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Getting Pregnant Naturally & the Benefits of Natural Childbirth

26 Jul

The Body, the Mind & the Heart

20 Jul

‘Should we wait to have kids?’

7 Jul

Have a listen my answer to the question “Should I wait until we have all our ‘ducks in a row’ before trying to conceive?”

The links between Fertility, Sun Exposure, and Vitamin D

6 Jul

Skin-to-Skin Love for Your Newborn

9 Feb

We love educating women on the benefits of midwifery care. In pursuit of that goal, I encourage you to read this blog in our series from midwife (and guest blogger), Lincey Knox LM, CPM of Heartstrings Midwifery.

Those first few moments after the arrival of your new baby are so important for both mother and baby. This is true not just medically, but emotionally and physically as well. Skin to skin love is not something only the mother can provide – in fact, the bonding between baby and father through skin-to-skin care is also vitally important to the process. Through these first snuggles, a newborn learns the scent of mother and father, learns to feel safe, helps establish breastfeeding, aids in the newborn’s transition to living outside the womb, and keeps him- or herself warm.

A newborn survives off of its instincts and reflexes during the first few weeks of life. Its greatest senses are those of smell, touch, and hearing. With skin-to-skin contact a new baby is able to utilize these three senses as (s)he can smell mother’s scent, touch mother’s skin, and hear mother’s heartbeat – the same sound that has been lulling baby to sleep for the past nine months.

“There are now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin immediately after birth, as well as later. The baby is happier, the baby’s temperature is more stable and more normal, the baby’s heart and breathing rates are more stable and more normal, and the baby’s blood sugar is more elevated.”

Immediate skin-to-skin contact between newborn and mother should be standard of care for all deliveries. Even in the situation where a cesarean delivery is necessary, many obstetricians are beginning to facilitate skin-to-skin between mother and baby in the operating room, as its importance is recognized more and more. Hopefully this practice will continue as more care providers recognize the bonds that are formed during these precious first moments.


REFERENCES

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&id=82:the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-&Itemid=17

2 http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/jack_newman2.html

3 http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-skin-to-skin-care-after-a-cesarean/

Water Birth

19 Jan

I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. ‘Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, or a hospital birth?’ ‘What is the difference between a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.?’ In pursuit of our goal to help shed some light on these questions, I encourage you to read this blog in our series from guest blogger, Elizabeth Spring.



Water birth is a topic that has been making recent headlines, and inciting conversation between women, obstetricians and midwives.

What are the Benefits?

Imagine yourself drawing a warm bath, slipping in and relaxing your cares away… Similarly, when a woman who is in intense labor settles into the bath or birth tub, the warm water alleviates some of the physical discomfort of labor by easing muscle tension and creating the effects of buoyancy. When the woman has less discomfort, she will naturally relax more and produce more of the amazing hormone oxytocin! Oxytocin – also called the “love-hormone”, is the primary hormone involved in love-making, labor/birth, and breastfeeding. This feel-good hormone causes more effective contractions while allowing the mother to cope with labor pains more easily. Studies conducted on the safety and efficacy of water birth to ease labor pain concluded that women who labored and/or birthed in clean, warm water were less likely to use analgesic, less likely to have severe perineal lacerations, had shorter first-stage labor (1) and were more satisfied with their birth – with no increased risk to the mother or baby (2), (3).

Common Concerns

Many people are concerned about an increased risk of the newborn acquiring an infection from a water birth, but studies show that there is no increased risk between water and land births (1). Another concern is that the baby may take a breath under the water, it is forgotten that the infant has been living in water for 9 months and that he is still receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord. You may have seen on your ultrasound that your baby is making breathing movements, this is to build muscles needed for breathing outside of the womb. 24-48 hours prior to birth however, babies stop practicing these movements due to the presence of the hormone Prostaglandin E. Until the newborn’s face makes contact with air, it will not attempt to breath unless it is in distress – which your healthcare provider would detect beforehand (4). Moms-to-be, consider adding a tub to your birth plan!  In combination with good health practices, water immersion has been established as a safe and comfortable method of child-birth, and an extremely helpful coping method during labor.

