Chiropractic and Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

One problem that many pregnant women complain about is pubic pain. Yet doctors and midwives often dismiss this pain as either “inconsequential,” “unfixable,” or “just one of those pregnancy discomforts that have to be endured.”

Occasionally, some uninformed doctors have even erroneously told women that such pubic pain means that they would need an elective cesarean section to avoid permanent damage to that area during birth, or as a result of prior damage to the area.

Yet none of this is true. Pubic pain in pregnancy is certainly not “inconsequential”; it can also be very difficult to deal with. Although many doctors and midwives do not know what causes it or how to fix it, many women are able to get improvement or relief with chiropractic adjustments or osteopathic manipulation. It is not something that you “just have to live with.” And although extra care should be taken during labor and birth in order to prevent trauma, it absolutely does NOT mean that you must have a cesarean delivery.

Although not every provider has a name for this condition, it is most commonly called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (or SPD), especially in Britain. Other names for it include: pubic shear (an osteopathic term), symphyseal separation, pubic symphysis separation, separated symphysis, pelvic girdle relaxation of pregnancy, and pelvic joint syndrome.

The symptoms of SPD vary from person to person, but almost all women who have it experience substantial pubic pain. Tenderness and pain down low in the front is common, but often this pain feels as if it’s inside. The pubic area is generally very tender to the touch; many moms find it painful when the doctor or midwife pushes down on the pubic bone while measuring the fundal height of the uterus.

Any activity that involves lifting one leg at a time or parting the legs tends to be particularly painful. Lifting the leg to put on clothes, getting out of a car, bending over, sitting down or getting up, walking up stairs, standing on one leg, lifting heavy objects, and walking tend to be difficult at times. Many women report that moving or turning over in bed is especially excruciating.

Many movements become difficult when the pubic symphysis area is affected. Although the greatest pain is associated with movements of lifting one leg or parting the legs, some women experience a “freezing,” where they get up out of bed and find it hard to get their bodies moving right away— the hip bone seems stuck in place and won’t move at first. Or they describe having to wait for it to “pop into place” before being able to walk. The range of hip movement is usually affected, and hip abduction is especially painful. Many women also report sciatica when pubic pain is present. SPD can also be associated with bladder dysfunction, especially when going from lying down (or squatting) to a standing position. Some women also feel a “clicking” when they walk or shift a certain way, or lots of pressure down low near the pubic area.

Many women with SPD also report very strong round ligament pain (pulling or tearing feelings in the abdomen when rolling over, moving suddenly, sneezing, coughing, getting up, etc.). Some chiropractors feel that round ligament pain can be an early symptom of SPD problems, and indicate the need for adjustments. Other providers consider round ligament pain normal, part of the body adjusting to the growing uterus. If experienced with pubic and/or low back pain, round ligament pain is probably associated with the SPD.

Indeed, although pubic pain often does go away after pregnancy, many women find that it sticks around afterward, usually diminished but still present. If the underlying causes are not treated, long-term pain usually sticks around. Anecdotally, this often seems to be associated with long-term low back pain or reduced flexibility in the hips. Even worse, if the mother is mishandled during the birth, the pubic symphysis can separate even more or be permanently damaged. This is called Diastasis Symphysis Pubis.

Although the best idea may be to resolve chronic SPD pain through realigning the pelvic girdle and soft tissues, most women have some residual pubic and low back discomfort sticking around during pregnancy and the early postpartum weeks because of hormones. Therefore, tips for coping with pubic pain tend to be a focus of many SPD websites.

Many of the suggestions include:

Use a pillow between your legs or under your “pregnancy bump” when sleeping

Try to keep your legs and hips as parallel as possible when moving or turning in bed

Some women report a waterbed mattress to be helpful and swimming may help relieve pressure on the joint

Deep water aerobics or deep water running may be helpful as well.

Keep your legs close together and move symmetrically

When standing, stand symmetrically, with your weight evenly distributed through both legs

Sit down to get dressed, especially when putting on underwear or pants

 Avoid “straddle” movements

An ice pack may feel soothing and help reduce inflammation in the pubic area

…………….

Modified excerpt from: Pelvic Pain: Symphysis, Pubis, Dysfunction by Pamela Vireday. Read more in Pathways: http://www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org

 

 

The Importance of Informed “Choice” ~ If, When & Which Vaccinations to Choose

My little sister asked me to do a written interview for an English project she was assigned.  I was excited about her topic of choice to say the least!  I agreed to be interviewed and asked her to send over the questions.

This is one of the controversial topics that we rarely engage in.  Our reservation does not come from lack of confidence or information regarding our choices, it is primarily a product of the sensitivity created around the conversation.

I was verbally attacked by a day-care owner in 2012.  I always thought there may be a day when someone expressed their displeasure in our family’s choice to not vaccinate, but I felt I was prepared with facts, figures, science, etc to respectfully defend my choice.  Well…..let’s just say when someone accuses you of being an “irresponsible and selfish parent” it is hard to breathe, much less think straight.

This experience led me to a firm stance in the realm of respect.  I firmly practice respect of others AND their choices, even when we disagree.  Because of this stance, I choose to make our personal choices as a family available to friends and patients that I feel will practice the same.  I have no desire to debate which stance is the RIGHT stance, I simply want the ones I love to practice Informed Decision making.

A decision by a patient about a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, based on choice, which requires the decision to be voluntary and that the patient has the capacity for choice, which rests on 3 elements:
• Possession of a set of values and goals
• Ability to understand information and communicate decisions
• Ability to reason and deliberate
Peace is a byproduct of making Informed Decisions about choices we have to make as parents.  There are so many things in life that we lose sleep over.  There are risks and consequences around every turn.  There is no greater responsibility we have in flesh than to nurture and care for our children.  My efforts are to encourage families to research, think, pray and have conversations about these decisions; it is not to criticize one choice or another.  If there were to be a consequence of your choice, could you move forward, knowing that you did everything to make the best decision.
Here is my interview with Shelby:

What all vaccinations have you avoided giving Mattie and why?

