Saturday, November 29, 2008
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 8/12/2008
An international expert panel of pathologists, oncologists and public health specialists recently declared that electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones should be considered a potential human health risk (see The Case for Precaution in Cell Phone Use, attached). To date, a number of countries including France, Germany and India have issued recommendations that exposure to electromagnetic fields should be limited. In addition, Toronto's Department of Public Health is advising teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones, to avoid potential health risks.
More definitive data that cover the health effects from prolonged cell phone use have been compiled by the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer. However, publication has been delayed for two years. In anticipation of release of the WHO report, the attached prudent and simple precautions, intended to promote precautionary efforts to reduce exposures to cell phone electromagnetic radiation, have been reviewed by UPCI experts in neuro-oncology, epidemiology, neurosurgery and the Center for Environmental Oncology.
Practical Advice to Limit Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation Emitted from Cell Phones
1. Do not allow children to use a cell phone, except for emergencies. The developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
2. While communicating using your cell phone, try to keep the cell phone away from the body as much as possible. The amplitude of the electromagnetic field is one fourth the strength at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at three feet. Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or a wireless Bluetooth headset, which has less than 1/100th of the electromagnetic emission of a normal cell phone. Use of a hands-free ear piece attachment may also reduce exposures.
3. Avoid using your cell phone in places, like a bus, where you can passively expose others to your phone's electromagnetic fields.
4. Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body at all times. Do not keep it near your body at night such as under the pillow or on a bedside table, particularly if pregnant. You can also put it on "flight" or "off-line" mode, which stops electromagnetic emissions.
5. If you must carry your cell phone on you, make sure that the keypad is positioned toward your body and the back is positioned toward the outside so that the transmitted electromagnetic fields move away from your rather than through you.
6. Only use your cell phone to establish contact or for conversations lasting a few minutes, as the biological effects are directly related to the duration of exposure. For longer conversations, use a land line with a corded phone, not a cordless phone, which uses electromagnetic emitting technology similar to that of cell phones.
7. Switch sides regularly while communicating on your cell phone to spread out your exposure. Before putting your cell phone to the ear, wait until your correspondent has picked up. This limits the power of the electromagnetic field emitted near your ear and the duration of your exposure.
8. Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train, as this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
9. When possible, communicate via text messaging rather than making a call, limiting the duration of exposure and the proximity to the body.
10. Choose a device with the lowest SAR possible (SAR = Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body). SAR ratings of contemporary phones by different manufacturers are available by searching for "sar ratings cell phones" on the internet.
Scientists revive debate on cellphones and cancer
(Following is an article published in the International Herald Tribune which is the global edition of the New York Times)
Scientists revive the debate on cellphones and cancer
By Tara Parker-Pope
Published: June 3, 2008
What do brain surgeons know about cellphone safety that the rest of us don't?
Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. "I think the safe practice," said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain."
Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University who is an outspoken critic of cellphones, said: "I use it on the speaker-phone mode. I do not hold it to my ear."
And CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital, said that like Black he used an earpiece.
Along with Senator Edward Kennedy's recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors' remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer. That supposed link has been largely dismissed by many experts, including the American Cancer Society. The theory that cellphones cause brain tumors "defies credulity," said Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects. CTIA (the Wireless Association), the leading industry trade group, said in a statement, "The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk."The FDA notes, however, that the average period of phone use in the studies it cites was about three years, so the research doesn't answer questions about long-term exposures.
Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation, waves of energy that are too weak to break chemical bonds or to set off the DNA damage known to cause cancer. There is no known biological mechanism to explain how non-ionizing radiation might lead to cancer. But researchers who have raised concerns say that just because science can't explain the mechanism doesn't mean one does not exist. Concerns have focused on the heat generated by cellphones and the fact that the radio frequencies are absorbed mostly by the head and neck. In recent studies that suggest a risk, the tumors tend to occur on the same side of the head where the patient typically holds the phone. Like most research on the subject, the studies are observational, showing only an association between cellphone use and cancer, not a causal relationship.
The most important of these studies is called Interphone, a vast research effort in 13 countries, including Canada, Israel and several in Europe. Some of the research suggests a link between cellphone use and three types of tumors: glioma; cancer of the parotid, a salivary gland near the ear; and acoustic neuroma, a tumor that essentially occurs where the ear meets the brain. All these cancers are rare.