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16147851
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15346814
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10971083
  4. http://www.arquitecturadematernidades.com/sites/default/files/administrator/BLOG/20140707BagneraVSpotro/estudio-queensland_waterbirth_2013.pdf

****** If you’re not pregnant yet, pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course,a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact female and male fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy. 

What is the Home Birth Experience Like?

21 Nov

Lincey KnoxAs you can imagine we have a lot of newly pregnant women here at Holistic Wellness. It’s a huge perk of the job! I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, hospital birth? Should I use a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.? I’m excited for you to read the following post regarding the safety of midwife attended birth from midwife and guest blogger Lincey Knox, LM, CPM

What is the Home Birth Experience like?

______________

When a woman is empowered to set the tone for her own labor and birth she will naturally desire a safe and relaxing atmosphere.

In a home birth setting, the client is surrounded by the scents, sounds, and familiarity (own bed, bathroom, etc) that she is accustomed to, adding to her sense of safety and security. Feeling safe and allowing one’s body to relax and surrender to the natural process of labor is important. “It is safe to say that a woman should give birth in a place she feels is safe…For a low-risk pregnant woman this can be at home…” The relationship built between client and midwife facilitates a sense of trust and security and is an important aspect of safety in home births. Trusting the caregiver allows a woman to focus on the task before her rather than being concerned about what procedures may be done to her or the baby, which you find in most hospital settings. Midwives provide woman-centered care for low risk pregnancies. A midwife enters the home of her client with an attitude of respect continuing to facilitate a feeling of trust and safety as the woman labors and births at home.

Studies show risk in home birth is equal to or lower than the risk of delivering in a hospital and is associated with a much lower occurrence of intervening procedures during labor and delivery.

“Recognizing the evidence that births to healthy mothers, who are not considered at medical risk after comprehensive screening by trained professionals, can occur safely in various settings, including out-of-hospital birth centers and homes.”

In the right setting, with a low risk mother/baby pair and a trained and trusted midwife home birth is safe. Research your options and find a midwife that supports you in choosing what is best for you and your baby!

For other blogs in this series please see:  The Midwifery Model of Care and Is Midwife Attended Birth Safe?

Byline: Lincey Knox, LM, CPM

For those seeking additional information, the paper, Care in Normal Birth: a practical guide from the World Health Organization is an amazing resource.

****** If you’re not pregnant yet, pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course,a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact female and male fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy. 

Is Midwife Attended Birth Safe?

10 Nov

Lincey Knox, MidwifeAs you can imagine we have a lot of newly pregnant women here at Holistic Wellness.  It’s a huge perk of the job!  I frequently discuss birth options with my clients. Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, hospital birth? Should I use a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.?   I’m excited for you to read the following post regarding the safety of midwife attended birth from midwife and guest blogger Lincey Knox, LM, CPM

Is Midwife Attended Birth Safe?

Is Midwife Attended Birth Safe? As a midwife, this is probably the question I hear most often. While the mother generally asks about the more relational aspects of care, the father is often more concerned with the impact a home birth will have on the family’s finances – and more importantly – the safety of his wife and child. As a midwife, one of my greatest responsibilities is to help my clients make informed choices by presenting them with accurate facts and the most up to date information available. Midwives are advocates and a source of support for mother and baby.

Planned home births are chosen by more and more women. The questions surrounding the safety of home birth are currently at the forefront of several studies. Women who receive care with a midwife are receiving woman-centered, personalized care that empowers women to make informed choices about their prenatal care and labor preferences.

So what are the studies saying? Almost all of the studies examined showed that women who had a planned home birth with a midwife had significantly less vaginal tears, postpartum hemorrhages, episiotomies (3.1% v. 16.9%), and labors ending in cesarean deliveries (7.2% v. 11%).  With home birth deliveries there are fewer unnecessary antepartum interventions for both the mother and the baby.

