84: Pacifiers

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Episode 84 Content and Overview

Your baby starts building their strong sucking reflex in the womb. This is needed for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, but it also has a calming effect on your baby. While it may seem like all parents give their babies pacifiers, some parents choose not to. There are benefits to giving your baby a pacifier beyond soothing a fussy baby, like a reduction in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Along with the pros come some drawbacks to their use, and some precautions about pacifier use and breastfeeding. There is quite a bit of research on pacifiers and things like breastfeeding, dental issues, ear infections, and SIDS. By hearing the evidence both for and against the use of pacifiers you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to give one to your baby. If you do choose to give your baby a pacifier this episode also has recommendations for their use, and tips for shopping for pacifiers.

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83: When Birth Does Not Go as Planned

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Episode 83 Content and Overview

You spend 9 months dreaming about the day you get to meet your baby, you meticulously design your birth, you draft up the perfect birth plan, you over prepare, then you go into labor and nothing goes like it is supposed to. When things do not go as planned, it can be a huge disappointment. There are so many factors that impact your labor and birth, and when the big birth day comes it is possible that some of those things are out of our control and can send your birth experience in a different direction than you planned. What do you do when birth does not go as planned? You often hear, all that matters is that you have a healthy baby’. That is important, but how you feel about your birth experience is also important, and it also matters. Everyone copes with emotions differently and this episode has some tips and strategies you can apply in the event your birth does not go as planned, and some ways to be more prepared for those unplanned outcomes.

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82: Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) and the 24 Hour Rule

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Episode 82 Content and Overview

The technical term for your water breaking before labor starts is premature rupture of membranes (PROM). The amniotic sac and amniotic fluid serve a lot of purposes like protecting your baby from infection, cushioning your baby from bumps and injury, and maintaining a constant temperature. The majority of expecting moms will have their water break during labor. For about 1 in 10 it will happen before labor, prior to the onset of contractions. For decades it was a common rule that you had to give birth within 24 hours of your water breaking, even if that meant having a cesarean section. Today we have a lot more research in this arena and are more educated about the risks of employing interventions vs. expectant management. This episode talks about the signs of your water breaking, and the risks, options, and evidence in relation to the time between premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and birth.

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81: Labor Positions (Rebroadcast)

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Episode 81 Content and Overview

For most of our entire human history a mother in labor was free to move around and change positions to whatever was most comfortable and suited her best at the time.  It really wasn’t until we made labor and birth a highly medicalized process that women began laboring on their backs in a bed.  There are an infinite number of positions you can try during labor and there is no one size fits all.  Labor will likely start at home and you can utilize many different positions to keep labor progressing and be as comfortable as possible before you even get to the hospital or birth center.  No matter where you are giving birth, what your birth plan is, or what interventions you are electing to have, you have options.  This episode has a lot of different labor positions to try with the pros and cons of each, and what the research says about the best positions for both labor and birth.

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Episode 80: Interventions (Rebroadcast)

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Episode 80 Content and Overview

An intervention is any procedure performed by a care provider that impacts your labor or birth.  Interventions include IVs, epidurals, electronic fetal monitoring, assisted delivery (using forceps or a vent house suction cup), episiotomy, induction, augmentation, and cesarean.  Every intervention comes with its own pros and cons.  By learning what each procedure entails and when and why it is performed you will be better able to make an informed decision as to whether or not you need or want it.

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Additional Episodes on Interventions

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Episode 79: Vaginal Tearing, Episiotomy, & Healing (Rebroadcast)

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Episode 79 Content and Overview

Unfortunately, sometimes when your skin is stretching during birth it can tear.  It is pretty common for first time mothers to have some tearing during a vaginal delivery and of course there is also the possibility that you could have an episiotomy, which is a surgical incision.  The good news is that there are some things you can do leading up to, and during, your labor and delivery to prevent this.  I know all of this can sound scary but it shouldn’t be.  The benefits of a vaginal delivery far outweigh the downside of a tear or an episiotomy.  Keep in mind some women make it through a vaginal birth without any tearing so it is not unavoidable.  If you do end up with a tear or incision there is a lot you can do to make yourself more comfortable, give yourself some relief, and help your body heal afterwards.

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