Our Freebirthing Journey

What led my family to the decision to pursue self-prenatal care and planned homebirths without a midwife? Well, it’s not something we can really explain in the depth of where it started and emerged to the surface, but here is a general idea of one family’s journey.

The journey to freebirth began for my husband and I well before the story begins, but I’ll start from the morning we discovered we were pregnant with out first child. We were so very excited and embraced the idea of not rushing to the hospital for “what if’s” and “just in case’s”. We knew the Lord as the great Physician and trusted Him.

12373303a4920066979l

37wks

However, after 20 weeks we fell to the pressures of the few of those around us who were concerned (they felt we needed a plan B in case our plan to trust God was more like testing Him). Looking back, that sounds silly… but we went to see the OB. After numerous doctors’ visits, several unnecessary tests, 5 pointless ultrasounds, and needless worry about the size of our baby, we finally got to hold our 7½lb sweet little girl in our arms.

My labor with her was amazing. I didn’t even know that it was “it” when the contractions were coming. I walked around, enjoyed conversation with family, and then as they started to become what seemed to be “unbearable” we left for the hospital. They were 1 minute apart but slowed down when we got to the hospital. They told me that I was already 6 cm dilated, even still, at 7-8cm dilated my doctor felt things weren’t progressing fast enough so she wanted to break my waters. It was what I had seen to be normal in the birth stories and videos I researched beforehand and I was very excited to meet our little girl so I agreed. As time progressed, I found myself in transition, saying the famous “I can’t” like they said I would and in my head I knew she was coming soon. We had a healthy baby girl just moments later. From the moment I got to the hospital until she was born, the amount of time was a little over 3 hours.

4498_1157598333392_6745019_n     10259287_10202795524302445_2120934322096732153_o

Once the time came where we believed we were pregnant with our second, and confirmed our suspicions, we were so excited. Upon request of our OB, we started the doctors visits at 12 weeks. My pregnancy was longer than I could’ve imagined and quite impersonal. Again, numerous doctors’ visits, several unnecessary tests, doctors not believing me when I said something was wrong (and then being prescribed a dangerous treatment for the infection I had that causes miscarriages), 5 more completely pointless ultrasounds, requests for more in order to put her on antibiotics fore the next 5 years of her life (and an angry doctor when I refused both), and needless worry about her size… let’s just say, I found myself quite impatient near the end. A week before my due date I ate raw licorice, something claimed to be a “natural inducer” and tried to get things going. I believe I did just that, but before my litte girl was ready. For the next week I had strong contractions getting her engaged into my pelvis.

pg1     1157598453395

38wks                                                           39wks

The morning before she came (right on her original due date), I awoke to painful and unbearable contractions. I timed them and when I could no longer take them any longer, we headed to the hospital. The contractions were the worst, most painful thing I had ever experienced. We arrived at the hospital for them to inform me that I was 7 cm dilated. “Praise God!” I thought. This was it! The contractions were right on top of each other, I was 7cm dilated, it wouldn’t be much longer! However, I was in soo much pain… I cried and I screamed in pain and begged for something to ease it… and taking that medication will be another one of the many things I regret doing during her pregnancy/delivery/postpartum care.

picture-239a

I threw up all over myself, fell asleep between contractions and had no control over my body. I was a slug and felt completely out of it. After several hours of long hard pushing, my 7½lb daughter (who was in posterior position) finally entered the world and was placed in my arms. Due to the stress of labor, she was born with a hole in her lung but recovered quickly, (praise God!) but unfortunately that first hour after she was born she was hooked up to machines and we had no bonding time. She was also given several x-rays while my husband was not allowed to hold her hand. I struggled with my emotional attachment to her but it wouldn’t be for several months that I’d realize I was suffering from postpartum depression from the traumatic experience of birth.

