Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kangaroo Care & The Amazing Power of Skin to Skin

Mother’s Last Skin-to-Skin Goodbye Saves her 20 oz Baby

Lisa Arneill, Editor
Follow On Twitter: growingyourbaby
Sometimes a preemie doesn’t need to be hooked up to 10 different machines to be given the chance to survive.
When Carolyn Isbister put her 20oz baby on her chest for a cuddle, she thought that it would be the only chance she would ever have to hold her.
Doctors had told the parents that baby Rachel only had only minutes to live because her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.
Isbister remembers:
I didn’t want her to die being cold. So I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold.
It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment.” Then something remarkable happened. The warmth of her mother’s skin kick started Rachael’s heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.
We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry.
The doctors came in and said there was still no hope – but I wasn’t letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away. But she still hung on.
And then amazingly the pink color began to return to her cheeks. She literally was turning from gray to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too.
The sad part is that when the baby was born, doctors took one look at her and said ‘no’.
They didn’t even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying. Everyone just gave up on her,” her mom remembered.
At 24 weeks a womb infection had led to her premature labor and birth and Isbister (who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, 8 ) said, “We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn’t think there was much hope.” When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless.
Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: “All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.
Two hours later the wee thing was crying. This is indeed a miracle baby and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother’s love saved her daughter.”
Rachael was moved onto a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress and was tube and syringe fed her mother’s pumped breastmilk.
Isbister said, “The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope. She had done it all on her own – without any medical intervention or drugs. She had clung on to life – and it was all because of that cuddle. It had warmed up her body and regulated her heart and breathing enough for her to start fighting.
At 5 weeks she was taken off the ventilator and began breastfeeding on her own. At four months Rachel went home with her parents, weighing 8lbs – the same as any other healthy newborn. Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems and today Rachel is on par with her peers.
Rachel’s mom tells us, “She is doing so well. When we brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl. And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest. It was that first cuddle which saved her life – and I’m just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did. Otherwise she wouldn’t be here today.”

When a parent holds their baby on their chest, skin-to-skin, it is referred to as Kangaroo Mother Care.
The benefits for all babies of KMC are that they stabilize faster with skin-to-skin care than in an incubator (very few stabilize in an incubator well during the first six hours of life). KMC babies also have stable oxygen rates and breathing thanks to the steady regulation of Mother’s respiration. The heart rate is stable (mother’s heartbeat regulates baby’s heartbeat). The temperature is most stable on the mother – in skin-to-skin care mothers chest automatically warms to warm a cold baby, and mothers core temperature drops if her baby has a temperature.
Sleeping within an arm’s reach of baby (as long as a parent does not smoke) also regulates all of his physiological needs in the same way ~ they are kept steady thanks to Mom’s warm, even-paced body. We lose far fewer babies to prematurity, irregularity of breathing or heartbeat after birth, and SIDS all with the natural help of skin-to-skin holding, or Kangaroo Care.
Read More About skin-to-skin benefits for ALL babies (full term and premature) here:
For more stories by growyourbaby please visit their website. Story originally posted in 2007 and has been viewed more than 15,000 times on their site. Spread the word about this amazing story so that more babies can be saved!
Here’s a relevant article on their site about the research of Tim Oberlander on the effects of antidepressants on the unborn baby:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Worker gets damages after breastfeeding firing

Marina Chavez gave birth to her fourth child a month prematurely in April 2007 and returned to work at a Los Angeles-area taqueria 30 days later, needing the $7.55-an-hour cashier job to feed her family.
On her third night back, her boyfriend brought their newborn son to work and Chavez breastfed the child in their car during her lunch break.
The next night, she got a call from the company's general manager, Jaime Acosta, who, according to a state civil rights commission, told her he didn't want her back at work until she was done breastfeeding. When Chavez said she couldn't wait that long, Acosta replied that he didn't like her attitude and she was fired, the commission said.
Her dismissal has led to a precedent-setting ruling by the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission in San Francisco. The decision, made public last week, said punishing a female employee for breastfeeding during a work break amounts to sex discrimination.
"Breastfeeding, on her own break time, is an activity intrinsic to Chavez's sex, female, and also protected under California law," the commission said.
The commission also said her former employer, Acosta Tacos, had discriminated against Chavez by not holding her previous job open for her during her pregnancy leave, forcing her to work at different locations each night as openings occurred. The commission ordered the company to pay her $21,645 for lost wages and $20,000 for emotional distress, and to pay a $5,000 fine to the state for a willful civil rights violation.
"It is unconscionable that a working mother should be penalized for needing to feed her newborn baby," said Phyllis Cheng, director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which represented Chavez before the commission.
That isn't what happened, Acosta said Friday. He said he fired Chavez for incompetence and insubordination, an assertion he also made to the commission, which didn't believe him.
"I did not fire her because she was breastfeeding," he said in an interview. "I just made a comment to her - 'Is it safe to be out here in the parking lot?' " If the law requires employers to allow breastfeeding, he said, "I have no problem with that."
Acosta said the small company, which owns three taquerias in Inglewood and Hawthorne, would appeal the ruling, but might have to file for bankruptcy because of the damage award.
A 2002 California law requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time for an employee who wants to breastfeed an infant child, unless a break would seriously disrupt the employer's operations. California also allows a mother to breastfeed her child "in any location, public or private."
No state court or agency had previously considered, however, whether denying the right to breastfeed amounts to sex discrimination. Awarding damages to an employee in such a case is rare if not unprecedented in the United States, said Loretta McCallister, spokeswoman for La Leche League, a support organization for breastfeeding women.
"That's teaching employers that there's nothing wrong with it," she said.
E-mail Bob Egelko at
This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Physician-patient relationship should be sacrosanct

