Thursday, June 28, 2012

Facebook and Breastfeeding Article Removal

This morning when I logged onto my Facebook page, I received a warning from Facebook that said...

"Content that you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Shares that contain nudity, pornography, or graphic sexual content, are not permitted on Facebook.

This message serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account. Please read the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities carefully and refrain from posting abusive material in the future. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation."

The post that was removed shared the article on our LaborLooks Facebook Page "In Search of the Perfect Latch" from The Leaky Boob Blog and I quoted from the article, "If it’s comfortable and it’s working, it’s a good latch. There is a wide range of normal."

As a Labor and Delivery Nurse, I work with women regularly that have latch questions. I also have many expectant and breastfeeding moms on our LaborLooks facebook page that I felt would benefit from the excellent latch photos and explanations provided in this article. The post had received several comments and shares on our LaborLooks facebook page.

What is upsetting to me is that the article that I shared does NOT violate Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Removing the post violates Facebook's own stance on breastfeeding...

So what did I decide to do?? I thought about it for a couple of hours and then I emailed Jessica from The Leaky Book (I would have emailed her even if it hadn't been The Leaky Boob article that I shared because she has experience dealing with these not so fun situations and she somehow always has the perfect advice.) Then, I emailed facebook objecting the removal and
YES, I'm reposting the wonderful article "In Search of the Perfect Latch."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birth and Baby Fair

Look at this handsome man.  Thanks Ethan for all your help at the Birth and Baby Fair in San Mateo!  What a rock star, selling those gowns and making those moms look so good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Body for Baby: The Baby Daddy

Some might call me a little crazy for trying to get so healthy to have a baby. But if you don't think I am crazy yet then just read on...

If you don't think I am crazy for eating spinach smoothies, running in the hot Phoenix sun, or for wanting an unmedicated homebirth, then you might think I am crazy because I am bugging my husband to have healthy sperm.

*Seriously. Like the other day I saw him with his laptop on his lap. I only had a minor freak out when I said, "you have no idea what kind of crazy radiation is going to your sperm right now, get that off your lap!"

*I also bought him a ginormous bottle of folic acid about 5 months ago. I heard from a colleague that it makes "super healthy sperm."  Uh yes, I want that.

*No "tighty whities." I don't want the sperm to get too hot.

*Take your omega 3 fish oils daily, if it helps baby's brain develop then it must help sperm too.

*No alcohol or smoking (we don't ever do that anyway).

I haven't made him diet or try to lose weight like that, come on, I don't want to give him a complex.

Oh, he might already have one (a complex) you say?  Yeah, probably, like I might just be using him for his sperm...

But how could I not want more when he has helped me make 2 amazing beautiful daughters already?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all those wonderful fathers out there. My husband happens to be one of those wonderful fathers and I attempted to celebrate by bringing him breakfast in bed with my girls.
I promise he was happy, but he did have a full mouth and didn't want to smile for a picture.

However, see that big blob of homemade whipped cream?  Yeah, it was sour. The whipping cream had expired 8 days ago, he didn't tell me it was bad though, he just smushed it over to the side of his plate and ate everything else.

Awesome fail on my part, awesome save on the hubby's part.

I can't believe he didn't say anything. He was trying to be so appreciative, but when I tried some of the whipped cream later I almost threw up it was so bad.

What an awesome guy. Thanks hun and Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Period. Over it.

Be careful what you wish for....

I have mentioned previously that I am doing "body for baby" by working out and exercising, eating right and taking my vitamins and supplements. I am in a healthy weight range, no medications, no caffeine, none of all that other stuff that I want to stay away from when I am pregnant. (okay fine, a cheat once a week and eat sweets because I would go insane without it all)

Anyway, I finally took the plunge. I pulled out my own IUD.  You do not want a visual of that? Ooops, sorry, well, I did it anyway and when I did, I took a picture of it and texted it to my dad. Wait.... you didn't want a visual of that either?  Oh, you did. Well, here it is....
I hope you all know that my dad is an OBGYN.  If you didn't then sorry about that, he is. Yes, my dad is an OBGYN, I am a midwife, and my sister is a labor and delivery nurse.  That is right, we are a one stop shop for all your women's healthcare needs. But anyway, It was fun to text that picture to him, because he knows what it is without explanation and he always gets really excited when new grandbabies are on the way. Plus, I feel like my dad and I have a special bond.  He delivered me, he delivered my first baby, and was there for the birth of my second. I don't know what I would do if it weren't for my dad and our relationship. I am constantly calling him to discuss birth outcomes, how he would have managed care better, etc. 

But on to the real point of my blog post today.

