If there was any question about the quality and safety of midwifery-led birth centers, the 2nd National Birth Center study has created billboard headlines to provide the answer. Safe ! More vaginal birth ! Lower Cesarian Section Rate ! Lower Cost ! It gives an update on what we already knew to be true. I believe this study adds the needed firepower to create an inflection point in the birth center movement. Every woman should have access to midwives and birth centers. In context to our nation’s dialog on the need to decrease our health spending; why would an insurance company choose to deny women to this model of birth ?
Have you noticed the air in your house is dry? Fly away hair, itchy skin, more coughs and sneezes. Whenever I think about complaining, I remember what it was like to be pregnant over the holidays. Our skin is already stretching to make room for baby. Some pregnant women experience additional itchiness in our hands and feet. Others have less dry skin. We each experience pregnancy individually so bring up any concerns you have with your Midwife.
Its the day after Christmas at New Birth Company, and I am soaking up our humidifier (the water wall), the infused water with cranberries and nectarines, the fire (ok, the fire app) and the smell of our Lavender shea butter skin ointment; perfect for rubbing on growing tummies, rough elbows and sore feet. Stay hydrated Mommies…inside and out !
Top Ten Signs Your Doctor Is Planning To Perform an Unnecessary Cesarean Section on You
1. Arrives to L&D immediately after office hours and says, “I just don’t think this baby is going to fit.”
2. Third Trimester, Routine Office Visit, “I think this is going to be a big baby. You should just have a C/S”– Did you know? ACOG has very specific guidelines for when it is appropriate to offer a patient an elective C/S for MACROSOMIA (fancy word for large baby). ‘Prophylactic (elective) cesarean delivery may be considered for suspected fetal macrosomia with estimated fetal weights greater than 5,000 gms (11 pounds) in women without diabetes and greater than 4,500 gms (9.9 pounds) in women with diabetes.
3. “We should induce at 39 weeks because your baby is getting too big” – Did you know that, according to ACOG:
‘Induction of labor at least doubles the risk of cesarean delivery without reducing shoulder dystocia (rare situation where baby’s shoulder can get stuck at delivery) or newborn morbidity(complications). Suspected fetal macrosomia is not an indication for induction of labor, because induction does not improve maternal or fetal outcomes.’
4. Performs routine ultrasounds at end of pregnancy to see how big your baby is. Did you know that ultrasounds at the end of the pregnancy can be 1-2 pounds off? Ask some VBAC patients who were talked into a C/S for this, then had a vaginal delivery of a bigger baby the next time.
5. “You have a positive herpes titer (or history of herpes); the baby will get it if you deliver vaginally.” Try some Valtrex for the last month of the pregnancy that is pretty much standard of care now. It prevents outbreaks and allows for a normal vaginal delivery.
6. “Your baby is breech. You need to have a C/S” Ever heard of or performed an External Cephalic Version (process by which a breech baby is turned to the proper position)? It really does work.
7. “You have pushed for 2 hours” (with an epidural that prevents you from feeling anything so you are probably not pushing effectively; this is evident on exam because the baby’s head is still perfectly round, but you do not need to know that) “It’s just not going to come out”
8. “I scheduled you for an induction at 39 weeks. It is just soooo… much more convenient for you!” (and so much higher risk of ending in a C/S, especially if you are not dilated when you start the induction). At least 80% of my VBAC patients were induced the previous pregnancy. For whose convenience was the induction?
9. First Visit (7 weeks), “Congratulations you are having twins. I will go ahead and schedule your C/S at 38 weeks, but don’t worry if you go in to labor early I will cut you right away!” Translation, “I am scared out of my mind for you to deliver your babies vaginally because I am not trained on what to do when the second baby is coming, plus it pays more to cut you open. Oh yeah, I don’t have that great a rapport with you because I only spend 2 minutes (fundal height, heart beat and ‘I’ll see you next time’) with you each visit, so I am afraid I will be sued for trying to do the right thing.”
10. First Pelvic Exam in Office (7 weeks), “Hmm, your pelvis is pretty narrow”.
11. 38-week visit, “Your blood pressure is a little high today. You are probably developing preeclampsia or toxemia. That can cause you to have a SEIZURE! The treatment is to deliver the baby. You need a Cesarean Section, as this is the quickest way to resolve it. Let’s get you up to L&D NOW!” Translation – Preeclampsia or Pregnancy Induced High Blood Pressure is a pain in the butt. If I induce you, it could take 24 hours or more and then I would have to manage your blood pressure, and put you on Magnesium. This is way too inconvenient. Do not worry you can try to have the baby vaginally next time. Yeah right!
