Does A Newborn Need Additional Vitamin K?

(Q16 on the birthplan: Would I like my baby to be given a vitamin K injection?)

During my pregnancy with Ameli, I learned everything I could about everything pregnancy and birth related! I wrote a book full of notes, typed it all up and kept it with my birth plan so that if I had to have a justification for my decisions at any point, I’d have it on hand. I was blessed with an amazing midwife who didn’t even question my choices, so I never needed them, but here are my notes on Vitamin K… maybe you’ll find them useful. These notes formed the basis of my decision and are only intended to provide reference materials to start you off on your own research.

Vitamin K is routinely given because:

“The problem of bleeding into the brain occurs mainly from 3 to 7 weeks after birth in just over 5 out of 100,000 births (without vitamin K injections); 90% of those cases are breastfed infants because formulas are supplemented with unnaturally high levels of vitamin K. Forty percent of these infants suffer permanent brain damage or death.”Linda Folden Palmer, DC in International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter September/October 2002 Issue

Vitamin K may be needed when:

  • Premature clamping of the umbilical cord deprives babies of up to 40% of their natural blood volume, including platelets and other clotting factors
  • The use of vacuum extractor or forceps causes bruising or internal bleeding, which uses up the baby’s available clotting factors
  • Antibiotics are used in the birth, as they inhibit the baby’s generation of clotting factors.
  • C-Section

There are alternatives to a vitamin K shot:

For breastfed infants, an oral vitamin K preparation (Konakion MM) given in 3 doses of 2mg at birth, 7 days, and 30 days of life results in higher plasma vitamin K concentrations than a single injected dose at birth (although my current midwife doesn’t agree with this statement). The preparation must be Konakion MM, which contains lecithin and glycocoholic acid; vitamin K require emulsification and the presence of bile salts for its absorption.

For formula fed infants, formula contains enough vitamin K that no supplement should be necessary.

Arguments against the routine use of vitamin K – three main observations (Falcao):

Vitamin K1 Injection (Phytonadione Injectable Emulsion, USP) (10 mg/mL)

Nature seems to go to a lot of trouble in regulating the baby’s vitamin K levels: the level at birth gradually rises over the eight days following birth to a higher level. It is almost as if nature very specifically wants the baby to have a specific level of clotting factors at birth, followed by a higher level of clotting factors a week after the birth.

This may be related to the fact that in a physiological birth, where the baby gets all the blood from the placenta, the baby’s blood is a little thicker; this is especially true in the 72 hours following birth, since the babies naturally become a little dehydrated until the mother’s milk changes to a higher volume flow, so the blood is thicker.

There has been some association between vitamin K injection and childhood leukaemia. (Parker) Theoretical observations are that precise levels of vitamin K are required to regulate the rate of cell division in newborns and that excessive levels of vitamin K disrupt this regulatory process, thus increasing the possibility of leukaemia and other childhood cancers. (While a few studies have refuted this suggestion, several tightly controlled studies have shown this correlation to be most likely1,2.The most current analysis of six different studies suggests it is a 10% or 20% increased risk. This is still a significant number of avoidable cancers.3)

Follow up research indicated that the leukaemia might have been related to mercury used to preserve the vitamin K solution. Further research in 2003 found that there was no definitive link between childhood leukaemia and Vitamin K, but also that ‘small effects cannot be ruled out’.

Research shows that babies who contract meningitis are more likely to die if they have higher clotting factors. It’s not clear whether this is due to genetic factors or whether it applies to all babies who receive vitamin K. ( I can’t find any actual links to this research, despite it being mentioned all over the web!)

The warning label on Vitamin K injections is pretty scary too:

Severe reactions, including fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after the parenteral administration of Phytonadione. Typically these severe reactions have resembled hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis, including shock and cardiac and/or respiratory arrest. Some patients have exhibited these severe reactions on receiving Phytonadione for the first time. The majority of these reported events occurred following intravenous administration, even when precautions have been taken to dilute the Phytonadione and to avoid rapid infusion. Therefore, the INTRAVENOUS route should be restricted to those situations where another route is not feasible and the increased risk involved is considered justified.

