Doctor sets woman on fire during C-section

And for some reason, he doesn’t have to pay her anything…

During my emergency C-section, I went through a lot. My blood pressure was through the roof, thanks to preeclamsia, and my premature baby’s life was on the line. Afterward, when we both made it through, I even had two infections develop—which were also treated by my team. She, in turn, spent three months in the NICU. We had quite an ordeal between us.

However, none of the doctors who worked on saving our lives gave us third degree burns like Kira Reed’s doctor did.

And although her doctor caught her on fire during her delivery with an antiseptic and gave her the burns, a New York court ruled that he was not responsible. Right, because if someone catches you on fire, it’s totally not their fault! It’s your fault for being in the room with that person to begin with. Didn’t you know that already?

Take it from me, ladies. Don’t have anyone deliver your baby, ever, just in case they set you on fire. Because then it would be your fault, not yours. It’s better to just squat and let the baby come out on a trampoline. That way you won’t accidently expose yourself, or your child, to an obstetric arsonist on accident.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn

Heartburn is an affliction that plagues pregnant women in particular.  There is an old saying about the amount of heartburn you have during pregnancy affecting how much hair your baby is born with.  It isn’t true at all, but we sure can suffer from heartburn.

There are many over the counter medications you can take to combat it, but if you want a natural cure, consider the ever-helpful apple cider vinegar.  In addition to its many other uses, a shot of apple cider vinegar can knock out heartburn in one fell swoop.  It tastes awful, but that minor inconvenience is well worth the relief it can provide.

It also works wonders on babies with reflux.  My three-month old daughter is suffering from reflux that even medications weren’t helping.  During one crying jag, I dipped my finger in apple cider vinegar and wiped it in her mouth.  I did that three times, and that was all it took.  We have since been using it occasionally when her reflux is really bothering her, and each time she is able to relax and go to sleep.

For babies, be very careful not to overdo it, especially since reflux can make their throat and esophagus raw – vinegar can irritate the irritation.  Just a tiny amount, like a finger dipped in it and wiped in the mouth, can make all the difference.

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent cure for heartburn, but if you cannot stand to take it plain, sprinkle it on a salad or other light dish, and enjoy its heartburn healing benefits without the awful taste.

Staying Active During Pregnancy

Anyone who raises animals knows that an overweight female has a much more difficult time in labor, but somehow, even those of us who raise animals fail to make that connection with ourselves.  Being sedentary lets muscles go slack and makes not only the process of carrying a baby difficult, but also that of delivery.

Staying active, even just a light 10-minute walk every day, can make a world of difference in how your pregnant body feels, whether you are overweight or not.  From simple things like a light backache to the agony of a pinched sciatic nerve, staying active can help loosen and strengthen muscles, relieve all kinds of aches, and keep you in a better mood too.

During my last pregnancy, I was plagued with hip pain almost the entire time.  The only thing that provided relief was a walk to the mailbox and back.  I could feel the tight muscles around my hips loosening up, providing relief and making the entire day less painful.

Staying active will keep labor muscles toned, too, which can help with everything from dilation to active pushing.  Since a lack of exercise is a risk factor for diabetes, it makes sense that gestational diabetes could be prevented or treated by regular, daily exercise.

Fortunately, even a slow walk through the aisles of Walmart can be enough to loosen your muscles and ease common pregnancy discomforts.  Just be sure not to overdo it, and take frequent breaks if you begin to feel tired.

Why I Think Belly Supports Should Be Avoided

Pregnancy can wreak havoc on belly muscles, leaving them in an altogether different state than before pregnancy, and it can take a lot of work to get those muscles back in shape.  A common practice during pregnancy is to use a belly support band to help keep the extra weight of the baby supported, with less strain on mom.  While I can understand the motivation behind this, it leaves your stomach muscles with even less to do, getting them in worse shape still, under the guise of helping.

If you want to have a better chance of getting your stomach muscles back in shape quickly after a pregnancy, my advice would be to forego the belly support band, unless it is really necessary.  Going without the band will keep your muscles working to do the job that is rightfully theirs – supporting your growing belly and the baby inside.

