Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Regain Bladder Control Related to Pregnancy?

According to Dr. Katie Bowman, an expert in biomechanics, ( urinary incontinence isn't necessarily caused by pregnancy even though pregnancy increases strain on the bladder.

The weakening in that area seems to affect both women and men with age. She explains that pelvic floor weakening occurs from a slack in the muscles due to the sacrum moving anterior or into the bowel.

The muscle should be supple like a trampoline. If you exercise your pubococcygeous muscle (Kegel) without compensating in your glutes, you can pull the sacrum even further forward and worsen the problem.

The solution? Evenly align the sacrum by toning both the anterior and posterior sides of your pelvic floor muscles. Kegel regularly, but SQUAT often.

Preparing Nipples for Nursing

At one time it was believed that women should prepare their nipples for nursing by rubbing a rough towel on them from side to side or brushing them vigorously with a dry toothbrush. The good news is: Those days are long gone.

It is now recognized by La Leche Leage International that no preparation is necessary to avoid sore nipples. The best prevention for nipple soreness is correct positioning and latch-on of baby.

-Wait to latch until the baby's mouth is wide open
-Ensure your baby's mouth completely covers the nipple
-Check that your baby's lips are curled outward
-Ask a lactation specialist to observe the latch (forget modesty and discretion it will save you hours of pain for weeks to come)

How to Handle Back Labor?

1. Pelvic Rock--A lot
2. Get in the bath tub and use buoyancy to relieve the pressure
3. Ask a nurse, Douala, or midwife how to squeeze the ischial spines at the hip joint to give counter-pressure a truly amazing natural anesthetic
4. Walk to open the pelvic inlet and help the baby move through more rapidly
5. You may want a lower back massage with tennis balls. (This didn't work for me, my back was to sensitive to the pain since the uterus is fastened to the back and my baby was occiput posterior.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The (Labor) Coach's Manual

1. Pay attention to her physical position help her get comfortable
2. Pay attention to her physical relaxation, guide her through relaxing her face and hands. Make sure she is not arching her back. Tell her to give in and let the contraction work for her.
3. Praise her sincerely
4. Let her overhear you tell the hospital staff or birth team how amazing she is
5. Ask the nurse where you can go to get her a drink, ice chips, or a snack
6. Hold her hand
7. Caress her hair
8. Tell her she's beautiful
9. Tell her how much you love her
10. Let her know the contraction won't last much longer. (Contractions are usually less than 2 minutes long)
11. Relate the pain with progress--"You're getting closer!"
12. Dim the lights
13. Walk with her
14. Put a cool damp cloth on her forehead
15. Remind her to breathe deeply and exhale slowly
16. Encourage her to close her eyes
17. Talk in a slow low voice to calm her
18. If she holds her breath encourage her to groan or growl low to relieve the pressure
19. Suggest she sit backwards on a birth stool or toilet to give counter pressure and allow the perineum tissue to relax

Is Ultrasound Safe in Pregnancy?

American Foundation for Maternal & Child Health show findings of adverse relationship between ultrasound and fetal health. ACOG does not recommend regular or routine use of Ultrasound.

Government officials recognize it may be harmful and should be used sparingly. Geneticists agree that it raises questions about it's potential of mutating genetic DNA and increasing the rate of cancer and congenital malformations.

Excessive use of ultrasound usually results in lower birth weight.

To date there is no medical evidence that any deformities are caused at birth as a result of the use of ultrasound. However, pregnant women should think twice before engaging in unnecessary, excessive, or recreational ultrasound. It is possible that cell mutation caused by ultrasound radiation may have long-term results that show up later in life.

It is wise to minimize ultrasound usage to doctor specifications and discard frivolous peeks at your baby.

Labor Augmentation via Prepidil Gel

What is Prepidil Gel? Prostaglandin E2.

Even though I'm not an advocate of any form of induction unless its a life threatening situation for mom or baby, that doesn't mean I practice what I preach. Prepidil is a fairly safe induction technique. When used in conjunction with Pitocin it reduces the rate of Cesarean section. Another advantage that it has over some of the less favorable induction techniques is that its strength can be reduced by wiping it off the Cervix if the body reacts adversely.

Unfortunately, the fast absorption of prostaglandins by the cervix does not allow your birth team to completely reverse the effects. It is very expensive and doesn't always work.

