Pregnancy and birth checklist of fear

Issa at Love Live Grow, recently published a thought provoking post about fear. Specifically, she made a whole list of the “obligatory” things that people do to help them keep safe. Many of the points on her checklist of fear consist of “common wisdom” that circulates around society, and that is supposed to keep danger at bay. They range from “when walking in the street, be aware of whether anyone is behind you” to more obscure things like “beware of Halloween candy, it may contain hidden razors”. Issa’s point is that these things, when taken together, do not keep us safe but prevent us from living our lives instead. This is the pregnancy and birth edition of the checklist of fear. Pregnancy and birth deserve their very own checklist of fear, because they are, in our society, widely feared. What are the items on the pregnancy and birth checklist of fear like? Just as Issa’s list, this one contains common sense mantras and obscure, ridiculous pieces of advice. Some are “old wives’ tales”, while others are obstetrical opinions.
  • Stop as much as looking at alcohol immediately after your positive pregnancy test
  • Raw cheeses and meats are the forbidden fruits of pregnancy
  • Don’t drink any coffee while you are pregnant
  • Don’t lift anything heavy while you are pregnant
  • Don’t eat too little, or too much (?)
  • Stay away from the cat litter tray to prevent toxoplasmosis
  • Don’t have sex while you are pregnant
  • Regular blood tests are necessary in pregnancy
  • Doing every prenatal screening and diagnostic test available will tell you if anything is wrong with your baby
  • Taking tylenol can harm your fetus
  • Everyone needs a glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes
  • You need multiple ultrasounds during your pregnancy to make sure the baby is still OK
  • Baby appears to be smaller than usual on an ultrasound? Consider scheduling a c-section!
  • Baby appears to be bigger than usual on an ultrasound? Consider scheduling a c-section!
  • Elevated blood blood pressure means you have to have an induction.
  • Don’t allow older children to attend your birth in case you die/need a c-section/they don’t like seeing blood
  • Waters breaking before contractions start is extremely dangerous, and the baby needs to be out within 24 hours
  • If you are not dilating a centimeter every hour, you might need a c-section
  • Don’t eat and drink in labor in case you need an emergency c-section
  • Get an episiotomy so you do not tear
  • Breech births are dangerous and require a c-section
  • Twin births are dangerous and probably require a c-section, unless both babies are vertex
  • Has your due date passed? Talk about an induction
  • Birth is the single most dangerous and painful thing most women experience
  • If your husband sees you give birth, he will never want to have sex with you again
  • Perineal tearing is scary and hurts like hell
  • If you don’t cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth, the baby will get too much blood
  • If you don’t cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth, the baby’s blood will go back into the placenta
  • If you have an epidural your baby will come out a drug addict
  • If you don’t have an epidural you won’t be able to stand the pain
  • If you have an epidural, your hands and legs might have to be amputated
  • If you don’t have an epidural, it might be too late for that crash c-section when you really need it
  • Birth is the single most dangerous and painful thing most women experience
Have you got your own item to add to the list? Let me know!
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Should you use disposable diapers?

Disposable diapers are, of course, on the pregnancy checklist of stuff to buy for the majority of parents living in developed countries. They were on mine, too, when I was pregnant with my first child. Cloth diapers still provoke images of those thin squares of cotton that our grandmothers used, but wile some folks still use them (and love it!), there are now many other options, too. My son has been using the potty for around a year now (and he’s two and a half), and our cloth diapers have retired. I wanted to share my experience.

Before I started sewing cloth diapers and ordering them online (on Ebay through a Chinese company – they were not expensive compared to some of the more well known options), I was not convinced that cloth diapers would be all that wonderful to use. However, the thought that a single sposie would take around 500 years to be broken down, and the earth could turn into this huge disposable diaper trash yard, was scary to me. And perhaps even more importantly, cloth diapers save money.

We got one-size pocket diapers with snaps that could be adjusted to any size, from newborn to potty learning. The inserts were made out of microfibre and dried really quickly. The few “all in one” diapers that me and a friend sewed took ages to dry, so they were not favorites. But I have to admit that cloth diapers were easy to use and easy to wash. They were, generally, easy to love.

The biggest advantages of cloth for me were saving money, never running out of diapers, and being theoretically able to use them for another child or at least pass them onto a friend who needs them. My son cautiously started potty learning at one years and six months, and has been completely diaper free since before his second birthday! I would recommend cloth diapers – or you know, at least giving them a try – to anyone with a washing machine.

They didn’t turn out to be the pain I expected at all. Cloth diapers were indeed actually more convenient to use than sposies.
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Unassisted homebirth with a breech baby?

new-brother-1524574-639x494 Vaginal breech births are, in many countries, rare these days. Cesarean sections have become the “standard of care” for breech deliveries, and if a breech baby is delivered vaginally, it happens with a lot of careful monitoring. Some homebirth midwives will attend breech births, but many more will not. Those who are contemplating unassisted childbirth may wonder what to do if their baby turns out to be breech. What are the risks of a vaginal breech birth? Would you plan an unassisted birth for a breech baby?

