Medical-Model Labor Management Fails Head-to-Head Comparison with Physiologic Care
This is a study that provides proof positive that physiologic care is superior to medical management. The study reports the results of Strong Start, a program providing care at American Association of Birth Centers free-standing birth centers. Let’s look at the numbers.
Overall, 3136 women participated, of whom 2082 were at low medical risk. The remaining 1054 had risk factors such as hypertension, preterm labor, non-reassuring fetal testing, etc. that would exclude them from birth center delivery. The proportion of women with these factors was similar to that in the general U.S. population.
Mama and Baby Essentials writes:
The Strong Start population was much less likely to have labor inductions (13% vs. 23%) compared with the U.S. population at large.
Mama and Baby Essentials writes: Are we broken? Are we to believe that one third of pregnant women cannot go into labor? Let’s look at some of the reasons doctors like to induce labor. Although few true reasons to induce labor exist, labor induction is rapidly becoming routine procedure despite mounting research evidence that inductions are twice as likely to end in cesarean section and put the baby at twice the risk of experiencing fetal distress. One of the most commonly-cited reasons for induction is an “overdue pregnancy”. However, this is an arbitrary statement, especially as the average gestation of a first-time pregnancy worldwide is 41 weeks, 1 day. Or, women are told their baby is “too big.” Separate studies by Gonen et al, Leaphart et alt, Friesen et alt, and Combs et alt all support that induction at term is not recommended to avoid birth trauma for suspected large babies. It was found to increase the c-section rate and associated problems for mother and baby, but did not reduce the shoulder dystocia rate, nor improve birth outcomes. Some women prefer an induction because family is coming to help and has limited time. This is not a reason to have major surgery or risk causing the baby to have difficulties. Moreover, the difference in induction rates is larger than appears because the Strong Start numbers only include women who labored while the U.S. induction rate includes planned cesareans in the denominator. When limited to women planning labor, the U.S. rate rises to 48%.
In addition, 93% of the Strong Start women were exclusively breastfeeding at the time they left the birth center or hospital vs. 42% of women nationally. At admission to prenatal care investigators found racial/ethnic disparities in intent to breastfeed (88% white; 72% black; 64% Hispanic), but they disappeared by the end of the pregnancy. The investigators attributed this shift to interactions during prenatal care. Among women at low medical risk, the cesarean and induction rates were both 4%, the episiotomy rate was 2%, and 94% were exclusively breastfeeding at discharge. The Strong Start numbers are all the more remarkable when you consider that these were low-income women who were likely to be experiencing the ill effects of poverty such as poor nutrition or a high-stress living environment.
Mama and Baby Essentials writes: Are we broken? Is there something wrong with us that about half of birthing women can’t breastfeed? No. There is nothing wrong with us. Women primarily don’t breastfeed because of perceived insufficient milk production, problems with latching on, or lack of maternal confidence (which comes from lack of support). Milk production can be increased and the latch can be improved. Most hospitals have lactation consultants to aid women. Nursing mothers can find assistance internationally from Le Leche League. The support of the woman’s partner plays a tremendous role. Patience and persistence is helpful.
This brings us to the acid test. To ensure apples-to-apples comparisons, the U.S. uses cesarean rates in 1st-time mothers who have reached full term (37 weeks or more) and are carrying one, head-down baby as one of its health care standards. The national U.S. rate in this subgroup is 27%, but it was half that number—14%—in Strong Start participants. The logic is inescapable: if you apply differing models of care to similar populations and one results in worse outcomes, then it is proven to be inferior to the other. The Strong Start program has unequivocally demonstrated that medical management should be abandoned in favor of physiologic care.
The Take-Away: Seek out care providers who practice physiologic care. These are more likely to be, but are not necessarily, midwives.
Mama and Baby Essentials writes: We are not broken. Our pregnancies are treated as an abnormality that needs to be corrected. For low risk pregnancies simply allowing nature to take it’s course is best. One intervention leads to another, which leads to another. Choose care providers that respect you, who answer your questions thoroughly and who work with you to obtain the birth you want. We are all thankful that professional care givers are there in a true emergency. Normal birth is not an emergency. Birth should be watched, not interfered with.
This is information that should be in the hands of any new parent or those who care for children. The number one choice you can make when creating a Natural Nursery for little ones is to eliminate the use of any product with artificial fragrance, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Information on this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
IMPORTANT: Young Living Oils are the ONLY oils available that are 100% pure, guaranteed. No chemicals mixed in, no pesticides, no additives. Any other oil has potentially harmful ingredients for you and your baby.
Synthetic fragrance is like second-hand smoke, affecting all those exposed to it including your other children, family members and friends. It’s not good for anyone.
Lavender essential oil is listed in the British Pharmacopoeia as a medicine (it’s been there for over 200 years) and is used all over the world safely on children. It’s also the first essential oil every nursery should have to replace harmful chemicals, naturally, cleanse the air and lift the spirits of mom’s and babies.
Remember to always, always use a carrier oil when using essential oils on babies and children. Carrier oils need to be used for a couple reasons – they help dilute the very concentrated essential oils, they help aid in distributing the oils evenly, and they prevent the essential oils from evaporating too quickly.
Good carrier oils include olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil. Dilution ratios are approximately 1-2 drops per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil for a baby, and 1-2 drops per 1/2-1 teaspoon for a toddler or preschooler.
