Hot or Bikram Yoga during pregnancy?

I love hot yoga. Some of my Yogi and Yogini friends dislike it for various reasons, but I really enjoy the feeling of becoming completely exhausted. I love to stretch my body when it gets a little tight from running so much and the class is the perfect length for me. I haven’t been doing it forever and generally I bounce around to different studios in North or North East Portland. I haven’t tried them all yet, but so far each one has a specific charm and I am close to making a commitment to one of them, I’m sure.

Today there was a pregnant woman in class. Nobody noticed until she started heading toward the door about 45 minutes into it and the instructor stopped instructing to ask what she was doing. All of our heads turned to her to watch what was happening, as we stood there like Flamingos in Tree Pose, balancing on one leg. (I felt for her at the time, I am sure all of us have had the urge to run for the door at one point practicing hot yoga.)

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Run a marathon, then give birth?

Run the Chicago Marathon and then give birth? Why not? Amber Miller did.
This happy and accomplished young Mom gave birth seven hours after running 26.2 miles, while stopping shortly to grab a sandwich in between…

This was the eighth marathon for Amber Miller, and the second marathon for her new baby girl. Amber ran another marathon last May while 17 weeks pregnant with her daughter, June, pictured here with Amber and Joe, the happy new parents. Amber also ran a marathon in 4:30:27 while 18 weeks pregnant with their son Caleb, (not pictured) who is now 1 year old.

Amber played it safe with the okay from her doctor to run the marathon and by alternating two miles of running with two miles of running at a time. Read more about Amber here…

I finished the Portland Marathon on Sunday with what I call a respectable 4:36:45, almost exactly one hour faster than my first marathon, three years ago. I cannot help noticing the hypnotizing effects that running has on my mind during a marathon…the regular fall of feet on the ground like hard rain…the state of hyper-focus, the relaxed excitement, the easy, simple, state of joy, trusting that I have done my training and now my body knows exactly what to do for the big pay-off…and it does!

Although I am not pregnant, I do know a few women runners who are, and thoughts of running while pregnant cross my mind often while I’m running – especially during a marathon’s four plus hours of pure thinking time. I wonder things like, will I still run? How hard will it be? Will I want to? What will it feel like? What will the doctor say? How much will people stare? Will I still run dogs?

We’ll have to wait and see for me, but do you, or does anyone you know run pregnant? What are your thoughts about it?

Mom Says About Her Baby’s Birthing, “It was intense, but also kind of fun”.

Thanks to Tricia for sharing her birth story with us…

I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. on January 16, two days after our
estimated “due date” (according to my own calculations based on my
knowledge of when Baby was conceived, not the LMP date which would
have been a bit earlier). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for
several more days, since I had gone 11 days past my “due date” with my
older daughter and then induced her with cohosh (black and blue, one
in herbal and one in homeopathic form) due to pressures from the
medical system. Also, I had experienced no pressure waves yet other
than very mild cramps occasionally (not more than once or twice a day,
and only if the day was busy) over the past 6 weeks or so. However,
when I woke up that night I was experiencing distinct and somewhat
uncomfortable pressure waves. My first thought was, “Oh, no! I do NOT
want to start working on this baby in the middle of the night!” My
ideal birth visualization had always included a daytime birthing time,
although I never could decide how long I wanted it to be. I waited to
see if the pressure waves would go away so I could go back to sleep,
but they kept coming regularly, so I put my Deepening track on, hoping
that would be put me back to sleep. It worked like a charm, and I
slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. when I woke up to regular pressure
waves again. My 3 ½ year old daughter woke up then too, and my husband
got up with her while I stayed in bed and adjusted myself to the idea
that this just might be the day.

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Relaxed Mom Sleeps Through First Half of Her Baby’s Birth!

Thanks to Meghan from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us…

I have not posted here since my first pregnancy when my 1st daughter was born in 2009 and I was using Hypnobabies but wanted to share the birth story of my second daughter because I found the power of Hypnobabies so helpful both times and especially with this birth.  And hope that it encourages all of you mamas in waiting to stick with the Hypnobabies program.

I was due on February 26th but towards the end of my pregnancy I was feeling like this baby might be coming sooner than that- I was having regular contractions during the night most nights from 37 weeks on- nothing painful or even very uncomfortable but definitely noticeable.