Dangers of excess Vitamin K:

When a baby is born gently, without any intervention, antibiotic, or trauma, and no apparent bruising, and is breastfed, there is no need for Vitamin K. Administering vitamin K to these babies – especially if they are formula fed – can lead to excess Vitamin K, which in turn may lead to newborn jaundice.

Signs Suggesting Need for Vitamin K after birth:

  • bleeding from the umbilicus, nose, mouth, ears, urinary tract or rectum
  • any bruise not related to a known trauma
  • pinpoint bruises called petechiae
  • black tarry stools after meconium has already been expelled
  • black vomit
  • bleeding longer than 6 minutes from a blood sampling site even after there has been pressure on the wound
  • symptoms of intracranial bleeding including paleness, glassy eyed look, irritability or high pitched crying, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, prolonged jaundice.

(This list is written by Jennifer Enoch. Midwifery Today. Issue 40.)

Natural alternatives:

Keep the umbilical cord attached until it stops pulsing. Do not cut it prematurely, as average transfusion to the newborn is equivalent to 21% of the neonate’s final blood volume and three quarters of the transfusion occurs in the first minute after birth. (As Vitamin K doesn’t cross the placenta, this should make no difference to Vit K levels, but will help with iron levels etc.)

When breastfeeding (or just before starting), make sure to eat plenty of leafy greens or take a vitamin K supplement – vitamin K does not cross the planceta in pregnancy, but does enter breast milk in feeding. Anti-acids (used for heartburn) decrease the absorption of Vitamin K in the body – bare this in mind if you have lots of indigestion during pregnancy and be sure to increase with Vitamin K intake from around 38 weeks of pregnancy, as this will help prevent against haemorrhaging too.

Nettles are rich in Vitamin K – made into a tea you’ll get everything you need. Otherwise try a Nettle soup.

Conclusion:

My conclusion on this sensitive matter, based on the information available to the public and its potential impact on my own family, is thus:

Nature says a baby doesn’t need large amounts of Vitamin K, but that delayed cord clamping and the transfer of oxygenated blood gives the child enough resources to cope with the effects of a ‘normal’ birth. If the mother has been consuming Vitamin K in some form or another, it will immediately begin transferring through her colostrum, which is rich in Vitamin K and breastmilk and by eight days of age, baby will have the ‘right’ amount of Vitamin K (and since formula is fortified with vitamin K, formula fed babies shouldn’t require it at all) – since the disease it is meant to prevent doesn’t tend to occur until between 3 and 7 weeks I personally question the need for the injection.

At the same time, bleeding kills almost 2 in 10,000 babies, and this is the closest I could find to statistics as to deaths from the injections ** although we know that they have occurred. It says so on the label.  So really, the conclusion is inconclusive.

Every parent has to make their own decisions on this, but for me and mine, we’ve decided against vitamin K injections unless something in the birth necessitates it. We’ve also decided to follow natural alternatives, such as breastfeeding and a high maternal Vitamin K intake and to keep a close eye on the signs of bleeding as described above. 

** The FDA database contained a total of 2236 adverse drug reactions reported in 1019 patients receiving vitamin K by all routes of administration. Of the 192 patients with reactions reported for intravenous vitamin K, 132 patients (69%%) had a reaction defined as anaphylactoid, with 24 fatalities (18%%) attributed to the vitamin K reaction. There were 21 patients with anaphylactoid reactions and 4 fatalities reported with doses of intravenous vitamin K of less than 5[emsp4 ]mgs. For the 217 patients with reactions reported due to vitamin K via a non-intravenous route of administration, 38 patients had reactions meeting the definition of anaphylactoid (18%%), with 1 fatality (3%%) attributed to the drug.

 

References:

 

L. Parker et al., “Neonatal vitamin K administration and childhood cancer in the north of England: retrospective case-control study,” BMJ (England) 316, no. 7126 (Jan 1998): 189-93.

