Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Delayed Cord Clamping, Placenta Pills and a Water Birth Oh My!!

31 weeks + 4days .... Almost 8 months along!
Dress from Harrods by T-Bags Los Angeles, 24" clip in extensions by www.MilaniHair.com

Ok, so Im just going to go there!
Despite what I'm sure many may have thought, I actually want to go as natural as I can for the birth of my son. I'm sure people assumed Id be one of those girls who goes in for a scheduled C-section and then gets a tummy tuck right after. The truth is however, my maternal instincts are pulling me towards a Water Birth/ Natural Birth, Delayed Cord Clamping and having my placenta encapsulated in the Raw form  after I give birth as well as drinking a placenta smoothie asap after I have delivered... !
"WTF" is probably what you're thinking, but read on to see why and what its all about.

** While I do want to try and deliver my child without the interference of drugs, I would like to say that I still feel more comfortable delivering in a hospital rather than a home birth; I feel its safer in case of emergency and gives me peace of mind. But, I want to make my hospital delivery as natural, peaceful and drug free as I can however I am keeping an open mind to other options incase of emergency or things not going as planned.

Lets first start off talking about Delayed Cord Clamping-
"The benefits of delaying umbilical cord clamping and leaving the cord attached to your baby until it is completely drained of nutrient rich blood are now becoming known again. It usually takes 5-60 minutes for the cord to stop pulsing; until then the cord should not be clamped or cut unless there is an emergency. During the pulsing stage, the placenta is still providing your baby with up to 150ml of iron and oxygen rich blood that is plentiful in important post-birth hormones, stem cells and T cells and other vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  Placental hormones are known to help facilitate the mother/baby bonding process in the weeks after birth.  Delaying in cord clamping has also been scientifically linked to higher iron levels in infants at 6 months of age. "

I dont see myself waiting 1 hour after the birth to cut the cord- but I would like to wait as long as I can and refrain from clamping and cutting the cord right away to benefit my baby. (5-10 minutes)
I spoke to my Dr about it and asked him about the benefits and if there were any negatives to doing this. He mentioned that the baby can get Jaundice- which is a yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes but nothing is proven. For me- the benefits outweigh the negatives so I asked if I could just delay the clamping a bit and he said "as long as there are no complications and so on- of course". So this is what I am planning to do first and foremost.


Watch this video to learn more- I found it very interesting.


Water Birth/ Natural Birth-
So many of you have told me in comments and on my social media pages to watch the movie "The Business of Being Born" which I rented on itunes and watched. I was so inspired by the water birth and being able to walk around and move freely and listening to my body during labor that Im strongly considering having a water birthing pool as an option in my room at the hospital.. I LOVE love love the idea of a home water birth but here in London where I will be having the baby, the traffic, distance and the fear of a possible emergency / what if moment makes me feel more comfortable for my first time especially, giving birth in a hospital. I want to use my Dr vs switching now to a birthing center so I am going to ask if I can arrange to have natural birthing tools such as a birthing ball, mats, a birthing stool and a birthing pool in my private room. I dont know if a birthing pool will fit in the delivery room, but the room does have a bath and shower and huge bathroom so I could use that to labor in but I am going to try to labor home in my own bath for as long as I can before heading to the hospital. All of the other tools I know they have access to and wont be a problem bringing to the room.




*Update*- Unfortunately there is no room in the birthing rooms and my Dr told me he has never done a water birth, which was fine with me as I really just wanted to be able to relax in the warm water and be able to move freely in my room while Im laboring and possibly even give birth in a "non traditional" position if thats what I feel my body wants to do- i.e.: squatting, standing, whatever feels right. They do have birthing balls there which I was happy to see and all the midwives who work in the birthing area were so nice and understood my want to go as natural as possible, they made me feel really comfortable and at home.


Placenta Encapsulation- The RAW way!
I have been thinking about having my placenta encapsulated since the day I found out I was pregnant. I don't remember where or how I heard about it- I think possibly a friend joking about placenta smoothies but I became completely fascinated by the idea.  Ive been doing research and reading up about it and found there to be so many benefits. It sounds disgusting and all of my friends who I told I may do this FREAKED out telling me I was crazy, BUT, for some reason I really want to do this.   I then found the UK site call IPEN ( IPEN is a UK based International Network of placenta encapsulation experts dedicated to 'new mother' health and support), watched a few videos and decided this was for me.  I asked my Dr if any of his patients have done this and he said one lady from another country took the placenta home, cooked it and ate it. To me, cooking the placenta would defeat the purpose, kind of like the raw food diet theory, once its cooked over a certain degree it starts to kill off all of the nutrients, hormones and vitamins- so whats the point. I am going to have my placenta prepared like a Raw food restaurant would "cook" food- by dehydrating it. Its then turned into a powder and put into capsules that can be consumed. This definitely isn't for everyone, but I guess Im a lot more "au naturel" than many would have thought.