Last year, The American Journal of Epidemiology published data from Israel finding a 58 percent higher risk of parotid gland tumors among heavy cellphone users. Also last year, a Swedish analysis of 16 studies in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed a doubling of risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma after 10 years of heavy cellphone use. Some doctors say the real concern is not older cellphone users, who began using phones as adults, but children who are beginning to use phones today and face a lifetime of exposure. The fear is that even if the individual risk of using a cellphone is low, with three billion users worldwide, even a minuscule risk would translate into a major public health concern.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Once you're done watching, if you're interested in certified organic (to food grade levels) bodycare products for you & your family, learn more about Miessence by going to my website. Find out why this product line is truly one of the safest products out on the market. The products cost a little more than mainstream ones, but they are worth having the piece of mind that comes with using the safest products out on the market. Compare your bodycare products with the ingredients in Miessence products to see what your skin is absorbing every day.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Sheri is now offering the book as a free download. Go to smenelli.wordpress.com for more information!
Please share this with your friends & family.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Bathe In It*
When you add a bit of art, science, and ritual, taking a bath is much more than getting clean—it's balneotherapy. A form of therapeutic bathing, balneotherapy has been practiced since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans to preserve health and treat a range of ailments from injuries to eczema. Like yoga, it's also a great way to melt away stress and bring the body back into a more balanced state. "Submersion in warm water calms the physiological part of the fight-or-flight response," says Jonathan P. DeVierville, vice president of the International Society of Medical Hydrology and Climatology and director of the Alamo Plaza Spa in San Antonio, Texas. In other words, as you soak in the tub, your blood vessels dilate, your circulation increases, your muscles relax, and your nervous system chills out.
IN THIS ISSUE
Soak Away Stress http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1450
Sore Muscle Soothers http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1231
So, you can see why being in water, preferably in a bathtub, but also in a shower, positively affects a birthing mother...the fight-or-flight response is calmed, which means mom & baby are relaxed & have endorphins running throughout their bodies. Ahhhhh....
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A politically-charged message from Dr. Fuhrman (www.diseaseproof.com) about breast cancer
Christina Applegate's diagnosis of breast cancer at age 36, brings to our awareness the question, why now, after so many millions spent on cancer research, do so many women still get and die of breast cancer? This diagnosis in such a young celebrity will incite a new media frenzy for more donations for cancer research. Cancer research means more testing for new drugs. I doubt any significant reduction in cancer deaths will result as long as we ignore causation and still expect to discover new poisons to defeat cancer. Deaths from breast cancer have increased throughout the last century and modern medical care has done little to halt this trend.
Imagine if that money was instead spent on educating the public about the environmental and nutritional causes of cancer. We could slash breast cancer rates by 70 to 90 percent if the money that went to cancer research (almost exclusively drug research) instead went to fund a huge publicity campaign to beat cancer at its roots.
How many people know, childhood diets are the main cause of adult cancers? I have studied this subject for years, read thousands of studies and wrote a book about it (Disease-Proof Your Child). However, I learned not many people care about this subject. Knowledge about real cancer prevention is not politically correct and the spread of this message is unlikely to happen as the social, economic and political climate in the modern world revolves around promotion of processed foods and dairy products as the center of childhood nutritional practices.
It is blasphemy to produce scientific studies that expose our present day feeding practices as cancer-causing. This message is not what people want to hear, they want a magic pill. Information about cancer causation does not fly in the media. Flip around the dial, listen to the discussions about cancer in the media and read the articles. Do any of them bring up diet as the cause of cancer? Do the television personalities discuss that over 60 percent of food consumed in America is junk food? That's right, we have crossed over the 60 percent line, white flour, (pasta, bagels, crackers) sweeteners, oils, chips, processed cereals, soft drinks and other junk foods are the vast majority of what we eat. Add cheese and other dairy foods, full of hormones and saturated fat, and you have a simple formula to create the cancer explosion we have seen in the modern world over the last 75 years.
