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What is Pitocin?

What is Pitocin?

First synthesized around 1953, Pitocin is now commonly used in labor and delivery both to begin or speed labor.   It can also be used postpartum to stop excessive bleeding or  hemorrhage, which can be life threatening if left untreated.

While Pitocin is chemically the same as your body’s naturally produced oxytocin, there are some important differences between the two.  The naturally occurring hormone oxytocin is produced in the pituitary gland of the human brain.   Also called the “love hormone,” oxytocin is particularly important in the mechanism of birth (causing uterine contractions during labor and post labor) and in the milk letdown reflex during breastfeeding. Contractions caused by your bodies own oxytocin have a rhythmic pattern, like waves on the ocean and don’t normally last longer than a minute or a minute and a half.  Oxytocin also has an emotional impact causing feelings of bonding, attachment and love.

Pitocin works slightly differently.  Because Pitocin the drug is destroyed in your gut, it is often administered via an IV (intravenous line) during or after labor. Pitocin also has a relatively short half life in your blood (three minutes) so it must be continuously administered. This continuous administration can cause longer contractions than would normally be produced by a woman’s body alone.  Oxytocin is produced in the brain, but Pitocin does not cross the blood-brain barrier.  Pitocin  causes physical results similar to oxytocin (contractions) but lacks the power to cause emotional feelings of love and attachment like natural oxytocin does.

Pitocin administered to stop postpartum bleeding can be added to an IV or can be given via an intramuscular shot, typically after the delivery of the placenta.

Side effects of Pitocin.

Pitocin has benefits and risks. Probably the most commonly talked about side effect of Pitocin is intense or painful contractions, though other side effects like vomiting or memory loss are mentioned in the literature. More serious side effects of Pitocin can occur. ACOG (The American College of

Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has recently noted the negative effects of Pitocin on newborns in a new statement (referenced below).

ACOG said that, “Induction and augmentation of labor with the hormone oxytocin may not be as safe for full-term newborns as previously believed.” The babies studied were more likely to be admitted to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and more likely to have low Apgar scores when their mother received Pitocin. (The Apgar measures response to stimuli and other measurable traits in a newborn.) This was the first study on the impact that Pitocin has on newborns despite it’s long use in obstetrics.

Pitocin and labor induction.

The package insert for Pitocin says that, “Since the available data are inadequate to evaluate the benefits-to-risks considerations, Pitocin is not indicated for elective induction of labor.” Elective induction is an induction for no medical reason.

It is also interesting to note that induction (which is commonly accomplished using Pitocin) has a dramatic impact on the chances of cesarean section, particularly among first time mothers. In a study of 7,800 first-time mothers who gave birth at one U.S. medical center, researchers found that those who had their labor induced were about twice as likely to ultimately need a C-section.

A trusted care provider can help ensure that this lifesaving but potentially harmful drug is used appropriately for you and your birth and your baby.

Recent ACOG statement on Pitocin.

http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2013/Study_Finds_Adverse_Effects_of_Pitocin_in_Newborns

Package insert for Pitocin

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/pitocin-side-effects.html

Labor induction and the risk of a cesarean delivery among nulliparous women at term.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20567165

 

Natural Mothering eBook Bundle Sale

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{please note that this post contains affiliate links}

UPDATE: This sale is now over.

We are happy to be offering a $30 coupon to those who purchase this eBook Bundle! Keep reading to find out all of the fabulous deals that are being offered…

Have you ever wished motherhood came with a manual?

Whether motherhood makes you feel overwhelmed or whether you feel like you’ve found your stride as a mother, we are here to help you be the best mother to your children that you can be. We can also help you deal with infertility and prepare you for giving birth confidently and joyfully.

We’ve got the resources you need to help your kids be healthier, to raise your children to be polite, caring people, to live more eco-friendly, and to make your home non-toxic.

For 1 week only, get a downloadable package of 35+ e-books specifically designed to encourage and equip mothers to nurture their families (and themselves!) naturally for just $29.97. Since these books together are worth more than $525, this is nearly a 95% discount!