After going on the IPEN website I contacted a few placenta encapsulation specialist and chose one that felt right to me.
How Much Does It All Cost and how does it all work?-
The lady Im using will be preparing my placenta at my own home. Most do it at their own houses and then hand deliver the pills to you, but I just feel more comfortable having it done in my own home for an additional cost.
-How its prepared- " it takes aprox. 1 hour to prepare the placenta before dehydrating and once it is in the dehydrator it needs to be there for aprox. 16 -20 hours, after that it takes another couple of hours maximum to encapsulate, depending on the size of the Placenta."
-How much does it cost- "my usual fee of 150pounds for the dehydrating process but would ask for the delivery by hand fee which is 55pounds on top of that" - which works out to be about $307.50 but each person has a different rate.

To read more about the benefits of Placenta Encapsulation and answers to some FAQ please click the link -----> http://placentanetwork.com/placenta-encapsulation/raw-placenta-capsules/

Placenta Smoothie-
In the last couple of weeks I started to think, well maybe I want to have a placenta smoothie as well- dont ask why. So I looked up what it was all about and asked my Placenta Encapsulation lady about it.
"The raw placenta is known for its high contents of stem cells and growth factors which together heal damaged tissue and organs at a very incredible rate.  Consuming the placenta raw is the most natural and benefitial way to benefit from your placenta after birth."

Benefits of Raw placenta smoothie:
  • Helps stop post partum haemorrhaging and trigger the body to quickly heal internal wounds
  • Significantly reduces blood loss
  • Gives the body an immediate supply of essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Provides the body with an immediate boost of hormones to begin healing the body after birth
  • Gives the mother an immediate feeling of strength and balance
  • Most mothers who have the smoothie report milk ‘comes in’ at day 2 post-partum rather than3-4 days post-partum
  • Eases the hormonal transition to post-partum and helps prevent the ‘baby blues’ around thetime when milk engorges the breasts


What my lady had to say about it-  "We can prepare the smoothie for you in the hospital, at home or I can prepare it at home and bring it to you, for this we will need some berries, honey and a throw away blender. The smoothie is best to have as soon as possible but within 12-16 hours is ok too. I havn't tasted one but everyone says the smoothies are yummy and taste a little earthy. Its good to remember that I only put in about a 50 pence (silver dollar ) piece size of placenta in and then you have lots of berries and banana,honey etc which is also just what you need at that point."

Doesn't sound so bad... Think Ill go ahead and try this and blog about it after :) Wish me luck.

To read more about Placenta Smoothies click the link ---> http://placentanetwork.com/placenta-smoothies/


This article was released on the LasVegasSun.com about placenta eating moms.
Click the link to read about it-


Some Things On My Birth Plan-
A few other things I have added to my birth plan.
-After the baby is born (providing its done vaginally) I dont want the baby cleaned up or his umbilical cord clamped- I want him placed on my chest right away where I will wait a bit to A. Bond and B. wait for the cord to stop pulsing as much/ drain out naturally. I have read that its best for the Dr's not to wipe the baby down right away because that is his protective layer and assists in his natural instinct to breastfeed.
-Id like for the baby to stay in my room at all times
-I want to avoid a C-section unless an emergency
-Id like to avoid any induction drugs
-I wish to breastfeed exclusively (for 1 year is my plan)
-I only want my husband and I in the room for the birth of our first child together.
-We do plan on circumcising our son
-I may or may not bank whats left of his cord blood and stem cells.

I hope you get inspired and do your research. There is no right or wrong when it comes to these kinds of decision, just follow your heart and do what feels right for you.
Please share your stories in the comments below. Id love to hear about your experiences.
xoxo
Jennifer
The gift of Life <3

49 comments:

  1. I was hoping for some pictures of your baby bump and the nursery..... =(

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  2. Is there such thing as a tummy tuck after a c section? I think I heard its called a C tuck. My Dr told me no such thing.