Sure, you might be a little more sore than with the belt, but that’s a good thing, because it means your muscles are still able to work, leaving them in better shape for labor and afterwards.

We like to solve problems these days, and sometimes we create problems that don’t really exist, just so we can have a solution we don’t really need.  I feel that way about pregnancy support bands, and think we would be better off by not using them at all.  As with many modern “solutions,” women survived pregnancy and motherhood for hundreds of years without them, so perhaps they are really not so necessary after all.

Lactation Aids for Supplementation

If the time comes that you need to supplement your breastfeeding baby with formula, you have multiple options.  The typical option is to introduce a bottle, which is very easy and can be helpful later, because you are able to allow other people to feed your baby.  Another option that is becoming popular is the lactation aid, which is an innovative way to supplement while your baby is nursing, which eliminates nipple confusion and helps maintain your milk supply.

A lactation aid consists of a bottle to hold the milk, which is attached to a skinny tube that can be laid across the nipple and inserted in the baby’s mouth while he or she nurses.  Some mothers choose to tape the tube to their nipple to hold it in place, while others simply insert it and hold it still.  As baby nurses, it also draws milk from the lactation aid, getting the additional milk it needs while still maintaining the closeness and bonding experience of breastfeeding.

If you choose to try a lactation aid, be warned that some babies cannot stand that tube in their mouths.  I used a lactation aid briefly with one baby, and though I wanted to keep using it, my baby would arch her back and refuse to nurse anytime that tube got close to her mouth.

For babies who do not mind the tube, a lactation aid is a brilliant idea to help get babies the extra nutrition they need without sacrificing the benefits of breastfeeding.

What if They Have it Wrong with Pregnancy Diets?

So much of our food knowledge seems to be skewed by special interest groups these days.  It is difficult to know what to believe, and when you finally find something to follow, the rules change.  Just think about coffee.  It has been good, bad, good, bad and finally good again.  All those rules just make my head spin.  But what about when it comes to pregnancy?  Nutrition is never more important than when you are building a new life inside of you, so what if the standard guidelines are wrong?

Weston Price, a dentist early in the 20th century, visited indigenous populations across the world to see how their diet affected their health.  The healthiest people ate pretty much the opposite of what we are told to eat today, and they suffered from almost no health problems and had few or no dental issues.

Based on his extensive research, including studying other cultures and performing studies on people in our country, new guidelines have been issued.  You can find them on the Weston Price Foundation website, and in the book, Nourishing Traditions.  I highly recommend looking at both.

According to Weston Price, pregnant and nursing mothers should have a diet that consists primarily of animal products, such as butter, milk and beef, along with eggs, seafood and soaked whole grains.  Lacto-fermented foods, which include sauerkraut, are a major part of this diet too.  According to Weston Price, saturated fats are actually good for you.

I believe this diet is more in line with the proper way of eating, because it focuses on whole foods from nature, which most of us used to the Western diet are not getting enough of.  So take a look at the website, read some of the research, and decide for yourself if our modern diet is really the way to go.

The Heartburn-Hair Connection

All three of my babies were born with a full head of hair.  I can’t count how many times people have asked me about my heartburn – or lack thereof – during pregnancy.  There is an old wives’ tale that says the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more hair your baby will have when it is born.  I am here to set the record straight, at least according to my own experience.

With my first child, and incidentally the one with the second least hair at birth, I had heartburn from about eight weeks on that required medication to control.  When he was born with so much hair, I found myself believing the old tale.

Fast forward to my second child, and I didn’t suffer a single day from heartburn.  In the ultrasound just before we delivered her, you could see her long locks waving around – they were that long.  She had the thickest, lushest head of hair I’ve ever seen on a baby and still does today at two years old.

My third child had the least hair of the three, perhaps because she was born a week and a half early.  I had a couple days of heartburn through my pregnancy with her, but she still came out with a full head of hair.

