This may not seem like it’s a choice that the mother can make, but it is, and the right choice is always to wait. Due dates have proven to be notoriously inaccurate, and according to Dr. Vern Katz, et al., they should be eliminated entirely.
Dr. Katz and her colleagues from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon, reported that the calculations used to set a woman’s “due date” based upon her menstrual periods is “flawed”. The use of an estimated gestational period to determine the best care for the patient is causing confusion and the patient does not treat this date as an estimate. She, and her entire family, considers that date a very specific point in time that they are looking forward to quite anxiously.
As the “due date” approaches, if there have been no signs of labor, the mother begins to grow anxious and distressed. This typically leads to a recommendation by her OB/GYN to induce delivery, usually leading to further interventions in birth. The problem with this is that intervention in the delivery process frequently leads to trauma for both the mother and the baby.
Dr. Katz and her colleagues conclude that doctors should expand the concept of a due date to a “due week” and, in this way, “allow biology [or nature] to take it’s a course a bit more”.
At this point, your baby is no longer growing bone density wise. Baby is only getting pudgier, and fat can squeeze through tight places. Your baby is not too big for your body to deliver, regardless of the size of your pelvis. Receiving Webster technique chiropractic care throughout pregnancy allows your body and baby to be in the optimal position for vaginal childbirth.
The average gestational time for an unmedicated, first time mother is 41 weeks and 3 days. Some babies come before, and some come after. If the fluids are still safe, the placenta will remain intact and able to give nutrients to your baby.
Dr. Jana Flora, Doctor of Chiropractic at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis, safely delivered her second child, Miles, at home after a 43+ week pregnancy.
“With my first born at 40 and 3, I never expected to go 43 and 6 with my second. But both my formal education and my spiritual beliefs kept me grounded in those long final weeks with the understanding that my body has an innate intelligence that supersedes any guideline or expectation. And with the expert care of my homebirth midwife, my baby and I were blessed to experience the beauty and intensity of natural childbirth.”
Check back for her full birth story in a future post, or ask her yourself next time you are in the office.
If the care provider you’ve chosen is not comfortable waiting for your body to go into labor naturally, and wants to induce labor, know that you have the power to change providers at any time during your pregnancy. There are OB/GYNs and midwives out there that understand and respect the natural birth process, and will not push to induce labor. Often, it is the labor facility’s policies that restrict even the most well-intentioned doctors from supporting a woman’s natural birth plan. Contact our office for a list of local, natural-minded care providers.
If you are comfortable with your care provider and facility and are aware of the risks of a medical induction, but are in a situation where you want to avoid an immanent medical induction, you can find a list below of natural ways to promote labor from home.
As mothers ourselves, we understand the emotional stress that can occur in those last weeks of waiting and wondering “when will I hold my baby,” but be encouraged that you are not alone, we have been there too. So we understand women asking, “What triggers the start of labor?”
Remember, your baby cannot stay inside you forever, so your body will inevitably kick into labor naturally if you’re not induced. These natural, at-home options will support your body’s innate timing for labor and delivery without the potentially harmful side effects of inducing labor.
Stand strong about denying a medical induction. You are ultimately in charge of your body, and you do have a choice about what happens. Your body was perfectly designed to birth your baby! You can do this!
Still have questions, or feel like you need help? Call us at 314-805-7837.
Your child’s immune system is being bombarded with poor nutritional choices, increased sugar intake and decreased sleep from, Halloween until Christmas. Remember it’s not just the holiday season, it’s also the cold and flu season. With just a few minor adjustments you can arm your children for the assault.
The type and quantity of food your child consumes is very important for their overall health. Food provides energy for their bodies.
During this especially busy time of year parents aren’t as watchful of what their children are eating; and with organized sports and after-school activities taking up so much time, dinner is being skipped altogether or substituted with a quick trip through the drive-thru.
Most schools report increased absences as more children are suffering from colds and the flu because of weakened immunity. So, how do you fight back?
There are several vitamins and minerals that are a fundamental part of a strong immunity, including the following:
This is the most crucial time of the year to consider this important part of your child’s diet:
Sugar consumption has increased 30% in the last ten years.
Most children are consuming 50% of their calories from processed sugar. Sugar contains absolutely no nutrients and studies have proven that excessive sugar intake can deplete your body of several vitamins and minerals. A high intake of processed sugar adversely affects the immune system since it impairs the ability of white blood cells to sweep up and kill bacteria. It also robs the body of key nutrients such as Zinc; which we know is an important part of your child’s natural ability to fight off infections.
Throw in the holiday factor and the increased intake of sweets, and your child’s immune system is under attack during a vital time of year. With the weather growing noticeably colder, and the average child spending more time indoors, the lack of activity combined with an increased intake of processed sugars all adds up to a weakened immune system.
Having long been considered a restorative process that is a fundamental part of a healthy body, recent clinical studies have found sleep also to be a crucial part of a properly functioning immune system. Did you know that a sleep-deprived individual’s immune system includes patterns of alteration similar to those found in depressed and alcoholic patients? Yes, a lack of proper rest can potentially cause a child’s immune system to suffer the same changes as those caused by depression and alcoholism.
