Information Chain

This is a great way to guide the way to research. Share some info and leave a source if you’re able! If you’re starting the journey of research, take what’s shared and research for yourself! Get armed with information and truth!

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A New Venture

Heyyyy everyone!  Admin here!  I wanted to get everyone involved in this new project that’s been floating around in my mind for the last couple of years.  I would like to compile information to put into a book about free pregnancy and freebirth, as well as share my own personal experiences with it.  While it’s not necessarily original, I do feel it will be the first of its kind.  I don’t believe it will just be another unassisted childbirth book, I hope to add a dynamic that’s slightly different than what I’ve seen and I’m really excited about it!  I hope you’ll all be actively involved in sharing your thoughts with me as well!

So tell me: if you were to read a book about freebirth, what would you expect?  What information would you want to see in it, what would you like to learn, what questions would you want answered, etc.  Also, I’d like to include a section in the book to share encouraging freebirth stories as well as those with supportive doctors and midwives.  This book will be in complete support of freebirth and talk about safety measures to take, truths regarding medical interventions, as well as our ability as women to birth our babies as God intended.  That being said, it will not be a book that is anti-medical intervention/assistance where needed and necessary. So if you have some ideas, email me at kristiwhitten@ymail.com. Please take note that birth stories will be slightly edited for readability and grammar/punctuation but will otherwise be untouched. Also, if you want anonymity, please let me know. If you don’t specify, I will not remove names that are included.

If you’ve experienced birth trauma, I also want to hear from you!  What is a resource you wish you had access to that would have helped you cope?  What information do you wish you had that you feel would have helped prevent those experiences?  What do you wish doctors/midwives did differently and what information do you wish you were armed with in order to have a safe and successful birth that didn’t inflict the emotional (and perhaps physical) harm that you endured.  I believe these stories are just as helpful as the encouraging and successful freebirths because they help arm us with full disclosure and information we need to give us confidence, resolve, and determination in pursuing the birth we so personally desire.

It’s not going to be exhaustive, but I do want this book to be well-rounded and a great resource for those researching their options.  I want it to answer the questions of those interested in learning more as well as provide what many of us who have had one or more freebirths love so much from the support groups.  I want it to bring encouragement and empowerment and for it to be a useful and helpful tool in the shed of resources available out there for someone working toward building a healthy lifestyle and taking responsibility for the birth of their beloved babies.

Will you help me on this venture?  I hope you will! Please email me! Spam me with your ideas.  If you do not want me to quote you, please say so because if you share something great, I’m gonna quote you! hahaha!  If you’d rather help in some other way, sharing links or resources you have found along the way is also a huge help as I dive into further research to provide.  You could also help monetarily through donations towards the book or blog.  I pay a small annual fee to keep this blog running and clean/free of ads, as well as spend time moderating and researching, however I’ve done so out of passion and feel every penny and minute I’ve spent has been worth it to provide easy access to helpful information.  However, if you feel led to donate, you can do so through paypal.me/KristiWhitten.

Be sure to check back or sign up for notifications so you can order your own copy once it’s completed!  Thank you all for continued your support!  I’m really excited to get more resources out there and normalize freebirth as a safe and educated birthing option for those who desire to do so.

The Average Length of Pregnancy

We have three stacks of pancakes: stack one with eight pancakes, stack two with three, and stack four with four pancakes. There are 15 pancakes in all. If we rearrange the pancakes to have an equal number in each stack, we get five in each stack. Upon doing so, five is thus the average number of pancakes in each stack.
 
With this logic in pregnancy, we take three women: one who goes 38wks into her pregnancy before giving birth, one who goes 40wks into her pregnancy, and one who goes 43wks into her pregnancy before giving birth. There are 121wks total among the three women. If we arrange the weeks to have an equal number in each pregnancy, we get 41wks for each woman. Upon doing so, 41wks is the average number of weeks a woman would go into her pregnancy before giving birth to her baby…
 
Except pregnancy doesn’t work like that because 41wks might be the average length of a pregnancy until one reaches full term, but it doesn’t mean it’s for every woman. Due dates are calculated around this illogical idea of the average length of pregnancy and thus creates an already difficult journey to feeling like one is expired when truly, their baby is exactly where they should be (except for exceptional cases, of course) and their pregnancy is not yet to the end. As such, there is no such thing as going “late” or “too long” in a pregnancy. One can only reach their own very unique and personal full term with each individual pregnancy and each individual woman. 
Women and pregnancies aren’t pancakes. We’re a lot more amazing than that. 😉

Charcoal for Infant Jaundice

Image result for activated charcoal babies

So thankful that a friend shared this info with me. I found this truly fascinating and wanted to share!

