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Posts tagged ‘nurse’

JUST. SAY. NO. –> You can’t take my baby……

JUST. SAY. NO.

You CAN’T Take MY Baby to the Newborn Nursery!

All too often, we~ as hospital staff in Labor and Delivery- Mother Baby units or the Newborn Nursery, want to take YOUR baby away for this test or that exam saying we’ll be right back.  Well it isn’t always that quick- in fact it is RARELY that quick. One thing leads to another and before you know it, it is 1 to 2 hours before you have your baby back.

This is beyond wrong.

We are horrible for doing this.

We need to be a better support system for you.

I am working on getting all staff involved in increasing our exclusive breastfeeding rates. This begins with the first feeding. (well- it really begins with birth interventions but of course that is a totally different post)…….

Your baby should stay with you until he latches and feeds.

Stay.

Skin to Skin is the best way for him to get accustomed to his new habitat and learn where he will be feeding.

STAY WITH YOU

We can do virtually everything~ all routine newborn exams, procedures and tests at the bedside, with you right there.

Speak up and tell us NO

Thank You

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We Deliver? How about we make it a better delivery?

permission from CartoonStock

permission from CartoonStock

Our Maternity Services

Need Help!

The Maternal Child care delivery system in this country as a whole needs vast improvement. All of these 10 steps as well as the 10 steps to ensure optimal successful  breastfeeding are very important.

These items are sadly grossly misconstrued or ignored by many facilities offering maternity services in this country. I have been having the same discussions and occasional arguments with co-workers  lately on this battle of the newborn baby staying in the moms room overnight!!! I know~ it is a no brainer to those of you who read, research and understand. Many of my co-workers still defend their philosophy that the baby needs to come into the nursery at night so the mom can sleep!!  Many argue with me about labor positions and inductions!! AARRGGHH! I won’t get into our details right now…….

What I have here for you today is NOT new info but I recently reviewed it again as I was searching for evidence to back my discussions with staff. If you haven’t placed this information in your workplace to nudge some resistant peers, I urge you to do so!

This document : THE COALITION FOR IMPROVING MATERNITY SERVICES:
EVIDENCE BASIS FOR THE TEN STEPS OF MOTHER-FRIENDLY CARE
can show you research studies or data which support the ten steps below.

The 10 steps for Mother-Friendly Care from CIMS {Coalition for Improving Maternity Services} taken from their website…..are:

Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative
For Mother-Friendly Hospitals, Birth Centers,* and Home Birth Services

To receive CIMS designation as “mother-friendly,” a hospital, birth center, or home birth service must carry out the above philosophical principles by fulfilling the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.

A mother-friendly hospital, birth center, or home birth service:

  1. Offers all birthing mothers:
    • Unrestricted access to the birth companions of her choice, including fathers, partners, children, family members, and friends;
    • Unrestricted access to continuous emotional and physical support from a skilled woman—for example, a doula,* or labor-support professional;
    • Access to professional midwifery care.
  2. Provides accurate descriptive and statistical information to the public about its practices and procedures for birth care, including measures of interventions and outcomes.
  3. Provides culturally competent care—that is, care that is sensitive and responsive to the specific beliefs, values, and customs of the mother’s ethnicity and religion.
  4. Provides the birthing woman with the freedom to walk, move about, and assume the positions of her choice during labor and birth (unless restriction is specifically required to correct a complication), and discourages the use of the lithotomy (flat on back with legs elevated) position.
  5. Has clearly defined policies and procedures for:
    • collaborating and consulting throughout the perinatal period with other maternity services, including communicating with the original caregiver when transfer from one birth site to another is necessary;
    • linking the mother and baby to appropriate community resources, including prenatal and post-discharge follow-up and breastfeeding support.
  6. Does not routinely employ practices and procedures that are unsupported by scientific evidence, including but not limited to the following:
    • shaving;
    • enemas;
    • IVs (intravenous drip);
    • withholding nourishment or water;
    • early rupture of membranes*;
    • electronic fetal monitoring;
    • Has an induction* rate of 10% or less;†
    • Has an episiotomy* rate of 20% or less, with a goal of 5% or less;
    • Has a total cesarean rate of 10% or less in community hospitals, and 15% or less in tertiary care (high-risk) hospitals;
    • Has a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) rate of 60% or more with a goal of 75% or more.
  7. other interventions are limited as follows:

  8. Educates staff in non-drug methods of pain relief, and does not promote the use of analgesic or anesthetic drugs not specifically required to correct a complication.
  9. Encourages all mothers and families, including those with sick or premature newborns or infants with congenital problems, to touch, hold, breastfeed, and care for their babies to the extent compatible with their conditions.
  10. Discourages non-religious circumcision of the newborn.
  11. Strives to achieve the WHO-UNICEF “Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative” to promote successful breastfeeding:
    1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff;
    2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy;
    3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding;
    4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth;
    5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants;
    6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated;
    7. Practice rooming in: allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day;
    8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand;
    9. Give no artificial teat or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants;
    10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from hospitals or clinics

† This criterion is presently under review.

