Oct 172014
 

Skin to Skin contactOur son´s first hours outside the womb were spent on my chest surrounded by the loving presence of his dad. He was calm, awake, locking eyes with us, which left us in awe. Now, 3 years later, he still thrives on physical closeness, and my motherly instinct is to provide him with that communion. I feel that skin to skin contact  forges healthy early development and science validates that this is the case.

In the video below, M.D. and researcher Nils Bergman discusses the effect of skin to skin contact between mothers and babies.

Continue reading »

Aug 142013
 

It has always seemed cruel to me to stick a needle into any newborn after just having undergone birth – an event that in itself is certainly no walk in the park for those little beings.

In terms of health research (references below), vitamin K is best known for its role in healthy blood clotting. It is one of the key nutrients for keeping our blood clotting ability at the exact right level.

At the time of our son´s birth, I got told that the standard vitamin K injection for newborns is done by default – no questions asked. There is controversial information to be found on this subject and the purpose of this article is to get pregnant women and couples to inform themselves broadly about the possible consequences of (specifically) such injections just after birth. Our son did receive vitamin K – not injected though. My husband and I avoided to have a needle stuck into our baby but instead we requested to have the vitamin K administered orally. It was the first time for the nurse to administer the vitamin orally and she was surprised by the fact that sticking a needle into newborns is not a necessity.

Administering vitamin K shots to newborns has been a standard medical procedure in most western countries since 1944. However, according to vitamin K expert Dr. Cees Vermeer PhD, Continue reading »

Aug 142013
 

What foods provide vitamin K?

This post is a follow up on a recently published article called Is that Newborn Vitamin K Shot really necessary?.

Excellent sources of vitamin K include parsley, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, thyme, romaine lettuce, sage, oregano, cabbage, celery, sea vegetables, cucumber, leeks, cauliflower, tomatoes, and blueberries.

Fermentation of foods can be especially helpful for increasing their vitamin K content. One widely-enjoyed food that can be fermented in a way that increases its vitamin K content is Continue reading »

Aug 112013
 

In the following video physician Dr. Gabor Maté discusses parental stress and the negative impact it has on children. Dr. Maté is referring to children already born, but what he is saying is directly transferrable to children that are not born yet. In other words, being stressed while being pregnant can have a severe impact on our unborn children. An article published in the WebMD Health News in 2003 for example mentions that stress has long been suspected as Continue reading »

Apr 202013
 

Precious and valuable trailer…

This trailer is a broad overview of a very complex topic. It acknowledges that people do the best they can given their knowledge at any given time, and proposes that feelings of guilt, blame or regret from past challenges can be transformed to help us develop inner skills, expanded awareness and greater wisdom. The (full) video traces the origins of love and violence to the womb and reveals how prenatal and birth experiences shape the lives of individuals and the course of society. Made by Monica Matos. Continue reading »

Apr 172013
 

Connecting with your newborn against all odds

“Instead of being a static one-time event, bonding is a process, a dynamic and continuous one. Thus, a reciprocal, loving attachment is still realizable even when early contact is delayed – as it is for many mothers and their prematurely born infants, or when illness of either the newborn or the mother intervenes. Bonding is the formation of a mutual emotional and psychological closeness between parents (or primary caregivers) and their newborn child. Babies usually bond with their parents in the minutes, hours, or days following birth.” -Julius Segal, Psychologist-

Regardless of any culture or origin, most new mothers will instictively hold their baby next to their bodies, rock them gently, strive for eye contact, sing or talk to the baby and begin to nurse. Often within just hours of birth, mothers report feelings of overwhelming love and attachment for their new baby.

Sometimes though, bonding is not as immediate and some mothers feel Continue reading »

Apr 132013
 

Attachment parenting in a nutshell means listening to our hearts if we want to truly hear our children.

While our ears register speech and sounds, our hearts register feelings and emotions. Ears hear only the vibrations, but our hearts, in combination with our capacities to think, understand even that which is unsaid. Our hearts listen for that which is never expressed in the sounds and words that our ears hear. Being there for our children is one of the best investments we can make in the lives of our children as the following video shows… Continue reading »

Oct 042012
 

When our son was about to be born, the Obstetrician gently took my hand and placed it on top of the part of the head that was already visible. I remember being overwhelmed by the sensation of touching my baby´s little body while he was busy moving towards the “finish line” – breaking through to his new life outside…

There was no way I could have imagined my baby being taken away straight after birth by an unknown set of hands to be washed or measured (We avoided this standard procedure by having expressed our wishes in form of a letter to the midwives prior to going to the hospital).

With the support of the Obstetrician, I assisted my baby to emerge and find his place on my chest where he rested his head on my heart, listening to the familiar beat of my joyful heart – a familiar sound and Continue reading »

Sep 182012
 

Why Skin to Skin Contact Is Not Just For Premature BabiesBased on the limited choices available to me at the time, hospital birth was the only safe option. When I arrived at the hospital to give birth, I was asked if I was going to have a C-section or if I was going to be induced. Being familiar with the local mindset around birthing, I knew that the nurse was simply following her most common protocol by excluding a “normal” (natural) birth. I said that I simply wanted to birth my baby and that hopefully none of the two options would apply. She seemed confused by what seemed “normal” to me.

As our baby emerged from the inner world into the outer world, a nurse was ready with what looked like golden wrapping foil for a flower bouquet to cover our newborn son and take him away to get weighed and measured. I don´t think this procedure is appreciated by any baby and their vocalising thereof is generally disregarded. Luckily, I had written a ‘friendly letter’ to the midwives and the Obstetrician before checking into the hospital, which informed them of our birthing preferences.

Although it seems curious that one has to specify what “normal” means Continue reading »

Sep 052012
 

During labour and birth, your body will experience many thousands of sensations flooding your central nervous system, sensations you have never experienced before, which your brain does not know how to interpret.

When we experience something new which we did not expect and do not know how to cope with, our brains will often respond the only way they know how – by interpreting the new sensations as pain. In most cases of birth, there is no actual pain, simply stretching sensations, some pressure, and the feeling that a massive force is pouring through you.

They are very powerful sensations – all the creative power of the universe is flowing through you at the time of birth. That is why some women can feel overpowered and unable to cope unless they have prepared themselves and know what to expect. Knowing what to expect so that you do not have fear Continue reading »