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Knitted in the Womb Notes

Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Baby Talk is buzzing...

Apparently Baby Talk magazine has received 700 letters to the editor already about the cover of the August edition of their magazine. I think those baby eyes gazing up at his mother are just adorable, but apparently some people are more concerned about the exposed breast.

Never mind that many of the people who are so concered are likely the same ones who stay up to watch the Victoria's Secret special on TV.

CBS Channel 3 News out of Philadelphia covered the story tonight. Of course they had to talk to some newly minted moms (still in the hospital) to get their take on things--one supportive of the cover, the other not so supportive. The "not so supportive" mom claimed that she had tried to breastfeed, but it was just too hard. That is really sad that she didn't have the support she needed to even make it a couple of days!

She then went on to pontificate on how she feels that breastfeeding shouldn't really be pushed on moms so much because society really doesn't accept nursing in public:
“There’s alot of pressure to breast feed,” said Agnes. “In today’s society, you can’t do it anyway. People look at you like you’re disgusting,” she continued.
I've breastfed 4 kids in public, and never once got asked to move. I would guess that half of the time no one even noted what I was doing. At least 5% of the time I actually got positive comments or encouraging looks. I know there are some moms that do get asked to move...but come on...here is a mom with her first baby not even out of the hospital yet, and she thinks she knows that society at large is going to make her feel uncomfortable if she were to breastfeed in public?

This is a problem, and one I think that in a way, "lactivists" have created. The envelope really has been pushed and pushed to the point where society is pushing back. I think that moms who have nursed in public and not had it be an issue really need to speak up more to let the next generation know that it really isn't that big of a deal. Making a huge issue out of every situation where a store clerk who likely doesn't even have children asks a nursing mom to move really isn't helping paint a portrait of nursing as a natural part of public life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

16 Year Old Killed in Childbirth by Medical Error

Recently 16 year old Jasmine Gant in Madison Wisconsin was killed when a medical error occured. What happened? She was pregnant, and went to the hospital to birth her baby. Apparently she was Group B Strep positive, so was prescribed IV antibiotics. However, instead of hooking up a bag of antibiotics to her IV drip, a bag of epidural medications were hooked up. The antibiotics would typically be run in over the course of about 30 minutes, I would guess that the same sized bag of epidural medication would be expected to be run in over a time period of several hours. The mother started seizing, and eventually died--my guess would be that she died before the mistake in medication was even discovered, so while resucitation efforts were underway, she was probably continuing to receive the medication.

To read the media accounts, it really seems like the nurse who attached the medications is being hung out to dry. And she certainly does bear a large part of the responsibility. She should have visually confirmed that the label on the IV bag was for the correct medication. Further, it appears that there is a systemic problem in that particular hospital were the barcoding system that is in place to prevent such medication errors is not actually used by the nursing staff.

However, there is a HUGE key question that is not getting asked. Because the medications used in epidurals are controlled narcotics, they are generally kept under lock and key. As a doula who has worked in several hospital, I've never seen them accessible to the nurses, but rather kept in a cart that the anesthesiologist has the key to. Several other doulas have raised the same concern in the doula community. The anesthesiologist mixes up the medication cocktail on a "per customer" basis--it is not premixed and placed in IV bags. So why in the world was the nurse in this case even able to have access to a bag of IV fluid with epidural medications in it? Where is the anesthesiologist in this picture?

Bottom line folks...don't let something get injected into you (or your loved one) or hooked up to your IV unless you personally inspect the label.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Cindy's Moving Adventures

My sister is moving! Read all about the on-going process at the blog my husband and I are starting for it (we might even get Cindy to blog as well!). Here is a picture of the front of what we hope will be her house: