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Posted in Birth Stories, Natural Childbirth, Positive Birth Movement, Pregnancy, Western Birth Practices, Your Questions Answered | Leave a comment

What is an Empowered Birth?

“For me an empowered birth is one where I am the one who makes the decisions for me and my baby. Where I am in an environment of love, support, and respect for the power within my body to successfully birth my baby. Where I can be free to express anything I need to express; sound, movement, fear, love, ecstasy in a place that my expression will not lead to interference from the outside. I believe women have the ability to create an empowering birth experience regardless of if the birth outcome is natural, medicated, or surgical.   When women are making the decisions for their bodies and their babies out of education, faith, belief and confidence in themselves and not out of fear or manipulation they will be empowered.  I believe in the human body, in it’s power, and in birth’s ability to transform a person, woman, wife, and mother.”

Dr. Nancy, Your Birth Coach

If you, too, want an empowered birth – join the community at http://naturalbirthbabyandbeyond.com.

Natural Birth, Baby, and Beyond is an online childbirth empowerment course and online community where you can get all the information and resources you need to create the best birth for you and your baby.

Posted in Birth Stories, Natural Childbirth, Orgasmic Birth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Community Not Aware of Why Parents Abstain From Vaccines

There was a great article in the Ottawa Citizen about why parents choose not to vaccinate.  Here is my response to this article:  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/vaccine+hesitant+making+their+point/9707154/story.html

I agree that the media and the medical community are uninformed of the reason why parents choose to abstain from vaccines, delay or selectively vaccinate. Each time an article blames non vaccinating on celebrities or autism I know the author/reporter is clearly uninformed on the real issues.

I have three main issues with vaccines, which are also the concerns of most of the nonvaccinating parents I know.

#1 Lack of informed choice. Most parents are not given accurate information to make an informed choice. All provaccine material makes the assumption that the only choice is to say yes to vaccines. Vaccine marketing is often manipulative (especially that for HPV) and parents are often coerced and bullied into their decision. Parents are presented with fear based information about the risks of the ‘vaccine-preventable’ infections and overstatements of the benefits of vaccines, claiming guaranteed effectiveness. That is not nearly enough information to be making an informed choice.  No parent who has been given this limited amount of information has legally given informed consent. Continue reading

Posted in Informed Choice, Vaccines | Leave a comment

Stay Out of Our Vaginas

A new device is being manufactured to stretch a woman’s pelvic tissues (lower 1/3 of the vagina and pelvic floor muscles) during the first stage of labor.  http://www.maternamedical.com/the-device.html

There are so many things wrong with this idea.

Women’s bodies are not dysfunctional in birth. The system of maternity care is dysfunctional and is what is often causing damage to women’s bodies. This device is like covering the symptom of one improperly prescribed drug by taking another drug. It is not getting to the underlying cause of the problem which is a dysfunctional maternity care system that is not supporting women’s bodies to give birth normally.

In an undisturbed birth NOTHING needs to go inside a woman’s vagina. No fingers for routine vaginal checks(which give little to no useful information except in specific scenarios), no instruments, and no one even needs to be looking between a woman’s legs.

A normal birth happens with a woman upright and not her back with her knees behind her ears stretching her perineum over the vaginal opening. Support normal birth and we do away with the need for interventions and pelvic floor and perineal damage for the vast majority of births.

Besides how is a woman supposed to be walking, dancing, rocking, bathing, and everything else that facilitates the first stage of labor with a device slowly stretching her vagina in place.  This device would keep women on their backs, increasing pain and use of epidurals.  This dysfunctional positioning, increased pain and fear, and use of drugs is what is causing many perineal tears and tight pelvic floor muscles in the first place.

Sign this petition to let the company know that you want them to stay out of your vagina!

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/materna-medical-keep-your-devices-out-of-our-vaginas?tk=b2e96ZIn05c-hs20lkSiuhURshvEudX5FrY8BZnYpBs&utm_campaign=social_digest_email&utm_content=social_digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest&utm_term=1

Posted in Childbirth Activism, Informed Choice, Natural Childbirth, Sexuality, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Porn and our Youth’s Sexuality

I have always been interested in sexuality; I am currently writing a book on sex and birth. So I have been doing some ‘research’ and have come across some Ted Talks that I have found interesting and eye opening.