To-date, Mattie has not received any of the suggested vaccinations. After many years of studying the human body, immune & nervous systems, germ and immune theories, as well as countless research over the topic we have an ever-growing confidence in the body’s natural ability to fight foreign invaders. A few reasons we have made this conscious decision follow:

  • The vaccination schedule is aggressive, growing more aggressive each year (compare current schedule to 10, 20, 30 years ago)
  • The risk vs the benefit is strongly considered for all decisions, especially vaccinations
  • Vaccinations are suggested to increase your immune system, but are highly recommended for the immune compromised (young, old, pregnant, etc). Immune compromised individuals are discouraged from environments where they can be exposed to germs. The vaccine is a direct exposure. For a developing immune system and/or an overwhelmed immune system, vaccinations can cause an imbalance in immune response and/or function.
  • The method of transmission bypasses oral mucousa, which is the “natural” first line of defense for the immune system. This causes an unnatural cascade of immune response (IgA vs IgG), creating an inefficient reaction to the germ, possibly creating an inefficient memory of the invader – defeating the purpose of vaccinations
  • There are numerous toxins, synthetic and otherwise, that are used to manufacture and preserve the transport and delivery of the serum. This is one of my most significant reasons for opting out of most vaccines. Again, the benefit does not outweigh the risk
  • God made us awesome 🙂 No really….He did! When we allow our bodies to do what they were designed to do & supplement them with tools that help them to do it, magic happens….we are healthy! It sounds naive to some, but we have an undying faith that when we ACTIVELY pursue thoughts and actions that are congruent with healing and well-being, you undoubtedly reap health and well-being. It is indeed an active process because of the easy access to processed, dead, lifeless food; toxins at every turn; high paced, high stressed lifestyles; social consequences to natural options such as breastfeeding, cloth diapering, essential oils, herbs, no-poo, diy, etc; not to mention the guilt and shame that others (not actively pursuing health) deflect on people acting in health!! This is a lot of the personal and controversial section of the vaccine topic…..obviously!

What do you do/give to Mattie to help her against these diseases since she doesn’t have vaccinations?

  • We ensure routine chiropractic care, about every 4-8 weeks unless a symptom of imbalance arises
  • We keep what goes IN her body as clean as possible as well as teach her the importance of good decisions when making intake choices
  • We supplement her dietary intake with omega fatty acids, multivitamin, immune specific support (glandular), probiotic, and others as needed
  • We use therapeutic grade essential oils as a “protection” against daily exposure to germs & toxins
  • We facilitate lots of SLEEP. Sleep is obviously necessary to heal everything, especially toxic burdens from the environment around us. We make it a priority and ensure that she gets adequate sleep daily, even when it means we have to hold her or lay down with her
  • We give her emotional support and nurturing. Emotional health is such a huge influence in healing and health; we always keep hers a priority
  • I would also just add our faith in her ability to BE HEALTHY! Some focus on the fear of “what if”, instead we focus on the “why not.” Why can’t she be healthy and normal? Why can’t she have a superstar immune system?

Are there any sources of information (articles, websites) about this that you would recommend?

Facebook is a great source, not because of credibility, but because a lot of credible people know that it is a valuable resource to get their message out:

  • Dr. Tenpenny on Vaccines
  • The Vaccine Machine
  • Dr. Bob Sears

A few links:

A few books/DVDs

INFORMED CHOICE – unless….information is kept from your provider

The following article is re-published from Vaccination Information Network

PRESS RELEASE: CDC Covers Up Influenza Vaccine-Related Fetal Deaths

Press Release For Immediate Release Wednesday, January 22, 2014 National Coalition of Organized Women Ncowmail@gmail.com 319 855-0307 Contact: Eileen Dannemann CDC Misleads Nations Ob/Gyns -Covering-up Of The Most Massive Fetal Death Reports Associated With The Influenza Vaccine in the History of Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) Dr. Gary Goldman’s study on the 4,250% spike …

in Flu, Fraudulent science, Pregnancy vaccines, Whistleblowers January 23, 2014

 
PRESS RELEASE: CDC Covers Up Influenza Vaccine-Related Fetal Deaths

Press Release For Immediate Release Wednesday, January 22, 2014 National Coalition of Organized Women Ncowmail@gmail.com 319 855-0307 Contact: Eileen Dannemann

CDC Misleads Nations Ob/Gyns -Covering-up Of The Most Massive Fetal Death Reports Associated With The Influenza Vaccine in the History of Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)

Dr. Gary Goldman’s study on the 4,250% spike in fetal death reports during the 2009/10 H1N1 “pandemic” originally rejected by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG), who is charged by the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) as complicit in a massive cover-up and manipulation of data associated with the 2009/10 flu season fetal deaths is now available free to the public. Subsequently published in the Human & Experimental Toxicology Journal (HET), as a Sage choice study, the Goldman study is now listed in Pub med as a free PMC article.

Comparison of VAERS fetal-loss reports during three consecutive influenza seasons: was there a synergistic fetal toxicity associated with the two-vaccine 2009/2010 season? Goldman GS. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 May;32(5):464-75.

Despite an apparent trail of documented collusion and misconduct amongst the CDC, AJOG (Elsevier) and 9 non-profits including the March of Dimes, this alarmingly poor outcome of the 2009/10 H1N1vaccine experiment on the fetuses of pregnant women was successfully covered up by the CDC until Goldman exposed the statistics, documenting the harm in his recent publication.

Dr. Marie McCormick, chairperson of the CDC’s H1N1 Vaccine Safety Risk and Assessment Working Group (VSRAWG) testified, and submitted deceptive reports to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), contending no unusual signals nor adverse outcomes in the pregnant population during the 2009/10 public experiments on pregnant women.

However, pressed by the NCOW statistics extracted from the government’s own data, Dr. Shimabukuro of the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) corroborated the NCOW data in a public presentation (slide 20) in Atlanta, Georgia, in October of 2010. This contradiction to Dr.McCormick’s testimony evidences that the CDC indeed knew of the increasing level in fetal-loss reports, in near real time. Yet the CDC failed to immediately notify the nation’s Ob/Gyns, who, uninformed, continued to double-dose their pregnant patients with the fetal-fatal flu shots that collectively delivered up to 50 micrograms of mercury. Due to the success of this well-orchestrated cover up and the complicity of the non-profits and AJOG, pregnant women are now pressured to get 4 vaccine doses, (Flu, TDaP) and thereafter are mandated to give up to 49 vaccine doses to their surviving children in order for them to attend school.

