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CANDACE ANN CAMPBELL, MSN-HCSM, RN, CNL University of San Francisco Concord, CA

CATHERINE CHUNG, PhD, RN National University Nevada Henderson, NV

ROBERTA DURHAM, RN, PhD California State University Eastbay Hayward, CA

JOANNA GOLDBORT, MSN, PhD, RN Union Hospital Health Group Terre Haute, IN

HELEN HURST, DNP, RNC, APRN-CNM University of Louisiana School of Nursing Lafayette, LA

ELIZABETH JORDAN, DNSc, RNC Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Baltimore, MD

CAROLYN “CARRIE” LEE, PhD, CNE, RN University of Toledo College of Nursing Toledo, OH

JACQUELINE MCGRATH, PhD, NNP Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing Richmond, VA

SUSAN PECK, MSN, APN Robert Wood Johnson Medical School New Brunswick, NJ

MICHELE SAVIN, MSN, NNP-BC Christiana Care Health Services Wilmington, DE

PAT SCHEANS, MSN, NNP Legacy Health System Portland, OR

SHARON JEAN SCOTT, BSN, RN Mary Washington Hospital Fredericksburg, VA

ANJANA ALI SOLAIMAN, MS, RNC, IBCLC University of Maryland School of Nursing Rockville, MD

KIMBERLY WILSCHEK, RN, CCE Medical Revenue Solutions Chicago, IL


TAMERA YOUNG, RN, MSN Central Ohio Technical College Zanesville, OH


MARIA OPLT Lafayette, LA

AWHONN’s mission is to improve and promote the health of women and babies. We accomplish this through education, research and advocacy that is focused on the unique needs of women, babies and the health care providers who care for them.

Don’t Give Away the Benefi ts of Spontaneous Labor, Normal Birth

We rush through everything. When we’re little, we rush to grow up. We can’t wait to leapfrog from primary to middle school, and then on to high school and college. T en, when we get there, we wonder what the big rush was? When it comes to labor and birth, it’s best for moms and babies not to rush into labor when all is well. It may seem that medical

procedures such as inductions or cesarean can make life easier by your choosing when baby may be born; it’s far more important when all is healthy to not lose the benefi ts of spontaneous labor and normal birth.

BENEFITS FOR YOU & BABY Mom, your body was made to grow a baby, labor, birth and breastfeed. You and baby both benefi t by waiting for labor to start on its own. Or as we nurses like to say in our “Don’t Rush

Me . . . Go the Full 40” campaign: “Let baby pick her birthday!” FOR MOM: Waiting for the hormonal cascade that starts labor means: • Your body fl oods with the natural hormone oxytocin, called the feel-good hormone, so that your contractions are strong enough to push baby out, but not so strong as to stress baby T is feel-good eff ect remains after birth helping you relax and bond with baby

• As baby breastfeeds, oxytocin increases, helping shrink your uterus and prevent hemorrhage • Recovery begins; your body bounces back faster and easier from normal birth than from cesarean, which is major abdominal surgery

• Your hospital stay will likely to be shorter, allowing you to return home with baby to recover where you’re most comfortable

FOR BABY: Waiting for labor provides essential development and growth, which means baby:

• Puts on weight and increases her iron stores • Maximizes her brain and lung maturity and development • Gets ready to suck and swallow so that she can nurse • Receives a big boost of antibodies to protect her post-birth (between 36 and 40 weeks) • Emerges better ready to feed, maintain her body temperature and bond with you Often, we focus on the risks of choosing an induction or cesarean without a medical reason.

It’s time to start thinking of the benefi ts we lose when we don’t fi nish pregnancy the way nature intended when all is healthy. Go the full 40; allow spontaneous birth to maximize health benefi ts for you and your baby!

Mimi Pomerleau, DNP, RNC-OB, WHNP-BC, CNE, is the AWHONN 2013 President. ISSUE 12 / Fall 2013 Healthy Mom&Baby 9


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