Header for Alicia Mutch | Poppies Reaching Towards the Sky | Hypnotherapy and Massage Therapy | Healdsburg, California

Common Newborn Procedures

Procedures commonly done to your newbornI know that HypnoBirthing® primarily focuses on the birth of your baby. However, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common procedures that a hospital will perform on your baby right after birth. Here are some common ones to expect:

  1. APGAR testing at 1 and 5 minutes after birth
    • This one is pretty non-interventionist, and you won’t even notice it’s going on. Your caregiver is measuring the responsiveness of your baby. APGAR stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration.
  2. Measuring & weighing
  3. Vitamin K injection
  4. Eye treatment – erythromycin drops to prevent conjunctivitis caused by chlamydia & gonorrhea
  5. Hepatitis B vaccine injection – if you are Hepatitis B positive, you will pass this virus on to your baby through your breastmilk. Populations that are more susceptible to being Hepatitis B positive include prostitutes and IV drug users. If you don’t fall into this category, and have been tested and know for certain that you are Hepatitis B negative, you can delay this vaccination. The state of California requires that your child receive three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine before attending a public school kindergarten.
  6. Heel prick blood test (testing for PKU and several congenital issues)
  7. Jaundice evaluation and treatment
    • Jaundice is common in babies born before 38 weeks of gestation, as well as with babies that are having difficulty with nursing. In the full-term baby, jaundice will commonly show up in the first 3-7 after birth as the bilirubin levels are peaking. Also, jaundice can show up in babies with underlying health issues that need to be treated.
    • How can you tell if your baby is suffering from jaundice?
      • The skin and whites of the eyes will be a yellowish tint
      • The baby will be lethargic and drowsy
      • The stool will be a pale yellow color
      • Their urine will be dark
    •  Nursing on demand every 2-3 hours or so after birth and making sure you have a good latch and excellent breastfeeding support will help immeasurably. For yourself, remember to hydrate well. Drink at least 12 glasses of water a day to support your milk supply. Also, sunlight can help clear away newborn jaundice. You can place a naked newborn inside next to a well-lit window for 10 minutes twice a day. Never place your newborn in direct sunlight. Babies that are extremely jaundiced will need to come to the hospital for treatment for phototherapy and additional support.
  8. Bathing
    • Since those first hours after birth are precious and so important for bonding with your baby, it’s ok to delay your baby’s first bath. The vernix on a newborn has antibacterial properties and doesn’t need to be washed off. You can spot clean your baby with a soft washcloth if you’d like — otherwise, keep the newborn attached to you at all times.
  9. Hearing test
  10. Circumcision

So, now that you know the common newborn procedures, do some research on them. Google them. Talk to your caregiver about them. Examine the benefits and risks of each procedure and decide if you think each one is appropriate and medically necessary for your child. Some of them have more risks than others. But it’s ultimately up to you to decide what is best for your child.

Here’s an article from verywellfamily.com about the most common newborn procedures.

In Favor of the Natural Expulsive Reflex in Childbirth

Click here to read: Getting Pushy | Midwifery Today

The above article from Midwifery Today, published in Issue 98 in the Summer of 2011, speaks wonderfully to the Natural Expulsive Reflex that HypnoBirthing® refers to (a.k.a. the Fetal Ejection Reflex). This article validates instinctively letting your body bring the baby down instead of following all of that annoying coaching for forced pushing.

The Quietude Phase

The author, Alison Bastien, writes that often, when a woman’s cervix is fully opened, a doctor, nurse, or midwife will immediately coach her to begin pushing, even when she’s not feeling an urge to bear down. I’ve certainly heard this story from my HypnoBirthing® students. This can lead to frustration and exhaustion as the “pushing” goes nowhere. And if you don’t have an urge to push, there’s something wrong with you. This article speaks of an interim phase between the time when the cervix is thinning and opening and the descent and birth of the baby. Midwife Whapio Diane Bartlett calls it the “quietude” phase and Sheila Kitzinger calls it the “rest and be thankful” phase. Alison calls is the “still pool,” that period of calmness before you meet your baby for the first time. For some women, this phase is short, and for others, it’s longer. What do you do during this phase? Nothing. There is nothing to do. Rest, sleep, connect with your baby, and restore your energy. Listen to your body. It will tell you what it wants to do. Ignore the coaching.

