pregnancy complications

Mamas on Bedrest: Additional Resources to Accompany “Hormonal Physiology of Pregnancy” Podcast

January 20th, 2015

Greetings Mamas!

CC.NPWF.HPoC.Report.thumbnailI hope that you have had a chance to listen to our podcast interview with Ms. Carol Sakala, Director of Chilbirth Connection Programs for the National Partnership for Women and Families. In this podcast, Ms. Sakala shares with us the latest comprehensive report put out by Childbirth Connection entitled Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care. This report outlines the hormonal physiology of pregnancy and childbirth and shows how many of the common interventions used during labor and delivery in the United States are not only detrimental to this delicate hormonal balance between mamas and babies, but potentially harmful to them both. They offer practice recommendations for clinicians as well as tips and tools for patients.

There are many documents that both patients and clinicians can download and print for free. These documents are available on the Childbirth Connection website. Below is a very informative infographic which shows the hormonal systems of pregnancy and how many of the common interventions used here in the United States are impairing those systems. It too is available for download and free for clinicians and patients to share. There is also an infographic with more detailed information for clinicians.


Mamas on Bedrest: Am I a Bedrest “Benedict Arnold”?

January 12th, 2015

Good Morning Mamas!

Last week I had the pleasure to be interviewed for a podcast and I think I shocked the interviewer when I lead off with,

“I must begin by saying that bed rest is not an evidence based treatment, meaning that there is no scientific or medical proof that bed rest prolongs pregnancy or prevents poor birth outcomes.”

I know that I freaked out the interviewer a bit and she quickly moved the conversation onto indications for bed rest and what women should look for, and if there is anything that mamas can do to prevent being put on bed rest. I had to smile to myself.

I know that my stance on bedrest is unique and to some, it may seem like I am a “Benedict Arnold” when it comes to bed rest. So I want to clear the air. I never professed to be a proponent of bed rest. I am, always have been and always will be a staunch supporter of pregnant mamas! My sole mission in life is to ensure that every pregnant mama has all the tools, information and support that she needs to be able to have a healthy pregnancy. I chose to focus on Mamas on Bedrest after having 2 very high risk pregnancies myself and finding no support online, in the literature or in my local community. But let me reiterate: I am not one to run about saying that women should be put on bed rest. Nope. My goal is to provide the best care and support possible to pregnant women on prescribed bed rest, but to ultimately to be “put out of the bed rest business” because bed rest is no longer needed.

So does this mean that I think women should ignore their bed rest prescriptions? Absolutely not! When a woman begins prenatal care with an obstetrician or midwife, she enters into a legal agreement where the health care provider agrees to do everything within his/her professional expertise and within the accepted medical practices to ensure she has a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy and ends up with a healthy baby. Mamas on the other hand, agree to follow the guidance and instructions of their healthcare provider, working in concert with them to ensure that they have safe uncomplicated pregnancies and healthy babies at birth. If your health care provider recommends that you go on bed rest, you should go on bed rest. Why? Because they believe that is the best way that they can take care of you and your baby, and that is what you are paying them to do! So evidence based or not, you must abide by your agreement and follow the instructions of your health care provider.

Now that is not to say that you can’t ask questions. Ask your health care provider why they want to put you on bed rest? Is it strict bed rest or modified activity? Can you sit on the sofa or are you restricted to bed? What do they hope will happen with you being on bed rest? Yes, a healthy term pregnancy, but what else? What are the potential complications of being on bed rest? Of your condition?? Mamas, you must be an integral part of your health care team, and that means being fully informed about all that is going on.

So I hope this clears the air. I am not a proponent of bed rest and I do hope that it is abolished in favor of targeted treatments for the conditions for which bed rest is prescribed. New tests and treatments are already available for the detection and screening of pre-eclampsia  and incompetent cervix or cervical insufficiency.  Hopefully other tests and treatments for other conditions are in the research pipelines. For now, many obstetricians and gynecologists still prescribe bed rest and if yours is one of them, heed their instructions and come to Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond for support to thrive on your bed rest journey!

Got questions about your bed rest journey? Comments about this post? Post them below in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

Mamas on Bedrest: This is how it’s done! An Interview with “Former” Mama on Bedrest Karen Gates

December 15th, 2014

Good Monday Morning Mamas!

Today we have a treat! While trolling the posts on our community, I came across a post by this very knowledgeable “Former Bedrest Mama”, Karen Gates. Her post was so full of good information, tips and triumph that I just HAD to speak with her! Being the gracious mama that she is, she agreed and here she shares her story of being on bedest for Placenta Previa with her second son. Listen to how Karen was able to intuit and support the needs of her husband, to receive help from friends and family and to overall Thrive while on bed rest!  It’s an interview you won’t want to miss-especially if you are on bed rest during the holidays!