Birth Plan Template

There are many birth options from vaginal to cesarean, locations vary from at home births to hospitals. The array of options provide expectant mothers with many choices that should be made prior to birth. Having a preexisting birth plan ensures the birth of your choice and support from your birth team. Below provides a detailed outline of a sample birth plan. Use this layout to customize your very own plan and inform your birth team of your desires. Share your birth plan with members of your birth team prior to birth in order to ensure every team member is prepared and willing to follow your blueprint. Prepare copies to all birth team members upon completion. Remember, it is your birth. There are no wrong or right ways, just the way your body and self are prepared for.

Before Labor

  • I prefer to have ___ vaginal exams
  • I prefer to have ___ ultrasounds
  • Discuss induction options prior to due date
  • I want at least ___ days post my due date before inducing labor, as long as baby and I are healthy
  • I want no time restrictions if I go past my due date, and plan to have no induction, as long as baby and I are healthy
  • I want to labor at home for as long as possible

Induction

For induction methods I do or do not want the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Enema
  • Herbs
  • Stripping membranes
  • Pitocin

I would like the following time period before induction

  • Wait 6 hours
  • Wait 12 hours
  • As long as baby and I are healthy, I want no induction methods

Environment

  • I prefer the following location for my birth:
    • Home
    • Birthing Center (Name and Address)
    • Hospital (Name and Address)
  • I want to utilize the following options during labor:
    • Water birth
    • Shower
    • Birthing bed
    • Birthing ball
    • Squatting
  • I want or do not want the following in the room:
    • Partner
    • Midwife
    • Doula
    • Chiropractor
    • Children
    • Parents
    • Extended family
    • I want privacy. Limit or restrict all visitors

Pain Relief

  • Only if I request, offer pain relief
  • Offer and suggest pain relief when needed
  • I want to discuss pain relief methods as soon as possible
  • Use the following methods to relieve pain:
    • Breathing techniques
    • Mediation
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage
    • Hypnosis
    • Water therapy
    • Walking and movement
    • Epidural
    • Narcotics

Labor

Time Limits:

  • I want zero time limits for laboring and pushing as long as I and baby are healthy
  • Medical intervention will be allowed after __ hours of pushing.

Positions:

I prefer the following positions during labor:

  • Standing
  • Squatting
  • On the toilet
  • Hands and knees
  • Medical ball
  • Lying down
  • Avoid stirrups

Episiotomy

  • I want no episiotomy and will risk tearing
  • I want an episiotomy

Monitoring

  • Continuous monitoring
  • Intermittent monitoring
  • Utilize the Lamaze, Bradley, and/or Childbirth Hypnosis techniques

Delivery

  • When pushing, I want to rely on instincts instead of orders from birth professionals.
  • When pushing, I want guidance on when or when not to push.
  • Please avoid the use of forceps and vacuum extractions.
  • Forceps and vacuum extractions may be used to assist delivery.
  • I would like my partner to catch the baby as he/she is delivered.
  • I would like my birth professional to catch the baby as he/she is delivered.
  • If an emergency cesarean is needed, please allow my partner and I time to discuss details and follow our initial newborn procedures below.

Cesarean

  • Unless a medical emergency, I opt not to have a cesarean.
  • Inform me on when it may be a good option to have a cesarean
  • I want to plan and schedule a cesarean.
  • I would like to hold my baby immediately after delivery
  • If I am unable to hold my baby, I want my partner to be able to have first contact.
  • I would like my baby to be sent to the nursery as I recover.

