Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Empowered Birth Awareness Week

Every year, starting on the first Monday of September for entire week.
Women (and Men) come together to celebrate Empowered Birth.
The triumph and truths of natural birth, of getting involved and making your own choices on how you want to bring your baby into this world.


"Becoming educated about empowered birth choices and following your instincts for what you truly want can lead to a happier more fullfilling birth. To some this means home birth, birthing at a birth centre, hospital or even for some an educated choice of cesarean.
Your birth, your privacy and your baby's gentle beginnings can easily be railroaded by medical caregivers through unnecessary interventions. Educate yourself! And take charge of your birth, every decision counts! This journey can be one of the most amazing times of your life, if you claim it. It's the journey from being a woman to being a mother."

Last night I mean in the wee hours this morning when I was wide awake, I started watching 16 and pregnant on MTV. Honestly I don't know why, that show infuriates me on so many levels but in my foggy state at 3:00am I couldn't turn it off. I'm not even going to comment on the age thing and how even though the show is trying to portray the "reality" of teen pregnancy it's actually glamourizing it by making these kids celebrities. Anyhoo, that's a post and half by itself. What was really annoying last night this morning was in more than a few episodes the girls were induced prior to their due dates, or put on pitocin immediately after being admitted to "jump start" labour. Never were they given the chance to progress naturally. No wonder an epidural is needed, they've just tricked your body from early labour, where your body is preparing itself for delivery. Your body can cope with the increase intensity of contractions when allowed to do so on your time
Birth is not a race against the clock!
I feel such sadness when I see someone who's uneducated about birth and their options- fully relying on the professionals who are doing what's best for the "baby" but also what's best for their schedule. Using scare tatics about fetal distress after they just pumped you full of synthetic hormones to speed up labour. The domino effect of interventions that result and the over-use of "emergency" Cesareans are just unacceptable (to me). I don't want to heap all medical caregivers into the same pile, there are many out there who promote natural birth and respect your birth choices but you must educate yourself and make your wishes KNOWN! Always be your own advocate when it comes to your healthcare.

Of course there are complications that can arise, things can wrong and thankfully we live in a time with so many medical advancements. Life saving advancements for both mother and baby that without would have devasting results. But some where down the line, women have learned to not trust their bodies, not trust their abilities to birth naturally and to use these advancements as routine practices.

Trust your body, educate your self, find a healthcare provider you can trust.
and promote Empowered Birth Awareness!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A year of Bloggin'

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started this wee little blog!
A lot has changed and yet a lot has stayed the same.
I think I've found my groove here, I enjoy letting the cat out of the bag here.
It's therapeutic, it's fun and it's great to have something to look back on.
I like reading past posts, remembering how I was feeling at that time,
seeing pictures of my sweet babe hitting milestones and or just being adorbable (or not so adorable).
It's been a great place for family to come and get their Oliver fix whenever they want!

Basically I started the blog to capture our first year together as a new family, a new mama, papa and babe. I didn't capture my pregnancy well (at all really) other than a few photos here and there, which I am sad about now. I also didn't capture Oliver's birth which I am really sad about. But more on this in another post. So this blog was a way to document all the trials and triumphs we experienced together.

Today, we are still experiencing many firsts. Although things seem to be on a steadier pace. Oliver is still changing and growing (quickly) just not at warp speed any more. It still amazes me that he's ours.
Our DNA created him. And at night when I go in for a final check before bed and he's snoring and sleeping half on his tummy and half on his back in what looks to be a terribly uncomfortable position.
My heart wells up and skips a few beats. I grew him, I birthed him and I get to Mother him.
And it's pretty incredible.

I am looking forward to what's in store for us in the future but really enjoying where we are now.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my little blog,
I hope you continue to do so:)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Aligned and Well

So my video "Down There for Women" arrived last week!
The video is designed to help alleviate female ailments such as; menstrual cramps, pelvic floor disorder, Cesarean/Post Delivery, sexual dysfunction, incontinence and promote sacral health and hip health.
It consists of 5 really simple exercises that only take a few minutes to do.

