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Friday
Jul212006

Word Search - What People Are Askin'

Folks coming to my site from Google use the most interesting keywords. In the interest of answering the keywords, here is the search criteria and then my answer.

- hands off hospital birth

Is this possible? I don't believe it is. By agreeing to go into the hospital, you agree to have stranger's hands and wishes foisted upon you.

If you buy the hospital ticket, you go for the hospital ride.

Want a hands-off birth? Don't expect one in the hospital.

- what does it mean when it says fetal heart tones are reactive

It's a great thing when they are reactive. It means the baby is coping well with contractions, movement, and being inside your uterus.

When you have a non-stress test, they watch the baby's heart rate to see how it reacts to movement and contractions. It should increase after both because, just like our healthy heart beats increase when we walk faster or dance, that is how normal hearts react.

A baby who is having a hard time coping with movement or the stress of contractions would have a heart pattern that is considered "flat" or non-reactive. Flat means there are no accelerations - not a good sign. Instead of the baby getting excited by the movement, it stays calm so's to limit the need to use extra oxygen. This can happen in post-mature babies, in babies whose placentas are ill, or for a baby with issues we might never know about.

I think the most disconcerting part of this question is that whomever asked wasn't told what it meant before she went home! It's just mean that someone has to look "reactive NST" up on the Internet. Sheesh.

- bloody show after vaginal exam

Very normal. Just because you get bloody show doesn't mean your membranes were stripped, either. (That is a common question.)

Women whose cervices are very soft and/or vascular can find bloody mucous after their vaginal exams. It's a pretty good sign, actually.

On the other hand, blood more than a period is not normal and needs to be reported to your care provider (if you have one).

- fixodent used for temporary crown

Yes! It works great!

- breastfeeding a lazy baby

If the baby is truly tired, s/he will wake up. If the baby needs prompting more than an experienced mother would think is normal, the baby needs to be checked out by a specialist.

An early experience with a friend's "lazy" baby helped me to understand that sometimes very passive babies have brain disorders that need addressing. My friend's baby didn't roll over until she was over a year. She didn't sit up for about 16 months. All attributed to being just a "little slow." Incorrect. She was severely mentally retarded. Is severely mentally retarded and never could nurse because of her lack of coordination and strength.

Your baby might be perfectly fine... and that would be great... but not all babies are and it's best to know sooner than later. If it feels wrong, get it checked out until someone believes you. (Munchhausen's Syndrome not included.)

- non stop braxton hicks

Yes, sometimes that happens. It can be so tiring and frustrating, but is perfectly normal. While some first-time moms will have weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions, it is more typical of women who've previously birthed.

Braxton-Hicks contractions are working contractions, but they don't always dilate the cervix or lead to progressing labor. They certainly help to soften the cervix and offer some goodly amount of practice for mom as she tries to breathe, walk, sleep and work through them.

It's good to ask your provider if they can offer some ideas for relief. Many midwives allow a glass of wine OR a glass of beer OR one 25mg. Benadryl (sometimes chosen by strict religions or alcoholics). Physicians can prescribe a sleeping pill, usually Ambien.

I promise - Braxton-Hicks contractions will eventually become working labor and your baby will be born and you will sleep again without contractions. It won't be pre-pregnancy sleep, but it will at least be sleep without contractions!

(more in the morning... night!)

Reader Comments (4)

and lets not forget the need for hydration, especially when its so hot. I've had two second time moms in the last two weeks with "non-stop, but not progressing into active labor" contractions and I told them to up and I mean really up their H2O intake. They did and things settled down til they went into actual progressing labor.

July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It depends what you mean by hands off, surely, but I attend a fair amount of pretty low intervention births. Generally, 1 exam on admission by a labor nurse to determine if mom should be admitted, and often that's it - especially if that is what mom is looking for. And I don't pull on the perineum, and often don't touch the baby until the head is out. Around here there are no other options (no homebirth midwives, midwives very nearly illegal in my state), so I try to be the low intervention option for those moms who don't have any other choice than to UC at home. I love it when all I do at a birth is stand around and look pretty.
On the other hand, I do use fetal monitoring (intermittently for most moms, or doppler if they are walking or in the tub) and a lot of moms birthing with me choose a lot of interventions I wouldn't require (generally pain meds, which then necessitate closer monitoring and IVs, BP cuffs, etc.) And sometimes, I can be very interventive in ways you would never I hope see in a homebirth.

July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfpmama

Anon: Oh, yes! Hydration! Thanks for the reminder. Water, soaking in a tub and more drinking water.

FPMama: I like your style of being hands-off... might we be able to clone you? Have you do in-services around the country? Come be back-up for all of us midwives who need one? *smile*

I'm glad you don't pull on the perineum. Thanks from all the women who don't know to thank you.

I'm thrilled you are an option for women. How blessed are those in your community. I know if I knew an OB/FP in this community, s/he would be busy all the time from my recommendations. Good for you and your clients.

Thanks for being there. (Do you make yourself known to the midwives? So they can quietly refer women to you?)

July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

To my knowledge, there is just one homebirth midwife anywhere near here - she is a legal CNM, though, so perhaps there are less legal options around that so far nobody talks about. I don't thinks there are right around here, though, since I'm pretty involved in the local community and have never heard of anyone having a homebirth (except 2 with the above CNM) or even looking for someone to homebirth with. I can't take direct referrals though - my own OB backup threatened to refuse me backup if I did because of a homebirth transfer I took that turned out badly.

July 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfpmama

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