For our twenty somethings and teen populations porn is affecting what is happening behind closed doors. Porn today is very different from porn I was exposed to in the 80’s and 90’s, before high speed internet arrived. The porn available now is changing the minds, expectations, and experiences of today’s young people.

Did you know that porn is actually causing erectile dysfunction in twenty year olds? Not the kind of erectile dysfunction that can be remedied with Viagra or psychotherapy as it is not a below the belt problem, nor a psychological problem. It is a physical rewiring of the pleasure centers of the brain. Watch this TEDx Talk called The Great Porn Experiment and find out more.

Porn back in the day was about the fantasy of the encounter. There was a story line, no Continue reading

Posted in Sexuality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Drinking Love

I am writing a new book.  It actually has been written in my head since my pregnancy in 2011 but I am finally putting it down on paper, well technically typing it on to virtual paper.  I was inspired by my sister to write an ovaries out, vulnerable, open, and honest introduction to the book, which I did yesterday.  You will have to read the book when it comes out to read that.  But I had a realization while writing that I wanted to share.

drinking love image

My kids love breastfeeding so much because they are drinking love!

 

I had never thought about this in this way before.  They tell me it’s the best thing in the world, better than ice cream!  If they had to choose one thing they could eat forever it would be my milk.  They don’t want it in a cup, they say ‘that’s gross’, they want it from me.  I offer that we can just snuggle but that isn’t sufficient.   Why?  ”It’s not the same,” they say.  Drinking my milk in a cup and snuggling together at the same time is not the same.  Why?

Oxytocin is our love hormone.  Essentially it is LOVE in chemical form.  It is what changes the physical structure of our brains, changes the connections between neurons, to form tight bonds with the people who are around us when it is released.   We get oxytocin in a few ways; birth, breastfeeding, sex/orgasm, and physical closeness like hugging.  The amounts of oxytocin we experience in life are highest with birth (unmedicated birth though) and then with breastfeeding, then sex, and then with other physical closeness.

When we breastfeed oxytocin is the hormone that releases our milk from our breasts and it is flowing through to our nurslings in our milk.  Snuggling and the skin to skin close physical contact tops it off to be the most oxytocin they will experience apart from their own birth experiences.  Our babies, toddlers, children who nurse are literally drinking our love.  They then experience love in their own body, what could be better in the world than that.  Not even ice cream.

I wanted to share this because it is a beautiful insight for me and I will now be less likely to say no next time they ask for a sip of LYVE.

Posted in Breastfeeding, Natural Childbirth, Natural Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Years After My Online Birth

Two years ago I made a decision that has changed the course of my life.

As a result of my mother’s reaction to witnessing my second home birth back in 2009, and how gentle and empowering it was compared to her ´humiliating´ birth experiences, I felt it was important that others also have the opportunity to witness a peaceful birth.

Undisturbed birth, where no one interferes with the mother, and all those present are there to support her wishes and her normal physiology, looks nothing like the images we have seen from typical hospital births. As a result, I decided to have my birth live streamed online. The birth of my son Oziah was seen by an audience of thousands of viewers from around the globe, anxious to witness a normal birth for the first time.

This birth was likely the most witnessed birth in history and progressed exactly as I had Continue reading

Posted in Childbirth Activism, Ottawa Community Events, Parenting, Positive Birth Movement | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How My Midwife Changed My Life 7 Years Ago

I am reposting this article originally published on Ottawa Mommy Club because today is the 7th anniversary of me becoming a mother.

“You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” – Dr. B.J. Palmer

I think that when working in the world of birth sometimes people can forget how long lasting and impactful their work is on the life of that family. I’m sure each birth worker does recognize that each birth is a miracle in its own rite but it is easy to lose the connection with how the events of that birth will play out for the future of that family.

When I was pregnant the first time, I knew I wanted a natural birth. I wanted nothing to do with medicalized birth and the only thing I feared was the possibility of being put on the clock and being pushed into the hospital system. I had total faith in my body and even wanted minimal involvement from my midwives. (I recognize that I am the odd ball when it comes to my complete faith in birth but it was as a result of my training as a chiropractor that I understood the full potential of the human body.)

Some midwives would have been less than comfortable with how comfortable I was with birth and I know not many Obstetricians would have been able to care for me. Many people who work in the world of birth are just as afraid of birth as women are, in today’s fear based culture. Continue reading

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Birth in Nature

“This video is of my fourth birth. It was the singular most transforming event of my life and my most conscious act as a woman to date.

