(What did you think about the article about the alderman race?)

Seemed like a lot of pandering.

(Who are you going to vote for?)

Well I’ve already committed to [the incumbent]. I mean, his sign is in the front yard.

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Avoiding a Breech Birth: The Basics of Optimal Foetal Positioning

Many pregnant women are anxious to know that their baby has “flipped” into a cephalic, or head down, position.  Most women want to avoid a breech presentation.  To many care providers, a breech position spells cesarean (although this does not have to be the case).  Many babies begin to flip head down between 32 and 36 weeks.

Three Primary Positions: Breech, Transverse, and Cephalic

Breech – Feet down / Head up

Transverse – Lying Sideways

Cephalic – Feet up / Head down

More to the Story…
But what about women who are not far enough along in pregnancy for breech to be a concern – usually about  37 weeks? Or for women whose babies are already in a cephalic presentation.  Is there anything a woman can do during pregnancy to encourage a head down position in the womb?  The answer is a variety of exercises, positions, and body mechanics to help  promote “Optimal Foetal Positioning.” These exercises help to position baby into the best and easiest position for giving birth.

To understand the importance of these Optimal Foetal Positioning, it is helpful to first understand the terms for baby’s position inside the womb. The Occiput is the back of your baby’s head.  The back of  Baby’s head can be to your tummy or back and facing left or right.  The back of Baby’s head position is also referred to as occiput while the front of baby’s head position is referred to as transverse. Mom’s front is call her “anterior” and mom’s back is called her “posterior”

Occiput: Posterior Vs. Anterior

Posterior – Baby’s Spine to Mom’s Spine
(This back to back position causes more painful “back labor” and is also known as back to back or Sunny Side Up)

Anterior – Baby’s Spine to Mom’s Tummy
(When baby’s head is flexed – chin tucked down – in an Cephalic anterior position, it is considered a Vertex presentation)

Transverse: Left Vs. Right

Left – Baby is looking at your right hip

Right – Baby is facing your left hip

What is the best position for baby to be in during late pregnancy and labor?

Ideally, baby will be head down with the spine along the left side of mom’s belly with feet next to her right ribs.

This position is called Left Occiput Anterior(LOA) or Left Occiput  Transverse.

Right Occiput Anterior is not as ideal but it is better than Occiput Posterior.  Any position other than LOA can delay the start of labor, make braxton hicks contractions more painful, and make labor longer and more painful in general.

Optimal Foetal Positioning can help encourage baby to remain in an LOA position throughout labor to help mom have the easiest and least painful labor possible.  It is especially important for first time moms, who tend to have the least amount of room for baby to move around.

Alterna Yuppie's Ready to Pop

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Our Decision to Delay Solids Until 6 Months

When DH came home from the hospital in  1981, the instructions were clear: introduce solids at 2 months.  Rice cereal added to a bottle was the preferred method.  1990, my parents were told to introduce cereal mush and baby food purees between 4 and 6 months.  WIC was working to discourage the use of cow’s milk before 1 year.
But our DD was born in 2011 and the recommendations have changed based on the most recent research for infant nutrition. When it comes to health decisions, our family prefers to follow evidence-based medicine rather than tradition or protocol.  When my own daughter is making decisions on introducing first foods for her own babies, the recommendations will probably have changed yet again. But based on the information we had we chose a variation of baby led solids, introducing vegetables at six months followed by fruits and then high quality grains.
Our Doctor’s Recommendation
My daughter and I both see a Family Physician. I like being able to establish a relationship with one healthcare professional for my entire family.  The American Academy of Family Physician’s policy statement on breastfeeding includes:
 The AAFP recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for the first six months of life.
The WHO (World Health Organization) also recommends delaying solids for the first six months of life. Although the AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) recommend introducing solids between 4-6 months, this contradicts their own recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
Introduce solids at six months
So, why did we delay solids until 6 months?
Virgin Gut/Open Gut
Again, I defer to the AAFP. Their position paper on paper on breastfeeding says:
The evidence base also supports the importance of six months of exclusive breastfeeding (when compared with four months) as protective against gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract infection, including otitis media and pneumonia.20-22
What does this mean? Supplementing between 4-6 months, although still common, can lead to stomach and breathing troubles.  The general idea is that, if possible, you want to keep your babies “virgin gut” for as long as they have an “open gut”.  Their GI tract is thought to close, or seal, between 4-6 months of age.  Delaying solids for a full 6 months helps to ensure that the breast milk will continue to coat the intestines and provide passive immunity until the gut seals and babies begin to make the antibodies found in breast milk (such as sIgA) themselves.  We all know that there is “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. Delaying supplementation also helps babies to grow “good bacteria” in their gut as it develops and matures.  In fact, the infant gut is too immature to even properly digest starches until 6 months and other carbohydrates until 7 months. Fats can’t be properly digested until 6-9 months.
What are some other reasons introducing solids at six months?
  • To ensure proper iron absorption
  • Avoid Choking: Watching for signs of readiness (Tongue Thrust/Pincer Grasp)
  • Avoid Choking: Never put rice cereal in a bottle

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Alterna Yuppie: Natural Attachment Parenting & Living

Right now, Alterna Yuppie is really into all things *baby*. As my 10 month old Dear Daughter nears her first birthday, I take a look back at how I started my attachment  parenting journey from choosing and preparing for a natural birth in a hospital to baby wearing and starting solid foods.  Here are some of my upcoming posts:

  • Preparing for Natural Birth
  • My Hospital Bradley Birth Story
  • Choosing a Doula for My Birth
  • Avoiding a Breech Baby: The Basics of Optimal Foetal Positioning
  • Exercises for Optimal Foetal Positioning
  • Choosing Baby Led Solids
  • Delaying Solids Until Six Months
  • Starting Solids at Six Months
  • E’s First Foods: Avocado, Banana, Carrot
  • Avoiding White Rice Cereal
  • BabyWearing 101: Bond with your baby and get things done!
  • How to tie a Moby stretchy wrap
  • Transitioning to an Ergo
  • Choosing Cloth Diapers
  • Thirsties Covers and Prefolds
  • Using a Snappi with Cloth Diapers
  • Using a Prefold with no Snappi or Pins
  • GroVia Diapers
  • Rinse, Wash, Rinse: How to do diaper Laundry

Anything else you’d like to read about?

Natural Baby

Natural Baby

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