Happy International Homebirth Day

[Holding my son after our amazing homebirth just four months ago!]

Today is International Homebirth Day.

Why is that important? Well, birth is kind of a big deal. There are an estimated 134 million births per year around the world, and 4.3 births every second, human births anyway. Can you imagine what the number would be if we knew the number for all of the births? How many animals gave birth on the day that we did? How many are birthing this very second? And it is mind blowing to think that nearly all of the around the world animals are giving birth in nature or the place of their choosing, right at this very moment. It is their right, what is instinctual for them, where they will have the best birth outcome. Human mothers can do that too. We can welcome our babies at the place of our choosing into our own arms with love. Physiological birth is increasingly rare in our culture.

I personally cherish my two homebirths and I am certain most people who have had one or two or ten do as well. There is something so irreplaceable about birthing your child in your own space, by yourself or with your family, or even with a care provider that you selected. It was a journey for me to come to realize homebirth was a real, valid option for me though. I brushed it off the first time because it wasn’t covered by my insurance and I thought hospitals were the place to have babies. But the difference in care between my homebirth midwife and my hospital OB was light and day. And the room full of surgeons who knows who else in the operating room for my unplanned cesarean. I remember the bright lights, people telling my husband he couldn’t come in, gloves tugging and pushing, and the beeping and other mechanical noises assaulting my senses while I was at my most sensitive. After that, I knew without a doubt that I would feel safe surrounded by my family. No one else would be allowed near me while birthing without my permission. I went on to have my first homebirth three years ago in August and second just four short months ago. One with a midwife and her assist and the other with just myself and then about a minute with my husband. Each special in their own way.

But not everyone finds homebirth like I did. Some beautiful, strong women just have babies at home from the get go. That’s normal for them and I envy them. And others never feel like it’s an option for them, either they don’t feel safe at home or they’re told they cannot. I find it sad when capable women are told they cannot birth how and where they want to. There are over a thousand hospitals in the US that put a ban on vaginal birth for some women. Really. (Read Vaginal Birth Bans in America – The Insanity of Mandatory Surgery) Birthing naturally and at home if the mother wants it should be an option for more women and their babies. Midwives should be covered by all insurance plans, period. We should all know that homebirth is actually something prevalent in most of the world. It’s unfortunate that it’s portrayed as something out of the ordinary here in the United States, something risky or selfish, when it isn’t either of those things. Can women and babies get a little support, please?

So, because of the importance of birth and how wonderful birthing at home can be, I invite you to celebrate the day with me. Think about why birth is important to you. Remember your births and talk about them with your children and the women in your life.

[Here are my two homebirthed babies this morning.]

Did you have a homebirth or two? How will you celebrate the day?

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!

New Study: Mouth and placental microbiomes share similar bacteria

[My placenta with Quint. It was much smaller than I was expecting!]

According to U.S. Human Microbiome Project, researchers have found that microbes found in the placenta are closely related to bacteria in the mouth. You would think the microbiome of the vagina would be closer but nope. The mix of bacteria in the placenta looked more like the microbiome in an adult human female’s mouth than the vaginal, skin, gut, or other body microbiomes.

Wait. Did you think your placenta was free of bacteria? The old notion that the placenta was sterile, free of bacteria and other microbes was debunked last year when researchers discovered that healthy placentas actually harbor microbial communities.

What is the significance of this finding? Well, this bacteria could possibly influence whether pregnant women give birth prematurely. According to fetal medicine specialist Kjersti Aagaard of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, “This reemphasizes the importance of oral health” during pregnancy. “In fact, women may need to pay attention to their teeth even before they may become pregnant, because the placenta develops early in pregnancy, she says. Another interesting discovery found during this study was that a correlation between the placental microbiome composition and urinary tract infections has also been found. This may suggest that illnesses or antibiotics taken to treat them could alter the microbiome in unhealthy ways.” I am happy that more attention is being given to the possible harms antibiotics cause.

Want more info on this? Read Discovery News & Science Mag.

Isn’t that interesting? Do you love hearing about placenta news?

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!

 

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Birth Video of the week: The Free Water Birth of Jack

Birth is universal. No matter where or how in the world a woman is giving birth, a connection is felt. And I feel strongly that It’s important to share all types of births, especially physiological births in which the mother and child are completely unhindered and able to birth naturally without interventions. Everyone, noy just women, need to see what our bodies can do and have been doing since the dawn of time.

This water freebirth video was shared with me earlier this week by the birth photographer from Perth, Western Australia that documented it, Jessica Newton of Home-Grown Photography. Although water births are becoming increasingly popular, freebirths are much less common. A freebirth, or a family birth that is unassisted by medical professionals registered with the government, is one of many birthing options for a pregnant mother and her child.

Grab some tissues!

The birth of Jack v 2.0 from Jessica Newton on Vimeo.

