Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall 2012 Updates

Although I'm no longer posting, I will continue to keep my archives available.

I continue to teach independent, woman-centered childbirth education classes.  Both group and private classes are available.  To learn more about the types of classes offered, please visit the Birthing Your Baby website.

Also, I'll continue to share the Diddos for Kiddos brochure!

I am no longer running the Mamas & Muffins group for new mothers since I began homeschooling my children and need to focus on that during the school-day.

Best wishes!
Christina Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
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Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Nurse Your Newborn in a Sling

This is a great video!  It demonstrates how to nurse a newborn in a sling, plus gives some good wearing tips for teeny babies. 



If you want someone to show you how to use a Maya wrap or other ring sling, pouch, or Moby Wrap, feel free to contact me.  I'd be happy to walk you through it. 

Most babies love being carried, and there are many safe baby carriers and ways to "wear" babies.  If you're curious about the benefits of babywearing, visit  Ten Reasons to Wear Your Baby.

I've written more about making your own baby carrier here. And here, including a resource page with lots of information.

Happy browsing!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthing From Within

One of the online newsletters I really enjoy are the thoughtful articles offered from Birthing From Within.  August's newsletter had an article called "Fantasy, Control, and the 'Heart of Birthing From Within'".

Here's a tidbit from the very end:
"Compassion for ourselves and for other mothers, flexibility in our plans, and awareness of our own motivations, beliefs, fears, and inner voices are some ways to work with our desire for control in birth. This is the heart of 'birthing from within.'”
This rings very true for me - not just in birth, but in mothering as well. 

I'm very interested in checking out Pam England's new book, Labyrinth of Birth:  Creating a Map, Meditations, and Rituals for Your Childbearing Year.  Has anyone else read it or seen any reviews?

If you're interested in creating birth art, working through motivations, beliefs and fears to prepare for your upcoming birth, definitely get in touch with me!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
 Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Diddos for Kiddos Consignment Sale - Fall 2010

Okay Diddos Fans - Here's the post with all the dates and times!  Note that the sale is several weeks later,  It's still at 136 State Street, but the building is now called Governor Hill Mansion instead of the St. Paul Center.

I've noticed that I get a LOT of traffic from folks looking for Diddos info...  I'm happy to publicize such a great sale!  But:  here's what would be awesome.  If you have a friend or relative or coworker who is pregnant, or trying to get pregnant - please consider spreading the word about Birthing Your Baby childbirth classes, or the free mom's group Mamas & Muffins.  Or, come be a fan of our new Facebook group, Birthing Mothers.  Spread the love!

Sale Dates: 
Presale (for consignors) Friday, October 29th at 6pm
Saturday, October 30th from 8am to 6pm
Half-price Sale, Sunday, October 31st from 8am to 4pm

Location: 
Govenor Hill Mansion,
136 State Street, Augusta

Here's a link to the Diddos for Kiddos brochure.

For anyone wondering what this is all about, Diddos for Kiddos is a consignment sale held twice a year (fall and spring). People who consign clothes get two tickets to attend the consignor pre-sale on Friday. The Saturday sale is open to everyone, and the Sunday sale is half-price on all items.

On a personal note, I've been consigning at this sale for years. Not to make money, because most of my kids' stuff is handed down to my sister & her children. I consign just to get to the presale! And it is so worth it. I never come home with the same ratio clothes/toys - sometimes one kid gets way more than the other. But it works out perfectly for me to get some of their fall/winter clothes and Christmas presents at the Fall sale, and to get summer/birthday clothes and toys at the spring sale.

I also make it a "girls night out" and go with a friend - each consignor gets an extra ticket to the sale - so we go to the sale and then out to dinner.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moose, Arthritis, and Prenatal Nutrition

So, what's the link here, eh?  Almost sounds like the punchline to a joke.  Except, as you probably guessed, it's not funny.

Turns out that a 50+ year study of moose that migrated to an island on Lake Superior a hundred years ago are dying of arthritis.  Wolves take down arthritic moose quickly, so while the arthritis itself doesn't kill them, it makes them very easy prey.  By studying the moose and the wolves, the "moose guy", Rolf Peterson, a Michigan Technological University scientist, has linked moose arthritis to poor early nutrition.

Osteoarthritis is a serious problem for humans, even though we aren't attacked by wolves.  More than 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis in humans.  It affects about one out of seven Americans who are older than 25.  These rates have risen significantly in recent years, and I'm not the only one wondering why. 

"Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis", published in the New York Times a few days ago, reported on the link between moose, arthritis, and prenatal nutrition:
"The moose work, along with some human research, suggests arthritis’s origins are more complex, probably influenced by early exposures to nutrients and other factors while our bodies are developing . . .

Nutrients, experts say, might influence composition or shape of bones, joints or cartilage. Nutrition might also affect hormones, the likelihood of later inflammation or oxidative stress, even how a genetic predisposition for arthritis is expressed or suppressed . . .