Beyond Junk Science: “If vaccines were actually based on ‘science’, then this public experiment is a failure” says Ms. Dannemann, Director of the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) and founder of the Vaccine Liberation Army. “So why are we still vaccinating pregnant women with even more vaccines when there is no science that proves vaccines are safe for the developing child. On the contrary, available data from this public experiment foisted on unwitting pregnant women proves the opposite – that the influenza vaccines are unsafe and exacerbate fetal deaths.” In 2009/10 the CDC initiated a massive public drug trial, whose outcome was devastatingly morbid, covered up and, more egregious, twisted by complicit medical journal editors, government agencies and non profit organizations in order to provide an unholy, misleading and deceptive basis for a worldwide publicity campaign, “Flu Shot Is Safe for Pregnant Women”. The success of this manipulation and collusion continues to result in an ever-increasing amount of vaccine recommendations for pregnant women advancing the flawed, unproven practice of maternal antibody-transfer to the fetus.

Vaccine Providers have immunity from lawsuits for any vaccine injury. Federal law prevents directly suing a vaccine provider and the federal government agency charged with ensuring vaccine safety. However, government personnel can be held accountable for willful misconduct contingent on the approval of the Secretary of HHS. But, what about the non-profits that signed off on the joint letter for the following flu season urging the nation’s OB/Gyns to continue to vaccinate their pregnant patients? Can they be held accountable?

A joint letter orchestrated by the CDC and co-signed by 9 non-profit organizations was sent in the fall of 2010, specifically targeting the nation’s Ob/Gyns who, upon the recommendation of the CDC, had been injecting their pregnant patients with two separate influenza vaccines, the seasonal and the H1N1 vaccine, each containing 25 mcgs of mercury, totaling 50 mcgs of mercury, regardless of the trimester or the weight of the fetus. The letter, strategically omitting reference to the 2009/10 VAERS data or Thimerosal, recommended only one seasonal flu shot for the following year, which as a trivalent, has all the necessary strains in one vaccine thereby limiting the toxic mercury dose to 25 mcgs instead of the fetus-fatal 50 mcgs. If 50 mcgs. kills a fetus, will 25 mcgs be enough to harm the survivors? Where is the science?

Although continuously informed by independent researchers, credible whistleblowers such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., social networks and Internet media, of the agency’s long record of distorted studies, acts of omission, misconduct, deception, spurious and strategic rhetoric, State lawmakers remain mindlessly wed to the CDC’s vast range of flawed government vaccine programs without evaluation… and wonder why the public is “acting up!”

But most egregious, in the opinion of NCOW – the agency assigned to educate physicians and protect the public’s health chose not to notify the nation’s Ob/Gyns in near real time, as promised by Dr. McCormick, thus putting the vaccine program itself ahead of the public’s health in order save this expanding pregnancy vaccine program from the immediate collapse it merits. More disingenuous, the letter states despite the disturbing VAERS data:

“Influenza vaccine is safe” because:

“Influenza vaccines have been given to millions of pregnant women over the last decade and have not been shown to cause harm to women or their infants”.

“Hold on”, says Ms. Dannemann. “The vaccine manufacturers themselves state and have stated for the past decade that there are no adequate studies on the effect of vaccines on human fetuses or on reproduction. Manufacturers’ package inserts, Pregnancy Category C states and I quote ‘Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans’. How did the CDC get away with recommending the vaccination of pregnant women for the last decade without proof of safety? Law requires proof of safety! Well here is a safety study, albeit the sad results of another government experiment foisted on an unwitting public”, submits Dannemann: “The Goldman study!”

Can these non-profits be held liable for participating in the collusion to deceive the public? Did the CDC tell the March of Dimes before they signed off on the joint letter urging the nation’s Ob/Gyns to continue vaccinating pregnant women – that the outcome of the 2009/10 government initiative to vaccinate pregnant women with the flu shot resulted in the most massive spike of fetal death reports in the history of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)?

Or did the CDC purposely mislead the March of Dimes & the other non-profits by omitting the morbid data, seducing them into a campaign targeting the nation’s physicians and misleading the public and in doing so, save the ill-founded pregnancy vaccine program from falling apart? Why does the American public not have a mechanism to investigate the misconduct of the CDC thereby allowing the agency to continue to harm the very public they are supposed to protect?

Who has the authority on behalf of the public–on behalf of humanity to get an answer to this very simple question of whether the 9 non-profits were complicit in co- signing the joint letter, misleading the nation’s physicians? Was the HHS misled when Dr. Mc Cormick omitted the VAERS data from her monthly reports? “Because the public apparently has no champion or channel to investigate this alleged collusion, the vaccine program for pregnant women advances unimpeded and continues to disable the emerging generations of humanity by weakening the fetuses and sabotaging its formative wellness!”, exhorts, Dannemann

The vaccine manufacturers package inserts state that there are no studies on the effect of vaccines on fetuses or on reproduction and yet, despite no safety studies as required by law, the CDC joint letter broadly admits that it has been giving pregnant women the flu vaccine for a decade. On what science does the CDC base its rhetoric that there are no harmful effects when autism, allergies, asthma, juvenile diabetes, obesity and alleged “mental illness” as seen in children at very early ages, is at epidemic proportions concomitant to increased childhood vaccine mandates? “How does this history of increased chronic illness in children, concomitant to increase childhood vaccine mandates, justify further weakening the emerging generation with in-utero assault? In light of this clearly failed public experiment with its morbid statistics and no safety studies from the manufacturers, why are we continuing to vaccinate pregnant women?”, the director of NCOW further opines.

Still another 2012 study involving analysis of maternal transfer of mercury to the developing embryo/fetus, by Brown et al. has been recently published, confirming the Goldman study. Data demonstrated that Hg [mercury] exposures, particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy, at well-established dose/eight ratios produced severe damage to humans including death. (Brown IA, Austin DW. Maternal transfer of mercury to the developing embryo/fetus: Is there a safe level?)

