Criteria for provider referrals

Recently, I had a conversation with a doctor about the hows and whys of how I choose which care providers to refer families to. They can be OBs, Family Med docs, Midwives, Pediatricians, Chiropractors, LCs, Birth and Postpartum Doulas, and Dentist, as well as a variety of other specialties. So, when I decide which names to give to a family, I do so based on the following criteria:

  1. Where is the provider located? Whenever possible, I try to find the most appropriate professional as close to the family geographically as possible. In some cases, it can be difficult to find certain specialties in certain geographic areas, so I may have to explain to the family why they might need to travel an extra distance to get care.
  2. What kind of training and qualifications does this professional have?Again, I want to make sure that the professionals have an adequate amount of experience.  I’m slightly hesitant to refer families to brand-new doulas, for example, because I’ve seen too many families left in the lurch when a doula wasn’t able to make it to a birth. I also want to know that the professionals have actual experience working with families with a specific situation. It’s always a good sign to me if they have gone to get extra training in a certain field, such as a chiropractor being Webster Certified.
  3. Do I feel comfortable with the how knowledgeable the provider is? While I’m not a doctor or a chiropractor, there are certain things that can clue me in to the quality of care they can give the families I work with. Accurate breastfeeding knowledge is one huge thing I pay attention to; sorry, it’s just not ok when they (especially chiros) start telling breastfeeding moms that they can only eat a perfect diet. Talk about #firstworldproblems! Car seats is another  issue that indicates the quality of a provider’s care. Any doctor who still tells parents to turn baby around at 1 year or 20 pounds is IMMEDIATELY removed from my list of who I can comfortable refer to; that hasn’t been appropriate for at least 5 years. Another red flag for me is when a provider can’t handle the basics, like getting measuring effacement backwards. If I, as a doula or educator, know the basics better than they do…well, that’s not good.  Extra negative bonus points if their lack of knowledge results is serious harm to mom or baby. Again, the doula should not know what’s wrong 3 hours before the OB figures it out.
  4. Do they quote actual studies? I may not know every study by heart, but I’m very good at recognizing absolute BS. IF they make up “studies” to try to seem evidence based, but in fact are making recommendations that do not match official guidelines of their professional orgs, that’s just not OK.
  5. Are they ethical? Do they behave with integrity? Do they charge a fair amount, or are they overpriced (and do they keep jacking up their rates)? Do they treat moms and babies with respect? Do they treat other professional with respect? I have no leeway for anyone that isn’t ethical.
  6. Do families have positive feedback? This is important. The experience that families have with the professionals to whom they are referred is a critical reflection on BabyLove. If I consistently hear good feed back and families are seeing positive results, then those providers end up getting a LOT more referrals from me.
  7. Do they reciprocate? In this heavily saturated market, I know that there are usually a lot of options. However, if a provider NEVER refers families to me, that’s just plain rude, and they can expect the same in return. It’s just common sense. I also try very hard to avoid the omnipresence habit of being “cliquey” when it comes to my network. Substance over style, I say.

I think all of these things are fair, and it has taken awhile to get down to a list I feel good about. I’ve been very excited to add good providers to my list in the last couple of months, too, and always love sitting down with any new professionals to chat and to see if they would be a good addition to my list.

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Leave ‘em below!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Nursing in Public: Absolutely Awesome, Protected By Law

2005_1128(001)

Last night I got a call from a BabyLove mama who had just been told she wasn’t allowed to nurse her baby in the public area of a local fitness center. Fortunately, she called me shortly after the incident, so I was able to get in touch with the manager, who apologized PROFUSELY, and said that it would be a good opportunity to remind all of the employees that mothers can breastfeed their children anywhere, period. I’ll follow up with the manager next week to make sure everything was properly addressed.

Minnesota Statute § 145.905 provides that a mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding. Granted, there are no fines or penalties that I know of for people who do tell moms they can’t feed their babies. What we have seen, though, time and time again, is that moms who are told to cover up or move while breastfeeding take to social media.

