Monday, June 23, 2008

New Babies in Bloom yahoo group!

For those of you who would like to connect with other like-minded parents, but just haven't found the right group yet, we invite you to join our new Babies in Bloom yahoo group.

As you experience the joy and excitement that a new baby brings, you may have questions and concerns. Many parents also say that they feel isolated from other adults during this transition.

We hope this message board will provide you a forum to make some friends, perhaps form a playgroup or find a few walking buddies and, most importantly, help to support you through this next chapter of your life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The American Medical Association and Ricki Lake

Yesterday, the AMA issued a resolution stating "That our American Medical Association support the recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) statement that 'the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers' iii (New HOD Policy)" The entire resolution can be read here.

Today Ricki Lake, Jennifer Block and Abby Epstein responded. You can read their post (which includes actual home birth statistics) here.

If you haven't seen "The Business of Being Born" or read the book "Pushed," I would strongly recommend it. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

One Father's Day Wish - The Gift of Donor Breast Milk

Baby Isabella comes home. On this Father's Day, one father is grateful for the most extraordinary gift - donated breast milk.

Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) June 14, 2008 -- Jerry Sciulli's world was nothing but perfect less than 6 months ago. He and his loving wife, Kim, were expecting their first baby and were elated with the anticipation of becoming parents. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. On January 9th 2008, Baby Isabella came into their world 3 months early and weighed only 1 pound and 4 and 2/3 ounces. Jerry and Kim dealt with the unexpected birth of Isabella as best they could.

When doctors told them that because Isabella was so weak, breast milk would increase her chance of survival, Kim started to pump immediately. Kim would try to pump at least 8 times a day and called her breast milk 'liquid gold.' As Isabella started to grow in her first couple of days of life both Jerry and Kim were thrilled. Then the unimaginable happened. Kim collapsed and died from a rare, unexpected heart problem called postpartum cardiomyopathy.

Days later, Kim's stored breast milk was dwindling while Baby Isabella remained in intensive care. Jerry knew that formula was not an option and would not have been what Kim had wanted. He set out to find donated breast milk for his premature daughter.

His best friend helped him contact International Breast Milk Project, an organization that provided donated breast milk from US mothers to infants affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. This organization was able to help Jerry find donor breast milk for baby Isabella.

So this year for Jerry's first father's day, Isabella has been allowed to come home. She has been thriving on donor breast milk from moms across the US. Jerry hopes that this donated "liquid gold" continues to help his daughter grow up strong and healthy, just like her mother would have wanted.

For more information contact, Jill Youse, Executive Director, International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), 507-288-1885 or and/or visit IBMP's website at

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Breastfeeding-Related Maternity Practices at Hospitals and Birth Centers

Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for infants and is associated with decreased risk for infant and maternal morbidity and mortality (1); however, only four states (Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) have met all five (2) Healthy People 2010 targets for breastfeeding (3).* Maternity practices in hospitals and birth centers throughout the intrapartum period, such as ensuring mother-newborn skin-to-skin contact, keeping mother and newborn together, and not giving supplemental feedings to breastfed newborns unless medically indicated, can influence breastfeeding behaviors during a period critical to successful establishment of lactation (4--9). In 2007, to characterize maternity practices related to breastfeeding, CDC conducted the first national Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey. This report summarizes results of that survey, which indicated that 1) a substantial proportion of facilities used maternity practices that are not evidence-based and are known to interfere with breastfeeding and 2) states in the southern United States generally had lower mPINC scores, including certain states previously determined to have the lowest 6-month breastfeeding rates.† These results highlight the need for U.S. hospitals and birth centers to implement changes in maternity practices that support breastfeeding.

Read more from the CDC (including statistics for each state) here

Friday, June 13, 2008

Loveybums are here!

We have a very limited supply...get them before they are gone!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Insurers Denying Coverage, Raising Premiums for Women After C-Section

Last week the New York Times reported on a trend in which some insurers have begun denying individual health coverage to women who have had c-section deliveries, on the basis that these women are likely to undergo the procedure in subsequent births. In these cases, a cesarean section is classified as a pre-existing condition, and some insurers are codifying a provision that excludes coverage for a certain period of time. Many insurers who do accept women with a prior c-section are charging higher premiums because of this history. As the Times reports, many ob/gyns do not deliver VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) patients for a host of reasons, including the rare but potentially fatal complication of uterine rupture. The report also notes the disparity in healthcare costs, with c-section deliveries costing patients and insurance companies significantly more than vaginal births.