OUTCOMES FOR NEWBORNS:

Depending on the study you read, you will find conflicting reports. Some studies show that the risk of home birth is too great to consider it safe, while others show that the incidence of neonatal death (death of a baby between days 1 and 28) and the rate of medical interventions are much lower at home compared to at the hospital.  Where the studies differ is in the outcome for the newborn. Some studies show that neonatal mortality rates are higher for women that choose a planned home birth with a midwife. However, it is important to point out that not all of these studies used “planned” home births in compiling their data. A planned home birth is safer than an unplanned home birth and should not be lumped together in the same category of home birth.  An unplanned home birth is often an unattended birth and thus the mother and baby are at increased risk as there is no provider attending to the mother/baby pair.  In addition, there are strict guidelines that midwives use in order for a mother/baby pair to qualify for a home birth. In cases where working within the safety of these parameters can not be assured, then a birth center or hospital birth is recommended for the safety of both mother and baby.

A study entitled “Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician” conducted in Canada looked at home births with midwives vs. hospital births. This study showed perinatal death at a rate of 0.35 per 1,000 births for home births and 0.64 per 1,000 births for hospital births,. The study also showed other benefits of home birth including less need for neonatal resuscitation, decreased meconium aspiration, and decreased need for NICU admittance. The safety of the baby is reliant on the health of the mother, risk factors associated with her pregnancy, the overall feeling of safety and trust of the client in her caregiver, and the education and experience of the midwife attending the birth.

Stay tuned for part II of this blog!

References:

1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742137/
2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742137/
http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Planned-Home-Birth
4 http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Planned-Home-Birth
5 http://www.nct.org.uk/birth/home-birth-safe
6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742137/
7 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9271961

****** If you’re not pregnant yet, pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course,a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact female and male fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy. 

Demystifying the Doula

28 Nov

What is a doula?

As a naturopathic doctor having also received training as a midwife, I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, hospital birth? Should I use a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.? No matter what you choose, I recommend that you have a doula at your birth.

A doula, as it pertains to childbirth, is a woman trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and some informational support to the mother before, during, and right after labor.

Let’s cut to the chase. Doulas of North America (DONA) International reminds us of the following facts:

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans.
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.


Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • feel more secure and cared for.
  • are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
  • have greater success with breastfeeding.
  • have greater self-confidence.
  • have less postpartum depression.
  • have lower incidence of abuse.

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog

Holistic Childbirth Preparation and Education

26 Nov


ONGOING | 7 Week Series | Private Sessions

Please email frontdesk.naumes.nd@gmail.com to schedule
Holistic Childbirth Preparation and Education
with Kate Naumes ND & Shannon Driscoll of Oil & Cotton Creative Exchange

This private class brings couples together in an inspiring environment to prepare for childbirth as they explore their pregnancies and unique experiences through journaling, discussion, and creative hands-on projects.

Do you desire a natural childbirth with as few medical interventions as possible? Are you planning a hospital or home birth but would like to find a Childbirth Education Class that helps you and your partner to prepare for a natural birth in either setting?

Natural birth is labor that proceeds without unnecessary medical interventions such as cesarean section, epidural anesthesia, or artificial induction of labor. When there are problems such interventions have their place, but for the vast majority of women, these medical interventions are simply not necessary.

Instead, what is needed is a holistic approach to childbirth education. Over the course of 7 weeks we will:
-Learn through interactive, creative participation, in a spirit of fun and curiosity
-Help give mothers-to-be insight about what labor and birth will be like from her perspective
-Prepare ourselves to be in labor & give birth as a mother
Practice relaxation and pain coping techniques weekly
Prepare ourselves to be new parents: baby care basics, getting breastfeeding off to a good start
-Get out of our heads and into our bodies

Who is this class for?
– “I’m having a home birth and I just need to find the right class to prepare for natural childbirth.”
– “I just know you’re supposed to take a childbirth education class.”
– “I already had a baby in a medicalized environment and was not happy. I am looking for a different approach this time around.”
– “I’m having a hospital birth but I’m hoping to avoid epidural, C- section and/or induction (ie medical intervention).”