Delta Airlines continues to have issues with this. Back in February there was an issue, and they had it happen again yesterday.  The company has faced a lot of criticism on twitter; unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Or, perhaps Delta Airlines couldn’t care less what moms think. Jerks.

I do occasionally get calls from businesses asking me what they can do when “someone” complains about a breastfeeding mother. I tell them what the law is, and then I explain to them that social media can make these stories very ugly very quickly, sometimes ending up with national nurse-ins as a protest. I’m not saying this is a bad thing; in fact, I think it’s awesome. Social media is at it’s best when it can unite people around a common cause and inspire action. But this kind of discussion does help remind them that violating a mom’s rights can have deep and lasting negative consequences, far beyond the original incident.

If you’re a new mom and nervous about breastfeeding in public, here are a few things I suggest:

  • Nurse in front of a mirror at home to see what other people will see. Often, they will just see the back of your baby’s head.
  • Having nursing tank tops do make a difference in mom’s confidence; it keeps the squishy parts covered and allows you to feel like you’re showing less skin.
  • Wear a infinity scarf to drape over what you feel like you need to cover.
  • A zip up sweatshirt or cardigan can also help you feel less exposed.
  • If anyone starts to give you the stink eye, stare at them and smile.

Don’t forget: you are always welcome to Mama Cafe to practice nursing in front of others.  It always makes my heart so happy to see how they gain confidence week after week (even if they don’t know it–I notice it!).

And if you ever need to have someone advocate for you on your behalf, I’m just a phone call away.

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Soapbox Friday: Avoiding Labels

This week’s soapbox post is inspired by a conversation I had with a doctor last night. We were talking about the tendency for certain groups to be beyond biased when it comes to attitudes about birth. I get it; labels are easy. It’s far easier to say, “X is good and Y is bad” than to talk about the nuances and variations within certain groups.  However, we do a major disservice to expecting families when we don’t have more honest, less prejudiced discussions when it comes to everything from birth place options, care providers, and even childbirth education.

For me both personally and professionally, I get a little chagrined when people try to paint hospital-based childbirth education with a broad brush. Unlike the vast majority of independent childbirth educators in the Twin Cities, I started my career teaching in hospitals. Were there days when a doctor or nurse would come back to me and get mad about something they thought I said in class? Sure. Did it happen that often? Nope. For the most part, I had very supportive supervisors who were will to go to bat for us educators. Being in the hospitals also gave me greater insight into the inner workings of large systems, from the nurses to the supervisors to the doctors and midwives. Oh, and as a bonus, it also helped me understand WHY there are cultural variations from system to system.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re also aware that I’m a strong believer in maternity care transparency.  It’s a terrible idea to only choose a birth place because the rooms are pretty, it’s where your sister had her baby, or any other myriad of reasons that don’t actually take outcomes into consideration.  If you ask a doula or anyone in general for suggestions for birth place options and care providers, make sure they have good reasons beyond, “I like it/him/her.” Do I even have personal biases? Sure I do! Do I try to advertise them? Not unless asked. Can I give you reasons for my preferences? Absolutely. I can give you a long list. I do know too, that my opinions are backed up by data. And beyond that data, there are finer nuances to take into account.

I guess, at the end of the day, I’d be very skeptical of any attempts anyone makes to tell you that OBs are bad, Midwives are good, homebirth is best, waterbirth is a must, hospitals are evil, birth centers are amazing, a specific kind of childbirth education is almost guaranteed to give you a specific experience, and doctors don’t know what they are doing. Are there good OBs? Yep! Are there midwives that don’t provide very good care? Yes. Is homebirth a good option for everyone? Heck no.  Does every mom need to give birth in a tub?  Nope. Can beautiful births happen in hospitals. They sure can! Are birth centers right for everyone? Not a chance. Do I love watching trend in childbirth education come and go? No. Do doctors deserve more respect? YES. And while you’ll hear me talk about overuse of cesareans and epidurals, by no means would you ever hear me say they don’t have a place in maternity care.

