Natural Birth Networks NOVA

Check out this great website that has everything you ever wanted to know about how to have the best birth experience for you and your baby!

The goal of Natural Birth Networks of Northern Virginia (NoVA) is threefold: to educate families on the benefits of natural birth and the ease with which it can fit into their modern lives, to connect NoVA parents with local mother-baby friendly providers and local businesses through a comprehensive business and provider directory, and to unite all natural birthing and parenting proponents in Northern VA through online forums and regular events in the community.

 

New contributing writer, Hanna Neas, was my Bradley Birth Coach and I highly recommend her!!!

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Breast Milk kills HIV

Well, it killed particles of infected cells in mice.

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New research from University of North Carolina suggests that breast milk “has a strong [HIV] virus-kiling effect,” according to authors of the study, conducted at the UNC Center for Infectious Diseases and the UNC Center for AIDS Research. Scientists have long wondered whether breast milk fought the virus or — like other bodily fluids — transmitted it. In fact, they found that breast milk has “amazing ability of breast milk to destroy HIV and prevent its transmission.” It’s good news, and could even lead to the development of natural products that fight HIV.

To investigate further, Angela Wahl at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her colleagues created mice with human bone marrow, liver and thymus tissues that all became infected with HIV if the mice were given an oral dose of the virus. However, if the rodents were fed human breast milk contaminated with HIV, the virus wasn’t transmitted.

Previous research had hinted at breast milk’s antiviral properties, but it was unclear if they would prevent transmission. “We have shown that milk has an intrinsic innate ability to kill HIV,” J. Victor Garcia, who supervised the work, reported in the journal PLos Pathogens. The hunt is now on for the ingredient in breast milk that inhibits the virus.

Vogue Delivery: The Midwife Becomes a Status Symbol

Besides being impossibly gorgeous mothers, what else do Christy Turlington, Karolina Kurkova and Gisele Bundchen have in common?

Each could probably afford to buy her own private wing at a hospital, but instead of going to a top-notch obstetrician, all chose a midwife to deliver their babies.

“When I met my midwife, her whole approach felt closer to home,” said Turlington, who delivered both her children — Grace, 9, and Finn, 6 — with a midwife at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, one with the help of an obstetrician because of complications. A former model, she founded Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit organization devoted to maternal health. “I knew I wanted a natural childbirth.”

Check out Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts foundation! http://everymothercounts.org/

Are midwives becoming trendy, like juice cleanses and Tom’s shoes? It seems that way, at least among certain well-dressed pockets of society, where midwifery is no longer seen as a weird, fringe practice favored by crunchy types, but as an enlightened, more natural choice for the famous and fashionable. “The perception of midwives has completely shifted,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of the gynecology division at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and a consulting obstetrician for three midwife practices. “It used to be just the hippies who wanted to go to midwives. Now it’s the women in the red-bottom shoes.”

Like obstetricians, midwives are medically trained and licensed to deliver babies. The main practical difference is that only obstetricians can perform surgeries, including Caesarean sections, and oversee high-risk pregnancies. On the other hand, midwives tend to approach childbirth holistically, and more of them provide emotional as well as physical care. This can involve staying by a laboring mother’s side for 12 or more hours and making house calls.

Nevertheless, misconceptions remain. “There will always be people who have no idea what we do — they think we’re witches who perform séances and burn candles,” said Barbara Sellars, who runs CBS Midwifery, a small practice in Manhattan’s financial district. “Sure, some women want a hippie-dippy spiritual birth and I can’t guarantee that. I can guarantee the quality of care.”

Sellars is considered one of the more respected midwives in New York, and her patients have included opera singers, actresses, bankers and models like Turlington. (Disclosure: Of the more than 1,850 babies that Sellars has delivered, my daughter was No. 1,727 and my son was No. 1,798.)

“I wanted to experience the transformation,” Bundchen. A friend from Brazil served as a mid-wife, and both her mother and Brady were present.
Through the birth, she says she meditated.

It was that high degree of care that led Kate Young, a stylist in New York, to seek out CBS Midwifery when she became pregnant with her son, Stellan, in 2008.

“My friends who had the best birth experiences all went to midwives,” said Young, whose clients have included Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz. “When you go to a doctor, you’re left alone a lot. You don’t have someone sitting there, looking you in the eye, getting you through it. When I thought about what I wanted for my child and how I wanted to have my child, every sign pointed to going to a midwife.”

The rising popularity of midwifery among cosmopolitan women also coincides with larger cultural shifts toward all things natural, whether it’s organic foods, raw diets or homeopathic remedies.

“Pregnancy is not a disease, it’s a condition,” said Moritz, whose own children were delivered by midwives. “We need fewer OBs and more midwives.”

For other women, midwives offer a sense of control. “This is a time when women are asking more questions, getting healthy, wanting to be more empowered,” said Kurkova, the 28-year-old model, who gave birth to her son, Tobin, in 2009. “I didn’t want a hospital to take away my power. I didn’t want to risk someone cutting me open and taking the baby out that way.”

I had a completely natural water birth at home in my bedroom. It was an amazing experience. Archie was the first one to touch him as he was coming out, the one who caught him and put him on my chest and cut his cord in the birthing pool.

While midwife deliveries typically take place in the hospital, Kurkova is among those who have given birth at home.

“A home birth is more relaxed,” said Miriam Schwarzschild, a home midwife for 25 years who lives in Brooklyn. “I wash my hands, listen to the baby’s heartbeat, take the mother’s vital signs and that’s it. There are no routines. You step outside the bureaucracy at home.”

A big selling point for midwives — both at home and in the hospital — is that, barring medical complications, the baby is not separated from the mother after the birth.

Another at-home advocate is Bundchen, who gave birth in 2010 to her son, Benjamin, in her Boston penthouse.

“We say Gisele delivered her own baby but I was in attendance,” said Deborah Allen, a midwife in Cambridge, Mass., who, along with Mayra Calvette, a Brazilian midwife, was present at the birth. “Obviously, privacy is of the utmost importance. You are completely exposed. You need to be in a place where you feel comfortable to do that. Gisele was extremely prepared.”

But not everyone is ready to go that route.

When Esther Haynes, deputy editor at Lucky Magazine, decided to go to a midwife, she quickly rejected an at-home birth. “This is New York, and if there was an emergency, I didn’t want my story being, ‘I called 911 and the ambulance took 45 minutes because of traffic!'” Haynes said.

“Also my apartment is kind of cluttered,” she added. “I hated the thought of going into labor thinking, I wish I’d thrown out more magazines.”

By DANIELLE PERGAMENT THE NEW YORK TIMES via TheLedger.com