I endorse these steps. You can visit their website to also endorse.

Kathy from Woman to Woman Childbirth Education wrote about the CIMS press release on the Need for Transparency regarding the rising C/S rates. Excellent information is discussed here by the CIMS and I enjoyed the discussion between Kathy and RealityRounds.

I also would urge you all to visit and give information to The Birth Survey.

How is your birth place measuring up to these initiatives?

Let’s all continue to make this a better world

in which to give birth!!

No VBAC’s Banned: So Far so Good

iStock_000004564778Small My little hospital is not one of those hospitals which has banned VBAC’s.

We’ve been doing VBAC’s since 1984. Here is our first VBAC story. You may have read and heard that some places had specific policies against a mother attempting a VBAC.  There is really only a small percentage of women who truly are not a good candidate for a vaginal delivery after a cesarean. (Having a previous vertical incision in the uterus for example). There are several places a mother can go to for facts, scientific research, honest information and support if her provider or hospital has denied her an opportunity to VBAC. If this has happened to you, it will be important to do your homework, get the facts and have a really good conversation with your provider. It is important to make an informed choice weighing your benefits and any potential risks.

We do just under a thousand deliveries a year.

From January through July 2009~

We had a 100% successful VBAC rate!!!!

We had 2 mom’s last month that ended up having to go for a cesarean after labor began. I don’t know all the numbers but I had looked over the perinatal data sheets yesterday and I was so very happy to see how we were doing.

Let’s hope we keep it up!

😉

Frustrations in Obstetrical Care …Culturally Sensitive? Oppressive Male Partners?

027 The drama  that went on here this weekend would be fodder for 10 or more Jerry Springer shows!

~Unreal~

I kept thinking…

“Please help me”

I am not and never have been prejudiced or bigoted in thought process, personality or behavior towards others. I am actually on a campaign to help educate our staff on being culturally sensitive and delivering culturally competent care in relation to obstetrical, breastfeeding and newborn care…. I’m currently organizing a quick reference handbook so certain beliefs & cultural values are better understood by our staff.

This type of sensitivity is very important to me.

It may not matter how I say this. Despite me trying to convince you that I am not intending to offend any type of people…..someone will most likely get annoyed or upset. I don’t usually enter into this type of discussion. I am quite adept at diffusing anger. I am not singling out a problem with any specific culture, ethnicity, or country of origin. I am not attributing any certain behavior to any certain culture.

 

This weekend, we had mother’s giving birth who have recently arrived in the United States from the following  areas: Argentina, Poland, Liberia, Egypt, Iraq, India, Dominican Republic and Nigeria. Sometimes their husband,  boyfriend or significant other was from yet another different country.  These are not unusual immigrants for our patient population. It is however,  unusual to have such diversity in a single 2-3 day period!

My concern is this— As a health care provider– how do you even begin to try to understand another’s strong belief’s or values when you are treated with tremendous disrespect and confronted with attitudes which are unusually demanding of the caregivers to “provide” for any and all needs. Now this is of course what we do…. provide for the needs of those in our care. That includes our responsibility for understanding different certain religious beliefs, cultures and their various norms and values. But this should be done within an environment or culture of MUTUAL RESPECT.

As  much as it is our responsibility to provide for those individuals in our care….. to be culturally sensitive. I feel there should at least be some responsibility on the part of the patient — and or their family- to learn what may be expected of them …. to communicate their history, needs and or wishes to the doctors and nurses~~ or at least to try to understand when it is explained to them at the time of birth and not lash out with anger or disrespect to their caregivers.  Is it too much to ask for a little bit of responsibility to understand at least a little something about what is involved in childbirth, postpartum, newborn care and the legal recording of birth in the facility, state and country in which they have come to and chosen to give birth!  {Many times I have been told they came here so their baby would be an American citizen.} Am I allowed to ask that those from other countries try to be somewhat sensitive to and try to understand our culture? I am not trying to victim blame here.  Really. Many of the patients exhibited rude entitled behaviors and were very disrespectful to staff.  We are all “others” to each other –> but one big blending of society. Lets ALL understand and respect each other.