'It would be helpful to know if we want to make sure pregnant moms are taking certain vitamins or if you need to supplement with such and such nutrition,' said Dr. David Felson, an arthritis expert at Boston University School of Medicine."
Helpful, indeed.  There are some clues, though:
"For people, several historical cases may suggest a nutritional link. Bones of 16th-century American Indians in Florida and Georgia showed significant increases in osteoarthritis after Spanish missionaries arrived and tribes adopted farming, increasing their workload but also shifting their diet from fish and wild plants to corn, which “lacks a couple of essential amino acids and is iron deficient,” said Clark Larsen, an Ohio State University anthropologist collaborating with Dr. Peterson. Many children and young adults were smaller and died earlier, Dr. Larsen said, and similar patterns occurred when an earlier American Indian population in the Midwest began farming maize."

What do you think?

It makes me think of Michael Pollan.  Like "We Are What We Eat":
"During the last year I've been following a bushel of corn through the industrial food system. What I keep finding in case after case, if you follow the food back to the farm — if you follow the nutrients, if you follow the carbon — you end up in a corn field in Iowa, over and over and over again.
Take a typical fast food meal. Corn is the sweetener in the soda. It's in the corn-fed beef Big Mac patty, and in the high-fructose syrup in the bun, and in the secret sauce. Slim Jims are full of corn syrup, dextrose, cornstarch, and a great many additives. The “four different fuels” in a Lunchables meal, are all essentially corn-based. The chicken nugget—including feed for the chicken, fillers, binders, coating, and dipping sauce—is all corn. The french fries are made from potatoes, but odds are they're fried in corn oil, the source of 50 percent of their calories. Even the salads at McDonald's are full of high-fructose corn syrup and thickeners made from corn."
Is there a connection here?  I wonder when we'll know.  Until then, I think I'll keep making a lot of my food from scratch, eating local as much as possible, and dosing us all with the Omega 3's...
Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Free Webinar: Supporting New Dads

Lamaze is offering a free webinar on Tuesday, September 7th from 11am to 1pm, Eastern time.  The webinar is called "The Alchemy of Supporting Fathers During the Perinatal Time".  The focus is:  Discover How to Reinforce Fathers' Relationships with Themselves, Their Partners, and Their Babies.  Sounds great, doesn't it!  For more information and to register, visit the Lamaze webinar page.  I'm hoping to catch as much of it as I can, but I'll also need to run to the bus-stop to get my new kindergartner off the school bus! 

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
 Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Circumcision Waning in the US?

When I found out that my second child was a boy, in 2005, I started researching circumcision.  At the time, I remember that the rates of circumcision were lower than I had anticipated.  While it's true that the majority of adult men born in the United States are circumcised, around 80%, it's also true that the percentage for new babies has been sliding downwards for a while.  If I remember correctly, the research I did suggested that my son's peers would be about 60% circumcised and 40% intact here in New England.  Out West it was 60% intact and 40% circumcised.   

Not that this was my deciding factor, but I was interested to know what the percentages were.  One part of me wondered:  Would my little guy look different from almost everyone else?  Would he care?  But I also kept going back to that old parental question my dad was (in)famous for asking:  "If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you do it too??"  They wanted me to resist peer pressure way back then, and make my own decisions! 

The New York Times recently published an article indicating that the rates of circumcision may be dropping more precipitously than people thought:  "Steep Drop in Circumcisions in U.S."  Although measuring the circumcision rate was not the objective of the study, the research suggests that
"the rate had fallen precipitously – to fewer than half of all boys born in conventional hospitals from 2006 to 2009, from about two-thirds through the 1980s and ‘90s. . . Opponents of circumcision hailed the trend as a victory of common sense over what they call culturally accepted genital mutilation. For federal health officials, who have been debating whether to recommend circumcision to stem the spread of AIDS, the news suggests an uphill battle that could be more difficult than expected. "
Further into this article, the author mentions that it seems possible that the C.D.C and the American Academy of Pediatrics are considering changing their current, neutral, stance toward circumcision.  However, the author concludes:
"Yet even advocates of circumcision acknowledge that an aggressive circumcision drive in the United States would be unlikely to have a drastic impact on H.I.V. rates here, since the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk, men who have sex with men."
To read more about circumcision, including information about the procedure, caring for an intact baby's penis, and circumcision and AIDS, check out NOCIRC's publications.  There are more links in one of my past posts, Circumcision Information, including some in the comments section. 

I also found this video, The Prepuce to be helpful.  Don't worry - it doesn't actually show the procedure.  Because you might not want to watch that, right?

I don't talk much about circumcision during my classes.  If the couple is expecting a boy, or may be having a boy, I ask them if they have questions.  I offer the resources that I listed here.  And then, if they are planning to circumcise, I ask them who is going with the baby?  "...Hmmmm..." is usually the answer I get.  And you know what, I leave it at that.  Well, unless that opens up more questions - which let me tell you, it sometimes does.  For example, here are the thoughts of a blogging dad I worked with, in a series of three Circumcision Decision posts - scroll down to read them in order.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
Mamas & Muffins: New Moms Group

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