Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sore Nipples

Thank goodness for the mommies who have gone before me. I admittedly don't know everything about pregnancy, childbirth. and beyond and I welcome the advice and support.

My first trimester of pregnancy was a bit rough. I had spotting from 5 weeks until 12 weeks. On top of that, I was nauseated and throwing up from week 9ish to week 13ish. Now that I am feeling EXCELLENT in my second trimester, I am going to try and relay my own personal experiences, concerns, and questions about pregnancy and childbirth.

Many women have sore breasts and nipples during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In fact, my first pregnancy symptom was very tender breasts. But, I never expected to have such sore nipples. There were days in the first trimester that just the graze of a shirt across them or water running on them was so painful. As a breastfeeding advocate, I plan to put my baby to my breast the moment after birth. Although my nipples have toughened up during this 2nd trimester, I am nervous that I may experience sore nipples in my breastfeeding journey.

I am open to any suggestions, personal experiences, organic products, etc... I know Earth Mama Angel Baby has wonderful products for nipples. What else worked for you? Anyone had the same concerns or experienced what I am feeling? Did you prepare your nipples and breasts for breastfeeding in any way?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stretch Marks Anyone?

Currently, I am trying two different products on my 24 week, growing, stretching belly. I believe it is really important to be careful, especially during pregnancy, about what you put on your skin. What you put on or in will get to baby. Use organic, chemical free, paraben free products that aren't made with artificial preservatives when at all possible.

One product I love is made by Earth Mama Angel Baby. It is an organic shea butter stretch mark lotion called Earth Mama Body Butter. Made with chamomile and calendula essential oils, it goes on very nice and smooth and feels very nice on the tummy.

The other is called Tummy Honey and it is a thick, oil-based formula that smells of sweet, natural cocoa butter and feels amazing. It glides on easy and does not leave a sticky, greasy residue.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What Is Your Fertility IQ?

As many of you already know, I am an advocate of Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Methods as a form of birth control, pregnancy achievement, and maintaining the optimum health of your reproductive system as a healthy woman.

Using the these methods, I prevented pregnancy for 2 years with my husband before we chose to start our family. I have now become pregnant twice by utilizing these methods and find them very effective. And, not only is this an excellent way to prevent and become pregnant, but I have also been able to detect specific reproductive issues while charting and was able to contact a health professional for a healthy women's consultation.

So, What Is Your Fertility IQ? This quiz comes from The Garden of Fertility website. After you take the quiz, you can check your answers at the bottom.

1. The Rhythm Method is another name for Fertility Awareness. True or False

2. To conceive from sexual intercourse which takes place before ovulation, three things are required: sperm, a mature egg, and ________ _______.

3. A girl can get pregnant before her first period. True or False

4. A woman can have intercourse on Monday and conceive as a result on the following Friday. True or False

5. Fertile cervical fluid (CF) can keep sperm alive in the cervix for how many days?

6. Cervical fluid and arousal fluid are the same thing. True or False

7. It is possible for a woman to get pregnant if her partner does not penetrate her or ejaculate. True or False

8. Pre-ejaculate contains enough sperm to become pregnant or cause HIV. True or False

9. Lambskin condoms are as effective as latex in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. True or False

10. A woman can conceive as a result of intercourse that takes place while menstrating or breastfeeding. True or False

11. Females are born with all their eggs already in their ovaries. True or False

12. The lifespan of a mature egg:
(a) 3 days
(b) 6-8 days
(c) 6-24 hours.

13. Beginning at puberty, how many sperm do healthy males produce per second?
(a) 100
(b) 10,000
(c) 1,000
(d) 10

14. ____% of infertility issues are due to problems in the male; ____% are due to problems with the female; ____% are due to problems with the couple.

15. Which of the following can decrease sperm count?
(a) hot tubs
(b) hot weather
(c) tight pants
(d) marajuana
(e) environmental toxins
(g) all of the above

16. Before ovulation, the women's basal temperature is warmer or cooler than after ovulation?

17. A man's testicles are like a woman's (a)________. A woman's fallopian tubes are like a man's (b)____ _______. A man's seminal fluid is like a woman's (c)________. The penis is like the woman's (d)________.

18. Charting fertility signals can alert a woman to thyroid problems, vaginal infections, propenstity of miscarriage, propensity of ovarian cysts, ideal times for surgery, etc. True or False

19. Fertility Awareness and The Pill are equally effective forms of birth control. True or False

20. What are the two most common forms of birth control in the U.S.?

(1) False (2) Cervical Fluid (3) True (4) True (5) three to five (6) False (7) True (8) True (9) False (10) True (11) False (12) 6-24 hours (13) 1,000 (14) 40%, 40%, 20%, (15) all of the above (16) cooler (17) ovaries, vas deferens, cervical fluid, clitoris (18) True (19) True (20) Female Sterilization and The Pill.
See website for an explanation and more information for each answer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cesarean Section Stats

As I approach the 23rd week of my pregnancy, I am very much looking forward to the birth of my baby in a few months. We are planning a homebirth and are very excited to birth in the comfort of our own home. I chose a homebirth because I want to feel safe, secure, loved, and in control of my birth experience.

More than 4 million women give birth each year. Around 98% of those women birth in the hospital. There are some interesting statics surrounding hospital births. Did you know that in 1975 the c-section rate was 7%? Today it is almost 30%. In North Texas, where I live, it is an astounding 50-60%. I believe this to be due mostly in part to continuous electronic fetal monitoring as well as the adverse effects of the use of medication during birth. The World Health Organization recommends the c-section rate to be 15%. And, CIMS, the Coalition for Improving Maternal Services recommends a 10% c-section rate in community hospitals and 15% in high risk situations.

Ina May Gaskin is a well known midwife and author of many wonderful books on birth and related topics. She is the director of the Farm Midwifery Center in Summertown, Tennessee. According to the documentary, Pregnant In America, over 2,000 women give birth at The Farm and of those births, less than 1.5% ended up with c-sections.

What makes these statistics so astonishingly different? What does this say to you about the care given in hospital verses birth centers and homebirths?

There are several documentaries on birth that I recommend to anyone who is planning to give birth in any setting: Pregnant In America, Orgasmic Birth, and The Business of Being Born.

On May 13th from 7-9pm, the Tarrant County Birth Network will be hosting its free monthly "Round-Up" at Grapevine Public Library in Grapevine, TX. We will have a speaker on the topic of Cesarean Section and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). A panel of moms will also speak on their personal experiences. If you live in Tarrant County or the surrounding area, you will want to attend this meeting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tarrant County Birth Network - Update

The Tarrant County Birth Network is now up and running after much hard work and many ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. We have a lot to do to prepare for our first meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2010! We hope Tarrant County families, birth professionals, and expectant parents will come and be educated about their choices in pregnancy, birth, and beyond. So exciting!

If you are interested in receiving information about membership or the free monthly meetings please email me at Visit for information, as the Tarrant County Birth Network will be a branch off the
National Birth Network.