Hold that hat!


Someone on Facebook is doing a survey of what birth workers think about putting knit toques on newborn heads.

We have to ask ourselves about the way this hat thing got going. Babies were not doing well after being born to medicated women and immediate cord clamping. The baby who has started off at such a deficit will lose body heat and be in very rough shape. Helping keep in heat by a hat might be a matter of life and death in this instance where the body is so weakened.

Contrast that to a baby born spontaneously and placed on his mother’s body. . . both of them wrapped together in a warmed blanket skin to skin. The cord is intact, the placenta continues its work of transferring just the right amount of blood back and forth to the baby while he/she adjusts to life in an air environment in a leisurely fashion.

Then, the baby and the mother lock in a gaze; the mother recognizing that this is her own; she buries her nose in the wet head and drinks in the smell of her young; she locks the imprint of that child’s whole being into her vision and she would not ever confuse her baby with someone else’s. Later, she chooses the clothing SHE wants her child to wear; she dresses and grooms her own baby. . . she is in charge and has been born as the mother. No one and no article of clothing has come between her and her total impressions of that baby. Through skin, mouth, nose, eyes and heart she has claimed the baby as her own and the bond is strong.


Bringing medical birth practices to a natural birth is a sign that we lost so much knowledge in the dark years when homebirth/midwifery was wiped out. Now, we can look again at these things and lay them aside as foolish for well women and their infants.

http://www.normalfed.com/starting/hat/ Article by a Lactation Consultant

Full Text of Circumcision Rate Falling News

This is the full text. Good news that the rate is in free fall, frightening and sickening that 6.5 million innocent American boys were mutilated between 2006 and 2009. Gloria

By Mitchel L. Zoler
Elsevier Global Medical News

Breaking News

VIENNA (EGMN) – Circumcision rates for newborn boys in the United States
dropped steadily and markedly over the past 4 years, based on the largest
review of U.S. rates ever done.

Circumcision rates fell from 56% in 2006 to 33% in 2009.

The review, which included more than 6.5 million U.S. newborn boys during
the period, also showed that adverse event rates following newborn male
circumcision were “extremely low,” and that the most common adverse events
were “mild and easily corrected,” Charbel El Bcheraoui, Ph.D., said at the
18th International AIDS Conference.

“Severe male circumcision-related adverse events are extremely rare,” said
Dr. El Bcheraoui, an epidemic intelligence service officer in the division
of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The dramatic decline in circumcision rates during 2006-2009 continued a
trend that began in the United States earlier in the decade, although the
fall appeared to accelerate recently, he said. He attributed the drop to a
1999 statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics that said existing data
were not sufficient to recommend routine newborn male circumcision
(Pediatrics 1999;103:686-93).

Another factor may be that following the AAP statement, several states
withdrew Medicaid coverage of newborn male circumcision, Dr. El Bcheraoui
said. An earlier report by him and his CDC associates documented that during
1979-2006, the U.S. newborn male circumcision rate was relatively stable,
with an average rate of 61%.

The recent fall in U.S. circumcision rates coincided with reports from three
African-based randomized controlled trials in 2005-2007 that showed
circumcised men had a 50%-70% reduced risk for acquiring HIV infection,
compared with uncircumcised men. These findings led the World Health
Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to recommend
male circumcision as an important intervention to reduce the risk for
heterosexually acquired HIV infection in 2007. The CDC and AAP are now
independently interpreting the application of these recent findings on HIV
transmission to the United States based on U.S. prevalence rates of HIV and
circumcision, he said.

The new study also analyzed 90-day outcome data on 258,189 boys and men aged
1 or older who underwent circumcision during 2006-2009, and found that
adverse events occurred much more frequently in this age group, “an
important new finding,” Dr. El Bcheraoui said.

His study used data from the largest U.S. consolidator of electronic health
care reimbursement claims, which included data on 117 million unique U.S.
patients annually undergoing short hospital stays, and data from more than
800,000 unique U.S. health care providers. In this database, 6,571,500
newborn boys underwent circumcision during 2006-2009. To estimate the
incidence of circumcision-associated adverse events, the researchers tallied
the rate of any of 41 different ICD-9 and CPT codes that could be such
events during the 90 days following circumcision. They also compared these
rates in 18,330 infants circumcised within the first month of life with a
matched set of uncircumcised infants.

The data showed that the rates for a range of adverse events, such as
mishaps, correctional procedures, and infections were substantially lower in
boys less than 1 year old, compared with boys aged 1-9 years, and with boys
and men aged 10 years or older. For example, mishaps occurred in none of the
boys aged less than 1 year or aged 1-9 years, but in 158/100,000 boys and
men aged 10 years or older. The rate of correctional procedures was
58/100,000; 2,544/100,000; and 1,709/100,000 in the three age groups,
respectively. Infections occurred at a rate of 154/100,000; 5,664/100,000;
and 4,527/100,000 in the three age groups.

The case-control analysis identified only two types of adverse events that
were more common in circumcised newborn boys, compared with matched
uncircumcised infants: repair for incomplete circumcision, and lysis or
excision of penile adhesions. All other adverse events tallied either
similar rates among the cases and controls, or were significantly more
common among the controls.

“This is the largest study to examine the incidence of male circumcision
adverse events to date. It is highly representative [for the United States],
with a large data set” and with a large number of potential adverse events
tracked, Dr. El Bcheraoui said. One of the strengths of the study was its
longitudinal design, which followed subjects for 90 days following

Dr. El Bcheraoui and his associates said they had no disclosures.


APGAR Scoring for Newborns
A score is given for each sign at one minute and five minutes after the birth. If there are problems with the baby an additional score is given at 10 minutes. A score of 7-10 is considered normal, while 4-7 might require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with Apgar scores of 3 and below requires immediate resuscitation.

