Thursday, June 30, 2011

C is for Classes - Part II

A month ago some of these children were so fearful they sat and shook on the side of the pool and had to be coaxed into the pool. Others had much bravado, but flailed in the pool. Today every one of the students in the two YMCA 2nd Grade classes I watched, swam across the pool. Yes, across the pool unassisted. (In the pictures you'll note they're wearing life jackets. This is only because they were also talking safety outside the pool and on other bodies of water too.) It was impressive. The kids beamed with well-earned pride, their parents beamed, the instructors beamed and the spectators beamed.
More than one parent watching their child swim across the pool was watching something they themselves can not do, but they each wanted desperately for their children not to be in the same position. As parent Marcos Esparza noted as he watched his son Nico learn about water safety, "I think there are also adults that could benefit from this." His son was comfortable in the water before starting classes, but the classes, Marcos states, have made Nico a stronger, more proficient swimmer. Marcos and fellow parent Rene commented that the safety techniques that their children were being introduced to during this session were especially useful and something they hadn't seen at other lessons.

This summer swim class program is the result of collaboration between the YMCA who are providing the lessons and TMC for Children who are sponsoring the program. The City of Tucson and the University of Arizona have also supported the program, especially with regards to pools. There is still space in the July session just sign up on line here. You DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER of the YMCA.

To see more images from today's classes see here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

No-Cook Pasta Sauce - Angel Hair Zucchini

It is hot out there and in the kitchen. Temperatures have soared to around 110 Fahrenheit in the past few days here in Tucson and while we want to make nutritious meals for our families the idea of spending any significant time cooking in the kitchen does not appeal. 

A picture of the recent bounty from TMC's Community Garden on Facebook, and the recent release of the USDA's new food guidelines, My Plate, prompted a little research for recipes that were low on heat, pretty low on preparation, but high on taste and nutrition. 

I found what I was looking for in one of my go-to online resources, Debbie Koenig's blog, Words to Eat By-No-Cook Pasta Sauce -Angel Hair Zucchini. I ran it past one of our TMC dietitian to check it was a good dish to share and Debbie gave the all clear to share it on this forum too. Thanks Debbie. (Debbie often focuses on easy preparation, high nutrition and tasty meals with families in mind. She has a book coming out early next year just on this topic.)

Produce isn't just cheaper if it is season, it tastes a whole lot better too so what ever the meal it had to make use of seasonal vegetables. Our garden is wild with squash and basil right now and zucchini is cheap in the stores so this dish seemed perfect for a summer evening. My comments are in italics in the recipe below. 

Photo Credit: Rachel Miller
Angel Hair Zucchini Serves 2, but doubles easily
Cooking Time: 60 minutes (20 minutes active)
Words to Eat By 

  • 3 small zucchini, trimmed and julienned into long strands 
  • 4 ounces angel hair pasta - I used whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup basil leave
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (I use Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 14 walnuts halves (this is not in the original recipe, but added to the protein portion) 

Note this isn't really julienned, but is is as close as I get.
Photo Credit: Rachel Miller
About an hour before you plan to eat, julienne the zucchini and put it in a colander. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, until much of the liquid has been drawn out.

About 25 minutes before you plan to eat, put a large pot of salted water on to boil—cover it to speed things up. When it boils, cook pasta according to package directions.

While it’s cooking, lay a kitchen towel on the counter. Take handfuls of the zucchini and give them a good squeeze over the sink to wring out as much liquid as possible. Spread the zucchini out on the towel, and roll it up like a jellyroll. Squeeze over the sink to remove even more moisture. Unroll over a large serving bowl, and let all the zucchini fall into it.

This is probably the most labor intensive part of the process apart from cutting up the zucchini. I have my four-year old squeeze the zucchini. Involving her in the food preparation always helps her interest in the finished product.

Next, chiffonade the basil leaves: Stack them up, roll them into a cigar, and cut as thin as possible. Unroll and you’ll have beautiful slivers. Put these into the bowl (save a handful for sprinkling on top, if you want it to be pretty).

Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. When it’s drained, add the pasta to the bowl. Pour on the olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan, and toss well (I use tongs for this). Add splashes of the reserved cooking water if it looks too dry, until the pasta glistens.

Serve topped with additional Parmesan.

No-Cook Spaghetti Zucchini in the My Plate format
Photo Credit: Rachel Miller
Before mixing together I separated out the portions just to see how they fit into the USDA's My Plate model. The My Plate graphic really helps in assessing quickly whether you're on track for good proportions. If you're not sure how much a portion is? My Plate has great guides to help you. A protein portion of walnuts? Nine walnuts. 

We have more recipes to try out from our TMC dietitian - Watch this space. 

Nutritional Facts per Serving
(Calculations are approximations)
Calories 437
Total Fat 16g
Carbohydrate 52g
Protein 16g
% of Calories from Fat 33%
% of Calories from Carbohydrate 48%
% of Calories from Protein 15%
Fiber 10g
Calcium 4%
Sodium 8%

Oh, and taste wise? This is a great quick meal that both kids and adults enjoy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week at a Glance: June 26-July 2

Each week we look ahead to events that TMC for Children is offering or that Team TMC is participating in.

Sunday, June 26th 9am-11am Children are Precious Passengers (C.A.P.P.) (English and Spanish) Fee: $25
C.A.P.P. is for families in need of a car seat. Class instructors are certified car seat technicians who advise you how to properly install a car seat in your vehicle. Included in the price of the class is an age and weight appropriate car seat. Limited to one car seat per family
English: Fireplace Room in the Patio building
Spanish: Sedona Room in the Patio building

Monday, June 27th Grand Opening of TMC's Mother/Baby Unit
The construction is complete and the 60 all-private, beautiful rooms are already filling with moms, babies and families. We're celebrating the official grand opening this week. Expectant parents come and check our new and improved Mother/Baby Unit out on a Maternity Services Tour

Wednesday, June 29th- Healthy Cooking Demo by Sunnyside's Food and Nutrition Services. 
As part of the Grow 2B Fit coalition TMC is sponsoring a pilot program with Sunnyside's Santa Clara Elementary Summer School students. This week in Sunnyside's Santa Clara kitchen families learn how to make Smokey Chili Blanco. Yum!

Thursday, June 23rd, 10-11:30am Breastfeeding Support Group - FREE!
An informal group of mothers and babies meet to provide support for breastfeeding. This is hosted weekly by one of TMC's lactation consultants. In the Fireplace Room of the Patio Building. Enter TMC on Beverly and Grant. The Patio Building is immediately on your right. Parking is available in the lot in front of the Emergency Department.  
During the month of June and July there are several ongoing events:

May 1 – June 30th
Golden Corral Fundraiser
Local Golden Corrals raised $3,231 in 2010 for the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital TMC

June 1st -July 31st
Children's Miracle Network Change Bandit
Help CHANGE a child’s life! Become a Change Bandit and wrangle up donations to benefit TMC, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Sign up to receive your very own fundraising page:

July 1- July 4th - Brio Tuscan Grill Grand Opening Benefit for TMC's Children's Miracle Network.  
Brio is donating 10% of revenues made during this time period to TMC's Children's Miracle Network. Good karma and great food.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birth Plans - A Real Life Example II

Nothing can fully prepare you for the experience of childbirth. Taking childbirth classes, talking with your midwife or OB/GYN, and with your partner about what you hope for during childbirth can help it be the wonderful, positive experience we want for all women. Articulating your hopes into a birth plan is part of preparing for childbirth. Below is our second example of a birth plan. Our sincere gratitude to EL for sharing her birth plan. You can find an earlier example here, and a description of a birth plan here.

EL's Birth Plan/Preferences
Here's our birth "preferences". The jist of it is that we're flexible and would appreciate advice on nearly everything.

Mother's name: EL
Father's name: Mr. EL

The Big issue:
-Please, no IVs in my hands unless absolutely necessary. I can take multiple sticks to try to get one in my arm or wherever. If an IV in my hand is the last resort, then please do not tell me about it beforehand – just say “we’re putting it in your hand right now” and immediately put it in. Please don’t give me time to worry about it.
 Be upfront about any medical issues or worries you have. Let them know if you have strong preferences on how you want to receive information.