Put low micronutrient, high glycemic carbohydrates together with lots of cheese in your child's mouth and boom, watch the cancer-creating experiment unfold (it usually takes about 40 years). Now, while articles tussle with the argument of whether breast MRI's or mammograms are more appropriate as an early detection tool, those in the know realize that there is no such thing as early detection and all cancers diagnosed with radiographic techniques must be large enough to be visualized with the human eye, so they have been there more than 10 years already.
When Christina Applegate's publicist reports "it was not serious and caught in the early stage" we know that is not factual. Present medical science has no way of determining whether cells have spread outside the breast. A stage zero cancer means that it less than 2 centimeters, and no cancer were found in the lymph nodes. However that still does not tell us that it was caught before cancer cells have spread. Most invasive breast cancers have seeded the body with cells by the time a mammogram or MRI can detect it. Negative lymph nodes on a biopsy does not tell us the cancer is still localized to the breast because a small number of cells are for practical purposes invisible.
There are both aggressive and non-aggressive breast cancers. It was not announced which type Ms. Applegate has, but the more aggressive breast cancers are more common in young women. They spread out from the breast at an earlier stage. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer that spreads locally and there is no significant advantage to early detection because these cancers are not generally life threatening and can be detected later when they are larger with a good prognosis. Hopefully Christina has this type. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is an example of breast cancer that is more aggressive.
Genetics plays a minor role, not the major role. Dietary practices have been identified by scientific studies as the primary cause of breast cancers. The countries with the highest incidence of cancers of the breast are in North America, Western Europe and Australia, while in contrast, the occurrence is lowest in Southeast Asia1. For example, when compared to the United States, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand have only one-twentieth the amount of breast cancer in the 50-75 age bracket. Breast and Prostate cancer are the most prevalent cancers in America.
Diets lower in animal products (especially cheese) and higher in unrefined plant foods account for these dramatic differences. When people from a low risk country migrate to the United States, their cancer rate increases considerably and the cancer rate in their offspring jumps up to match other Americans. This demonstrates that the lower incidence of these cancers is not due to a lower genetic susceptibility in Asians, but rather due to the exposure to Western dietary practices2.
Plant-derived micronutrients reduce toxic stress and arm the body's defenses against cancer. The growing body, with its dividing cells, is at greater risk when exposed to all types of negative and toxic influences. In adults, our valuable genetic material (DNA) is wound up in a tight ball, like the rubber bands on the inside of a golf ball. When we are young and cells are replicating and growing, the DNA unwinds, exposing more of its surface. This makes it more susceptible to damage from toxic exposure. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, infants and toddlers have a ten times greater cancer risk than adults when exposed to gene-damaging chemicals3.
In a similar manner, an unhealthy diet can do substantially more damage to a young body than an adult one. The fact is, the earlier in life, the greater the potential for damage. The idea that eating an anti-cancer diet in our childhood is more important in determining cancer risk than waiting to eat healthy as an adult, has been tested in animals by Dr. Jerald Silverman of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Ohio State with a grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research. He chose to study a strain of mice very susceptible to breast cancer. He put one group on a diet low in fat their entire lives and with the other group he switched them from a high fat diet to a healthier low fat one at different times; some before puberty, some at puberty and some after puberty. The study showed the same thing we see in human studies; those mice fed the high fat diet early in life had more cancer and more of the cancer spread to the lung, and the earlier the change to the healthier lower fat diet the better the mice fared.
The things we are exposed to earlier in life are crucial to our later health. If a nuclear power plant exploded nearby, dousing us all in heavy radiation, it would not cause a significant increase in cancer occurrence for at least 30 years. For example, the excess risk for breast, prostate and colon cancer among atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continues to be observed today, and persists throughout the lifetime of the survivors. The largest grouping of the radiation-related cancer deaths for these common cancers occurred in the period from 1986 to 1990, forty to forty five years after exposure4.
Recent studies have also found fruit eating during childhood had powerful effects to protect against cancer in later life. A 60-year study of 4,999 participants found those who consumed more fruit in their childhood (highest quartile) were 38 percent less likely to develop cancer of all types as adults5.
There is much more here and the science is fascinating. I could go on and on with hundreds of more studies, telling this story, of food and other factors initiating cancer, but the point is--we already know enough about how to beat breast cancer. We can implement good science to win the war on cancer. We can do it now. We must eat right America.