Newborn Procedures

  • I request immediate skin to skin contact as soon as baby is delivered
  • I request the time to breastfeed baby before we are separated
  • I opt of having my baby bathe right after birth
  • My partner and I will bathe our baby using our own bathing products
  • I do or do not want eye drops administered to my baby
  • I decline PKU testing
  • I would like to delay PKU testing
  • I want routine PKU testing
  • Do or do not administer Vitamin K
  • Postpone all immunizations
  • I would like all routine immunizations
  • Do not circumcise my baby
  • Do not retract baby’s foreskin
  • I would like my baby circumcised
  • I would like to meet with a lactation consultant as soon as possible
  • I want my baby to exclusively be breastfed
  • I want to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding
  • I want my baby to be formula fed
  • I would like all newborn procedures to be performed immediately
  • I want my baby in the room with me at all times, unless there is an emergency
  • I prefer my baby to partially stay in the nursery when I am resting
  • I would like the nursery to fully care for my baby and bring him/her for feedings

Third Stage Labor

Umbilical Cord:

  • Avoid clamping until pulsation stops
  • Allow partner to cut cord
  • Delay cord cutting for ____ time.
  • I made arrangements to bank baby’s cord

Placenta

  • Use Pitocin to promote placenta to be born
  • Avoid Pitocin unless there are risks of hemorrhage
  • I made arrangements to take the placenta home   

Hospital Stay  

  • Be as short as possible
  • Be as long as possible
  • I prefer a private room
  • I prefer my partner to remain in the room during my stay. Please provide accommodations
  • I prefer my family and children to be allowed with no restrictions
  • I prefer guests to be allowed to visit with no restrictions
  • I want privacy during my hospital stay. Limit or restrict all visitors
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Ultrasounds During Pregnancy – Purpose, When, Types, and Potential Risks?

Prenatal ultrasounds are typically routine during pregnancy. There are known benefits of ultrasounds; however, recently, many question the need and even possible associated risks. When it comes to your pregnancy, you and your health care provider can discuss the need for and amount of ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. A basic knowledge of the purpose of ultrasounds, types of ultrasounds, and common expectations regarding ultrasounds can prepare you for this conversation.

Purpose of Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds utilize high frequency sound waves on the abdomen and pelvic region in order to create a sonogram, or picture, of internal structures. The sonogram shows the characteristics of soft tissue and organs. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are routinely used to show pictures of the baby and placenta. Initially, ultrasounds are used to confirm fetal heartbeat, determine the due date/gestational age, number of fetuses (single, twins, etc), and to rule out ectopic pregnancies. They are also used to ensure proper fetal growth and development, gender, assess for birth defects, placenta health, baby weight and fetal position.  

When to have an Ultrasound?

Ultrasounds can be performed throughout pregnancy. Initially, ultrasounds are performed around weeks 18-20 in order to confirm placenta health, and proper fetal growth and development. Gender can be determined around 20 weeks. Ultrasounds may be performed earlier to determine the due date or gestational age. Based on medical necessity, additional ultrasounds can be used to monitor baby and placenta health, quantity of amniotic fluid, fetal weight, and fetal position. Ultrasounds are recommended when the baby exceeds their due date to confirm the health and well-being of baby and baby’s environment.

What to expect?

Traditional, 3D, and 4D ultrasounds are non invasive. A transducer and gel are used on the external surface of the abdomen in order to create the sonogram. Trans-vaginal ultrasounds utilize a transducer wand that is directly inserted into the vagina. Typically, all ultrasounds are done in a fairly quickly manner, ranging from five to thirty minutes long. Ultrasounds are virtually painless, exceptions include the discomfort of the cold temperature of the gel, discomfort of a full bladder with trans-vaginal ultrasounds, and moments of increased external pressure of the sonographer. A physical copy of the sonogram is typically provided that visit for  your enjoyment and sharing with friends, family, and social media.

Types of Ultrasounds:

There are many prenatal ultrasounds options including the traditional 2D (2 Dimensional)  ultrasound and more advanced 3D, 4D, and trans-vaginal.  3D and 4D ultrasounds have the ability to illustrate a more in depth and detailed image of internal structures. A 4D also shows movement in real time, similar to a video. Typically, 2D ultrasounds provide enough information; however, 3D and 4D are utilized to provide a more detailed examination for concerns of fetal abnormalities.

