|March 28, 2007|
Volume 9, Issue 7
|Midwifery Today E-News|
“Body Piercing and Pregnancy”
|Subscribe • Print Page|
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In This Week’s Issue:
Quote of the Week
"We need to get the information out there, babies are dying, women are crying and doctors are lying."
— Penny Groner
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The Art of Midwifery
During the first three months [of pregnancy] women are transforming at a rapid rate. Pregnancy can induce nausea, fatigue and uncertainty, along with elation and joy. In addition to advice on nutrition and necessary remedies, midwives can give newly pregnant women encouragement regarding birth and the future with their families. Hands-on care is about planting the seed of love and encouragement early on, giving women confidence and trust in themselves to do the work and do it well.
During the second trimester women come into acceptance and elation. Fear of miscarriage or losing the pregnancy fades and is replaced by the growing belly. The mother feels the baby move for the first time. This triggers a maternal response to plan and get organized. While we do monthly visits, many questions surface between visits. Midwives usually make themselves very accessible. "Presence" is an essential component to hands-on care. The knowledge that a woman can call her care provider whenever she needs to gives her peace of mind. Presence is not only being available but really listening to the pregnant woman. Stepping out of whatever distractions you have and making that woman feel like she is the only one who matters at that time. This sort of care increases the pregnant woman's confidence and makes her feel special. We all deserve this!
The third trimester marks a time of countdown! Time to focus on the birth and how it will go best. Women in the last trimester become thoughtful and introspective. They ponder their motherhood, womanhood and partnerships. If they are happy, life swims gracefully around them. However, if turmoil is at hand it can show up physically and emotionally, fast and furious. Midwives stay alert to this potential and respond to what they see.... Sitting and talking openly is the best hands-on care we can give.
— Jill Cohen
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ALL BIRTH PRACTITIONERS: The techniques you've perfected over months and years of practice are valuable lessons for others to learn! Share them with E-News readers by sending them to email@example.com.
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Body Piercing in Pregnancy
As more and more women share their "private" piercings with health care providers, they are finding greater acceptance and understanding. Despite that, misconceptions, bias and negativity still exist. In the future midwives are likely to encounter clients who are pierced, if they haven't already, and need to have accurate information to share with them.
A good place to start in obtaining information is the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). The APP is an international nonprofit association dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information regarding body piercing to piercers, health care providers and the general public. www.safepiercing.org
Piercing is not recommended during pregnancy because of the risk of infection, the long healing time and the changes in the body that come with the growing baby. Most piercers will not even consider piercing women during pregnancy, preferring that they wait until a safer time. The APP advises against it.
In regard to healed piercings, in general no special care is required during pregnancy.
Three areas for piercing that are of particular importance during pregnancy and postpartum are the navel, the nipples and the genitals. Those who already have gotten pierced and are now pregnant or planning to breastfeed often have questions about what to do. Should they remove the jewelry? Will they be able to breastfeed? Will the piercing come out?
As body art and piercings continue to grow in popularity, birth professionals need to be aware of any pregnancy-, birth- or breastfeeding-related issues that may be relevant. Sooner or later they will have a client with piercings and should be prepared to provide accurate advice.
— Cheryl K. Smith
Do you have clients with piercings and want to know how to advise them? For further information and references, you need Issue 52 of The Birthkit.
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Research to Remember
A case was reported in 2002 regarding a woman with a pierced tongue who had emergency postpartum surgery. She sustained injury to her tongue with bleeding and swelling, along with complications to airway management. The authors of the study expressed concern that such tongue jewelry may increasingly become problematic leading to inability to intubate or ventilate the patients. They recommend that oral jewelry be removed prior to anesthesia in the interest of safety.
— Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 14(6): 447–48, September 2002
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Products for Birth Professionals
I have heard recently about an interesting ethical dilemma. A surrogate mom (who has given birth vaginally four times, loves pregnancy and birth and wants more children of her own) is pregnant through IVF (in vitro fertilization) with twins. The twins' family insists "their" twins be born in hospital with all the high-tech around; the pregnant woman knows she's walking straight into a c-section and is not willing to have one. This is something I never thought about with surrogacy.
— Gloria Lemay
Web Site Update
Read these articles from the most recent issue of Midwifery Today (Number 81) newly posted to our Web site:
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Costa Rica Conference 2007
Advertise at our next international conference "Birth without Borders," in San José, Costa Rica, (May 23–27, 2007). This conference will feature a three-day doula workshop, and many traditional midwives from Central American countries will be in attendance. Opportunities for program advertising and registration insterts can be found on our Web site. [ Learn More ]
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Question of the Week
Q: What are the possible damages that can be caused by using IUD as a birth control method?
SEND YOUR RESPONSE to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Question of the Week" in the subject line. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the message.
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Question of the Week Responses
Q: I will be getting pregnant soon, and I want to treat my contracted pelvis condition before getting pregnant, to avoid the dangers of dystocia. It got contracted while doing a series of seated bent leg poses, and I know my pelvis can open up again. Any advice on how to proceed?