1603596163059     10380848_10203501833839742_5984121804853049728_o

We began educating ourselves on limiting doctors’ visits and the possibility of a home birth. We concluded that we desire to have the intimacy of new beginnings to be shared with each other – without the distractions, concerns, fears, demands, probing, and constant reminder of “how LONG” pregnancy is. We wanted to enjoy every moment and embrace each as God’s perfect timing. We wanted to surround ourselves with people who would inspire us to be healthy, happy, and trusting in Jesus. We wanted to experience faith, freedom, and serenity. And we have!

When my second daughter was around 15mos old, we were blessed with another little love and were so excited! This time however, we decided to look for a midwife but couldn’t find one who didn’t have legal restrictions that limited their ability to avoid interventions. As time progressed, we learned more and became more comfortable with the idea of freebirth and decided that was what we’d pursue.

I experienced several weeks of prodromal labor and I began to dilate 2-3cm by August 2nd and to 5cm and back to 3cm by August 5th. Tired, I joked that I’d never have this baby and the Lord put Isaiah 66:9 on my heart and I laughed and continued to rest in His timing.

IM000343.JPG     IM000461.JPG     IM000537.JPG

16wks                                34wks                                        40wks

I labored all day on the 6th, contractions varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart, I talked with my sister all throughout it to keep myself distracted and around 5pm the contractions were getting quite uncomfortable. I went to be alone in my room and I shared with my sister that once my contractions became more regular and closer together, I’d run the bath. I then had a couple of “great” contractions that left me wondering if I should try to go to the bathroom but still 7 minutes apart. I went to sit on the toilet.

My water broke! And 30 minutes later, before I had time to move to the daybed, surely before I’d have had time to get things together to get to the hospital and certainly before a midwife would have made it, our first son was born into my husbands hands – right there, on the bathroom floor. We laughed, we cried, we ooh’d and we ahhh’d, and we had the girls come and meet their brother. It was a BEAUTIFUL experience; raw, real, personal, and fun. No poking, no suggestions, no tests, no monitors… We were immediately made comfortable and got plenty of rest that night.

154818_1603632683972_5519350_n     IMG_20150310_123825

After our first two experiences with pregnancy and birth we saw impatience and dread encompassing much of it, and with our third, it was very very different. We were so thankful for our joyful, healthy, safe, and exciting home birth in patience and love.

When I was pregnant with my 4th child (pursuing my second freebirth/UC), I was SO excited!!

2011-03-17-002     248805_2161055348462_1308900358_2699546_7037168_n

35wks                                                                 38wks

In preparation, I began seeking out informative sites and blogs to educate myself even more about medical problems that can arise during childbirth and what needs to be done, what alternative options there were and what risks we weren’t willing to take. I was quickly reminded of how radically opposed some people are to those who choose homebirth – especially without a midwife.

Views and statements that seemed to be popular were:
“Planning a home birth? Sorry, but you’re just selfish and reckless.”
“It’s irresponsible to not have a midwife.”
“Unassisted childbirth is just plain careless.”
Selfish, reckless, irresponsible, and just plain careless….
Many of the views suggested that people who home birth are hippies, mystic, religious freaks, or what have you. It is believed that home birthing families (shall I say, “we”) are selfish and irresponsible people who only care about our comfort and are careless with the life of our children. That we refuse to see the dangers that come with pregnancy and birthing, and that doctors are our enemy! How dare we not just obey the doctors!

I want to clarify that my decision to home birth started initially with little having to do with my faith, little to do with my trust or lack thereof in doctors, and little to do with the comfort of birth. These things have their parts but I am not anti-doctor nor am I afraid of them or their demands. I am not anti-hospital and I wouldn’t avoid them in the event of an emergency. I am not selfish and thinking only of myself when I choose a homebirth. Ultimately, I sought out if it was Biblically supported, but my decision was based on it’s safety AND comfort.

Christian women freebirth; not just radicals, not just those who are one with mother earth, and not just those who believe in evolution and view people as animals… but people just like you. My husband and I have taken careful steps in making this decision and we’ve only ever encouraged others to educate themselves and discover what they are most comfortable with based on the truth and not just what they’ve been told. That is not to say that I know better than a doctor… however, the doctors that I and others I’ve spoken with over the last 7 years, have come into contact with are arrogant and narrow minded to any other possible routes and get offended when we question their tactics, knowledge, methods, and especially when we refuse the recommendations they give.