To read this article in full and to see other uses for charcoal, go to: Charcoal for Babies

“Just like adults babies get sick too. It seems unfair that these fragile vulnerable infants have to face a world full of so many enemy agents so soon in life. For babies born in hospitals and babies born at home there are a host of unseen but very lethal organisms lurking about ready to infect their little bodies. Whether it be a hospital borne infection or something a breast feeding mother ate at her last meal, babies are not equipped to deal well with their new environment. Whether it beGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), neonatal jaundice, infant diarrhea, colic, or accidental poisoning, in many cases Activated Charcoal has been found to be an effective simple and natural remedy.

Infant Jaundice

Even from birth many babies fall victim to neonatal jaundice. Whether jaundice be because of an inherited factor such as in Erythroblastosis fetalis, or because of a sluggish immature liver, many babies turn yellow soon after birth instead of a glowing pink.  Activated charcoal is a simple natural remedy for a jaudiced baby.

“When Nathan, our firstborn, came along, he was somewhat jaundiced. The yellow-orangish appearance of his skin and eyes was due to the build up of bilirubin, a bile pigment that was not being properly metabolized. For various reasons, the liver sometimes does not kick into gear at birth, as it should have with Nathan. Out he went into the sun for a daily sunbath. Charcoal has also been credited with lowering bilirubin levels. But, since babies are only designed to swallow at birth and not chew, we mixed some activated charcoal powder in a bottle of water and let the particles settle out. We then poured this slurry water off into a baby bottle and popped that into his mouth. After a couple of days, and several ounces of slurry water later, he was a healthy ruddy pink.

“As he grew, Nathan would now and again show signs of being a little colicky. We could only smile as he would accept a charcoal tablet, and then thoroughly enjoy playing with it in his mouth. By the next morning he would be over whatever had caused him discomfort. Later, when his brother Enoch came along, charcoal tablets were his first experience with “candy”. If only other young parents knew how powerful charcoal can be as a first aid.”CharcoalRemedies.com page 27

For jaundiced babies, add one tablespoon of activated charcoal powder into four ounces of water. This makes a good slurry that is able to pass through the nipple of a baby bottle. Shake well before giving. Or, you can let the charcoal settle out, pour off the gray water and give that. 

Dr. Agatha Thrash M.D. tells the following case of neonatal jaundice in a four-day old breast-fed baby:

“The father took the baby to our laboratory to be tested for its total bilirubin levels. The levels continued to climb over the next twenty-four hours and a consulting physician agreed with our suspicion of an ABO blood incompatibility. When the bilirubin rose to 18 mg% the consultant prepared to give an exchange transfusion of blood.

The same hour the mother began administering as much charcoal as she could get the baby to accept. With the baby undressed in her lap, she sat in the sunlight giving over an hour of exposure to both front and back (babies can tolerate more sunlight before getting a sunburn than can adults).

At the next six-hour bilirubin check, the level was down to 16.5%, and we knew we had avoided the hazardous exchange transfusion. Continuing with this treatment the bilirubin began to clear and was down to 4 mg% by the tenth day.”

In one astounding study the need for exchange transfusions in babies with erythroblastosis fetalis was cut by more than 90% with the use of charcoal. Erythroblastosis fetalis is a severe anemia that develops in an unborn infant because the mother produces antibodies that attack the fetus’ red blood cells. The antibodies are usually caused by Rh incompatibility between the mother’s blood type and that of the fetus (that is, the mother and baby have different blood types).

These babies can be at extreme risk after birth and, depending on the severity, a blood transfusion may be performed. In one study done at Fort Benning, Georgia, activated charcoal, suspended in water, was given every two hours. The treatment was continued for 120 hours in normal newborns and 168 hours in premature infants, or until bilirubin levels fell. Charcoal should be begun at four hours of age to produce the maximum reduction in elevated bilirubin levels.”CharcoalRemedies.com page 158 “

A Word From the Admin

The main goal here at Free Pregnancy and Freebirth is to arm men and women with information to make educated choices about health, pregnancy, and birth. Pregnancy and birth is not predictable, and as such, it’s important to understand the body, how to care for it, and the dynamics of birth to encourage a safe and empowering experience. Keeping the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states of the mother, father, and baby in mind all factor into this experience.

We support the desire of men and women who feel more comfortable with assistance that includes chiropractic, midwifery, naturopathic, or obstetric care. It is not our goal to ostracize the medical community. There are scenarios when the need for urgent care arises, and that should be the only time interventions take place. For this, we are thankful for those in the medical community who seek to serve, educate, and empower families in their pregnancy and birthing journey, and take on the life-saving tasks when it’s a true need.

Freebirth is not a desire to risk or endanger the lives of babies or women. It’s a calculated and educated choice with the desire to be free to birth as it was designed and to be free to seek help if and/or when it’s needed. Emergency cesarean sections are a gift, only when they are necessary. The decision to move onto a cesarean section should not be taken lightly if a woman would rather give birth vaginally. In order for that to happen, interventions should only take place if there is a need. Routine practices and liability concerns are not needs.

