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Tag Archives: delivery

  • Epidurals: What, Where & Why?

    What is an epiduralAsk any pregnant woman, “What is your primary concern about giving birth?” and she will tell you: THE PAIN! While it is true, there will be some pain involved when delivering a human being into the world, there are pain management options! No one needs to suffer while giving birth; if the woman in labor is no longer coping, new decisions will be made. These decisions often include either pain medication and/or epidurals.

    What is an epidural?

    An epidural is a form of pain relief used during labor, numbing the body from the waist down.

    An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist performs this form of anesthesia; the procedure starts with a local anesthetic, followed by the insertion of a long needle (used to guide a thin catheter) between two of the lower lumbar vertebrae in your low back. The medication is typically delivered continuously, replacing pain with a sense of pressure.

    Is an epidural safe?

    First and foremost, an epidural is a medical intervention, and all interventions have some degree of risk involved. Having said that, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are highly trained health care professionals who spend more years perfecting their area of specialty than any other medical professional. Given the length and duration that a woman spends in labor, epidurals have proven to be a very beneficial pain management approach, outweighing the potential risks associated with them.

    When to get it?

    The recommended time to request an epidural is during ‘active labor’ when she is between 3-7 centimeters dilated.  The procedure takes an average of 15 minutes to complete; the labor nurse is there throughout to assist the mom in remaining still.

    Does an epidural affect the baby?

    The short answer is no. The medications used during an epidural, may cross the placental barrier and might cause some delay in the newborn latching at the breast.  Continuous monitoring is used throughout labor and pushing to consistently track the baby’s heart rate.

    Why choose an epidural?

    • In most cases provides much needed pain relief.
    • Dose of medication can be varied for labor vs. pushing
    • It permits further pain medication if you require a cesarean.

    Are there any disadvantages?

    • When given ‘early’ an epidural can slow labor down.
    • Side effects can include an itchy or shivering feeling.
    • You will remain in bed, as your legs will not support you; it takes several hours after the baby is born for the legs to “wake-up.”
    • Some women will report having a “lazy leg” after delivery that can linger for days or weeks. This may or may not have to do with the epidural. Additionally, there are reports of low back pain, sometimes blamed on the epidural. Is this residual pain a result of birth trauma to muscles and ligaments in the low back, or the epidural? The answer remains unknown.
    • Other interventions include: an automatic blood pressure cuff and a urinary catheter to empty your bladder. More interventions may become necessary, particularly in a longer first baby labor, including the medication Pitocin, as epidurals combined with a long labor frequently slow down contractions. Pitocin is frequently used to bring the contractions back to a labor pattern that will better facilitate progress.

     

    In conclusion, an expectant mom needs to maintain an attitude that ‘giving birth is not a contest.’ You don’t get points for how you deliver your baby. We maintain there is only one goal: “Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby… However you get there.” While it is great to avoid interventions as much as possible while giving birth, it can also be quite helpful to know that there are options available to you to ultimately succeed in getting your healthy baby into your arms.

    sarah mcmyolerGuest Blog by Sarah McMoyler, RN, BSN, and creator of the McMoyler MethodTM

    Sarah McMoyler, RN, BSN, has seen over 25,000 Bay Area expectant parents come through her classroom doors for her signature McMoyler Method™ course. As a Labor & Delivery nurse, mother of two, childbirth educator, and triathlete, she views ‘Birth and Parenting as Extreme Sports!’ Just as athletes prepare for their event, so must expectant parents be ready for the biggest event of their lives.

    McMoyler Method™ was developed based on Sarah’s experience with couples arriving on the Labor & Delivery unit completely unprepared, not knowing how to cope with pain or how to communicate with the healthcare team. She developed the first condensed, childbirth class that is relevant to today’s busy, expectant parents, helping them establish realistic goals necessary to navigate effectively through labor & delivery.

    Her book The Best Birth: Your Guide to the Safest, Healthiest, Most Satisfying Labor and Delivery, brought national attention to her Bay Area classes with individuals and hospitals across the country asking for McMoyler Methodology. The Best Birth Online Class, powered by McMoyler Method™ was produced so that expectant parents can prepare for birth and parenting wherever they live.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Helping Mom Get The Sleep She Deserves

    Mother sleeping with her newborn babyAs a parent, we talk a lot about baby sleep. We analyze our children’s sleep schedules, judge their needs and bend over backwards to help them get the sleep they need. But what about moms?