There are also more than a dozen coupon codes and FREE products worth nearly $200 included to help you on your natural living journey!

These e-books reflect the work of 32 well-known Ph.D.’s, fertility specialists, lactation consultants, natural health professionals, authors, and bloggers who are passionate about motherhood and caring for mothers.

This is an intelligent, joy-filled collection that will inspire any mother to feed her beautiful babe well, feel confident in making difficult mothering decisions, and celebrate motherhood (even when it seems overwhelming).

 

The eBooks

Want to meet the authors? Click here to read each author’s bio.

Natural Fertility and Pregnancy

Unbound Birth by Jennifer Yarbrough of Unbound Birth ($2.99)
Fearless Birth by Kristen Burgess of Natural Birth and Baby Care ($17)
Nourishing Foods for Labor and Childbirth (article reprint) by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy of Simply Designs ($9.99)
Fertilise Yourself by Natalie Kringoudis of Melbourne Natural Fertility ($19.95)
Eat Your Way to Parenthood by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
Protecting Your Fertility: The Dangers of Conventional Pest Control and Natural Safe Alternatives by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
The Awful Truth About Cleaning Products and Fertility Revealed by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)

Natural Baby and Toddler Care
Breastfeeding Simply by Pinky McKay, ICBLC of PinkyMcKay.com ($25)
First Bites by Hilary Bernstein of Accidentally Green ($9.99)
Breast to Bib by Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama ($8.95)
Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Creative Ways to Calm Your Baby by Justyn Lang of Creative Christian Mama ($6.99)
EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy by Andrea Olson, MA of Go Diaper Free ($30)
oh, crap. potty training by Jamie Glowacki of oh crap. potty training ($15)

Natural Health and Healing
Therapeutic Parenting for Children Who Are Healing from Trauma by Tova Krause Grindlay, CPC of Parent and Family Coaching ($4.99)
Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur of Frugal Granola ($8.95)
Herbal Remedies for Children During the Cold and Flu Season by Rosalee de la Forêt of Herbal Remedies Advice ($20)
Mother’s Little Herbal Helper and Home Remedies by Natalie Vickery of The Family Herbalist ($12.50)
Questions to Ask Your Dentist by Will and Susan Revak of OraWellness ($29)
Tips and Tricks to Remineralize and Repair Your Teeth by Ramiel Nagel of CureToothDecay.com ($12.95)
The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Vaccines by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
Finding Balance with Attachment Parenting by Andrea Olson, MA of AndreaOlson.com ($17)
Pain Redeemed by Natasha Metzler of NatashaMetzler.com ($4.99)
The Curative Kitchen (updated version) by Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D. of SusanSmithJones.com ($19.95)
Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide, The Digital Abridged Version by Amanda Rose, Ph.D. of Traditional Foods ($12.95)

Teaching Our Children
Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh Harmon of GNOWFGLINS & Jami Delgado of Eat Nourishing ($30)
Kids in Training: Life lessons that will help lead to productive, responsible and grateful kids! by Rebecca Dulgarian of Blue Cricket Designs ($7.95)
Life According to Me by Stephanie Dulgarian of Somewhat Simple ($5.95)
The Family Dinner Project by Rebecca Dulgarian & Stephanie Dulgarian ($9.95)
Easy Peasy Chores: Homeschool Edition by Alina Joy Dubois of The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)
Teaching Kids to Clean by Dana White of A Slob Comes Clean ($5)

Help for Busy Moms
Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden of TrinaHolden.com ($6)
Crock On by Stacy Myers of Stacy Makes Cents ($5)
Creative Ways to Make Family Holiday Memories by Kit Singleton of Raising Small Souls ($25)

Non-Toxic and Natural Living
Natural Beauty Recipes by Katie of WellnessMama ($10)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford of Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
Accidentally Green by Hilary Bernstein of Accidentally Green ($2.99)
Clean, Naturally! by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($4.99)

The Bonus Resources

Once you have completed payment for the e-book bundle, you will get access not only to the books, but to FREE products and coupon codes for mothering products that will support you in your natural, non-toxic lifestyle.