There are nuanced conversations to have, but it seems like most of the information and advice gets to be pretty predictable. I do realize that I fall into certain ruts, too, but trying to put groups into boxes and discuss maternity care in absolutes fails to allows families the ability to gather correct information and make choices that best fit their own situations.

Those are my thoughts for today. Thanks for reading!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Postpartum Lifehacks

Postpartum advice

I was reminded this week by some moms that I don’t always share all of the tips and tricks I’ve figured out over the years with every single class. Some I’ve figured out on my own, some other moms have shared with me. So, to make your post-birth recovery easier and less stressful, I offer the following tips and tricks:

The magic of prunes:

This one my midwife shared with me when my son was born.  The stuff they usually tell you to take to deal with constipation is, in my experience, pretty useless. So, to really get things moving along, do this: take 5 prunes, put them in a glass of water, and let them soak overnight. In the morning, drink the water the prunes were in and eat the prunes. Is it kind of weird? Yes. Does it work? HECK YES.

Calm the curlicues:

This one a mama shared with us at Mama Cafe. As your hairs starts to fall out after baby is born, you will often end up with little tufts of wispy hair around your hairline in the front. Wide cloth headbands are the secret to tame them until they grow out. As a bonus, headbands hide greasy roots.

Don’t chop your locks too soon:

Again, one I learned the hard way (and had a 2 hour appointment with the owner of the salon having to fix what the stylist did). While it’s tempting to chop your hair after baby is born, realize that your cut won’t always work well if you get a drastic haircut before you’ve lost the extra hair.

Forget the Tucks:

While the tub of witch hazel pads you get postpartum are nice, they are pretty thin. Instead, buy some witch hazel at the store (usually found in the first aid aisle), and get some cotton rounds (by the cotton balls, but they are flat circles) and put some witch hazel on the rounds to place on your pad instead of the pre-made ones.

Protect your sheets:

Milk leaking while your sleeping, baby’s diaper leaking during a feeding, spit-up….all of these can interrupt your night when you realize you’re lying in a puddle. To avoid middle of the night sheet changes, use lap pads (like these) under you and change them out as needed. Those same lap pads are amazing for the changing table, too.

Cushion your bum:

After a vaginal birth, you need to take a couple short tub soaks every day. If you needed a lot of stitches or ended up with hemorrhoids, the hard tub may hurt to sit in. Take a towel (either a small bath towel or a hand towel) and fold it up and sit on it whilst soaking in the tub.

Control the visitors:

One of the worst things to happen in the first few weeks is to have an endless stream of visitors. Mom won’t get enough sleep, baby may not get enough to eat, and baby is exposed to more germs. Set up strict visiting hours 2-3 days a week for a couple of hours in the early evening for your coworkers, friends, and Aunt Lucy to drop by. HELPFUL visitors who want to come cook, clean, or grocery shop are welcome any time, but if they say they want to stop by to “see the baby and drop off a little gift they bought for the baby,” they need to come during visiting hours.

Have a peace offering:

If there are older siblings who are about 3 1/2 or younger, you can convince them that the new baby brought gifts. Don’t ask me how that is supposed to have any logical explanation, but if there’s something super special your other children would like, but it, wrap it up, and have it ready for the first time they see the new baby. Everyone will have gifts for the baby–this helps older kids feel less left out.

Those are what I figured out over the years. Have any hacks to share? Add them below!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

How to dispose of a car seat

Car Seat Disposal babylove

I got this little gem of a car seat 2 weeks ago. It’s expired and it’s time for it to go to car seat heaven. You can recycle car seats in the Twin Cities, but if you just need to get rid of it, I’m going to show you how to make the seat ready to throw away.