In some cases the gel works a little too effectively and sends the body into powerful expulsive contractions that can cause uterine hyper-stimulation. Serious complications rarely arise from the use of Prepidil Gel; however, expect more painful and erratic contractions than those occurring in a spontaneous labor.

The best source of prostaglandins for cervical ripening comes when you slip into something sexy and and coerce your husband into finishing what he started 9 months ago. Only engage in sexual intercourse when the bag of waters remains intact.

Regular exposure to male semen on the cervix acts as a natural and healthy ripening agent. Begin regular sexual activity at 36 weeks gestation.

How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

The most important thing you can do is determine the time of ovulation by using an accurate ovulation kit.

-If you want a boy you must time conception as closely as possible with prime ovulation

-If you want a girl you must time ovulation three full days prior to ovulation

The smaller faster Y carrying sperm (boys) are favored for conception during ovulation. The slower more durable X carrying sperm (girls) can make there way through an acidic environment.

Other useful tips for conceiving a boy:

Ensure that the dad-to-be wears loose fitting jockey shorts
Keeps the the family jewels cool and avoid hot showers
Avoid caffeine
Deep penetration during male climax to get fast swimmers close to the cervix
Keep the moms body alkaline (lots of veggies avoid flour, milk, and refined sugars)

To conceive a girl reverse the instructions:
Dad-to-be can take warm showers
Stay shallow during ejaculation
Have mom-t0-be load up on foods that increase acidity 24-48 hours priort to timing conception

Squatting Position for Birth

Twelve years ago when I sat in a birth class learning about birth in the squatting postion, I wasn't completely convinced it was for me. It seemed uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe even a little barbaric. But as years passed and I became a childbirth educator myself I became intrigued by the ancient wisdom of cultures past and present benefiting from squatting during birth. I made it a goal to birth my own child in the squat.

Baby number five was an assisted squat. The C.N.M dropped the lower end of the bed so that I could sit at the edge of the hospital bed with my tailbone scooted to the ledge and my legs resting on the lowered portion of the bed. It amazed me how comfortable pushing could be without the exertion of holding up my legs. Not to mention gravity working in my favor to drop the baby.

During the birth of baby number seven I crawled onto the hospital bed and turned around to face the C.N.M. The nurse raised the back of the bed to offer support from behind. Then she raised the bars on the side for me to hold. There on the hospital bed I squatted flat footed completely covered in my modest hospital gown. Three pushes later baby James arrived.

In the squatting position the perineum stretches more efficiently and the stretching of the tissue occurs with optimum alignment. It's easier to apply proper techniques such as chin down and curved back when you birth in the natural position.

When a woman squats the gravitational force is so effective there is no pulling or prodding to get the baby to move through the birth canal. It simply drops and turns on its own. All the clinician needs to do is catch.

How to Handle a Labor Contraction?

Labor Rehearsal Exercise

1.Hold Perfectly Still-Moving or Jarring the body can be painful during a contraction
2.Meditate-Choose a specific image or mantra to keep your attention
3.Abdominal Breathing- Fill your lungs with deep oxygenating breaths
4.Lay Limp-Loosen every muscle in the face until it hangs, the rest of the body follows
5.Coach should keep his hands off her back- The uterus is fastened to the back and extremely sensitive to extra weight, even gentle massage.

There aren't very effective labor simulations. It's difficult to imitate such a dramatic and powerful experience. However, many childbirth educators will use the ice test.

In this simulation the pregnant woman holds a bag of ice in her hands for as long as possible. The discomfort of the ice directly in the hands allows her to practice the five recommendations above.

The ice is removed from the pregnant mom's hands at intervals. Allowing her to relax and prepare for the next "contraction" simulation.

The ice labor rehearsal is most effective at involving the coach in establishing check points.

How to Labor Quickly?

One of the most feared predicaments of a first time mother is a long labor. The best way to avoid a long labor is to wait for nature to initiate labor on its own.

Naturally occurring or spontaneous labors are statistically much shorter than induced labors. When your baby and your body are fully ripe the body performs much more efficiently.

A soft ripe cervix opens without resistance. Contractions are powerful and progressive. Every part of the body works with a synergistic power to do the involuntary and instinctive work of labor.

Admittedly, I've only enjoyed one completely spontaneous labor. The others I buckled under the pregnancy emotions and pleaded with my provider to strip my membranes to initiate the labor process.