7 week series –
To inquire about prices or to signup for a series appropriate for your due date please email frontdesk@naumesnd.com

Fertility 101 for Couples

26 Nov

Pre-conception & Fertility Optimization – Private Classes for Couples

ONGOING | 6 Week Series | 90 Minute Weekly Private Sessions

Please email frontdesk@naumesnd.com to schedule
with Kate Naumes ND

Dr. Kate Naumes, ND is enthusiastically offering a program for optimal pre-conception preparation. Pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course, a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact male and female fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy. Learn how to protect yourself from exposure to substances in the environment that can decrease fertility and harm a developing baby. Your future baby will benefit from the simple, non-invasive, cost-effective tools that naturopathic medicine has to offer during the pre-conception period. We will use journaling, discussion, and creative hands-on projects to explore mind/body issues surrounding fertility.

Numerous studies have shown the beneficial effects of pre-conception care, including lower rates of miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight babies, and early-term babies (preemies). The Foresight Study, conducted in England, showed the effects that proper preconception care has on fertility. Out of 300 couples who had previously been declared “infertile”, over 89% were pregnant within 2 years without the assistance of IUI (Intra-uterine insemination) or other similar fertility interventions. The same study showed twice the success rate of in-vitro fertilization in couples who were also undergoing optimum preconception care.

Over the course of 6 weeks we will:
– Learn through interactive, creative participation, in a spirit of fun and curiosity
– Improve nutrition, exercise and sleep habits as it relates to optimizing fertility
– Learn how men’s food choices, emotions and stress responses can positively affect the genetics of your future child
– Learn how to positively impact the health of your sperm

Who is this class for?

– “We plan on becoming pregnant in the next 6 months to 1 year”
– “We have been diagnosed with infertility and we want to explore natural ways to promote conception”
– “A doctor has already recommended IVF or IUI, but I have heard that these work better when I am as healthy as possible”
-“We have had multiple miscarriages and we want to learn to optimize our health naturally to decrease the chances of another miscarriage”

Group Class 6 week series –
To inquire about pricing or to signup for your Pre-conception & Fertility Optimization for Couples Series please contact us at frontdesk@naumesnd.com

Naturopathic Approach to Fertility, Pregnancy, & Postpartum: Achieving Positive Birth Outcomes

1 Oct

Naturopathic Doctors Achieve Positive Birth Outcomes

In the Autumn 2008 Issue of Midwifery Today there appears an incredibly thorough article by Lisa Doran and Nora Pope outlining a naturopathic view of perinatal health. In the article, they discuss naturopathic support during pre-conception, conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period.

The authors point out that “when both parents are working hard to achieve optimal health before conception, the health of both parents is reflected in healthy pregnancies and healthy babies”  and that naturopathic doctors (NDs)  “work very closely with couples before conception to optimize health and nutrition and to address any health concerns or imbalances that may create obstacles to a healthy pregnancy.” The authors also refer to NDs’ practice of  “closely monitor[ing] normal hormonal peaks in order to evaluate health and balance of the menstrual cycle” going on to mention that “a female hormonal imbalance is a common issue a ND will encounter… Hormonal levels are very important and an ND will employ the use of nutrition, identification of environmental estrogen exposure or use of specific female harmonizing botanicals”. During conception the authors point out that “in addition to helping to regulate hormone levels and working with the natural physiology of the body, NDs also teach their clients to observe external signs and symptoms of fertility.”

Furthermore, “ [i]n the first trimester [of pregnancy], nutrition coaching is the number one indicator for lessening the complications in labor, birth and postpartum….During the second trimester, central concerns are fetal brain development and iron deficiency anemia…The third trimester involves preparing for labor and birth, as well as preventing issues that may arise from an overloaded metabolic and hepatobiliary system. Clients who have been through a previous detoxification program find this stage of pregnancy far less demanding.” (We should note here that Dr. Naumes does provide guided detoxification programs for her clients.)

Later the authors remark that “[NDs] and midwives are able to support women as they do the hard work of labor.” …..and “are able to support and protect [the] immediate postpartum period by assisting with perineal healing, providing support for breastfeeding initiation and challenges, and using homeopathy, nutrition and botanical medicine to assist with maternal recovery.”

Finally we want to be sure to mention that Dr. Naumes (being the very rare naturopathic doctor also holding a Certificate in Midwifery) exclusively offers doula services for her members. Use the button below to schedule your First Visit to start optimizing your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.