After I took out my IUD I really hoped for a period.  I had one day of spotting 3 days later, and then 1 day of spotting a week after that. I was quite nervous that I would get pregnant right away, that I wouldn't have a period before getting pregnant.  The reason I was nervous is because there is an increased risk of miscarriage if you get pregnant right after taking out an IUD. The reason is because often your uterus hasn't had to opportunity to build up an endometrial lining thick enough to support a pregnancy.

But then I started my period.  Now, I know most of you women get a period every single month and I commend you for that. You are stronger women than I am. But I haven't had a period in about 4 years. I am bloated, cramping, I am constipated and I feel like I gained 8 pounds overnight. Plus... I have absolutely NO tampons in my house!  Why would I have them? I don't have periods remember??

We can also look at prior to my last baby.  I didn't have a period for the 9 months with my first daughter, the next year while I was nursing, and I got pregnant like 6 months after that. So basically in the past 6 years and 3 months I have had 6 periods, and now 7.

7 periods in 6 years and I am complaining. Well, be careful what you wish for... cause when you get it you will feel like a major idiot for complaining about it.

I will now stop complaining and be happy and get over it. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I am a Midwife... Part I from

I spent some time last week with a dear friend in my community who is a homebirth midwife. Then I saw her facebook page a link to this video on and guess what? She is in the video. I teared up a little at the end when they all proclaim that they are midwives. But I guess that is what happens when you are a midwife yourself. 

I am a Midwife Because…Part I

Why do women (and yes, some men) become midwives? In the latest video from the new series, I am a Midwife, seven midwives with diverse backgrounds and practicing in different settings in the US and Canada–home, hospital and birth centers–share their stories of what led them to midwifery. For some, it started with their own birth; for others it was a deeply felt “calling,” a way to be part of the “solution” of improving birth outcomes and experiences for women and their babies.  Inspiring, moving and at times hilarious, I am a Midwife Because…provides an inside look at what moves women to do the important work of being a midwife. Part 1 of 2. Part 2 coming next week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

My facebook post answers... C-Sections

I thought I would take a second to answer the questions that I posted on our facebook page over the past couple of days related to c-sections.

Click "like" on this status if you had a c-section... was it planned? emergency? We will have some c-section posts over the next few days and would love any moms with experience to comment/post.
I had a c-section in July 2009 with my daughter... It was unplanned for fetal intolerance to labor.

Okay moms that have had c-sections, how long after delivery was it before your baby was skin-to-skin or snuggled up to you?! I feel very fortunate. It was probably 5-10 minutes after delivery that she was being held by my husband and snuggled up to my shoulder and face. As soon as I was moved from the table to my recovery bed (still in the operating room) she was placed skin to skin and I held her as they wheeled me into recovery. I was nauseated, exhausted and don't remember these moments very well but I can remember how beautiful she was and how happy I was that she was okay. I don't remember exactly when but I know there was someone helping me breastfeed her while I was still in the first hour of recovery. I think she latched well... I can't remember. I do remember my family kept calling her a little lizard because her tongue was going in and out of her mouth so much... I'm lucky that even after a stressful labor and c-section she was ready to latch from the moment she was born.

Was your c-section recovery easier or harder than you expected? What surprised you most about the recovery? Was your pain well controlled? It was SO much harder than I expected. I am amazed as I watch women moving around on only motrin day one post surgery!! I still can't believe the burning feeling that I felt for the first couple of days at the incision site. I staggered motrin and percocet for pain control. It worked okay but I was on pain meds for a couple of weeks. I had a very hard time walking up stairs and/or leaning over to pick up my baby for at least a couple weeks after I got home. I thought it was strange that one side of my incision always hurt more (I think the left side) than the other. I remember being surprised at the numbness at the incision site. I had never thought about the nerve endings being cut during surgery. I don't have a vaginal delivery to compare my experience with but it was about 6 months before I really felt like my body had recovered.

We will be continuing with c-section posts and discussions... the reality is that many women deliver via c-section (32.8% in 2010, CDC National Center for Health Statistics). Many of these are unexpected, unplanned. What can we do to better support and prepare our c-section moms? The World Health Organization suggests that best outcomes for mom and baby occur with a c-section rate of 10-15%. What are we doing and what can we do to lower our c-section rates? So, so many things to explore... thanks for participating and sharing!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


So sorry for the lack of posts lately. I am trying to recover.

My back up doctor is out of town. He has been gone since Thursday night.

Friday I caught 1 baby.
Saturday I caught 2 babies.
Sunday I caught 3 babies.