I seek to make an informed decision, and while the majority of our culture has become dependent on the views and care provided by doctors in several areas of our lives (medication for instance, both preventative and as treatment), I refuse to join in the belief of the lie that childbirth is innately dangerous and harmful to ones health. I’ve not based my research on biased information. I’ve searched far and wide and compiled my views based on my own rational and logical thought along with evidences I’ve found.

While in labor with my fourth child I was quite tired because I had stayed up too late and ended up starting my labor just a few hours later. So come time for preparations to be made, my instincts took over. I wasn’t due for another week and yet I got the place ready and had my husband stay home from work. Again, my contractions intensified and following a handful of contractions 7-10 minutes apart, my husband helped me on my bed and I gave birth to our third daughter.

268938_1683999638392_140362_n     1545062_10203020334402557_6206135800690603375_n

You see, pregnancy is not a disease that needs continual monitoring and probing nor is it to be frightening and stressful. Childbirth is not an inevitable death sentence without the hand of a doctor. What pregnancy is, is a natural part of life – as waste elimination, breathing, blinking, and swallowing… It’s occurred as long as humans have existed! Yet we don’t contact the doctor upon the need to have a bowel movement, even though the rare chance of it malfunctioning can take place. No we take action when there IS a problem. Childbirth is not without the potential of dangers, no matter where you are. Babies and mothers die in and outside of the hospital. While some feel tha they would rather have a doctor present for the “just in case” events that may arise, many feel just as strongly that they would rather be home to be free from the interventions that cause many of the events that people want a doctor present for. A dangerous situation arising during birth is not the norm for most. This is not idealistic or hopeful. This is the truth.

59234_10200228681932990_609849680_nWhen I became pregnant with our 5th child, we were overwhelmed with the responsibility and the excitement! We excitedly prepared for another UC. When 4am came on October 5th and contractions began waking me up from my sleep, I wondered if this could be it. I became increasingly uncomfortable and headed to the bathroom. Something wasn’t right… and I knew it. My contractions were 10min apart and they were incredibly intense. I paused and knew I needed to get into the lunge position. I put lots of pressure on my bum and my perineum and I pushed hard but breathed when I felt too much pressure against my hand. My baby was posterior, so her head was pushing toward my bottom. I felt and heard a pop as my hips opened up more to enable her to come through the birth canal. As her head came through, I heard crying! But the doctors and every online source I’d ever read said (and says) that this is impossible since her chest can’t yet expand until she emerges from my body! And yet, here she was, CRYING with her body still inside of me. I knew she needed to come out, so I focused, and I pushed the rest of her out. She was beautiful, healthy, and just wonderful. Our FOURTH daughter and FIFTH child! How blessed we were!!

30wks

I am not afraid of the doctors. In fact I appreciate them when there is a need. However they have no super human powers. They are educated in their field and under certain circumstances. I too am educated. I know my limitations and I know when I need help – and I am not afraid to ask for it. I would never allow my pride to interfere with the life of my child. If a need arose and we needed a doctor to save me or my baby, we would see a doctor – without a moments hesitation!! However, in the situation of my fifth child, would I have torn if I wasn’t allowed to move around? What if I was so focused on fighting for my rights to be in a lunge position or unable to determine that is what I needed to do because of everyone else taking charge of MY birth? What if I felt too embarrassed in front of everyone to put pressure on my bum? See how there are what if’s with hospital birth too? It’s very likely that if I was in the hospital, laboring on my back, that I would have torn from my bum to my birth canal opening because of the intense pressure with the counted pushing that OB’s often practice. Or, that I would have gotten a c-section because my baby was stuck on my pelvis.

