Archive | January 2013

Karolína Kurková: Why I Chose Natural Childbirth – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies –

Karolina Kurkova pregnant 2009 Metropolitan Op...

Karolina Kurkova pregnant 2009 Metropolitan Opera opening by David Shankbone (Photo credit: david_shankbone)

English: Karolína Kurková at the 2009 premiere...

Karolína Kurková: Why I Chose Natural Childbirth

For Karolína Kurková, there was no place like home to welcome her first child.

Setting up a birthing suite in the comforts of her Tribeca apartment, the model mama admits her motivation behind her decision to deliver naturally was simple: childbirth is nothing new.

“Of course we had the midwife, we had the doula, but that’s something we really did a lot of research on and we wanted to do,” Kurková, 28, tells Access Hollywood Live. “We wanted to do it in our home where I felt comfortable.”

“[For] centuries, women have been giving birth naturally and I think your body adjusts to it and you get into a zone.”

Her active labor lasted 2½ hours — a process she calls “quite quick” — and, by keeping her concentration on seeing her son, little time was left to think of the pain.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a pain. I’m dying, I’m dying,’” the supermodel coach of The Face says. “It was so gradual you just kind of deal with it. You get in a zone, you really focus on helping this child to come out.”

With her husband Archie Drury preparing “green juice and coconut water” to keep his wife hydrated, it wasn’t long before Kurková’s midwife let her know baby boy was on his way.

“I really wanted to do it in the water because it’s better for the baby to be born in the water — from water to water — and it’s less painful for the mom,” she explains of her decision to deliver in a birthing pool.

“When he’s born in the water, there’s still the umbilical cord so until you clip it they can still breathe through it. He was born in the water [then] we put him on my chest.”

Recalling the big day as an “incredible experience” Kurková will “absolutely” do it all over again — eventually. Until then, now 3-year-old Tobin Jack has all his mama’s attention.

“I want to enjoy [Tobin] first and learn everything and really spend time with him,” she explains.

– Anya Leon

via Karolína Kurková: Why I Chose Natural Childbirth – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies –


Three Things Nurses Wish You Knew About Childbirth

Submitted by The Perinatal Advisory Council

newborn babyPAC/LAC distributed a survey designed to find out what labor and delivery nurses think women can do to better prepare for childbirth to more than more than 2,000 perinatal nurses in the Southern California region. More than 525 nurses responded; 56% of those who responded have more than 21 years of experience in nursing.

Here are three things that perinatal nurses wish women knew about childbirth:

Labor and Delivery Classes

Almost all agree women should take labor and delivery classes (94%)

  • “Usually the more prepared women are the better the experience. The fear factor decreases and with it so does the pain.”
  • “Women think that The Baby Story and similar shows on TLC are realistic; watching them is preparation for childbirth. It is not. This is not the typical birth experience.”
  • “It should be mandatory for women to take classes prior to childbirth for the labor and delivery and baby care/breast feeding experience.:
  • I believe it helps the mothers be more informed, realistic and work well with labor and delivery and care of themselves and newborn.”

Birth Plans

Most believe a pregnant woman should prepare a birth plan (79.8%)

  • “Developing a birth plan takes conscious thought and may assist (especially first time) mothers with being more informed about options.”
  • “A birth plan is good as long as they are aware of the need to be flexible with it and not expect for everything to go exactly as planned.”
  • “I think creating a birth plan can be an educational experience for the patient. However, I’ve noticed a lot of people use pre-made birth plans from the Internet, which doesn’t really help them to be more knowledgeable about the process of labor of delivery. I’m not convinced simply having a birth plan will help patient’s to be more knowledgeable or prepared about the process.”
  • “Birth plans must be created with a health care professional who understands the realities of what is available at our particular hospital.”


More than half of labor and delivery nurses welcome (the right) doulas (63.3%)

    • “It depends on the doula; some are great and some interfere with nursing care.”
    • “A doula can be a great support if a woman is trying to have an unmedicated delivery. A woman really needs one-to-one care when she is laboring without any pain meds.”
    • “Continual labor support from a confident and knowledgeable support person makes a huge difference in outcomes.”

“Doulas can be helpful as long as they are supportive, not adversarial with the nursing staff.”

