much as any birth worker, that the type of delivery a pregnant person has will depend largely on the provider, followed by the characteristics of the support team and finally by the practices of the hospital that is utilized (if she uses one of course). I can think of a provider I would recommend at most of my local hospitals who knows natural birth well and supports women making informed choices. As could be assumed, I highly recommend a laboring parent having a support team that will encourage her labor and delivery preferences. Ideally that will mean a supportive partner and a doula. But the statistics of our local hospitals, which give solid information about their tendencies, was new to me. Finding these statistics was challenging, and will be a work in progress. As I gain more information with my questioning, I will update this post.

Tri-Health Bethesda North Hospital: 10500 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 17.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4.5% (1.)

Bethesda North, or B. North, like we like to call it, has a pretty good name for itself, especially because this is the hospital that Dr. Daniel Bowen http://thebowencenter.com/ works out of. Bowen is the OBGYN who has a HUGE following of natural birth mommas, and a while back he was so kind as to even work as homebirth clients backup physician. Though he has moved away from being backup, his name is the most commonly mentioned as the go-to-guy for a natural birth. Too bad his office staff makes patients cry, #bekind.

Good Samaritan Hospital of Cincinnati: 375 Dixmyth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 23.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4% (1)

Good Sam has a poor reputation for natural birthers but is the place to be if a baby needs intensive help. This hospital, along with only two others has a Level 3 NICU, with the highest level 4, being at Cincinnati Childrens, a few blocks away.

Christ Hospital: 2139 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 27.2%

Episiotomy rate: 9.8% (1) Whoa!!!

Christ Hospital has a poor reputation for natural births, but… then there’s the respected Michelle Zamudio, CNM, who works with two others, Jacqui Martin and Jessie Bertsch. Michelle provides patients with incredible care. Search her on Facebook, with the key words ‘Cincinnati Midwife’ and the praises don’t stop. They are also certified as Bag Free https://www.ohiohospitals.org/ohiobagfree

Mercy Health- Anderson Hospital: 7500 State Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45255

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 24%

The rate of women who pursue a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC): 19%

The rate of women who are successful in their VBAC: 88%

Episiotomy rate: 7%

Epidural rate: 75%

All this information is self-reported to me from the manager of labor and delivery. It has not been assessed for accuracy by a third party.

Mercy Anderson follows the 10 steps for Successful Breastfeeding https://www.unicef.org/newsline/tenstps.htm, is Bag free and has a great reputation for those wanting a natural birth. It is also the home to Dr. Patridge and Dr. Varnau, http://bcwh.org/staff.htm who many homebirthers choose when they need a hospital birth. They are incredibly comfortable with allowing birth to unfold, while simultaneously being up to date on all the latest studies. Dr. Patridge is sure to keep the room laughing in the immediate postpartum, with her slightly crude jokes.

University of Cincinnati Medical Center: 234 Goodman Street Cincinnati, OH 45219

*Refused to answer my questions and does not self report to the public

University of Cincinnati has negative stories attached to its name and I have heard multiple clients say they would NEVER birth there again. They do have redeeming qualities. They have a Level 3 NICU, and are certified Bag Free. They also have a Centering Pregnancy program https://uchealth.com/womens-health/centeringpregnancy/  , which I am totally stoked about. Watch this YouTube video and you’ll see how transformative it can be to women’s prenatal care.  https://youtu.be/oixaRbS9Tww .

Resources:

  1. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/hospitals/search/list/location/Cincinnati%2C%20OH%2C%20USA/50

20% off Placenta Encapsulation services for due dates in January and February 2019

I know that there must be a lot of pregnant people out there who have been working to take care of others during this holiday season. Now I want to take care of you! Any clients who are due in January or February of 2019 will get 20% off of My Placenta encapsulation services, just for being you. That is a $50 value! Tell you friends.

Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwife-friendly laws and regulations tend to coincide with lower rates of premature births, cesarean deliveries and newborn deaths, according to a U.S.-wide “report card” that ranks each of the 50 states on the quality of their maternity care.

The first-of-its-kind study found a strong connection between the role of midwives in the health care system – what the researchers call “midwifery integration” – and birth outcomes. States with high midwifery integration, like Washington and Oregon, generally had better results, while states with the least integration, primarily in the Midwest and South, tended to do worse.

As with most population health studies, the statistical association between the role of midwives and birth outcomes doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Other factors, especially race…. read on at https://www.med.ubc.ca/midwifery-linked-to-better-birth-outcomes-in-state-by-state-report-card/?fbclid=IwAR1uUUv79adj85mgaCSichkCjGKpTMlYNogWxZXUTQwBqJFrEV0wRxuvkBI

Who should I invite to my birth?

A birth is one of those rare experiences in the client’s life where I am fully expecting her to be selfish. This birth is ALL about her.

I talk to every client about who she is thinking about having at her birth. Sometimes that discussion is really easy because she just wants her partner and one friend, who has seen multiple births, will do anything, and they are incredibly comfortable with. Other times it’s a situation where the mom has a whole list of people she’s thinking about. In that case we go through one by one and if she is at all unsure of someone then I ask her this simple question, “Does that person directly benefit YOU by being there?” A doula who you trust will support you well? Yes. A friend who is afraid of natural birth oh, that’s a no. Your mother-in-law whose super grounding to you, why yes! Someone who just wants to see a natural birth oh, sorry that’s a no, there’s plenty of YouTube videos for that. A sister who always knows what to say? Ummm, shes in. A friend or family member who doesn’t know when to be quiet? Sorry you’re out. You get the picture. Think critically and get comfortable with the idea of this being about Y-O-U. At the moment when your body is opening to allow your baby to come through, I promise you won’t regret it!

Traditional Chinese or Raw Method for Placenta Encapsulation… You choose

I’ve began offering placenta encapsulation to clients in the greater Cincinnati area 8 years ago, when I was trained by a local home birth midwife. Since then I have undergone a more traditional weekend workshop on placenta encapsulation and I’ve learned tons through my personal experience.

I began by offering the raw method of placenta encapsulation because there’s a belief that none of the potential benefits of the placenta are cooked out. I am now also offering the Chinese traditional method.

I know that there are many reasons that clients might prefer this. Some of which may be because of their religious beliefs, that they want to share their placenta capsules with someone else, or they simply feel safer consuming a placenta that has been steamed. Either way feel free to tell me your preference when you book me. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have!

Here’s to a happier and more whole postpartum season!