So in my experience at least, heartburn and hair have no real connection, although it is a nice idea to think of the prize of lots of hair at the end of a heartburn-filled pregnancy.

Full Term Babies Premature?

My daughter was born via c-section at just over 38 weeks.  Even though that is considered to be full term by medical standards, it turns out that babies born between 37 and 40 weeks can still act premature.  With all of the concerns around getting her delivered, it never occurred to me that we would still have a battle to face after she was born.  After we had trouble getting her to gain weight, the lactation consultant I spoke with told me that there are some babies who, despite being considered full term, will be “content to starve” and not nurse properly.

While they seem to nurse like they should, they will nurse only enough to take the edge off their hunger, and then they will go back to sleep.  So in Rosalie’s case, she was nursing regularly but not getting enough because she wasn’t sucking vigorously for long enough.

This experience has really opened my eyes to how different a baby born at 38 weeks will be compared to one born at 40 weeks.  It certainly would make me think twice before trying to induce early or have an elective c-section before 40 weeks, because evidently at 37 weeks, babies are still not necessarily out of danger.

So if your baby has been delivered earlier than 40 weeks, pay close attention to their activity and eating habits to make sure they are coping well with coming into the world sooner.  Dealing with a baby who isn’t eating right is a scary ordeal.

When You Have to Supplement

While breastfeeding is preferable (or as we talked about a couple of weeks ago, formula is less preferable, depending on your semantics), sometimes you will still need to supplement when breastfeeding your baby.  To a mother who is committed to breastfeeding, this can seem like such a failure.  I have been there, and I know the guilty feelings that can come when you are not able to exclusively breastfeed.

The first thing you need to do is accept that you have tried and for whatever reason, breastfeeding is just not going to be enough.  This can be for reasons such as personal preference – breastfeeding can be hard! – or for other reasons, such as a baby’s failure to thrive.  Whatever the reason, if you are going to supplement, you will be better off if you simply accept it as fact and let go of the feelings you may have.

Remind yourself that no matter what, your baby’s health is the biggest priority.  Even if you are choosing to supplement because you are not happy breastfeeding, you are doing something good for your baby’s health.  A miserable nursing mother may not be able to nurture her baby as well, because sometimes nursing can just be downright unpleasant – I’ve been there, too.

Babies have and will continue to do very well on formula, and sometimes they will do even better than when breastfed for reasons that continue to baffle the very doctors who issue that diagnosis of failure to thrive, so supplementing does not have to be a cause for debilitating guilt, even though the temptation is strong.

So don’t give in to the feelings of guilt or negativity if you supplement with formula.  Your baby will be fine and the way he gets his nutrition in the early days is really not that important in the grand scheme of things.  What is important is having loving, happy parents, and a guilt-ridden mother who feels like a failure does not do anyone any good.

The Uterus That Cried Wolf

The uterus is a pretty amazing organ.  It can grow to many times its size, carefully cradling the growing life inside of us all the while.  When the time comes to deliver baby, the uterus is responsible for bringing on contractions and pushing the baby down into the birth canal, which is no small feat when you consider the physics of the situation. 

Another big job the uterus has is to prepare for childbirth by having contractions throughout your pregnancy to help the muscles tone and get ready for the big event.  Similar to doing sit ups to tone your stomach muscles, the uterus will have contractions regularly from early pregnancy, right up to delivery.

While you won’t start to feel those contractions right away, at some point in your pregnancy you will probably begin feeling a tightening across your belly.  For a new mother, these can be a source of consternation, since we’re all told that contractions mean labor, but in the case of those early contractions, you usually have nothing to worry about.

Those contractions that occur before labor are called Braxton-Hicks contractions, after the person who discovered them.  They are harmless and will prepare your uterus for labor.  You can tell real labor contractions by the fact that they don’t subside no matter what you do, and they increase in frequency and intensity.

So if you have been feeling contractions like this, rest assured that they are a normal part of pregnancy and the mean your body is doing what it should to get things ready for the big day.