Laughing Gas for Labor? Nitrous Oxide Now Offered at St. Mary's in Madison

Laughing Gas for Labor? Nitrous Oxide Now Offered at St. Mary's in Madison

As previously written in the blog I wrote about labor coping strategies, the most common pain management options during labor in this country include IV opioid or epidural medication.  Recently however, an additional option became available at St. Mary's here in Madison-  nitrous oxide.  Read on to learn more about the history of the use of "laughing gas" in labor, how it works, the benefits, the risks, and what the experts are saying.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Prenatal Yoga: Aja Lefebvre, Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor at The Studio

Learn from a Local Expert About Prenatal Yoga:  Aja Lefebvre, Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor at The Studio

I've been a lover of yoga for some time, practicing on and off for about the last 10 years.  So, as both a doula and expectant mother, I had been looking more into prenatal yoga offerings in Madison, and I was so happy when Aja Lefebvre, instructor at The Studio, agreed to participate in a Q&A for this blog!  Read on for lots of great info from Aja about yoga during pregnancy.

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Birth Preferences (Part 4): Labor Coping Strategies

Birth Preferences (Part 4):  Labor Coping Strategies

In our culture, many of us grew up watching tv and movies that portray labor coping as limited to a woman panting and screaming for drugs.  The truth is, it doesn't have to be this way.  If you do opt for pain meds, as many do, you still have choices that you can learn about and prepare for ahead of time.  There are also non-pharmaceutical alternatives that can be very effective.  Read on for additional information on narcotic options and the lesser-known natural coping techniques you may want to include in your birth plan.

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Birth Preferences (Part 1): The Importance of Informed Consent and the "Overdue" Baby

Birth Preferences (Part 1):  The Importance of Informed Consent and the "Overdue" Baby

informed consent:

1. permission granted in the knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits.

If you have a healthcare provider, who you trust, and you feel has the proper knowledge and expertise to recommend the best course of treatment for you and your baby, who are you to question their advice?

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Nipplephobia: Why We Need to Normalize Breastfeeding in our Culture

Nipplephobia: Why We Need to Normalize Breastfeeding in our Culture

I admit it.  I'm one of the breastfeeding mothers out there who has allowed cultural norms to get in the way of what I believe is best for my child.  I've ended feedings prematurely to avoid breastfeeding in front of others, even in my own home.  I've "wasted" precious breastmilk I had pumped by bottle feeding even when we were together, just to avoid nursing in public.  I've breastfed countless times in dirty bathrooms, and tried to hide the fact that I'm nursing at all from some people to avoid the taboo topic of "extended breastfeeding" (she's 19 months).  And now? I've finally had enough.

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Getting Off to a Good Start with Breastfeeding: My Top 5 Tips

Getting Off to a Good Start with Breastfeeding: My Top 5 Tips

It's true that getting off to a good start with breastfeeding can be more difficult than what many may expect.  While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding along with complimentary foods until 1 year or longer (the World Health Organization recommends at up to 2 years and beyond), just 44% are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months.  This is due to many factors, but preparing yourself ahead of time and having good support can go a long way in helping you to reach your breastfeeding goals.  Consider taking a breastfeeding class, visiting a local La Leche League meeting, and taking the time to research breastfeeding basics before your baby arrives.  Here are my 5 Top Tips for getting off to a good start:

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I Want the Drugs. Why Would I Want a Doula?

I Want the Drugs. Why Would I Want a Doula?

About 60% of women receive epidural pain relief during labor in this country according to the CDC.  It is a very common and completely valid choice.  Why, if you decide to get drugs, would you also want to hire a doula?  Aren't doulas just for "crunchy" types that want to go "all natural?"  No.  And here's why:

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