For adults at risk or who already have cancer, nutritional excellence is a critical intervention one can use to reduce risk and significantly increase the chance of survival. Eat a high-nutrient, vegetable-based diet as described in my books, Eat To Live and Eat For Health. Green vegetables are the most powerful anti-breast cancer food. Take note that a vegetarian diet does not show protection against breast cancer as much as a diet rich in green vegetables, berries, and seeds. It is the phytochemical nutrient density and diversity of the diet that offers the most dramatic protection against cancer, not merely the avoidance of meat or fat.
Learn more about the best ways to prevent breast cancer and the debate over mammograms in Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times Newsletter #13, May 2004.
Dr. Fuhrman is a board certified family physician and specialist in nutritional medicine. Visit him at DrFuhrman.com
To comment on this article, check out Dr. Fuhrman's blog DiseaseProof.com.
1. Doll R, Muir C, Waterhouse J. International Union Against Cancer (UICC) Cancer Incidence in five continents. Vol VI, Lyon 1997.
2. Ziegler RG, Hoover RN, Pike MC et al. Migration patterns and breast cancer risk in Asian-American women. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993;85(22):1819-1827.
3. Dourson M, Charnley G, Scheuplein R. Differential sensitivity of children and adults to chemical toxicity. II. Risk and regulation. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 2002;35(3):448-467. Miller MD, Marty MA, Arcus A, et al. Differences between children and adults: implications for risk assessment at California EPA. Int J Toxicol 2002;21(5):403-418.
4. McPherson K, Steel CM, Dixon JM. ABC of Breast Diseases, Breast cancer--epidemiology, risk factors, and genetics. BMJ 2000;321:624-628. Pierce DA, Shimizu Y, Preston DL, et al. Studies of the mortality of atomic bomb survivors. Report 12, Part I. Cancer: 1950-1990 RERF Report No. 11-95 Radiat Res 1996;146:1-27.
5. Maynard M, Gunnell D, Emmett P, et al. Fruit, vegetable and antioxidants in childhood and risk of adult cancer: the Boyd Orr cohort. J Epidemiol Community Health 2003;57:218-225.
4 Walter E. Foran Blvd
Flemington, NJ 08822
That said, I'd like to share that Juice Plus whole food supplements give you the phytonutrient equivalent of 15 fruits & vegetables per day. If you're interested in learning more, please visit my website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. You can also qualify for free supplements for your children if they are between the ages of 6-13.
Now to something more positive regarding the fight against breast cancer...
I just joined the Love/Avon Army of Women — and you should, too!
The amazing Dr. Susan Love has a call to action for women withOUT breast cancer, whether cured, never had and no risk factors. She has said she is striving for prevention, not just the cure. In order to become one in the Army of Women who would be willing to share their blood, saliva, breast tissue, etc. with scientists, go to ArmyofWomen.org and sign up. Signing up does not necessarily mean you will be chosen, just that you are willing to be. Dr. Love said they are piling the women into regions and will divy them/us out to the scientists in the area. It could be many months before we learn if we have been chosen.
Please, please consider becoming one of the volunteers if you do not have breast cancer! Our sisters (and brothers, because men get breast cancer, too!) need us to help. The Love/Avon Army of Women offers women the opportunity to partner with the scientists who are conducting research that will end this disease--once and for all. Breast cancer has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that stops breast cancer once and for all by figuring out what causes this disease and how to prevent it!
Sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week. This is YOUR chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer. It takes a just a minute to join. But the impact we will have will last a lifetime.
Please Join Me in Being One in a Million!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I hope you and your family are doing well. James and I are doing great and are enjoying every second of parenthood. Blake is the sweetest boy and we are absolutely in love with him.