Well, I hope you future moms find use for these tidbits of info. If anyone wants to add anything, please feel free. Your experience may help other women in the future. Remember, there are only a few emergent reasons for a C/S such as fetal distress, unexplained heavy vaginal bleeding, etc. It is okay to ask your doctor questions. We are not supposed to bite.
Jonathan Weinstein, MD, FACOG
Husband to a Labor and Delivery Nurse with 27-years’ experience
Father to two beautiful children, Zoe and Ashton
On a blurry eyed post election Wednesday, New Birth Company’s entire clinical staff attended the March of Dimes Perinatal Conference for Health Professionals. This annual conference brings together all the physicians, midwives, health officials and interest groups in the state of Kansas and Kansas City working on improving pregnancy and infant outcomes. Headlined by Kansas Secretary of Health Robert Moser, the conference kicked off the collaborative effort, joining 17 other states including Florida and Ohio.
What is exciting for New Birth Company moms, families and our staff, is that we will have a chance to benchmark the outcomes of licensed Midwives and Birth Centers against the national criteria. When our Moms are asked, “Why are you going to a birth center and midwife?” You can proudly answer, ” I know its best for me and my baby to reach at least 39 weeks of pregnancy. Midwives and Birth Centers will help me achieve that goal. ”
Thanks to the March of Dimes for including us in the Collaborative and proving what our Moms have known for a long time. Babies are worth the wait !
Check out the 39 Week effort here…
After a long flight, I am finally here in Nairobi, Kenya. The airport is humid, and air conditioning is more of a luxury here rather than an expected amenity. I am shocked to find out that everyone’s luggage made it to our destination. We quickly grab our bags and follow our guide who directs us to a large bus that is waiting to take us to our hotel. Our Kenyan drivers for the week load our heavy bags effortlessly onto the top of the bus like they weigh nothing. Our group is in awe of how easy they make this look even though the Kenyan men are half the size of our American male team members. Soon we are in the crowded bus traveling through the streets of Nairobi, car horns are a constant sound, and the smell of diesel fuel is a fragrance that I would become all too familiar with during my trip. It is dark, so it is difficult to see how unpleasant life is for the people of Kenya. Right now, Nairobi feels like any other big city in the US.
June 9th, 2012
Waking up in my bed at the Hotel Delta in downtown Nairobi, I am quickly reminded where I am. My mosquito net doesn’t let me forget my constant fear of getting malaria while I am here. I am anxious to start my journey so I am up early for breakfast. It is a combination of some thin sweet tortillas, hard boiled eggs, sausages, and dry toast. After breakfast in the hotel lobby, I overhear our team leaders talking with our Kenyan guide who has become very ill with typhoid and malaria over the last few months. He has not received medical care because of the costs and is in desperate need of treatment or he may die. He has lost a lot of weight and does not look like himself. He is sent to the hospital by our team. I am immediately humbled by the severity of the situation, healthcare is something that we take for granted. Sadly, I find out later after returning home that he passed away on June 20th, 2012 leaving behind his wife and child.
June 10th, 2012
I was not prepared for the village of Maai Mahiu. This was the place that Kansas2Kenya has been working for 7 years to bring much needed community development and medical care. The community team has just left and has provided the village with clean water. Much needed progress for this small community. Our bus turned down the pot hole covered road to the village, in the distance the beautiful rift valley is a stark contrast to the shanty houses that line the road. A single church is the focal point at the top of the hill. Children begin to come out of their tiny houses and run beside the bus, waving and cheering “Mzungu” which means white person in Swahili. I immediately have tears in my eyes. I did not expect this. These children in this community are so welcoming. This is the reason we are here. This is a moment I will never forget. We spend time in the village taking pictures of the children, holding them, and playing with them. One little girl asks us if we have medicine in the bus and she asks us why we are not staying to help. How do we explain to her that political corruption has forced us to go to another village, but that she is just as important? She is only about 10 years old, but already she knows how hard life can be.