1385519_10151941079642082_119388684_n     IMG_20150311_164750

We are not careless. The decision we made to home birth, as with most home birthers, is not without its preparation, which includes preparation for what needs to be done in the event of an emergency or an area of concern. And my only desire in sharing what I have experienced and learned along the way is to keep a log of it for myself and for my kids, and to share with those who are interested in expanding their own knowledge by one woman’s experiences. It is never to judge… even despite my very contrary views.

I’ve not made the decision to freebirth at the risk of my babies lives. I’m doing it to add to the quality of their life and to the quality of our relationship, to ensure the best possible outcome for them and not just that they survive. I want the best for them… from day one.

IMG_20150323_163417

And just for the record, if it came down to it and there was a real medical emergency, I would get the c-section. I’d just rather be educated and avoid it at all costs if it is possible without endangering my life or the life of my child… because in most cases, it is avoidable and preventable. C-sections have risks too! We all need to weigh the risks and ask ourselves what we personally want to live with. No one else can make that decision for us.

I’m excited to say, we’re expecting our sixth child!! We couldn’t be more thrilled!! And of course, we’re planning our fourth UC!! Praying and trusting for the Lord’s continual provision to do what’s best for our family. ♥ Thanks for reading!

Read my freebirth stories in full at the links below!
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#5>>

Know what you know and trust what you know.

My husband and I have chosen unassisted childbirth (UC) as a means of welcoming our babies into the world. As I share so often on this, I hope that women who choose UC when they feel drawn to it and do everything within their power to prepare and understand what it is they’re choosing. It’s hard to describe that deep, intense pull that one feels to such things as UC. I feel that pull and we feel strongly that this is what is best for me, our baby and for our whole family.

I don’t say this to suggest there is more risk or less risk, but there potentially could be if one didn’t research how to be healthy and to prepare for what may come up (and know how to handle any given situation). The same could happen in a hospital – if one isn’t prepared and doesn’t understand the risks of certain interventions, more risks could take place (despite the fact that the doctor is considered liable). We need to take responsibility over our health, our births, and our lives.

That’s my encouragement to every woman ~ prepare and understand what you are choosing. Be educated in the procedures and know your rights. Stand up for what is best for you and find a caregiver who is supportive of your desires and compassionate if something should arise that interferes with it. Plan for the best and be educated on the worst and move forth without fear. Know what you know and trust what you know. 🙂

What Cravings Are Actually Telling Us

If you crave this… What you really need is… And here are healthy foods that have it:
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Carbon Fresh fruits
Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
Avenin Granola, oatmeal
Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food Carbon Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables

From the website Naturopathy Works.
Dr. Colleen Huber, NMD
1250 East Baseline Road
Tempe, Arizona
Phone: 480 839-2800

More on the Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasound

These articles are worth reading in full. Educate yourself, explore all your options and determine whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks in every circumstance.

For the Health of Your Baby, Stay Away From Unnecessary Ultrasounds

“More than 300 fetal mice were injected with special markers to track their neural development.

Ultrasound exposure caused a number of neurons to remain scattered in inappropriate cortical layers. The dispersion of the neurons increased as the duration of exposure to ultrasound waves increased.
Further research will be done on primates in order to help determine whether or not this will also be a problem for human fetuses.”

Sources:
* USA Today August 7, 2006
* ABC News August 8, 2006
* EurekAlert August 7, 2006

Dr. Mercola’s Comment: “The moral of the study, no surprise, is to avoid all unnecessary ultrasounds and give a great deal of thought about having one at all, should the need ever arise.”

Ultrasound Scans May Harm Unborn Babies

“The latest discovery, by scientists at University College Dublin, is the first to find that scans create changes in cells. Patrick Brennan, who led the research, said: “It has been assumed for a long time that ultrasound has no effect on cells. We now have grounds to question that assumption.”