Sadly, due to the CDC cover up, there is no official follow up of the children that survived this catastrophic epoch in vaccine history. Asthma, diabetes, allergies, autism, ADHD, bi polar symptoms associated with vaccine injury is on the rise. “Given the recent publications of Goldman and Brown studies, is the CDC obliged to alert the nation’s pediatricians and parents of a potential health crisis in children injected in-utero in 2009/10 with 50 mcgs of Thimerosal (mercury), so they can consider cause, and treat accordingly? Or will media, physicians, healthcare professionals, public, HHS officials and lawmakers, in apathetic powerlessness, continue to allow the CDC to shove this under the rug in an effort to hide the injurious nature of the over ambitious and costly pregnancy and childhood vaccine programs?”, comments, Ms. Dannemann

Access all links HERE

Posted by Erwin Alber on January 23, 2014

Faith VS Certainty

Dr. Brene Brown says, “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of uncertainty.”  

I have been investing time in thought around the difference between faith and certainty, or the lack of.  I have years of practice (religion, environment, experience, etc) that encourages me to embrace faith in my spiritual life.  There seems to be a growing intuitive compulsion to practice faith in the realm of health, especially natural healing.  It has been a journey to say the least.  I am hopeful that this journey continues.  I have seen the practice of faith lend miracles.  It is a power that I honor and revere, but it is far from understood.  I think that is the beauty of it….we are not meant to understand, just believe….be courageous!

A patient delivered her gratitude for this phenomenon in the form of a hand-made card.  She writes:

Dr. Taryn

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I want to express to you how thankful I am that God placed me in your care to guide me on my journey to healing.  In May 2012 I found myself going down an unfamiliar path of dealing with several physical issues, and for some reason the majority of my pain manifested itself in my lower back and hip.  Something inside of me told me that all the issues I was dealing with had one root cause, and yet I couldn’t get anyone else to believe me.  I spent 7 months trying to deal with the issues myself.  I visited a couple of medical doctors that wanted to medicate the issues without getting to the root of all the problems, and that only added to my frustration.  I got to the point where I couldn’t stand the pain any loner and in January I found myself sitting in your waiting room.  After consulting with you I felt as though I finally found someone with a listening ear and the ability to address ALL that was going on with me.  I felt such a sense of peace when I left your office that day!  At that time I would have never dreamed all the things that I would learn on the other side of this journey….

First, I have learned to trust the God given instincts that He has given to me with the things concerning my body.  Secondly, I have learned to trust the peace that God gives to me when He leads me in a certain direction and to stay on that course and finish it.  I am so thankful God kept leading my path to you…..it was the only place my heart found peace and my body began to heal.  Thirdly, I have learned that my body is an amazing miracle that is complex and intertwined!  I have learned that if I treat the whole body….including the mind, spirit and emotion….then healing can begin.  I would have never guessed that all I was experiencing had so much to do with my chemical makeup and with what I was feeding it both physically and mentally.

My journey has had its ups and downs, but I finally feel like I am reaching the end.  I feel as though I have found peace in my heart.  In my mind, and in my body!  You have shared with me a vast amount of knowledge and have been my support and cheerleader throughout this journey….not to mention the many times your healing hands have brought relief to my hurting body 🙂  My words fall so short of what my heart feels and to simply say “thank you” seems very inadequate….but my words are all I have.  God has used you in my life to help me find my way to healing and I will forever be grateful!

My heart overflows with gratitude – Teresa Diener

I don’t know that I could say it any better than that.  When you listen to your “guts” and act in faith, truely amazing things can happen!

Sometimes we are blessed with confirmation through bloodwork or imaging  of a diagnosis (aka certainty).  From that diagnosis there is often a recommendation for treatment that can either prevent progression of the condition or resolve it.  BUT….more often than not, we are not given certainty.  It is very common to consult a healthcare professional with a symptom, maybe multiple symptoms, and a treatment is recommended as a trial.  Notice I used the word trial.  The practice of medicine usually starts with a differential of diagnosis.  One symptom could be a product of countless conditions.  A healthcare professional has to gather data from the patient and combine it with knowledge of disease/health that they have to conclude the list of possible conditions.  Again, we are occassionally blessed by a lab test or imaging that can confirm a single condition.  More often, treatment is recommended based on the more common or more likely condition, hence a trial of treatment, reducing and/or resolving the condition.

With a different pair of glasses on you can consider the power of adding good 🙂  Let’s say you are admitted to the hospital for 3 days for a cardiac procedure.  Of course the heart is an important organ.  The procedure is necessary to keep you alive.  Let’s also say you were denied food and water for those 3 days.  How would a lack of nutrition and hydration affect your ability to endure the procedure?  Recover?  Thrive?  I think everyone would agree, you would have to add food and water during your stay at the hospital to endure, recover and thrive.  The importance of nutrition and hydration, among many other “good” additions to our body, can be a game-changer when it comes to healing.  We all know what we should do to stay healthy; what if the right combination of  consistent “good” could be the key to our prosperity, even when there is disease present?

We need a myriad of “good” in our lives to thrive.  Everyone priortizes them a little different, but to name a few: food, water, relaxation, purpose, supplementation, sleep, exercise, oxygen, adjustments, detoxification, connection to others and positivity.  How often do we priortize the needs of others: work, school, friends, status, church, etc?  The  constant demand to serve immediate needs (of ourselves or others) at the expense of our long-term needs can rob us of our health!

It is often easy to convince yourself that a prescription medication that has been researched and approved by the FDA will help hault progression or resolve your condition.  What gives you that certainty?  Can you think of areas of “good” that you have neglected in your health?  Could you convince yourself, in the presence of a symptom/condition, that simply adding good would help you heal?

Every body is unique.  Every body has strength and weakness.  Every body handles germs, inflammation, pain and stress differently.  Strive to find the perfect combination of provider, treatment, faith and certainty that is right for you!  Never doubt your intuition, even if it challenges the norm!  Regardless of your religion or belief in a higher power, believe in YOU!  Find a proposal that delivers an inner peace and follow through!  Remember Teresa’s discovery, the “body is an amazing miracle that is complex and intertwined!  I have learned that if I treat the whole body….including the mind, spirit and emotion….then healing can begin.”