By Syed Quadri
Guest columnist
The News Enterprise (Elizabethtown, Ky.)
I have watched with interest the debate over health care reform unfold in the columns of your newspaper and the rest of media. The airways and the pages of every newspaper in the country are saturated with several buzzwords. “Rationing,” “socialized medicine,” “federal bureaucracy,” and “government takeover of health care” are the names that appear to be driving the discussion and creating the frame of reference for the “debate.”
Allow me to share with your readers my experience with the health care system relative to one concern, of increased federal bureaucratic interference, that has been expounded by the opponents of President Barack Obama’s plan to reform the health care system.
I am a general internist and have been practicing internal medicine in Hardin County for the past 11 years. As an internist I specialize in treating medical conditions of adults and especially the elderly. About 50 percent of my patients are covered by Medicare, and the rest have private insurance, Medicaid or self-pay. I am sure everybody is aware that Medicare is a government program operated by the federal bureaucratic agency of the centers of Medicare and Medicaid services.
I have had approximately 30,000 clinical encounters involving patients with Medicare insurance, and the decisions made during these medical visits were never, not even on a single occasion, questioned or rejected by federal bureaucrats. Never has the shadow of a federal bureaucrat even remotely intruded on the intimate space of the physician-patient engagement. I have the full freedom and Medicare patients have the full freedom and broad choice to avail of all reasonable medical tests and pursue necessary treatment without seeking anybody’s permission.
In contrast, the clinical encounters involving patients with private insurance are different. Many of the clinical decisions that result from that encounter are scrutinized, some are rejected by the insurance company, many are grudgingly accepted but only after considerable effort and time has been expended in explaining and convincing the corporate lackeys the merits of doing a test or prescribing a treatment.
When I decide to order an MRI scan of the knee for a Medicare beneficiary to explore for a cartilage tear, my office staff simply schedules the test. On the the other hand, in that same situation, every private insurance company requires that permission be obtained for the test to be done. A corporate bureaucrat can deny the test a doctor has deemed necessary.
It takes me two minutes to admit a Medicare beneficiary to the hospital from my office and up to two hours to admit a patient with private insurance with that amount of time required to obtain permission from the insurance company’s clerk. Once the patient is admitted to the hospital the continued need for hospitalization will be determined not by the doctor but by corporate bureaucrats.
The core principle of medicine is that the physician-patient relationship is sacrosanct and no other agency or entity should attempt to intrude into this special ground or endeavor to influence, alter or abridge the decision that a patient and physician arrive at after an informed discussion. Among insurances only Medicare, an entity managed by federal bureaucrats, honors and abides by this principle, while the denizens of blue-blooded corporate America in their various insurance incarnations with no regard to medical ethics or any ethics trample upon this ideal every day.
The public should rightly be incensed at any effort by a third party to intrude into the privileged realm of a medical transaction or hinder the ability of the physician to freely exercise his professional judgment, but the outrage would be misdirected if it is aimed at the federal bureaucracy. Contrary to popular belief it is not government bureaucrats who seek to restrict the freedom of the patients and physicians alike but it is their counterparts in the private health insurance sector who relentlessly seek to modify, abbreviate and at times nullify a physician’s considered opinion that was formulated in the best interest of his patient.
Surprisingly the shenanigans of the private health insurance bureaucracy have escaped the public’s attention while the phantoms of federal bureaucratic interference have captured the popular imagination. I hope that public opinion will be infused by the bright light of facts and not be inflamed by the passionate heat of irrational emotions in discussing this important issue of health care reform.

Syed Quadri MD, FACP, has practiced internal medicine in Hardin County for 11 years.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ally turns two.

My toddler is 2 years old now. Sweet Allison is talking up a storm suddenly. She has figured out that she can get her point accross and she is! I most love the "pees and dank oo" best of all since she is mimicking politeness. Tomorrow we are having a two year old birthday Dora the Explorer Fiesta hosted by Mary Gail. Today we finished the pinata, the confetti eggs, and the birthday banners. It was fun! Happy Birthday Ally!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Downtown Nashville

This morning I had a doctor appointment in Nashville. Having finshed at 9:30 I found myself in Nashville with nothing else on my agenda but to enjoy my morning with my toddler. So I drove downtown with the intention of taking a walk through the big city. I found parking easily right beside my bank where I made a deposit. I opened my trunk to get out my stroller and to my stroller was there. Oh yeah we had to take the stroller out so we could take the bikes yesterday!!! So Ally went in the backpack carrier and off I went. In and out of restaurants, book stores, library, and stores, in and amongst people. She loved it and I loved how happy and entertained she was. People smailed and talked to Ally. They noticed her when they looked at me. Then my backpack strap tore and I wandered into a Dry Cleaning store. The woman there with a huge smile and big excitement to tell me her story and history sewed my torn backpack carrier strap on her 1920 something sewing machine. People are so friendly and easy here in Nashville. I dont think that would have happened in Florida. She charged me 2 dollars. I gave her ten. What turned into a surprise for me was the $14 I had to pay to park there. Where do they hide the free parking?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Apple eating

I eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away but I also try to stay healthy by staying active, praying for health, loving everyone, educating myself and helping others to achieve good health as well. I help infants learn to breastfeed. I help mother learn how to breastfeed and I help mothers mother through breastfeeding by educating and listening. I love and care for girls in my community through Girls Scouts in a hope to inspire the next generation of women to be the best women they can be. I hope and pray for the world to be the peaceful beautiful Kingdom that the Lord wants us to strive for here on earth.