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    1. I would love to have this done, I am having a scheduled c-section. Does anyone have a referral. My doctor says this doesnt exist..

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  3. I love your birth plan! I was 18 when I had my daughter, so everything I wanted for my birthing process got push aside, I had too many people in the room and I wanted to be up and walking as long as I could. I delivered naturally, no drugs, despite everyone in my room telling me that was ridiculous. I also breastfed until she was 8 months old and would have done a full year, but things happen. I love the look on other women's faces when I say I had no drugs when I delivered! Don't let people deviate you away from what you want, you know best mama!
    Lots of love,
    Kelsey

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  4. Yay so happy to hear this is your birth plan. Mine was the same although didn't get to go exactly as planned due to her coming a month early. We made the best of it though. Still breastfeeding 13 months later. My LO is not vaccinated so I've decided to bf until she weans. Honestly breastfeeding may have been more of a struggle than the actual labor, hope its easier for you! I highly recommend having a good lactation consultant and most importantly a doula, I'm not sure how I would have done it without my doula!! Anyway here is my story, short and sweet, I was on lack of sleep :)
    http://jamiewest777.blogspot.com/2012/04/my-birth-story.html?m=1

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  5. Hey Jennifer,
    Just wanted to say I I enjoy reading your blog and as a future mom it was enlightening to read about all the research you've been doing and sharing your birth plan. Like you said you never know what can happen but at least having a plan gives you some piece of mind. I wish you all the best and can't wait to read more of your posts once little Niko gets here!

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  6. Helloooo Jenny :)
    I really enjoy reading your blog, just the sole fact that you are so down to earth and yourself is admiring. I hope you have a successful birth and although it is rare and a bit freaky to hear about the placenta pills and such, meh who cares about anyones opinion...it is YOUR birth giving anyway :) Good luck and mwah on behalf of me to the lil boy

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  7. Congrats, Jennifer! I had a natural water birth at the hospital for both of my girls. I took placenta pills after birth and it helped me get my body back + made my hair smoother, and gave me WAY more energy than pre-pregnancy. Yay for natural mommies! :)

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  8. Great post. Sounds similar to mine!

    Are you planning in vaccinating your child? I have been researching and researching about it and I am still unsure whether to or not.

    I was vaccinated for every thing as a child

    Blessings and love
    Chloe

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  9. I had a natural birth and encapsulated my placenta and breastfed for two years. You can do it! I am impressed that you have done so much research and are using your platform to further a more natural way of doing things. If you have not done so already, I recommend the books by Ina May Gaskin. She is a famous midwife and I found her stories to be inspirational. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and have a fabulous birth!

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  10. I greatly admire all of the research and thought you're putting into the birth of your son rather than just sticking to what the standards are today if you're not fully comfortable with them. I too went through a phase of wanting a natural water birth after watching The Business of Being born in a women's studies class... I ended up caving and getting the epidural and oh my goodness I love it lol. I'm intrigued about the whole placenta smoothie and encapsulation and do hope that you'll find the time to blog about it once you're busy being a mommy. It's truly the most amazing and rewarding experience; you'll really feel what love is <3 Best wishes :)

    Ps-pray to Saint Gerard, the patron saint for expectant mothers ;)

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  11. I had a feeling you'd go with a more natural birth because you're smart, and a research junkie, and when you put those together, the obvious choice is as natural a birth as possible! I'm 13 weeks pregnant and I'm loving your blog for all the info- your Stokke stroller choice is definitely influencing my baby registry! Are you taking any birthing classes to prepare? I'm just going to yoga like normal, adding in some more prenatal classes at the end I think.

    Can you please post what your exercise and diet and weight gain has been like?? I've already gained 4 pounds and I know it's mostly blood volume/uterus/water retention but I'm still having a hard time with it- I was a slim, healthy, athletic weight to begin with so I definitely don't need any extra fat stores- I'm aiming for 18-23 pounds total gain this pregnancy and so far I think I'm on track- but it's still hard being such a fit, health conscious, slim person my whole life!

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    1. Um....I hope you realise you HAVE to put on enough weight, for your baby!?! There's nothing wrong about gaining weight during your pregnancy, you cannot expect to stay slim throughout. Scares me so much to read about women freaking about gaining weight FOR THEIR BABY! The baby needs nourishment! It needs a healthy mom, not a skinny one! Please learn to appreciate the amazing changes your body is going through to make sure your baby is taken care of.