Today is our day of worship. We have the opportunity to attend church in the small village of Nakuru at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church. The service is incredible. The choir sounds so amazing, their beautiful voices echo throughout the small building. This does not feel like a choir in the middle of Africa. I feel like I am in the presence of a professional show choir. We are welcomed by the congregation, and I again have to fight back tears. The whole church is filled will people clapping and greeting us. Despite the poverty, each woman is neatly dressed in clean, fancy dresses, the men in dress slacks. After the service, we watch the school children play soccer and tour a medical dormitory funded by the church. I am surprised at the faith of these people. It is clear to me after today that faith is the foundation in Kenyan life; it is a little bit of hope in a world so filled with despair.
Chaos is the best word that I can use to describe today. It is our first day of clinic in the tiny mountain village in the Mirangine district. It is an hour and a half journey up a bumpy mountain road. What remains of the concrete is cracking and crumbling. There are numerous holes that our bus driver tries to avoid by weaving all over the road.
People are already lined up waiting outside the concrete building we are calling our clinic. My room has four concrete walls, a table and chair, and hard metal exam table. It reminds me of a jail cell, but it will work. I am nervous about today and on top of it the bus forgot all my women’s health supplies. So now I am really working without any resources. I have no idea what to expect, but I will try to improvise and make it a successful day. Overall I just hope that I can make a difference and provide the care these people need.
I am able to borrow some supplies from the maternity clinic next door and patients begin to come in. I greet them with “Jambo” (hello) and “Karibu” (welcome) to help them feel more comfortable in such an unfamiliar setting with an unfamiliar person. Somehow this does not matter to them; they still put all their trust in me, hoping that I can cure them. I see mostly abdominal and back pain, pain that has been there for 10 years probably from years of hard manual labor, a type of labor that many Americans have probably never experienced. I see a woman with a breast mass that is most likely cancerous. She is hopeful and puts all her faith in me, a “mzungu” (white person). I tell her that there is nothing I can do, that she must go to the hospital to have a biopsy, but I know in my heart that this is not possible for her, and that she will probably die without ever receiving the medical care she needs. I make myself move on trying to focus on the problems I can fix, but it is difficult to think about those I can’t.
“No one likes a bully” they are aggressive jerks! Bullies are found everywhere! Bullies are defined as people who use intimidation and sarcasm to “get their way” and “in their minds” they somehow believe they have the authority to demean anther person. Bullies are self-governed by their narcissistic motivation to elevate themselves. Bullies actually get satisfaction when they belittle another individual. The bully will do anything and everything they can verbally to tear down another person. They do this by laughing at them, not listening, interrupting and even “telling them off”. Bullies thrive on being right and letting everyone know it!
Everyday while working with women, I listen to stories from clients about how they believe they failed at birth. I hear words like ” failure, wimp, didn’t try, “they made me get an epidural”, and “not a ‘real’ natural birth”. They will tell their “birth story” and over and the common thread of defeat is ” I feel like a failures” because they did not experience birth like their friends, co-worker, and family. Women will talk of a so called “friend having a painless easy birth” and question why they could have them same, they must have failed. The feelings of failure arise from conversations whereas women challenge each other on their birth options and outcomes. Often, one can hear the conversations “well I had my baby at__________, why would you ever think of anything else? If you go to that facility ____________they will _______, and _________, or ________.”
Sometimes one can hear ” that can’t be safe”……. or ”you’re crazy to consider that”
Just fill in the blanks, it can be fun. No matter where you are the birth bullies try to make their personal opinion and outcome the one that is best for others. It can be such a strong influence that one can feel reject and like a failure if they don’t even try what the bully suggests. Bullies often use fear to make to coercive their opinion. They will attempt scare you into believing that options are not options by using the biggest scare tactic of all, “they will take your baby”.
My philosophy is that all babies are born. Think about it -they are born. Very few are born in a “blissful breathing baby out with harmonious singing and happiness and no pain.” This is not the norm, and it definitely doesn’t happen often. Believe it or not, in our world today, over 90% of all babies are born as “natural .” The birth itself is also one of the most powerful athletic events of all times! This event surpass all team sports, olympics, gold medals and trophies. This event uses an entire body to rhythmically and gently move a living being out of another. Yes, there is pain, exhaustion, physical, mental and emotional work and most importantly there is great reward. Birth requires training, health, and strength, it is not for wimps, failures, and cowards. Even bullies can give birth!
