“Just had to share a success story with you. We had a 38 week induction for severe pre-eclampsia on the floor. She’d been on pitocin for hours, was up to 22mu and still only 5cm, -3 or -4 station, head ballotable and seeming to be caught on the brim of the pelvis (with an epidural). Her labor nurse had been to a midwife conference last fall where there must have been a workshop on spinning babies. [Yes, I presented Engaging the Inlet; Labor onset beyond cervical ripening, at the American College of Nurse Midwife chapter of Minnesota conference, Oct. 2, 2015].
So we talked about doing some Spinning Babies moves. I went in to help her and we did Side-lying Release and a “modified” Abdominal Lift and tuck on her knees on the bed. [Consider this variation for when the moms had an epidural. Be sure she has a person on each side of the bed holding her steady.] An hour later she was 6cm -1 station, and another hour later she was 9-10cm. Can’t tell you how happy I was for that patient and the ability to help her! As a side note, I happened to be teaching a student clinical that day (not actually working the floor) and my student was able to see this fantastic work and can’t wait to be an OB nurse. Thanks for all the work you do!” – Lisa B. RN
The nurse’s testimony came the same day this week that I got a consultation call from a second-time mother hoping for an upcoming vaginal birth after her previous baby was born by cesarean (VBAC). The mother was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant when we spoke. She wanted tips to avoid another cesarean for transverse arrest, the cause of the cesarean for her first birth. If you do, too, check out the Sidelying Release.
I asked if there were any medical reason not to do a Forward-Leaning Inversion (see the contraindications and instructions for when it’s safe to do)? She said her doctors were watching her for high blood pressure, although it wasn’t quite 140/90, it was over 30/15 points higher than her normal. I asked a few questions about her symptoms. That means, no inversion. We don’t go upside down when there is risk of a stroke.
Abdominal Release and Standing Sacral Release will have to do for it. Not identical, not all-inclusive, but as close as we can get.
Her liver profile wasn’t encouraging. Generalized swelling including her face. Severe headaches. Flashes of light and other visual disturbances. She did not have protein in her urine. The headaches began 3 weeks earlier and were severe enough to deny her sleep. The doctor prescribed Promethazine.
She wondered if she were going into labor as she was showing early signs of possible latent labor. The warnings on Promethazine are not to take in labor in case it causes the baby to bleed. Bleeding in the brain can be fatal to newborns. How can she sleep then on the night she might or might not go into labor? Second-time moms may experience several nights like this. Yet now she couldn’t sleep and if she didn’t take the Promethazine she was up all night. She had nightmares when she took it. She was anxious during the day. I noticed that was a side effect as well as the nightmares.
The medical plan was to see if she could stay pregnant long enough for the baby’s lungs to mature before she had a seizure, her ration worsened, or her blood pressure went up 3 more points. I introduced the pregnant mother to the Brewer Diet immediately. As we spoke, her husband made her a high protein meal. She was seeing the doctor in the morning. I asked her to eat 50 grams of her 100-gram daily goal of protein before seeing the doctor.
The next day she was normal enough to remain home. She felt somewhat better. We talked again the day after that 36 hours after starting the high protein, salt-to-taste, 3 quarts of water, leafy greens and more good food diet designed by Dr. Tom Brewer some decades ago. This diet has been a Bradley Method Childbirth Class recommendation and a home birth midwife recommendation since the 80s. Babies end up big and healthy.
Reduce sugar, white flours, etc. and eat close to the farm, so to speak, to avoid large sugary babies. We love ’em but for a VBAC mama, it’ll be easier through those ischial spines, since this mama needed strategies, and her baby would have good size and good health from good food. 36 hours later she said her headaches, swelling, and flashes of light were gone. She still hasn’t had her baby yet, so we are hoping for improving health and spontaneous and safe birthing!
The Brewer Diet
Yesterday, Sarah Longacre of Blooma asked me to come down and talk with some of the relatively fresh doulas. Expecting Spinning Babies topics, they may have been a little put out to have a lecture on blood pressure, Brewer style via Gail Tully. Success has happened so far for every one of the mothers I’ve counseled who followed the Brewer Diet but one that we also had to involve homeopathic advice from a professional. The stories are dramatic. There are wonderful complimentary modalities, alternate modalities, for hypertensive disorders when given by the expert practitioner. The Brewer Diet has saved lives and let babies grow to full gestational potential. Read it yourself.
VBAC Consultation Update
LAST UPDATE! The pregnant mother (in the story above) called me while I was grocery shopping. She is now at 38 weeks and feeling much better. The headaches have not returned and her swelling is gone. Her blood pressure at the doctor’s visit was 108/60. She continues to eat 100 grams of protein a day and wonders about her contractions. More questions about her contractions show they last 1-2 hours just before dinner time! She’s hungry and Baby’s hungry, so to speak. I suggested a snack about 4 pm so her body has the energy to wait for her husband’s arrival at their 6:30 supper together. Now that her blood pressure is normal, I asked her to ask her provider if there is any more a medical reason not to do forward-leaning inversion. We’ll see. But I don’t think her contractions are due to a fetal position, but rather a late afternoon need for a protein snack.