The researchers gave 12 mice an eight megahertz scan lasting for 15 minutes. Hospital scans can last for up to an hour, using frequencies of between three and 10 megahertz. According to today’s New Scientist, two significant changes in the cells of the small intestine were detected in scanned mice compared with unscanned mice. Four and a half hours after exposure, the rate of cell division had reduced by 22 per cent and the rate of programmed cell death had approximately doubled. Mr Brennan believes there will be similar effects in humans.”

Source:
* New Scientist ISSUE 1476 Thursday 10 June 1999

Dr. Mercola’s Comment: “It would certainly seem prudent to avoid all routine absolutely unnecessary ultrasound scans for fetal observation. There appears to be more than enough evidence to warrant this recommendation. Pregnancy complications are another issue and one would have to weigh all the factors individually when attempting to determine the benefit/risk ratio.”

Ultrasound Scans Linked to Brain Damage in Babies

“Evidence suggesting that ultrasound scans on pregnant women cause brain damage in their unborn babies has been uncovered by scientists.

In the most comprehensive study yet on the effect of the scanning, doctors have found that men born to mothers who underwent scanning were more likely to show signs of subtle brain damage.

During the 1990s, a number of studies hinted that ultrasound scanning affected unborn babies. Research has suggested that subtle brain damage can cause people who ought genetically to be right-handed to become left-handed. In addition, these people face a higher risk of conditions ranging from learning difficulties to epilepsy.”

Sources:
* www.news.telegraph.co.uk December 9, 2001
* Epidemiology December 2001 12:618

Dr. Mercola’s Comment: “It sure seems that the time for routine ultrasound examinations has come and gone.

How ultrasound could affect the brain is still a mystery though. Some researchers suspect that a process called cavitation – where small bubbles in the body fluids vibrate in the ultrasonic waves – could influence brain development.

In the early stage of pregnancy, neurons migrate from the center of the brain and this could be disturbed by ultrasound, perhaps through cavitation.”

Ultrasound Scans: Cause for Concern

“Ultrasound was developed during WWII to detect enemy submarines and was subsequently used in the steel industry. In July 1955 Glasgow surgeon Ian Donald borrowed an industrial machine and, using beefsteaks as controls, began to experiment with abdominal tumors that he had removed from his patients.

He discovered that different tissues gave different patterns of ‘echo,’ leading him to realize that ultrasound offered a revolutionary way to look into the previously mysterious world of the growing baby (Wagner 1995).

This new technology spread rapidly into clinical obstetrics. Commercial machines became available in 1963 (De Crespigny 1996), and by the late 1970s ultrasound had become a routine part of obstetric care (Oakley 1986). Today, ultrasound is seen as safe and effective, and scanning has become a rite of passage for pregnant women in developed countries. Here in Australia, it is estimated that 99 percent of babies are scanned at least once in pregnancy–mostly as a routine prenatal ultrasound (RPU) at 4 to 5 months.

However, there is growing concern as to its safety and usefulness. UK consumer activist Beverley Beech has called RPU “the biggest uncontrolled experiment in history” (Beech 1993), and the Cochrane Collaborative Database–the peak scientific authority in medicine–concludes that ” … no clear benefit in terms of a substantive outcome measure like perinatal mortality [number of babies dying around the time of birth] can yet be discerned to result from the routine use of ultrasound” (Neilson 1999).”

Sources:
* First published in Nexus magazine, vol9, no 6, Oct-Nov 2002 and then at Red Flags Weekly February 3, 2003

Dr. Mercola’s Comment: “This is not a new issue as I have posted articles on this over the last four years (see below), but it is one that deserves attention and consideration for those who are pregnant and considering this diagnostic procedure.”

Infant Mortality Statistics: US Places 33rd in the World

The Center For Unhindered Living; with revisions added by the author of this blog.

Infant Mortality Statistics

United States: 6.3 infant deaths per 1000 of population
That makes us 33rd in the world.

