Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's that score again?

I got a text message the other night from a friend asking about the name of the score we talked about when we discussed about induction of labor a year or so ago...

She was referring to the Bishop's Score.
If you are considering having your labor induced, don't come into the experience with a mind set that it's just the same as if your body went into labor naturally.

The Bishop Score is something worth discussing with your doctor when considering an induction. You can also compute your Bishop Score here. It simply computes the readiness of your cervix (not your baby's readiness for life outside) and chances of the induction succeeding or not- in the event of which you will most likely have a cesarean. You might find the following helpful:

faQ from American Colege of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
Induction of Labor

Watch this video from Lamaze International "Let Labor Begin On It's Own"

Another interesting and alarming thing about induction of labor is the link being made between induction of labor and autism, you can read about it here- read the comments, consider it and this one too.

Dr Michel Odent who is all for natural labor and birth says: “Most women give birth now on a synthetic Oxytocin drip. It is the most common medical intervention in childbirth,” he explains. But with no long term studies on its side effects, he says: “We are playing with the Oxytocin systems of human beings without knowing what we are doing.” You can read more about this here.

I have 4 children. I have been through that waiting for labor to start phase. With every pregnancy, except for my first, I hoped I would give birth by 38 weeks instead of 40+ a few days! For me, it felt like:
Bring it on! I am so ready to stop being pregnant...
I want to meet this baby! 
The house is so ready for this baby! 
I want to try on all these new stuff I have accumulated for me and this little one. 
Its so hot! I am so fat no I am so BIG! 
I can't go anywhere! In reality I could go somewhere but then it's so tiring.  
I have nothing to wear that fits well! 
I really want to give birth and see this baby!!!

Even with my fourth baby, when I vowed I would enjoy every minute of where I was, I was certainly excited. I wanted to move forward. Let's be conservative about this. No body knows for sure how high the price is for rushing birth. I suggest to make this waiting phase part of your family's history, rather than a medical event.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Would You Buy Breastmilk?

If there was breast milk for sale, would you buy it?

As of date we do not have a breastmilk bank in Davao City! Most of the moms I know who donate breast milk do so because they have extra milk to share. They express milk thinking of their babies. They handle and store their milk with care because it is for their baby. If selling happens, the intention changes and don't you think the storing and handling will change too?
Some moms I know started their journey with a breast pump and not a baby in their arms (premature and/or sick baby). And now that all is well they feel strongly that they want to give back. And they donate their milk to their birth place.

HM4HB - Davao City Philippines is network where families looking for breast milk can link up with mothers who have breast milk to SHARE! Breast milk is donated NOT SOLD!
The POD has many times been a venue for the families to meet but there is NO BREAST MILK SOLD at The POD. There was NEVER an instance where breast milk was sold in the Facebook page of Mommy Sense, Davao's first mom to mom support group.

Last year, because of Yolanda, there was a freezer full of breast milk at The POD. But that was because there was an emergency and mothers saw the urgent need to help and reach out. Even those who did not have breast milk to share went ahead and donated breast milk storage bags, ice packs and so on. This was a big group effort and the milk was shipped to PGH for pasteurization. The POD is not a breast milk bank but was and can be a drop off and pick up point for breast milk in times of need. 

Since 2012 we had instances when Grandparents, Aunts, Dads, and Moms who have just given birth, walk into The POD looking for breast milk. We addressed this as best we could and assisted some moms with breastfeeding once the babies were out of the nursery or NICU.

{I use the word nursery although there should not be one since moms and baby's should not be separated at birth. Check out Unang Yakap EINC for this and this video too. However, some of the family members, if not the mom who just gave birth, who dropped by The POD or text/ called, looking for breast milk, have full term babies who do not require intensive care. But, in the order of things in their birth place mom was sent home and was asked to produce X quantity of breast milk for her baby who was left in the hospital. For nursery practice to stop, there should be policy, but policy is not enough, it should be hearts, minds and of course training of the doctors, nurses and staff etc!}

So why should YOU NOT BUY breast milk online or in your local sari-sari store?
Jenny Ong of  Chronicles of a Nursing mom addressed it here.
And because of this study.(Sari-sari store was not in this study)

I received a Facebook message last year that made me suspect the other person was selling breast milk but it turned out she was not. I covered the photo and name of the person.

Its up to you to decide I am just pointing out that as far-out as it sound, it can happen here in Davao City. If the practice of sending moms home and requiring her to produce X quantity of milk for her baby (just like that!) does not change then desperation can take hold and the next thing we know somebody is successfully selling and someone is buying. Breastfeeding is a community effort and I don't think breast milk should ever be for sale!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our First Baby has a High School Diploma

Its official!!! Our eldest passed the ALS Exam! Congratulation to my dearest A. She can  move on to higher education. WOW!!! How fast!

