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Did You Get An Epidural? Here Are 10 Issues Some Pregnant Women Have With It

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I have observed natural childbirth to be a topic of a lot of heated debates online. One camp, to which I belong, prefers to do it “the way nature intended,” without pain killers and interventions, and another camp wonders, understandably, why not use the methods of pain management that civilized humanity has come up with. Because labor is definitely not a walk in the park.

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While my plan to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth was based fully on following my intuitive nudge, I decided to dig deeper and list some more legit reasons to consider a natural approach.

Here are the top 10 reasons to consider a childbirth without the epidural.

1. The Array Of Possible Side-Effects

The epidural is usually a safe procedure, but the quantity of possible side-effects is frightening: low blood pressure (most common), loss of bladder control, itchy skin, sickness, backache, severe headaches, infection, epidural haematoma, convulsions, breathing difficulties, nerve damage, death. (Source)

2. Epidurals Interfere With The Important Cocktail Of Birth Hormones

Hormones play a huge role in labor. Estrogen and progesterone initiate labor. Oxytocin is the initiator of the rhythmic contractions of early labor, and oxytocin produced by the fetus directly stimulates mother’s uterine muscle, prevents postpartum hemorrhage after birth, and mediates the milk-ejection-reflex. Beta-endorphin increases tolerance to pain and shifts consciousness to “another place,” frequently described by labouring mothers. Prolactin prepares a pregnant woman’s breasts for lactation. Catecholamines (the “fight-or-flight” hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine) gradually rise, peaking right before transition, and initiate the Fetus Ejection Reflex. If the natural increase of CA levels that should occur later in labor is blocked (by painkillers or other drugs), then the fetal ejection reflex will not be stimulated and delivery may be more difficult. Epidurals prevent the production of beta-endorphins, which in turn makes it harder for a labouring woman to cope with pain and go to that “other place” women describe. Epidurals also reduce oxytocin production and prevent its levels from rising during labor. They also prevent the peak of oxytocin from happening during birth, as the stretching receptors of a woman’s lower vagina that trigger it are numb. Read more in-depth on hormones during labor in this amazing article.

3. Epidurals Lengthen Labour

The 2002 study concluded that epidurals are associated with longer second-stage labor (the painful one!!!), but not the first stage. (Source)

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4. Epidurals Increase The Rate Of Pelvic Floor Problems After Delivery

To be detailed – urinary, anal, and sexual disorders. The prospective study concluded that a second stage longer than one hour (a frequent occurrence with the use of epidural as we saw in the previous point) is associated with the development of postpartum urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control), which is rarely resolved spontaneously.

5. Epidural Triples The Risk Of Severe Perineal Tear

The study of 2,759 women giving birth to babies after 36 weeks gestation in St. Francis Regional Medical Center concluded that epidural analgesia more than tripled the risk of severe perineal injury. Out of 2,759 women 634 had epidurals (65 of them had severe tears) and 2,125 did it naturally (and only 111 of them teared). Those are pretty impressive numbers. Read full study review here.

6. Drugs Administered By An Epidural Enter Baby’s Bloodstream

Moreover, since their immune system is very immature, it takes them way longer to eliminate them from their system. For example bupivacaine, a commonly used epidural analgesic, stays in your baby’s bloodstream for at least 8 hours (compared to 2.7 hours in yours).

7. Epidurals Compromise Fetal Oxygen Supply, Resulting In Fetal Acidemia

Fetal acidemia is a medical term referring to the high acidity of an unborn baby’s blood. It typically occurs when a fetus is deprived of oxygen for a period of time during or after delivery. Sometimes it can lead to complications, such as brain damage, or even infant death. This study shows that the frequency of fetal acidemia (pH less than 7.10) was significantly increased in the spinal-anesthesia group and in the epidural group compared with the general-anesthesia group. Read the full report here.

8. It Increases The Necessity Of Cesarian Section By 2.5 Times

The study of 711 women who carried to term and had a spontaneous onset of labor showed that, out of 447 who received epidurals, 10.3% received cesarian sections, and out of 264 women who did not receive the epidural analgesia, only 3.8% ended up with the C-section. That is a pretty big difference. Here is the full summary of the study.

9. Baby Is Less Alert & Has Less Ability To Orient

This study showed that immediately after delivery, infants with greater exposure to bupivacaine (drug administered in Epidural) in utero were more likely to be cyanotic (having a blue or purple tint of skin associated with low oxygen saturation) and unresponsive to their surroundings. Visual skills and alertness decreased significantly with increases in the cord blood concentration of bupivacaine, particularly on the first day of life but also throughout the next six weeks. And if you are planning to breastfeed, this is major news, as you want your baby alert in order to latch within the first hours when the sucking instinct is the strongest.

10. It Is Important To Feel Labour Pain

I know this one is hard to wrap your mind around, but hear me out. In my opinion, pain during labor teaches a woman two of the most important virtues of motherhood: acceptance and surrender.