In Loving Service,

Dr. Taryn

BIRTHING – A Look at Finances

This is a blog shared from Enjoy Birth:

August 17, 2011

This is a Guest Post by Scott.

According to a recent study in Nurse Midwifery, the average homebirth that doesn’t have any complications costs about 68% less than a comparable hospital birth! When you add this to the fact that a homebirth with an excellent midwife is much less likely to land you with an unnecessary cesarean delivery, and the savings of a homebirth can be quite significant.

However, financing a homebirth is quite different, often times, from financing a hospital birth. Here’s what you need to know:

Average costs

imagesCAQSHBZ4If you didn’t have insurance, a hospital birth – uncomplicated and vaginal – would cost around $7,600. With insurance, most people pay about $1,500 to $2,300 out of pocket. This, of course, depends on your actual insurance coverage. It also depends on what area of the country you’re giving birth in, which medications you end up using, how long you stay in the hospital, and many other factors.

The average midwife-based home birth costs about $2,000 to $3,000. For some midwives, this fee covers all of the pre-birth consultations, as well, which can present significant savings. With a hospital birth, keep in mind that you must pay not only the hospital but also your practitioner for services the day of the birth as well as services in the months leading up to the birth.

Insurance coverage

One of the many reasons some couples choose not to go with a home birth is that they assume insurance will not cover it. This isn’t always true, though! Some insurance providers – including major providers like United Healthcare – now provide at least some coverage for midwives. Your insurance provider may pay part of the pre-birth fees, even if the actual home birth itself isn’t paid for.

However, never assume that your insurance won’t pay simply because homebirth is still rather unorthodox. Many insurance companies are coming to grips with the fact that midwives tend to offer more cost-effective care than traditional obstetricians! If it’s more cost-effective for you, then it’s more cost-effective for them, too.

Payment plans

When your insurance covers a hospital birth, you may be required to pay the fees up front before your due date. Many hospitals these days will check the insurance coverage of the pregnant woman and provide her with a payment plan leading up to the birth, and they’ll require that the fees for a regular vaginal birth be paid in full in the last month or two of pregnancy. If a c-section is required, the patient will have to pay even more out of pocket afterwards.

Midwives who work in homebirth may do something similar. It depends on the practice, though. Some will give you a monthly payment plan so that all your fees will be paid by the time the baby is born. Others will offer a discount if you pay in full up front, and still others will allow you to pay after the baby is born. This is definitely something to think about when you’re talking about financing homebirth, and you may want to compare midwives in your area for how they require patients to pay.

If you have to be transferred

One more thing to think about when financing a homebirth is what happens if you need to be transferred to the hospital. With top-rate midwives dealing with low-risk pregnancies, transfers rates are very low, but you still need to consider the possibility. Chances are likely that your insurance will kick in if you do need to transfer to the hospital, but then you’ll have to pay both the midwife and the hospital. Talk to your midwife about what will happen financially in a situation like this, just so that you can be prepared.

Figuring out how to finance it

If you don’t have enough money in savings at the moment to pay for a homebirth (or even a hospital co-pay for an in-hospital birth!), you may be able to finance your homebirth with a credit card. Consider applying for a low-interest credit card, or one with a limited-time no-interest option. Pay your fees in full up front, especially if this will score you a discount, and then pay off the credit card a little at a time. If you can pay off the card before it starts accruing interest, you’ve basically got a way to finance your homebirth without paying any extra fees.

Costs are only part of it

Many people who don’t have good insurance coverage choose a homebirth in part because it’s just so much more affordable than an uninsured or underinsured hospital birth. However, make sure that cost isn’t the only reason you’re choosing a homebirth. Instead, Jamie Scott from CreditDonkey recommends you get as much information as you can about homebirth, and make your choice based on what’s best for you and your family.

Our Unforgettable Birth – Mattie Elizabeth’s Story

I spent a few hours with a “crunchy” mom yesterday.  Her philosophy and strength inspired me!  She reminded me that a woman’s strength is unsurpassed!  She shed light on the emotions that I experienced surrounding Mattie’s birth, and allowed me to put those emotions into words….9 weeks later.

Joey and I discussed our preferences for pregnancy and labor/delivery in depth!  With the blessing of EXPOSURE, we knew we had a lot of CHOICES to make.  Let me elaborate; it seems to be the “norm” to discover your pregnancy…basque in the joy, then immediately consult your obstetritian….everyone knows all the things that COULD go wrong!!  Our thinking is a little different than that.  The journey that our chiropractic lifestyle has led us on, has illuminated many alternatives to this thought pattern.  Not that one is right or wrong, they are just different, and we are advocates of EVERY family being informed of their choices 🙂

After confessing our hearts desires, we chose to consult with a midwife (you can read more about that in my blog about our pregnancy).  After we decided on our midwife, our birth plan began to take shape.  The birthing center is in Marshall, TX (approximately 2 hours from our home in Calhoun, LA).  The basic plan was to drive west when we were sure it was the real deal.  Yes, we had many eyebrows raised at our decision, but we were confident that our birth was in God’s hands and that His will would be done regardless of our plans!

My guess date was July 16th.  The week prior to that Saturday, I began to have contractions….maybe Braxton-Hicks??  They were not very intense and had no regularity to them, but I began to get excited.  Then the guess date came and went; I then began to get frustrated.  As I commonly admit I am a control freak & I like to have my expectations met!  This was not part of the plan!!  HAHA!  Anyhow, the following week I did not have any signs of labor.  Monday morning, the 25th of July, I lost my mucous plug.  I began to closely monitor my cervix.  All day Monday, no signs of labor.  We went to bed with the myriad of pillows.  At 11:15pm I woke up with a very intense contraction, nothing like any of the ones before.  I immediately felt the need to use the restroom.  After I had done my business, I stood up and felt a trickle down my leg.  The small puddle on the floor had a little bit of blood in it.  By this time I decided to wake Joey up…I think this is it!  After Joey came out of his sleep coma, he put his game face on!!!  We waited to see if there was another contraction.  Sure enough at 11:30 we had another intense contraction.  We decided that we should head that way so that we could make the trip before it got “serious.”  We loaded the car, headed that way and began waking everyone up!!

