21 June, 2009

Home Birth is Cleaner and Greener

I started thinking about this several years ago after attending an Earth Day festival and deciding that midwives should be represented. My original notes are scribbled on the inside cover of the fabulous Birthsong Midwifery Workbook!

Your home is populated by your family's normal flora. Other birth sites may breed 'superbugs' such as MRSA or C. difficile. Babies are meant to be populated by their mother's flora.

Home birth is less wasteful:

  • you use your own cups, pitchers and bowls; not disposable plastic items
  • no plastic IV bags or tubing
  • you may choose washable cloth underpads instead of single-use, plastic-backed 'chux' pads
  • no paper external fetal monitor printout
  • minimal vaginal examinations means fewer gloves are used
  • umbilical cord is clamped with a sterile, stainless-steel clamp, a small latex band OR if you choose a Lotus Birth, no clamp or band at all.

Home birth uses less electricity:

  • maternal-fetal well-being is assessed by a person, not by a machine
  • baby's heart rate is checked intermittently rather than continuously (studies indicate this method is both safe and effective)
  • lights are dimmed; many people opt to birth by candlelight
  • newborn warmth is provided by mother and partner's bodies, not an isolated machine

At a home birth, your placenta is not labeled as medical waste to be incinerated. We respectfully suggest you:

  1. Make it into medicine, or
  2. Return it to the land or the sea.

More ideas are welcome. For instance, I couldn't come up with a succinct way to say "no teeny-tiny UPC stickers affixed to every item, peeled off, and stuck to a billing form in your chart."

Here's a similar blog piece about homebirth reducing your carbon footprint.

17 June, 2009

breech news from our northerly neighbors

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada just released this little nugget:

breech presentation is not an indication for automatic cesarean section birth

Do you think this will change medical school curricula in Canada? In the USA?

Might it affect current doctors' practice protocols?

Will Health Insurance companies scoff at this recommendation?

09 June, 2009


So now we can all go buy a baby gender predictor kit. Yes folks, that's right, for only 35 of your hard-earned American Dollars, you can pee in a cup and determine with 78 to 80% accuracy whether to buy frilly pink or sporty blue baby gear.

Call me old-fashioned, call me romantic, but there is something rather special about finding out who your baby is right after (s)he emerges.

But this test could be a good thing. Maybe it would decrease the number of babies exposed to ultrasound radiation. No? Oh, the manufacturers suggest a follow-up sonogram. Perhaps the 78-80% efficacy is a ploy and if the test were more accurate no follow-up would be needed.

Of course anti-choicers are up in arms, proclaiming this will only lead to a wave of gender-selected abortions. But think about it: the test is only accurate at 10 weeks after conception, or 12 weeks of pregnancy as dated by the last menstrual period (LMP). You can only procure a first-trimester abortion until 16 weeks LMP. That's not a very big window of time.

Widespread gender-based eugenics is going to have to wait a little longer for its heyday.
(Not to mention all the orphaned Chinese girls.)

04 June, 2009

from the horse's mouth

Last year I wrote about a natural food store's "house" ice cream. Today I learned it is truly rBGH-free. Glad I questioned, glad to learn it is legit, and glad to set the record straight.

02 June, 2009

true stories

from my night at ye olde corporate healthe foode store:

Very annoying lady with whom I have spent the last 20 minutes approaches me for "one last question". The kind of customer who asks me to read to her how many tablets are in each bottle, which colloidal silver is strongest, how many ounces are in each bottle and which is a better buy per ounce, and which book on Acid-Alkaline Theory I suggest she purchase. Until I reveal I think that theory holds no water.

Now she holds two cartons of cookies.

"Which one of these should I get?"

"I don't know, what do you like?"

"Well, I'm a diabetic."

"Then you probably shouldn't be eating cookies."

"Oh it's ok, I take insulin. But see here this one says Spelt."

"Spelt is a relative of wheat. Some people eat it because they digest it better than wheat."

"So it's for digestion."

"Well, it's a grain..."

2. Phone call with a male caller:

"I wanted to ask you if I can take some things together."

"Sure, what are you taking?"

"Advanced Enzyme complex. and these probiotics, it says 'Aci...' I can't pronounce it."


"Yeah, that's it."

"Those two should be fine together."

"No, I want to know if I can take them with something else."

"With what?"

"Flintstones vitamins; I take them for energy."

I kept wondering if it was a prank call.