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  12. Reading this I think you would have liked giving birth in Norway actually. Everything you wrote is routine actually, except for the placenta-thing. I had my son 6 months ago and it was a great and (mostly) natural experience. I wanted to do a natural birth without any drugs but ended up getting an epidural because the pain was excrutiating early on. My local hospital is all about natural and I got to try acupuncture and laying in a tub first to help the pain (didn't work for me unfurtunately). You can't decide if you want a c-section yourself in Norway, and I think that's a good thing. You're meant to give birth naturally, and it seems for women that have had c-sections it's harder for their bodies to understand they've actually given birth (my mother in law actually felt phantom kicks after hers!) and not to mention for every scar on your uterus it's harder and more dangerous to get pregnant again. And even though it hurts like hell, it's the most amazing and powerful experience and you will feel like a champion afterwards (and you'll forget the pain pretty quickly too, I did after only a few hours).

    I think you're really smart for deciding to have the baby put on your chest right after giving birth. That moment when you feel your sons skin on your for the first time is the most amazing moment you'll ever experience. It's also said to help the baby calm down after the birth and soothes his heart rate. It's also proven that having skincontact with your baby every day helps boost it's imuune system. Breastfeeding does that too, which I'm sure you already know.

    I have to warn you, breastfeeding can be pretty hard! It took me 6 weeks to get enough milk to feed my son exclusively, but it was worth it. And if it doesn't work out the way you want, a little bit of your milk is better then none!

    It's been so fun reading your blog these past few months. I read through your blog right after having my son and reading about your difficulties getting pregnant I was so happy for you when it finally happened for you. I actually think you got pregnant a week or so before I gave birth. And I have to say you have the best time of your life ahead of you! I'm sure you're gonna be a wonderful mom just seeing how much you're taking care of him already, and he's not even born! I wish you all the best of luck, and I can't wait to hear about little Niko pretty soon!

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  13. Wishing you all the best! Natural is the way to go :-)

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  14. Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing all this information. It is too sad that doctors are making business out of child birth. And it is even sadder how ignorant and uneducated most of us are when it comes to this question.

    You should read this blog: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/ (unless you are doing it already :) It has a lot of great information on traditional and raw lifestyle, including pregnancy.

    Can't wait for your new posts! Enjoy the pregnancy :)

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  15. Have you always been an advocate of all things natural or just since finding out you're pregnant. From reading some of your past posts you used cosmetics with chemicals in them but then turned to organic, whole foods products during pregnancy. I think it's great by the way as I too am doing the same...we just don't realise what kind of toxic thigs we're using.

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  16. I am not a mom myself (yet, I hope - waiting for Mr. Right :-)), but really enjoy reading your posts about your pregnancy as I have friends and family members going through the same stage in their life right now.
    I am so happy to hear you being so outspoken about wanting a natural birth and no pre-scheduled c section like so many "celebrity moms" seem to have! This gives a beautiful signal to other moms that it is ok to trust the natural processes of your body - so many moms to be are afraid that their body won't handle the stress and that there will be so much damage to your vag that they won't enjoy sex anymore etc. etc. etc.
    I hope you will remain as open and honest about the changes your body will go through after birth and please, don't sugar coat the recovery process and the road to your "old body" because I always feel not enough celebrity moms speak out about these things and make it all sound easy and stress free, which makes moms feel like a failure when they are struggling with postpartem, stress and going back to their slimmer selves.

    It makes me a bit sad that you are circumsizing your son as it really should not be done unless for religious reasons, but I understand it is still the norm in the US. Healthwise there is absolutely no reason for circumcision and it does put a lot of trauma on the poor little ones.

    Anyway, just love your openness and that you provide a safe place for women to discuss these things! xox

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  17. Jennifer you are such an inspiration. And your entire decisions show how healthy you live! It does not matter what other people say, you have to listen to what your heart tells you. The most important thing is that the baby is healthy. I wish you and your husband all the best and that everything goes the way you want it to you!And I wish you that you quickly get back again your great Body :-)

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  18. You are a healthy woman and you have been so dedicated throughout your pregnancy, I'm sure you will have the labor that you have planned.

