Homebirth in Kansas City

Homebirth is on the rise in the Midwest and across the country.  Women are standing up for their right to birth how, with whom, and where they want.  My husband and I birthed all four of our children at home in Missouri.  We have many friends in Missouri and Kansas alike that have also made this choice for their births.  Below is information of the legal status of homebirth in Missouri and Kansas.

Kansas Homebirth Law

In the state of Kansas you have the right to birth anywhere you choose, and you can have any attendant you wish. Drs and CNMs are regulated by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and the State Board of Nursing respectively. DEMs are not required to carry any license. Although there is no Kansas law regulating birth attendants, the legal precedence in Kansas is that birth is not a medical event therefore, no medical license is required to attend births (STATE BD. OF NURSING v. RUEBKE 1996)  Source

Missouri Homebirth Law

“Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person who holds current ministerial or tocological certification by an organization accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) may provide services as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1396 r-6(b)(4)(E)(ii)(I).” What this means is that Certified Professional Midwives may provide services related to pregnancy (including prenatal, delivery, and postpartum services).  For the first time in almost 50 years, midwives may legally practice in the state of Missouri.  Source

Types of Midwives

DEM(Direct Entry Midwives) aka Lay Midwives:  A direct-entry midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, or a college- or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A direct-entry midwife is trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings.  Source

CPM(Certified Professional Midwives):  A Certified Professional Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.  Source

CNM(Certified Nurse Midwives):  A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  Source

List of Midwives in the Kansas City Area

Our Four Children Were Born at Home in Missouri

Big brother is observing, and dad is crying because he has a girl.

Our first child was born in September of 2005 in our home in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. As were our second and third child. Our fourth child was born in our home in Kansas City, Missouri in April 2011. We have a wonderful midwife who started as a DEM and become a CPM a long time ago. Our experience has been one of love, encouragement, and information. Our midwife is a great resource of knowledge, and she empowered us to give birth. She did not do internal exams, she never told me to push, she supported me, helped keep me calm and focused, supported my perineum, checked for a cord on baby’s neck at crowning, guided me through the 3rd stage of birth, and made sure mom and baby were doing well after birth.   I’m sure there are a thousand things that she did that I didn’t highlight but my experiences have been calm, laid back, and non-invasive. My body was built with the capability to give birth, and my midwife is my lifeguard making sure everything goes smoothly. She knows what circumstances are red flags and she makes sure we don’t miss anything and that everyone is safe. We’ve had four beautiful births that have been a great blessing to me as a mother and woman.

Thoughts on Postpartum

Okay so I love birth but I don’t get too excited about the end of pregnancy nor the postpartum period. Granted the newborn phase is my absolute favorite time with the child. I love, love, love hanging out in bed with a nursing baby who sleeps cuddled on my chest.

The end of pregnancy you get to deal with peeing minuscule amounts every one-two hours making solid sleep a lost memory. You have the aches from your pelvis(multips) and the extra weight from babe, making any activity more challenging. (And again chiropractic and yoga made a HUGE difference with this for me.) Most women get to the point where they are so uncomfortable they are desperate to birth the baby.

There is also usually a period of nesting. It’s funny how it takes form differently for each child. One evening Kevin finished the laundry shelf we desperately needed and the next day I picked up the whole house and scrubbed down the bathroom. I was worn out and in other circumstances wouldn’t have been up for it. But there is this drive that I had and I just couldn’t stop. That would have been the Thursday or Friday before the Saturday that our daughter was born.

With my second and third children I had several days of pre-labor. So when I went into labor with this fourth baby I completely thought it was a warm up. After all there was no way she would come early and we didn’t expect her for at least two more weeks and quite possibly longer than that. So sex the evening before, the full moon, the consistency of contractions, it was all brushed aside while I forged forward with the activities I “had” to do that day(turns out things will work out without me).

After our baby arrived I was reminded of all the postpartum stuff that I had thankfully forgotten about. The intense cramping, that helps stop bleeding and reduce the size of the uterus, still knocked me over. The extreme emotional mood swings over the littlest, dumbest thing. My brain is often like “why are you crying over this?!” but I can’t help it. Thankfully my placenta pills have really helped level this out for me. They are magical! And the increased bleeding when I over do it. Which is a visual reminder that I’m still in a fragile state and need to take it easy. Not to mention the initial encouragement that comes with breastfeeding. Thankfully completely allowing babe to nurse often and on demand minimized the discomfort this time around(hey you learn and grow with each babe). Hubby can help too if it gets too intense. In the past I also used a breast pump just once(didn’t want to increase supply).

  • Cramping- ibprofen for the first day then it’s not so bad
  • Baby Blues- placenta encapsulation
  • Bleeding- REST! stay in bed for the first week. Cleopatra style!
  • Engorgement- let baby nurse as often as possible.
  • Mummy tummy- gentle exercises(below) & Belly Bandit

This time around I’m more conscious about my health and wanting to get my body in a healthier, stronger, and more stable state. After all I now have four kids and I want to be healthy for them so we can really enjoy our lives. And the fact that we are probably done having babies is a nice motivator too.

