These frequently asked questions are based on actual questions asked by Earthybirthymama.com visitors/customers and my actual responses. Hopefully they will help you in your decision-making process. If you have any specific questions not answered here, please email me as I love to help.
TaylorMadeTreasures Sling Help
On Using TaylorMade Slings:
I'm tapping in for some advise on this sling. I am getting so frustrated with my baby sliding to one side and leaning. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I do know that the ring ends up in the middle of my chest. No matter what I do it doesn't stay in front of my shoulder like the book shows. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
How old is your baby again? Like 4-6 mos. if I remember correctly? . . . Okay, my baby is 8 mos. and weighs about 18# I actually prefer that the rings be closer to the baby so that more fabric is spread out across my back and shoulder area. . .that is more comfortable for me. . . I also carry my baby in the Home Base vertical carry with the fabric under his thighs/bum and up around his back. . . my favorite for when he's sleeping b/c it supports his neck. . . and I carry in the Hip Carry. . . some tricks for using the TaylorMade Sling are: 1) to make sure baby's bum is low in the sling and 2) that the fabric is up behind the back of his knees and 3) that the knees are bent slightly when doing the Home Base carry and bent more when carrying on the Hip Carry. From what you are telling me it sounds like you might need to "micro" adjust the fabric by pulling the fabric from the top of the rings to tighten up around baby's upper body so that your baby is not so floppy or doesn't have so much room to move around. I will email the manufacturer with the challenges you are having to see what she says. . . Meanwhile, there IS a learning curve when it comes to wearing your baby . . . so, please, stick with it. . . it's kind of like riding a bike--once you've got it, you've got it. . . and it becomes soooo easy.
From The Maker Of TaylorMade Slings-
How old is this baby? Sounds like he is young. I have come across "leaners". Usually they are very young and lean when in the tummy to tummy position. Do the rings gradually get lower or is it what is happening when first putting baby in? Without knowing more, I will guess:) Sounds like baby is young and doesn't have strong upper body/chest muscles yet so they are leaning. She is trying to compensate by tightening the sling more and more so the rings end up lower and lower. She can try a few things. Alternate position where baby is side-sitting in front. Sort of like a cradle carry but sitting up and not lying down. Legs can hang out of the side of sling or not. This position might not leave her hands-free, but one-handed. Baby will sort of sit back into the crook of one arm. For the tummy to tummy, start with rings higher and sling pre-tightened a bit so there is minimal adjusting once baby is inside. Try tightening the center of the sling by pulling in the middle of the tail rather than just the upper rail or the whole tail. This will give more support across the back area. She can also try putting him more toward her hip, but not necessarily a hip carry. Have her fiddle with the angle that baby is put into the sling. Also try bending his knees deeply so that sling is around bottom and extending to the knee. Bottom can be lower than the thighs.
From an actual E-mail:
Regarding VBAC, as I read studies and opinions, I continue to have questions, what are the numbers! Is it a 60/40 chance you can upture? What are reasons not to try VBAC?
I am just curious.
What I would like to do is suggest some reading and tips to help you make an informed decision regarding VBAC in your case.
- I HIGHLY recommend Henci Goer's book The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth-- (and any of the studies or books she has listed as Reference). She also has a website called www.HenciGoer.com which I just learned about and have not had a lot of time to check out. . .
- You must understand that studies are not all they are 'cracked up to be' -- meaning anyone can take any study they want and extrapolate pretty much anything they want out of the study -- you need to read the study for yourself in order to make a well-informed, educated decision about the VALIDITY of any study on anything. . . Meaning, I do believe that as well-meaning as those MD's were who did the study on VBAC back in July of 1999, bless their hearts, (can you FEEL the sarcasm in my words? LOL:)), in my humble opinion, the study lacks validity in that A.) They didn't even use actual patient charts & records, but rather gathered their information via insurance company codes -- and none of it was ever double-checked against the actual hospital records. . . Okay, in my book, that's a pretty obvious 'duhhh' kind of thing -- like, who would even look at such a supposed study and find any argument 'for' anything about the study. . . And then there's B.), the fact that pretty much all the women in the study were given some sort of ARTIFICIAL augmentation of labor like Pitocin or some other drug used to ripen the cervix or speed up contractions. . . And when it comes to inducing labor artificially by drugs instead of letting the body do what it's supposed to do naturally, anything is liable to happen -- luckily for most women, they (and their babies) survive labor and delivery despite these interventions, but in the case of a VBAC, these uterine stimulating drugs can in fact increase the risk of uterine rupture significantly. And C.) With any study, you need to know something about the SAMPLE population used in the study as well as the CONTROL group used. . . Okay in this case, with the ACOG Study on Uterine Rupture rates and VBAC, who were the women used in the sample? How old were they? How healthy were they? Were they mostly immigrants from Central America with prior Ceasarians and unknown uterine incision-types? These are all really important things to ask and to know. I do know that one of the studies on VBAC and Uterine rupture rates was done by records from a hospital in San Diego bordering Mexico with mainly immigrant women. Studies are not absolute, and as such should not be applied to 'ALL' people. . .