I have been meaning to call you and tell you my birth story but it seems something always comes up so I decided to write you. I first want to thank you so much for all of your help in getting us prepared for Blakes' arrival by giving me the confidence and important information that I used during his birth. I truly believe if it wasn't for you my birthing experience wouldn't have been so wonderful. Here is my story:
I just hit my 38th week of pregnancy and I started having some surges on April 3rd at around 1:15 A.M. I first thought they were the braxton hicks contractions I had been having for weeks so I didn't think much of them. I stayed in bed for a little over an hour until I noticed that they were becoming regular and were 8 minutes apart. I decided to get out of bed and walk around to see how I was feeling. I noticed that I was having some lower back pressure so I decided to start getting everything ready in case this was it. About a half hour later the surges started becoming more frequent and more intense so I began to get myself ready and I jumped in the shower. I thought that I would have still several hours at home before I needed to go to the hospital but I was wrong. While in the shower the surges became so intense that I could no longer stand. I finished my shower and tried to go downstairs to let James know that we had to get going to the hospital but I only made it to the master bedroom. I yelled for James several times but he couldn't hear me because he was finishing up all the things that needed to be done before we left. By the time he got upstairs it was about 3:00 A.M. and my surges were about 2 minutes apart, he then called Dr. Zaid and got the car packed up. In the car I started to listen to the rainbow relaxation on the hypnobirthing CD (If I would have known my labor was going to progress so quickly I would have started earlier). On the way to the hospital my surges were 1 minute apart and I could feel myself starting to get panicked because my labor was progressing so fast. I calmed myself down by using the relaxation and visualization techniques you taught me. I could feel myself relax and gain control over my emotions. Once we got to the off ramp where the hospital was I felt the urge to push!
Once we got to the hospital we checked in and a nurse checked me to see how far I had progressed. I was fully dilated and Blake had already started to descend. Unfortunately we forgot to bring the mp3 player and our camera with us when leaving the car and the nurses wouldn't let James go to the car and get them because as they put it 'this baby is coming!' So I was unable to listen to the hypnobirthing CD during the rest of my labor. But because of all your information and relaxation techniques I learned during the classes I was still able to stay calm and mostly relaxed. When the nurses would tell me to hold my breath and push or open my eyes and focus on a spot in the room I didn't. I went inside myself and listened to my body and did what felt right for me and because of this I had a great birthing experience and that is all thanks to you. Throughout the birthing experience I was totally present and didn't let other people take control of my sons' birth.
Blake was born at 5:12 A.M, which makes my entire labor only 4 hours and I probably only pushed for 20 minutes! I think that is pretty amazing for a first time birth. I didn't have any tearing and I account that to staying relaxed and listening to my body, which included getting in different positions. Now I wouldn't say that I had a pain free birth but it was definitely manageable.
I had such a great experience because of you and if you ever need a reference I would be more than happy to recommend you and tell to other woman interested in hypnobirthing my birth story.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Organic Consumers Association, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, 10/13/08
After hearing oral arguments earlier this month, the San Francisco County Superior Court on Thursday Oct. 8th ruled that Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps can proceed with its lawsuit seeking to compel organic cheater companies & certifiers to drop, or stop certifying, deceptive organic label and brand claims. Culprit brands include:
Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic"
Nature's Gate "Organics"
Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic"
Giovanni "Organic Cosmetics"
Desert Essence "Organics"
Stella McCartney's CARE "100% Organic".
The culprit certifiers are OASIS and Ecocert; Estee Lauder is also a defendant due to its expressed intent to enter the market under its Aveda brand with misleading OASIS certified "organic" products.
The 800,000 supporter strong Organic Consumers Association has played a leading role in exposing and educating consumers about deceptive organic branding, and is a party in the litigation with Ecocert. The Court turned aside the defendants' arguments that Dr. Bronner's, in its complaint filed with the Court, hadn't sufficiently spelled out how actual consumers, the company and competition in the organic personal care industry have been hurt by the defendants' deceptive practices. The Court also rejected a claim by OASIS that its deceptive certification could be protected as free speech. In so ruling, the Court moved the case closer to full consideration of the merits of Dr. Bronner's claims.
Organic consumers expect that the main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients in soaps, shampoos and body washes that are labeled "Organic", "Organics" or "Made with Organic" will be made from organic as distinct from conventional agricultural material, produced without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, and be free of petrochemical compounds.
Dr. Bronner's products, in contrast to defendants' products, contain cleansing and moisturizing ingredients made only from certified organic oils, made without any use of petrochemicals, and contain no petrochemical preservatives. The misleading organic noise created by culprit companies' branding and labeling practices, interferes with organic consumers ability to distinguish personal care whose main ingredients are in fact made with certified organic, not conventional or petrochemical, material, free of synthetic preservatives.