Natural Childbirth: Is it worth it?

1 Dec

Most expecting women will go out of their way to prepare for a healthy baby and to ensure the safest and healthiest birthing experience.  However, today epidurals are de rigueur, and many women mistakenly believe that a hospital birth is the best – or only – option. The fact is, for most women a natural birth is statistically safer than a medicated or Caesarian birth.

When it comes to having a baby, the least amount of intervention is best, assuming there are no complications. Ideally, a birth would take place at a free-standing birth center, or in your own home, with the care of a certified professional midwife (CPM) and a doula for support. CPMs are some of the best trained professionals for non-medicalized births.

Other options include, in order of most hands-off to most intervention-driven, certified nurse midwives, family practice doctors and OB/GYNs. Your chances of having an instrumental delivery go up just based on where you go.

If you want to have a healthy, safe, and natural birth, there are a few steps you should take to prepare yourself:

  • If you aren’t convinced that attempting a natural birth is right for you, educate yourself on the risks of epidurals and Caesarian deliveries to your baby and yourself.  For example, epidurals increase the risk of a forceps delivery and of vacuum extraction, both of which can negatively impact you and your child’s health.
  • Take child birth education classes to prepare for your big day.
  • Hire a doula to comfort and care for you.
  • Make sure your partner is prepared and supportive – this can come in many shapes and sizes.

Sometimes, due to complications, women cannot always deliver their baby naturally.  However, education and preparation through simple measures during preconception, as well a  professional midwife and doula, greatly increases the chances of natural birth. If an epidural is necessary or preferred, there are steps new mothers should take.  Ideally schedule an appointment or two with Dr. Naumes before your birth and then another one in the first week after delivery so that she can help support you during this healing process.

Keep in mind that although natural birth may be painful, it is worth it. Giving birth is a peak life experience, and normally the discomfort you will feel during a natural birth will be outweighed by the euphoria and love you feel after you deliver your baby.

Fertility 101 in the Oak Cliff Advocate

29 Sep

Fertility 101

CORRECTION: Class actually begins November 15th!

“The ladies at Oil and Cotton Creative Exchange have announced a fall schedule that includes the usual suspects — bookbinding, watercolor painting, photography, silkscreen — as well as a not-so-usual offering: “Preconception and Fertility Optimization” with Dr. Kate Naumes. “There is nothing quite like it available in Dallas,” Oil and Cotton’s Shannon Driscoll says of the class. The seven-week series, which began Sept. 27, is the second time Oil and Cotton has touched on the subject. “We tested the idea this spring with five couples, and it was extremely successful,” Driscoll says. Naumes is a naturopath, midwife and primary care physician with a special interest in women’s and children’s health, and the class is for those interested in learning how to enhance their health in preparation for optimal fertility. Naumes suggested the class to Oil and Cotton with the idea of exploring a question each week through art. “I needed help developing and facilitating the art component of each class and thought, ‘Who better than Oil and Cotton?’ ” Naumes says. She teaches how to protect oneself from exposure to substances in the environment that can decrease fertility and harm a developing baby, and the class is meant to be an opportunity to meet other Oak Cliff and Dallas couples with similar hopes and fears.”  See article here 

• Oil & Cotton, 837 W. Seventh

The Mark of a Supermom

17 May

“Mothers of twins do not just get twice the bundle of joy—they are also healthier than other mothers… according to Shannen Robson and Ken Smith, of the University of Utah…. Although all women face a trade-off between the resources their bodies allocate to reproduction and those reserved for the maintenance of health, robust women can afford more of both than frail ones. And what surer way to signal robustness than by bearing more than one child at a time? In other words, the two researchers conjectured, the mothers of twins will not only display greater overall reproductive success, they will also be healthier than those who give birth only to singletons.” –  Read the rest of the article at The Economist

Are you wanting to get as healthy as possible before conceiving? Sign up for my Preconception Class (more info). Already pregnant? My childbirth education class is a great way to prepare for a natural childbirth. Struggling with infertility and looking for a natural and less expensive solution than IVF? Schedule an appointment today.