1/. Calf stretch
2/. Double Calf Stretch
3/. Pelvic Listing
4/. Knee Squeeze
5/. Wall exercise

I won't explain how to do each exercise, you'll have to buy the video for that!
Click here for a video clip and here to purchase it from the Aligned and Well website.
*** I just read on their FB site that all videos will be available for download in about a month****

I was totally shocked by just how tight my calves actually were! And that my calves could and do effect my pelvis in so many ways, but after doing these exercises for a couple of days in a row the relationship is obvious. Many of us tend to tuck our pelvis in (which also leads to the dreaded mom butt!... flat, no cheeks mom butt!) which results in a hunching/aging posture and also weakens our pelvic floor.
Try standing up straight and tuck your pelvis in... you can't without rounding your back. So stand up straight and stick that butt out ladies (and gents)! Get your J-Lo on! Go for the juicy doubles... ok I think you get the idea.  It's good for the pelvis, back and the whole body!
Next on my Aligned and Well agenda is the Smart Digestion... (aiding with ailments such as chronic constipation, acid reflux, IBS, heartburn, bloating and difficulty swallowing)
though I'll probably wait until it's available for download.

I have been totally addicted to Katy's blog since I discovered it a few weeks ago.
She had a baby a few month back and has all kinds of amazing tips on keeping your baby aligned and well, and great tips for a natural pregnancy and birth. Seriously I cannot get enough!

Check out her "You Don't Know Squat" Post,  to get a step by step instruction of how to squat.
It's not the typical lunge/squats you're used to. I have been adding these to my daily routine as well.
Slowly trying to increase the amount of time I am able to squat for. These are great for overall health but very much so in pregnancy and preparing for delivery!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ontario Needs Birth Centres!

Please join me in the support of Ontario Midwives and the campaign for Birth Centres in Ontario!
It's no secret, I have lots of love and admiration for midwives (especially my beloved Stratford Midwives!) You can read more on my personal experience here and here. Supporting this campaign is a no brainer for me, but in case you are unfamiliar with midwives and what birth centres are all about....

PLEASE read this

"So far more than 6000 people across the province have taken action by sending an e-postcard in support of birth centres to their MPP.   We need to continue to keep the pressure on so please encourage your friends and family to send an e-postcard today."

Lobby Day is September 15th, please contact your MPP and candidates in your riding to stress the importance of this voting issue! More details here

Why are Birth Centres Important?

“Birth centres can give midwives the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice, give low-risk mothers better access to maternal and newborn care, and enhance health care by making services more readily available and closer to home.”
- Tom Closson, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association

Midwifery-led birth centres are an innovative solution to improve care and cut costs.

Midwifery-led birth centres support normal birth
The healthiest birth for the majority of women is a normal birth. However, in Ontario today, nearly one in three women delivers her newborn by c-section. This is at an all-time high – almost double the rate of 15% recommended by the World Health Organization. The increased rate of c-sections has been indexed to poorer outcomes. Data from the U.S.indicates that providing more c-sections has not resulted in any improvements in perinatal mortality rates.
The rate of c-sections for women in midwifery care is half the provincial average. Midwives are skilled at supporting normal, physiological birth and use these skills to try to ensure the most normal birth possible for all women in their care. Midwifery clients are diverse in age, cultural background and ethnicity, socio-economic status and health status. Midwifery-led birth centres will optimize care for normal birth for all women in midwifery care.
Safe, community-based care
Safe, normal birth is increased and unnecessary interventions, such as c-sections, are reduced in birth centres, when compared to hospital. The safety of birth centres has been well established. Community-based care in birth centres enables women and newborns to reduce their exposure to hospital-based infections and to outbreaks of the flu. Birth centres provide a place to labour and birth that are set apart from institutions that care for people with infectious diseases. Birth centres can help to make midwifery more accessible and help women and their families realize their goal of a normal and healthy childbirth.
Midwives deliver cost-effective care
C-sections are costing the Ontario health care system over $100 million every year. Midwifery-led birth centres can help decrease these costs by reducing interventions and supporting normal birth. The birth centre model has been proven to work in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. Closer to home, in Quebec, there is a well-established system of midwifery-led birth centres and Manitoba is opening a birth centre in the summer of 2011.

Birth by the numbers
Cost of a physician-attended vaginal birth in hospital: $2,486
Cost of a hospital birth with forceps or vacuum: $3,484
Cost of a hospital birth by c-section: $4,863
Overall provincial c-section rate: 28.4%
Midwifery c-section rate: 15%
World Health Organization (WHO) recommended c-section rate: 15%
Number of c-sections in Ontario in 2008/09:  22,254
Total cost to the health care system: $108,221,020
Saving to the health care system by achieving WHO
recommended c-section rate:  $50,863,879

Figures and financial information located at CI HI Patient Cost Indicator. http://www.cihi.ca/CI HI-ext-portal/internet/en/

Click here to read the entire pamphlet.


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