This inspired me to focus on my Hypnobabies scripts even more.  I started listening to at least two per day and also listening to all the affirmations.  I even listened to the “Easy First Stage”  and “Birthing Day Affirmations” from 38 weeks on so that I had those ideas in my head.  I might say that I became a little obsessed with having a easy, fast and comfortable birthing.  I am thinking that this is my last pregnancy and birth and while the first hypnobirth with my older daughter was a really wonderful, fairly comfortable and natural, I knew I could be even MORE comfortable, relaxed etc.

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Is the FDA after your kiddie pool?

Does the FDA not have anything better to do? How about checking into the nutrition content in food that’s served to our children in public schools daily, and it’s connection to childhood obesity and diabetes? No? You have to go after our kiddie pools?? WHAT?!

According to Barbara Harper, author of Gentle Birth Choices and founder of  Waterbirth International, the FDA has seized a shipping container of AquaBorn birthing pools at a dock in Portland, Oregon, and have ordered agents to “inspect and destroy.”

Birth Pool, ready to work it's magic.

“They claim they are unregistered medical equipment, but they are not providing a way or means to get them registered. In

other words, if the medical authorities can’t stop waterbirth, then just have the FDA take away the

birth pools,” she explains in a lengthy discussion that began yesterday.

While birth pools are imported to Canada under the category “paddling pools” and some are imported here in the U.S. under the category “sitz baths,” they have no legal standing as medical equipment at this time.

As the medical community continues it’s attempt at treating pregnancy as an illness, we will continue to use and promote the methods of giving birth that we know are safe for our bodies and our babies. Pregnancy is not an illness, and a birthing tub is not a medical device to be regulated.

Read on for interesting facts about waterbirth from Heather at Witnessing Birth

Hip-hip-hooray for waterbirth!

During my labor & delivery rotation, I research birth methods and found a great article that presents some compelling evidence to support waterbirth. Titled “Waterbirths: A Comparative Study”, the article appeared in Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy in 2000; the study itself was completed in Switzerland by researchers Verena Geissbuhler and Jakob Eberhard. Looking at data compiled over a period of 6 1/2 years, 7508 births were analyzed with specific attention to birth method – bedbirth, waterbirth, and birthing stool were the options considered for this study.

So, let’s fast-forward to the results: episiotomies were more commonly performed on women who gave birth in the bed (35.45), followed by those who birthed on the stool (27.7%), with the lowest rate belonging to the women who birthed in water (12.8%). Talk about statistical significance! What’s more, bedbirthers also had the highest rate of 3rd- and 4th-degree lacerations (4.1%) and women who gave birth in the bed experienced more blood loss and pain than those who chose another birthing method. In contrast, maternal blood loss, use of pharmacological pain medicine, and dissatisfaction with the birth were decreased in women who had waterbirths, as compared to bedbirthers and those who used the birthing stool.

What’s more, the APGAR scores of babies born in water were significantly higher at 5 and 10 minutes when compared with babies born on land. No increase in incidence of infection or water aspiration after waterbirths was reported. In fact, the researchers posit “waterbirths may enhance the experience of birth.” Yeehaw!

The take-home message: alternative forms of birthing (such as waterbirth and usage of a birth stool) do not increase the risk of poor health outcomes for mom or baby and actually provide some protection against restrictive and invasive obstetrical procedures. Thus, waterbirth and usage of a birth stool should be integrated into maternity care settings, and used alongside classical birth management. What does this mean? Bring waterbirth into the hospital! Special note to nurses, doctors, midwives, and other members of the obsterical team: form a working group, research birth methods, make a policy (or update an old one to reflect current research), and change the face of maternity care at your hospital.

After all, waterbirth should not exist on the obstetrical fringe, huddled in the corner next to homebirth. Rather, introducing waterbirth and the usage of a birth stool into the hospital will pave the way for women to exercise choice with regard to birthing position and method, and fosters an empowering, respectful, caring environment. Always, careful vigilance, regular monitoring, and prompt treatment of emergencies is paramount. However, with a positive, trusting provider-parent-child relationship, cultivating more choices in childbirth has the potential to make a life-long impact on the way women view and experience birth.

So FDA, why this attack on birth pools?