Thursday, February 16, 2017

Antibiotics don't actually help GBS- but your doctor will make you take them

So at about 36weeks pregnant, your doctor makes you take a vaginal/rectal swab the GBS test (group b strep).  You aren't given a choice about taking it or not taking it.  You aren't given true informed consent about the implications of the test.  You aren't even given heads up weeks or months before the test to help create a strong immune system in pregnancy.

Test comes back, and if you are positive, you are told you will have to have IV (intravenous) antibiotics during labor.  If you were planning a natural birth, that goes out the window.  You are told you need to get to the hospital earlier than later to receive 1-2 doses of antibiotics prior to baby being born.  The doctor does not give you a handout that even gives you the actual chances of your baby becoming infected with GBS in labor/at birth, which according to one of the latest Cochrane studies, "About one in 2000 newborn babies have GBS bacterial infections, usually evident as respiratory disease, general sepsis, or meningitis within the first week".  But the actual risk of a baby developing a serious, life-threatening GBS infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is 1 to 2%.

And did you know that "Late-onset disease develops through contact with hospital nursery personnel and usually manifests in the first 3 months after birth. Up to 45% of health care workers carry the bacteria on their skin, and may transmit the infection to newborns."  Hospitals are one of the most dangerous places to give birth because of the numerous types of bacterium and viruses present.

So back to the part about being told you have to take antibiotics... are you given choices or are you told you "have to"?  Did you know that the latest studies show that giving routine antibiotics is not evidence-based, meaning that no good evidence shows it makes a significant difference?!  But here you are not given that information.  You are not even given the information about the harmful effects of antibiotics, which are infection for the site of injection, "severe maternal allergic reactions, increase in drug-resistant organisms and exposure of newborn infants to resistant bacteria, and postnatal maternal and neonatal yeast infections." (  Meanwhile millions of mothers and babies are given antibiotics when no conclusive evidence shows that it lowers the numbers of neonatal deaths due to GBS infection.

Why are you not given options with their risks and benefits- such as Hibiclens, which contains chlorhexidine, is the form that is typically used by midwives in the US or the natural immunotheraphy to lower the GBS colonization in your system?  Why are you not given your individual risk factors, such has how long has the bag of waters been opened in labor?  Why would child-protective services be called on someone if they declined antibiotics in labor?  

So many questions... have you thought of more?  Do you want to know your choices before you make your decision?  Do you want to know your risk factors and make an individual plan for yourself that is evidence-based and fully informed?  Is it okay for doctors to push pharmaceuticals on mothers and babies when evidence suggests its not the best way?  Why choose a system that does not support informed consent?  What work are you doing to get more information and not just accept what is given or told to you?

some sources:

Monday, October 6, 2014

When Your Child Vomits in the Car

Yesterday, as I was driving I happened to look in my side view mirror and saw my 12year old vomiting up chunks of food out his window.  I slowly pulled over and saw that he had thrown up inside of the car too, all down the door, inside of the window, and some on his seat.  He gets out of the car and I help him to remain calm after the uncontrollable rage of vomiting from a triggered gag reflex with coughing.  Even his pants and hands are semi-covered in vomit, and he was pretty upset... he kept apologizing for throwing up in my car.  Of course, I told him I wasn't mad at him; that he was sick and it's really okay that I have to clean this up.

Luckily, we had just spend the night over my mom's house the night before, so he had a change of clean clothes in the trunk.  I helped to rinse off his hands with some water from my water bottle, and he changed into vomit-free pants and took off his first outer later of clothing.

I pulled over into a nearby parking lot, as he walked over.  We managed to get some paper towels and 2 cups of water from the nearby drive-up joint, and I proceeded to work on cleaning the vomit-filled car, without vomiting myself from the smell.  About 2.5cups of water, about 10napkins, and 2 small car towels later, I had the inside of the car looking pretty good.  One of my younger sisters who happened to be with us was pretty amazed at my work!

All along, my 7year old was peacefully sleeping in his booster car seat (which he is anxious to get rid finally).  He wakes up as I am applying OnGuard & Lemon essential oils to sanitize and freshen up the smell in the car, our hands, and apply some behind our ears.  Man, we are all so grateful I had my handy 5ml bottle
travel size essential oils pack, and extra towels in the car.  We were all able to make it home without any barfing, where I managed to do a thorough cleaning job inside and out!!  One of the times having hella extra stuff (towels & travel size essential oils) in my car paid off.  I guess you could say I was prepared! YES!

Friday, May 13, 2011

How we stop the domino effect of stressed insecure mothers and stressed children?

I went to visit with a friend today who now has a 4week-old baby.  This was her first baby and she definitely had the new mama thing.  She commented on how at a recent mothers group she had attended, most the new mamas had much to say about depression, lack of help, and partner issues.  She went on to talk about how the lack of village greatly affects mamas because new mamas need help.  Having a woman stay the night to help with nighttime feedings was vital for her emotional health so she could take care of her baby.  She also had a rough labor with cesarean birth, so the oxytocin released through the birth canal upon vaginal delivery was not her experience.  The surge of synthetic hormones in her body mixed with the absence of her own production of hormones resulted in high anxiety and an internal fight for her life versus nurturing her baby’s life.

These “fight-or-flight” hormones produced by the placenta and fetus marinate in the mamas brain and body throughout pregnancy.  Biologically, mamas are made to be super focused and sensitive so they can build new highways of neurological connections.  Mamas must be ready for the act of life or death.  The hormones released by the mamas brain, the placenta, and the fetus are made to prepare both the mama and fetus for postpartum survival of the fittest, including breastfeeding and bonding.  Growing a fetus and mothering is a neurological act, as these nerves in mamas bodies release hormones that appear as emotional responses, which are transferred to the fetus/ baby.  The pregnancy experience and birth experience both play a role in the neurological and physiological development of the baby.  

Being a mama is both hormonally and socially isolating for a purpose.  If there is an unpredictable environment, with stress or scarcity of resources, the mama’s nurturing response is blocked, which can affect pregnancy/ birth and parenting/ child development. “So whatever a mother does and others do to help her, inside or outside the home, to ensure the predictability and availability of resources- financial, emotional, and social- may ultimately secure her children’s future well-being” (Brizendine, Louann. The Female Brain, p.114).