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Get “2 Months for $2″ ! Enjoy a two-month Membership to Fit2B Studio for only two dollars, where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are “tummy safe” and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs), which affects many women postpartum. ($19.98 value.)

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Download a $6 coupon for 7 Sources Oil from Flora Health to use the next time you shop! Flora’s newest product, 7 Sources, is a non-GMO, sustainably-sourced fatty-acid product with EPA and DHA, which are essential during pregnancy and nursing and support cognitive function at any time of life! (Value: $6. Good in-store only. US stores only.)

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Get $30 off the very popular Online Childbirth Education Program from Birth Boot Camp. You CAN have an amazing birth! The 10-class Birth Boot Camp online video childbirth education program will prepare you for a life-changing birth experience and specializes in educating couples together. You may also choose to receive the FREE Pregnancy Nutrition Report. (Good online or with participating live-class instructors.)

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Get THREE bonuses from Professional Parenting Canada and Attachment Parenting Canada:

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Get the audiobook of Pinky McKay’s “Breastfeeding Simply” read by Pinky McKay for FREE! This way you can read the e-book OR listen to the audiobook – whatever is convenient for you.

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A Practical Guide to Children's Health

Get “A Practical Guide to Children’s Health (Abridged Version)” by Kate Tietje at Modern Alternative Mama PLUS a coupon code for 50% off the full version. There are so many confusing messages today about how to keep kids healthy. Parents just want some straight information on natural health! “A Practical Guide to Children’s Health” offers research on many common questions so that parents can make the decisions for themselves. (Value: $7.95)

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Receive 10% off any order from OraWellness. OraWellness offers tools and educational products to help you take control of your oral health using organic ingredients and inexpensive natural solutions. (Standard shipping applies.)

Get a FREE Comfrey Salve with any purchase from the Creative Christian Mama Store. ($3.50 value. Standard shipping applies.)
Get 2 FREE sets of Baby’s First Year Month-by-Month Printables (1 set with butterflies for girls and 1 set with ties for boys) from The Humbled Homemaker. Each set contains 12 printables to mark each month of Baby’s first year. ($16 value.)

 

A Few FREE eBooks and eCourses – no purchase required!

Because we are SO absolutely passionate about getting excellent natural living resources into the hands of every mother (and want-to-be moms and soon-to-be moms!) we’ve compiled a number of e-books that are FREE just for signing up for updates.

There is no purchase required – just click here to get your freebies!

(And as a gesture of paying-it-forward, please tell your friends about this amazing sale!)

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The Fine Print

This Bundle contains digital downloads in ZIP and PDF formats, so there is no shipping involved. You will receive your unique download link immediately after download. Please note that this Bundle is provided as is: no refunds, no exchanges, and no late sales will be provided.
While you must purchase the Bundle by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 17, you have until June 30, 2013 to download the books and redeem the bonuses. It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase by June 30, 2013. After that date, the books will no longer be available for download.
With proof of purchase, we can renew download links until June 30. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, deadlines to redeem your bonuses, and reading the books on your eReader device.
Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase. You may purchase multiple bundles in order to redeem a bonus offer more than once.
For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
All bonus offers are the sole responsibility of the bonus sponsors to provide and are subject to availability.

 

Cloth Diapers – Not What Your Mama Used

I am going to tell you a story about how I decided to cloth diaper. In 2002, I had a friend that was pregnant with her first. At the time she was also recently single and broke. She had said that she was going to cloth diaper to save money. When she went to Babies R Us the only thing that was available were prefolds and cruddy plastic pants. Ask any grandma, plastic pants suck. They always have, they always will. They are reminiscent of a shower cap with leg holes. Except this shower cap was designed to keep the moisture in. HA! Slightly disappointed in what was available at big box retailers, I turned to the internet. I quickly found Fuzzibunz. At the time I thought they were the coolest thing ever, but alas was not inspired enough to run out and have a baby.

Fast forward to 2010, I am pregnant and reminded of my find 8 years prior. Yes, Fuzzibunz have been around that long. So I jumped online and found that there was much more than just Fuzzibunz, there were Fuzzibunz, GroVia, AppleCheeks, bumGenius, and more. I was quickly overwhelmed with the options available. I was completely aware of prefolds (ref afore mention friend) but fitteds, pockets, and all in ones were a completely new ballgame.           