- Mothering.com has some awesome message boards with a lot of information on VBAC and natural birth, as well as Amity.com, and BirthLove.com You can read messages and 'lurk' without even signing on. . . And if you have questions, sign on and someone will surely answer.
- Part of your question was: what are some reasons not to try VBAC. . . The only one I can think of is if you have no faith in your body and in your ability to birth your baby the way God and Nature intended, and you are full of fear, then I do not recommend VBAC or Natural Childbirth. You must be willing to fully surrender and have faith in yourself, in your power as a woman, and also have the strength to fight for your power (Doctors, family, friends, etc. . . Will question, and question, and question your decision or fight against you or try to dissuade you and fill you with their fear.) and you must also have the strength to surrender and let go and let your body do what it needs to do. . . But, again, this is just my opinion from my experience, not medical fact or advice. . . So, if I were you and I had questions about reasons not to attempt a VBAC, I would contact a local lay midwife. I believe midwiferytoday.com has referrals somewhere on their site.
- As far as the numbers go, you asked about the percentage chance of uterine rupture-- I honestly do not know. The last I heard from someone (an M.D. Who hadn't even read the study for herself but was dosing out advice not to attempt a VBAC), was that they thought it was just a 2% rupture rate, but "now" it's higher at 3-5%. . . But, again, don't quote me on that, because I don't even know if she knew what she was saying. . . And again, this was an M.D. Ob/Gyn who didn't even really know. . . And,remember to keep in mind, all those numbers come from all those supposed 'studies' -- so, you really need to do your research and decide for yourself.
I hope this helps you at least a little bit in your quest for VBAC knowledge. I love to encourage other women to read, research, question, and learn all they can regarding their own particular birth options--especially when it comes to VBAC, homebirth, and natural childbirth. Having Jonathan at home 16 months ago was a very 'healing' and empowering experience for me. If I can encourage just one person to question their birth options and challenge the 'powers that be' who say something can't or shouldn't be done because of this or that, I feel I am being 'used' for a higher good.
Diaper Product Questions
Cotton Diaper Covers
Can you please tell me what your Elan 100% Cotton Covers are waterproofed with? I understand that all cotton covers (including Nikki's or Nikky's) must be handled carefully--that is not washed with harsh detergent. I am concerned about the toxicity of the waterproofed finish of the fabric.
According to Avima Yaffe, the designer and manufacturer of the Elan 100% Cotton Diaper Covers, the Covers are waterproofed with Teflon. This is the same type of Teflon used in non-stick cookware that everyone has used at some point in their lives. The Teflon is actually infused into the fabric before the Diaper Covers are made therefore there is nothing sprayed on or coated on the Diaper Cover. She says that Teflon is completely non-toxic and 'Inert' - meaning it doesn't react with anything--urine, etc. which makes it a perfect for waterproofing Diaper Covers. She also said there is absolutely no chemical or chemical residue that will go onto or rub off on baby's bottom or skin. And yes, it is true that these 100% Cotton Diaper Covers must be washed carefully--cool to warm water, mild detergent, and air dry--so they retain their waterproofness.
Organic Merino Wool vs. Regular Wool
I am looking for a totally breatheable diaper cover option and have read a little about Wool Soakers. What is the difference between Organic and Non-Organic Wool, what does Merino mean?
It has taken me a year to find and secure a source for Organic Wool Soakers/Covers that meets my criteria. There are two main reasons why I prefer Organic Wool over conventionally grown/harvested wool -
- No chemicals used on the animal or on the fleece/wool ever. . . not in the food, not on the sheep, nowhere, ever. . .
- Treatment of the sheep. Organic farmers really do care about the animals. I am not a vegan or PETA activist, but I do believe in the humane treatment of animals. You can rest assured that the New Zealand Organic Wool used in these soakers comes from humanely treated sheep - gently sheared and well-cared for with lots of fresh air, high-quality food, and exercise.
From The Maker of the New Zealand Organic Wool Soakers:
This information comes from the young woman who handknits these beautiful Organic Wool Soakers expressly for EarthyBirthyMama:
- Organic Wool Fibre is grown "naturally" without synthetic or harmful chemicals.
