New Website!

It has been several months in the making, but I finally did it! I created a website for WMM!

www.wonderfullymadematernity.com

It’s still a work in progress, but check it out and let me know what you think! Also, don’t forget to ‘like’ Wonderfully Made Maternity on facebook!

I have kind of neglected this blog and haven’t been posting on a regular basis. I hope to change that and will be posting more often once the new year roles around! 🙂

Think You Have A Big Baby?!

I recently read this article about evidence for induction or c-section for a big baby. I have known so many women that were advised to be induced or have a c-section and it’s frustrating to see this happen again and again. I’m hoping that through education, women can take back control of OUR births.

If you have the time, I suggest reading the full article. I have provided the main points for those that want to check out a brief summary of the article.

What is a big baby?

The medical term for big baby is macrosomia, which literally means “big body.” Some experts consider a baby to be big when it weighs more than 4,000 grams (8 pounds 13 ounces) at birth, and others say a baby is big if it weighs more than 4,500 grams (9 pounds, 15 ounces). A baby is also called “large for gestational age” if its weight is greater than the 90th percentile at birth (Rouse et al. 1996).

How common are big babies?

Big babies are born to about 1 out of 10 women in the U.S. Overall, 8.7% of all babies born at 39 weeks or later weigh between 8 lbs 13 oz and 9 lbs 15 oz, and 1.7% are born weighing 9 lbs 15 oz or more (U.S. Vital Statistics).

So in the U.S., most women have an ultrasound at the end of pregnancy to estimate the baby’s size, and if the baby appears large, their care provider will usually recommend either an induction or an elective C-section. Is this approach evidence-based?

This approach is based on 4 major assumptions:

  1. Big babies are at higher risk for problems.
  2. We can accurately tell if a baby will be big.
  3. Induction keeps the baby from getting any bigger, which lowers the risk of C-section.
  4. Elective C-sections for big baby are beneficial and don’t have any major risks.

What is the evidence for these assumptions? Are they true? Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Assumption #1: Big babies are at higher risk for problems.

Reality #1: Big babies are at higher risk for temporarily getting their shoulders stuck, but difficulty giving birth to shoulders is unpredictable and permanent injuries are rare. A care provider’s suspicion of a big baby is more harmful than an actual big baby itself.

Assumption #2: We can tell whether a baby will be big at birth.

Reality #2: Care providers and ultrasound are equally poor at predicting whether a baby will be big at birth.

Assumption #3: Induction allows the baby to be born at a smaller weight, which helps avoid shoulder dystocia and reduces the risk of C-section.

Reality #3: Although suspected big babies who are induced are born about 3.5 ounces lighter, induction for suspected big baby does not lower the risk of shoulder dystocia, and it may increase the risk of C-section.

Assumption #4: Elective C-sections for big baby has benefits that outweigh the potential harms.

Reality #4: Among women who are not diabetic, it would take nearly 3,700 unnecessary C-sections to prevent one baby from having a permanent nerve injury due to shoulder dystocia. If care providers recommend an elective C-section for extra big babies (>9 lbs 15 oz), for every 3 cases of permanent nerve injury that they would prevent, there would be 1 extra maternal death.

What is the bottom line? In summary, for non-diabetic moms:

  • Ultrasounds and care providers are equally inaccurate at predicting whether or not a baby will be big. If an ultrasound or a care provider predicts a big baby, they will be wrong half the time.
  •  If a care provider thinks that you are going to have a big baby, this thought is more harmful than the actual big baby itself
    • The suspicion of a big baby leads many care providers to manage a woman’s care in a way that triples her risk of C-section and quadruples the risk of complications.
    • Because of this “suspicion problem,” ultrasounds to estimate a baby’s weight probably do more harm than good in most women.
  •  Induction for big baby does not lower the risk of shoulder dystocia and may increase the risk of C-section, especially in first-time moms
  • A policy of elective C-sections for big babies likely does more harm than good for most women
    • It would take nearly 3,700 elective C-sections to prevent one permanent case of nerve injury in babies who are suspected of weighing more than 9 pounds 15 ounces
    • For every 3 permanent nerve injuries that are prevented, there will be 1 maternal death due to the elective C-sections

Cloth Diapering

Recently, I have had several friends ask about cloth diapering and what we do for Beau, so I thought I would write one big post about it. I first wrote about cloth diapering over at Wade Made! Check it out to see pictures and other resources.

Most people don’t think twice about using disposable diapers as the only way to diaper their baby. But, when I was working out the family budget and saw how much diapers would add to our monthly grocery bill, I looked to a more economical diapering system for our new baby. There are plenty of websites that will show you which system is better for the environment and the pros and cons to both disposables and cloth diapers. For me, I went with the cheapest option- cloth! You have to put down more money up front, but it is cheaper in the long term, especially if you go with the cheapest of options of cloth diapering. Another benefit to using cloth is that you already have diapers for the next child if there happens to be one and you can sell your cloth diapers when you no longer need them! Do you think someone is going to buy your used disposables!? Nope! 🙂

Maybe you aren’t totally willing to give up the convenience of throwing away diapers versus washing diapers? Or maybe you are just grossed out by using diapers that have been used? My suggestion to someone wanting to try it out is to cloth diaper part of the time. Use them for when you’re home in the evenings or on the weekends. You can save so much money and landfill space over the course of two to three years by reducing the number of disposables you throw away. Then, if it’s working out for you, increase the amount of cloth diapers you use and save the disposables for long road trips or emergencies or times you just didn’t get the diapers dry in time.