 

S.J. Passmore et al., “Case-control studies of relation between childhood cancer and neonatal vitamin K administration,” BMJ (England) 316, no. 7126 (Jan 1998): 178-84.

 

E. Roman et al., “Vitamin K and childhood cancer: analysis of individual patient data from six case-control studies,” Br J Cancer (England) 86, no. 1 (Jan 2002): 63-9

Further Reading: 

 

Labour Plan Or Checklist For A Homebirth

I’m not a list person. There’s something about spending time making a list that irritates me. It takes my hubby about as long to make a to-do list as it takes me to just do the stuff on the list. Yet, when it came to my last pregnancy and labour, I made a list long before the day of things to do when contractions start.

This list will differ from person to person, but I thought I’d share it with you, in case you’re not sure what to do ‘next’.

In Hollywood, your waters break in a great gush and everyone rushes off to hospital in a mad dash. In reality, very few women’s water’s break in the shopping centre, on the train or as you’re about to set off on holiday. Of course it does happen, but for the most part, in real life, you have time – if your waters even break before contractions start!

Without further ado, my list for what to do when I go into labour if you’re having a homebirth:Read more: Labour Plan Or Checklist For A Homebirth

Things To Prepare For A Homebirth

My lovely midwife gave me a list of things we needed to get ready for our homebirth, and – no surprises here – but I lost it! I’ve been trawling the web looking for the definitive guide on things you need to prepare for a homebirth but ‘definitive’ is so subjective.

I absolutely love how Homebirth.org.uk puts it – “All you really need for a homebirth is a pregnant woman and a home, but sometimes a few other things are handy”.  Isn’t that just my philosophy for birth and parenting?

So what are those ‘handy’ things that you can have ready and waiting for labour? (Ideally in a box or bag so that there’s no running around searching for stuff on the day!)

For the birth:

  • Birth Plan. If you end up with a midwife you’ve not seen before, she’ll need to know your birth plan, so have a copy in your birth box
  • A plastic liner for outside the pool, should you have to climb out to give birth
  • A plastic liner for the sofa/bed for delivering the placenta
  • A towel to cover the plastic – for comfort and to not slide off
  • Towels, sheets or bed wetting sheets to absorb liquid (this is where a waterbirth is so much less fuss)
  • Garbage bags for double bagging trash (although the midwives will probably have human waste bags that go back with them to be incinerated)
  • A tub for the placenta, if you’re saving it, and space in the fridge/freezer
  • Food and snacks
  • Reminder chart for positions in labour and birth
  • Flashlight/torch with batteries
  • Playlist ready and spare batteries
  • If using a birth pool, make sure to do a trial run and to keep all the ‘bits’ together.
    • Hose
    • Pump
    • Sieve
    • Liner
    • Towels for if you are getting in and out of the pool
  • Many women vomit during labour. Have a sick bucket in reach, just in case. No one wants to be cleaning up puke during labour. Also useful for disposal of other body wastes!
  • Hot compress or flannel for perineum if you are birthing outside of water
  • Hand mirror – to see crowning, but also if so midwives can see what’s going on without disturbing your position
  • Ambience enhancers – music, candles, aromatherapy oils. I honestly cannot remember if we lit the candles during my daughter’s birth or not?! I know I needed a fan on me during transition, so am very glad we had one in the house or I might not have been able to stay in the water, despite it being the ‘right’ temperature. The music was wonderful and I sang along to it – quietly- during transition and remember the exact song my daughter was born to.

For the mother-to-be:

  • Your birthing outfit, should you wish to have one
  • Hot water bottle, if that helps you with period pains
  • Maternity Pads
  • Something clean and comfortable to wear after the birth
  • Squeeze bottle filled with a sitz bath solution for after birth urination
  • Postpartum tea (Alfalfa, Penny Royal and Shepherd’s Purse)
  • Sitz bath solution – comfrey, garlic, sea salt, sage, calandula, camomile
  • Old underwear – I have no idea why. Everyone always says this, but I just used my normal underwear last time! Anyone who knows, do share!