    I had a very similar birth plan to you, and after 26 hours I ended up in an emergency c-section. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated. On top of that, my breast milk never came in and I have struggled to produce even minute amounts even with all the supplements and doula work one can do.

    While it is unlikely that you have these issues, it might be worthwhile to have back up plans (and hopefully you won't have to use them!). I was so certain I wouldn't have these issues that I didn't bother thinking about them and when it happened I became very depressed. I have a healthy and happy baby girl that is now two months old and everything is okay now, but I think my biggest piece of advice is to plan for all scenarios. I wanted to be the most natural mama and that just wasn't in the cards for me. It took me a while to research the best formulas and it was harder with a baby here and I had so much stress and felt so guilty for not having all of the answers when my original plan didn't happen.

    Also, I'm glad you're going through with placenta consumption! It has made a tremendous difference for me, it is something I think all moms could benefit from.

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  19. wowowowow this post made me SO excited for you! good luck good luck good luck...i love how you have thought about everything so thoroughly...time to relax now babe, you owe it to yourself. the birth will be easy for you i know it! please take it easy :) cannot wait to see beautiful prince NIKO!! and do not listen to that comment above ^^ circumcision will NOT traumatize the baby in any shape or form. btw what shoes were you wearing with the maxi dress? you look gorgeous!!

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  20. Please reconsider circumcising your baby. I know its considered the norm in the US and its "strange" or "weird looking" and the penis will be "dirty" if its not but these are WRONG. Imagine the equivalent- female circumcision. We all think this is horrible where its regularly practiced in other countries. Male circumcision is the same thing - its mutilation. Not saying your baby will be traumatized for life, he wont. But why remove body parts for cosmetic reason? Just as females need proper cleaning to remain infection and problem free, so do the true male penis. Circumcision is purely for cosmetic reasons. Please do not do this to your baby. It is cosmetic surgery and not medically necessary. Why would a doc want to do this then? Because they get paid more for procedures. If Niko wants to get circumcised later in life when he is older, then thats his choice- just as yours to get plastic surgery. Here is a great informative site about circumcision. http://sexasnatureintendedit.com/ You claim you are being as natural and organic as possible. So dont forgoe the circumcision part as not being a big deal! Its a huge deal! Let him decide later.

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    1. Circumcision is such a controversial topic. As an RN, I can see the positive and negative from both sides. However, I will say that there have been many studies that circumcision can actually help prevent STDs, because an uncircumcised penis can basically trap the disease (and we all know teenage boys are not known for their cleanliness!! hehe). I worked in geriatric populations for a long time, and there were a few elderly gentlemen I took care of that were uncircumcised and due to disease processes and various syndromes they were unable to properly care for themselves. Most of these men were in tact mentally but their bodies were so weak, and to have to clean them in such a private area was so demeaning to their self esteem. They would constantly apologize, a few even said they wish they had been circumcised because then they could clean themselves.

      These are just a few points I like people to consider when they are adamantly against circumcision. Again, I totally see both sides of the issue but there are pros and cons to both sides. :)

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    2. Is it also demeaning to clean elderly women who are there mentally but can't take are of themselves physically?

      The US has the highest circumcision rate AND the highest STD rate in the Western world.

      This article attacks every myth that Americans tend to believe: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe

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    3. There is no medical reason to circumcise a newborn. If he wants to be cut when he can decide, that should be left to him. It is not cleaner nor more hygienic, in fact a baby boy is easier to clean than a baby girl, no folds. Just clean the outside, never try to move the foreskin away from the head of the penis. In a newborn, it is attached like your fingernail to your finger. The only person who should ever touch his foreskin to move it is the boy himself. When he is old enough and retractable, a quick rinse in the shower is all he needs. Since the foreskin has 20,000 nerves, removing it changes his sex life forever. If you want your son to have his best life, and that includes his sexual life, do not circumcise him. ~ An RN and Mother of an intact daughter and son.

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    4. Don't geriatric women have similar, if not worse, issues with cleanliness? Do they wish their labia and clitoral hood had been removed so it was easier to keep them clean? If an elderly adult is having difficulty staying clean in a care facility, I'm going to look more at the level and quality of care they are receiving rather than their anatomy. In the USA, we are taught that the foreskin is "extra" skin, it's useless, it's just a cesspool of disease and infection waiting to attack. Around the rest of the world, however, these are not issues that seem to have an effect on the male population.