1. Try a Bedtime Massage
Just before bed, and maybe right after a bath, give your baby a nice massage with oil. Mix 1- 2 drops of lavender & roman chamomile with 2 tablespoons carrier oil and. rub all along the arms, legs, back, tummy, feet, ears. The massage itself is relaxing, and the fragrance of the oils will set the tone for a calm and peaceful night.
2. Diffuse Oils in Baby’s Bedroom a Bedtime Massage
Just breathing and smelling the oils can work wonders for all of us – parents and children alike! You can put a drop of lavender on your child’s mattress, pillow, or lovey. Diffusing essential oils can actually help clean and purify the air in your child’s room, and can also be used to help with respiratory problems. Just a side note – I suggest using a cold air ultrasonic diffuser. Heating the oils can lessen their beneficial properties.
3. Use Oils at Bathtime
Bathtime can become relaxing time! You can put a few drops of lavender or roman chamomile in the bathwater with a liquid soap or with Epsom salt, to help it disperse throughout the water.
4. Use Essential Oils to Alleviate Teething Pain
Stick with me here – teething does impact sleep since it’s one of the many reasons why sleep can derail! If your baby is struggling with teething pain, try 1 drop of clove oil diluted in one tablespoon of carrier oil – then, dip your finger in the mixture and place directly on gums. You can rub diluted lavender oil along the jawline as well to help with teething pain. White fir and roman chamomile oil can also help alleviate teething pain when applied directly to the gums.
5. Use Essential Oils for Earaches
If ear pain is keeping your baby up, try lavender oil to help with the pain. Rub diluted oil in front of and behind the outside of the ear. Melaleuca (tea tree) and basil oil are also great and can help with infection – put a drop of each oil on a cotton ball and place inside the ear and/ or rub all around the ear. You can reapply as needed for pain. (Quick disclaimer regarding earaches – if your baby’s ears hurt, it’s best to see a healthcare provider for further evaluation. While essential oils can help alleviate pain, most healthcare providers will want to evaluate and treat an infection themselves.)
6. Try Essential Oils to Help with Colic/Tummy Pain
Stomach discomfort is obviously a big problem when you’re trying to get your little one to sleep! Fortunately, essential oils can help. Ginger, fennel, lavender, wild orange, marjoram, or Roman chamomile are all great oils for easing stomach trouble gently and naturally. Dilute a couple of drops with tablespoon carrier oil, and rub clockwise on tummy a few times. (Again – if you believe your child’s tummy trouble may be due to a more serious health problem, see a healthcare provider.)
7. Essential Oils Can Help Alleviate Coughing
Blend peppermint, eucalyptus, or melaleuca with a carrier oil, rub on the bottoms of your child’s feet and then put socks on your child. Finally, rub the diluted oil on your child’s chest. This can work wonders at reducing and eliminating a persistent cough (although once again, if you suspect your child is ill, you’ll want to see a healthcare provider for evaluation – the oils are meant to alleviate the symptoms of illness, not to treat the illness itself). You can also use the diluted oil in a diffuser so that your child gets the benefit of breathing in the aroma.
by Anne Metz
When you have a new baby and you are blue, blind, paralytic exhausted and don’t have the energy or thought to even take a shower, think about these words by writer and mother, Anne Metz.
At this moment, my house is a mess, more than a mess really, it’s a disgrace. The dishwasher needs emptying, the breakfast dishes are piled in the sink, and the crockpot is sitting out, “soaking” with greasy soapy water. There are two loads of laundry dumped on the couch that need folding and the remains of a pretty awesome pillow fort are strewn all over the floor.
This wouldn’t be a big deal except that a friend just texted me to ask if she can stop by in a few minutes to drop some clothes off for the triplets. How can I say no? We love hand-me-downs.
A few years ago, I would have apologized profusely for the mess as I let my friend in the door. I would have explained, in detail, all the very good reasons I had for the place being a mess. You know what else I would have done? I would have apologized for the “mess” even if my house was clean. I would straighten and scrub before inviting people over and still apologize as my mom friends walked in the door.
I’m not even sure why I was apologizing.
Did I imagine other women kept their house cleaner and neater? Was I worried that they were judging my home? I think it had something to do with me trying to present myself as a person who was in control of the chaos that is my life. Then I think it just turned into a habit.
I’ve decided to stop apologizing. I think you should too.
A few years ago, I took my son over to play at a friend’s house. It was his first time there and my first time meeting the mom. They had just moved in and the mom was in the middle of painting a bedroom. There were kids running around the house jumping over toys and shooting nerf guns at each other. Painting supplies and boxes were scattered throughout the house. But there were no apologies. The mom simply stated, “I’m painting today; I’m so excited about how the room is going to turn out.” In the past two years, I’ve been to their house a few times and seen it in many stages: neat as a pin as I’m dropping my son off for a birthday party, happily messy as I’m picking my son up after the party and everything in between. Not once has this mom apologized for the state of the house and why should she?
Aren’t our homes the same? Cluttered and chaotic when we put chores aside to play with our kids, when we decide we need to catch up on our latest Netflix binge, or because illness has hit our homes. Sparkling and smelling fresh after a Saturday scrub down or in preparation for a party. We live here and our space reflects that our kids, our jobs, our busy lives.
So I’m not going to apologize anymore! I’m just going to live in my home, stop caring what others might think and break my habit of apologizing for the mess!