For the baby:

  • A receiving blanket – something soft and preferably natural. You don’t want to wipe vernix off the baby, so just have a blanket ready to cover baby, while keeping them skin to skin.
  • A second blanket – especially if you’re having a waterbirth, the first can get wet and will probably have a bit of ‘goo’ on it.
  • Soft sleeper outfit for baby – make sure there are no labels or seams that will be scratchy on the new and very sensitive skin.

If you are packing an ‘in case’ bagwhich I choose not to do – you can put the essentials you need in it:

  • Clean clothes
  • Clean underwear
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Maternity pads
  • Pyjamas
  • Phone charger
  • Cash
  • Baby clothes and receiving blanket
  • Newborn nappies
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Camera, charger and spare memory card

 If you are having older children at the birth:

  • New Baby’s gift for older sibling, if using
  • Activities to keep young children busy during labour
  • If you’ve used any home birth books to prepare your child for the occasion, have them handy so they can be reminded of the pictures and what you’ve discussed.

Print this checklist

Is there anything I’ve left out or forgotten? What did you use or need that’s not on this list?

More posts in this series:

What Does The Birth Partner DO At A Birth?

What does the birthpartner do at the birth?

That’s a really simple question, actually, with a ridiculously difficult answer, because the variables on it depend on the birthing woman, the environment, the birthing assistants, experience, relationship and about as many other things as you can imagine!

*For the purpose of this post, the birth partner is assumed to be the dad, but can be anyone the birthing mother wants or needs!

Never the less, men, especially, often find themselves completely hands off and lost when it comes to the birth of their babies. You only have to watch an episode of One Born Every Minute (which I strongly recommend as a contraceptive, but not as birth instruction!) to see how dads can feel uninvolved and at a loss when it comes to childbirth.Read more: What Does The Birth Partner DO At A Birth?

Positions For Labour And Childbirth

(Q6 on my birth plan – positions for labour)

(Q9 I would like to be in the following position to give birth:)

I sat in a hospital waiting room during my first pregnancy, waiting to see someone when a couple came in looking for labour ward. Her waters had broken and they were trying to find out where to go. They waited for the receptionist, and while doing so, were looking at the posters on the wall. The one just beside me had a whole variety of labour positions depicted in pictures. The woman said to her partner, “Hey, look here. You can have the baby in all these positions. You don’t have to lie down.”

My jaw dropped.

I’m sorry if this sounds judgemental, but I struggle to fathom how you can get to that point in one of the biggest occasions in your life and not know something as simple as labour positions.  Especially when your position during labour can have such a huge impact on your experience of childbirth.

Humans are the only mammals that try to give birth on their backs. It’s illogical as it defies gravity.

In The Business of Being Born, Michael Odent, the reknown doctor from France, explains why doctors want women on their backs – it makes their job of observing and interfering much easier.  He shows, in the video, the best position for a woman, which has him low down –hard on his back, but better for the labouring woman.

In reality, the best position for a labouring woman is the one she’s comfortable in. I spent most of my pregnancy with Ameli practicing squatting so I could give birth in that position. When it came down to it though, I found having my back out of the water to be excruciating and ended up delivering in the pool, sitting bolt upright. An illogical position, but a perfect one for me.Read more: Positions For Labour And Childbirth

Pain Relief Methods In Childbirth

(Q4 on the birthplan: During labour, I would like the following pain relief:)

I’m just a few weeks off the birth of my second child right now, and with the birth of my first I was so prepared. I’d spent eight months reading, learning, studying. This time I’ve been less focused on the birth, and more on surviving a relatively rough pregnancy while still being mother to a two year old.  It’s been fun.

But, I’m trying to ‘focus in’ on myself at the moment. I’m trying to set aside all the extras that fill up life, and prepare for the arrival of this baby.Read more: Pain Relief Methods In Childbirth

Books To Prepare Children For Childbirth, Homebirth Or Waterbirth

I went to my library recently to find books to use to prepare Ameli, not only for a new sibling, but also for the arrival of a new child. While there were plenty books and stories, there weren’t any that didn’t have the older sister or brother going in to the hospital room to see the baby  who was generally in the crib next to mama’s bed.