The goal here is to make sure that NOBODY would even think of fishing it out of the garbage and using it.

photo 1 (9)First, I want to point out that this seat is missing warning labels. See the place where there is sticker residue? That should have a label on how to position the handle.

photo 2 (7)This warning label is missing too.

photo 4 (7)Here’s the back. Just as an FYI, I hate this car seat. When we talk about what makes a car seat cheap or expensive, this kind of strap adjustment is cheap and VERY hard to use correctly.

photo 4 (6)So, I unthreaded the straps.

photo 3 (7)I turned the seat back over and pulled out the buckle.

photo 1 (6)

 

Then I pulled out the straps.

photo 2 (6)I pulled off the plates and the chest clips from the straps, and pulled the straps through to the back. I then pulled off the straps.

photo 3 (6)See? Here’s the little pile of hardware and straps. Can I just say again how GROSS this seat was?

photo 4 (5)Next, the seat cover came off. Ew. Gross. Just a quick reminder here– don’t be daft and try to make new covers if you find an old, dirty seat.

photo 1 (5)Next up? Cutting the seat cover in half. Someone won’t try to reclaim the seat by stitching it back together, right? Right?

photo 2 (5)I pulled out the padding.

photo 3 (5)A baby bucket!

photo 4 (4)

 

I unscrewed the handle. My hope was to get both sides off this way, but 9 years of crud had the other side totally stuck.

photo 1 (4)Action shot of me breaking the handle! Wish I had a hammer here.

photo 2 (4)There are all of the pieces, ready to be taken out to the dumpster. How does it look? Would you try to reuse it?

photo 3 (4)

 

So long, gross car seat! I hope you never try to protect a baby again. Rest in pieces.

Any questions? Let me know if I can answer any for you in the comments below!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Privacy, promotion, and the ethical limits to business growth

Soapbox Friday! Yay! Two issues have reared their ugly heads this week, and I think it’s time for a gentle reminder that it’s imperative that we all understand the importance and limits created by certain laws and codes. I am talking about the HIPAA Privacy Act and the International Code of Breast-Milk Substitutes. One is a federal law that carries with it fines and imprisonment, the other is a code that some organizations require their members to follow, otherwise they can be stripped of their certifications. In both cases, the need to uphold these standards trumps any marketing considerations.

HIPAA Privacy Act

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a really helpful summary of the act, and in the introduction, it broadly defines HIPAA as:

The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (“Privacy Rule”) establishes, for the first time, a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued the Privacy Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).1 The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information—called “protected health information” by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule — called “covered entities,” as well as standards for individuals’ privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used. Within HHS, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Privacy Rule with respect to voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties.

Make sense? Sound fair enough? The big thing is the “control how their [the individuals’] health information is used.” Basically, not disclosing personal information in an improper manner. The other big issue with HIPAA is that there is a huge amount of misunderstanding about who this covers. Doctors and nurses and midwives in a hospital setting are obvious. Hospitals are required to have all employees trained in HIPAA compliance. Outside of that system, things may seem a little less obvious. But, again, from the Summary (emphasis mine):

Every health care provider, regardless of size, who electronically transmits health information in connection with certain transactions, is a covered entity. These transactions include claims, benefit eligibility inquiries, referral authorization requests, or other transactions for which HHS has established standards under the HIPAA Transactions Rule.6 Using electronic technology, such as email, does not mean a health care provider is a covered entity; the transmission must be in connection with a standard transaction. The Privacy Rule covers a health care provider whether it electronically transmits these transactions directly or uses a billing service or other third party to do so on its behalf. Health care providers include all “providers of services” (e.g., institutional providers such as hospitals) and “providers of medical or health services” (e.g., non-institutional providers such as physicians, dentists and other practitioners) as defined by Medicare, and any other person or organization that furnishes, bills, or is paid for health care.