- In other countries of the world Organic Farming is called Biological or Ecological farming.
Organic production is based on positive holistic management systems, which reduce or eliminate the need for most agricultural chemicals and promote healthy soils, air, waterways and responsible animal husbandry practices. Customers look for organic products because they believe it to be:
- Safer as no pesticides or harmful chemicals are used.
- High Quality.
- Better for the environment as no synthetic or harmful chemicals are used on the farm.
One of the biggest differences between conventional and organic production is the requirement for organic certification. Independent Organic Certifiers, who represent the consumers, audit producers regularily to verify that the organic standards are complied with. Our suppliers, Treliske has been certified with BIO-GRO since 1986. Bio-Gro is one of 15 IFOAM Accredited Certifiers - 1FOAM is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements which benchmarks organic standards and certification worldwide.
What's the difference between conventional sheep and organic sheep?
The main difference between organic sheep and conventional sheep is that certified organic sheep do not receive routine chemical treatments such as drenching or dipping for parasites, fly dressings, antibiotics, growth promotants, vaccines, nor do they graze on pastures that have been sprayed with herbicides. Organic sheep are bred for resistance to parasites and are fed outdoors all year round on special herbal pastures to build healthy immune systems. Organic sheep must graze only on certified organic farms and be fed certified organic stockfood. Genetically engineered or modified feed is prohibited.
How does Organic Wool Yarn differ?
Organic wool yarn has not been treated chemically throughout the entire production, from the farm to the end garment. The greasy wool is scoured (cleaned) in specially approved biodegradable cleansing agents before being carded and spun at a Certified Organic Mill. The certified organic yarn is then knitted into baby garments by a professional team of hand knitters.
What are the benefits of Certified Organic Knitwear?
Our garments use wool which is natural, undyed and unbleached. Wool is grown and manufactured without harmful chemicals providing fashionable style and quality, without sacrificing and polluting the environment. Because the skin can "breath" and absorb impurities and residues, the purity and softness of Organic Woollen Knitwear may possibly offer some relief to people with allergies and problematic skin disorders. Some 8000 chemicals are known to be used in the modern textile industry. Treliske Farm, the suppliers of our merino wool, is committed to long term sustainable farming practices. The purchase of these garments promotes clean air, clean water and soils free of toxic chemicals while delivering the purest quality wool, to wear next to the skin. More and more people are making their purchasing decisions based on their commitment to their health and the environment. Organic woolen garments satisfy this desire.
POCKET DIAPER INSERT QUESTION
Question: What is your favorite pocket diaper insert, what do you use, what do you recommend?
Answer: My new favorite pocket diaper insert is the Cotton Babies Micro-Fiber Insert. My other favorite is the Wonder-Fulls One Size Hemp Insert, but since those are out of production for a spell, I'm mainly using my new favorite -- the Cotton Babies Micro-Fiber Insert.
As far as which pocket diaper insert will work best for you, that depends on a few factors:
- What size Pocket Diaper is your baby wearing? For size Small, I would use a Small Mother of Eden Micro-fiber insert. For sizes Medium, Large, X-Large, I would use a Cotton Babies Micro-fiber insert. The Cotton Babies inserts are considered 'one-size' and able to accomodate a Small diaper, however, for daytime use, I find it to be too bulky for smaller babies. For night time if you don't mind bulk in the front (where the insert snaps down for smaller sizes), then the Cotton Babies micro-fiber insert would be fine. If your baby is in a size Medium or larger diaper, I highly recommend only investing in the Cotton Babies Inserts.
- What is your budget? If you are on a tight budget, I recommend purchasing FuzziBunz from us so you get a Free EBM Micro-Fiber insert. These are single layer inserts which can be folded an placed in any Pocket Diaper to accomodate any size diaper. We recommend one for daytime use and light wetters, and two for night time use or heavier day time wetting babies. We also offer Free Shipping on orders over $150. You can always supplement your "insert" stash with a dozen DSQ Chinese Prefolds.
- How concerned about 'energy consumption' are you? If you are very environmentally conscious and energy use is an issue for you, or if you like keeping your electric bill low, I always recommend going with any type of micro-fiber insert. These dry in a flash -- no joke. The average dry time for a FuzziBunz Pocket Diaper system with any kind of Micro-Fiber Inserts is approximately 30 minutes LESS than any other cloth diapering system in a regular household dryer with a regular household washer. If you have a high-efficiency front loading washer, you dry time will be even less. FuzziBunz with Micro-Fiber Inserts also dry quickly on the line.
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for educational purposes only, although every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information. I am not a doctor or health care professional. If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.