For the Times story, go to

For coverage of this issue from the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), go to

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Arrivals

Today, we received a ton of items - including another shipment from bumGenius. :) We are fully stocked with One-Size Pocket Diapers, Bamboo Fitteds, All-in-Ones and the new Organic One-Size! Come in and get yours today!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Our Summer Baby Fair

Yesterday, we held our Summer Baby Fair. We invited several of our favorite local vendors and groups to share their offerings for new and expectant families. We were thrilled to have representatives and information from some wonderful businesses including Stroller Strides, Three Sisters Jewelry, Birth Resource Network, Precious Birth, Jack and Jill Cards, MKP Images, Happy Healthy Hip Parenting, Crunch Care, Blossoming Barrettes, Happy Baby, Real Diaper Association, San Diego Babywearers, the Cake Lady, Posh Baby Prints, Discovery Sign Language, Mommy and Me Yoga, A Well Lived Life, Not to Worry, Busynest Cards, San Diego Bargain Mama, Hanna's Murals and Yoga Janda. I highly encourage you to check them out!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Prenatal Yoga May Result in Less Labor Pain, Shorter Labor

Chuntharapat, S., Petpichetchian, W., & Hatthakit, U. (2008). Yoga during pregnancy: Effects on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 14(2), 105-115. [Abstract]

Summary: In this trial conducted in Thailand, nulliparous pregnant women without previous yoga experience were randomly assigned to practice prenatal yoga (n=37) or to usual care (n=37). The yoga group attended a series of six 1-hour yoga classes every two weeks in the final trimester and were given a booklet and audio tape for self-study, which they were encouraged to practice at least three times per week. Daily diaries kept by participants and weekly phone contact from researchers helped ensure compliance. Participants in both groups completed a prenatal questionnaire to assess anxiety and collect demographic data.

Once in labor, pain and comfort were assessed every 2 hours in the first stage of labor (for a maximum of three measurements) and again 2 hours postpartum using multiple pain-measurement instruments that have previously been validated for use in laboring women. The researchers controlled for maternal age, marital status, education level, religion, income, and maternal trait anxiety.

Data were available for 33 of 37 women assigned to each group but the researchers provide no explanation for this attrition. Although this omission limits the reliability of the study, the strength and consistency of the researchers' findings suggest that attrition probably did not significantly alter results. The experimental group (yoga group) had significantly less pain and more comfort than the control group at each of the three measurement intervals during labor and at the postpartum measurement. This finding was consistent and significant across all three pain main measurement instruments used.

The researchers do not present data about mode of birth. However, the length of the first stage of labor and total duration of labor were significantly shorter in the yoga group (mean length of first stage = 520 minutes in yoga group versus 660 minutes in control group; mean total time in labor 559 minutes in yoga group versus 684 minutes in control group). There were no differences in length of second stage of labor, pethidine usage or dose given, augmentation of labor, newborn weight, or Apgar scores. Epidural analgesia was not mentioned so presumably it was not available.

Significance for Normal Birth: This study provides evidence that regular yoga practice in the last 10-12 weeks of pregnancy improves maternal comfort in labor and may facilitate labor progress. The researchers offer several theories for these effects. First, yoga involves synchronization of breathing awareness and muscle relaxation which decrease tension and the perception of pain. Second, yoga movements, breathing, and chanting may increase circulating endorphins and serotonin, "raising the threshold of mind-body relationship to pain" (p. 112). Third, practicing yoga postures over time alters pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing one's need to actively respond to unpleasant physical sensations.

Prenatal strategies that help women prepare emotionally and physically for labor may help reduce pain and suffering and optimize wellbeing in childbirth by providing coping skills and increasing self-confidence and a sense of mastery. More research is needed to confirm the findings of this study. However, yoga's many health benefits and the lack of evidence that yoga is harmful in pregnancy or birth provide justification for encouraging interested women to incorporate yoga into their preparations for childbirth.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is Iron Supplementation Necessary for Infants?

insightful information from Dr. Thomas Hale

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Big Baby" Diagnosis Increases Chance of C/S Without Improving Newborn Outcomes

Prenatal Diagnosis of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia Increases Risks of Cesarean Section and Maternal Morbidity without Improving Newborn Outcomes

Sadeh-Mestechkin, D., Walfisch, A., Shachar, R., Shoham-Vardi, I., Vardi, H., & Hallak, M. (2008). Suspected macrosomia? Better not tell. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, doi: 10.1007/s00404-008-0566-y. [Abstract]

Summary: In this prospective observational trial, researchers followed 145 women thought to be carrying babies weighing more than 4000g (about 8lb, 13oz) to evaluate the reliability of sonographic and clinical estimates of fetal weight and to determine whether a diagnosis of "suspected macrosomia" affects pregnancy management or outcomes. To answer these questions, they first divided the "suspected macrosomia" into two subgroups depending on whether the babies in fact weighed more or less than 4000g. This resulted in a "false-positive" subgroup of 82 babies thought to be macrosomic but actually weighing less than 4000g and a "true-positive" group of 63 babies thought to be macrosomic and indeed weighing more than 4000g.