The cloth diapering world can be so overwhelming with all of the different options and brands and opinions on which method is best and so on and so on. I did a ton of research to figure out what to do and then tried out several diapers to come up with what I like the best. So, for all of you that are interested in cloth diapering, here are some suggestions based on my experience.

  • Buy used diapers to save money! You can find great deals on barely used cloth diapers on Craig’s List and Ebay. A lot of people will buy diapers and then not use them or will prefer a different brand so they will sell their cloth at a reduced cost. 
  • Don’t just try one system or brand. Try cotton prefolds with covers, pocket diapers, and all in ones.
  • If diapering full time, it is best to have about 24 diapers so that you can wash every other day or so. If diapering part time, then 6-12 to start out.

My favorite system to use for a newborn baby was Kissaluv fitted diapers with a newborn size Rumparooz cover. Beau never leaked pee out of these (like he did with the fuzzibunz) and only had a blowout diaper twice!

Once he got a little bigger, my favorite diaper to use was the BumGenius 4.0 and this is still my favorite diaper to use. He started wearing these around 3 months old and still wears the same diaper, so it grows with him! I also still like using Kissaluv fitted diapers but now I use Flip Covers. 

The other system I use is cotton prefolds with a Flip Cover. I was given a huge stack of prefolds in all different sizes and I have also purchased Clotheez cotton prefolds. This is the most affordable option because you get 12 diapers for about $36 and then can use the same cover over and over again. So, with this system you can get 24 diapers for $72 and then only buy a few covers since those you just wipe clean and reuse. We also use Snappis to hold the prefold together rather than the old fashioned safety pin. There are so many ways to fold a prefold cloth diaper. I used the Angel fold until I discovered the Jelly roll and that is the only way I put on the prefold now.

Other cloth diapering items you may want to buy:

Diaper Sprayer- We bought this one. Sprayers easily hook up to your toilet and you can use them to help spray off any solids.

Pail Liner and Wet Bag- These are washable bags that you use to store your dirty diapers until wash day. The thing I like about this is you don’t have to waste money on trash bags and a diaper pail that will only get used for a few years. You can wash and reuse your bags over and over again and then use your trash can or sell it if you don’t need another one. There are tons of brands and sizes to choose from. We use a pail liner like this one with a flip up top trash can like this. I also have a small wet bag for when we are out and about.

Cloth Diaper Detergent- So far I have used Tiny Bubbles, LuLu’s In The Fluff, and Rockin Green and I like all of them. I have never had any repelling or funk with my diapers.

Cloth Wipes- Again, wash and reuse over and over again instead of spending money on wipes and then trashin them. You can use any kind of wipe but I use flannel cotton wipes that you can buy or just make yourself. I make a spray of water, tea tree oil, and Burt’s Bees Baby Wash. This site has a lot of homemade wipe solutions.

Liners- You can buy flushable liners that you just flush or throw away when the baby has a bm but I have never used these.

Fleece Liners- I have been meaning to buy or make some fleece liners (that wicks moisture away and is a barrier between the prefold and Beau) but I haven’t yet. But this might be something to get if you are going to use prefolds.

Alright, that’s the basics of what we do for diapering. Do you have any questions? 🙂

Why Take Childbirth Classes?

 

In a country where women have grown up fearing the labor process and listening to birth stories that aren’t always positive, pregnant women need an up-to-date, positive, and supportive kind of education that teaches them to make informed choices with the help of those around them.

There are so many resources out there to help guide expectant parents through the world of pregnancy and childbirth. One of the most valuable sources of information for expectant families is childbirth education classes. Here are some of the benefits of taking a childbirth class:

  1. Childbirth class time is an opportunity to talk about your pregnancy and upcoming birth for a focused one to two hours.
  2. Childbirth class allows expectant parents to connect with other families who are going through similar experiences.
  3. A good childbirth class will offer evidence-based, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
  4. Childbirth class is the perfect place to learn and practice relaxation techniques and labor positions that can help promote your comfort and minimize possible complications during your labor and birth.
  5. Childbirth class will answer your questions, guide you to make decisions on how you want to birth your baby, and help you gain confidence for your labor and birth.

The Bradley Method of Childbirth ® is the most complete and comprehensive series of childbirth classes available. Bradley Method ® classes cover it all: nutrition, exercise, being more comfortable during pregnancy, the coach’s role, information about labor and birth, advanced techniques for labor and birth, complication during labor and cesarean sections, postpartum care, breastfeeding, and caring for your new baby.

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For more information on classes go here!