There’s a lot about being a mother, especially of a very young infant, that one would have to accept. Without judgement, without resentment, just for what it is. I am talking about numerous sleepless nights and days, and months, and more months; crying for seemingly no reason, sometimes for hours, sometimes rejecting your comfort and help, being bathed in your own tears; not being perfect no matter how hard you might try; changes in your life, in all areas of it, even the ones you did not expect. Surrender to pain during labor is like surrendering your control to God, to the flow, to nature, and allowing what needs to take place to do so, regardless of your level of comfort or satisfaction with the process. I believe that in this surrender begins your journey of motherhood, and that with accepting your pain, you accept this honourable title. Here is one more amazing piece on the power and purpose of pain during labor by Judith A. Lothian. She could not have described it any better.

I hope this article brought you more clarity about what labor is like, what physical processes are happening, and how the use of an epidural can inhibit the perfect natural course of events. And on the ending note, whether you decide to give birth naturally or not, here is to a fast and easy labor and healthy, happy babies <3

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Do you know any more reasons to consider a natural childbirth? Let’s talk in the comments below.

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This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.

The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.

There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.

This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.

Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”

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The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.

Why Does This Work?

Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.

According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.

The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.

We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!

Much Love

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It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.

  • Reflect On:

    What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?

In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:

Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”

It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.

You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.

The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.

What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.

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Early Resistance Against Vaccines

The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:

Public Gatherings

At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:

Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images

Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.

Comparisons With Today

One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.

The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.

Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.

If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.

 

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10 Ways To Boost Serotonin Levels Without Medication

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Millions are diagnosed with depression every year, and people can begin feeling better without medication by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Some lifestyle changes and food adjustments can help solve this.

  • Reflect On:

    Is your diet truly helping you feel good? We sometimes think 'we only live once, I should eat what I want!' but how do you want to feel while you're alive: Vital or foggy?

As defined by psychologists, a person has a major depressive episode when he or she has symptoms of major depressive disorder, including depressed mood or feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or irritability, that last for two weeks or more.  And, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased by 450% since 1987.

It is often recommended that we start taking a medication to reduce symptoms. However, medication often comes with sometimes dangerous side-effects. Here are some simple ways to feel happier without needing to take a pill.

1. Get Enough Vitamin B6

Foods like spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, and non-factory farmed fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper) can be great sources.

2. Eat Brain Boosting Seed Grains Instead of Wheat

This includes: Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are seeds with grain-like taste and properties. These are healthy, high-protein carbohydrates and small amounts of the right carbohydrates are critical to boosting serotonin.

Not only will you improve your mood, you will Sleep better too. A nice dose of serotonin in the early evening will help you sleep better at night.

These grain-like seeds also provide important B vitamins. As just mentioned B vitamins play a critical role in brain health and in the manufacture of all your neurotransmitters including serotonin. Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) as well as vitamin D, folic acid and selenium plus calcium, and magnesium are needed to make serotonin.

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For protein meals: focus on digestion and food combining – Eating foods that are high in protein – and specifically have a higher percentage of tryptophan (like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), will provide much-needed tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. But beware: because research shows that eating protein with carbohydrates actually works against your ability to make serotonin. 

Good to know: Plant-based protein helps to create more serotonin than animal protein does.

To boost your mood and immunity naturally, protein and probiotics – is the delicious natural answer!

3. Include Fermented Food & Drinks In Your Diet

Fermented foods and drinks greatly assist in digestion and assimilation of all the important nutrients you need for serotonin. Additionally, they boost the nutrients in your food by at least a hundredfold.

4. Get Massages & Other Forms of Body Work

We’ve heard about the healing power of touch, but now research backs it up! A study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage increases serotonin by 28% and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) by 31%.

5. Have Fun in the Sun

Early morning sunlight is more intense and this can boost your body’s production of melatonin in the evening. Serotonin converts to melatonin for a great night’s sleep. Getting outside for a 20-minute walk in the early morning sunlight can boost your mood and improve your sleep!

6. Remove Toxins From Your Health That Interfere With Brain Health

Eat foods like dandelion and citrus fruit to help detox daily. Detoxing is about increasing the effectiveness of your detox pathways so unnecessary toxins don’t get stuck in your body. Although the medical field keeps saying detoxing is a myth, lack of proper detoxing is a common challenge.

7. Reduce Stress

Prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin. Shifting your lifestyle and adding more relaxation into your week can make a huge difference. Focus on Emotional Healing – Reducing stress and focusing on spending more time relaxing is a first step to boosting serotonin. You can take this even further by taking action in key areas to remove negative emotions like fear, guilt and anger. Meditate & do yoga!

8. Exercise

A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated. In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which works on behalf of the National Health Service and makes recommendations on treatments according to the best available evidence, has published a guide on the treatment of depression.

9. Eliminate Processed Sugar (or at least drastically reduce it)

If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain. However, too much sugar can eventually cause addiction to sugar, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.

Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or pure honey.

10. Give More Hugs, Love More & Fear Less

Human connection, living in the heart, being connected to self. All of these things are natural to us and yet we have become quite disconnected from it all in our modern world.

Listen to CE Podcast episode Treating Autism Naturally w/ Jennifer Kozek


To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing Without Hurting.

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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