Some of the behaviors we dealt with include:

  • A mother is married, the father of her baby is NOT her husband. The FOB becomes physically violent that his name can not be on the birth certificate–yet– until there is an affidavit submitted that the husband is not the father…. This turned into an all out fist fight between the the 2 men. “SECURITY!!”
  • A husband refused to allow his wife to be examined in labor during his absence, yet left for hours at a time demanding the hospital provide for his transportation to and from his business 15 – 20 miles away.
  • This same father would not allow his wife to speak for herself…. then called our unit many times after the birth when he was not there to say he was sure his wife was suffering from post-partum depression and we needed to treat her!
  • An unmarried young girl had a PFO against the father of her baby — She did NOT want to see his family yet that FOB’s family demanded to be allowed to visit, displaying hostility, speaking loudly and threatening staff  in a non-English language outside the entrance to our unit!
  • Another mother delivered and the father of her baby was currently in jail on drug charges. She met the criteria (for other reasons) where she and her baby were screened for drugs…. Both were positive for cocaine and heroin… sadly.. 😦  This infant needed to be placed in protective custody of Children’s Services and treated for withdrawal. This is always difficult and heart wrenching. This mother spoke very little english, was ANGRY the tests were done and we were not able to help her understand a situation of this magnitude easily with the language line….
  • Frenzied inpatient banging on the window and yelling for the only nurses’s attention to simply ask a question or get more supplies for their infant even though she was involved in an exam with a doctor on a new very sick infant and had signaled she’d be there “in a moment’…
  • The family and multiple extended family members demanding minute by minute updates on a sick newborn, interrupting our care by knocking on the doors and windows to the nursery… after we have explained all  minute by minute updates to the parents of that baby who were at the bedside.  I have a feeling that culture may have placed a value on the elders decisions over the actual parents, but this mother did not want the father’s family to be in the nursery with her. They don’t understand HIPAA or even know what it is! My job is to support the mother and keep her informed and with her baby.
  • A family not wanting to answer most of the questions for the birth certificate because… it was simply an invasion of their privacy. Alright then.. it will remain blank and the Bureau of Vital Statistics can deal with it, right?
  • A father of a baby requesting then ultimately demanding to speak to the doctor ONLY for each and every one of his questions.. (I am just a nurse).. did I mention it was the weekend?? We don’t have doctors present 24/7 !

 

 

There are times when these situations unfortunately occur. Many times the individuals involved are Americans who are 2nd or 3rd generation of mixed ethnic background or are of no discernable ethnic or cultural background, have lived in this country all of their lives and still exhibit the same type difficult personality traits.  Since they are more “Americanized” shall I say-or however is politically correct to discuss it— it isn’t so difficult to diffuse hostility’s, discuss options, assist with birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, do birth certificates…etc. It is my opinion that sometimes they understand things better simply from living here. We will ALWAYS encounter individuals with difficult personalities regardless of background who may be demanding in nature. They may not initially understand what’s happening but usually respond well to a gentle receptive approach.

That was NOT the case this weekend!

I only wish for strength and future guidance to help and support those who don’t quite understand.

Don’t yell at me or treat me with disrespect.

I ask those individuals new to our country to help themselves a little and learn some of our language and the framework for which we deliver our obstetrical care.

Please.

Mama needs “ME” time…. How do you guys do it all?

Birth and Breastfeeding Blog? I haven’t been doing much blogging.. Hmmmm……I feel somewhat guilty…….I mean I feel like I have a lot going on in my life… but ~

I don’t have small children….. mine are grown and gone… for the most part.

I don’t work 5 days a week….I work 3..but they are 12 hour shifts

I barely cook… at least no really complicated meals… I’m not a crunchy (didn’t even know what that word meant) organic earthy person.. I try to eat well but — the easier, the better…or frozen 😉 is ok with me!

I don’t scrub-clean my house….. I like things orderly so I straighten, manage the dishwasher, blow the dust off frequently used areas, but hey, I gotta clean the bathroom.. that’s a must.

My husband does all my floors and his own laundry….. everyone in my house has always done their own laundry. My husband is just NOT a needy guy at all! He’s my dreamboat.

I’m not really married to my work… so to speak — but I’ve always taught my family that I have to care for people all day long at work…so they need to be independent where they can and help care for all their own needs. Mama is always available for the important stuff or talks.