Here’s a link to a previous post on newborn examination.

Circumcision makes the penis smaller

Like it or not, we have to face the awful truth about what has been done to North American males.
The International Symposium on Genital Integrity has just wound up in California and this report has come out of the presentations.

Circumcision Makes the Penis Smaller says Doctor

July 31st, 2010 by ICGI

Circumcising babies in America always causes disfigurement in men, a family physician told an international conference this afternoon.

“By any cosmetic or surgical-outcomes criteria, their penises are harmed—twisted, bent, or scarred,” Christopher Fletcher, MD of Santa Fe said, “And though it is counter-intuitive, they are smaller and skinnier than those of intact men.”

Assistant clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Dr. Fletcher’s conclusions arise from a study of men 18 years and older seeking medical care. The vast majority of the circumcisions had been done soon after birth for non-medical reasons.

Dr. Fletcher told the 11th International Symposium on Genital Integrity at the University of California, Berkeley, that these men are almost universally unaware of their disfigurements and think of their penises as completely normal.

“This obvious physical damage is universally ignored by the patient, his parents, and physicians,” he said.

Another study found that the adult penis of men circumcised as children is 8mm (3/8″) shorter.

Dr. Fletcher has delivered more than a thousand babies and dissuaded the parents of all but 10 of the boys from having them circumcised.

Speakers have come to the symposium from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, England, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand.

For more information: Marilyn Milos, RN, www.nocirc.org

Midwives make a difference, ending male genital mutilation

My blog talk radio program this week is on the subject of ending male genital mutilation. 20 mins long.

Listen to internet radio with waterbirthinwoman on Blog Talk Radio

You can download the program to iTunes free.

Do Pediatricians Care About Newborns?

Some definitely do. They got into medicine because they love children and want to do everything they can to give each child a chance at a full, healthy life. I’ve met these men and women and I know they must be acutely embarrassed to belong to the American Academy of Pediatricians at this time in history. In a reactive backlash, the AAP seems to actually be entertaining the idea of turning back progress 20 years and allowing the genital cutting of girls in America. As it becomes more and more difficult to argue with the fact that boys need the same protection under law that girls have been granted, the genital cutting committee at the AAP has chosen to think like dinosaurs and reduce the protection to girls so that things can be more fair.

It really sounds to me like the babies need a good lawyer.

Today, the “attorneys for the babies” have put the AAP on notice. Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) issued this statement today:

Below is the text of our letter today to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in response to its recent position statement on female genital cutting (FGC), which condones minimal forms of FGC. The AAP position statement is available at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/pediatrics;125/5/1088.

Dear AAP:

We have reviewed the AAP’s latest policy statement on female genital cutting (FGC) and we are shocked to see such an ethically and medically incoherent document issue from your venerable organization. What truly is paradoxical is for the nation’s leading organization of doctors treating children to weaken its opposition to a practice proven to cause substantial, irreparable, lifelong harm to children.

Moreover, your proposed, seemingly innocent “ritual nick” almost certainly violates the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, whose criminal provisions became effective in March 1997.

We trust that lightening your opposition to female genital cutting is not being done to help set up a parallel move toward diluting your 1999 statement on male circumcision (MGC). Flawed as the latter statement was, it did acknowledge the lack of medical benefit to the procedure on males. It is imperative that both statements be maintained or strengthened.

The AAP has no business brokering cultural procedures, even those that may support future revenue streams for some of its members. In this time of reduced resources, more than ever, it is imperative that medical organizations such as the AAP focus on what matters most—promoting the safety of our children, and working to eradicate—not condone or justify—harmful, non-beneficial, unethical practices such as FGC and MGC.

J. Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child

Extra Fingers

Sarah has given me permission to post her story about her son’s polydactyly.  I found it such a moving account of the way a bonded mother makes her decisions.  Thank you, Sarah.  Gloria

My son was born with 12 fingers and now at 5.5 years old he still has

them. Here is a picture of one of his hands as a baby if you’re interested!

Baby hands- six fingers

We visited a plastic surgeon when he was 12 months old and we told him that we
couldn’t bring ourselves to make the decision for our son and would rather
wait until he was older. We also weren’t keen on unnecessary surgery and
General Anaesthesia.  He mentioned the main reason parents give him for wanting to remove
extra digits is to avoid bullying. We are not the sort of family to be
swayed by the opinions of bullies, plus our thoughts were that bullies
will always find something else to potentially pick on him for if he
didn’t have extra fingers!

So we went back again when our son, Euan, was 2 years old to entertain the
plastic surgeon and we said we had definitely decided not to do anything
yet. To our surprise the surgeon was very glad we’d come to that choice
and was very supportive!

I have spoken to Euan recently about how he feels about his fingers and he
just said “Fine – I can add up better than my friends because I have two
more fingers to count!”  So far, all his friends of his own age have at
first been very curious, but my son has always been willing to show them
off and talk about them, so they have picked up on that vibe, and after a
few days of talking about how “Euan must be some sort of superhero to have
extra fingers” (seriously!) they have all moved on and viewed it as

I am glad we stuck to our guns despite pressure from friends and family
(and complete strangers!) and we have certainly learnt that adults are far
crueler than children! Euan can decide for himself what he wants to do
and we’ll support his decision whatever that is! I am always surprised
at how emotional I get when I talk about the possibility of removing Euan’s
extra fingers. I used to think it was the thought of the surgery and GA,
but now I know it’s the thought of removing part of him!

Just my experience, but I hope it helps!


Sarah Marsh~~Mummy to Bryony (19/12/2001 emlscs), Jenna (08/02/2003
Hospital VBAC), Twins Rhianna and Euan (14/06/2004 Twin HBAC) and Kitty
(18/04/06 HBAC again!)

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