So, yes, this does cover providers who are not hospital based. It does cover doulas. It covers birthcenters. It covers homebirth midwives. It covers childbirth educators. All of them in one way or another get paid for health care. Doulas have been fighting, rightly so, for recognition of the profession as a legitimate one, but with that comes the responsibility to uphold professional standards such as HIPAA. Social media seems to be the largest source of violations that I see. Over the last few years I have seen numerous debates on the subject. Common reasons professionals use for sharing patient information include claims that the parents want to see it, that it’s a good marketing tool, and that they aren’t actually revealing personal information. If you’re using photos, as long as you have proper written permission, that’s fine.  That’s not revealing personal health information. (Although I find the common practice of posting “trophy” pictures on websites from every single birth a little off-putting.) The real violation comes when certain pages post birth weights, date and time of birth, gender, and even parent and sibling information online. In some cases, the information is specific enough that the exact identity of the patient could be surmised from the posts.  This is CLEARLY illegal, and with such violations come fines– BIG fines. More importantly, as is the case with many ethical issues (the criminal aspect of this notwithstanding), when care providers show such blatant disrespect for patient privacy and federal law, it casts doubt on their competency overall. No matter how you try to rationalize it, even out of hospital birth pros NEED to respect patient privacy, period.

The International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes

This topic has reared it’s ugly little head in the community again, and I have a nice little video that you can watch to understand the “WHO Code”, what it covers, and why.

If an event is underwritten by a company the violates the WHO-Code, it’s imperative that health care professionals with a code of ethics that addresses WHO Code compliance adhere to their professional standards.  And despite the common attempt to skirt the issue with the refrain of “I just want to support all mothers,” PLEASE realize that has NOTHING to do with supporting or not supporting mothers. It’s about the billions of dollars spent by big food conglomerates and big pharma to pass along misinformation and to influence mothers and health providers alike.  Finally, WHO-Code violating companies know that the promise of financial gain is enough to woo health care professionals to ignore the rules and like to fuel the fire of the “mommy wars” to help them undermine breastfeeding supporters.

Find more information on the WHO-Code via the following resources:

The Code in it’s entirety

A really great summary on The Code on Snugabell

The Standards of Practice for Certified Lactation Counselors (See “Q”)

Lamaze International’s stance on “The Code”

Bottom line? As with the HIPAA rules, the very second you start to try to justify legal or ethical violations in the name of marketing or financial support, you’re making a bad choice. It’s simply not worth it, and families deserve better.

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Thoughts on the Tongue Tie Forum

Tongue Tie Forum

Last week’s Tongue Tie Forum was, in my mind, a really wonderful event. I had no idea what to expect, but I think we all learned a lot and saw the beginnings of some very productive conversations that will hopefully continue. There were a few highlights that I wanted to share here:

First, I left with the strong opinion that bodywork is an integral component of this issue, and it’s important to find someone who can adjust baby’s palate, jaw, skull, and, surprisingly, a group of muscles called the pterygoids. There was a moment last week when Dr. Darcy and Dr. Laura realized their respective disciplines where starting to appreciate the role the pterygoids play in this whole tongue tie and lip tie issue. Before revision, bodywork can start to help loosen the muscles and tendons in the head and jaw, allowing for better mobility and more organized sucking. Post-revision, with the frenums released, those same muscles and tissues are no longer restricted and can be treated through bodywork. So when parents don’t notice a huge change post-revision, bodywork is the next step.

Second, I now have a better understanding of what care providers need to have to do the best, most safe procedure. Dr. Darcy outlined what is best practice, but Dr. Kotlow also has published journal articles available for professionals to look at to better understand how to do the procedure correctly. While there are other ways that providers can release ties, including scalpels, the safest way (from my estimation) to release ties seems to be the 1064 diode.  Unlike other methods, lasers heal quickly, leave few scars, and the chances of infection are next to none.

