Additional Reading

Cesarean Rates by Hospital for Texas

posted May 21, 2012, 12:30 PM by Rachel Supercinski

Fetal Lung Protein Triggers Labor to Begin

posted May 21, 2012, 12:28 PM by Rachel Supercinski

You can read a synopsis of the research article here, along with links to the actual journal article. Very interesting!

Scriptural Encouragement for Labor and Birth

posted Jan 5, 2012, 6:21 AM by Rachel Supercinski

I have referred several students to this post. I think it can be a great help for many women.

Insider's Tips on Having a Better Birth

posted Jan 5, 2012, 6:16 AM by Rachel Supercinski

This is a great article on not getting too excited with early labor. Great wisdom!

How to be a great postpartum visitor in 15 minutes or less

posted May 3, 2011, 12:20 PM by Rachel Supercinski

I saw this post recently and thought that it was wonderful. Perhaps as new parents, you can forward it to all the people you know that might be bringing you food. Good luck! From the post:

Have a friend who had a baby and you're on the roster to drop off a meal?  Here's everything they want you to know and do, but are too shy and polite to say and ask.  

They are tired.  Breastfeeding is still awkward and having people around makes it more awkward. The mother is recovering physically, either from a surgical birth, or from the equivalent of a triathlon where the prize was a grapefuit sized head flying out of her vagina.  Either of these things makes you sore and tired. They would like to see you, but don't want to be tired out by a long visit.  You are not going to stay longer than 15 minutes, no matter how polite the parents are in saying you can stay  longer. If your visit/meal drop off scheduled for 5.30. BE ON TIME.   Make plans for 6:15 so that you HAVE to leave.

Before you walk in the door, put your game face on.  Set a timer, on your phone or watch for 15 minutes. When it goes off, get out of there! Remember that you are going to be a quiet, productive blessing.  This visit is NOT about you.  It is not about the parents hosting you and putting on a cup of tea so you can sit and visit and hold the baby. Think about how you would feel if you had either had surgery or ran a triathlon.  What would you want people to do for you?  This visit is about blessing the parents and making their life a little bit easier.  Your prize is getting a quick peek at the cute new human.

Here's how to play out your 15 minute visit:
1.  Bring a healthy meal. Include a salad or fresh vegetables.  Only use disposable dishes. There is nothing more annoying than 
         a) having to wash more dishes when you have a new baby 
         b) having to try to return dishes to all sorts of random people when you have a new baby
2.  In addition to your meal, bring cut up veggies and fruit, unsalted trail mix or nuts, or other such healthy snacks for daytime munching for mom to eat while she's nursing.
3.  Go into the kitchen and spend 5 minutes clearing off a counter, washing a sink-full of dishes, loading the dishwasher etc.  Don't ask permission, just do it.  Then set the table for their dinner.
4. Before you leave your house, put some paper towels and some powdered bathroom cleaner like Commet or Ajax in a baggie.  Stick it in your purse.  While you are at the house, go and use the washroom...and while in there do a three minute bathroom shine-up, using your paper towels and cleaner.
5.  Coo over the baby, but wash your hands before touching it.
6.  If they want to eat right then, heat the food up and put it on the table, give everybody kisses and then leave.
7.  Take the garbage out when you go.

In and out. This will be the best visit the parents will have had.  They will love you and you will be awesome in their books forever. You can come back and have a longer visit when the parents have adjusted to their new normal.

Read more:

ACOG Recommends VBAC as Safe and Appropriate

posted Jul 25, 2010, 6:45 PM by Rachel Supercinski

In a press release on July 21, 2010, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announced that "attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans."

Read the full press release here.

Artificial Sweeteners linked to Premature Birth

posted Jul 24, 2010, 12:35 PM by Rachel Supercinski

Downing Diet Soda linked to Risk of Premature Birth

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK | Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:30pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research suggests that drinking lots of artificially sweetened beverages may be linked with an increased risk of premature births.

"It may be non-optional for pregnant women to have high consumption of these types of products," Dr. Thorhallur I. Halldorsson of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, one of the researchers on the study, told Reuters Health.

"Diet" drinks are widely promoted as a healthy alternative to sugary sodas and juices, but Halldorsson and his colleagues note that there's been little research on the safety of regular consumption of artificial sweeteners in humans.