 Screen Capture from here

What's the next step? Where will she go? What will she do with this high school diploma?
I asked her: "What do you want to take for college? "
While her dad asked her: "What do you really really want to do?"

We both got different answers. LOL

My girls and Ginger the Cat. A photo they sent me through Viber when I asked how they were while I was out for the whole day for the Mommy Sense 2nd Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Training by Arugaan.
Most of the students A's age will be entering the University this June while she has to write/email the Universities she wants to go to to ask permission if she can sit down and take their entrance exam this coming August and September. She has called one university so far and whoever she spoke to on the phone asked her is she has PEP Test  results which she does not have. You can read more about PEP Test and ALS  here. At any rate the person from the university that A spoke to said, she should write their admission officer or something like that. The PEP Test is only given once a ear here in Davao City but in manila its given almost every month. At the moment it would be too tight, time and money wise to rush A into taking the PEP Test . It would be cheaper to take the SAT rather than make a trip to Manila to take the PEP Test. Anyway, lets see how this goes. This year will be like her gap year.  I am very excited for my dear girl.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Can my husband come with me inside the labor room?

I don't see why you can not have a companion of choice. I had and so have a lot of other mothers here in Davao City! If you want to have someone to hold your hand and share the experience with you, then you must asked that someone now to join you in your birth place. Speak up! You are going to be a mother! You will be responsible for a one of kind person! And you will experience labor and birth and you'll never walk the same road again. You should be heard! Do not delay and please check if your birth place will allow you and your chosen companion in the labor and delivery room.

If your birth place has a policy that says no one is allowed in the labor and delivery room or you can only have visitors for  a certain number of minutes only, then that is just severe specially if you are giving birth in a private hospital. It does not matter if you are planning to be in the maternity ward, private room or suite room. I think and have seen that it is severe to deny a woman in labor a companion that she so desires specially if that companion wants to be with her too!

If your birth place has this policy you should know that your birth place is seriously stuck in the crazy cut tiles and hairspray trend of the fifties and sixties! Or they could have advanced to the bell bottoms and disco craze of the seventies and eighties respectively, but their policy is nowhere near Evidence Based Maternity Care Practices.
If your doctor/ midwife recommends a birth place for you he/she should be able to answer you if you can have continuous labor support and and what their new born care practices and policies are (this will be for another post). You can read more on the advantages of having a companion of choice for labor and delivery here. Its no surprise that Unang Yakap EINC is recommending it!

Here is a screen capture from Unang Yakap EINC Facebook Page.

And another one from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat

Here's a follow up question: What about infection? Is having a companion of choice applicable in a hospital setting here in Davao City? As I said I had a companion of choice with me (take note: my companion is not in the medical profession he is a businessman) and so have many others here in Davao City.

And puhaleeeez!! Please! Seriously! Infection from your companion?! Let's be realistic. The biggest outbreak when it comes to maternal/ infant care in our country that cost lives in a hospital setting was not due to mothers having non sterile companion of choice that carried virus/ disease/spores etc...  in the labor and delivery room but was due to out-dated practices that separated mothers and babies before the first breastfeed. This is not some hidden inside information wiki leaks discovery churva!  You can read about it here  or watch this. It was international news, here! and here!

Ask your self, what is the #1 cause of death of mothers here in the Philippines? (for another post) Is it infection from a filthy companion of choice?

To prevent infection, hand washing is a big deal in the labor and delivery room, you can read about that here. As you can see from the Unang Yakap Photo on top the dad is barefoot. I am assuming that he is because he was not able to bring extra slippers and the place does not have extra slippers for him and so he was simply asked to wash his hands and feet thoroughly. In the birth center I have been to and the 2 hospitals here in Davao City that regularly conduct hospital tours, you can not bring your street footwear inside the labor/ delivery room area.

As of date, there are more than 200 birth companions, mostly fathers who attended Childbirth Class here in Davao City and none of them fainted during labor and birth! I wrote about this before, here.

If you want to have continuous labor support, I don't understand why you can not, unless the labor/delivery room in your birthplace is super small. Which means you might not be able to walk or move around which is vital and helpful during labor, watch this. Now ask yourself, what logical, humane and kind reason could there be for you to shell out your hard earned money in such a place? Look at the pictures in the Unang Yakap Facebook Page, other mothers were able to have a companion of choice. It is being done in different parts of the country!
If you want the support of your mother, sister, friend, boyfriend, partner, husband, soul mate beside you continuously during labor and birth, as far as I am concerned, I don't understand why you can not have this here in Davao City.

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