Breech basics

The majority of babies settle into a vertex, head-down position the the weeks prior to birth. Women who are any good at palpating their uterus can feel their baby’s position themselves. Otherwise, ultrasound will be needed to determine the baby’s exact position with certainty (although a fetoscope can also be of help, as it allows parents to find out where the heart is located).

The few babies who are not head-down by the time they are ready to be born are breech. There are several different breech positions:
  • Frank breech is seen as the least risky breech position. The baby’s bum is pointing toward the birth canal and the feet are near the baby’s head. The bum, thus, will be born first.
  • Complete breech babies have their bums down, but their legs and feet also in that area.
  • Footling breech means the feet and legs will be born first.
It has to be noted that breech babies can turn right before labor, or even while labor is already in progress.

Laura Shanley, a well-known figure in the “UC movement” (in inverted commas, because I don’t believe there is really any such thing – we are all just individuals), choose unassisted birth for a breech baby as well, and discusses it on her website. Breech has been discussed as “just a variation of normal” on discussion boards for women who are preparing for an unassisted birth.

And, in my country of residence, vaginal breech births are still common – I know several women who have delivered breech babies vaginally without much difficulty, and the one who asked for a c-section got turned down. The only difference in procedure for breech babies is that women who are giving birth to a breech don’t get their labors augmented with pitocin. That does not mean vaginal breech deliveries are safe – the hospitals suck badly in this part of the world, and risk (and death) is not something many hospitals care about very much. Vaginal breech births are cheaper than c-sections, that is why they do it.


Is breech birth really just a variation of normal, something that implies that the risks are no greater than a vertex birth? The answer is that breech births have a significantly higher risk of becoming very complicated (as in, dangerous). Before we take a look at those complications, it is also very interesting to see what the risk factors for breech are:
  • The mother is a multipara or is carrying twins.
  • There is too much or too little amniotic fluid in the uterus.
  • The mother has a history of preterm labor.
  • The mother’s uterus has an abnormal shape, like a bicornuate uterus.
  • Growths such as fibroids are present.
  • The baby has a birth defect.

The last is especially interesting. It has been suggested that babies who have birth defects may be in the breech position for that very reason. The baby is unable to turn vertex for some reason. Even the most mainstream sources note that most breech babies, including ones that were born vaginally, are perfectly healthy. So, what are the risks related to vaginal breech births?

Umbilical cord prolapse is always a serious complication. It involves the umbilical cord sipping out of the vagina before the baby is born (completely), resulting in the cord being compressed and oxygen supply being compromised. As you can see from the (attended) breech homebirth video embedded above, cord compression is almost inevitable with vaginal breech births. Because the baby’s oxygen supply is at risk, it is crucial that the baby’s head is born quickly after the body. In the video, it took five minutes for the head to be born. The baby was fine, but it shouldn’t have been much longer.

Head entrapment happens when a breech baby’s body is born fine, but the head will not come out. If this goes on for a while, the baby is at risk of dying or suffering brain damage, because the cord is no longer able to supply him or her with oxygen. Still, it is important in vaginal breech birth situations to avoid tugging on the body to get the head out, as this can obviously cause damage.

Unassisted breech birth?

All in all, I would personally not choose an unassisted homebirth for a breech baby, if I had reasonably safe (and in this case safer) alternatives available. I feel that fetal monitoring for a breech birth makes sense, especially during the stage where the body is out and the head is still waiting to be born.

Homebirth with a midwife may be an option, but consider how a midwife may be able to assist you. If the breech birth proceeds smoothly without complications, you will not need her. If head entrapment happens, or your baby is born not breathing or with other difficulties, a midwife will not be able to do much, if anything, more than you could yourself.

With all the risks combined, including the possibility of a baby with a birth defect, My personal conclusion is that vaginal breech delivery in a good hospital is the safest choice for breech births. Unfortunately, good hospitals are not available to everyone, and not all hospitals even offer the option to deliver a breech vaginally.

If you do choose UC

Women who are going to give birth unassisted to a breech should remember the old midwifery saying “keep your hands off the breech”. A water birth may support the baby’s body while the head emerges, and for a land birth your partner’s (if you have one) hands can support, but not pull on, the body.