I have a three finger wide Diastasis Recti. That’s when your abs split into two halves. Fun, fun. So I did a little googling and looked for exercises for strengthening my core. Specifically exercises that would focus on my transverse abdominus. Below are descriptions of the exercises that I will be working on to help heal the diastasis recti. These are gentle and I can start now(1 week postpartum). In a few weeks I will also be returning to my yoga class(prenatal and postpartum). I ordered Belly Bandits for the store and am looking forward to using it to help minimize my tummy and to use as a cinch for the diastasis recti.

Do the following exercises 3 times a day (morning, nap, and bedtime):

  • Lying in bed(can move to carpeted floor or yoga mat when you feel up to it) on your back, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the mattress. Contract your abs and press your lower back into the bed. You will feel your pelvis tip toward you. Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release. Do 20 of these pelvic tilts. (Use a towel as a cinch option.)
  • Same position as previous exercise. This time draw your belly button toward your spine hollowing out your tummy. Continue breathing steadily and hold for 10 seconds. Then release, take a few breaths, and repeat 10 times.
  • Same position as previous exercises. This time tighten your abs and slide your left leg out until it is straight. Then slide it back in and do the same with the right leg. Alternating do it 20 times.

Pregnancy Must Haves

I am now more than 30 weeks pregnant. Birth is just around the corner and I’m at the point in pregnancy where there are certain things that are a MUST!

#1) I have a very tender spot on my belly right above my belly button where all the muscles connect. This spot has always been a favorite target for baby’s little feet or knees. On long days my belly gets tired and this spot’s tenderness can be overwhelming. So what do I do on the long days? I wear a belly band. The gentle support that it gives me is night and day. An added benefit is lower back pain relief as well. Not to mention that it’s great for that lower belly gap between your shirt and pants when you get ginormous but don’t want to buy anymore maternity clothes because your baby is almost here.

#2) My copper ring. One of those midwives tales that I didn’t put much merit in. Well I was SO wrong! I am pregnant with my fourth baby. My first son honored my belly with an artistic set of stripes. My second son added one mark to that high up on my belly. My first daughter didn’t add any stretch marks. And at 30 weeks this baby added 3 stretch marks. That belly still has 10 more weeks to grow! The difference? It’s not weight, it’s not how big my belly is. It has to do with the elasticity of my skin. Why didn’t I get any stretch marks with my daughter? I wore a copper ring. The pure copper that leaves the ugly green mark around my finger. The body absorbs the copper which greatly helps with the elasticity of the skin. Needless to say I dug through my jewelry box and found my copper ring. Two weeks later and no new stretch marks although my belly has grown. I’m a believer. (Not the magnetic copper.)

#3) The combination of relaxin, a growing uterus, and the odd distribution of weight when pregnant, your muscles and bones go through a lot. My first three pregnancies I visited my chiropractor, Dr. Zak, throughout. This time I’ve been so busy that I didn’t make time. Big mistake. My whole second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester I felt like an old lady. I chalked it up to four kids in five and a half years. My pelvic bones have really been hurting me which makes you waddle. Turning over in bed is quite the ordeal when you have pelvic pain. I went to see Dr. Jill last week and the difference has been incredible. I saw her again yesterday. Chiropractic is also very important during pregnancy for baby’s positioning and for body health in preparation for birthing.

#4) Personal me time is not a priority. With three kids, household tasks, and work it’s hard to put yourself first. Lets look at the alternative though. Mom is so exhausted and spent that all she wants to do is rest. The solution? Take one to two hours three times a week to strengthen your body. Prenatal yoga gently helps your body regain it’s strength and energy. It’s amazing. I went to a class two days ago and had so much energy afterward and yesterday. It’s blowing my mind. I plan to go to class Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays until this baby comes. A healthy, energized mama is so much better than having a mama who wishes she were on bedrest because her body is exhausted.

#5) A thick fluffy pillow between my legs at night. It’s amazing the difference of the quality of sleep I get. I’m less restless, and don’t wake up with extreme pelvic pain in the morning. I also love my pile of pillows that I sleep on. I get pretty bad acid reflux as my belly gets bigger. The reclining, comfortable position that my pillows create allow me to get the much needed sleep that my body needs.

#6) A couple good pairs of maternity jeans are lovely to have as well. I just bought a new pair for $22 that are stylish and fit great! Feeling confident in what I’m wearing helps my self-esteem and brightens the day.

#7) As a working mom it’s hard to find time to get to the grocery store. Walking the aisles and having strangers make comments is something I could do without as well. “No really I don’t look like I’m about to pop, I still have ten more weeks thank you very much!” I’d much rather walk with Baby Boot Camp or exercise with my prenatal yoga class to stretch my legs. A lifesaver has been ordering online and having my groceries delivered to my door! And I love supporting local farmers while feeding my family all-natural food. A healthy diet is essential for baby’s development and important for pregnant and an easier birthing.