Soft drinks -- both artificially sweetened and sugar sweetened -- were recently linked to high blood pressure, the researchers add, which increases the risk of premature delivery. To investigate whether there might be a direct link, the researchers looked at nearly 60,000 Danish women who reported on their diet, including how many soft drinks they had each day, at around 25 weeks of pregnancy.

Around 5 percent of women delivered their babies before 37 weeks.

Women who had at least one serving of artificially sweetened soda a day while they were pregnant were 38 percent more likely to deliver preterm than women who drank no diet soda at all, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women who had at least four diet sodas a day were nearly 80 percent more likely to deliver preterm. The association was the same for normal-weight and overweight women.

The researchers did not report the actual risk of premature babies in each group. However, according to the March of Dimes, one in eight babies -- or around 13 percent -- is born too soon. This means that if drinking diet soda does indeed increase risk - which must first be confirmed by other research teams -- a woman who drank at least one diet soda daily would have a 17 percent risk, while her risk would be around 22 percent if she drank four or more diet sodas.

In a statement, the Calorie Control Council, a lobbying group for companies that make and distribute low-calorie foods, called the study "misleading."

"This study may unduly alarm pregnant women. While this study is counter to the weight of the scientific evidence demonstrating that low-calorie sweeteners are safe for use in pregnancy, research has shown that overweight and obesity can negatively affect pregnancy outcomes," Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the council, said in the statement. "Further, low-calorie sweeteners can help pregnant women enjoy the taste of sweets without excess calories, leaving room for nutritious foods and beverages without excess weight gain - something that has been shown to be harmful to both the mother and developing baby."

Because only diet soda was linked to preterm delivery, not sugar-sweetened soda, the findings suggest that the artificial sweetener itself, not soda drinking, could account for the relationship, the researchers say. However, they add, other possible causes for the link can't be ruled out.

The researchers didn't look at specific artificial sweeteners, and Halldorsson noted that many beverages contain more than one of these chemicals. However, he and his colleagues say, there is indirect evidence linking the sweetener aspartame to preterm delivery in animals.

Aspartame breaks down into methanol and other substances in the body, which can in turn be converted to toxic substances such as formaldehyde and formic acid, the researchers explain. And studies in non-human primates have linked even very low exposure to methanol to shortened pregnancy and labor complications.

While pregnant women who consume soft drinks shouldn't be alarmed by the findings, Halldorsson said, "what we are seeing warrants further attention."

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who normally use the artificial sweeteners saccharin (Sweet n' Low), aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda) or acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One) can safely continue to do so "in moderation" during pregnancy.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online June 30, 2010.

Class 2 - Nutrition

posted Oct 15, 2009, 1:24 AM by Rachel Supercinski   [ updated Jul 19, 2010, 2:15 PM ]

Read more about the Brewer Diet and track your intake:

-An in-depth protein counter:

-More information about the Brewer Diet, including twins, and excerpts from Dr. Brewer's books:

-A very in-dept protein, vitamin, calcium, and calorie counter:

-The official website of the Brewer Diet:

Recipes for High Protein Snacks

posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:58 AM by Rachel Supercinski   [ updated Jul 19, 2010, 2:13 PM ]

Nourishing Protein Bars
(a great dessert replacement)

2 cups almonds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds or chia seeds
1/2 cup dried prunes or dates
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup almond or peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 1/3 - 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place almonds, flax meal/seeds, dried fruit, shredded coconut, almond/peanut butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse briefly for about 10 seconds.In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir sweeteners and vanilla into oil. Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously. Spread melted chocolate over bars; Store in refrigerator until chilled. After chilled, cut into 20-24 bars. Store in refrigerator or freeze for later.

Other ideas:
Yogurt, fruit and granola
Cheese and apple slices
Banana and peanut butter
Almond butter and apples

Ideas for getting your greens

posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:58 AM by Rachel Supercinski   [ updated Jul 19, 2010, 2:11 PM ]

Getting your two servings of leafy green vegetables can be difficult. Try adding some spinach to an omlete or quiche (get eggs and spinach in one--add some cheese and you get one of your dairy servings.) You can also try adding a handful of baby spinach to a smoothie. You won't be able to taste it, though it changes the color a bit. You can see a how-to video here.

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