Jen, our midwife, suggested checking into a hotel once we got to Marshall to allow us to labor in privacy until it got “serious.”  We agreed and proceeded at 90mph with much excitement!!  Once we got to Shreveport, we had to stop for me to use the restroom & grab a few snacks.  Once back on the road, contractions bumped up to every 6 minutes and the intensity increased.  With Jen’s advice, we decided to get checked at the birth center before we made any other plans…..then we passed Jen on the highway 🙂 

Once at the birth center (1:20 am), Jen determined I was dilated to a 6 and contractions were around 5 minutes apart.  I was still fairly comfortable at this point and decided to get my swim suit on (in case I wanted in the birthing tub later), but I wanted to lay in the bed.  I was already pretty tired!  I quickly decided that was uncomfortable and got in the tub.  During contractions I would lean over the side of the tub while sitting on my knees.  In between contractions I would lean back in exhaustion.  Sooner than later contractions were coming every 2 minutes (about 3:30 am).  Now I’m really tired!!  As I was told later, I began pushing about 4:00 am.  Jen & Charlotte (midwives) encouraged me to change positions, but I resisted. 

In preparation for our birth, I read A LOT about natural pain management techniques, midwife recommendations, Hypnobirthing, successful birth stories, etc.  In the midst of my reading, I stumbled on an article that accredited successful, natural, drug-free births to the mother’s support system.  I thought it was an interesting angle.  Joey and I had discussed how we anticipated to communicate during labor.  For example, we had invited our whole family (well immediate family) to the birth, so I had asked him to be the regulator of any stinkin’ thinkin’.  If he heard anybody verbally expressing concern, worry or doubt – he had to ask them to go outside.  I also asked him to be my cheerleader and encourage me while gently coaching me.  Never would I have dreamed of just how supportive and encouraging he would be!!!  Joey kneeled beside the tub the entire labor.  He whispered sweet motivational words to me and constantly reassured me of how great I was doing.  He would  share positive points about our progress and again remind me that he was proud of me.  He got me cold water, he knows room temperature water is not my favorite!  He held the straw for me to sip the water.  He dabbed my forehead with cool rags until my mom got there and helped him support me.  He would ask if I needed anything at just the right moment.  He went home with bruises on his arms from where he let me grip and pull as he supported me during the contractions.  He probably is a little shy of his full auditory potential from the level of noise that I put in his ear!!!  The list goes on….Joey is responsible for the calm and strength that empowered me to deliver our baby girl without the influence of drugs or surgery, not to mention in a little less than 7 hours!

So, Mattie Elizabeth was born at 5:55 am on Tuesday, July 26th; the same day as her Aunt Shelby only 15 years prior 🙂  The moment was magical!!  Seriously, the most amazing emotion-filled time of my entire life!  As I mentioned, I began to push about 4:00 am.  It seemed like every contraction brought her a little closer to my arms!  After pushing for a while, and me declining the midwives recommendations to change positions, they sternly but sweetly encouraged me that I really needed to change positions.  I went from leaning over the tub on my knees to a more supine position with my back against the tub.  The next contraction Charlotte asked me to push really hard.  Contraction came, I pushed and Mattie came flying out!!  Charlotte immediately put her on my chest.  It all happened so quick I was still waiting for the next contraction when I realized our litle miracle was in my arms!!  Tears filled my eyes and the sensation of Joey’s touch on my shoulders became more apparent.  When I looked up, entering the “real world,” leaving the contraction – to – contraction world, I saw the most beautiful sight!  Our entire family GLOWING at us!!  Each person had the most amazing smile on their face.  There were tears, flashes from cameras, crying, laughing, but most of all the feeling of love was simply palpable!  I truely feel like each person that shared that wonderful moment with us made an imprint of love on Mattie that will never fade!

A few minutes later, Jen & Charlotte wanted me to move to the bed so they could help me deliver the placenta.  I carried my PERFECT bundle of love to the bed.  They continued to care for me while I began soaking up Mattie’s every little inch!  Within about 15 minutes of her delivery, Mattie began to nurse and did so for the following 45 minutes.  I was filled with pride and amazement of her God-given ability to know exactly what to do and the perfection with which she did it.  After Mattie was satisfied, Joey put her in his arms and my heart filled with love yet again!  The sight of him holding her and the fresh emotions of how awesome he is combined to flood my heart with undescribeable joy!

I was given an herbal bath to help begin the healing my body needed.  Shortly afterwards, Mattie had her newborn exam.  She passed with flying colors of course 🙂  She weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and measured 22.25 inches long.  We covered her precious little body with her first touch of clothing and then began to share her.  While the family stared at her and passed her around, I grabbed a bite to eat and then we started to load the car.  It was so heart-warming to see all the men being so careful with her as they buckled her in her seat.  After I fixed the buckle-job that they did (shoulder straps around her waist!!), we headed home at 9:30 am.  Mattie and I both slept the whole way home.  We made it safely home and then continued to sleep.  All has been wonderfully blissful ever since!

Everyone asks how bad it hurt, so I’ll try to put that into words.  It was painful, really painful, BUT I was also amazed at how comfortable I was.  That doesn’t make any sense, I know….I am just in awe of how my body had this wonderful plan and knew exactly what to do.  I remember a lot of noises; as the men would report, very loud noises.  I am convinced that those noises somehow evacuated the pain from my mind.   In my experience, I think the pain was worse than I expected, but I handled it better than I expected.  With all that said, once I held her in my arms, any pain that I had was gone.  Overall, I would say it is something that any woman who is willing to COMMIT to a drug-free, surgery-free deliver in their MIND can accomplish. 

Today I read an article in Pathways Magazine where Ima May Gaskin, the godmother of midwifery, quoted a Japanese obstetrician.  He said, a woman is in her full power while giving birth; it is a “mystic beauty.”  I have often looked at birth photography, during labor or following delivery, and appreciated the glow and beauty in the mother’s eyes.  I now have felt that “mystic beauty.”  It is a feeling I will always cherish!

I would like to conclude with a THANK YOU to our birth team, especially Joey; our photographer, Awesome Aunt Amy; and all of our family for supporting us during our pregnancy, labor and delivery!  Mattie and I could not have done it without each of you!