Safety and Side Effects of Ultrasounds

All ultrasounds are deemed routine and safe for mother and baby. There is no radiation exposure, instead high frequency sound waves are used. Risk and side effects of repetitive ultrasound exposure are not fully understood or studied. According to the American Pregnancy Organization, ultrasounds should only be used when medically indicated. Limiting the amount of ultrasound exposure is the most ideal way to avoid any potential risks. Once baby is here, take all the pictures your heart desires, until then, try to keep the number of ultrasounds to a minimum, when medically necessary.    

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3 Tips to Battle Ear Infections

The cooler weather approaching means Christmas music, Holiday parties, and the not so jolly sniffles. The Fall and Winter seasons tend to increase the incidences of cold- and flu-like symptoms. The cold, flu, and allergies promote sinus drainage, and excess fluid build-up in the ears often leads to ear infections.Many children are susceptible to ear infections due to their young immune system and their nature of sharing germs with each other. As a pediatric chiropractor, I have many parents initially bring in their little ones due to re-occurring ear infections. Chiropractic adjustments have been known to be a safe and effective way to not only assist the body with healing from ear infections, but also as a means of preventing such issues. Below are simple yet effective tips on how to battle ear infections for you or your little one.

For more information regarding chiropractic care and ear infections, read our prior article here: http://correctivechiropractic.com/atlanta/can-chiropractic-adjustments-help-kids-ear-infections/ or contact Dr. Samaira at 404-355-5499.

Boost Immunity

The most effective way to battle ear infections is to prevent them from ever occurring. Boosting the immune system can be obtained through proper nutrition and chiropractic adjustments. Taking daily probiotics is a natural way to boost immunity. Probiotics are good bacteria that support digestive health by decreasing gut inflammation, which in turn, boosts immune function. Be sure to get a good quality probiotic, as it is being used to fuel your body. You can talk with Jessica, our nutritionist on staff, about supplement options.

Chiropractic adjustments also boost the immune system. Adjustments take irritation and pressure off the nervous system, the master controller of the body (including the immune system). Adjustments are natural and gentle methods that increase immunity in order to make your body more adaptable to the changing environment.  

Eliminate Dairy and Gluten

Dietary changes are a big factor in immunity and drainage production. Foods that contain dairy and gluten are prone to increase the production and thickness of mucus and drainage. As mentioned, increased amounts and the quality of drainage can lead to excess fluid in the ear. Fluid that is not drained properly can lead to the accumulation of viral or bacterial organisms, leading to ear infections. Dairy and gluten can also promote gut inflammation, triggering autoimmune responses over time, resulting in the development of food allergies. Ideally, it is encouraged to eliminate dairy and gluten if you or your little one is prone to ear infections. Simply reducing the intake of food containing dairy and gluten is also helpful.

Garlic Oil

Garlic has natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidizing properties. Garlic also contains an anti-microbial agent, allicin. All the properties of garlic can be used to decrease inflammation, infection, and pain associated with ear infections. Garlic can also help with excess ear wax accumulation. Garlic can be in the form of oil, allowing easy absorption through the skin, and inner ear. Many recipes can be found online to make your own garlic oil, or it can be purchased online or at Whole Foods. Apply a few drops to the ear, and use a cotton ball to cover the ear, once or twice per day. Use garlic oil drops for children when they are asleep so the oil can fully absorb. Although garlic oil is a natural and effective way to battle ear infections, it is not recommended when the eardrum is ruptured.

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Can Chiropractic Help with Torticollis in Infants and Children?

What is Torticollis?

Torticollis, also known as Wry Neck, occurs when a neck muscle is contracted or in spasm, causing the head to turn to one side and the chin to rotate to the opposite side. Torticollis can be congenital (present since birth) or acquired. Torticollis in infants is commonly acquired by positions in the womb, and the birthing process (especially cesarean, vacuum extraction, and forceps deliveries). In some cases, the cause of  torticollis is unknown.