Basically, my wish is to have a balanced labor and delivery – a good balance between the health of our child and my health. We want to be as flexible as possible, and are open to any and all suggestions, but here are our preferences:

-I will be bringing my own music to play, if possible.
-I would like to be free to walk around as much as possible.
-I would like to be free to move around and change position at will throughout labor.
-I would like to try the birthing tub as a comfort measure. (If comfortable, and the midwives think it’s okay, then birthing there will be fine.)
-I would like to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
-I would like to wear my glasses at all times.
-I would like my husband to be present at all times. No other visitors, please,  though medical students might be okay on a case by case basis. I would like to reserve the right to ask any non-essential people to leave if needed.
-Suggestions on other comfort measures to try would be greatly appreciated.

We encourage our TMC moms to walk, to play music, to utilize the bath tubs or shower to provide comfort. Nurses will even jump in the shower to help if you want. 

Labor augmentation:
-I would prefer to try changing positions and other natural methods of augmentation (walking, nipple stimulation, etc) before pitocin is administered or the amniotic sac is ruptured.
-Suggestions on other methods of augmentation would be greatly appreciated.

Anesthesia/pain management:
-I’d like to try other natural comfort measures before any pain medication is given (birthing tub, shower, walking, birth ball, positions.)
-Please give me pointers and suggestions on other things to try.
-When I’m ready for an epidural, I’ll ask for one.

-I’d like to avoid a Caesarean unless absolutely necessary.
-If the midwives determine a C-section is necessary, I’d like to be a part of the decision making process as well as my husband. If I am unable, I would like my husband to participate as my representative.
-I would like my husband to be present at all possible times at my head until delivery.
-I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia.
-If the baby is not in distress, the baby should be given to my husband immediately after birth.
-I would like my husband to stay with the baby while I am stitched up.

EL did not plan on having a cesarean section, but recognized that it may happen and thought about what she would like in case the birth proceeds in that manner. Knowing your options and possibilities is empowering. In the end EL did not need a C-section. Know TMC has a lower C-section rate than the national average even including those births that result from mothers risking out of El Rio Birth Center. Our goal is to reduce the C-section rate even further.

-Suggestions on how to best avoid, or mitigate an episitomy or tear would be greatly appreciated.
-I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop so the perineum can stretch.
-If possible, I would like to use perineal massage to avoid the need for an episotomy or a tear.
-I would like a local anethestic to repair an episotomy or a tear.

-I would like to choose the position in which I deliver, though I welcome advice and suggestions.

Immediately after delivery:
-If possible, I would like my husband to cut the cord.
-I would like either my husband or myself to hold the baby while the placenta is delivered and any tissue repairs are made.
-We would like vitamin K, the eye ointment and all weighing, etc to take place as soon possible after delivery so we can start bonding as soon as possible. 
-I would like my husband to be with the baby at all times during essential procedures.

Post Partum:
-I would like a private room, if available.
-Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.

All our brand new beautiful rooms are private with plenty of space for family to visit. We encourage rooming in and unless medically necessary mother and child are not separated.

-I plan to breastfeed the baby, and would like to begin nursing as soon as possible after birth.

We have lactation consultants and trained staff to support breastfeeding mothers. We were recognized by the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants for our support of breastfeeding.

-we do not want our baby circumcised.
We encourage parents to become informed about the risks and benefits of circumcision.

Birth plans are individual in nature and we encourage you to create your own. You can find help for writing your birth plan during our childbirth education classes also.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Being Prepared sometimes just takes an Index Card.

You've heard the stories, "Three-year old calls 911 and saves Dad's life." We don't like to think that our children would ever be in that position, but what if? Have you helped your child prepare for a situation like this?

Take five minutes, an index card and make a simple sign to help your child in case you're in a position where you can't speak and need emergency services. Keep it simple. A picture of an ambulance and a phone, the numbers 911 and a picture of a house with your address written clearly maybe all a child who recognizes numbers needs to make that call. Stick the sign on the wall right next to the phone. Discuss on a regular basis with your child and explain what situations are appropriate for them to dial 911. Practice what they would say.

