Archive for September, 2010

By Jane Bradshaw, RN, IBCLC, RLC, Childbirth Educator, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator

What’s wrong with this statement? How could a woman benefit from Prepared Childbirth Classes if she definitely wants an epidural?

1. Because a laboring woman can not always have an epidural when she wants it. Usually she must be in active labor and progressing, effacing and dilating. It is worth it to know comfort measures to cope with labor until that point.
2. An epidural may slow or stop labor. If that happens more drugs are given to stimulate labor to ‘move it along’, usually pitocin. Both of these, the epidural and pitocin, are strong, serious drugs that can cause fetal distress. Parents need to understand these drugs well before choosing them, knowing the benefits, risks and alternatives, how to ask questions and discuss these with their care providers. Then they need to be able to consider their options to make the best decisions for themselves and their baby.
3. Sometimes an epidural, Plan A doesn’t work (roughly 10% of the time) or it may work on only 1 side only numb one area and not others. Then what do you do? Women who don’t have Plan B are more likely to feel totally unprepared, disappointed, upset, fearful and have more pain.
4. Sometimes labor goes too quickly to get the epidural! These quick labors are usually healthy but very intense. It is worth it to know techniques to help yourself through a fast & furious labor, just in case.
5. A woman or her baby may have a medical condition, at any time that makes her unable to have an epidural. This is a rude awakening if a woman has planned on getting it, and is not prepared to cope without one, again causing more fear, tension, and pain.

What do childbirth preparation classes, commonly known as Lamaze, teach that would benefit a woman who plans to have an epidural?

1. The normal process of labor and delivery. Many mothers fear labor and the knowledge acquired in childbirth classes can reduce fear, tension and pain.
2. All benefits, risks, and alternatives of treatments and medications, including epidurals, that are possible during labor so the woman and her partner can make smart, informed decisions.
3. How to talk with your care provider about your medical choices in labor. During labor, much of what happens to you is optional. Know your options!
3. Lots and lots of risk-free, non-medical comfort techniques for labor.
4. Techniques that promote a healthy labor, ways to help it progress normally, so it is as short as possible which is good for both mother and baby. Who wants a long labor anyway?

Prepared birthing classes are good for EVERY expectant couple!

Call Best Start Parenting Center for more information about Prepared Childbirth Classes or visit our classes page on our website by clicking here.


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by Jane Bradshaw RN, IBCLC, RLC
With all the breastpumps on the market how does a mother decide which is best for her?  When should she consider renting a medical quality pump?

The simplest answer is that basically rental pumps are the ‘cream of the crop’. The medical grade pumps are comfortable, effective, efficient, and easy to use. They would be too expensive for most people to buy, $900 to $1500, but have the best pumping action. They are the best to maintain or stimulate the mother’s milk supply when she is away from her baby or baby cannot breastfeed for any reason. If mother or baby has any medical problems, one of the high quality rental pumps is by far the best choice. Mother’s are more likely to achieve the best milk supply and be able to go on to breastfeed exclusively once everyone recovers with one of these excellent pumps.

PLUS most medical insurances pay for the rental of these medical grade breastpumps when there is a medical problem with mother or baby!

It is far cheaper for an insurance company, or the family, to pay for a pump rental and the baby to receive the health benefits of mother’s milk than for the baby to be formula fed and have the proven increase in doctor visits and medical bills.

A mother may rent a pump if she wants to try pumping when she goes back to work and is not ready to buy yet. This gives her time to adjust and consider her situation. Other mothers love the pumps so much, their ease of use and efficiency they rent their favorite pump for the entire first year or however long they are pumping at work for their baby, and do it again when they have another baby.

To see a chart to help a mother choose the best pump for her situation look at this link:


If you have any questions about renting a Breastpump, call or come in to Best Start and one of our experienced staff will answer your questions.   (434) 384-MAMA (6262)

Click Here to go to our website page about Breastpumps!

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After being told her newborn son was dead, mother Kate Ogg was able to cuddle and caress her baby’s limp body back to life, astonishing doctors. TODAY’s Amy Robach has this incredible story.

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By Karen Gehl, ICCE

I am going to share a secret with you….I love to take self-help quizzes. You know the ones…”Are You Married To Your Perfect Mate”, “What Is Your Exercise Personality”, “What Is The Perfect Diet For You?”….I have taken them all, including one I saw recently titled “Are You a Candidate for Natural Childbirth?”

I have to admit, I was intrigued. Isn’t a woman born a candidate for natural childbirth? Isn’t that one of the major characteristics that differentiates us from our male counterparts and defines us as women? And if a woman isn’t a candidate for natural childbirth, what kind of birth does that mean she is a candidate for???

As a childbirth educator I have always stressed to my pregnant clients that their body knows what to do during pregnancy. The woman’s body knows how to move internal organs and parts out of the way to make room for the growing baby inside her uterus. Her body knows to grow a placenta, an organ she has no need for unless she is growing a baby. Her uterus knows how to expand from about the size of a fist to the size necessary to accommodate her baby, regardless of what size that baby ends up being, and then return to its original size after the baby is born. Her body also knows when and how to begin the process of moving the baby out of her uterus when the baby is finished developing and is ready to be born. And if all of that isn’t enough to impress you, consider that the woman’s body will make milk uniquely designed for her baby!

This is what I have been teaching for years. Could it be that I have been teaching it wrong all this time and that some women are just not “candidates” for birth the way nature intended it to be? I decided to take the quiz myself and find out!

I answered questions about:
• my tolerance for pain (which is not especially high),
• my confidence in my body (hmmm….I have sort of a love/hate relationship with my body),
• my feelings toward strenuous exercise (ick! I hate to sweat!),
• how strong my support network is (my closest relative is 200 miles away) …
… on and on the questions went and I answered all of them honestly.

Then I tallied up my answers and determined my score. The result of my quiz revealed……drum roll please……that I am NOT a candidate for natural childbirth! Wow! What a revelation! I wonder how differently my births would have gone had I known that I was indeed “NOT a candidate for natural birth” back when I was delivering each of my two children…… NATURALLY!!!

I am a woman. I am not only a candidate for natural childbirth, I was made for natural childbirth! I am not super woman. I am not a martyr. I am not any better at giving birth than any other woman on the planet. I just believed I could do it, because that is what my body is designed to do, because I am a woman!

Click here to read Karen’s birth story!

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Jane Bradshaw is traveling this week, sharing her expertise at a Clinical Skills Workshop this week in Rockville, Maryland. Lactation Education Resources provides comprehensive online lactation consultant training for those who wish to become eligible for IBCLC certification. Over the past years, Jane has teached Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Family Practice MDs, La Leche League Leaders, WIC workers, Breastfeeding Peer Counselors, women who have breastfed their infants, and women who have a degree in an unrelated field — anyone with a commitment to breastfeeding mothers and infants! So you can see that people who come into the field of lactation come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

If you have ever wanted to find out how you can learn more to help moms and babies breastfeed or even get certified as a Lactation Consultant, visit the Lactation Education Resources website and read “Where to Start” by clicking here.

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New to cloth diapering? Watch this informative video about how easy it is to use the Bummis Cloth Diapers!

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International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) recently participated in a video production about the IBCLC credential and the public health importance of care provided by IBCLCs.

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