Abby Block, CD(DONA), CBC

Doula & Breastfeeding Support ~ Serving Brooklyn & NYC

midwifery care

Why delay cord clamping?

Abby BlockComment

Science and Sensibility, the research blog from Lamaze, has an excellently evidence based article on the practice of delayed cord clamping. The article is structured by listing objections, which is a great way to go about learning the benefits, as well as to be prepared to answer to someone's concerns about this practice. Delayed cord clamping is becoming so much better understood and common place. Many Ob and midwife practices in Brooklyn and NYC do this as a matter of protocol. 

Read the full article here

 

 

VBACs are more likely successful if you call the midwife

Abby BlockComment

A new study shows that VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) are more likely to be successful if a midwife provides the care instead of an obstetrician. 

You can read a portion of the abstract of the study here, and an excerpt is below:

Background

Research is yet to identify effective and safe interventions to increase the vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) rate. This research aimed to compare intended and actual VBAC rates before and after implementation of midwife-led antenatal care for women with one previous cesarean birth and no other risk factors in a large, tertiary maternity hospital in England.

 

Conclusions

Implementation of midwife-led antenatal care for women with one previous cesarean offers a safe and effective alternative to traditional obstetrician-led antenatal care, and is associated with increased rates of intended and actual VBAC.

A cervix in labor

Abby BlockComment

What does it look like? Check out this handy guide to understanding how your cervix will change in the late third trimester and in labor. Maybe you followed your pregnancy by reading about your baby's size being compared to fruit... and now you get to read about your cervix in relation to fruit :)

Natural Hospital Birth

Abby BlockComment

As a birth doula serving clients who live primarily in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I work with many women who see both OBs (often low intervention practices) and midwives in the hospital setting. However, many of my clients are looking for a holistic birth experience, or a natural birth experience, within a setting that typically is not set up to accommodate un-medicated births. The odds are generally stacked against women hoping to have intervention-free births in a hospital. BUT, as a doula, I have witnessed many women successfully do this! Here are a few resources on how to work towards, or achieve some version of, a natural hospital birth:

Video

Book

 

Ina May Gaskin Documentary

Abby BlockComment

Looking for a birth-related movie to watch? Here's one: a documentary on the famous Ina May Gaskin, author of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Birth Story Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives ( 2013 )

"Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives captures a spirited group of women who taught themselves how to deliver babies on a 1970s hippie commune. Today as nearly one third of all US babies are born via C-section, they fight to protect their knowledge and to promote respectful, safe maternity practices all over the globe. From the backs of their technicolor school buses, these pioneers rescued American midwifery from extinction, changed the way a generation approached pregnancy, and filmed nearly everything they did. With unprecedented access to the midwives' archival video collection, as well as modern day footage of life at the alternative intentional community where they live, this documentary shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it--unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring."

Midwife Thinking: Birth From the Baby's Perspective

Abby BlockComment

Such a fascinating article! Excerpt below, and definitely head over here to read the article from Midwife Thinking in its entirety, as well as watch the videos.

Here are the bullet points from the article on treating a newborn with respect:

"A humane approach to welcoming a baby to the world

Whilst in some cases it is not possible, I believe that we should aim for all babies to have the opportunity to:

  • Make their own way through their mother’s body and into the world (ie. no unnecessary pulling).
  • For their first touch to be from the hands of a person who loves them (mother, father, family member, friend).
  • To be held immediately by their mother skin-to-skin.
  • To be sustained by their placenta until the placenta stops functioning (ie. leaving the cord intact).
  • To be left in peace to find their mother’s nipple and latch on.
  • To be treated gently and with dignity and respect during any ‘checks’ that their mother chooses to have done."

Birth Matters.

Abby BlockComment

I love this article! Read the full text here.

Excerpt below:

"The problem with saying “It doesn’t matter how you give birth” is that if women take that to heart, they may not take the time to educate themselves on their choices or vet potential providers to find the right fit since the birth process doesn’t really matter anyway. Empowerment starts with women educating themselves on the childbirth process and understanding that they are the drivers of that process. Birth attendants are primarily experienced navigators who know what to do if inclement weather hits or if the car breaks down. They should not take the wheel unless there is truly no other choice.

Childbirth is the likely the hardest, most overwhelming thing a woman will ever do, so of course those experiences matter. If you walk away from your birth feeling powerless, that’s important. No matter how your baby ultimately enters the world, how you experience birth and how empowered you feel throughout the process does matter. Let’s stop telling women that it doesn’t."

Evidence Based Care for Pregnant Women

Abby BlockComment

Ever wonder what evidence-based care is? This great free video series by Rebecca Dekker, PhD of Evidence Based Birth does an excellent job of explaining what evidence-based care is and how to get it. A must watch video series for expecting parents - even if you are not pregnant yet! In fact, the sooner parents-to-be have access to this kind of information, the better. Whether you are interested in a natural birth, home birth, hospital birth, cesarean birth, birth with a doula, or birth without a doula, midwifery care or medical care model, this video series is for you! There's also a great video on the evidence for birth plans. Very enlightening. Enjoy!

Click here to watch the Evidence Based Birth video series: Do Birth Plans Really Work?