What are Common Symptoms of Torticollis in Children?

The most common symptom of torticollis is the rotation of the head to one side, and rotation of the chin to the opposite side. Other symptoms include discomfort and pain, decreased neck range of motion, tight neck muscles, and difficulty breastfeeding on one side. Chronic torticollis in infants can result in the flattening of one side of the head (plagiocephaly) due to consistent sleeping positions when lying on their backs. In serious congenital cases, face asymmetry, hearing difficulty, vision problems, and developmental delays can occur.

How can Chiropractic Help Children with Torticollis?

Chiropractic is a natural, gentle, safe, and effective method to correcting misalignments in the neck region. Such misalignments can lead to muscle imbalance, causing one side of the neck muscles to become contracted over time and even other developmental issue due to the impact on the nervous system. Call our office at 404-355-5499 for more information on how our pediatric chiropractor can help your child with torticollis.   

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What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, promoting the benefits associated with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has rewarding benefits for both mom and baby, but at times, it can be equally as challenging. What are the benefits, and why is it worth the many obstacles that moms face while breastfeeding?

Research suggest that breastfed babies have lowered risk of asthma, childhood obesity, ear infections, eczema, and SIDS. Breast Milk includes hormones and antibodies that are utilized to support the baby’s proper immune system functions and nutritional needs. Breastfeeding promotes bonding and reduces health risks for mothers. Breastfeeding benefits for mothers include a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, osteoporosis, and promotes emotional health and postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding is also more economical and environmental friendly.  

With anything in life, one typically ask if the journey is worth the trouble or work that it demands. Although breastfeeding has the obvious benefits, many mothers and babies struggle along this journey. The incidence of latching and breastfeeding issues continue to rise with time. Common issues range from latching difficulties, little or decreased milk production, and discomfort of the mother.

For those who struggle with breastfeeding, there are other options to consider before you withdraw. Latching issues could be related to misalignments in the baby’s upper neck, resulting in discomfort while feeding. Chiropractic adjustments safely correct spinal misalignments,making latching a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for the baby. Milk production issues and discomfort, can be addressed with other health care experts from lactation consultants, La Leche League, Midwives, and primary care providers.  

For more information about how chiropractic care can help with breastfeeding difficulties for your baby and you, contact Corrective Chiropractic at 404-355-5499.

drugs

Are Actemainophens Safe During Pregnancy?

What is an Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in over the counter and prescription drugs. It is commonly used to treat pain and reduce fevers. Many pregnant women use common over the counter actemaniophens such as Tylenol and Excedrin to treat back pain, headaches, toothaches, the common cold, fevers, and muscle aches.

 

Are they safe to use?

Unlike other over the counter and prescription drugs, actemaniophens are technically considered safe to use during pregnancy because the side effects are minimal for the growing and developing fetus and mother compared to other drugs. However, although it is deemed fairly okay to take, most medical doctors recommend minimizing the use of actemaniophens throughout pregnancy.  

 

What are the risks?

All drugs, prescription and over the counter, have associated side effects that vary with individual cases. To see a list of common side effects of actemaniophens, visit https://www.drugs.com/sfx/acetaminophen-side-effects.html. For pregancy and actemaniphen warnings, visit https://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/acetaminophen.html. Both links provide information on known side effects and interactions. However, new data is now showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and an increased risk of hyperactivity in children. According to a new study, prenatal exposure to acetaminophen is associated with an increased risk of having children with hyperactivity, emotional and behavioral symptoms. To read the entire study, Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy With Behavioral Problems in Childhood, go to http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2543281.

 

What are other options?

There are natural and safe options for symptoms that acetaminophen are commonly used for. Musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, headaches, and other muscle related aches, can be addressed with prenatal chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has been proven to safely and effectively treat such symptoms. The only “side effects” associated with prenatal chiropractic care is decreased pain, increased energy, more room for baby to grow and develop, and shorter labor and delivery times. Call our office at 404-355-5499 to schedule an exam with our prenatal chiropractor, Dr. Samaira. If outside the metro Atlanta area, please visit http://icpa4kids.org/Find-a-Chiropractor/ to find a prenatal and family chiropractor in your area.