** For books on becoming a sibling rather than birth specific, see books to help prepare siblings for the arrival of a new baby**

While there’s nothing wrong with these stories, in themselves, and they would suit the majority of people, I wanted something more – I wanted to be able to prepare my child for the birth we are planning.

I did a little research and found only three books easily available in the UK. (For a review of books easily available in the US please see Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama.)

My New Baby is a cardboard book, definitely aimed at younger children. There aren’t many words, and it isn’t a story as such, but rather, random sentences, like “This bed is bouncy! Is the baby hungry?” or “I’m getting dressed. Is Baby clean yet?” and so on.

The book opens with mother, father, older sibling  (which could pass as a boy or a girl) and baby in bed. Baby is breastfeeding and daddy is playing with the older sibling.

Later you see baby nursing again while OS eats a plate of finger foods, and on the next page, baby is in a sling while OS walks, with the words ‘I love walking. When will Baby walk like me?’ below it, so there are attachment parenting themes throughout, but it’s not alienating – baby is also carried in a bucket car seat, and cries during a nappy change before being put into a Moses Basket to sleep.

It’s a very simple book, and it doesn’t deal with the birth of the baby at all, but only with there being another baby.

The thing I liked most about the book is that because it is so simple, we can adapt the words and the story to suit our needs. We called the older sibling Ameli, and we talk about each picture. For example when the baby is nursing, we talk about how our baby will nurse from Mama, and Ameli will have to share. She turns to me and points at my breasts saying “Baby will have milk”. So, she gets it – but I’m interested to see how she accepts it when its more than pictures in a book.

I think it can be used as quite a useful tool later on too – reminding Ameli to put her own jumper on, like the girl in the book, while Mama dresses the baby, and so on. I also like the fact that though I think it’s obviously a girl on the cover, which works in our favour, you could get away with it being a brother, I think.

While helpful for preparing to adjust to life with a baby, the My New Baby didn’t help with preparing for birth at all.

  • Hello Baby Written by Jenni Overend, Illustrated by Julie Vivas (£5.99 at Amazon UK) (Amazon.com)

Hello Baby is a beautiful book, written for, I’d imagine, a slightly older child – perhaps three or four and up. That said, we’ve had great success with using the story as a tool for discussing birth with my two year old.

It’s a ‘normal’ paper book, and the story is nicely written and stunningly illustrated. The words of the story are descriptive of a home birth at its ideal, attended by a midwife and other family members.

The illustrations in this book are quite graphic, without being intimate. There’s a picture of the mother leaning against the father during transition, with the head of the baby visible between her legs as the older children look on. There’s a side profile of the mother, naked, holding the baby with the umbilical cord attached to both of them, and later the midwife holds a bowl with the placenta in it.

While the book is quite detailed, and this may be off-putting for some, I find it a very good way to open conversation. It’s my hope that Ameli will be present at the birth, and having an understanding and a preconception of it can only be helpful.  The final picture has the whole family of six sleeping on sleeping bags in the living room, with mother cosleeping with baby in her arms. The boy, who is telling the story, crawls in with daddy. He can see the baby lying between ‘Mum and Dad’ and wishes he could be there too. We had a really productive chat – as much as you can with a two year old – about how Ameli would sleep in the other room with Daddy for a while, while Mama and Squidgy would sleep in the big bed. Again, she is okay with it in principle… we’ll see how reality pans out.

The story is lovely and detailed and follows the mother as she is in early labour and goes out for a walk in the woods, it talks about the midwife’s arrival and her equipment, and about how Mum yells and shouts at times. It is too detailed for Ameli, so we follow the basics of the story, but mainly using the pictures I tell her the story in age appropriate chunks.

The only negative in the book, is that the midwife ‘pulls on the cord’ to release the placenta – but we just leave that bit out.

I love this book. And I love that it is adaptable across the ages, and that the pictures are tasteful and beautiful, and yet still honest and true to what the child is likely to see at a homebirth.

I highly recommend Hello Baby when preparing your toddler or young child for childbirth.

(Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine has additional thoughts and images from this book)

Our Water Baby is the most expensive of the three books I was able to find. It is also the only one I could find on waterbirth. It is a whole story in which a birth happens, rather than just being about birth. That said, issues surrounding water birth are very nicely explained in conversation between the parents and their son.

“Will the baby know how to swim?” asked liver.

“When babies are born in water, they know how to hold their breath. The baby will not have to swim on his own,” said Oliver’s daddy.

A common question people ask, answered in a simple way that a child will understand.

Our Water Baby mentions the ‘noises’ of birth, and the quiet of concentration during labour, it mentions daddy supporting mummy in the pool, and the midwife using a dopler to listen to the baby’s heart, mentions the mother’s ‘special milk’ and has a lovely bonding scene between big brother and new baby.

The book is beautifully illustrated too, with toys and children’s characters hanging around in random places forming frames around the page, and the birth scenes are completely covered in water, so all you see is a bit of breast above the water – but that’s pretty true to a water birth.

(I do love the picture of granny and grandpa with the midwife in the kitchen cleaning up while the family bonds on the bed!)

This is a very innocent portrayal of birth, while still being factual. It doesn’t have the gritty reality of Hello Baby, and isn’t as focused or detailed, but does the vague job of explaining a birth to a child who may be waiting upstairs.

Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born” tells the story of Max’s birth, which takes place at home in water. Mama tells Max’s older sister the story about when Mama first learned that she was pregnant; about seeing the midwives; about preparing for Max’s arrival and finally his birth in their living room.

The book is beautifully illustrated, with bold, bright colours, and mostly full page illustrations.

Big sister attends the midwife and doula visits – either helping with measuring, or just in the foreground of the image, painting and carrying on with ‘normal’ activities.

Attending the birth are the midwife, doula, daddy, nana and big sister – pretty much exactly like my birth with Aviya (not in the pool or room though – Ameli was in the birthpool for a while, and in the room with us doing busy bag activities).

This book really strikes me as one of those ‘ a picture says a 1000 words’ moments. For example, there’s a picture of Mama labouring in the birth pool with the two midwives with their back to her, writing notes and drinking tea (or something). It’s just such a ‘normal’ scene, a woman labouring, no dramas here. That’s  possibly one of my favourite things about this book.

The birth  picture is not at all graphic. There’s a mama holding her baby up out of the water. The baby is attached by the umbilical cord, and everyone is smiling.

The only thing I found a bit odd was that ‘Max’ was given a hat as soon as he was born. I know that’s common practice in many places, but neither of my babies were given a hat.

Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born is a lovely book, and provided great talking points with my toddler.  It isn’t a complete A-Z of birth – i.e. there’s no mention of the placenta, or noises or anything that a child can expect from the birth itself, but not everyone wants that anyway. For me personally I’d say that if a child wasn’t going to be present at the birth, this is a perfect book, but if they are, this would be a good book to make up part of a set.

It’s a little hard to get hold of though, as it can currently only be purchased on Amazon US or through their own website in Australia.

Part of the Mama, Talk About series from Toni Olson, Mama, Talk About Our New Baby is about a young boy who, with the help of his mother, learns what life will be like after his sister is born. It is beautifully illustrated, and serves as a wonderful guide for parents to help them introduce older children to the concept of a younger sibling. In comparison to many mainstream books, it provides a beautiful introduction to the attached family and helps prepare siblings for life with a new baby.

There are a lot of subtle things in this book, as in the previous one, like the toddlers bed pushed up next to the parents’ for an authentic family bed.  In the explanation of what life with a new baby will be like, there’s a lot of inclusive language, like “You can come cuddle with us and meet your sister” or “Some days we could all nap together”.