These 7 things are MUST haves for me. When you are well rested, have more energy, healthy skin, a supported belly, aligned structure, healthy diet, and a flattering outfit your whole day is brighter. Trust me, I’ve experienced it with and without. I wasn’t doing these things while I was less pregnant and I felt awful. Now I’m doing them, I’m more pregnant than I was, and I feel great. I’m shaking my head at myself. Wondering how I forgot these secrets and so happy that I did something to change. I have the energy to finish this pregnancy healthy and happy. Next stop, my favorite part, a gentle and beautiful birth!

Comment on this post and share your pregnancy must haves to enter yourself in a drawing for a FREE Bella Band OR FREE adjustment at First Choice Chiropractic OR FREE prenatal yoga at Darling Yoga OR a FREE box of organic produce from Fresh Connect! Winners choice!

Placenta Encapsulation Fights Baby Blues

All new mothers face a range of emotions with the birth of their babies. Mood swings and crying spells are common but fade quickly. Some women face more than the common baby blues. Postpartum depression and the even more severe postpartum psychosis have gained headlines in the last decade. From celebrity opinions to sad accounts of infant and maternal deaths, the media has brought this to societies attention.

  • Baby Blues lasts a few days to a few weeks with symptoms of mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, crying, decreased concentration, and trouble sleeping.
  • Postpartum Depression can disguise itself as baby blues but the symptoms are longer lasting and more intense. Loss of appetite, insomnia, intense irritability and anger, overwhelming fatigue, loss of interest in sex, lack of joy, shame/guilt/inadequacy, severe mood swings, difficulty with bonding, withdrawal from loved ones, thoughts of harming herself or her baby.
  • Postpartum Psychosis symptoms are more severe and typically develop within the first two weeks of birth. Mother shows confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, attempts to harm herself or the baby.
  • Treatment

    Counseling, antidepressants, and hormone therapy are common treatments for postpartum depression. Postpartum psychosis requires hospitalization and antidepressants, anti-psychotic medications and/or mood stabilizers. Medications offer their own range of side affects and health concerns. Medications and separation can greatly challenge a mothers ability to breastfeed as well.

    Keeping active, setting realistic expectations on yourself, taking time for yourself, and avoiding isolation are some things that a mother can do to take care of herself and speed up recovery. Vitamin supplements such a Vitamin B Complex can help to balance mood swings and give a new mother energy. There is also an ancient remedy that has been used in nature since the beginning of time. Consuming the placenta helps balance a mother’s hormone levels postpartum.

    The six weeks following birth, mothers have low levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone(CRH). Cortisol raises blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood pressure, which helps us perform well under stress. The Cortisol hormone helps combat depression. With low levels of CRH postpartum, mothers face the overload of emotions and stress of having a new baby without the hormones necessary to cope.

    During the last several months of pregnancy the placenta releases high levels of CRH. After the placenta is gone the body is delayed in being able to regulate normal production levels of CRH. The placenta post birth is full of this hormone. Placenta encapsulation allows women to utilize this natural resource and continue to use it’s properties to balance hormones postpartum.

    “The placenta can be dried, ground, and encapsulated. The capsules can then be taken daily for a number of weeks. You reap all of the healthful benefits of placenta quickly, easily and discreetly, and the capsules will last indefinitely (for years). When you have recovered from childbirth, you can freeze the capsules and save them for menopause.” –placentabenefits.info

    PlacentaBenefits.info is a great online resource for information on the baby blues, the benefits of placenta encapsulation, and resources for finding professionals in your area. With professionals across the country many mothers are finding relief from symptoms of the baby blues and postpartum depression. http://placentabenefits.info/

    For the Kansas City area Lilly Mason is the professional getting fantastic referrals from local mamas.

    Placenta Encapsulating Testimonials

    “Having experienced the ‘baby blues’ with the first births, it was so great to be able to simply enjoy my brand new baby and my other sweet girls without the negative feelings of anger, paranoia, and desperation. New moms don’t need to suffer with that now that this wonderful service is being offered!” -Sarah

    “I noticed a change the first day I started taking them. At first I thought, well, maybe I just feel so good because I expect to, but I noticed a difference depending on taking it or not, and even the amount of pills or how I spaced them throughout the day. I knew this was real. I had so much energy, my postpartum bleeding was lighter and finished sooner than any of my other pregnancies, and I just felt wonderful.” -Debi

    “Sometimes it is hard for someone to self diagnose how they are “doing”. I asked my husband along the way if he felt that me taking the capsules had contributed to my moods being better. He readily agreed that there was a world of difference between how I was after this birth while taking the capsules than I was the first time.” -Kimberly

    From Brookie-Lee

    After hearing the praises of placenta encapsulation from several mamas who visit our store I researched the benefits. Although the concept of consuming my baby’s placenta in the raw form was not appealing to me, taking capsules is a fantastic alternative. With different obstacles in my life and the stresses that I face, postpartum can be a trying time for me. I try and create a bubble around myself that allows me the time I will need for the adjustment of a new member to our family.

    While I see a world of difference when I take my Vitamin B Complex I still suffered from the the Baby Blues with the birth of our third child. I hope to have Lilly Mason help us encapsulate the placenta for our new baby this spring. I look forward to using the natural hormones of the placenta for a happier, tear free babymoon.