The head should not be born more than ten minutes after the body, and ideally the head’s birth should occur sooner. Keep in mind that you may require medical care for your baby immediately following birth, and prepare for that possibility accordingly. At the same time, I don’t want to be alarmist. If you are having a planned unassisted breech birth, midwife-attended homebirth with a breech, or you find yourself giving birth precipitously to a breech baby without having planned for it, the chances are still very high that your baby will be born perfectly health
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Natural Remedies for tonsil stones

If you are have been searching for natural ways of removing tonsil stones, this article will be of great help to you. The first thing you need is to understand what really this problem is, and what causes it. The medical name for tonsil stones is tonsilloliths and it occurs when calcium salts accumulate in the crevices and pockets of tonsils through a process known as calcification.   tonsil stones

Tonsil stones have a white or yellow color and in most cases lead to bad breath and sore throats. When you find out that you have these symptoms you may look for various ways of getting rid of these stones. Some people may opt to go for a surgery but not unless they are large, you should not turn to such extreme and expensive measures for there are ways of removing the same naturally.

Garlic cloves, when chewed raw can remove the stones. Garlic has an anti-bacteria property which has been used to cure various conditions caused by bacteria and so they can remove tonsil stones. Chewing garlic several times every day can help weed out any bacteria that might be fueling solidification of materials in your tonsils.

Lemon juice possesses vitamin C which can help to remove your tonsil stones very well. Mix few tablespoons of lemon juice with a cup of warm water, add a little salt and to the lemon water and drink. When taking the juice, try to swirl the warm lemon juice around the affected areas before swallowing it. Try also to hold it in your mouth for about a minute, and then swallow. if you feel pain when doing so, you can try  oxycodone or hydrocodone for ease of the pain.

Your fingers can be of great help if you can reach your tonsils with them as you can scrape the stones out. However, you have to be cautious because when picking at the stones very hard can worsen the problem. If you successfully scrape out the stones, immediately gargle some salt water around your mouth to flush out any additional stone you might have loosened.

There are some essential oils which you should consider using to remedy this ailment such as lemongrass, myrrh, thieves oil among others. They are known to have anti-bacterial and ant-inflammatory properties that are useful for the condition. Adding few drops of these oils on your toothbrush every day can help. You can also try getting these essential oils in a spray bottle and spray them on the affected areas.

You can also start eating organic yoghurt as a natural method of removing tonsil stones. Unsweetened yogurt contains pro-biotic, a friendly bacteria needed by your body for removal of tonsil stones and prevent them from reappearing.

Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of tonsil stones. Apples can help remove these stones for they contain mild acidic content which act as astringent and help in cleaning of your teeth. In addition, as you chew apples they scrub your teeth and gums leaving them clean.

Other natural ways of getting rid of tonsil stones is through chewing of carrots, eating of raw onions which improve your oral health and taking fizzy beverages like club soda which will break down the stones like vinegar does among other methods. If your tonsil stones symptoms persist, it’s important that you visit your doctor for a professional attention.
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How to do a brazilian wax at home?

It might be a good idea to perform your own personal Brazilian wax at home. You can save a lot of money this way, because the cost of these procedures can range 50 to 100 USD. Once you master the technique, it will be no problem to do it regularly. Just purchase your own kit and you can do it all by yourself. brazilian wax Although, there are a few important things you must be aware of when doing this procedure at home. for doing a Brazilian wax at home
  • Make sure that you first cut your pubic hair with scissors to about a quarter inch. This will make the waxing much easier and less painful. By doing this you should not cut it to much because in that case the hair will be too short to stick to the wax.
  • You have to soften the hair by using some moisturizer or lotion. It is similar to shaving and it will be much easier when the hair is soft. You can use any product which will fulfill this purpose.
  • Make sure the wax is hot before applying. Of course, it should not be to hot because in that case you could burn your skin. You can heat it in your microwave. Different brands of wax can demand different ways of heating, but if you are not sure, first read instructions on the package. Also make sure that the temperature is adequate during the whole session.
  • Apply the wax on the skin. This is the most important part and it is important to pull your skin as tightly as possible, spread the wax carefully in a thin layer. Then wait for about 10 seconds before you do the next step.
  • The next step is to rip the wax off. It will be easier when you do this in the direction of your hear growth and when you rip small areas at a time. In that way you will get better results and it will be less painful.
  • Use a mirror when waxing spots you can not see.
  • After repeating these steps in order to wax the whole zone which you want to be clean of the hair, you can use some oil to moisture the skin and to remove any remains of the wax.
  • Perfect your technique
Like all other things, this technique requires some skills to do it properly. My advice is that you should begin first with waxing some easier spots, maybe by waxing your leg-hair and then when you will have much more experience, try with the bikini zone which is a little bit harder to do. How often you should do a waxing? Unlike cutting the hair with razor or shaving which lasts just for a few days, waxing your hair will make your skin free of hair even for a weeks. So, you will not have to do it too often and waist your time every other day. So, making a Brazilian wax at home should not be a taboo and as long as you follow instructions you have nothing to worry about. Take your time and start slowly step by step.
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