Mama simply needs “ME” time..and a lot of it! It renews my spirit and rejuvenates my energy. Sometimes I feel like a selfish be-otch.. but I KNOW I need it. I’m worse with out it.

Today I worked on several work projects here at home…  Some PowerPoint, outlines for projects in my Clinical Expert Applicant Curriculum…. Specifically on Evidence-Based Practice and research;  Project participation within my organization… (searching for compelling ideas to stir up others enthusiasm); Community involvement; Cultural Diversity; Service Excellence and Preceptor/Mentoring of new nurses. Just a little somethin-somethin.

Oh and I forgot to mention a little thing called.. WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK !!   August 1-7  (more on that very soon)

A lot of the blogs I read contain regular well researched posts. I have over a hundred posts still to read in my reader! I want to tell my stories but I don’t always have the energy to figure out ways to tell the essence of the story and change enough to protect the identities.

So I do a lot of thinking and dreaming about what I’ll write on this blog — without really writing. Don’t give up on me yet.    If you are looking for something really cool or inspiring..I have it inside me head.. I do… it’s in there — still waiting to be gracefully typed with two fingers….

BUT

I’m probably watching a movie, reading a book or going out to lunch.
Fellow Bloggers… How do you pour it out on to the pages? I have a fairy tale impression of you all.

JUST HOW do you guys do it all?? Come clean with me.. are you all magical self-less supermom wizards?

Little Old Men… & Nursing in Public

Welcome Readers…to my first Carnival of Breastfeeding post!
This month’s topic is “Nursing in Public”.
Links to all the Carnival Posts are listed @ the bottom. I’ll update this as more are posted.

Keep checking back and Enjoy!!

My first baby was born in sunny Florida during a particularly hot stretch in May 1979.  Although I was an OB nurse, I knew very little about breastfeeding other than what my older co-workers had taught me—which was not all that correct or very helpful information. Luckily, I had a great friend who was nursing her 3 month old at the time my son was born. She really showed me the ropes. It just so happened that she was the one who took me home from the hospital. We had to stop at the store for a few items so we went in to a “Publix” supermarket with both babies in our arms.  My newborn son began fussing to nurse soon after we hit the air conditioning.

I said.. “I’m going to have to go back out to the car and nurse him.”

My friend says “Oh..You’ll do no such thing.. You’ll die in that heat.. Just hook him up and keep shopping so we can get finished and out of here!”

Me- “Nurse him in here?”

Friend- “Well if he’s hungry.. yeah!.. (after looking at my face) Oh stop worrying about it..go over to a deserted aisle, get him hooked on and put your receiving blanket up near his face… nobody will know!”

Me- timidly…above the louder howls.. “Alright, be right back..”

I found the most private place I could. I started cursing that complicated “wonderful nursing bra” I just had to have. (Remember..this is 30 years ago… this bra is now an antique!) My skills handling newborns allowed me some grace as I attempted to multitask by stooping down, prop my loudly crying baby on my partial lap, use 2 hands to fiddle with the damn nursing bra, then get him back up near my finally free boob and latched on.

Ahhhh~ quiet, happy, drinking baby!

Still stooped down, I peered slowly behind me — expecting that a large crowd must have assembled. Somewhat surprisingly, everybody was just going about their business and I happily realized that noone was looking at me! I stood up, made sure I wasn’t showing anything, and walked off with my happily nursing baby to find my friend.

It’s amazing how many people want to see a quiet baby as opposed to a screaming infant!

A sweet little old man stopped me first and asked me how old my baby was….”3 days”, I replied. He peeked in for a closer look and he actually didn’t get it right away.. “I can’t really see his face.”.. I said “Well- he’s feeding right now.”.. He just said..”OOPS….sorry about that! Well he’s a cute one!” then walked off.

The next person who stopped me was again.. a sweet little old man. He was very smiley and jolly. He asked all about the baby but didn’t lean over to look like the other man. I quickly said he’s nursing now and then answered all the small talk.  He never seemed uncomfortable about it at all! That probably gave me a lot more confidence. We parted ways and I finally found my friend. She gave me an approving thumbs up, asked me to hold a basket with my other hand and said we were almost done.

Another little old man stopped us by the register to ask about both babies. We gave him all the small talk answers and let him know my son was nursing. This guy was a real sweetie, commenting on how lucky kids were that moms were starting to “nurse their young” again and ‘good for you.”  He never tried to look in at my son. He didn’t seem embarrassed by the process at all. He was the coolest guy!