Posted at www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare and www.drbronner.com/usda_organic_bodycare.html for the media and public to review, is: one, the Case Management Conference document filed jointly by Dr. Bronner's and Defendants that frames the case from either position; two, the Court's recent Oct. 8th rulings; and three, a detailed comparison of U.S. and European natural and organic personal care standards, ranked by rigor and integrity, including: USDA Organic (US); NSF (US); Soil Association (UK); BDIH (Germany); Natural Products Association (US); Whole Foods Premium (US); OASIS (US); NaTrue (Germany); and Ecocert (France).
Over the summer, Dr. Bronner's was pleased to settle with former defendants Ikove and Juice Beauty. Ikove has committed to reformulate problematic products to exclude any ingredients containing petrochemical compounds and label their products appropriately. Dr. Bronner's and Juice Beauty have entered into a Settlement Agreement, in which Juice Beauty agrees to accept the Court's decision; but in any event, even should the Court not so mandate, Juice Beauty has committed that no ingredients including petrochemical compounds shall be in any Juice Beauty product whatsoever, as of February, 2010. Says Dr. Bronner's president David Bronner: "We're optimistic as the case progresses, that other companies that have further to go will nonetheless see the light and agree to settle rather than dragging this out." Adds Ronnie Cummins, OCA Executive Director: "The writing is on the wall for companies who misbrand conventional personal care as organic to mislead consumers."
So...if you really want truly safe bodycare products such as toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, skin care, sunscreen, probiotics, baby care & even household cleaner, use Miessence, which is certified organic to food grade levels by the USDA & IFOAM. Go to my website to learn more...www.AWellLivedLife.Net & click on Miessence.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I sent the following letter to some midwifery groups here and received a very open minded response and now have more support than ever. I am privileged to have attended a birth of a most committed first time mother, fully supported by nurse and doctor, who had a perfect HB birth and brilliantly breathed her baby down. So I not only believe but also see.
Here's my letter:
PUSHING VS BREATHING DOWN
An Explanation of the HypnoBirthing Approach
There has been confusion surrounding the approach of HypnoBirthing toward second stage. Some of your clients may have told you that they will not be "pushing" their babies out. HypnoBirthing does have a particular approach to second stage. First, HypnoBirthing, the book, advises against "forced pushing,´ purple pushing and the valsalva manouever. It uses the term `pushing´ to refer to all of these that are generally caregiver coached and directed and often against a woman´s natural instincts and desires. In addition to reducing oxygen to the baby, valsalva pushing, associated with a tense jaw, tends to cause women to tighten their vaginas, like a pelvic floor exercise, causing the baby´s head to meet more resistance as it is pushed down.
In an article contrasting Active Management of Labour with physiologic birth, Marie Mongan, author of HypnoBirthing and developer of the program, says, "When using forced pushing, she is closing the sphincters of the vaginal outlet ahead of the baby. This kind of pushing reduces the flow of oxygen to the baby, and his heart rate may decline. If this happens, there will be talk of the need to get "that" baby out."
Midwife Ina May Gaskin believes a relaxed mouth and jaw are directly correlated with the ability of the cervix and vagina to open fully (The Sphincter Law).
HypnoBirthing replaces the word `pushing´ that refers to more spontaneous bearing down with `birth breathing´, `breathing down´ and `nudging the baby down´. It may be only the language that is different from how a midwife might encourage her client. One difference is that the HypnoBirthing woman has learned to relax her body completely and is working to maintain that relaxation in most of her body, even in second stage. (She may be in a more upright position in second stage, requiring more of her muscles). By relaxing her vagina it unfolds more easily and the baby moves more gently into the world. Practice for breathing down is done on the toilet during a bowel movement. Women are encouraged to notice how their vagina and anus open and how they bear down on the exhale, sending the energy down their body.
When birth breathing is working well, women may appreciate only quiet, gentle encouragement. They take several breaths with each surge (contraction) , usually in and out through their nose. HypnoBirthing encourages women to begin breathing their baby down when they feel the urge, which may be some time after they are fully dilated. Mongan argues that we wait for women with epidurals to allow their bodies to bring their babies down and we should be prepared to do the same for all women.
Jennifer Elliott, BEd, HBCE, CH, CD(DONA)
HYPNOBIRTHING, PRENATAL CLASSES