Dr. Tom Brewer, who authored the Brewer Diet, has been helping women stay healthy and avoid preeclampsia (also known as toxemia) for fifty years or so. Here is the official website: Blueribbonbaby.org . He says that the cause of preeclampsia or toxemia is known. It is not genetic, it is diet based. Here in Pittsburgh, we have too many women who suffer preeclampsia. It greatly affects the safety and comfort of their births. Here is the check-list for the Brewer diet.
If all it takes to have a toxemia free birth is to follow the Brewer diet, then what is keeping you?
Yesterday I joined some friends in the birthing community in learning techniques for spinning babies from Gail Tulley. We were shown many techniques to help a pregnant mom get her baby into an optimal position for birth. One of my favorites was the forward leaning inversion. Gail said, one inversion a day for 30 seconds each, is good for the round ligaments and helping position the baby.
Pregnant mother showing us a forward leaning inversion.
After the mother inverts herself, she gently crawls down and then sits up fairly quickly. This helps her balance the round ligaments holding her uterus in place. If her uterus is in balance, her baby will find the optimal position for his birth! It was a fascinating class. I’m going to practice these elements so that I can offer them to the mothers that I help with birth.
I watched this Youtube video of a news report about a bakery that is doing a booming induction business. This bakery makes a lemon drop cupcake that has had 19 women past their due dates go into labor. I find that fascinating. The bakery isn’t in Pittsburgh, I think it is in Fayetteville Arkansas, but it is an interesting phenomenon. OBs in the area are recommending the cupcakes to start labor. Most women who are past their due date will try almost anything (especially something as tasty as cupcake) to get their labor started without pitocin.
But does a cupcake have magic induction powers? Is it the lemon zest? Or is it the power of belief that keeps working the more success there is with the cupcakes? Either way, it sounds like a tasty way to start labor.
Here is a list of resources for helping mothers who need extra support at the beginning of their pregnancies because they have had previous difficulties.
A Place to Remember
Uplifting support resources for those who have been touched by a crisis in pregnancy or the death of a baby. (Infertility, bedrest, preterm birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death, SIDS)
Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss
A book of story pairings of loss and subsequent pregnancy.
Solace for Mothers, Healing after Traumatic Childbirth
Provides information and support online for anyone affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth or shortly afterwards.
Missing Grace Foundation’s mission is to provide resources and support for families that have experienced: pregnacy loss, infant loss, infertility or adoption and to advocate for comprehensive, patient-focused prenatal care for all women. Five core areas encompass the heart of the mission: Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate.
The Fertile Heart
Ultimately, the intention is to turn our “infertility” into an opportunity for birthing a most fulfilling life regardless of circumstances.
Mothers often ask me what their mucus plug will look like. I tell them that it will be mucus-like and may be pink-tinged with blood. In Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way, we defined the mucus plug as: “An accumulation of mucus within the cervix to further protect the baby from infection. Losing it sometimes means labor is close. You can tell you’ve lost your mucus plug if you see something that looks like mucus with strands of pink, red or brown in it.”
A helpful mother sent me a photo of her mucus plug, shown below. Yours may vary in amount or color. Many moms near their due dates look for their mucus plugs and wonder when they will see them. It is also normal to not ever see it. The mucus plug can also grow back (or re-accumulate) if labor doesn’t happen within a few days of losing it. I wish I could say that losing your mucus plug meant birth would happen in 16 hours and 25 minutes, but no such luck. Losing your mucus plug is an early indicator of labor, but it can be misleading. It doesn’t definitively tell you when your labor will begin.
The mucus plug from a full-term mother. Her birth was approximately a week later.