Monday, June 22, 2009

Spinning Babies on the top 100

A busy student radiologist has gifted Spinning Babies on her top 100.
She calls her list, 100 Best Health Blogs for Soon-to-be Moms. Fun!
See who L. Fabry has picked. From the familar to the unusual...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More from John on Breast milk!

My husband's son John is a published young scientist who recently presented at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry on his research team's discoveries about human breast milk. I have no idea what phosphorylation is, but here's some highlights. First, their title:

Analysis by Microfluidic LC-MS/MS with Integrated Phosphopeptide Enrichment Reveals Dynamic Human Milk Protein Phosphorylation during Lactation

If you are about to nurse your baby, you might just meditate on that title. Its sure to induce a let down response.

Johnny says in his speech, "People ask me all the time why I’ve chosen [breast milk] to study, and the reason is that breast milk is a rich and varied source of bioactive species."

"...there are a variety of species in breastmilk that you wouldn’t normally think would be there including,
Oligosaccharides and other components..."

John explains these species combine a number of biological activities including
Immuniomodulatory ,
regulation of inflammation,
mineral transport and absorption,
and are prebiotic.

He says, "These species are there not only for the direct health of the infant but also to promote the growth of healthy commensals in the infants gut." Commensals are microflora.

While he reported on peptides and Phosphoproteins found with a spectrograph he made lovely statements that would warm every mother's heart, such as,

"Phosphoproteins also degrade into
Opioid agonist peptides which give the infant a sense of well being during digestion."

"Breast milk is highly dynamic. As the lactation period progresses there are a number of changes that occur.
Our first studies into milk post translational modifications related to glycosylation in milk and we found that during the first month of lactation there are dramatic changes both in the amounts and in the glycosylation amounts of Phosphoproteins ..."

Okay! Now, wake up, because you don't want to miss this next, particularly thought provoking side comment,

"During the first week when the baby’s gut is transforming from whatever first colonizes it, often times bacteria that are present in hospitals (when) the baby is born in the hospital, to commensals or bifidobacterium."

From my homebirth midwife perspective, the thought of rouge bacteria in a newly born human gut is quite distressing. The point is that the first bacteria to arrive begin to colonize and, it seems from John's comment, to influence the structure of the person's gut.
Are you thinking irritable bowel, diabetes, food intolerances? Could not only what we first feed a new person matter, but also where the baby is born matter in relation to the health of the gut? I guess I've known that superficially, but I didn't know it to this level!

The UC Davis team's analysis identified 38 milk proteins.

John noted that the breast milk composition as well as the proteins change over the first month. Though the California Dairy Research Foundation is one of the funders, its hard to imagine a commercial imitation of breastmilk approaching a dynamic design. Could these signals have something to do with reduction in breast cancer rates for breastfeeding women?

From his conclusion,
“Phosphorylation is a dynamic process and it could
describe cell to cell signaling both
in the gut and in the mammary gland.”

Though I didn't have anything to do with John's brilliance, it is fun to share his accomplishments!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Breech Birth Coalition is having a conference

Breech Conference registration for October 15-16, 2009 in Ottawa, Canada whatever you can do to be here.
"Let's make some noise."
- Robin

Denying vaginal breech birth is a human rights violation in that it forces a woman to consent to surgery in order to obtain medical care. The right to informed consent is meaningless where there is no right to informed refusal. - Henci Goer, author of "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" (Robin has Henci's quote on her email signature)

Lamaze on Canada's breech news

Amy Romano wrote a brief bit yesterday in her Lamaze Science and Sensibility blog about the history of Canada's change to support vaginal breech birth from the Term Breech Trial to this month's decision by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
You can get a copy of the SOGC breech guidelines there. Learn more about Amy Romano

Henci Goer wrote When Research is Flawed:
Planned Vaginal Birth versus Elective Cesarean
for Breech Presentation

Learn more about Henci Goer

Henci's commentary is on what's called the Term Breech Trial: Hannah, M. E., Hannah, W. J., Hewson, S. A., Hodnett, E. D., Saigal, S., & Willan, A. R. (2000). Planned caesarean section versus planned vaginal birth for breech presentation at term: A randomised multicentre trial. Term breech trial collaborative group. Lancet, 356(9239), 1375-1383. [Abstract]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The baby is born!

This beautiful family has just welcomed their baby girl. She was born alert and vigorous, (Apgars 9 and 9) welcomed by two smiling doctors, two wonderful, calm nurses and two doulas (me with the camera). The Dad was confident and this mother truly radiant, practical and about her work. Dr. Hartung welcomed this baby so gently, talking to her and handling her and her mama with such grace. Truly beautiful to witness. I hope that someday my hands could move so .... oh, listen, the lullaby chimes are playing over the hospital speaker system; a baby is born.

She's wide eyed and nursing in her mother's arms, skin to skin. She's been on her mother's chest since she was born, never separated to the warmer. She hasn't been weighed yet. Mama asked to delay the weighing until after the nursing. She doesn't want to interrupt her daughter's first journey to the breast. But the nurses and Dr. Hartung were guessing over 8 pounds. She came as a frank breech, after something like 18-hours of labor and one hour of pushing. Very smooth, so smooth. She is her parent's second child.

I just had to share this breech birth story since the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada just gave the recommendation of vaginal breech birth! If the parents give permission later, some discreet pictures will be added here.

Canada recommends vaginal breech birth

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecology Canadian has switched to supporting vaginal breech birth. The next step for Canada is to train their doctors to catch babies who come butt or feet first. Read Carla Wintersgill's article

"C-section not best option for breech birth

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada will launch program to teach physicians breech vaginal delivery"

at Globe Life/Health

This decision comes after research analysis refutes the "Term Breech Trial." Canada listens to the statistics.
America? You on? Well, parents will have to make American physicians pay attention.

What's even more fun than this wonderful news? That the guidelines were released the same day I get to be present at a hospital breech birth! As the photographer for this lovely family I got a moment to check my emails and read of the guidelines.
My midwife partner is the doula. When the parents found out their baby was breech, and remained so after three manual versions, they opted to change care providers - and states - to labor for a vaginal breech birth. At this moment, the mom is 8+ cm and is relaxing in the bath.

There are physicians here and there that have breech skills (actually, Dr. Dennis Hartung is right here!). Dr. Hartung is squatting on the floor listening through the crack in the bathroom door to the mother breathing through her labor. He is waiting for the catch in the breath that signals the urge to push. The lights are low...

Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.