“While we fully expected nurses to say that women need to be better informed about the birth process by attending classes, we were intrigued by the number of positive responses towards birth plans and doulas — a relatively recent development in modern childbirth,” says Cindy Fahey, MSN, RN, PHN, Executive Director, PAC/LAC. “As the leading source of information on perinatal care, PAC/LAC will work with our members to better understand how women can better prepare for childbirth and integrate birth plans and doulas when appropriate.”

The Perinatal Advisory Council: Leadership, Advocacy and Consultation (PAC/LAC), provides information on perinatal care to hospitals, community-based organizations and other healthcare systems in California. It also offers custom consulting services including program planning, research, educational programs, grant writing, program evaluation, advocacy and facility financial management.

Three Things Nurses Wish You Knew About Childbirth.

My Pregnancy Photos at 27 weeks

Here are some very candid pictures of me and my daughter (and husband!) at home, taken obviously with my phone. this was after our hospital tour at Sutter Memorial. These days it is not often that I put on normal looking clothes or any makeup at all, so I figured I better take advantage of these moments. Elena thankfully had her clothes on too, normally she strips the second we walk into the apartment! Ha ha! I am bigger than I was in my first pregnancy, which I hear is normal. But I am pretty sure, actually I know for a fact, that I am a little chubbier than last time too, especially because I am not working full time or running around San Francisco using public transit! Now I just chase Elena and do house chores and take her out for walks or to the park. And I really need to start doing my prenatal yoga DVDs! I have been putting it off because I was so tired and sick in the beginning, but I don’t have an excuse now! I like the pictures anyway, chubby or not!pregs1 pregs2 pregs3

Update to Previous Post Titled: My OB Discouraged Me from Bringing My Birth Plan to My Birth!

Lilith's Birth

Lilith’s Birth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My husband and I took a tour of Sutter Memorial Labor and Delivery last night and were relieved to find that the nurses are not superstitious about birth plans and indeed are warm and caring toward their patient’s wishes and needs.


Our tour guide and childbirth educator Rosie wanted to speak with us after the tour because of the thorough questions we were asking. It turned out that she was just as outraged, if not more so, at what the OBGYN had told me: That the nurses at Sutter Memorial were superstitious about birth plans and didn’t like them. She said it was horrible  that this OB was giving the nurses there a bad reputation and that it was wrong of her to discourage birth plans which she believes are so important and necessary, and also the parent’s right.


I was so thankful to her and relieved that she cared about this as I did. You can read about my experience with the horrible OB in my December archive! If you plan on having a birth plan and agree that parents have the right to say how they want to birth, please like this page and comment here! Thanks!


Things I Wish I Knew Before Labor And Delivery: A Work in Progress

My Daughter Elena After Her Birth

My daughter Elena after her birth in 2010

This post will be a work in progress as I plan to add more as I contemplate my labor and as I search for advice on this subject from other women. Please check back with me if you or someone you love is planning a birth!

First of all, I really wish I had drunk as much water as I could on the day I went into labor! When you are dehydrated it makes labor a bit worse: contractions can be more painful and right on top of each other, which means no resting in between contractions! This is what happened to me, I was sipping water the whole time I labored in the hospital because I would not take the IV. I also learned from a midwife that coconut water is a great hydrator for laboring women.

Second: I wish I had made my husband practice labor and birth techniques, like relaxation and breathing through a contraction, at home. This is easier said than done when you don’t know what to expect from labor, but now I know how important this is to do.  We took the labor and birth classes, but if you don’t practice the things you learn, it is very hard to recreate everything when you are  in actual labor. In the beginning my husband wasn’t doing anything right for me! Nothing at all! Thank God we had a fabulous nurse to help us and she showed him what to do, because he was my hero after he started imitating her.

Third: I wish I could have watched the film The Business of Being Born and the follow-up film More Business of Being Born. These are amazing films filled with such important information. In the second film I loved hearing the celebrity moms talk about their births, especially drug free and home births. Cindy Crawford summed up the pain of childbirth so well with what she said, and I loved every word that came out of Giselle Bundchen‘s mouth. These films are a serious must for expecting parents, I highly advise you to watch these on Netflix if you have it RIGHT NOW! There are so many other things I learned from these films that I wish I would have known about, like the amazing Ina May Gaskin, the dangerous drug cytotec which has killed countless women and babies yet is still used in hospitals, and much more.