My spontaneous labor was two and a half hours from start to finish. The five labors induced by membrane separation took 12-48 hours. Labor contractions began slowly like a crock pot gradually building intensity. My first labor initiated with the use of an induction tool called Prepidil Gel. The C.N.M applied the Prepidil Gel at 10:00a.m. and my baby was born at 3:35a.m.

It is very typical for women to experience short labor under three hours in a naturally occurring labor. Regardless of whether your labor is long or short contractions are very good for your baby. They improve circulation and prepare your baby for respiration.

Even though you may feel big and weepy toward the end, remember that patience s a virtue. If you can wait it out the experience will be so much better for you and your baby. I promise pregnancy won't last forever!

Not All Calories are Created Equal

When pregnant it is important to increase caloric intake. But it is just as important to know how much to increase calorie consumption and how.

During the first half of pregnancy a 200 calorie increase is sufficient to nourish your body and your growing baby. So let's take a look at 200 calories.

1 Cup of Milk (200 Calories)
1 Yoplait Yogurt (190 Calories)
1 Side Salad with Light Salad Dressing (220 Calories)

That's not a lot of food. It certainly isn't enough to satisfy some of the crazy cravings that pregnant women experience. Unfortunately, someone coined the phrase "You're eating for two!" which gave pregnant women the idea that they really could justify eating whatever they want.

The result: Lots of moms gaining excess weight in pregnancy
Increased Incidence of Toxemia

By the second half of pregnancy it is okay to increase your calorie consuption another 300 calories for a total increase of 500 calories per day.

But remember to pay attention to what you're eating. Not all calories are created equal. Your body does three things with calories

1. It Burns Them (If you're active and using everything you eat)
2. It Stores Them (Think Thighs, Hips, Double Chin)
3. It Flushes Them (Removed as waste)

Many high fiber foods such as avocados are high in calories, but also very high in Fiber. This fiber drags wastes out of your intestines and in the process removes itself. In the end (no pun intended) you may lose more calories than you ate.

So if your pregnant, hungry, and watching your weight, the higher fiber foods you eat, the better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Braxtion-Hicks Contractions

The uterus is a hollow reproductive organ that houses the baby during pregnancy. Dr. Bradley referred to this muscular organ as the baby box. The muscle fibers of the uterus run both vertically and horizontally.

During the early months of pregnancy the uterus begins to practice or exercise its ability to contract. These small warm-up contractions are most commonly known as Braxtion-Hicks.

Most of the time pregnant women can't feel the tiny contractions. However, as pregnancy advances the contractions become increasingly regular and increasingly strong. By the 39 weeks gestation most women recognize some cramping or tightening sensation in the lower abdomen.

Because the uterus is fastened to the spine. The contractions often begin in the back and wrap around the front of the belly in a forward motion. Occasionally, Braxton-Hick's contractions begin at the top and work their way down the uterus.

Typically, Braxton-Hicks contractions are painless or mildly uncomfortable during a first time pregnancy as the uterus is already tone and doesn't require hard contracting to prepare the body for labor. As the uterus stretches it never returns to it's pre-pregnancy size and condition. In subsequent pregnancies, it inevitably experiences a loss of tone.

Braxton Hick's contractions are notably more powerful and sometimes painful in subsequent pregnancies. There isn't anything you can do to eliminate pre-labor tightening. They are absolutely essential to restoring tone and strength to the uterus. But you can supplement your diet with Red Raspberry Leaf Capsules from your local heath foods store.

Red Raspberry Leaf is a completely safe uterine super food. Just as cranberries are good for your kidneys and fish is good for your brain, red raspberry leaf nourishes the the uterus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stretch Mark Prevention

Stretch marks often emerge on a woman's body during the final weeks of gestation. Sometimes it may seem as though they popped out overnight. Stretch marks may appear on the lower and upper abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs.

It seems that the retail industry makes a big business of women who want to remove their stretch marks. Unfortunately, most women encounter disappointment after disappointment searching for the miracle stretch mark cure. It can be very expensive trying to reverse the tissue discoloration resulting from pregnancy stretch marks.

What you should know is that the underlying cause of stretch marks is hormonal changes in the body that result in low levels of elasticity and collagen in the layers of the dermis. The obvious cause is the rapid growth or stretching of dermal tissue over the body. This can be caused from either or growth spurt or a protruding belly.

