Many of my friends have been anticipating the first day of fall for weeks now. My Facebook newsfeed has been overtaken by pumpkin spice memes, pumpkins,
hoodies, football, bonfires, boots...and TODAY is the long-awaited first day of fall!
Except nothing resembling "fall" is happening outside. It's 90-something degrees out. We're melting at our football games.
Everybody who's been in Arkansas for any length of time knows to not expect Fall at the end of September. We already know it's going to be awhile longer before we start feeling fall temperatures. Even though we know that, it's still a little of a bummer when the first day of fall gets here...and it's still summer.
It reminds me of the end of my pregnancies. After my second pregnancy, I had come to expect that I would go past my "due date," and by a lot. Not days, but weeks. I was already in the habit of giving a "due month" when people would ask. And still, when my due date would pass, I would be a little bummed to still be pregnant, to show no signs of delivering a baby anytime soon. Or even worse--to show a few signs, get my hopes all up, and then still have lots of pregnancy left!
When pregnant women are surrounded by friends and family who have scheduled an induction at 39 weeks, it can be challenging that last week (or two. Or
three.) Homebirth midwives don't interfere with the birth process unless there is a big reason, and around 75 percent of our clients deliver in their 41st week. Some will go beyond that.
Just remember, nothing can last forever. Not summer, not pregnancy. Babies will come when it is time, heat waves will finally give way to crisp mornings. Then crisp mornings will give way to frost, frost will give way to spring buds, spring buds will blossom into barbeques and days at the lake...and before you know it, the baby will be taking her first steps.
So hang in there, Arkansas friends...especially pregnant Arkansas friends! Our fall is on the horizon!
Pregnancy nausea commonly begins around the 6th week of pregnancy and commonly resolves around 12 weeks. Sometimes referred to as "morning sickness," pregnancy nausea is not limited to mornings! And although most nausea has improved or dissipated by the second trimester, some women feel nauseated their entire pregnancy. The nausea may disappear in the second trimester and return again in the third trimester. Nausea may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.
For some, it's a minor annoyance, and for some, it can be debilitating.
Hormones probably play a big role, particularly progesterone, which decreases motility in the GI tract. Increased metabolic demands during pregnancy can also cause blood sugar drops, which may lead to nausea.
There are a few tricks you can try to decrease the amount of nausea you feel or make it more manageable.
If these suggestions don't help, talk to your pregnancy provider. We have various supplements that we recommend to our clients that are often helpful.
Rarely, nausea and vomiting can be severe enough to be dangerous. If you are vomiting several times a day, are unable to tolerate foods or liquids, can't keep anything down, or are losing weight, talk to your healthcare provider!
One of our frequently asked questions is, "Do you do water births?"
The answer is yes, we do! Laboring and/or birthing in the water is a popular option among our home birth clients. We have two birth pools, which we loan out at no charge (there is a $30 charge for the disposable liner.) We will give you instructions on setting it up, how to fill it, when to fill it, how to drain it, and anything else you need to know.
The above photo is one of our tubs in use. The water is approximately chest deep and covers your belly when full. (That's me in the photo. I loved my waterbirths!)
Another question we are frequently asked is, "What do you think about waterbirth? Is it safe?"
The short answer is yes, we believe waterbirth is safe, based on our experience, along with the current literature. We have seen that immersing in a tub of warm water benefits laboring mothers by helping them relax, helping them to get into comfortable positions, making it easier to cope with contractions, and decreasing their perception of pain. If our client chooses to stay in the pool to birth the baby, we have not seen any increase of adverse outcomes for the baby in our practice.
If you would like to read more about this birth choice, Evidence-Based Birth published an excellent article on water birth, written by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, in which she thoroughly examined the existing research that has been done on water birth (and there is an 80 page annoted bibliography available of all the research studies that have been done.) The conclusion:
For women, there are several benefits associated with waterbirth. There is strong evidence that waterbirth is associated with a lower episiotomy rate, and that women who use waterbirth will have higher rates of intact perineum and use less medicine for pain relief. The benefits or risks for the newborn are less clear, but so far the evidence shows fewer or equal NICU admission rates for waterbirth babies compared to babies born on land. There have been rare case reports of breathing problems or infections in infants after waterbirth, but these risks have not been seen in the large, recent, prospective studies on waterbirth. The ACOG/AAP opinion statement on waterbirth contained major scientific errors and was an inaccurate and incomplete review of the literature. Their opinion statement should not be relied upon to make informed decisions about the availability of waterbirth for women. Based on the data that we have,waterbirth is a reasonable option for low-risk women during childbirth, provided that they understand the potential benefits and risks. If women have a strong desire for waterbirth, and there are experienced care providers who are comfortable in attending waterbirths, then at this time there is no evidence to deny women this option of pain relief. Although we need more research on waterbirth, the available research shows that universal bans on waterbirth are not evidence-based.
Although getting in the tub during labor is a possibility at some of our local area hospitals, none of them allow water birth. Hospital policies mandate getting out of the tub before pushing begins.
If a water birth is what you desire, and home birth is an option for you, there are experienced midwives in Arkansas who are comfortable attending waterbirths. I would love to chat with you about it! Give me a call or text at 501-436-8525, or email me.