I left the Publix Supermarket on my way home to begin my life as a mommy…. with a little public education bonus.  Encountering those sweet little old men while feeding my baby and receiving their positive type feedback was the gentle support I needed. I went on to feel empowered to nurse in public for all three of my babies…  Those little old men were just so supportive! ~ When my baby was hungry, he needed to feed and it really didn’t matter where I was at the time.  Thank goodness for my friend’s wisdom and support to go for it!

I became a lactation professional while nursing my last baby. It was then, only after I really became more aware of issues surrounding nursing in public that I actually took any kind of public action to empower other moms.  I’ve done lots of different little things as the years have gone by. I want to mention one fun way that I thought I could help gently re-educate some of the “new” sweet little old men of this day and age.  Our local paper has a lot of little retired guys commenting back and forth on various local articles. I’m guessing their age and status by all the things they say. I took this opportunity to possibly educate some of these forum readers about breastfeeding rights in public.  Every once in a while, on the forum, I put out a little snippet on nursing in public… and sit back and watch what they have to say in reply! It’s quite fun!

Here’s an example I wrote on a long forum discussion a couple years ago on a breastfeeding article:

On another note, regarding a reader reaction in the forum, a skimpy bikini or the bathing-suit issue of a favorite sports magazine show more skin in a provocative, sexy way than any mom breast-feeding. Even the movie stars in their gowns with plunging necklines are showing almost the entire breast! Somehow, that is OK. It is sad that the public opinion of a baby breast-feeding (the most natural way for him to eat) is something that should be done in private … yet young girls are encouraged by media to bare more and more skin. Of course being discreet while feeding is important, but I can assure you, most girls in a tiny bikini are thinking more about “tacky exhibitionist behavior” than a mother breast-feeding her baby. August 1-7 is always World Breast Feeding Week. The theme this year is “Welcome Baby Softly,” focusing on the importance of the first hour or two after birth. Learn more about it. I would love to see the paper do an article on that.

This one provoked a few responses in both directions and sometimes there were a few people who actually thought out loud that …gosh maybe I was right… never thought about it that way…etc..

Here’s an example I wrote on a recent article about the appropriate % amount for tipping :

I have never left an establishment without tipping– however, I also tip according to service up to 20%. If there are unkind reactions to small children in a FAMILY establishment, they will be getting a bare minimal tip for sure!! I do my best to keep my children behaved with table manners AND respect other patrons… but fact remains, they are children! I cannot possibly be prepared for every behavior or an accidental spill. In addition, my breastfeeding baby may be hungry.. By PA law, I have the right to nurse my baby in a public place wherever he and I are allowed to be. I am discreet.. I am protected by law… I don’t need an unkind comment from servers. They do not get a 15-20% tip if nasty, unkind or disrespectful comments have been made about my children or my breastfeeding baby!

This provoked a foray of comments ranging from ‘good for you’ to ‘you should be in the back booth…controlling kids etc..’  Sometimes the opportunities to educate others come at unexpected times but produce amazing results!

On a few occasions, other readers were supporting my comments and

helping to educate those sweet little old guys with me!

😉

Carnival of Breastfeeding Post Links (Check back for updates)

No Prenatal Care? …..What are YOU Hiding??

No Prenatal Care is usually a symptom of something--hiding some type of underlying problem. Sometimes it's very ugly. The most common encounters we have involve illicit drug use during pregnancy. We need to develop a comprehensive Maternal and Neonatal Drug Screening protocol to protect the newborn.

Read more

OB Docs and Nurses Scoff at Homebirth

My community hospital’s views have never been in favor of any type of home-birth… whether it’s with a skilled professional  practitioner or a skilled lay midwife. There could have been some free unassisted births going on but we were not aware….  As I grew-up in this profession, I learned first from my experienced counterparts…then I began to educate myself and learned a lot from mothers and babies.  The doctors and nurses I worked with were all stagnant in their knowledge in my early years. They were satisfied with how things were.  I was young, I had an open-minded philosophy and an eager quest for knowledge.

In the later 70’s, just when we began to have mothers speak out and request a more natural childbirth, I had a few friends who enlisted the aid of some lay midwife in the region and arranged for homebirths. They all had a really nice birth experience without a single complication. Perhaps that was why I was open to the idea even though I was not personally involved. Besides some of the truly prepared couples who came in and had incredibly beautiful births….. that had been my first exposure as an alternative option to the knock’em out–pull’em out births I had been working with on the job. I knew my friends were very low-risk and had done their homework. 