When I told my husband that I wanted to cloth diaper, he quickly told me that I was a complete lunatic. My husband is the second out of five boys. He remembered cloth diapering with those sucky plastic pants, prefolds, and pins. The conversation went a little like this:

“I am not washing diapers out in the toilet,” he told me.           

“But honey we can cloth diaper at home and disposable while we are out. We will save a ton of money.” I replied

“You are crazy. I don’t care how much money we save. I am not swirling anything in the toilet.”           

“Ok fine, we can cloth diaper at home and disposable while we are out, and *I* will take care of the laundry. You just change the diaper.”

“Whatever, but I still think you are crazy”

So that is what we did. We started out in pockets, but I wasn’t thrilled with fit or absorbency. Still confused by the difference between a fitted and an all in one, I decided to attend a Cloth Diaper 101 at my Chiropractor’s office. We picked up a couple All in Ones, a GroVia and a Bottombumpers . 

Within a few weeks, my husband was helping me stuff our stash of pocket diapers.  He exclaimed, “Just be done with this and go with the All in Ones!” HE was hooked. From that point on, my son was in cloth 100% of the time.

Now when my husband hears somebody is having a new baby, the first thing he asks is if they will be cloth or conventional diapering. The average answer is similar to what his was in the beginning. Now his response to their objections is simple…”Cloth is awesome!”

 

Credit: Valerie Cannon Photography

 

Tiffany, owns and operates the Fort Worth Cloth Diaper store, Simple Baby. She is an advocate for natural birth, breastfeeding, and real diapers. She is a chapter leader for Tarrant County Birth Network, the largest chapter of Birth Network National in the nation. For more information about cloth diapers be sure to visit the Simple Baby Cloth Diaper Encyclopedia.

4 Simple Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  Many women desire a natural birth but preparing for one can seem overwhelming.  Here are some wonderful tips for preparing yourself for the best natural birth possible.  There is so much you can do to ready yourself and your family for birth.  With these four simple things: education, nutrition, birth place, and birth team, you will be more able to make your goal a reality.  

#1-Education-  Probably the most important step in preparing for natural birth is to educate yourself as much as possible.  Just as with breastfeeding, the more you know about the benefits of natural birth for you and your baby, the more motivated you will be to follow through and prepare accordingly.

Of course there is a plethora of information out there on birth.  How do you trudge through it and find the diamonds among the coal?  First, a comprehensive childbirth education program is a must.  Look for one that is longer rather than shorter.  A weekend “crash course” cannot possibly give you all the information that you need to navigate policies, stay low risk and prepare properly for the birth you want. 

Look for natural childbirth classes that cover staying low risk, nutrition and exercise, relaxation techniques, choosing a care provider and birth place, the stages of labor, preparing your partner, common policies and procedures, breastfeeding and newborn care, and possible complications and how to avoid them. 

Not only will a good birth class help prepare you, it should prepare your partner as well.  In all honesty, your partner’s preparation is tantamount.  If they are frightened or simply unaware of normality, it will inevitably impact the birth negatively. 

In addition to preparing your partner, your natural birth instructor will be able to guide you to find the best books, websites, even care providers and doulas in your area.  Think of a childbirth instructor as somebody on the “inside.”  They have been there and done that and now they can help you accomplish the same thing.  (Our instructors are well trained women who have had natural births, themselves.  You can see a list of their requirements here.)

#2-Nutrition-  As you will quickly learn, preparing your body for a natural birth is just as important as preparing your mind.  Your body will go through some drastic changes as it grows first a placenta, then a baby, adds fluid, almost doubles its blood volume and prepares for future breastfeeding. 

Eating properly means not just avoiding refined foods such as sugars, white flours, packaged foods and chemical sweeteners, it also means adding the right foods into your diet.  Daily nutrition should include several servings of greens (broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, etc), citrus foods (oranges, tomatoes, kiwis, bell peppers), vegetables and fruits (celery, cucumbers, bananas and apples), whole grains (spelt, quinoa, oatmeal), eggs, complete protein sources (meats or other combined proteins such as beans and rice) and dairy (milk, Greek yogurt, keifer). 