It may be that your child just won’t sleep this long, but, while this chart is certainly not a requirement, it is most definitely a healthy guideline. The most important thing to remember is that good rest is a prerequisite for a healthy immune system, so begin to establish a simple routine Sunday through Thursday that encourages your child to get their much-needed sleep.
Some suggested routines to introduce would be:
It boils down to this: you don’t want your child sick during the holidays anymore than your child wants to be sick. So teach your child healthy habits to avoid the spreading of germs.
Regular, bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments help the body maintain a strong immune response, regardless of the time of year, by keeping the nervous system functioning optimally. This works the same for adults as it does for children.
The nervous system controls and manages the function of all the systems in the body: respiratory, digestive, circulatory, hormonal, eliminative and the immune system. Any form of stress—physical, mental, or emotional—can impair health by causing nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body’s ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.
Adjustments are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique condition. Chiropractic adjustments are both gentle and specific to each child’s development.
Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to future adjustments. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care.
If you don’t currently have a pediatric chiropractor, you can schedule a consultation at First Step Family Wellness in St. Louis.
Possible Signs of Colic and/or Reflux: Arch back to escape pain, inconsolable crying, frequent spitting up, sleep disturbance, poor weight gain, more crying at night compared to day-time.
Normal Weight Gain: 6-8 ounces/week or 2 lbs/month for the 1st 3 months
Colic has been defined as excessive, inconsolable crying of the infant, and research has shown that 10-20% of all infants under the age of 4 months suffer from infantile colic. Episodes of colic can happen anytime day or night, but will usually begin to follow a pattern.
The general consensus between pediatricians is that colic is caused by excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract and so their response is, of course, to utilize colic medicine. The most commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of colic is dimethicone. The side effects of this drug include: fatigue, sedation, blurred vision, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea and headache. While this list is certainly reason for pause, the most alarming fact is that the makers of this drug note on their literature that this chemical should not be given to infants under 6 months of age. Always ask for and read the drug inserts to be informed about this vital information.
While most infants will spit up a little after eating, infant reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a whole different matter entirely. It typically happens due to a relaxation of muscles at the bottom of the esophagus, and is considered a result of a lack of coordination between the organs of the upper digestive system.
Sometime reflux symptoms in babies start a few weeks after birth. This is because allergies or sensitivities to foods take time to develop. The infant has a leaky gut until about 6 months old. Proteins from foods and beverages are able to leak through the digestive tissue causing an immune response, therefore causing food sensitivities.
Sometimes the matter being regurgitated is breast milk or formula, but a lot of times it will include stomach acids causing the infant to be extremely distressed due to the discomfort caused to the esophagus.
The highest concern when an infant is suffering from infant reflux is the fear of “failure to thrive.” Since sometimes a large amount of the child’s nutrition is being regurgitated, many parents worry that they aren’t getting enough nutrition. With this concern in mind many pediatricians will immediately prescribe a drug treatment regimen.
Drugs can be given to infants with reflux, but usually the problem persists. The problem with using a drug that blocks acid production is that the body needs the acid to break down food. The acid in the stomach also helps to prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing. Drugs may also cause other digestive issues and increased risk of pneumonia and gut infections later in life.
The drugs most commonly used to treat infantile reflux are H2 blockers such as ranitidine, famotidine and nizatidine (also known as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid). With all of these chemicals the side effects can include sleepiness, dizziness, rapid or changed heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and trouble breathing. It should also be noted that since this is a prescription that has to be given on a regular basis at specified times, missing doses can also cause irritating and uncomfortable side effects.
The second round of treatment when H2 blockers fail is usually proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These include esomeprazole, omeprazole and lansoprazole (also known as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid). With these chemicals the side effects can include headache, diarrhea, abnormal heartbeat, rash, dizziness, muscle pain as well as nausea and vomiting. Has it not occurred to them that they’re actually causing what they want to stop?
You are not alone. We can figure this out together. Even if you are bottle feeding your baby breastmilk, we can help. Call us to schedule your lactation consultation today.
***If formula feeding
Have more questions about colic and infant reflux? Call First Step Family Wellness today at 314-805-7837, or fill out our contact form!
“Although breastfeeding is ‘natural’ so is giving birth, and most of us expect to get help with that. Many of us didn’t grow up around breastfeeding and have lived in a society with historically low breastfeeding rates. We may not even have seen breastfeeding up close until we come to do it ourselves. It’s not always easy. It’s important to find help and not struggle alone.”
Breastfeeding should be a restful and enjoyable time for mother and baby to bond. The goal of the breastfeeding team at 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood is to provide each mother with the breastfeeding tips, tools, and support she needs to continue a successful breastfeeding relationship with her baby.
Not having an optimal latch can lead to symptoms relating to colic, reflux, less than ideal weight gain, and dental decay; which can result in the need for otherwise unnecessary medications and treatments. Making sure baby has a proper latch on the other hand, can ensure baby receives all the breastfeeding advantages.