Our Microfocus on the Cervix

Another gem I pulled from this article is our obsession with the checking the dilation of the cervix in the United States. Alison quotes a Russian doctor as saying, “We do not ask a woman to push until we see the baby’s head.” And then a wrinkled old traditional midwife in rural Latin America speaks about checking a woman and says,

“‘Why would I want to feel the dilation of the cervix? I’m feeling for the babies head! If your finger goes all the way to here (indicating her second knuckle) then it’s still got a ways to go, and if you can only get it in to here (tapping her first knuckle), then here it comes!’”

This is so different from the attitude in the United States, where we routinely check the cervix to see if a woman is “ready to push” or not. It’s a simpler, gentler way of looking at the birthing phase.

Trust in Your Body’s Wisdom

The wisdom from this article is this: leave a birthing mother alone. Her body knows what to do with or without your meddlesome interference. Don’t coach her to push. She knows how to bring her baby into the world.

“Let’s let the babies tell us when it’s time to push!”


Information about Vitamin K and your Newborn

As informed consumers of birth, it’s very important to educate yourselves on all of the treatments that your newborn baby will receive once it’s born. What are the benefits of each treatment? What are the risks? The vitamin K injection is required by the state of California for all newborns, and I’ve found some articles that will educate you on this treatment.

Here’s an article on “Evidence on: The Vitamin K Shot in Newborns” by evidencebasedbirth.com.

Here’s a “Vitamin K at Birth” article from Pregnancy Birth & Baby, an Australian resource website.

But here’s something else to think about, is vitamin K by injection really the best way to ensure that your baby’s blood will clot properly after birth? An alternative to the injection is to give your newborn oral doses of vitamin K. The availability of oral vitamin K depends on the ability of your care provider to obtain it, and unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to obtain pharmaceutical-grade oral vitamin K. Here is a video from Evidence Based Birth about oral Vitamin K as a possible treatment choice for your newborn:

This blog entry is not intended to be medical advice. It’s designed to inform you so that you can make better, safer choices for you and your family based on medical research.

Some of the Benefits of Hypnosis for Pregnancy

Benefits of hypnosis during pregnancyUsing hypnosis and hypnotherapy for pregnancy and childbirth is fantastic! I love to work with pregnant clients. I have been teaching the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing® since 2001, and I have seen many transformations from fear to confidence in my HypnoBirthing® students, as well as hearing amazing, inspiring birth stories. I see pregnancy as a fantastic time to work on all of your emotional baggage so that you don’t bring that with you to your birth or to your parenting skills. Some of the many topics I’ve worked with over the years include:

  • Turning breech babies
  • Turning posterior babies
  • Alleviating nausea or vomiting
  • Keeping an over-active cervix closed during pregnancy
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Alleviating heart burn
  • Lowering stress or anxiety
  • Sleeping deeply at night
  • Reducing or eliminating fear of childbirth
  • Changing the perception of labor, especially how the uterine surges feel during labor (transforming the sensations from “pain” to “pressure”)
  • Teaching moms to relax during birth so that their births are more comfortable and so that they birth instinctively, as nature designed

What do you want to transform during your pregnancy and birth? The possibilities are limitless.

Recommended Packing List for Your HypnoBirth®

I compiled this list with the help from “The Birth Partner,” by Penny Simkin, which is a fantastic book to prepare you for your partner’s upcoming birth. I added a few HypnoBirthing® specific enhancements as well.

For the Mom:

  • Unscented Oil (almond or sesame), lotion, or cornstarch for massage
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Pajamas that open in the front for breastfeeding, robe
  • Warm socks and slippers
  • Rolling pin and/or tennis balls for back massage
  • Extra pillows with distinctive pillowcases
  • Relaxation music
  • MP3 player, charger, headphones
  • Special objects or photographs
  • Coconut water, Recharge, snack foods
  • Cosmetics, toiletries
  • Eyeglasses & contact lenses
  • Hair bands
  • Nursing bras and pads
  • Underwear (several pairs)
  • Heavy-duty menstrual pads (usually provided by hospitals — ask first)
  • Reading and writing materials, address book, birth announcements
  • Money for incidentals
  • Health insurance card, photo ID
  • Going-home clothing

For the Birth Companion:

  • Extra copies of the Birth Preferences for the hospital staff
  • Birth Companion’s Prompt Card and Rainbow Relaxation script
  • Personal supplies (toothbrush, breath freshener, deodorant, shaver)
  • Food for snacks, such as sandwiches, fruit, crackers, beverages (consider beforehand what they will do to your breath)
  • Sweater/sweatshirt
  • Change of clothes
  • Swimsuit so you can accompany the mother in the shower
  • Paper and pencil
  • Other reading materials, or handwork, for slow times when the mother does not need your help
  • Phone numbers of people to call during or after labor
  • Cell phone with battery recharger
  • Camera (still or video), film or videotape, batteries

For the Baby:

  • Undershirt or onesie
  • Outer clothing (hat, warm clothing)
  • Receiving blanket
  • Car seat

For the Trip to the Hospital or Birth Center:

  • A full tank of gas
  • A blanket and pillow in the car
  • Extra towels for mom to sit on
  • A shower curtain or garbage bags for the car seat

Planning in Advance for Your Birth

Consider doing each of these things ahead of time to make your transition from pregnancy to birth easy.

  1. Pack your birth bag at week 34 (you can get everything out and stage it, but the birth companion should pack it so they know where everything is). Keep it in your car. Here is a blog entry I wrote about what to pack in your birth bag.
  2. Keep the baby car seat in the car, along with a shower curtain or garbage bags and extra towels to sit on. Learn how to install the car seat as well as how to adjust the straps. Here’s the DMV website on installing child car seats.
  3. Arrange for baby-sitting & household help, if needed.
  4. Choose a pediatrician or family practice physician for your child. Interview several.
  5. Research the vaccinations your baby will receive. Vaccinations begin at birth with the Hepatitis B vaccine, but they really get underway at the 2-month well-baby checkup, so do your research ahead of time and be informed parents. Three great books to prepare you are: “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan,” by Paul Thomas, M.D., “The Vaccine Book,” by Robert Sears, and “The Vaccine Guide,” by Randall Neustaedter (you only need to read one). You have options other than getting all of the recommended vaccinations all at once. You can space out vaccinations so your baby receives each one at a time. You can delay vaccinations, and you can also say no. A baby who will be attending a day care and is drinking formula needs vaccinations much more than a baby who will be staying at home and who will be exclusively breastfed. Children in California must have the minimum doses of certain vaccines in order to attend school. Here is the link for the required vaccines.
  6. You will get a Group B Strep test at week 35-37. As a prevention measure, consider taking a daily, high dose, enteric-coated probiotic. Also keep in mind that semen kills Group B Strep. Group B Strep is an opportunistic bacteria that comes from the rectum, so remember to wipe from front to back, and cut out the foods that would feed it (white sugar, white flour, white rice, processed foods) and eat the foods that discourage its growth (plenty of vegetables and whole foods).
  7. Take a breastfeeding class and a care of the newborn class. The Santa Rosa Birth Center offers both.
  8. Arrange for diaper service or stock up on diapers. Tidee Didee and Diaper Wagon are the two diaper services we have in Sonoma County. YouTube videos are great for learning how to diaper.
  9. Prepare food in advance and freeze it in individual serving containers(chicken soup is great!). You can also request frozen meals at your baby shower, and a phone tree of friends who bring meals to you is great. It doesn’t have to be dinner: they can bring you food any time of day in exchange for seeing you and the baby.
  10. Read about the Fourth Trimester. Two great books that I recommend are, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” by Harvey Karp, and “The Attachment Parenting Book,” by William and Martha Sears.
  11.  GET A LOT OF SLEEP. DO NOT burn the candle at both ends right before birth. Your birth will go much better if you are well-rested ahead of time. If you don’t sleep well at night, take naps during the day. Be a sleep magnet.

HypnoBirthing® – the Original Dateline Segment

Many years ago, in September of 1999, the television show Dateline published a segment on birthing with hypnosis. They featured a doctor in Florida who was using hypnosis with his childbirth patients. The segment caused quite a sensation, because the women birthed without pain, and were very relaxed and calm throughout their births. While this wasn’t the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing®, what Dateline did was post a link to the HypnoBirthing® Institute on their website. The next morning, Mickey Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing®, had over 1000 emails in her inbox from pregnant moms all over the country who wanted to birth like the women they saw on Dateline. I’ve searched for the original segment on YouTube and posted it for you if you’re curious.

Dateline — Birthing with Hypnosis Video: Part 1

Dateline — Birthing with Hypnosis Video: Part 2

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