Jill Duggar Knows Sometimes a C. Section is Necessary

Courtesy of People Magazine

Courtesy of People Magazine

Jill Duggar Dillard is a name you might not recognize but we all know her mother – Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting. Jill gave birth to a healthy baby boy on April 6, 2015 who weighed a whopping 9 lb 10 oz and she should count her lucky stars that he was born healthy given the stormy course of her labor which lasted almost 3 days. Here are the facts regarding Jill’s labor as reported by People Magazine:

  • She was 41.5 weeks when her water broke – most healthcare providers will want to induce at 41 weeks at 42| weeks, the baby can get too big, the placenta too old or the baby will pass its first stool (meconium) in-utero and complicate the delivery
  • Her water broke and she wanted to go on a 2 mile hike – not a good idea because the sac is no longer present to protect the baby from infections
  • She planned to deliver at home – you need a back-up plan including alerting a hospital of your impending delivery in the event of an emergency
  • She had a positive Group B Strep test which is one of the leading causes of serious neonatal infections that could potentially cause death
  • She took castor oil and yes, the contractions came much faster than she anticipated
  • After 20 hours of in labor with contractions occurring every minute, there was meconium which means that the baby was in distress so she decided to go to the hospital but then she took a SECOND dose of castor oil.
  • The trip to the hospital was 40 minutes rather than around the corner
  • When she arrived the baby’s heart rate was irregular and he was in an abnormal position
  • Thankfully she consented to having a C. Section and delivered a big baby boy

Had Jill been adamant about having a vaginal delivery and ignored the warning signs, her happy ending might not have occurred. A C. Section is not necessary in every delivery, but it certainly was in hers. Good job, Jill!! You might have abandoned your original birth plan, but in exchange, you have a healthy son.

Should Your Job Honor Your Doctor’s Note if you’re Pregnant? The US Supreme Court Says Yes

Courtesy of The New York Times

Courtesy of The New York Times

Kudos to Peggy Young for doing what many would be afraid to do. She sued her employer, United Parcel Service (UPS) because they refused to honor a note from her prenatal provider that requested light work duty. Young was pregnant and could not lift more than 20 pounds without jeopardizing the safety of her unborn child.  UPS, with the backing of large corporations with deep pockets, challenged Young’s request so she took them to court – and lost. However, with the determination of a fearless mother, she didn’t blink at the lower court’s rejection of her case. She took it all the way to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court which agreed with Young and essentially said the both UPS and the lower courts were wrong. Pregnant women deserve the same rights and consideration as any other person who has a disability.

While our country is far from being perfect, the thing that sets us apart from others and makes us a great nation is our rule of law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act under Title 7 was established in 1978 to protect the rights of pregnant women. 70% of our country’s workforce represents women who have children and 6.5% of all discrimination cases. Here is how it protects pregnant women:

  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers
  • An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work.
  • Any health insurance provided by an employer must cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as costs for other medical conditions. An employer need not provide health insurance for expenses arising from abortion, except where the life of the mother
  • Pregnancy-related benefits cannot be limited to married employees. In an all-female workforce or job classification, benefits must be provided for pregnancy-related conditions if benefits are provided for other medical conditions.

Young is to be commended for her courage to speak up and the US Supreme Court should be commended for listening.

Would You Use Laughing Gas During Labor?

Nitrous oxide shutterstock

Labor pain is an experience that most women would prefer to avoid and who can blame them? No one likes pain but unfortunately those cramp-like symptoms are a signal that a new life is about to enter the world which is both exciting and inspiring.

It has been scientifically proven that the childbirth experience is much smoother, faster and less complicated when a woman is not in pain although her uterus is contracting. The treatment of labor pain is therefore very important. The gold standard of treatment for labor pain is to give a woman an epidural (or medicine in her back) as long as the baby does not need to be delivered as an emergency. An epidural prevents pain because it blocks the pain signals that come from the spine cord and is a very effective method when performed by skilled hands.

However, there’s a “new” trend of using nitrous oxide emerging in birth centers for women who would prefer not to have an epidural. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used in dental offices for pain relief. It is also used in Europe, New Zealand, Asia, and Australia for labor pain relief.

In 2012, the FDA approved equipment that allows nitrous oxide to be used for labor pain management in the U.S. Actually; the use of gas for labor relief can be traced back to the 19th century when a dentist (Dr. William Morton) introduced ether for pain relief and the following year, an obstetrician (Dr. James Young Simpson) used chloroform during childbirth. Queen Victoria allegedly used chloroform for the delivery of her 8th child.

Courtesy of Mentalloss.com

Courtesy of Mental_floss.com

 

Is nitrous oxide safe for the delivery of our 21st century’s babies? Here’s what we know so far based on government studies:

  • 54% of women who used nitrous oxide reported pain relief as compared to 94% of women who had an epidural
  • Nitrous oxide does not appear to affect Apgar scores of babies at birth

Who shouldn’t receive it?

  • Women with asthma, emphysema or those with severe lung problems
  • Women with Vitamin B 12 deficiencies

The American College of Nurse Midwives thinks nitrous oxide is safe to use during labor? Would you use nitrous oxide during labor? Please send your comments to www.drlindaburkegalloway.com