Fourth: I wish so badly that I had known about placenta encapsulation and all of the amazing and incredibly good benefits it has for moms and babies. I had postpartum depression after I gave birth, and every testimonial I read from women who took the encapsulated placenta pills said that they experienced little to no PPD, even women who had PPD before. They also rave about more energy, faster healing, a great milk supply, more even moods and less emotional days, and even noticed that they became more emotional or “weepy” when they skipped a pill. I am definitely doing placenta encapsulation this time, I can’t wait to experience these great benefits, because PPD is and was so so scary for me and is by far my greatest fear about having children.

Fifth: Preparation. I wish I had prepared the people I had with me in the labor and delivery room for what to expect with a natural birth. My mom was freaking out and asked a couple of times about pain medication! This is a big no no when you are trying to have a natural birth and I should have prepared her and told everyone that they are not allowed to mention pain relief drugs. Also, my doula had on such strong perfume that it was making me sick every time she tried to help me, and she should have known about the sensitivity of pregnant women to smells, right? Ugh! Prepare your labor team so they will be best equipped to help, and not hinder, your labor and birth.

Sixth:All the heavy breathing I was doing during labor really dried up and cracked my mouth, it basically split open on both sides and did not heal completely for a few months. For this birth I must make sure I have a good moisturizing lip gloss with me.

Books that I could not live without in my last pregnancy and in my current pregnancy:

Attachment Parenting by Dr. Sears – I can not recommend this book enough or have more good things to say about it. This book brought me so much closer to my baby before and after delivery. I learned things about newborns that blew my mind! This book is better than any pregnancy book, I read What to Expect When You are Expecting, and it doesn’t come close  to Attachment Parenting.

The Birth Book by Dr. Sears –  Another incredible book that blew my mind. The What to Expect book ain’t got nothin’ on the things I learned from this book! I retained so much info from this book that I even labored in the positions they talked about, including squatting on the toilette lol.

Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley I am reading this one again right now, it is written for the husband or birth partner but is also so fascinating to read. You definitely wasn’t your hubby or birth partner to read this one! My husband and I will be practicing  these Bradley Method birthing techniques because if my first birth is any indication, these husband coached techniques that focus on relaxation will be helping me the most in labor.

I also had What to Expect When you are Expecting, Pregnancy Week by week, and another Bradley Method book which I am also reading again.

Updates and Additions to this Post:

The Fourth Trimester: I never realized somehow that there is something called the fourth trimester. I just came across a post from Talk Birth that had amazing info on this that I definitely with I had known before! I will probably end up pressing her post to my blog, but her is a great excerpt from it:

“…I find it helpful to bring in the concept of the fourth trimester. The first three months are the “fourth trimester” during which baby pretty much wants to live on mom’s chest and replicate the womb (i.e. almost constant feeding–like the umbilical cord–constant holding and lots of motion, like being in the uterus, as well as being able to hear your heartbeat). After the fourth trimester passes, babies “wake up” even more and start really interacting with the world. I explain in a light-hearted way that even if you hold your baby for 12 solid hours a day following birth, that is a 50% reduction in what she is used to. And, I let them know that while the adult’s brain thinks, “how can this baby be hungry, I just fed him 30 minutes ago?!” The baby’s brain thinks, “it is has been 30 minutes since I’ve EATEN ANYTHING!!!!!” I also reinforce the idea that a baby that wants to be held and snuggled and nursed is a smart baby, not a manipulative one. And, of course, I also describe mother’s body as baby’s natural habitat after birth.” -From the Jan. 30th post; Timeless Days: More Postpartum Planning by Molly at her blog Talk Birth,

I must research more about the fourth trimester! Isn’t it great info?

California Cesarean Rates by Hospital, 2008 – Blog –

A Caesarean section in progress.