Go give her Facebook page, Home-Grown Photography, some likes for supporting pregnant mamas and babies!

Did you have a water birth? Did you have a freebirth? Share your story!

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!


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Video of premature baby born at 25 weeks – His first year

I am so thankful both of my girls were term but I was one. I was born a couple months early when my mother went into early labor and I can only imagine how my mother made it through it, visiting me in the NICU, bringing me pumped milk, hauling her kids every day on the public bus to come see me. My heart goes out to mothers of preemies.

Watch if you feel like crying:

Ward Miles – First Year by Tania Iepura - Youtube

Did you have a preemie? What was your journey like?

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!

 

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Sweet Links: New Formula Push in Asia, Breastfeeding a Toddler, Babywearing, Natural Birth Guide, Cut down on the OJ & Squeezy Packets

Happy Sunday!

We just got home from a walk to the lake here in Oakland. It is such a gorgeous day, I can’t get over it. What else is going on? Not a whole lot. There was a big nurse-in in Texas on Friday. I had new nursing portraits taken last week with my girls and I just love them. This week on my blog, I disabled user registrations, just to let you know. I had about 400 spam registrations one night so I just turned it off until further notice.

Anyway, on to the sweet links. These are the latest birth, breastfeeding, and nutrition articles I’ve seen this week. And one funny video about the difference between and man and a woman getting sick – Watch The Man Cold.

Enjoy!

<3 Paala

Breastfeeding

I love the photo featured of the author Stephanie Brandt Cornais of Mama and Baby Love and her two-year-old daughter.

What does breastfeeding look like in your family?

I didn’t know Jennifer Garner was still breastfeeding! She talks about her son’s needs in this NOW! Weekly Magazine article. I hope she’s joking about the weaning part but still, nursing past a year is awesome!

Ready for a laugh? Read this post by the The Feminist Breeder.

I weep for the babies that are victims of the major formula companies hunger for higher and higher profits. Apparently, Asia is their next target.

“Global breastfeeding rates are declining across East Asia and in some of Africa’s most populous countries like Ethiopia and Nigeria, according to the latest report by Save The Children. The NGO has blamed aggressive marketing plans used by corporate houses to formula milk for this decline.”

more…

“The NGO report said that Asia being viewed as a lucrative new market for the formula-milk industry, which is already worth £16 billion and set to grow as whole by 31% by 2015. Around 20% of health workers surveyed in Pakistan said they received branded gifts from representatives of breast milk substitute companies, including prescription pads, calendars, pens and note pads

In China, the charity also spoke to mothers finding that 40% of mothers surveyed reported being given formula samples by some breast milk substitute’s company representatives or health workers.”

Forty percent!!! That is outrageous. When is making a buck going to take a back seat to the health of our children?

Heartbreaking story in Mali. Thank goodness her third baby is doing well!

Parenting

Comic by joni rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch. Read her post on it, Babywearing Done Right.

What do you do to keep yourself from yelling at your kids? We’re trying hugs when I feel like yelling and it really seems to be calming me down.

The next time you see a parent on their phone at the park, don’t judge. We’ve all been there. Though I did pat myself on the back today at the park for not bringing my phone out once. WHooo hooo! But then again, I was chatting with my in-laws. So I was still getting some adult interaction. Shame on me.

Just what I needed today. I need to reconnect with my three year old more, who is actually sleeping on me right now, because she’s been feeling jealous of her little sister these days more than usual. Thanks AhaParenting.com!

For anyone else having a hard time getting their kids to fall asleep in the same room.

Pregnancy

Halle Berry is pregnant?! How did I miss this? She looks radiant.

Birth

Have you seen Naturo-Mommy‘s guide to a natural birth? What is your top advice for having a natural birth?

Food & Health

One more reason to make your own juice and fruit and veggies smoothies…

Okay, that is enough for today. Which article did you find most interesting?

 

Most Recent Sweet Links Posts:

Sweet Links…Sexed up Olympic Athletes, Ina May on Global Motherhood, Birth Videos Are Not Gross, The Best Peach Tart You’ll Ever Have

Happy Thursday!

Here are some things worth checking out this week. Want more? Click here to check out my other recent Sweet Links posts.

Enjoy!

~

Birth

Breastfeeding

Feature_breastfeedingImage_

Parenting

Women in the Media

vs 

Random

And if you’re hungry, this will make you drool.

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Birth Film Worth Watching: The Other Side of the Glass

The Other Side of the Glass is a birth film for fathers. It made me tear up, even though it starts off a bit slow. Why don’t we think about how fathers are treated more during their first moments transitioning into parenthood? How can we prepare them to help us best and help their babies during birth? Regardless of how or where a mother decides to birth, home or in the hospital, the father should be able to do what he does best, be supportive and protect his family.

 

The Other Side of the Glass

Share this with your husband for Father’s Day this weekend.

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