Rank; Country; # Infant Deaths

1 Iceland 2.9
2 Singapore 3.0
3 Japan 3.2
4 Sweden 3.2
5 Norway 3.3
6 Hong Kong 3.7
7 Finland 3.7
8 Czech Republic 3.8
9 Switzerland 4.1
10 South Korea 4.1
11 Belgium 4.2
12 France 4.2
13 Spain 4.2
14 Germany 4.3
15 Denmark 4.4
16 Austria 4.4
17 Australia 4.4
18 Luxembourg 4.5
19 Netherlands 4.7
20 Israel 4.7
21 Slovenia 4.8
22 United Kingdom 4.8
23 Canada 4.8
24 Republic of Ireland 4.9
25 Italy 5.0
26 Portugal 5.0
27 New Zealand 5.0
28 Cuba 5.1
29 Channel Islands 5.2
30 Brunei 5.5
31 Cypress 5.9
32 New Caldonia 6.1
33 United States 6.3
34 Croatia 6.4
35 Malta 6.5
36 Martinique 6.6
37 Poland 6.7
38 Greede 6.7
39 Guadeloupe 6.8
40 Hungary 6.8
41 Slovakia 6.9
42 Macau 7.0
43 Chile 7.2
44 Estoria 7.2
45 Puerto Rico 7.2
46 French Polynesia 8.0
47 Quwait 8.1
48 United Arab Emirates 8.2
49 Qatar 8.2
50 Lithuania 8.5
51 U.S. Virgin Islands 8.6
52 Malasia 8.9
53 Guam 9.0
54 Belarus 9.4
55 Costa Rica 9.9
56 Barbados 10.1
57 Latvia 10.4
58 Thailand 10.6
59 Sri Lanka 11.0
60 Bahrain 11.2
61 Serbia 11.7
62 Bulgaria 11.8
63 Boznia & Herzegovina12.0
64 Oman 12.3
65 Trinidad & Tobago 12.4
66 St. Lucia 12.6
67 Ukraine 12.8
68 Uruguay 13.1
69 Reunion 13.4
70 French Guiana 13.4
71 Argentina 13.4
72 Jamaica 13.6
73 Bahamas 13.8
74 Maritius 14.0
75 Republic of Macedonia 14.8
76 Netherlands Antilles 14.8
77 Romania 14.8
78 Moldovia 14.9
79 Syria 16.0
80 Belize 16.4
81 Russia 16.6
82 Mexico 16.7
83 Aruba 17.0
84 Venezuela 17.0
85 Palestinian Territories 17.5
86 Lybia 18.0
87 Panama 18.2
88 Tonga 18.6
89 Saudia Arabia 18.6
90 Colombia 19.1
91 Albania 19.2
92 Jordan 19.4
93 Vietnam 19.5
94 Fiji 19.5
95 Tunisia 19.8
96 Ecuador 21.1
97 Peru 21.2
98 Nicaragua 21.5
99 El Salvador 21.5
100 Lebanon 22.0
101 Montenegro 22.3
102 Samoa 22.3
103 China 23.0
104 Phillippines 23.1
105 St. Vincent & Grenadines 23.3
106 Brazil 23.6
107 Kazakhstan 24.1
108 Cape Verde 24.6
109 Indonesia 24.6
110 Turkey 27.5
111 Suriname 27.7
112 Honduras 28.2
113 Vanuata 28.3
114 Armenia 28.9
115 Egypt 29.3
116 Dominican Republic 29.6
117 Guatemala 30.1
118 Morocco 30.6
119 Iran 30.6
120 Algeria 31.1
121 Paraguay 32.0
122 Grenada 33.8
123 Micronesia, Federated St. 34.1
124 Maldives 34.1
125 Georgia 37.8
126 Mongolia 39.8
127 Namibia 42.3
128 Guyana 42.9
129 Western Sahara 44.2
130 South Africa 44.8
131 Bhutan 45.0
132 Bolivia 45.6
133 Botswana 46.5
134 North Korea 48.2
135 Comoros 48.4
136 Haiti 48.8
137 Laos 51.4
138 Bangladesh 52.5
139 Krygyzstan 53.1
140 Gabon 53.8
141 Nepal 53.9
142 Solomon Islands 54.5
143 India 55.0
144 Uzbekistan 55.0
145 Eritrea 55.3
146 Ghana 55.6
147 Zimbabwe 58.0
148 Yemen 58.6
149 Tajikistan 60.2
150 Papua New Guinea 60.7
151 Cambodia 62.7
152 Mauritania 63.0
153 Kenya 64.4
154 Lesotho 64.6
155 Sudan 64.9
156 Madagascar 65.5
157 Senegal 65.7
158 Myanmar 66.0
159 East Timor 66.7
160 Pakistan 67.5
161 Congo 70.3
162 Swaziland 71.0
163 Sao Tome & Principe 72.3
164 Azerbeijan 72.3
165 Tanzania 72.6
166 Gambia 72.2
167 Turkmenistan 74.7
168 Uganda 76.9
169 Iraq 81.5
170 Djibouti 85.3
171 Ethiopia 86.9
172 Cameroon 87.5
173 Togo 88.6
174 Malaway 89.4
175 Equitorial Guinea 92.3
176 Zambia 92.7
177 Mozambique 95.9
178 Central African Republic 96.8
179 Benin 98.0
180 Burundi 99.4
181 Guinea 102.5
182 Burkina Faso 104.4
183 Nigeria 109.5
184 Niger 110.8
185 Rwanda 112.4
186 Guinea-Bissau 112.7
187 Conga, Dem Republic 113.5
188 Somolia 116.3
189 Cote d’lvoire 116.9
190 Chad 119.2
191 Mali 128.5
192 Angola 131.9
193 Liberia 132.5
194 Afghanisan 157.0
195 Sierra Leone 160.3

