Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunshine on my shoulders...

...makes me happy!

And even more now that I read about a study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine researchers. It appears that vitamin D can prevent cesarean births! I've fallen in love with vitamin D over the last few years as I've learned more and more about all the ways the "sunshine vitamin" improves our health and well-being, so when I saw this new study's findings, I couldn't believe it! ANOTHER reason to love vitamin D?! Are you kidding me?!

In a news release about the study, Dr. Michael Holick, director of the General Clinical Research Center, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, and an assistant professor of medicine, explains, "In our analysis, pregnant women who were vitamin D-deficient at the time of delivery had almost four time the odds of Caesarean birth than women who were not deficient" (US News and World Report, "Vitamin D Deficit in Pregnancy Tied to Caesarean Risk").

Apparently vitamin D deficiency is tied with decreased muscle performance and strength, so it makes sense that women with low levels would struggle through the taxing muscle-endurance feat of childbirth.

These findings have made me ecstatic, but they've also got me pondering. For so long I've believed that the birth process is perfectly designed... that nearly all complications arise from medical interference in the process. But this study has shed some light (no pun intended) on a percentage of those complicated births. I guess I can't blame the medical establishment for everything... dang it! ;-) The truth is that multiple factors are always involved.

Even so, I still believe that even most vitamin D-deficient women can give birth normally. Chances are it will just take their bodies longer. And that's where the medical establishment steps in. 'Cause they're not typically very patient with those long labors, so interventions are introduced (pitocin, epidurals, instrumental or surgical deliveries). Women with muscle weakness aren't guaranteed a cesarean birth, but their weak muscles will stack the odds against them... at least in the hospital.

All the more reason I'm glad I live in the Valley of the Sun... where even the winters are sunny and pleasant. And all the more reason to get out into that gorgeous weather and exercise. 'Cause anything I can do to strengthen my body is going to improve my odds of a smooth and problem-free delivery!


Judy Adams said...

Cool title. Well thought out article. Little Bubby is lucky to have you.

The Bryan's said...

I should have had tons of vitamin D before Lucas. I should have found your blog before Lucas actually! Thank you for all the info!