The researchers compared outcomes between these two groups, then compared the "true-positive" group to all other births of macrosomic infants to women admitted to the same hospital in the study period (i.e., women giving birth to infants weighing over 4000g but who did not have a prenatal diagnosis of suspected macrosomia).

The study confirms an existing body of literature that tells us that prenatal methods for detecting macrosomia are not reliable—only 44% of babies suspected to weigh over 4000g actually did. Clinical estimates (those performed by a care provider using palpation) were more reliable than ultrasound estimates, but were still off by more than 10% in one out of every six cases.

The 145 women with suspected macrosomia were assigned by the admitting doctor to elective cesarean surgery (16%) induction of labor (39%) or observation awaiting labor (46%). Thirty-five of the 56 women who underwent induction and 47 of the 66 women who were admitted in spontaneous labor gave birth vaginally, for an overall vaginal birth rate of 57% (including 2% who had instrumental vaginal births). The remaining women gave birth by cesarean surgery either before (21%) or during (22%) labor.

When researchers compared outcomes of the "true-positives" with the "false-positives" within the "suspected macrosomia" group, there were no differences in maternal or infant complications.

When the researchers compared the true-positive macrosomic infants in the study group (those suspected to weigh and actually weighing >4000g) to the macrosomic infants in the comparison group (those not suspected to be macrosomic prior to birth), they found much higher rates of intervention and related morbidity in the study group. The cesarean surgery rate for macrosomic infants in the suspected macrosomia group was 57%, compared with only 17% for macrosomic infants in the comparison group (absolute difference 40%). Likewise, 25% of macrosomic infants in the study group were induced compared with 14% in the comparison group (absolute difference = 11%). There was no difference in shoulder dystocia between the two groups. However, maternal morbidity (including hemorrhage, wound infection, wound dehiscence, fever, and use of antibiotics) was significantly higher in study group, most likely because of the much higher rate of cesarean surgery in this group.

Significance for Normal Birth: The concern that a baby is growing "too big" is one of the most common reasons cited for induction of labor and also prompts decisions to perform cesarean surgery both before and during labor (Declercq, Sakala, Corry, & Applebaum, 2006). However, there is strong and consistent evidence that elective induction or cesarean surgery for "suspected macrosomia" does not improve outcomes and expert bodies including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose routinely interfering when a baby is suspected to be large (American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, 2004).

This study, summed up by its title, "Suspected macrosomia? Better not tell" provides damning evidence that shows clearly that the provider's belief that the baby is "too big" is itself a strong risk factor for injudicious intervention and poor health outcomes.

An initial suspicion that the baby is large may instill fear in the pregnant woman which may impede both her confidence in her body and her labor progress. Slow labor progress reinforces the suspicion that the baby is big and more aggressive management ensues. This management often hinders the woman's ability to move freely and assume the positions that may help her baby negotiate through her pelvis, further slowing progress and reinforcing the perceived need for surgical intervention. Based on this study and previous evidence, women should strongly consider refusing tests late in pregnancy intended to estimate fetal weight.

The estimate itself may be bad for her health because the care provider's expectation that the baby will be macrosomic appears to increase both unnecessary medical intervention and the morbidity that may accompany it.

References: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2004). Ultrasonography in pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 58. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 104, 1449–58.
Declercq, E., Sakala, C., Corry, M. P., & Applebaum, S. (2006). Listening to mothers II: Report of the second national U.S. Survey of women's childbearing experiences. New York: Childbirth Connection.), 116-122.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baby Fair for Expectant and New Parents

In an effort to bring some of the area's wonderful resources together, Babies in Bloom is proud to host our summer Baby Fair.

Join one of our local parenting groups, sign up to take a new class or learn about other opportunities available to you during pregnancy and baby's first year. From prenatal classes to playgroups, doula services to delightful artwork and accessories, we will have something for everyone! There will also be baby carrier and cloth diapering demonstrations - and a drawing for several amazing prizes!

Posh Baby Prints will also be there to capture your child's hand or foot print in ceramic clay for a precious keepsake. Posh Baby Prints appointments must be scheduled before the event. Please call 760-940-BABY soon to reserve your space before they are all gone!
Where & When
161 Thunder Drive #102
Vista, California 92083
Saturday, June 7th

Monday, June 2, 2008

AAP Shares Summer Safety Tips for All Ages

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued its updated summer safety tips for parents and families, offering advice and reminders on topics such as sun protection, heat stress, pool safety, playground dangers, insects, bikes and skateboards, and lawnmower safety. The tip sheet is available online in both English and Spanish, along with a “send to a friend” email function. To access this resource, visit