Who starts labour? Mum, baby, or other?

Who Starts Labour?A recent study implies that the Baby is responsible for starting spontaneous labour! “Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and supported by the National Instituted of Health and a Prematurity Research Initiative grant from the March of Dimes, the study expanded on former research that had suggested signals from the fetus are actually responsible for the initiation of birth,” (Growingyourbaby.com reports). UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified two proteins in a mouse fetus’ lungs that initiates labour. The proteins SRC-1 and SRC-2 activate genes inside baby’s lungs near full term, “resulting in an increased production of surfactant components, surfactant protein A (SP-A), and platelet-activating factor (PAF). Both SP-A and PAF are then secreted by the fetus’ lungs into the amniotic fluid, leading to an inflammatory response in the mother’s uterus that initiates labor,” (Sciencedaily reports). Continue reading

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7 Things Hospitals Do During Labour That You Are Told to Avoid While Pregnant (with Pictures)

There are some strange things happening in our society with regards to birth. Women feel less and less able to birth naturally, yet industrialised countries like the US and the UK are seeing maternal and infant mortality rates on the rise. What is going on? I’d like to present 7 Things that hospitals do for labouring women that are NOT RECOMMENDED for pregnant women! It doesn’t make sense that these things are overlooked and treated so lightly. If they are harmful to a pregnant mother, they are also harmful to her in her labouring state, and therefore should be AVOIDED. Continue reading

9 Things that can lead to Failure to Progress (FTP)

woman-in-labourWhat is Failure to Progress? According to doctors and midwives, Failure to Progress is also known as Prolonged Labour, when labour lasts for approximately 20 hours or more after regular contractions begin, and approximately 14 hours or more if you’ve given birth previously. Prolonged latent phase happens during first stage labour where mother can get exhausted and emotionally drained, and prolonged labour during second stage can be a “cause for concern.”

According to WebMD, Prolonged labour may happen if:

  • The baby is very big and cannot move through the birth canal. (Cephalopelvic disproportion)
  • The baby is in an abnormal position. Normally, the baby is head-down facing your back. (Posterior presentation: back-to-back)
  • The birth canal is too small for the baby to move through. (Android pelvis, narrow pelvis)
  • Your contractions are very weak. (Inefficient contractions)

NOW HERE’S the HARD PART. Scratch everything that I just stated up there and everything that you hear from doctors and midwives. Remember, they’re a part of a system, either hospital, birth centre, or NHS and they need to be able to put mothers on a schedule, a timeline, and checklist, so they can do their job. Continue reading

Does Induction Really REDUCE C-Section Risk?

induction-training1Several weeks ago, I came across a claim that Induction reduces the risk of C-section! I sincerely thought, this must be a joke; however, it was referencing an actual journal publication. You can find the actual publication here.

Since I’ve always heard people say, “I had to be induced, and then it ended in c-section,” I thought I would do a series of polls to see if there was any indication that induction REDUCED the number of c-sections.

First, I did a poll directed to those mothers who ended up with emergency c-sections to see how many of them received drugs to induce. You can find the results here“If your birth ended in an emergency c-section, were you given any drugs to start labour or speed up labour prior to the need for a c-section?” Results: 68% Yes to 32% No.  Continue reading

C-sections: Are They Necessary for Every 1 in 4 Women in the UK?

An overwhelming majority of people I meet who have had c-sections are so grateful that they were able to get their baby out safely. They say that if it weren’t for them, they might be dead or their baby might be dead. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary – no more than about 10%-15% of all births. So what about the 10% of women who are still getting c-sections in the UK, but they aren’t medically necessary? Why does it seem like the c-section rate is growing still? Women are still getting unnecessary c-sections and I think it’s due to lack of knowledge and preparation. Doctors tell every c-section patient that it was medically necessary, but that’s not what the statistics show.

Unfortunately, the doctors tell c-section patients a reason to justify the need for the c-section. I’m going to list a couple of common reasons given for c-sections and why they are not valid reasons for this major abdominal surgery.  Continue reading

How to Avoid Fetal Distress (and a C-Section)

Live-Tweeted-C-SectionIs this even possible? Yes. Today, “fetal distress” is a leading cause for a c-section. So how can it be avoided?

How to Avoid Fetal Distress

1. Refuse EFM, Electronic Fetal Monitoring. This is your birth. This should be your choice. Many hospitals may ‘require’ you to be monitored using EFM; however, you have the choice to refuse! If you don’t have to guts to refuse a health professional, then I advise hiring a doula to speak for you. Why is this important? There is significant data that shows the increased risk of c-section with an increase of EFM use. Here’s a quote from the 2005 Practice Bulletin #70 of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

“Despite its widespread use, there is controversy about the efficacy of EFM. Moreover, there is evidence that the use of EFM increases the rate of cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries. Given that the available data do not clearly support the use of EFM over intermittent ausculation, either option is acceptable in a patient without complications.” (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Intrapartum Fetal Heart-Rate Monitoring 106 (6), 1463-1561.)

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The Problem with Due Dates

maxresdefaultDitch that 40-week estimated due date that you were given, even if they measured using an ultrasound! A study that came out in June of 2013 showed that the gestation period for normal, unassisted pregnancy through birth can vary up to five weeks. If this is the case, why aren’t more midwives and consultants giving ‘overdue’ mothers more information?

The study found that though the average length of pregnancy for these 125 mothers was 38 weeks and 2 days, the range of the data has a variance of 5 weeks (to be exact, 37 days). This study included 6 preterm births and 1 scheduled cesarean section, so the data is still not as untouched as I would like to find; but even with these few outliers, the conclusion showed that normal pregnancies are not limited to the 40-week gestation that we’re all used to.

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