“Yes, the United States rates a SHOCKING 33rd in the world! That means, 32 other countries have lower infant mortality rates than the United States, even though we supposedly have the best medical health care in the world! Why is this the case? One has to stop and consider why. Is all this pitocin induction, electronic fetal monitoring, ultrasound examination, epidural anesthesia, forceps delivery and cesarean section helping to increase the number of live births? Is being in the hospital for birth safer than being at home? Is intervening frequently into the birth process and trying to medically manage birth resulting in better birth outcomes?

One might argue, there really isn’t much difference between 2.9 and 6.3, only about three deaths per thousand. However, in a highly populated country like the United States (301,139,947 – July 2007 est.), those three deaths per thousand means the infant deaths in the United States each year” nearly equal the entire population of Iceland (301,931 – July 2007 est.).

The Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasound

The Center for Unhindered Living

Ultrasound, sonograms, and dopplers use high frequency sound waves to produce an image of the baby on a viewing screen or amplify the baby’s heartbeat so it can be heard more easily. NO STUDIES have been done which prove the safety of these devices, and the American Medical Association recommends AGAINST unnecessary exposure.

“Unnecessary Exposure” includes the use of ultrasound to:

1. Confirm the sex of the baby.

2. Assess gestational age (how many weeks old the baby is).

3. Assess fetal size and growth.

4. Confirm multiple pregnancy.

5. Determine fetal presentation (the position of the baby in the womb).

Many health care professionals still use ultrasound for these purposes anyway, even though the American Medical Association has not approved its use for these purposes. With the exception of confirming the sex of the baby, all these pieces of information can be obtained with hands-on skills. A fetoscope or stethoscope can detect the baby’s heartbeat without the dangers of ultrasound.

According to the World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, “It is not clear at this time whether ultrasound fetal monitoring is beneficial to the mother or fetus in terms of pregnancy outcome…If there is no generally acknowledged benefit to the monitoring, there is no reason to expose patients to increased cost and risk. The question of benefit has not yet been resolved…and the potential for delayed effects has been virtually ignored.”

In other words, Ultrasound technology carries potential risks that have not yet been evaluated, yet many doctors are telling women that there is no risk.

Having an ultrasound is NOT essential to a healthy pregnancy. However, most doctors are trained to use expensive technology and NOT trained to use hands-on skills.

