Parenting Classes Announced at Watauga Medical Center

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System holds frequent classes for all parents. High Country Parent will keep you updated with all classes. Please continue to keep a check on the website and/or our Facebook page.

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April Classes:

Prepared Childbirth Class

Date: 4/8/2013 – 5/13/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Every Monday for 6 weeks)
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This is a six-week class. Topics include what to expect during labor & delivery, the hospital experience and pain control strategies for labor. Class includes a tour of the Birthing Center. Course recommended for all births and those planning to use an epidural. Registration recommended by 20 weeks. (Medicaid accepted & scholarships available) FEE: $90.00

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.

Buckle Up Kids (Car Seat Safety) Class

Date: 4/2/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This class offers a complete instructional guide to proper car seat use. Watauga County residents who receive Medicaid receive a free car seat if class is attended. Taught the first Tuesday night of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 at Watauga Medical Center in the Adams Classroom. No registration necessary.

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.

Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this Saturday

Tomorrow starts the celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month. We are thankful for our site-wide sponsor hosting a fun event this Saturday at the Boone Mall. You all are invited!

op smiles boone nc
The Orthodontic and Pediatric Dental Offices of Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway will have a booth open from 10:00 am-4:00 pm in the center of the mall.  The office will be giving out toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste and lots of helpful information about dental health for February’s Children’s Dental Health Month. The theme this year is “Get a Gold Medal Smile”!  Their giant molar mascot Pearl E. White will also be there if you would like to shake hands, give a high-five, get a hug, or have your picture taken with her! Their Clown will also be blowing up helium balloons!  Take time to  drop byfor a visit or to even brush Dudley’s teeth.

Take A Stand For North Carolina Families and their Birth Choices

Imagine being nearly 40 weeks pregnant and the receiving a phone call that your midwife no longer has a supervising doctor to sign off on your birth.  Pretty much overnight it has become illegal for her to attend the homebirth of your newborn baby.  She is the only care provider that you have seen, the only care provider that you feel comfortable with, she is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), has attended many homebirths and is extremely qualified to attend yours as well.

Just last week this very scenario happened to many North Carolina women.  Overseeing physicians of  at least 7 North Carolina Certified Nurse Midwives just dropped them without warning.  This has left many women with the major decision of who and where to transfer their care.  Not only is this event a violation of a right of these low-risk mothers to give birth with whom and where they choose, but it is a traumatic experience for a mom who is just about to have a baby and has her heart set on a homebirth.  It also puts a new mom in the care of a provider that doesn’t know the history of her or her baby.  And, in most cases each of these women will not be able to have a homebirth legally as they desire.

It seems, that without warning, the North Carolina Board of Medicine advised the supervising physicians of these homebirth CNMs that they were no longer allowed to oversee midwives that are outside of their practice.  North Carolina is only 1 of 5 states where Certified Nurse Midwives are required to get a signature of an overseeing physician to attend a homebirth.  There are other states such as Nebraska where CNMs are unable to attend homebirths at all.

Right now, there are no other legal options in North Carolina for families to choose homebirth. Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) are direct entry midwives that are trained specifically for homebirths and can not practice legally in North Carolina.  They can practice legally in 27 states, but North Carolina is not one of them.  The North Carolina Friends of Midwives (NCFOM) has been working for years to get CPMs a right to practice legally in the state of North Carolina.  And now that CNMs are being restricted from attending homebirths, families are in crisis as their birth choices are being restricted.

There are many studies that support homebirth as a safe option for low-risk moms, and there is really no good reason for the North Carolina Board of Medicine to restrict the rights of couples who choose to take the homebirth option.

You can help give women their rights to have a homebirth by taking these steps:

Sign the Petition – North Carolina Medical Board: Allow Physicians to continue supervising Homebirths in North Carolina

Visit the North Carolina Friends of Midwives website and contact local legislature to take action and support women in their right to give birth at home.

Here’s an update from Christie Fredenburg CPM, Holistic Doula, and Childbirth Educator who practices in Tennessee and Virginia, but is a resident of North Carolina:

Right now, our Midwifery Licensing Act (H522 and S662) is needing to be heard by the House Health Committee. Everyone can call Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net 919-733-3451 to urge Speaker Tillis to hear AND vote H522. We rang it off the hook today. Even my home born 6 year old got in on the act! This bill will offer licenses and autonomy of practice to CPMs and CNMs. That’s not to say we don’t need or want doctors! We are also seeking to make collaborative care between midwives and doctors easier and with clear lines of communication. Of course, this leaves each with responsibility for one’s own practice, and ideally, responsibility for choices lies with the parents as their chosen health care providers assist them with information to make those choices. Let’s provide opportunities for families to be truly free to choose where and with whom they birth.

And, you can sign a second petition here.

Thanks for making your voice heard and support families of North Carolina’s right to give birth at home!

Three Common Hospital Birth Procedures that Your Infant May or May Not Need

I’m a huge advocate of knowing your choices in anything really.  I’m an information junkie so when it comes to knowing lots of “stuff” you can count me in.  I like to be educated when making choices for myself because as I have walked through life I realized that I would much rather make them myself than have someone make them for me (even a trusted care giver).  Although, I am so thankful for specialized professions like doctors, lawyers, teachers, so on and so forth I also know that as human beings, no matter the specialized education often bring certain biases to the table and ways of living.  I believe that doing your own research for your choices and gathering all the information you need to make a decision is the most important step to discovering what is really right for you and your family.

Last Friday on May 25th we welcomed our third child into the world.  Sweet Piper Grace was born at 12:18am, weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces, and was 18 inches long.  During each and every birth I have changed my birth plan quite a bit as I have learned more and more about hospital procedures and what I feel is absolutely necessary for me and my family.  It doesn’t matter if you are having your first child or your third child I would like to challenge you to think through and research all the choices that you have when it comes to your infant after having birth in a hospital.  Much of the reason that I decided to become a childbirth doula was to help support women in know choices during their childbirth experiences.  I love it when women are empowered to know how to make confident choices towards their care.

Here are three common infant hospital procedures that you should be aware of and a few facts about them so that you can make an educated decision when having a hospital birth:

Hepatitis B shot – Vaccines are so controversial these days.  Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver, the ways to get it are to have unprotected sex with an infected person, to share needles, getting a tattoo when the needles haven’t been cleaned, or sharing personal items with an infected person.  In my understanding it is given routinely to infants just in case mom is infect or if mom might live or be around infected people.  I personally opt out because the chances that my infant will get Hep B are rare rare rare rare.  But, I encourage you to make the best choice for you and your infant.  

Vitamin K shot –  Did you know that all babies develop their own vitamin K eight days after birth?  Vitamin K is what helps the blood to clot.  Since infants may not make their own vitamin K right away this shot helps to prevent any problems with bleeding and clotting  Vitamin K might be important to give your infant boy if you plan to circumcise right awayThere are a few ways to give vitamin K, there is also an oral option that doesn’t include a needle.  But, if you want to go this route you might have to provide your own.  Your hospital may not provide it for you. 

Erythromycin drops –  These drops are given to infants to prevent infection during the trip down the birth canal.  They are an antibiotic for the eyes.  They are  not necessary if you have a Cesarian birth for any reason.  Typically, eye infections can cause blindness and are caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia.  These drops help to prevent these possible complications.

Remember, you have the option to accept or refuse any of these common infant procedures.  Make sure you research each one of them well so that you are confident in your decision.  Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean that you have to do it too. Make the decision that is best for you and your baby!