A Caesarean section in progress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From, this is a chart of C Section percentages by hospital in California from the year 2008. The data goes as follows on the chart: Total percentage of C Sections, percentage of babies born that weighed around 3lbs 5oz, percentages of babies who were born 5lbs 8oz (or more?), and the number of total births per hospital. Kaiser Walnut Creek is where I gave birth to my daughter with no drugs or interventions with a midwife in 2010. Sutter Memorial is where I could have my second baby, but Sutter Davis is where I am trying to go for labor and delivery. Southern California seems to have much higher C Section rates than Northern California, with Corona Regional Medical Center found with the highest amount at a 70% C Section Rate. The Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center has the lowest percentage of C Sections on the list yet had delivered almost as many babies as many other hospitals, including Kaiser Walnut Creek, yet they are located right outside of LA. View the full list of CA hospital %’s of C Sections here:

% C sections,     3lbs_5oz%,     5lbs_8oz%,     #Total Births

SUTTER DAVIS HOSP 17.5% 0.0% 3.1% 1345
SUTTER MEMORIAL HOSP 34.3% 2.1% 9.5% 5622
KAISER FND HOSP – WALNUT CREEK 31.7% 1.4% 8.0% 3332

Eleven facilities reported fewer than 10 births and no cesarean sections.

Reported No Cesareans Total Births

via California Cesarean Rates by Hospital, 2008 – Blog –.


Questions for my Midwife


I was given pitocin to stop from hemorrhaging after the placenta detached, this is one of my fears of having a home birth.

What labor emergency situations are you qualified to deal with?

What are you death rates? Include stillbirth before labor, stillbirths during labor, infant deaths, and maternal.

What are your permanent injury rates? Include moms and babies?

What are complications rates? How many women end up with an obstetrician? How many for pain, exhaustion and failure to progress, how many for medical complications?

Who is your backing doctor? Can I talk to her?

Have you ever dealt with a major bleed?

Have you ever inserted an IV after a major bleed has begun? What would you do in such an instance if you could not get it in?

If my baby needed a c-section to save her life how much longer would that take than if I had an obstetrician?

What is your background, training, and experience?

How many births have you attended as the primary caregiver since the completion of your training?

Do you have a limit on the number of births you attend per month?

What would happen if you had 2 births occur at once? Have you ever missed a birth?

Do you work with a partner or assistants?

What equipment do you normally use at births? How many times have you actually used them? What medications and equipment do you have for emergencies? What is your training in those?

Are you certified in CPR? What complications have you seen and handled? How would you handle complications such as hemorrhage, cord around the baby s neck, baby not breathing spontaneously?

Do you have adequate medical backup? Do you rely on a particular doctor or hospital? Can I choose my own physician?

What medical complications require transport to the hospital? Will you be able to continue labor support should I need to go to the hospital?

Do you do vaginal birth after cesarean at home? If so, what is your outcome ratio? What are the risks of doing so?

Have you delivered breech babies? Would you deliver a known breech baby at home?


What will you do to help me manage my pain and contractions?

How many people can I have with me at the birth?

Can I have my doula there?


How does Medi Cal work, how are they billed, what do I need to do to set it all up?

What payment plans can you offer?

What is your fee and what services does it include? Which fees are separate (ask about prenatal care, lab work, newborn assessment, breastfeeding support, postpartum care, and birth control counseling)? What about payment plans?

Do you accept reimbursements from insurance companies? Which ones?

What other costs might I encounter? (Note: In the case of transport to the hospital, physician and hospital fees will ordinarily be additional.)


How do I do birth certificate info and SS# for my baby?

I remember the baby having a lot of interruptions and blood drawn while we were in the hospital, what was all this for?

Does my baby need shots at birth?


Do you provide postpartum visits in the early days after birth? How many? How long do you provide postpartum care?

I have history of PPD, can this effect my care afterward?


6 – How long does the average prenatal visit last during my pregnancy?

7 – How often will you want to see me during each trimester of pregnancy?

8 – What are your recommendations for pregnancy and childbirth preparation classes?

9 – Are you able to provide any necessary prenatal lab work? What prenatal tests do you require? Recommend?

10 – What does a typical prenatal checkup consist of? Will I see you each at each prenatal visit or another midwife?


My husband says we are too messy and not as clean as the hospital to have a home birth.

Have you ever delivered in an Apartment complex?

He is afraid of birthing at home and not having medical necessary interventions available if needed.