   However, the hospital’s exposure to a homebirth in those days was only if the homebirth went awry for some reason or another and they came in our doors seeking help…  here’s what the docs and nurses would say to one another :

  • “Can you believe she planned to deliver at home???”
  • “How could she take take a chance like that with her baby?”
  • “The reason people started coming to hospitals to give birth was because mothers and babies were dieing at home….she must be crazy or totally insane!!”

   We’ve had planned homebirths come in for various reasons, as I am sure other facilities did…. (keep in mind that in my area, the usual birth attendant was a lay midwife). The situations bringing the mother to the hospital were often scary and upsetting for her. The most common were:

  • Fetal heart rate decels with or without meconium stained fluid 
  • Lack of progress with pushing mostly after many hours..
  • Higher than normal bloody show or bleeding–possibly abrupting
  • Breech, brow or face presentation
  • Retained placenta

Often the OB’s didn’t handle themselves well.. certainly not professionally. We had this one OB who would call for the OR to be opened before he even examined the patient or evaluated the situation…..regardless of why they came in.  And he often actually yelled at the mother, in the middle of her scary situation.

“Your baby will die if we don’t do an emergency C/S right now, why did you let this happen!”

Most often the backlash was directed at the midwife who cowered in the hallway- uninvited by the staff, left alone detached from her patient. She never left the unit though until she was afforded the opportunity to visit and speak to her patient. 

The two significant situations I remember which would fall in to statistical data for morbidity were:

  1.  An abruption which resulted in a crash C/S upon admission and a neonatal resuscitation with good response….(final apgars 3@one min then 7@ five min) positive overall outcome, no long term sequelae.
  2. A birth where the father (a chiropractor) was the birth attendant for his wife, a multip, encountered a shoulder dystocia and the baby ended up with a displaced fractured left humerus. That baby was in a crib with traction to realign the bone. The child went on to be an honor student at a local university after homeschool.

I feel that instead of the midwife or mother receiving hostility (or even the mother being wisked away to the OR without a trial of something if the baby was deemed stable..)~ the staff should have behaved in a compassionate professional manner, acting on any urgent situation with consideration that this mother is now experiencing not only labor but fear and grief over the loss of her beautiful planned birth.

Despite all the negativity from the staff, we never had a seriously bad outcome from attempted homebirths arriving on our doorstep.  We still have attitude problems, probably always will~ just as we do with breastfeeding.  I wish they could  look at it from my perspective. Those who choose homebirth today have better information to hopefully make an educated informed decision about their birth options and choose wisely. I really like Ricki Lake’s “The Business of being Born” among other’s. I hope those choosing homebirth are truly investigating all these options, deciding what is best for them and not making any decisions out of “anger at the system” or any sort of revolutionary zeal.  

  There is so much out there for medical professionals to be aware of other than what goes on in their tiny little realm, their little part of the world. My co-workers and doctors need to be better informed.  

Any one bad outcome (which most certainly happens in the hospital)  does not mean that every homebirth is a bad idea.

Cesarean Delivery of the Second Twin… Why? 

029I was talking to one of my on-line Twitter friends @onefinebreeder about twin delivery. I was telling her about how things used to be.. how vertex-nonvertex twin gestation’s were always delivered vaginally ….. and she commented on how it was sad that some of the old OB skills have been totally lost to surgery… So Very True!

I got to thinking about the first combination Twin delivery I had witnessed back in the very early 80’s. This was actually one of our own (hospital employee) nurses .  She was a multip…. around 37-38 weeks and healthy…no complications during pregnancy. Twin A delivered spontaneously, vaginally with a generous episiotomy as they often performed at that time… The baby , a girl, was about 6 pounds, vigorous and had no problems. We were all marveling at the first baby, checked fetal hearts on the second twin and started waiting for him to get in position.  Still before consistent ultrasound, we were not worried. However, we had a newer doctor who was attending this birth. He began to get concerned after 5- 10 min when contractions slowed and he was worried that if this baby was breech, he would have difficulty with the “after-coming” head. Up to this point, all I had learned was this can be a real concern if the smaller feet or buttocks present through a cervix which is not fully dilated. Much research was done later on but at the time, I did not know about it. He began to ask us to call the OR for a C/S. This was unheard of in my limited experience at the time…. my 70’s world. I thought.. how can they do a C/S now when one baby was already born??? I tried to be an advocate… (my early days… )”We have Piper forceps…”  I said meekly… “Have you tried to grab a large part and help bring the baby down… ?” This was my limited knowledge… all I knew to suggest. I kept wishing one of the other doctors was on duty that day.. or maybe we could call them???

