Sunday, December 30, 2007

Don't want a doula or can't afford one?

Check out this post over at Hug the Monkey. It's a blog about oxytocin and has lots of great information, so I recommend browsing some of the other posts too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Treating Mastitis

Most women who've given birth and subsequently nursed their babies have at least heard about the possibility of developing mastitis (if not experienced it themselves). I have, on one occasion, developed what appeared by my estimation to be mastitis. It started out with what seemed like a plugged duct. I had experienced a plugged duct before, so I nursed frequently on that side while massaging the painful area. Eventually the pain was accompanied by flu-like aches all over my body. I didn't want to wait around for the fever to start, so I immediately opened up my Nursing Mother's Companion to see what suggestions were there. I was a little disappointed that it didn't offer many concrete natural treatments and encouraged women to see their doctor for a prescription of antibiotics to avoid having the infection progress into an abscess. I have only taken antibiotics twice in my memory--once for an ear infection as a teenager and later for a supposed UTI (which was probably not actually a UTI in retrospect). I am not a big fan of antibiotics, and I think we all know they're over-prescribed, over-injected, and largely responsible for the scary super-bugs we keep hearing about. So, needless to say, I didn't want to go to the doctor and get a prescription.

I turned, instead, to the trusty internet, found some ideas, and put them to work. I continued to experience breast pain and mild aches for another day and half, but by the end of the second day I was pain and ache-free. I can't promise that what worked for me will work for everyone, but here's my recipe for treating mastitis without a prescription...

Read the rest of this post at my new website!

And still rising...

Have you heard about the latest c-section data from the CDC? They just recently published the data from births in 2006. The c-section rate from last year is at a record high--31.1% of all births!

Eugene Declercq, Ph.D., Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Boston University School of Public Health highlights some concerns: “At a time when maternal and infant mortality rates are decreasing throughout the industrialized world, the United States is in the unique position of having both a rapidly increasing cesarean rate and no improvement in these basic measures of maternal and infant health.”

That's right. As cesarean section rates rise, so do maternal and infant deaths. Though it's no proof of a connection, it is a frightening snapshot of the state of maternity care in the U.S.

If you'd like more information about how to avoid a cesarean, how to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean, or need resources for recovering from a cesarean, check out the International Cesarean Awareness Network.