Wow, what a whirlwind of a summer so far.
We did a cross country move from Alaska to Virginia. With three littles, there was never a dull moment. We nearly lost the cat at a Panera. We definitely lost two crib mattresses somewhere in Wyoming. We drove 3,500 miles without a break down or a tire blow out. Thank you Jesus. But oh my, Virginia is so hot and humid compared to Alaska. I’m secretly thinking about Alaska fields of snow and the Northern Lights while sweating in my kiddie pool and applying liberal bug repellant.
We’ve been enjoying the summer heat in kiddie pools and every toddler pool toy we can find. The toddlers are especially loving splashing around in the water – something we only did one or two times in our entire Alaska adventure.
I have a little break from work and have a new job lined up in the fall that I am super excited about. I separated from the Air Force in June and have been enjoying the extra time with littles and family.
I hope you’re enjoying all the good bits of summer wherever you are. There are lots of exciting things coming up on the blog.
Let’s jump to the Five.
1. This is a goody to start with. This free read from NCC from Kathleen Rice Simpson was posted last month and it’s worth a read for ANY obstetric care provider – RN, tech, provider – everyone. This might date me a little, but I started my nursing career back in 2008 and worked on a busy unit that ran a lot of high dose pitocin. One of the recommended resources for new nurses from our clinical coordinator was Kathleen Rice Simpson guide to Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction and Augmentation. Her presentation and recommendations from the first edition are still outstanding in today’s practice of obstetrics. I use her recommendations in practice often when managing a mama requiring pitocin augmentation. Start with the free read – it’s about 18 pages and then has a bunch of strips to review. If you like the free read, her stuff is absolutely worth the money (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Ms. Rice Simpson although I am an AWHONN member. I think she’s doing a damn good job.)
I wanted to highlight a few of the charts because they were very well done.
This chart in particular is fantastic and should be a reference at any nursing station on an OB deck! If you have taken the Advanced Fetal Monitoring class by AWHONN, it’s a nice summary of the pathophysiology and really reminds everyone what’s happening behind the scenes of the fetal heart rate we see on the paper tracing.
This chart on intrauterine resuscitation is another must have at the nursing station.
And this chart was just fascinating to me. I’m a nerd about birth statistics. Such as, only 4% of babies are born on their actual estimated due dates? That means the other 96% aren’t born on their due date. It’s one of my favorite facts to reinforce that a due date is an estimate and that full term birth has a wide range!
2. This initiative out of hospitals in Connecticut to increase breastfeeding initiation and rates. If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you know that postpartum care in the United States is in need of a huge overhaul. I have dozens of stories of where the system has failed women, babies and families. But this initiative is an example of a path towards improvement. Women should be asked about nursing throughout their pregnancy and education about nursing should be provided in a similar pattern. It is unreasonable to ask a woman at 32 weeks “Are you planning to breastfeed?”, document her answer, and never address the topic again. Regardless of whether a woman chooses to nurse or formula feed, there is important education needed for both. More important, follow up and reassurance are important pillars to mothers with newborns. I hope we’ll see more initiatives like this. I love the idea of a lactation consultant leading a team of peers to improve nursing in their community and empowering woman as mothers.
3. For the mamas with littles – check out this podcast that goes behind the scenes with a beloved children’s author! I’ve talked about the Read Aloud Revival podcast before. It’s a wonderful podcast produced by a mama who is in the trenches and has the best book recommendations for kids and parents. Check out the podcast and what Read Aloud Revival is at: https://readaloudrevival.com/special-edition-robert-mccloskey/.
4. For practicing midwives or nurses, how often do you find yourself counseling on smoking cessation? For me it’s not often, but I find that most women in pregnancy that currently smoke do desire to cut back or quit. This handout is a nice refresher for midwives or provides that need a fine tuning on how to counsel during preconception and pregnancy (see below).
5. This podcast episode titled “Stillbirth Matters”. The foundation focuses on umbilical cord accidents. Did you know that 8,000 stillbirths a year are attributed to umbilical cord accidents? The institute believes that half of those stillbirths could be prevented with increased fetal monitoring. The retired OB/GYN, Dr. Jason Collins, talks about a baby born in the 1990s that he delivered had a cord around the neck twice, a cord around the shoulder, and a cord around the torso. This cord presentation was so unusual that the OB/GYN thought there must be a link. It’s a 20 minute chat that’s very thought provoking for mamas and practitioners. I love this quote in reference to fetal movement: “The mother has to be the radar.”
A few more goodies:
- I’ve had the privilege of reading a bunch of books the past few months. Summer recommendations included Achilles by Madeline Miller (excellent on audio), The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (also excellent on audio especially if you like a British accent), Parenting by Paul Tripp.
- Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy also published her infamous summer reading guide. It’s a goody. I’m currently working through a reading challenge of my own: read all the books on my Kindle that haven’t been read as well as about 20 unread books on my shelf that have been collecting dust. The satisfaction of finishing my goal is equal to my excitement of reading newer books once the goal is completed!
- A new podcast recommendation – the Mod Midwives! A Denver based duo that are putting out some great content. Check them out here.
- Lastly, there is a huge shortage of blood nationwide. Did you know that every 2 seconds in the US someone needs blood? From the Red Cross: “Patients need the help of the American people – please schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.” If you are able to donate blood, please consider doing so. Check out the full update from the Red Cross here.
Thanks for catching back up with me. June was an important time of rest and transition for our household and I hope you plan the same for you and your family this summer! See ya Monday for the 16 Week Visit.
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Links in the post
Connecticut Breastfeeding Initiative: https://www.aha.org/case-studies/2012-01-02-hartford-hospital-breastfeeding-heritage-and-pride-peer-counseling-program
Kathleen Rice-Simpson article: https://www.nccwebsite.org/news/details/261/download-ncc-s-free-fetal-assessment-and-safe-labor-management-monograph
Mod Midwives podcast recommendation: https://mod-midwives-a-metro-midwifery-podcast.simplecast.com/
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2021 Summer Reading Guide: https://modernmrsdarcy.com/2021-summer-reading-guide/
North Carolina Division of Public Health, 2016, A Guide for Helping to Eliminate Tobacco Use and Exposure for Women: https://whb.ncpublichealth.com/docs/2016-GuideforCounselingWomenWhoSmoke.pdf
Read Aloud Revival podcast: https://readaloudrevival.com/special-edition-robert-mccloskey/
Red Cross National Blood Shortage: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/press-release/2021/nation-confronts-severe-blood-shortage-blood-donations-urgently-needed.html
“Stillbirth Matters” podcast episode: https://starlegacyfoundation.org/jason-h-collins-md-mscr/