Third, just because a dentist or doctor does revisions on older kids doesn’t mean that they are even close to ready to safely treat babies. Some are too scared to use a laser on newborns, and might opt to use a scalpel instead, which is more painful, takes longer to heal, and is less likely to fully release the ties. They also need proper safety equipment, including tiny glasses to protect baby’s eyes and a board to swaddle baby on to keep baby’s head still. I’ve been getting a few more names of providers who may be options in the area for families to see, but until I am fully comfortable with their training, tools, and methods, I won’t post any names on local or national forums.

Finally, we’re just at the beginning when it comes to really understanding the causes of and health issues related to tongue ties and lip ties. Right now, the most important thing is to share information with other professionals, provide resources to families, and just be ready to continue the conversation. I encourage parents AND providers to join the Tongue and Lip Tie Minnesota Facebook group to further help each other when it comes to this issue.

Last week I was near despair, this week I’ve been feeling more hopeful. Oh, and if you have a baby with a normal mouth, can you go post that on the Facebook group page? I don’t think we’re all sure one exists. Look for another event in November, too.

We’re making progress!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

7 Common Pregnancy Myths

pregnancy myths

 

My kids are completely addicted to Mythbusters, the TV show. While I don’t love that they like to watch things get blown up, I do think it’s wonderful that they are learning some science. A discussion with my son this morning about boats being able to jump over cars (physics!) inspired me to bust a few myths of my own.

  • The hospital or clinic you’ve always gone to or is closest to your home is the best option- Long-time readers of my blog know that I’m a staunch advocate for making a very educated decision on care provider and birth place. Not all options are the same or appropriate for every situation. Due diligence when it comes to this WILL pay off. Not sure where to start? I have a free eBook that will help!
  • Books have correct, up to date information: Pregnancy books can be helpful– sort of– but it would be nice if they agreed a little more and could get their terminology straight. And then some books that you would THINK would be good, aren’t. Case in point? Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. I looked and looked, but I couldn’t find ANY discussion of the pros and cons of episiotomies, and they do not talk about pitocin or prostaglandins AT ALL. In their defense, they do only claim to be about healthy pregnancy, so I guess healthy birth isn’t really a priority. Furthermore, and I think this is true for parenting books too, if someone is trying to sell a book based soley on the idea that they figured it out more than anyone else (aka “method”), be very wary of the quality of information in those books. A quick perusal will reveal that their depictions of the biological process of birth are….interesting, to say the least.
  • Breastfeeding is “natural”, so no class needed: Yeah, not so much. Is your body designed to do it? Yes, for almost all women. However, it’s exceptionally important to learn about breastfeeding while you are pregnant and you don’t have a baby to worry about feeding. A good class will also help you understand what bumps along the way to expect and where to turn for help.
  • You don’t need classes because you have a doula (or a midwife, or an OB): If I can be slightly snarky for a moment, I sometimes wonder if care providers who either actively discourage families from taking any classes at all or only allow one class provider are doing so because they’d prefer to control the information moms got. OK, so I’m pretty sure that’s it. It’s also important to note that doulas aren’t educators (unless they are, like me), and it is completely out of the scope of practice for them to educate at the time of birth. There’s also a lot to be said for good, evidence-based childbirth that doesn’t have an agenda and doesn’t benefit from the omission of certain discussions.
  • Birth costs the same no matter where you go: Figuring out the costs for healthcare is very tricky, partially because insurance companies negotiate payment amounts. You can try to compare costs by going to Minnesota Hospital Price Check, but you’ll have to add up the costs for mom and the costs for baby.
  • You need to have an infant car seat with a handle: Again, long-time readers know that’s not true, as I discussed in length here.
  • The best and only way to push is on your back in the hospital bed: A position that reportedly only started to be used after Queen Victoria gave birth while lying on her back, the myth of the pushing on your back has been perpetuated by TV and movies because of the ease of staging a birth of a baby when mom is only acting (and the baby may or may not be real).  The reality is that gravity is real, and upright positions usually promote faster pushing times.

Hopefully you’ll find this useful, and perhaps good discussion topics the next time you’re hanging out with friends.

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.