In front of the mother, he said to me “I’m not going to have a bad outcome here!” By now it was 20 minutes or so. There was no cord prolapse, no drop in fetal hearts, no evidence of immediate trouble… the baby was seeming to work itself into breech position…. To the mother he said “Your baby is in serious danger and the best thing to save him is to take you for a Cesarean now!” “I’ll sew your episiotomy together while we are in the OR.”

I was in shock. She signed, scared to death of course. So we prepped her for the OR. She went up for a C/S of her second twin and repair of her generous episiotomy. Her second baby was delivered frank breech…  a beautiful boy about the same size and was also vigorous and healthy. I remember I felt as though she was almost assaulted. I remember feeling that this was a true rare event if it every happened before. There was no immediate access to information like today.

Luckily mom and babies did fairly well in the postpartum period even though healing from both the episiotomy and the C/S was difficult for her.

"How can I get out if I'm not head 1st ??"

" Psst-- How can I get out if I'm not head 1st ??"

I wanted to see how much research I could find on this topic. I had gone to the green journal (OB & GYN) website but then it locked me out. (You can only look at abstracts anyway unless you want to purchase the article. You are on your own for that.) I had some luck with the abstracts at PubMed so I have put a few here.

I decided to take a look across time…….

This first one is from 1981. . Quoted abstract from the PubMed site:

Cesarean Section for Delivery of the Second Twin

Evrard,JohnR.; Gold, Edwin M.
Obstetrics & Gynecology. 57(5):581-583, May 1981.

Four cases of combined vaginal-abdominal delivery of twins are presented, and an additional 5 cases from the recent literature are discussed. Malposition, malpresentation, and contracted cervix were the main indications for cesarean section for the birth of twin B. In the 9 cases presented, there were 2 perinatal deaths.

Interesting that this research was done during the same time frame as my experience above. I’d like to know more about those poor outcomes 😦

The next interesting article I found was researched over a 10 yr period, somewhat close to here in a larger facility, published 1997. THIS study examines the delivery of the second twin by utilizing external version vs breech extraction . 😉 The results are showing in favor of breech delivery vs version (those meeting exclusionary criteria ).. Versions were associated with higher a incidence of Cesarean and fetal distress. Neonatal outcomes no different and are stated below:

Method of delivery of the nonvertex second twin: a community hospital experience.

 Smith SJ, Zebrowitz J, Latta RA.   J Matern Fetal Med. 1997 May-Jun;6(3):146-50

Abington Memorial Hospital, Pennsylvania, USA.

The purpose of this study is to examine the incidence of cesarean section and fetal distress complicating the delivery of the second twin in vertex-nonvertex twin gestations in which the second twin underwent either breech extraction or external version. The intrapartum courses of 510 twin gestations delivered at a community hospital over a 10-year period were retrospectively analyzed. All vertex-nonvertex twin gestations were identified in which the second twin underwent attempted breech extraction or external version. Exclusion criteria included birthweight < or = 1,500 g, fetal anomaly, intrauterine demise, and monoamniotic twins. Of the 76 twin sets that met inclusion criteria, 33 underwent external version and 43 underwent primary breech extraction. The two groups had similar demographic characteristics. External version compared to breech extraction was associated with a significantly greater incidence of cesarean section (8/33 vs. 1/43, P = .008) and fetal distress (8/33 vs. 1/43, P = .008). There was no difference between groups in neonatal outcome for the second twin as measured by length of stay, 5-minute Apgar < 7, intensive care unit admissions, hyaline membrane disease, intraventricular hemorrhage, and traumatic birth injury. In conclusion, the increased incidence of cesarean section and fetal distress in patients undergoing attempted external version suggests that breech extraction may be the preferable route of delivery for the nonvertex second twin weighing more than 1,500 g

The next study was published a little later in 2001 and covered a 20 year span of time… during the 80’s and 90’s at a larger center in Nova Scotia, Canada. They noted an increase in their combination vaginal/cesarean twin births and documented some statistical data, looked at reasons for an operative second twin birth. I wish to read this study further some day to see if there is mention pertaining to mother/baby outcomes other than statistics outlined (even though that wasn’t their objective) in this abstract:

Combined Vaginal-Cesarean Delivery of Twin Pregnancies

Obstetrics & Gynecology . 98(6):1032-1037, December 2001.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence and factors associated with combined vaginal-cesarean delivery in twin pregnancies. METHODS: We studied all twin births weighing 500 g or more during a 20-year period (1980-1999) at a tertiary care center. Major anomalies, monoamniotic and conjoined twins, and antepartum fetal deaths were excluded.