Click here to read full article

Too Important Not to Mention!

While doing research on the Practices of the OB Community, I found so much disturbing information about early clamping/cutting of the umbilical cord that I decided to write a separate post about it. It’s amazing that this isn’t widespread information!

Early clamping/cutting of the umbilical cord: We’ve all heard the benefits of cord blood and many are encouraged to store it and keep it for later benefits. We all get asked the question “who do you want to cut the cord?” The question that was never asked me, nor was I ever informed of (as are most men and women preparing for the birth of their child) was whether I wanted to wait and avoid cutting the cord or when I would want to cut it. What a better scenario would have been would be to say it is DANGEROUS to cut the cord and ENCOURAGE the parents NOT to do it! What we do as routine in every hospital birth is immediately cut the umbilical cord as the baby comes out. The dangers that could likely occur after doing such a thing is haunting.

The debate on the practice has been going on for over 200 years and yet it continues to be done without a second thought (even in many homebirths). Most doctors, midwives, and parents alike are completely unaware of what this intervention can do to the child( 1).

Early clamping can deprive the newborn of a sufficient amount of oxygen carrying placental blood that holds vital nutrients and immune-enhancing antibodies (1). Which may explain the dramatic rise in autism say scientists. Clamping or cutting the cord quickly after delivery is dangerous during their most crucial moments before they start breathing. Clamping reduces the infant’s supply of this important oxygen and nutrient rich blood. In vulnerable infants brain hemorrhage, iron deficiencies, mental impairment (including autism) can result. (2)

David Hutchon, consultant obstetrician at Darlington Memorial Hospital stated: “In susceptible infants, early cord clamping and the lack of blood to the baby increases the risk of brain hemorrhage and breathing problems. This could help explain the rise in autism. Why are we doing it?”(2)

One site said this:

Leave your hands away from the pulsating cord, as the baby is breathing through the cord, not through his mouth and nose, if the cord is pulsating, and the cord is firm and bluish. The baby will be normally bluish, as all babies are blue, the oxygen and carbon dioxide are mixed in his fetal system. Blue color will continue until the baby’s lungs are full of the placenta blood and he/she determines when to breathe, so leave the lifeline/hopeline alone. (4) (emphasis mine)

The Hebrew term for navel is shor (shore) and is translated to mean the center of strength. (5) The benefits of the placenta don’t immediately end once the baby is delivered. Leaving the umbilical cord to pulse until it stops and allowing your baby to take in all that placental blood following their emergence from the womb results in the following:

– boost in iron reserves and prevention of anemia for several months (6).
– undisturbed bonding time with father, mother, and child (7)
– decreased incidence of umbilical hernias (7)

Scientists have discovered that umbilical cord blood is full of precious and valuable stem cells, red blood cells, and T-cells that have cancer fighting properties. Instead of allowing the insanity of extracting this precious blood and storing it in a cooler that may never be used (an estimated 1 in 20,000 chance), allow God’s original design and allow this blood to go into the child’s body at birth! (8)

Informal Citations:

1 – Potential Dangers of Childbirth Interventions “Early Clamping of the umbilical cord: Cutting the ties that bind” by Cory A. Mermer

2 – Cord Clamping Dangers to Babies by Lucy Johnston HEALTH EDITOR

3 – Umbilical Cord Clamping a Cause of Autism? by International Chiropractic Pediatric Association

4 – Emergency Birth by Donna Young

5 – Strong’s Hebrew: 8270. shor (shore)

6 – Cord Blood – Why Delaying Cord Clamping Benefits Your Baby by Kelly Zantey BellyBelly Creator, Mum & Birth Attendant

7 – Early or Late Cord Clamping? by Connie Banack,CD,CBE Mother Care Doula Services, Childbirth Education, Doula/CBE Catalogue Camrose, Alberta, Canada

8 – Cord Blood – Why Delaying Cord Clamping Benefits Your Baby by Kelly Zantey BellyBelly Creator, Mum & Birth Attendant