 

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Back To School Tips: Backpack Safety

Despite the hot temperatures, it is hard to believe that summer is near an end and the kids are returning back to the classrooms. Despite your child’s age, the number one school supply is the ultimate backpack. There are many different options of backpacks that vary with different themes, styles, accessories, and so forth; however, the most important quality of a backpack is the safety. Nearly 5,000 annual emergency room visits are related to backpack injuries. On the other hand, most backpack related injuries are not emergencies; however, consistent overweight loads can lead to pain, and compensation to the neck, shoulders, upper back, low back and hip regions. Such heavy and consistent loads lead to not only musculoskeletal symptoms, but will also have a direct influence on the posture and structural development of children.

 

Back Pack Size

Not all backpacks are created equal. There are many sizes, materials used, and other factors to consider. To ensure proper size, search for a backpack designed for your child’s age, height, and weight. Backpacks made for children typically are made of lighter material and are smaller in size. The length of the backpack should be the length of the child’s torso, with the bottom being two inches below the waist. The overall backpack size will ensure proper fitting of the backpack on the child’s spine.

 

Overall Back Pack Weight

When in hunt for the perfect backpack, look for one that offers multiple compartments. A backpack with many compartments allows for equal distribution of items, in order to balance the load. Heavier items should be packed lower, towards the back, and closer to the body. The weight of the backpack should never exceed 15% of the child’s weight.

 

Fitting of Backpack

Having the perfect size backpack that has equal and proper weight would be of little value if the fitting of the backpack was improper. The backpack should be worn on both shoulders to ensure proper weight distribution. Preferably, a waist strap should be utilized to promote additional weight disruption. With minimal space between the spine and the backpack, proper fitting would be worn as close to the body.

 

For further information on backpack safety, check out the National Safety Council’s guide on backpack safety here http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/backpack-safety-for-kids.aspx. Any additional questions regarding backpack safety, or for a complimentary backpack safety check for your child, please contact Dr. Samaira at 404-355-5499.

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What Are the Benefits of Prenatal Chiropractic Care

There are numerous benefits associated with prenatal chiropractic care, including a safer, easier, and more comfortable pregnancy and birth, along with added benefits for the unborn baby. Physically, a mother’s body experiences many changes over the course of 9 months. As her weight and stomach size increases, the center of gravity shifts, producing more compensation on muscles, ligaments, and joints. This commonly results in low back pain, sciatica, headaches, and even non-musculoskeletal issues such as acid reflux and digestive issues. Ligament tension and pelvic misalignments not only lead to discomfort during the pregnancy, but they can potentially impact the birthing process, as well. Published research and collaborative studies to show the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care in pregnancy can be found at: http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Pregnancy-and-Adjustments/

Nervous System

The nervous system is the master controller of the body and administers the development of the baby in the womb. Chiropractic care corrects misaligned vertebrae that interfere with the functions of the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments allow the nervous system to work at its best, promoting proper growth and development of the baby.

“Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy removes interference to the mother’s nervous system, enhancing baby development and uterine function. It balances her pelvis, eliminating undue tension to muscles and ligaments, thereby allowing for optimal fetal positioning”

Dr. Jeanne Ohm

Managing Symptoms

Chiropractic care is a safe (for mom and baby) and natural way to manage common symptoms associated with pregnancy. Common symptoms that many expectant mothers experience include muscle soreness, low back pain, headaches, sciatica, morning sickness, acid reflux, indigestion, constipation, and others. Chiropractic care does not cure any of the common symptoms; however, taking pressure of the nervous system allows the body to adapt to the overwhelming physical and hormonal changes, resulting in decreased intensity and duration of symptoms.