It is much easier to prevent stretch marks than to remove them. But before you begin slathering cocoa butter or any other miracle cream on your abdomen keep in mind that stretch marks first occur in the deeper layers of the dermis. Once small tears begin to seperate in the the deeper tissue, they gradually manifest themselves on the outside layer of skin or epidermis. This is precisely why stretch marks are so difficult to repair--the scarring is so deep.

I won't discourage you from moisturizing the skin on your abdomen, but don't spend a fortune doing it. Combining a few drops of olive oil, fennel oil, and Vitamin E oil provides a fantastic rejuvenation for the outer layer of the skin.

What I encourage all pregnant moms to do is absorb stretch mark prevention nutrients on a deeper level. Ensure that you're getting healthy oils in your daily diet. Supplement your meals with flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, fennel capsules, or fish oil capsules. Choose a high quality fish oil as many are contaminated with mercury. Typically wild Alaskan Salmon or Cod Liver Oil are good choices.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fetal Heimlich Maneuver

A natural act that as the baby is born, the mother's intact perineum presses inward below the baby's ribcage causing mucous to be forced out of the baby's mouth and nose.

In this video you'll notice that the baby experiences a final rotation just prior to exiting the cervix. In live birth with a naturally or spontaneously ocurring labor the uterine muscles, including the cervix will maintain enough strength to gently squeeze under the infant sternum. This allows the baby to expel any amniotic fluid remaining in the mouth or esophagus. Please keep in mind that the cervix actually fits more tightly around the baby's head. Especially during the crowing stage of labor.

My Birth Plan

Mother: Becky Ann Turley Rasmussen
Father: Neil James Rasmussen
Mother’s DOB: 12/28/1978
Last Menstrual Cycle: 9/6/2008
Due Date: 06/12/2009
Insurance Provider: Select:Care + ID: 800561011
Birth Team: Mt. Timpanogas Woman’s Health Care/Midwives
Blood Type: O+
Allergies: Penicillin
Group B Strep Test: Positive
Gravida: 8
Full Term: 7

Labor Preferences:

Natural Delivery Without Anesthetic
Availability of Jetted Tub & Birthing Ball

Second Stage Labor Preferences:

Assistance with modesty given the family members in attendance
Reminder Squatting or Kneeling Position for Pushing
Perineal massage if necessary to avoid tearing
Request gloves to feel baby’s descent

Preferences for Baby:

Wavier of Eye Prophylaxis
Wavier of Hepatitis B Vaccination
Wavier of Vitamin K Shot
Delay cord clamping until pulsating discontinues
Immediately breastfeed baby with skin to skin contact
I Would like to nurse & massage the vernix into the baby’s skin immediately following birth

*Notice pertinent information first. If you have allergies or complications related to your pregnancy they should be listed at the top.

Most of your concerns should be addressed in the weeks prior to delivery. As you initiate discussions with your provider you should have a good idea of what to add or subtract from your birth plan. The shorter your birth plan is, the more your birth team will work to accomodate the items listed.

Standard Birth Plan

What's Wrong With this Birth Plan?

Birth Plan for Jane Mary Doe
Due Date: 1/25/10

Patient of Dr Baby Guider

Scheduled to deliver at Medical Center

Dear Dr Doe and the Medical Center Staff:
I look forward to sharing my upcoming birth with you. I have created the following birth plan to help you understand my preferences for my upcoming labor and delivery. I fully understand that in certain circumstances these guidelines may not be followed, but it is my hope that you will assist me in making this the experience I hope for. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.
Jane Doe


I would prefer to avoid an enema and/or shaving of pubic hair.I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.


I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my daughter.

Labor Augmentation/Induction

I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and nipple stimulation before Pitocin is administered.


I do not want any kind of anesthesia offered to me during labor, though would like it available if I specifically request it.Custom note regarding use of an epidural


If my primary care provider determines that a cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to obtain a second opinion from another physician if time allows.I would like my husband present at all times if my daughter requires a Cesarean delivery.I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia If my daughter is not in distress, my daughter should be given to (blank) immediately after birth.


I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety.


I would like my husband and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.I would like a mirror available so I can see my daughter's head when it crowns.Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my daughter is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.I would like to have my daughter placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.

After Delivery/Post Partum

I would like to cut the cord myself.I would like to have my daughter examined and bathed in my presence.If my daughter must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my daughter at all times. I would like a private room if available.After the birth, I would prefer to be given a few moments of privacy to urinate on my own before being catheterized.I would like to donate the umbilical cord blood.


Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my daughter (including glucose water or plain water).I do not want my daughter to be given a pacifier.


I would like to make a video recording of labor and/or the birth.


My birth attendants are my sister-in-law, Jennifer Doe, and my husband, John Doe. I would like them to be present during labor and/or delivery.

This Birth Plan contains a lot of unnecessary information and outdated requests.

-There is no need to introduce additional birth attendants

-Many hospitals aren't equipped to donate cord blood, ask in advance

-It's unnecessary to mention film documentation, everyone does it

-Nobody shaves pubic hair or gives enema's without consent anymore

On the positive side

-This Birth Plan is fairly easy to read because of short paragraphs and bold headings

-Preferences are clear

-Allows room for flexibility

The two biggest mistakes expectant couples make when writing a birth plan are

1. Making it too long with inclusion of unnecessary or outdated information.

2. Writing it in letter format.

Working Together During Pregnancy


Becky is great at creating a learning environment where couples can grow together. She has a way of teaching you to work together -both before, during, and after birth. And she was exactly what we needed to have the birth experience we hoped for."

Jenny & Elijah Nielson --Naples, Florida

How to Choose a Childbirth Class?

"When we initially began our birth class we were expecting our first baby as students on our way to law school and a PhD. We never could have guessed how much there was to learn in a prenatal class. Becky shed light on the sensations I was experiencing in pregnancy and prepared us for the most life changing event of our lives; the birth of our beautiful baby girl."

--Emily & Tyler Gibb
New York, NY

Preparing for Birth


1. Taking my childbirth education class put me back in control. It taught me that not only could I have a baby without medication, I could make choices regarding much of my care as well. After experiencing natural childbirth I also discovered that I was able to recover much more easily than I did after my medicated births.

2. My childbirth class taught me the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, but did it in a way that was attainable - not overwhelming. That started me on the right path to see that I really could achieve an unmedicated childbirth and work to do so. The benefits of that choice are great. This is education I would recommend to every expectant mother and her coach!

3. Taking my childbirth education class put me back in control. It taught me the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, but did it in a way that was attainable - not overwhelming. That started me on the right path to see that I really could achieve an unmedicated childbirth and work to do so. I learned how to make choices regarding much of my care as well. After experiencing natural childbirth I also discovered that I was able to recover much more easily. This is education I would recommend to every expectant mother and her coach!

Erik & Cheryl Dunne
American Fork, Utah

Better Birth

I have had 5 pregnancies. 2 epidural/pitocin deliveries, one c-section, and 2 natural deliveries.The fact of the matter is that without us going through your birthing classes, I would have NEVER attempted to go natural!

I had already tried once before, and failed. (I didn't even have a desire with my previous 2 pregnancies). I loved how you taught us to educate ourselves. I still remember one of our 'homework assignments' was to find out the pro's and con's of using pitocin during labor. I was shocked at what we found! I had used pitocin in both my previous labors and was surprised at how little I knew about a drug that I so readily agreed to!

I also loved that we created a birth plan! It was great for Mike and I to talk about what we did and did not want during our birthing experience before I was in labor, and to discuss it with my Dr. My recovery was so much faster because I could actually feel when I wanted to stop pushing!

The relaxation techniques I learned during your classes helped me to focus during labor. I have had a subsequent pregnancy, and that was without drugs also! There isn't even a question in my mind which birthing experience I enjoyed more! If I am privileged enough to experience birth again, I will definitely choose natural! Thank you for imparting your knowledge of natural birth, and enabling us to enjoy a birth experience we've always wanted!

-Mike & Jenalee Gardner
Saratoga Springs, Utah

Which Birth Class is Best?


Before MyBirthClass both my husband and I were nervous about how the birthing process would go. We had no idea what to expect and did not even know where to start. I heard about the this class from a friend and thought that learning about the natural childbirth way would be a great way to start.

After our first instruction both Kevin and I were amazed by how much we didn’t know. I loved learning how to take care of my body and prepare it for childbirth. Becky was great at making us comfortable, answering our questions, and providing resources so that we could learn everything that we needed to know. She not only knew how to answer our questions using resources, but she had been through childbirth before so I knew that I could trust what she had said.

Our classes were group classes, of course, and it was exciting to be around so many people who were anticipating the arrival of a baby. Becky was great at leading the discussions and questions, helping all of us to learn what we needed to in order to have a successful labor.