      As far as transmission of disease, why is the USA one of the top circumcising countries in the industrialized world AND one of the highest in STI and HIV/AIDS infection rates?

      Condoms prevent sti's at a much higher and more reliable rate than circumcision.

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    5. The studies that circumcision is preventing STDs are completely busted. One after another. They ALL had serious flaws, the HIV-studies ALL ended earlier than intended, given that the results are simply not true.

      Nonetheless: If an ADULT is deciding, after getting all informations to get circumcsied: Go for it. It's his dick and he can do whatever he wants.

      But why should a BABY be protected for STDs? The last time I checked Babies had no intercourses. So, why? That really has time enough until the baby is an adult.

      And, by the way: It is *so* much easier to clean an intact boy than a circumcised. Just clean what you see: With water. That's all.

      And I don't get the contradiction. Jennifer, you are going "as natural as possible" even get so far to get placenta-pills and a "Smoothie" - and yet you cut of such an important part of the penis of your son?
      And putting him through this tremendous pain?



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    6. It always boggles my mind when nurses, those that are paid to take care of patients, complain about caring for the natural bodies of patients. Are you really advocating that she cuts her son in case he needs help washing himself in his older years? What about old women? Do their vaginas smell of roses and butterfies and are a pleasure to clean? Its not a pretty job whoever you need to wash in their intimate regions, but to advocate/excuse genital cutting because you've come across some gentlemen who needed assistance is so unethical and wrong! There is nothing wrong with the natural body. The foreskin has 16 immunological, protective and sexual purposes. Cutting it off to make a nurses job in 80 years easier is the dumbest excuse I have ever heard.

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  21. Do you get stretchmarks?? I'm just curious you are so skinny and I am comparatively similar to your body type so I would like to know:)

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  22. Excellent web site. Plenty of useful info here. Iˇ¦m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you to your effort!

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  23. Jennifer..... thank you so much for posting this!! I'm sure this took a lot of time to write everything out. You have made me think so differently about the delayed cord cutting. Thank you for being so personable and upfront about what you are doing with baby Niko, it helps so much!

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  24. I love that you did a post on ALL of this!!! The birthing plan is such an important step in having a wittle baby. Everything you plan on doing is exactly what I have been planning! I wish you luck and hope it all works out beautifully for you! I cannot wait to read how the process all goes down :) xoxo

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  25. I really like that you have your plan but you are also open to the fact that things don't always go exactly as planned and sometimes you just have to go with the flow! I've never heard of the placenta smoothie and I'll admit it icked me out a little (I refused to even look at the placenta when I had my daughter though! lol) but your child's birth is very personal and if that's something that will work for you then, hey, more power to you! My one "tip" if you can really call it that is if at all possible avoid pitosin (I know you said that in your birth plan anyways, just wanted to share my story). I had to get the pitosin because although I went into labor naturally, as soon as I was all hooked up to the monitors in bed my contractions went from every 3 - 5 minutes to only every 20 minutes or so and very weak. Before they gave me the pitosin labor was obviously pretty painful, but when I got the pitosin... OMG, it was unbearable! I went from 2 cm to 8 cm in haLf an hour and I almost missed my epidural window (I know that isn't on your birth plan, but it was on mine! lol) Still, as awful as the pitosin was, of course it was worth it in the end when I finally met my daughter! So, good luck and congrats! You will be a great mom, and your son is going to be just beautiful!

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  26. My birthing plan is identical to this! This is the best thing I've ever read. I don't understand mother who don't do this. My goal is to bring this knowledge to all mothers not just those of financial priviledge.

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  27. awww Jen I hope you can have a birthing pool, it looks like it is so useful. Can't you just have a midwive that has experience with water births next to the doctor. Don't cut yourself short on a full and complete experience. Best of luck. You're almost there :) xoxo

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  28. I am so excited for you! It sounds like you have done everything you can do to prepare for your baby's arrival. I love that you have done your research!

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  29. I love your choices. I made the same for myself! I ended up getting the epi after 12 hours of having contractions 2 minutes long and 3 minutes apart (essentially no break in between, i was so tired!) We also delayed cord cutting and my son was put right on my chest. Once they clamped it, I got him back again ASAP and started breastfeeding right away. There is a short window there where your baby is a little bit more alert and their natural instincts kick in and feeding is easier at that time then waiting. Something to think about. I was very lucky and he latched like a champ. My milk came in while I was still in the hospital and within four days he was back to his birth weight (which was 8lbs 10oz). I can't wait to read your birth story if you plan to share.