There’s a mention and image of tandem feeding, although it’s not called that, folding up reusable nappies (called diapers in the book) and both baby and toddler are rear facing in their car seats. There’s even a picture of Mama wearing the baby and big brother “wearing” his baby, and another of daddy wearing the toddler in a back carry with Mama carrying baby in a ring sling.

I think this is truly one of the most all encompassing Attachment Parenting books for new babies – perhaps the word is definitive, it’s the definitive book for introducing toddlers to the concept of a new sibling. It is an expensive book at US$18 or AUS$15, but I must admit I wish I had it before our baby was born, and I will be holding on to it and treasuring it to loan to many friends in the years to come.

It would be great if it were easily found in the UK, but I’d go so far as to say it was it’s worth importing.

captureThis is a lovely story too, especially if the new sibling is a little older, used to being an only child, and able to talk about emotions with some understanding.

The Magic Basket opens with Amy crying on her bed because she doesn’t want to become a big sister. Her mother brings her a piece of cloth, which opens up into a blue magic basket. Amy puts her hand in the basket, and out comes a feeling – curious – who guides her through how to explore her feelings. Being curious he asks her what she was doing when her mother came in, and next thing you know, another feeling – sad – comes into play. Curious and Sad help explore her feelings of worry about why her parents want another child, and help her realise that maybe they’re not trying to replace her, but ‘add to’ her. It’s a really lovely message, actually, and the transformation that comes from realisation and understanding is very sweet.

This isn’t a book for children at all, but I thought I’d throw it in here anyway. It is the best book I’ve ever read on waterbirth. It’s simple, easy to understand, reader-friendly language, without being too technical and is such an easy read it doesn’t take long at all. If your mother, sister, partner or friend is unsure about water birth: this is the book to give them to read.

Bertram discusses the theory of waterbirth, including why water is beneficial, explaining the logistics of waterbirth and looks at the basics of birth. There’s a section on preparation which includes practical demonstrations such as yoga, deep relaxation, breathing techniques and free movement dance.

The real winner for me, however is part 3 of Choosing Waterbirth, where she shares six water birth stories.

It is an empowering read for the mama-to-be and for those supporting her. (I gave it to my mother to read before my daughter’s birth and it answered most of her questions and put her mind at ease too. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering a waterbirth.)

 

Do you know of other books for children that I’ve missed out? There are plenty available in the US and another I found in Australia, but are there more in the UK?

Must Haves And Baby Essentials

Alternatively titled: What’s My Wishlist? 

I love seeing pictures of my baby and how he or she is growing in there, deep beyond my line of sight. When I found out I was pregnant, I signed up for a whole bunch of those ’your baby is x weeks along’ emails, so that I could get a general idea, more or less, of what’s going on in there.  Slowly but surely, with just over a month to go, if that, the ‘must have’ lists and ‘essentials for your new baby’ emails have been filtering steadily in.

I wrote a while back on PlayPennies about how new parents are spending on average £10,500 on their first child, and that mothers are wasting £158m each year, and I can tell you that we spent less than 10% of the average on Ameli before she was born, yet she came into this world lacking for nothing.Read more: Must Haves And Baby Essentials

I’m Not Trying For A Homebirth, I’m Having One

Have you ever run a marathon? How about a 10k run- fun runs, as they’re sometimes called, although I can’t imagine why?!  I’ve run a few 10k runs (about 6 miles) in my lifetime, and have the medals somewhere to prove it.

For some I’ve trained, I’ve been healthy, I’ve been in the right frame of mind. For those the race was easy enough, and I’ve made good time. I’ve not really enjoyed it, but did enjoy the feeling of achievement afterwards.Read more: I’m Not Trying For A Homebirth, I’m Having One

When Last Did You Google Your Doctor?

A friend of mine had a little boy a few years ago. She was young – early twenties – and fit and healthy.  Her pregnancy was uncomplicated and the day she went into labour she went to the hospital as instructed. She had a highly recommended obstetrician who all the way through her pregnancy assured her that she’d support her in her desire for a natural birth.Read more: When Last Did You Google Your Doctor?