RESULTS: During this 20-year period, 105,987 women delivered, of whom 1565 (1.5%) had twins. Of these, 1151 twin sets fulfilled the study criteria. The mode of delivery was vaginal in 653 (56.8%), cesarean in 448 (38.9%), and vaginal-cesarean in 50 (4.3%). During the 20 years there was a statistically significant increase in combined vaginal-cesarean and elective cesarean deliveries, with a decrease in vaginal deliveries. Parity, gestational age, and birth weight discordance (>25%) were not associated with combined delivery. Compared with vaginal delivery, the nonvertex second twin was associated with a twofold higher risk of cesarean delivery (relative risk [RR] 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 3.8; P =.002); and an interdelivery interval of over 60 minutes with an eightfold higher risk (RR 8.2; CI 4.6,14.6; P <.001). Vaginal-cesarean delivery had a 22-fold higher use of general anesthesia compared with vaginal delivery (RR 21.8; CI 5.4, 88.5; P <.001). CONCLUSION: There has been a significant increase in combined vaginal-cesarean and elective cesarean deliveries among twin gestations, with a decrease in vaginal births. Vaginal-cesarean delivery is associated with nonvertex second twin and a prolonged interdelivery interval.

Now we come to 2008!  There is a study here from Texas. This study looked a twins born by C/S after labor and twins who had cesarean birth of the second twin. they campared outcomes to see if the twin of a combined delivery had more problems. The most important pieces of information I gather from this abstract of results…. (again, having NOT read the entire study):

“Combined twin delivery may be associated with endometritis and neonatal sepsis when compared with a twin delivery where both are delivered by cesarean in twin pregnancies experiencing labor. More serious neonatal sequelae, including hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and death, were not affected by the route of delivery of the second twin.”  Hmmm 

Cesarean Delivery for the Second Twin

Alexander, James M.; Leveno, Kenneth J.; ….et al:for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network (MFMU)   Obstetrics & Gynecology . 112(4):748-752, October 2008.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75235-9032, USA. james.alexander@utsouthwestern.edu

OBJECTIVE: To examine maternal and infant outcomes after a vaginal delivery of twin A and a cesarean delivery of twin B, and to identify whether the second twin experienced increased short-term morbidity as part of a combined route of delivery. METHODS: Between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2000, a prospective cohort study of all cesarean deliveries was conducted at 13 university centers. This secondary analysis was limited to women with twin gestations who experienced labor and underwent cesarean delivery. We compared outcomes of the second twin in women who had vaginal delivery of the first twin and a cesarean delivery of the second twin to those who had cesarean delivery of both twins. RESULTS: One thousand twenty-eight twin pregnancies experienced labor and underwent cesarean delivery; 179 (17%) had a combined vaginal/cesarean delivery. Gestational age at delivery was 34.6 weeks in both groups (P=.97). The rupture of membranes to delivery interval was longer in the combined group (3.2 compared with 2.3 hours, P<.001). Endometritis and culture-proven sepsis in the second twin were more common in the combined group, respectively (n=24, odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval, 1.0-2.7; n=15, odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.4). These differences were not significant after logistic regression analysis. There were no statistically significant differences in an arterial cord pH of less than 7.0, Apgar score less than or equal to 3 at 5 minutes, seizures, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or neonatal death. CONCLUSION: Combined twin delivery may be associated with endometritis and neonatal sepsis when compared with a twin delivery where both are delivered by cesarean in twin pregnancies experiencing labor. More serious neonatal sequelae, including hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and death, were not affected by the route of delivery of the second twin.

I gather from these studies that a combined delivery route leads to more problems.. however…there are probably more problems than breech presentation alone to lead the provider to make that choice. I believe that many newer providers of obstetrics in a hospital setting are more apt to do a scheduled C/S for any vertex-nonvertex twins they encounter. That is what is done in my facility today. The same for all breech presentation singleton gestation.

Where is that old-fashioned nurse when you need her?? How ’bout the old fashoined doc??? 😉

I am very interested in anyone’s story or experience either in healthcare or your personal birth. Please let me know if you know anything about this!

Thanks for reading!

Watch Wednesday ~ WAIT to Clamp Cord!

Watch the video Wednesday

Just read an awesome Post about Delayed Cord Clamping by a fellow Labor and Delivery Nurse who has an excellent blog you should all read. I have a link to it on the right hand side… “nursingbirth”.

She did tremendous research and has supplied fabulous information. 

Here’s a shout out to you nursingbirth!!

Watch this video..