Delivery and Postpartum

Chiropractors trained in prenatal care are equipped with the Webster Technique, which is a type of adjustment that re-aligns the sacrum and pelvic bones and reduces tension of the Round Ligament. Proper positioning of soft tissue and bone structures allows for adequate room for the baby to grow, develop, and position in preparation for birth. Although the Webster Technique does not turn breech babies, many breech births are avoided after correcting misalignments and reducing tension of the Round Ligament, both of which create more room for a baby to turn naturally on her or his own. When the baby is in proper position, and the mother’s pelvic bones and ligaments are at ease, the delivery is much safer and efficient for mom and baby. A further advantage of prenatal chiropractic care is that fewer complications tend to arise during delivery (cesarean section, vacuum extraction, forceps), allowing for a more smooth transition and recovery for all parties involved.

Are Chiropractic Adjustments Painful

Can Chiropractic Help with Sciatica During Pregnancy?

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pressure and or irritation on the sciatic nerve that results in pain along the distribution of the nerve (buttock, down the back of the thigh and leg). The quality of pain can vary from sharp, dull, achy, to burning.

What Causes Sciatica?

Pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disk, misaligned vertebra, or spinal degeneration. Based on individual anatomy, the piriformis muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve resulting in similar symptoms as sciatica, and is termed “Piriformis Syndrome”. In pregnant women, different factors can attribute to sciatica symptoms. Weight gain, uterus expansion, increased lordotic curve (due to the growing belly), and the position of the baby can all put additional pressure on the sciatic nerve during pregnancy.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic adjustments provide a non-surgical, non-invasive, and safe treatment for sciatica for both mom and baby. Spinal adjustments help correct misaligned vertebrae and reduce nerve irritation that can promote sciatica symptoms and muscle tension. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe and effective, and it provides benefits to both mom and the developing baby. To find a chiropractor trained and specialized in prenatal and pregnancy care, call our office at 404-355-5499.

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Myths About Chiropractic Care for Children

Myth #1: Children Don’t Need Chiropractic Care/Chiropractic Care is only for Children involved in Car Accidents or Major Health Issues

Children can experience spinal misalignments from major trauma, minor trauma such as common falls, and even the birthing process (especially cesarean section, vacuum and forcep extractions). Spinal misalignments interfere with proper nerve function, which is vital, given that the first year of life involves 65% of a child’s brain and nervous system development. Chiropractic care also has great results with common issues such as ear infections, colic, acid reflux, difficulty latching/feeding, sleeping problems, constipation, and bed wetting.

On the other hand, more parents are choosing to be proactive and seek chiropractic care for their children even when no symptoms are present, in order to ensure proper neurological development and optimal health levels of their little ones.

 

Myth #2: Chiropractic Care Is Dangerous/Unsafe for Children, & They Adjust Children the Same Way as Adults

Pediatric chiropractors who obtain specialized training and certification via the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) are equipped with gentle techniques for children of all ages. Low-force techniques (such as the Activator tool) use the same amount of force one would apply to check the ripeness of a tomato. Newborns and infants are adjusted with a sustained contact. Trained pediatric chiropractors will analyze and determine the proper technique needed for each child.

 

Myth #3: Children Must Be a Certain Age to Receive Chiropractic Care

It is never too early for a child to be seen by a chiropractor. Some children are seen days, even moments after birth, due to the stress on the spine during the birthing process. On the other hand, it is also never too late to seek chiropractic care for children. Children at any age can benefit from chiropractic care during their various stages of development.
Ideally, to maximize the benefits of chiropractic care for children, it is advised that mom seeks chiropractic care during her pregnancy. Care during pregnancy ensures proper alignment of the pelvis, which allows adequate room for the baby to properly grow and develop. Correctly aligning mom’s pelvis also promotes a more efficient birthing process for both mom and baby. For more information on publish research regarding children and chiropractic, visit http://icpa4kids.com/research/published_papers/index.htm.