There is a known truth in our culture and it’s not that ‘labor is hard’ or that ‘women are strong’. It’s that men and women are intelligent and capable of making choices for themselves that is in the best interest of their families; it’s that they are the protector, provider, and parent and will seek help when they need it for their babies. It is never okay to ignore that truth, no matter whether one deems themselves in a position of authority. Even if anyone had authority over the woman and what she feels led to do in birth, good leadership comes when you consider the benefits that everyone brings to the team. This includes the woman’s knowledge of her own body, her compassion for her baby, and the wisdom she has in how to address any situation involving her family.

Here at Free Pregnancy and Freebirth, we believe women are designed to bear, nurture, and bring forth life. We believe that both men and women should be cared for while during this transition of welcoming their new baby into their arms. We believe that birth is not a medical event. We believe that birth is beautiful.

Free Pregnancy and Freebirth (2)

Labor Hormones in Under 10 Minutes

“Note: this page is about how to TEACH this concept to expectant parents. If you’re an expectant parent looking for info on labor hormones, their effect on labor pain, and what your partner can do to help you have a shorter and less painful labor, click here.

In my childbirth classes, and with doula clients, I want them to understand that our emotions, and the support we receive, absolutely affect labor on a physiological basis, by influencing our hormones. The big message is that fear and anxiety slow labor down and make it more painful. Support and feeling safe make labor faster and easier. I have simplified the complex details into a simple stick figure drawing that takes 5-10 minutes.

Before I talk about my teaching method, let’s start with a basic summary* of hormones:

Hormone What Does It Do What doesn’t help What does help
Oxytocin Causes labor contractions that dilate cervix Anxiety, bright lights, feeling observed, feeling judgedPitocin – if have synthetic oxytocin, make less hormonal oxytocin To increase oxytocin: Skin-to-skin contact.
Nipple stimulation, making love.To increase endorphins: social contact and support from loved ones.To increase oxytocin and endorphins and to reduce adrenaline: create an environment where we feel private, safe, not judged, loved, respected, protected, free to move about.(So, partners, if you remember nothing else about labor support, remember that if she feels safe, loved and protected her labor will be faster, and less painful)
Endorphins Relieve pain, reduce stress (cause euphoria and feelings of dependency) Stress, lack of supportNarcotics (if you have an external opiate, your body will start producing less internal opiate… even after the narcotics wear off, you’ll have less endorphins)
Catecholamines (adrenaline, etc.) In early / active labor: slow labor down(Imagine a rabbit in a field. If it doesn’t feel safe, it wants to keep baby inside to protect it)In pushing stage: Make you and baby alert and ready for birth, give you energy to push quickly.
(If the rabbit is about to have a baby, and something frightens it, it wants to get the baby out as quickly as possible so it can pick it up and run with it.)
Stress / anxiety / fearLack of control

Feeling trapped

Hunger, cold

 

So, in class how do I convey these ideas in just a few minutes, so it’s easy to understand and to remember?

First, I say: “In labor, our emotions and our environment effect our hormones. Our hormones have a huge effect on labor. Let’s look at a couple scenarios for labor.” [I draw two stick figures on the board.] “This one is awash in stress hormones which will make labor longer and more painful. Let’s label it adrenaline. This one is under the influence of oxytocin and endorphins. These help the laboring person shift into an altered state where labor pain is milder (less intense and less unpleasant) and also help labor progress more quickly.” [Add labels to drawings, add sad face and smiley face.]

Picture2

Then I say “So, you are all probably familiar with adrenaline. What do we call it? Yes, the fight or flight hormone. This is the idea that if an individual ran into a tiger in the woods, they would choose either to fight it or to run away. Do you know what we call oxytocin? Many call it “collect and protect” or “tend and befriend.” If a tiger is coming into our village, we gather everyone together, because we are safest together.” [I add these labels to my drawing.]  (I sometimes throw in the tidbit here that men who are not dads are more likely to release adrenaline during stressful situations; women and dads are more likely to release oxytocin – it’s the “gather the babies and protect them” response.)

Picture3

“So, what effect do these hormones have?”

“With adrenaline, all your muscles tighten. All your energy goes to your limbs in case you need to fight or run away. So, oxytocin production drops and labor slows down. (It’s hard for your cervix to open when you feel scared…)  You are also more sensitive to pain – this is useful if you’re at risk of injury – your body tells you what to move away from. But, in labor it’s not helpful – it just means labor hurts more!”

“With oxytocin and endorphins all your muscles relax. Energy is sent to the uterus and oxytocin increases. (Oxytocin is often called the love hormone, because it increases when we feel loved, and its peak levels are when we orgasm, when we birth, and when we breastfeed. It’s all about making babies, birthing babies, and feeding babies.) We also get an increased endorphin flow, which makes us less sensitive to pain, can cause euphoria, and can cause feelings of love and dependency in us… “I love you man….””

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