Women are amazed at how much better they feel when eating properly during pregnancy. Many common pregnancy ailments disappear. Great nutrition and adequate protein can even help eliminate morning sickness.  Your childbirth instructor can provide you with a complete system to chart your nutritional intake and make corrections, if needed.  You can also find many phone apps with which you can keep track of your daily nutrition throughout pregnancy. 

Great nutrition will help your body and your baby be ready for a natural birth.  Many care providers believe that common ailments that surface at the end of pregnancy and often lead to induction or C-section can actually be avoided with optimal nutrition.

#3-Choose Your Birth Place Carefully-   One of the most important choices, as you prepare for a natural birth, is your choice of birth place.  Many factors play into this decision from insurance coverage to proximity.  Women often have three main choices available to them when it comes to birth place:  hospital, birth center or home.  The birth place that works best for you and your family will be influenced by many things, from cost to your own health to where you feel most emotionally comfortable. 

Wherever you choose to birth, be sure that the policies are not so prohibitive that they make natural birth nearly impossible.  Some important policies to look for are:

  • Women are encouraged to eat and drink in early labor.
  • Vaginal exams are kept to a minimum.
  • Women are encouraged to move about in labor.
  • IV’s are only given when necessary.
  • Breastfeeding is supported.
  • They have a low C-section rate. 

In a birth center, you may want a hospital nearby in case of transfer and an environment in which you feel comfortable and supported.  If choosing a home birth (as with any other birth place), you will want to carefully choose your midwife. Look specifically for someone with experience, skills or certification that you feel comfortable with. 

While it may be tempting to choose a birth place simply because it is close, doing things because they seem “easy” is an often regretted decision for birthing women.  A nearby hospital with a sky high induction and C-section rate will greatly increase your chances for the same.  In the case of an unwanted and/or unneeded cesarean section, a shorter drive for a birth place can yield a much longer recovery.  Choose your birth place carefully. 

#4-Choose Your Team Well-  You won’t win the Super Bowl with a football team made up of expert karaoke singers and you won’t get a natural birth with a team of care providers who specialize in surgical birth.  Choosing your birth team carefully is one of the best ways to ensure you get a natural birth.  Sometimes, even when a mother is knowledgeable and physically prepared, things can fall apart for her in labor if her team doesn’t support her decisions. 

So how do you find this pro-natural birth team of supporters?  Asking your childbirth instructor is a great way to start.  As a woman experienced in birth and engaged in the local birth community, she should have a list of resources to provide you with. 

There are many people who will make up your birth team. All of these people will influence your birth experience.

A great doula (a woman trained to support a birthing mother) can be a fabulous resource for both the laboring woman and her partner.  She can provide emotional and physical support, an experts view on supportive care providers, and may act as a sounding board for advice. 

Another good person to have on your team is a Webster Certified chiropractor.  Chiropractic care during pregnancy (and even birth) can help ensure the pelvis is well aligned so that it can move for a faster and more comfortable birthing experience with a better positioned baby.  This alone can help avoid many problems that prevent natural birth. 

Probably most important of all is your choice of care provider.  Your doctor or midwife will make decisions when you can’t and will be there for the final moments of birth.  It is vitally important that this person be both trustworthy and skilled.  If you are a low risk woman, you may want to consider midwifery care.  Midwives often work in hospitals (thought many can be found working in a home birth or birth center environment) and their approach to birth tends to be more supportive of  natural choices. 

You CAN Have an Amazing Birth!  Choosing a natural birth is a wonderful decision. With the right choices and preparation, we believe that most women can achieve this goal.  (Check out our stats from our students!)  Proper education, excellent nutrition, and careful choice of your birth team and your birth place are all things that can make your choice of a natural birth more attainable.  When all is said and done, sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned.  But, when we have done our best and chosen a care provider that we trust, we can rest assured that we did everything possible to accomplish our goal.

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