“How and why I chose to give birth in nature was much about the inner journey as the outward process … and equally as powerful. Afterwards I felt like my whole life had been in preparation for that one moment. My sense of wholeness and peace was bigger and deeper than anything I had ever felt before. This feeling only continues to expand and ripple out into my family, my relationships, my life. It has had a profound effect on my mothering and for my children especially.”

The only thing I did not like about this video was he pulling on the baby’s neck. It was minimal compared to a typical hospital birth but I prefer to see none.

Posted in Unassited Birth Videos, Unmedicated Birth Videos, Videos of Birth, Water Birth Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Protecting Immunity in a Cesarean Birth

How a baby is born does impact its future immune health.

Our immune system is housed primarily in the gut with our natural bacterial flora being one of our first lines of defense and an intricate part of normal immunity.

click to see image childbirth

When a baby is born, it is normally exposed to mom’s vaginal flora.  This is the babies first meal, as it is the very first thing to enter into their virgin digestive tract.  These healthy bacteria form a coating inside the digestive tract.  Think of the bacterial flora like putting a layer of slime inside a the gastrointestinal tract, creating a physical barrier to entry.  This will protect from proteins and other foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses from entering the blood stream through the very permeable intestinal lining.   Without this, proteins from food and germs would have the opportunity to pass through.

When proteins pass into the blood stream, your body recognizes that they are foreign and creates an immune reaction to eliminate them.  This is the creation of food sensitivities and food allergies and a switch of the immune system to abnormal reactions.

There are two factors at play with babies born via Cesarean.  One, they are not exposed to moms natural flora as the are born since they are not passing through the birth canal, and two, they will definitely be exposed to IV antibiotics during the surgery, and then through moms milk.

How can mom’s who give birth via Cesarean make up for this?

You can take a swab of the mother’s vagina and put it on her nipples.  This would give the baby the opportunity to have it’s proper first meal and protect it’s immune and digestive tract.

Since mom will also have her flora wipes out through the antibiotics in surgery, probiotics and fermented foods are a must.    Fermented foods allow the good bacteria to travel further along the digestive tract.

Here is another great article about the subject:

My Baby, My Microbiome

“Evidence is mounting that babies delivered by C-section miss out on the benefits of the mother’s microbiome. Karen Levy on how cesarean’s could be tied to obesity, asthma, allergies and more.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/06/02/babies-born-by-cesarean-section-may-not-gain-benefits-of-vaginal-microbiome.html

Posted in Breastfeeding, Breech Birth, Caesarean Section, Newborn Procedures, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Are We Teaching Our Boys?

 

It is important that we are focusing on raising loving and compassionate children.

If you have a 2 year old boy, ask yourself, what kind of 8 year old am I raising right now, how will this boy behave in the school yard?

If you have an 8 year old, ask yourself, what kids of 15 year old am I raising right now, how will this boy treat his girlfriend?

If you have a 15 year old, ask yourself, what kind of man, husband, father am I raising right now, how will he treat his partner and children?

We get so focused on managing the day to day that we forget the big picture.  Often, we think of big picture only in terms of their education and potential career or earning potential.

If we raise our children with the intention of helping to create compassionate and loving adults, we need to be teaching, modeling, and helping them experience love and compassionate right now.

Posted in Attachment Parenting, Parenting | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Stand Up for Home Birth After Cesarean

The only person who can decide on the safest place to give birth is the mother.

The safest place for her to birth is the place she is most relaxed and comfortable.  This allows for physiological low risk birth, without the need for intervention, and without creating extra risk.

Forcing a woman to birth in the hospital, especially after a surgical birth, which may have been traumatic, is highly likely to create a dysfunctional birth and a higher risk to both mom and baby.

Considering the risk of catastrophic uterine rupture is so low, and is even lower that it would not be recognized earlier enough to transfer to the hospital, this is not enough reason to require women to birth in hospital for a VBAC.

Understanding that the risk for repeat Cesarean IS higher than the risk of VABC, it is important that we facilitate every factor that will lead to a normal low risk vaginal birth, including mother’s choice of birthplace.

 

Please do support women’s rights to choose their birth place by signing this petition:  https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/saskatoon-health-region-remove-ban-on-midwife-support-for-home-birth-after-caesarean-hbac#share

 

Posted in Childbirth Activism, Western Birth Practices | 1 Comment