Need I say more?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The WRAP -UP from South Africa

(This post was already on my Facebook page, but I realize not everyone has access to that) that we are all done with our South African journey, it will take awhile to process the trip, and all I have seen and done. I managed to do five surgeries with no mishaps, no needle sticks, and, thank goodness, no bad outcomes. It is amazing how much they do with so little...Yet, their operating room was equipped with all of the same instruments that we use, including cautery--and they are very aware of the high risk of blood contamination, because EVERYONE wears a protective "apron" under their surgical gowns, and EVERY package of gloves comes with two pairs. On the last day, when we were supposed to be packed up and gone by 4:30, I could not say no to doing a stat CSection at 4:00 when there was no other doctor around. I feel good for having done "good", but at the same time, I was always SO much more vigilant than usual, thinking of my family and myself, and what would happen to me if there was a surgical mishap when most of these patients are HIV positive. It was exhausting. Would I do it again? Definitely. Would I do some things differently? Definitely. Working for a short time in two different places, although interesting in terms of variety, is not as effective, I believe, as working for longer in just one place. I had JUST gotten to know the layout of the hospital, who to ask for the key to a locked office, and who is the nurse in charge of booking a C Section; then we were leaving. They told me they learned so much from me, but it was truly both ways. I now (unfortunately, because of their patient population) know when to put a patient on anti-retroviral medications, how to treat TB, and how common cervical cancer is in a place where no one gets a Pap smear. One thing I can definitely say is that I would like to make a plea: the places we visited and worked are in serious need of money for supplies, equipment and education. Everyone who has been following and enjoying this blog (and your friends and family)---it would be so great if you could make a donation to either the Network of Caring, or the RSAA, the Rebuild South Africa Association. These are the two organizations that sponsored this trip, and both have websites where you can go to see their work and to donate. In closing, there is one declaration that comes to mind which sums up how I feel about all the doctors, dentists, nurses, contact people and everyone else who made this trip possible. To quote from one of my favorite musicals, (Wicked)------"because I knew you....I have been changed for good".

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Isn't it ironic?

I am pretty much done blogging about my trip for now, unless anyone has other things they would like to ask or know about from my journey. I just thought I would mention one last thing---the irony of the fact that I have been blogging on a website devoted to beautiful gowns that moms can wear in labor------yet EVERYONE who was laboring in the hospital that I was volunteering at went through their entire labor, AND their delivery---completely naked!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Surgery in South Africa

Dr. Levy's Blog Post from May 30, 2012.

Where on earth do I begin to talk about the last 4 days of our trip? We got on a van, with an attached trailer with all of our belongings, and after a mishap with a speed bump disengaged the trailer, we were finally on our way-(after it was fixed of course)- to Tegula Ferry, a town in the mountains of South Africa 7 hours from Johannesburg and about as poor as they come. It's the home of a large orphanage where forty % of the population have HIV or AIDS, and we came here to open a temporary dental clinic and for me to do whatever I could. The dental clinic was a resounding success-- seeing and taking care of many children (and adults) who had never seen a dentist. They filled cavities, did check ups, extractions, root canals and gave away about a thousand toothbrushes.

As for me, it turns out that the list of "whatever I could do to help" was long indeed. The one (ONE!!) main doctor here, who is responsible for almost all of what goes on at this 300+bed hospital is a wonderful, sweet, overworked general practitioner who told me he is a "jack of all trades and master of none"....more like he is a Superhero and something close to a Saint, all rolled into one. I went on rounds with him, advised him on at least fifty different patients' treatments ( for example, for those of you in the L&D world, they had a 10+weeker on Mag Sulfate, and wanted to Section a primip who had slight fetal tachycardia but no IV!!) I did many sonograms, saw patients at their high risk antenatal clinic, and did three surgeries. The surgeries were a D&C ( they don't have suction), a postpartum tubal ligation that I convinced him could be done with a sub umbilical incision instead of a Pfanensteil, and believe it or not I repaired a female circumcision on a woman from Somalia who had been almost completely sewn up. I hadn't seen this in real life before but had read about it in preparation for this trip. All three surgeries were successful, and the learning opportunities here are amazing....and not just what they can learn from ME!!! It is what I can learn from them--- like how to run a maternity ward with only one working fetal to judge how pregnant someone is without really knowing when their last period was or having an early to diagnose and treat multiple conditions without the methods or technology we take for granted every day, that truly stand out in my mind. I am in awe of what they do and truly did not come here to tell them how to do it "our way". They have taught me that our way is certainly not the only way, or even necessarily the BEST way; but that it takes a certain kind of person to be able to manage all that they do here using only the most basic of tools; skilled hands, a sharp mind, and a kind heart.

This is the midwife in charge of L&D in the hospital in South Africa. Note the name on the t-shirt-- they're going to put it on the model doll that they use to teach breast feeding to the moms.

Thank you Dr. Levy for sharing some of your experiences with us. We are so excited to see you back at work this weekend. We are very excited to hear more about your adventures!