While the class I took from Becky was a natural birth class, she taught it in a way that helped me to become confident as a mother and make decisions for myself. There was no wrong way, but the best way was what I chose for myself and for my baby. My birth did not go as perfectly as I planned, but because of all that I had learned I was much more comfortable making decisions and being in charge (as much as you can be) of how my labor went.

Right around two o’clock in the afternoon my water broke, but it being my first pregnancy, and not having it break in one large gush, I did not realize that it was my water breaking. I thought I had finally lost all ability to hold my bladder. It was pretty funny actually. I called my mother, pretty worried, and she laughed on the other line as she told me to pack up my baby bag and get Kevin, my husband, and head to the hospital. It was 3 weeks before my due date, so Ethan’s arrival was definitely not expected.

We arrived to the hospital and sure enough my water had broken and I was dilated to a 3. However, I was not having any contractions. On top of that, earlier I had learned that I was positive for Strep B so I would need to get the antibiotic. The doctor’s wanted to start me on petocin and while I was hesitant, I allowed it. As expected, an hour later the contractions picked up and were coming steadily. Soon after that, not knowing how long it would take for my labor to continue, I was very nervous that the pain would only get worse and I decided to get an epidural. About 2 hours after my epidural, just after midnight, Ethan arrived. While I did not go natural and not everything went as planned, I still had a positive experience because of everything that I had learned in Becky’s class. It really is true that the more knowledge you have, the less scary an unknown situation, like childbirth, will be.

My second chlidbirth went more smoothly. I felt like I was able to relax more and to concentrate on controlling the pain. I was able to stay at home for most of the labor and because I was calm, the pain was very manageable. Kevin was even able to help me this time using some of the partner techniques that we had been taught in Becky's class.

-Ann Arbor, Michigan

What Prenatal Class Should I take?


"Every couple should take it upon themselves to become educated on the process of labor and childbirth and learn what they can do to work with it, not against it. As we took a childbirth education class from Becky, the scales of darkness fell from our eyes, and we learned that childbirth is a natural, normal, healthy, magical process--NOTa mystery of misery and woe."

-Marianne & Joshua BeutlerClarkesville, Tennessee

Childbirth Class Testimonial


Becky Rasmussen was a highly competent and effective birth instructor. Thanks to her course, I was armed with the knowledge necessary to be in control of my birth experience and make to best choices for me and my baby throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal periods. Her role as a birth instructor contributed heavily to the wonderful birth experience I had with my first baby.

-Janet & Daniel Hausen (Jaxon 4, Jonas 1)Marseille, France


Taking the class from Becky gave me an opportunity to get an alternative perspective to the traditional childbirthing approach (doctors and hospitals). I liked knowing all the options that are/were available to me as a pregnant women. It allowed me to be more involved> in my own labor and delivery and have better discussions with my O.B. during my doctor visits. I also found the relaxation techniques and exercises to be very beneficial.

-Matthew & Rachael Haney

MyBirthClass Launches Perfectly Prepared

A Birth Class in a Box! Intorducing convenient, affordable, non-combative prenatal education.

Protein in Pregnancy

Experts agree that your need for protein significantly increases during pregnancy.

Why? Protein i s molecular compounds of amino acids, also known as the body's basic building blocks.

These amino acids are necessary for development of all new cells, especially those of a developing fetus. For the duration of pregnancy, we recommend an increased protein consumption of a minimum of 60 grams per day.

Women having twins or a multiple pregnancy need even more. However, it is important to note that protein is available through a variety of sources. As you increase your protein intake be careful to ensure that not all of your protein is derrived from animal products. You can obtain some of the most easily assimlated proteins from whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts.

Protein is required for the physical growth and cellular development of your baby. It is also required for the placenta, amniotic tissues, and reproductive organs. Let's not forget that a pregnant woman's blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, and protein is needed to produce new blood cells and circulating proteins.

Protein is most critical in the last trimester of pregnancy. Your baby's brain development progresses the most rapidly during the eighth and ninth month of gestation. Protein is the primary nutrient essential to healthy brain development.

As you make the transistion into Postpartum Recovery protein will play an important role in healing. Protein will also increase the quality of nutrition for lactation. Add an additional 20 grams of protein to your non-pregnancy diet. Protein is utilized to produce breast milk and nourish the growing baby. Altogether, pregnancy and lactation significantly impact protein demands.