With love and appreciation,

Dr. Taryn Lowery

CHOICES – 21st Century Motherhood

I have spent many moments of my pregnancy wondering WHY!  I have asked myself, friends, family, colleagues and a bajillion books about every component of this new endeavor that we have been on for the last 40 weeks.  Most of you moms and dads know what I’m talking about, Pampers or Huggies, breastmilk or formula, episiotomy or no episiotomy, is the heartburn because he/she has so much hair or is it hormones??  You need a life-line just to complete your Baby Registry, much less have a healthy pregnancy!

Well I hope I don’t dance around too much as I try to put my thoughts into words, but I’m going to put my best foot forward (Just keep in mind I can blame any confusion on the hormones!).  We have had so many questions….and lets be honest, doubts…..about the choices that we have made surrounding our pregnancy, labor/delivery and newborn care.  These questions have led me to believe two things 1) People (including strangers) feel very comfortable talking to a pregnant woman 2) There are a dozen choices for every decision that involves pregnancy, labor/delivery and newborn care.  Well, the first thing just needed to be said 🙂 

So, about these decisions and choices.  I think we would all agree that a choice is a decision that has to be made when given two or more possibilities.  The first component of a choice would be to recognize that you have two or more possibilities, and then of course the second component would be to make a decision, choosing which possibility you would like to pursue.  CHOICE is the CORE of everything that follows in this blog.  No matter my choice or your choice, we all have one!  Evident in any given news cast, our freedoms allow us all to have a choice.  It is simply our responsibility to recognize our possibilities, and then act responsibly based on our morals, experience, knowledge, etc by making the correct choice for us at that time and place.  Sometimes we strike gold and sometimes we have regrets, but we always end up on the other side of the choice.  With all of that said, I would love the opportunity to elaborate on some of the choices that we chose for our family.

MIDWIFE

Probably the most popular topic by far, what is a midwife and why are you using one?  As Wikipedia explains, Midwives are autonomous practitioners who are specialists in low-risk pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They generally strive to help women to have a healthy pregnancy and natural birth experience. Midwives are trained to recognize and deal with deviations from the normal. Obstetricians, in contrast, are specialists in illness related to childbearing and in surgery. The two professions can be complementary, but often are at odds because obstetricians are taught to “actively manage” labor, while midwives are taught not to intervene unless necessary.  Not only do midwives give the option for a natural birth, they offer lower maternity care cost, reduced mortality and morbidity related to cesarean and other interventions, lower intervention rates, and fewer recovery complications. 

The definition of natural childbirth varies.  Some define “natural” as a vaginal birth vs. cesarian.  My definition is the process as I feel God designed it, free of drugs, inductions and interventions of any kind.  There are a LOT of factors that determine if a woman is a candidate for a natural childbirth, and of course there can be complications that arise along the journey.  In the event of a high-risk pregnancy or some unforseen obstacle, we are all very thankful for those said drugs and interventions!!  I’m not sure what percentage of pregnancies are in fact low-risk, but I think it is safe to assume that it is the majority by far.  Some women elect to have a cesarian, again everyone has a choice.  On the other hand, there is also a large population of women who WANT a natural birth AND are low-risk who are led down the road of interventions based on recommendations from their obstetrician or the nurse/doctor on call when they are admitted.  This article in Consumer Reports, among many others from various resources, elaborates a little more:

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/conditions-and-treatments/pregnancy-childbirth/maternity-care/overview/maternity-care.htm

Our reasons for choosing a midwife-assisted birth at a birth center are numerous!  The decision began in 2009 (obviously well before Mattie was a thought in our head) while I practiced as an intern at Lifetime Family Wellness Center in Hurst, TX under Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton (a genius and revolutionist in my eyes).  This chiropractic center was adjacent to a birth center.  Almost all of the women at the birth center received chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy and often during labor.  Exposed to this dynamic, I began to learn a lot more about midwifery and birthing centers.  I was most strongly drawn to their labor philosophy!  I like the way our midwife explains it, “I think of it as a job similar to a lifeguard. I make sure everything’s going as safely and smoothly as possible.”  They recently had an article published in the Shreveport Times about the alternative to a hospital birth:

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20110702/LIVING02/107010340/Birthing-center-offers-alternative-hospital?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

Other than philosophy, which I can’t say enough about, here are some other reasons we chose a birth center:

  • INFORMED consent – At the hospital you sign an informed consent for several “things” that MAY arrise during your stay in labor and delivery.  Has anyone ever asked what exactly it is that you are signing!!!??  I won’t elaborate because you can do your own investigating, but I will say at the birth center we have a very supportive team that helps us to understand what each test is done for and what is involved.  At any time we can decline the service, test, intervention, etc or we can accept something that we have previously declined.  There is a line for each individual “thing” that may come up so that you can make an informed choice for each one separately.  It’s not a “sure you can do whatever you ‘need’ to do to me based on your best judgement” form. 
  • Comfort – We chose EdenWay Birth Center in Marshall, TX.  It is a two hour drive and well worth every trip!  The environment is clean, warm, friendly and most of all designed for MOM’S comfort, not necessarily the midwife’s.  This is important to us, because we want to be comfortable during the potentially long journey of labor.  While laboring at the birth center, we are free to move around as we like.  We can walk, get in the birth tub, sit on the birth ball, lay on the bed or dance in the kitchen while we labor.  You can go to the bathroom when you need to – you can labor on the toilet if you like.  Since the midwife is less “hands-on” than the hospital staff, there are not monitors, cords and machines that keep you confined to the bed in the most non-conducive labor position possible (positioning is very important to me as well – my biomechanical, chiropractor brain kicks in).
  • Price – From that article that I referenced earlier, you may have noticed that home birth and birth center deliveries range from $2,500 to $4,500 around the United States, compared to an uncomplicated hospital birth, which runs $9,000 to $17,000.  I’m one of those people that believe in paying the price for what you believe in; it just so happens in this case it’s cheaper than what most American families pay.
  • Delayed Cord Clamping – They allow us to leave the umbilical cord attached and pulsing until the placenta is delivered and the cord’s job is done!  There is a really great family on Facebook that has a ton of research on this topic – search “Leaving A Baby’s Umbilical Cord To Stop Pulsating (Delayed Cord Clamping)”
  • Monitoring – Our midwife takes a very “hands off” approach.  They abide by all state requirements for fetal and maternal safety, but they practice conservatively where they have the choice.  For instance, they do not do continuous external fetal monitoring.  Since it is not any more effective than intermittent fetal monitoring, we are thankful that we do not have the limitations that continuous monitoring mandates.  In addition, they do not practice routine vaginal exams.  You can choose to know or not know your progression.
  • Food – They encourage you to eat and drink to sustain energy during labor.  This is also hugely important to us!  I really think that it is short of crazy that the typical hospital policy is fasting during labor and delivery.  I understand the possibility of a cesarian dictates this, but even in the event of a cesarian, in today’s procedures they almost always do some kind of local anesthetic (not general), leaving the mom coherent and able to recognize if she is going to vomit.  I definitely think that the benefits of sustained nutrients out-weigh the risk of aspirating stomach contents.  If you are a statistics & research person like me, here are some more facts on eating/drinking during labor: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/laborbasics/a/eatinginlabor.htm
  • Birth Class – The birth class we attended was held at the birth center.  It was conducted by the Sr. Midwife Apprentice, Jen Courtney.  She did an amazing job at presenting the facts about labor, pain management, common interventions, informed consent, anatomy, positioning, etc.  The coolest parts were the non-academic parts 🙂  She provided us with pastels and art paper to draw our version of the “Landscape of Labor.”  We got to share our thoughts afterwards.  We also had a bead ceremony…well that’s what I’m calling it…where we exchanged beads and positive thoughts for each of the expecting moms.  Jen made my beads into a keychain that I treasure!  The equally cool part was that it was a weekend class so Joey and I got to spend the weekend at a bed & breakfast and invest all of our thoughts and energy into the preparation of having our little girl!  It was a unique bonding experience that I will never forget!
  • Family – The team at the birth center encourages you to invite who you want to attend your labor.  The thing that we like about this is that WE get to decide who is in the room with us and when.  I had the opportunity (thanks to an awesome mom) to watch my little sister come into this world when I was 16 years old.  It was an unforgettable experience and I truely believe that moment initiated the unbreakable bond that we have today.  Not to say that we want an audience for the indecent parts of labor, but the fact remains that I get to choose who is there and how involved they are. 
  • Husband – We LOVE the fact that Joey gets to be a part of this labor just as much as I do…well, almost as much!  On one of our first prenatal visits, the Sr. Midwife Apprentice, Jen said, “we want Dad to be a part of HIS birth.”  They coached us on ways for Joey to be involved and prepared us for OUR event.  They described it just like that, “this is your event.”  Since we first elected to work with the team at EdenWay Birth Center, they have openly encouraged us to take ownership of this journey and make it ours!  Joey is considering catching Miss Mattie if the opportunity presents itself!  I think that would be the coolest!

Here’s a few pictures of the birth center for those of you that have never been to one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIROPRACTIC CARE

You CAN get adjusted when you are pregnant!  In fact, research shows that not only can you have a more comfortable pregnancy, but chiropractic care throughout pregnancy consistently decreases labor time in all moms! 

This site does a good job of explaining WHICH chiropractors are the best qualified to care for a pregnant woman and some of the rationale behind chiropractic care during pregnancy: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

For me, staying well adjusted helped in so many ways.  I worked 5 days a week through my 38th week of pregnancy.  I only stopped then so I could focus on getting plenty of rest, well-balanced meals and plenty of stretching in before “game day.”  If you have been to a chiropractor, you may know that we can get in some crazy positions to assist the patient, especially when they are in very acute pain or the doctor:patient size ration is off.  I never realized how many squats I do in a day before pregnancy…HA HA!  I imagine most women can say they worked through their pregnancy, and probably some with much more physically demanding jobs than mine.  My claim to fame is Idid so without any discomfort.  Don’t get me wrong, the discomforts arose, but I was able to manage each one with an adjustment, soft tissue release, massage or BEST.  

I don’t know that I could prove the scientific coorelation, but I also thank chiropractic care for the absence of morning sickness!  I am very confident that it helped my indigestion.  Especially week 30 – 36, the indigestion got really bad!  I would get adjusted and try to eat every 3-4 hours and it would go away!  Some may not care to know, but my bowels have stayed healthy and active throughout my entire pregnancy & again, I know this is a testament to my chiropractic care.  I can’t say that I have met a single patient that walked into our office that was aware of the influence an adjustment had on the organic functions of our body!  I would love to connect those dots for people!!  Please know that your nervous system is the master system; the nervous sytem dictates the function of all other systems in the body!  Chiropractic care can change your life no matter how complex your symptoms may be!

EXTRAS

In addition to chiropractic care, as often as weekly, I also received a monthly massage.  I have had 3 BEST (BioEnergetic Synchronization Technique) sessions during my pregnancy.  What is BEST?  This link can explain much better than I can:  http://www.morter.com/what_is_best.php.  I tried to do as much yoga and stretching as possible.  It is always important to maintain flexibility and circulation!

I used NutriWest pre/post natal vitamins and minerals in addition to Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency and Innate Choice Probiotic Sufficiency.  I supplemented Vitamin C as well.  I used coconut oil topically on my growing belly.  As far as diet, I put a strong emphasis on protein.  I tried to eat some source of protein 3 – 4 times per day. 

I hope you can tell, I ACTIVELY chose to participate in my pregnancy and did proactive things to help my body keep up with the daily changing demands.  I know that I have not done everything perfectly or that my choices are the best for every pregnancy.  I do know that these choices have led to a very HAPPY pregnancy for ME and my family!  It has also been healthy.  All of my measurements and bloodwork demonstrate a very “boring” pregnancy as one friend puts it….that is everything checks out fine.

As Mattie’s “guess date” approaches we get closer and closer to our very own birth story!!  We are very excited and thankful that we have wonderful friends and family like you to share this journey with!  Hopefully it won’t be long and I will be posting the story of how it all turned out!  Looking forward to sharing the next chapter!

In Loving Service,

Drs. Joey & Taryn Lowery