The best time to feed baby is whenever baby is showing hunger cues–sucking on hand or searching. If baby is fussy, bring baby skin-to-skin for several minutes to calm them, prior to bringing baby to breast.
1st Step Family Wellness’ Certified Lactation Counselor, Renee Muehlfeld, has compiled these 5 steps for achieving the optimal breastfeeding latch:
Remember, it is not about the amount of time spent at the breast. It’s about how much milk is transferred. A successful optimal latch leads to less time on the breast, a happier, full-bellied baby and a happier, well-rested momma!
Call us to get connected with one of our Certified Lactation Counselors or find a local breastfeeding group to join, like the groups hosted at Kangaroo Kids on Manchester.
Pregnancy can be an incredibly beautiful and exciting time in your life, yet it is never without natural fears and potential complications. Whether your pregnancy has been deemed a low- or high-risk, you may be afraid of or be experiencing your baby being abnormally positioned (a transverse, oblique or breech) near the end of term. If you also hope to experience a natural or limited intervention birth plan, these fears may be exasperated if your doctor suggests the need for a Cesarean or external cephalic version if your baby does not naturally move to the head down position.
First Step Family Wellness, in Kirkwood, understands the emotional toll that such fears and potential decisions can create, and it is our goal to make sure that every mother-to-be is equipped with the best knowledge and understanding of what options are available to reduce the need for a surgical birth. The Webster Technique has become a valuable chiropractic option for mothers throughout pregnancy, to improve fetal movement and optimal nervous system functioning that naturally increases the likelihood that the baby will reposition itself head down for delivery.
Like many women throughout pregnancy, you are constantly thinking about what routine steps you can take to ensure both you and your baby are healthy and ready for a smooth delivery. At the same time, you probably feel – perhaps even worry – that there is something more you can do.
Every pregnancy book and OB/GYN you speak to will tell you that to feel balanced (on the inside anyways) you should be regularly keeping up with some key things each day. They tell you to eat wholesome and fresh foods that includes lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins to keep you energized. To drink lots of water and less caffeine, too cut back on overly processed foods that make those mood swings even worse, and items with high salt content that won’t help those swollen legs and feet. To stay fit and improve your sleep with consistent exercise through low impact activities such as daily walks, pregnancy yoga, and dance. And to keep a strong support system around you, while also finding a way to manage the stresses of daily life (more…)
As Phillip Day of Food Matters once said, “What we need to be able to do is to persuade the public that you are what you eat, food can change your mood, and the choices you make directly affect the outcome of your life.”
In other words, you may not be able to control everything in your life, but you can control everything that you consume. Having a natural health mindset can ensure that you not only achieve physical wellness, but that you are also unconsciously happy and content with the life you lead.
While achieving a consistent, positive set of emotions may seem difficult to achieve to some, the reality is that once you understand why you are more prone to a negative mindset and how to avoid those reasons, the easier it will be to make better nutritional choices each day that will have a direct impact on your mood. (more…)
The new school year is well on its way. The initial frenzy is over and the kids are now getting knee deep in a new semester of knowledge, the stresses of schoolwork and exams, and are likely being introduced to a new set of emotions and confusions that are directly impacting their behavior and overall concentration. While it may feel like all you can do is either wait it out, talk it out, or seek professional assistance; there may be another solution right under your nose
Think about your child’s diet at-home and during the school days. While you may be able to ensure that they are eating all their vegetables and other necessities while at home, do you know what they are consuming when you are not around? Do they choose from the breakfast and lunches provided at school, grab a soda or candy bar between classes, or opt for sugary and artificial snacks while doing homework and studying? (more…)
Do you think about your skin when choosing products from the store? Do you read the labels to see what added chemicals are getting up close and personal with your skin? Do you pay attention to how the products you choose are affecting your skin’s appearance and touch?
If your answer is “No” to these questions, it’s time you start getting to know your skin a bit better and treating it with more love. Why, you ask? Because your skin is more complex and important than you may think… (more…)
It is completely natural for mothers and their newborns to experience any number of issues when breastfeeding, from latching problems to poor milk supply, but many do not realize that these may be linked to even large issues. One of the most significant is called TOTs, or Tethered Oral Tissues.
Here at 1st Step Family Wellness, Dr. Jeanne and Dr. Ryan Sandheinrich want to ensure that your family stays well-informed about such challenges, including how to identify if your child is Tongue Tied and what you can do to help them live a healthier, more comfortable life.
TOTS, or Tethered Oral Tissues, may occur when the thin portion of skin under a baby’s tongue limits movement of the tongue and/or when movement of the mouth is constrained by the upper lip being anchored to the gum.
This is found in anywhere between 0.2% and 2% of babies, believed to be genetic, and can cause a multitude of problems for both mom and baby. The condition is recognized as “tethered,” since it is the thin membrane of tissue that is meant to undergo cell death during the baby’s development in the womb, that instead becomes wrapped and remains secured to a portion of the inner mouth. (more…)