Urbandad’s Weblog

November 28, 2008, 10:18 pm
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The Father’s Home Birth Handbook
November 23, 2008, 3:38 pm
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Tara and I continue to work on the nursery.  Here is Tara painting.  We used this paint called Mythic.  It is non VOC paint which, besides not out-gassing very harmful VOCs, it does not smell when you apply it.  We painted one wall a bright orange.  We put together the crib and now it is beginning to look more like a nursery. 


I have started to read a book called The Father’s Home Birth Handbook.  It is perhaps the most interesting book I have read to date on the subject.  I have also been reading The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions.  This is a great step-by-step handbook and a core text for any soon-to-be dad who wants to prepare for a birth.  Each night, I have been reading sections out loud to Tara in bed until she falls asleep. 


The Father’s Home Birth Handbook, is quite interesting as it comes from a non-US point of view.  The book does a great job of putting ACOG’s positioning on home-birth, being utterly against it, in perspective by contrasting it with RCOG (the UK equivalent of ACOG), and other medical associations in Europe.  It also reviews the many many studies that demonstrate the clinical evidence concluding that home birth is safer for non high-risk pregnancies. 


The book provides a wealth of references that many in the birth community in the US are unfamiliar with and which further support home birth as a practice.


Finally, the book has excerpts form a number of men giving their POV and experiences of home-birth.  Still, I have yet to fins a single book on the birth experience written from a man’s point of view. 

November 23, 2008, 1:38 am
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Tara had Braxton-Hicks contractions twice this week.  These are “practice contractions” for the uterus.  It is a little early to be able to feel them at this point.   Actually they are suppose to start around 6 weeks but most women do not feel them until the third trimester.  But Tara is expecting them so more attentive to the sensations. 


Today we went to Baby’s R Us for the first time to buy an organic mattress.  Not as nice as the organic mattresses I have seen at places like http://naturepedic.com, but we don’t expect to be using the crib all that much anyway.  I did test drive the different strollers and could see why the Bugaboo is so popular.  But it is big and heavy and does not fold easily.  So it is great for pedestrian NY but if we were in the suburbs and using a car it would be a pain in the butt.  But we are going to use a sling at the beginning so not sure which one we will get in the end. 


Later we went to friends, Aimee and Kevin, for a goodbye party – they are moving to Ithaca.  This is their new baby Valor.


Before and After
November 16, 2008, 12:12 pm
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We had our new cabinet installed to serve as our desk area and to add storage for Gifted At Birth since we are making the office into a nursery.  The work was done by our friend Andy Monteleone (his wife is also a doula), and think they do a high quality job. 


Here are before and after shots….  It is made out of walnut and gorgeous and very functional.  


Nov Profile
November 16, 2008, 12:01 pm
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Here is the Nov pic of Tara’s belly.   It is amazing how much the baby has grown.  It is very active and is doing calisthenics everyday.  Particularly at night.  I hope the baby is not a night owl as I like the early morning.  But Tara is a monster in the morning normally – although with the pregnancy she seems to be much more pleasant when she wakes up.  


The weight is hard on Tara’s back and each evening her back hurts – sometimes having small spasms.  So we go to bed earlier and earlier.  Last night is was a whopping 10pm!   Crazy for a Sat night.  


Actually I am amazed at how active she is during the day.  



LISTEN! (November Prenatal)
November 16, 2008, 11:45 am
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Tara and I had another prenatal appointment with our midwife Susanracel in Gardiner, along the Wallkill River. This time, we went to her home, which was down the road from her office, where she has a separate consulting room.

We had a leisurely conversation where Tara and the midwife discussed the changes to Tara’s body, her eating habits, ad her vital signs.

She used the Doppler again and could feel the placenta at the front. Click below and your can hear the heartbeat.  Nov Prenatal Ultrasound


Vaccine policy dialogue continued
November 16, 2008, 11:44 am
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I received another letter from Dr. Daines of the NY Department of Health.


I am glad to see that they are responsive to public concerns and have taken the time to write a letter that addresses the specific points I have risen. 


The issue about conflicts of interest is one that is not really worth pursuing with this venue.  The response is carefully crafted but really does not address the fundamental issue.  Vetting conflicts of interest does not eliminate them.  Having individuals recuse themselves of votes on specific issues is also a bit ridiculous when the cohort as a group (meaning the ACIP) benefits from reciprocity in voting.  Bottom line is that conflicts of interest have been identified.. http://www.whale.to/v/staff.html


They are waived from the normal exclusions by congress, the argument being that the need for their expertise outweighs the conflict of interest, under the law 18 USC § 208.


Dr. Daines also argue that HepB be administered within 12 hours of birth to prevent perinatal transmission.  If the mother had HepB, you would have to be an idiot not to immunize your newborn.  But maybe Tara has been tested for HepB and is negative.  So there would be no risk of transmission.   But Dr. Daines also argues that cases have been documented of infection from household contact.  I wonder what the probability is of that happening in our house!  All these arguments are fallacious if the vaccine has even the mildest of potential side effects. 


Well what are the possible side effects? 


Oh wait, there have been no studies!    


Now if the bill which began this thread is passed, this vaccine will also become mandatory.  Now what is the public health risk of epidemic if my child is not vaccinated?  What danger does my child impose on another immune deficient child at nursery school. This is the problem with treating all vaccines under a single umbrella. 


Aluminum.  Yes, it is true, there is aluminum in breastmilk.  There  is 40 mcg of aluminum per liter. And a newborn ingests about 1.5 fl oz every three hours.  That’s 0.34 liters.  So that is 13.6 mcg of aluminum per day. 


Research suggests 4 to 5 mcg of aluminum per kilogram of body weight can be safely metabolized.   For a 8-10 lb newborn, that is about 4 kilos, or 16-20 mcg a day – just a little more then you get in breast milk.  Hmmm. 


The Hepatitis B vaccine, oh it has only has 250-500 mcg.  That is over 18-36 days of milk.  Following the CDC schedule gives you up to 1225 mcgs.  


But hey, there is aluminum in breastmilk, and lots of other things (actually aluminum is the third most common element on earth….  But consume enough and you still get kidney failure. 


 DOH Letter 110408