    There have definitely been some mornings for me where I laid in bed, looking up at the ceiling, wishing I could have just fifteen more minutes of sleep. I’m sure I’m not alone. Motherhood is a grueling experience for new parents. Amidst the lovey tender feelings is certainly some stress and anxiety. So how does a mom go about getting the rest she needs?

    Sleep when the baby sleeps

    There will always be chores to perform and errands to run, but your priorities should be your baby’s health and your own. When baby sleeps, you should sleep. Even if you aren’t particularly tired, lie down and close your eyes for a few minutes. Get the rest when you can.

    Avoid excessive responsibilities

    Everyone has a limit; a point of which they can do no more. Recognize yours and stop volunteering to help when you’ve come to it. For example, don’t volunteer to attend your child’s school field trip if the thought of a long day with hours on a bus makes you anxious.

    After your delivery, use the hospital nursery

    It’s funny that when we’re the most exhausted we’ve ever been (right after birth), we also want to interact with our little one as much as possible. Take advantage of the hospital staff and let them tend to your baby for a night or two while you recuperate. You’ll have plenty of time to bond.

    Accept offers of help

    When grandma wants to visit for a couple hours, say yes! Even if you don’t feel tired or stressed, let her come over and mind the baby for a bit. Rather than use the time to recover your inner calm, use it to prevent stress and exhaustion. Plus, you might have plenty of people who would enjoy the experience.

    Speak up!

    If you’re tired, tell someone! There’s no need to carry a burden by yourself if others are willing. Talk to the people in your life, especially your spouse. Let them know that the stress is starting to accumulate and you’re worried about its effect on your health.

    In fact, carrying for a child while you are sleep deprived is dangerous. You could make a terrible mistake. You aren’t a bad mom just because you need some time to yourself – you’re just human.

    footed pajamas for fast diaper changesGuest Blog by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

    Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son's diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby's pajamas.

    Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son's pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby's entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby's comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

    One night while feeding her son she thought of "Zippyz." Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

    For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • How to Prepare to Welcome Home a New Baby

    how to prepare for a babyBabies are exciting and wonderful, but they sure can shake our lives up! For the first few months, you’ll do nothing by eat, sleep (a little), work, and care for your new child. Before you go into this endeavor, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some ways you can prepare for your new baby.

    Prepare your other children for the new addition.

    If you have other children, you’ll need to take steps to make sure that they understand what will be happening soon. Your older children may understand what a brother or sister is on a general level, but you’ll need to explain to them how everyone’s life will change, especially during the first year. Make sure it’s clear that you won’t be favoring the new baby and that you will need their big sister or big brother “help.”

    Enlist some help for the first few weeks postpartum.

    The first month or so after birth is often the hardest on parents. Your sleep schedule is off, there’s a lot of crying that rubs your nerves, and you still aren’t sure you’re doing everything properly. Even if both parents are together, don’t be afraid to enlist some help from a family member or friend, even if you only need them to wash a load of laundry or cook dinner. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help.

    Learn how to install your car seat.

    A car seat is an important safety tool that you absolutely need if you plan to take your baby in a car. They need to be installed and used properly to ensure your baby is safe. Take some time before your baby is born to understand how this device works. If you aren’t sure, stop by a car seat technician in your area (usually at your local police station).

    Find a doctor that you like.

    The best time to interview doctors is before your child is born. After the birth you’ll be a lot busier than you expect and sitting down with pediatricians just won’t make your schedule. Set up a few short interviews with a few doctors in your area to get a feel about their practice. Make sure to bring up any value issues you may have.

    Understand the birthing process.

    Men and women who take the time to learn about the birthing process are more likely to be active participants, which creates better outcomes. For example, a mother who learns about the impact of diet and stress on her pregnancy is more likely to make better choices for her and her baby’s health. Learn as much as you can.

    Talk to veteran moms.

    The best source of information you have are the people in your life who have been through it all before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may feel like asking “How do I change a diaper?” will receive laughs, but it’s an honest question that you need answered. Don’t be afraid to ask.

    Don’t buy anything until after your baby shower.

    If you’re fortunate to have a family, wait until the gift-giving festivities have ended before you start making your own purchases. A new baby makes people especially generous. Your family may supply you with most of the things you need.

    Build a savings.

    Babies aren’t tremendously expensive, but they can put a strain on any budget that doesn’t prepare for them. Add to your monthly budget any expenses you could think of (including doctors’ co-pays, which add up) to get an idea of how much you need to budget and save for.

    booger removal toolGuest Blog by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear

    Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.

    Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.

    For more information, please visit myoogie.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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