Every athlete in our world endures pain, training, exhaustion and reward. Athletes need encouragement, coaches, trainers and the cheering audience, not bullies. GOD’s plan was for women to be the champions. He chose women because they are strong, wise, fearless and able to complete the task. Each women who desires and is chosen to given birth will win and receive the prize! It is a miraculous event that can happen. BIRTH IS FOR CHAMPIONS -NO BULLIES ALLOWED.
The bible describes the evilness of the tongue in Psalms 52, reading the the tongue is deceitful, devises destruction like a two edgedsword. Reading these scriptures one can understand how words can be so painful that the cut to the heart of an individual. Our words to one another are very strong, and can either uplift or tear one down. I am challenging myself and you to champion positive influencing words to empower women in having an INCREDIBLE BIRTH DAY!
You know that excited feeling you get when you receive something in the mail and can’t wait to open it? That was me sliding the Fast Company magazine out of the mailbox. ”The League of Extraordinary Women” highlights women across companies and non for profits who are making a difference to improve the lives of women all over the world.
I believe Moms choosing natural childbirth and birthing at the birth center are INCREDIBLE and they inspire us every day with their efforts in birth and taking care of their babies and families. We have made such progress gaining access to more insurance networks and that is a tribute to the hard work of our moms and dads. THANK YOU !
We’ve found that its really important to keep telling everyone what insurance networks we are in. Please help us spread the word to your friends and family.
All BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD plans, FREEDOM NETWORK, PREFERRED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, CIGNA, TRICARE/TRIWEST, KANSAS HEALTHWAVE, MISSOURI HEALTHNET. We are actively working with UNITED & HUMANA to finalize our contract with them (Yea!).
Please call us if you have any questions as there are many plans that fall under a different name. We also offer a self pay option. We encourage families to be smart consumers and compare like services.
Thank you everyone for supporting birth center birth !
New Birth Company’s 100th birth will be any day…wow it has happened so quickly ! We want to celebrate this milestone by honoring the lucky mama and her family with a few gifts…check out the growing list below.
While we plan for this important moment in our history, I am thinking about birth 99 and birth 101. All of our mamas, families and babies are equally precious in our eyes…how do we honor them too? One way I reconcile this is to consider we are all standing on the shoulders of others that have come before us. To celebrate birth #100 is to also celebrate the moms who gave birth before we were open. The moms that convinced their insurance company to invite us into their networks but didn’t get the benefit themselves. The midwives and families who helped start the Topeka birth center 30 years ago and the mothers that gave birth on the very trails that gave our community its name. Its a little overwhelming to think about all the women and men that have worked over the years so that women can have better birth choices….Thank You !
What we can do is count our blessings and pay them forward. Spread the word, share your story, contribute to Friday Mama’s group. Everyone has a part to play to keep lifting up natural childbirth and birth centers in your commmunity. Whose shoulders are next?
As Cathy can be heard in the birth center hallway before a birth, “let’s have a parttttttyyyyyyyyyy !!”
Gifts for Mama & her family include:
- Ring Sling Baby Carrier and Pacifier Clip by Erin Kate Creations
- Organic Ultimate Receiving Blanket by Swaddle Designs
- Guava Mitts by Guava Kids
- New Baby Essentials Kit by Better Life
- GroVia Hybrid Trail Pack by The Soft Landing
- $50 gift certificate for YaYa’s Euro Bistro
- Diaper clutch by Lillybit
Thanks to all our sponsors for supporting our 100th Incredible Birth Day !
Why do those words grate in my ears ? Could it be that we still harbor expectations that pregnancy is a condition to be endured instead of treasured? At New Birth Company, we believe that pregnant women and their families are fufilling a unique and important role in our community and deserve extra love and attention during this special time in their lives. Women of all ages are encouraged to take care of themselves and stay healthy, but we do need to pay special attention to our bodies when are pregnant. We are finding out more and more what an impact our pregnancies make on our babies future and our own health. What can we do to help these mamas? Today let’s start with giving her a big smile, acknowlege and thank her for running the race !
We offer a number of classes, services and products that complement your pampered pregnancy and birth experience. We will be introducing many of them to you this spring including :
New service providers: Amanda Box, Naturopath, Kim Cornwell, Family Nurse Practioner and ***a new Midwife, Jamie Harrington, CNM*** Welcome Jamie !
New Class times for Use of Water in Labor & Birth & Childbirth Education
New Products: Washable birth pads, perfect for mommy to take home with her on birth day, now available for purchase