A: In response to the reader who was concerned about her contracted pelvis during pregnancy and labor—try chiropractic! Specific chiropractic adjustments can help relieve imbalances in the pelvis, which removes tension on the various pelvic ligaments, which in turn removes torsion from the uterus, as these ligaments connect the pelvis to the uterus. When this is accomplished, the mother's body can function more normally, and the chance of problems occurring is greatly minimized. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has chiropractors across the world who are skilled in this technique, called the Webster Technique. It is very gentle, non-invasive, and great for the mom and the baby. Moms who utilize chiropractic during pregnancy tend to have fewer problems during labor and delivery, and their babies also enjoy multiple health benefits. You can contact the ICPA at www.icpa4kids.org for a list of certified chiropractors, and for more information on the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy.
— Jennifer L. Johnson, DC
A: I teach Pilates, sensuous movement, pole dancing (for women's empowerment) and primal labor and birth movement, as well as being an eager student of the female pelvic floor and all the things it does or can do, including Taoist pelvic floor studies and Western and European studies.
In my experience the pelvic floor becomes tense for many reasons, physical and emotional. Relaxing the pelvic floor is an idea that is full of emotional discomfort for most people because society has taught us from early on that it is vital to learn how to control and hold the pelvis tight (due to potty training, as well as sexuality and not to make any noises like gas). So, what can women do to undo all this training to be tight?
The best place is to practice on an exercise ball that is not too big. Really make sure it is for your height. It should also be very full. The full ball will push up into the pelvic floor when you sit on it; this makes a closed kinetic chain so that you can feel what's happening to your pelvic floor. Three exercises follow to get the bones of the pelvic floor moving more fluidly and easily.
— Meli Macourek
Q: Women being discharged from hospital receive almost universal postpartum instructions to avoid tub baths. I suspect that long ago some OB thought this sounded reasonable and it was repeated from generation to generation till it became etched in stone ("common" sense??).
I rather think this is hogwash but have no evidence one way or the other. Apart from the studies cited about women in labor with ruptured membranes NOT having increased infections caused by tub baths in labor, does anyone know of any evidence supporting or discrediting the theory that bath water gets up into the vagina (postpartum or otherwise)?
— Susan Robinson
A: You are right, not advising women to have baths postpartum is complete rubbish. I don't know of any research around this, but then again many of these obstetric myths don't seem to worry about evidence. In the UK midwives often encourage women to have baths, especially if they have sutures to the perineum, as a warm bath with a few drops of lavender oil added can be soothing and help to ease the "picking" sensation felt as part of the healing process.
— Alison, Midwife
A: I'm not sure what area of the country you're having this experience in, but in Minnesota, where I've practiced in many different hospitals as both an RN and a CNM, we not only recommend tub baths postpartum, we often will make them a prescription two to three times daily for sore bottoms, to improve healing. Women often get into the tub as early as the day of delivery if they like.
The only situation where we discourage tub baths postpartum is after cesarean section—women can shower as early as the day after, but they're advised to wait at least a week or two (I don't remember exactly how long at the moment) to sit in a tub in order to prevent abdominal wound infection.
— Patty, CNM
Editor's Note: Thank you to all readers who responded to this question. We received a number of article references in support of tub baths after birth. Anyone who is interested in these specific references can contact us at email@example.com.
Responses to any Question of the Week may be sent to E-News at any time. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the subject line or in the message.
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Think about It
According to a telephone survey of nearly 12,000 families, women who never graduated high school are more likely to have their children vaccinated than women who graduated college. The National Immunization Survey showed that children of less-educated mothers were 16 percent more likely to have up-to-date vaccinations. To learn about more of the results, see www.cdc.gov/nis/.
This was written in response to a question in Midwifery Today E-News 8:9:
I am a sufferer of Morphea. I have had three pregnancies, the first ending in an early miscarriage not related to my condition. The second pregnancy resulted in the wonderful outcome of a 9 lb 9 oz baby boy, perfect in every way and going to 41 weeks. Currently I am 37 weeks 5 days with my third pregnancy. I am not and was not followed by a perinatologist; neither of my two different teams of obstetrician/gynecologists thought it was necessary.
The first pregnancy that went to term was the one time since being diagnosed at 18 that I have felt so well. Unfortunately, I did have skin flare-ups, but the associated rheumatoid arthritis pain I usually suffer was nonexistent. With the current pregnancy I am again experiencing skin flare-ups, but the pain is much worse. As far as the need for specialist care, there has been no concern. The only concern my obstetrician and I have had is the effect a c-section on my condition.
Please let your patient know that I have had two successful pregnancies while suffering Morphea and had only the "normal" pregnancy problems. One more thing I would like to pass on is that the recovery from birth takes much longer to heal, just like any other "injury." Good Luck.
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HONORING OUR CYCLES: A NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING WORKBOOK by Katie Singer. For birth control OR getting pregnant. Send $17 to New Trends, 401 Kings Hwy, Winona Lake, IN 46590. http://www.GardenofFertility.com
Come to the Christian Midwives International Third Annual Christian Birth Professionals Conference 4/11/07–4/14/07 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The cost of $300 includes all meals and lodging. (765) 643-9433 or Brandi@Home4Birth.com
Be BOLD in 2007! Organize a BOLD Red Tent birth stories event or a BOLD production of the play "Birth." Unite with mothers globally to make birth mother-friendly. www.birthonlaborday.com
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