Aspen Birth Center Blog

All content provided on the Aspen Birth Center blog is for informational purposes only.  Aspen Valley Hospital District (AVHD) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or by following any link on this site.

Trick or Treat!

October 31, 2014
Going trick-or-treating? Follow these safety tips from the Center for Disease Control.

S- Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
A- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E -Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.

H- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
A- Always test make-up in a small area first (Remove it before bedtime) and always WALK and don't run from house to house.
L- Look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks wherever possible.
L -Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
W- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
E- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
E- Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses.
N- Never accept rides from strangers, never walk near lit candles or luminaries and sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Heather Knott RN-IBCLC
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Paid maternity leave-the new political platform?

October 23, 2014
Wow, I think all the political ads have been soaking into my brain. I woke up wondering what are some of the issues am I worried about?  Which senator should I tweet this morning? What are some of the back to basics things that could make this country a better place for our children and their future?  Then it hit me. 

50% of the American workforce are women, yet the Family Medical Leave Act does not require that these employers provide paid maternity leave for them. How can this be right?  According to a 2012 article in the popular "Vogue" magazine, "how can it be that the United States comes close to dead last on a critical social issue that affects almost half of its population?  The only other countries in the world that share this law are Suriname and Papau New Guinea." (Vogue 2012)  This showed me we have some forward thinkers out there who have been talking about this for 2 years!  I admit, it has been hard to choose my favorite political ad this year, but I certainly have not seen one political advertisement, using this topic as a platform for their campaign. It would probably take my vote. The Vogue article prompted me to continue and look up some more reputable sources, to see what I could find. 

The FMLA does guarantee you can take 12 weeks off without pay, and still have a "like" job when you return, but the instant you feel that first contraction, you just may possibly be beginning to forfeit your salary.  But, hey look on the "bright side" least you won't be fired? To add to the stringency of the law, FMLA offers the benefit of unpaid leave only to women who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year for a company that employs at least 50 people so this leaves out a good portion of working women. Watch a video to see how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand put it in stark terms at a recent political event: “Pakistan and Afghanistan that don’t even educate their girls have more paid leave. That is outrageous.” (Pakistan offers twelve weeks, according to the International Labour Organization; Afghanistan thirteen.) A majority of European countries, including France, Austria, and Spain, offer at least fourteen paid weeks. Not surprisingly, Scandinavian nations are by far the most generous, with Norway giving new mothers 26 to 51 paid weeks off, according to World Policy Forum data, and Denmark an impressive 52 weeks or more.

Don't get me wrong-I love living in the United States of America!  But, there's always room for improvement, when it comes to making a positive a difference in our children's lives. Hear what United States, President Obama has to say here in his weekly address.

Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."  Thomas Jefferson

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Nobody likes to be rushed...especially babies!

October 17, 2014
Press release-Washington, DC: September 23, 2014 The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is calling upon healthcare providers and pregnant women to avoid induction of labor at any time during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary, and should especially not be done for convenience. To read the full press release, click here

(AWHONN) is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care. AWHONN strives to represent the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric and neonatal nursing nationwide. According to AWHONN approximately one-in-four U.S. births are induced, a number that has more than doubled since 1990. While there are limited data to distinguish how many of these inductions are for medical and non-medical reasons, there is no data to suggest that the significant increase in the induction rate is attributable to a similar rise in medical problems during pregnancy. Researchers have demonstrated increased risks for mom and baby and have published their position statement in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) position statement-click here.

Risk for moms: there may be an increased risk for hemorrhage (severe bleeding), increased risk of cesarean birth, which subsequently increases the risk for infection, abnormal attachment of the placenta to the uterus in future pregnancies,as well as complications from abdominal scar tissue.

Risks for babies:elective induction may increase the risk of fetal stress, more respiratory illness, more separation from the mother, interrupted bonding,and less breastfeeding. Additionally, when complications occur, babies are more likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit, have longer hospital stays, and more hospital re-admissions. These results are costly.

There are significant health benefits for the woman and fetus when labor starts on its own. Naturally occurring hormones prepare the woman and fetus for labor and birth. Spontaneous labor triggers hormones that provide:
  • natural pain relief
  • help calm the woman during labor
  • facilitate normal detachment of the placenta from the uterus
  • increase mother-baby attachment after birth
  • enhance breastfeeding
  • warm the mother's skin which in turn helps to warm the baby
  • clear fetal lung fluid
  • transfer of maternal antibodies to the fetus
My advice is to trust your Obstetrical care provider. Labor should only be induced for medical reasons—not for convenience or scheduling concerns. Healthy mom, healthy baby!
Learn more with a fun interactive game online: 40 reasons to go at least the full 40 weeks of pregnancy
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Midwives make a difference

October 10, 2014

Happy National Midwifery Week 2014!

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery.

Busting myths-
Myth #1: Having a midwife is old fashioned.
Midwifery has been practiced throughout history, but has changed and advanced especially in the last few decades. Through their specific focus and advanced education, today’s midwives are among the most modern, forward-thinking health care professionals. Midwives provide a personalized approach to women’s health, during every stage of care throughout life.

Myth #2: Midwife care is inferior.
Of all the midwife-attended births in the United States, 95 percent are with certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs). In order to practice midwifery, both CNMs and CMs are required to hold a master’s degree and pass a certification exam. Though their education has equipped them with the knowledge and resources to deliver comprehensive care to expectant mothers, midwives collaborate with an obstetrician physician leaders throughout care.

Myth #3: Midwives only deliver babies at home.
Midwives deliver care in a variety of settings. Approximately 90 percent of CNM- and CM-attended births take place in a hospital.

Myth #4: A midwife only assists in natural births.
Midwives are here to help each woman understand her options. While your midwife has the skills to provide physical and emotional support during a natural birth, he or she is also there to accommodate your unique needs, including the use of epidurals and other forms of pain relief, upon request.

Myth #5: Midwife services are only used during pregnancy and birth.
Certified nurse midwives are lifetime partners in health and wellness, providing care and support throughout each stage of a woman’s life. In addition to providing care to a woman during pregnancy and birth, midwives also provide primary care related to women’s health such as gynecological exams, screenings and vaccinations, fertility counseling, family planning and menopausal care.

Interested in learning more? Here is a newly released short video about Midwifery

Find a way to celebrate!  
Posted by Heather Knott RN-IBCLC
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