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  30. Jennifer, this post made me love you more! You are such an inspiration young woman and I know you and Alki will be amazing parents. I hope your pregnancy goes how you plan and I wish you and your family nothing but joy, love, happiness, and health.

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  31. You are a model woman for me, your natural, sweety an very special I want tell you that: According to a study realized in new york the males with circumcision bear worse the pain cuan
    Do are major that the rest of males, since they have suffered a traumatic experience to early age.

    Best regards honey.

    Ariadna.

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  32. I think this is an amazing idea regarding the placenta smoothie each to their own and all that but if i had known about this i would have considered it. Congratulations to yourself and your husband your baby is beautiful x

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  33. Hi Jennifer! How have you been feeling since taking the placenta pills and the shake? I never heard about doing this with your placenta, but I am definitely intrigued!

    -Bella

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  34. Please reconsider keeping your baby intact. You watched videos on delayed clamping, please watch a circumcision video. Good luck to you and your baby.

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  35. I love how much time you have put into the thought about your sons birth. It is a controversial topic, but have you done just as much research on circumcision? It is an unnecessary surgery on a newborn that can NEVER be undone. Just research as much as you have the other things.

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  36. This post is great. I really wish I had have encapsulated my placentas, especially with my boys because I ended up with postpartum depression. It sounds like you have a great birth partnership with your doctor. I really enjoyed reading your insight. We didn't circumcise our sons because the same research that led me to know that natural birth was right for us led me to knowing that a natural, intact body was right for my sons. All of my children. Please read this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe

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  37. Hi Jennifer,

    I had no idea you existed until a friend send this link to me, but I'm always grateful to see strong women in role-model positions advocating natural birth (whenever possible). I too, had planned a natural water birth but did end up having a genuinely emergency c-section. But after having seen hundreds of normal natural births over the years, I know this is the norm and what is possible when mothers inform themselves properly and don't give into the fear and myths built up around pregnancy and childbirth. Yes, it's difficult and uncomfortable, but people forget that we were built for this process. We have instincts that guide us and no two mothers gestate or birth in the same way. Baby and mother have rhythms and what works for one family will not work for another.

    So good to see you choosing and promoting the broad guidelines of what you know can be benificial for all women.

    I'd like to share one of my favorite resources with you with two of their posts on breastfeeding:

    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/major-milk-makin-lactation-cookies.html

    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html

    I personally exclusively breastfed for fourteen months (she tried food in the 10-14 month time, but didn't really 'eat' much. Again, that's another thing that seems to vary greatly from baby to baby.

    Congratulations on your impending motherhood!


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  38. your birth plan sounds amazing but I'm concerned that you are so aware and informed on everything else, why choose to circumcise? Doesn't your maternal instinct tell you to protect your son from all harm, give him the best, healthiest, most gentle start to the world possible? Why not leave him whole and let him choose for himself, when he's an adult, whether or not he will keep that part of his body?

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  39. Please reconsider or find more information on circumcision. There has actually been no REAL scientific evidence that there is any benefit to circumcision what so ever.

    All natural would be an intact penis. Through evolution the body develops different mechanisms to protect us from harm. Do you really think we would be born with a foreskin if we didn't need it?

    I was circumcised as an infant and now in my adult life I am trying to restore it. Even if it's just a symbolic thing for me I feel like something was taken from me. My body was altered without my permission and I would have liked the decision to have been left up to me.

    Nothing is more beautiful than the natural human body, ALL of it.

    Anyway, just a thought. Good luck and I hope you have a happy, healthy baby! =)

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  40. Jennifer, thank you for all the amaze balls info that you have given not for only me to use, but a lot of other newbie-pregnant-woman. You have been such a huge inspiration and have given a whole deal of valuable information, especially for me since I am such a huge green person. Thank you for all that. The main reason why I am writing, and hopefully I can hear back from you soon. I am planning to bank my baby's cord, however, I loved knowing that as a mother we are allowed to drain, in whole, the cord before clamping. If we do that, will there be enough left to bank? I have researched, but nothing seems to convince me in information.

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  41. You are just so beautiful in every way Jennifer..in your thoughts, your outward appearance and your demeanor. Big big fan! :)

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