You may wish to have a dedicated phone for emergency calls. A phone that doesn't leave that location. If you have different types of phone show your child how to use each type of phone. A simple tip that can save minutes and lives in an emergency response.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week at a Glance: June 19th - June 25th

Each week we look ahead to see what events are happening at TMC or that Team TMC is participating in:

Monday, June 20th 4pm-5:15pm Hospital Tours en Español - FREE!
Ofrecemos recorridos por el hospital para que usted se familiarice con el entorno donde nacerá su bebé y le brinda la oportunidad de hacer preguntas sobre su estancia en el hospital. Este recorrido está pensado para apaciguar el nerviosismo prenatal y se llevan a cabo en grupos pequeños que visitan las áreas de parto y de maternidad. No es necesario registrarse con anticipación. Se requiere una identificación con fotografía a todos los adultos. Por favor llegue temprano y anótese en la recepción de la entrada Sureste.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 6:30pm-9:00pm Babycare ABC $25
Join other soon-to-be parents for a one-evening class and learn the basics of newborn care. Topics include feeding, bathing, diapering, umbilical cord care, when to call your health care provider and general safety. This class is taken before the birth of your baby. Registration is here

Thursday, June 23rd, 10-11:30am Breastfeeding Support Group - FREE!
An informal group of mothers and babies meet to provide support for breastfeeding. This is hosted weekly by one of TMC's lactation consultants. In the Fireplace Room of the Patio Building. Enter TMC on Beverly and Grant. The Patio Building is immediately on your right. Parking is available in the lot in front of the Emergency Department.

Saturday, June 25th, 9am-5:00pm One Day Blast! Fee: $60.00
A special one-day Preparation for Childbirth Class designed for busy parents. This fast-paced class will prepare soon-to-be parents for labor, birth and delivery, as well as other helpful coping skills and comfort measures. A tour of Tucson Medical Center's Labor & Delivery area is included. Pre-registration is required

During the month of June there are several ongoing events:
May 1 – June 30th Golden Corral Fundraiser
Local Golden Corrals raised $3,231 in 2010 for the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital TMC
June 1st -July 31st Children's Miracle Network Change Bandit
Help CHANGE a child’s life! Become a Change Bandit and wrangle up donations to benefit TMC, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Sign up to receive your very own fundraising

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birth Plans - A Real Life Example

Birth plans are, by their very nature, a personal thing and while we gave a guide of a generalized birth plan previously, we thought it might be helpful to share some real birth plans prepared by others. Our thanks to the parents who gave permission to use their birth plans as an example.

In this example the mother had a health history that resulted in a high-risk pregnancy. She had some resulting constraints on her birthing options which she notes in her birth plan.

  • Mother's Name:
  • Partner's Name:
  • Mother's Specialists: Drs. X, Y and Z
We realize that "planning" a birth is ultimately a futile exercise. We do have some preferences when it is possible and/or advisable to consider them.
General preferences/information
  • I have a history of X (medical details including current specialist information, and medications)
  • I am not currently on an anti-seizure medication and Dr. X is my neurologist.
  • I/we would like to be told what is happening in as much detail as possible. To be included in major decisions unless an emergency situation precluded it, and being given time to discuss the options.
  • We may request that one additional person be allowed in to support us, x, x, x, x, x or x.
Pain management
  • I understand that I will be given an epidural before the second stage (for medical reasons) limiting my movement. Prior to that I would like to be able to move around as much as possible. 
  • Please let me know if other medication is called for and explain my options. 

While all the specific health information would be in the mother's file, having this information handy and ready to discuss with a nurse, doctor or midwife that you haven't seen before is useful.

  • After the epidural, I would like to be told when to push and when not to push. 
  • We have no preferences as to when the cord should be clamped/cut. 
  • We would like to donate the cord blood if possible. 
  • If possible, we would like my husband to cut the cord. 
  • I would like to avoid an episiotomy and would appreciate measures taken (warm compresses, massage and positioning etc) to do this. 
  • In case of Cesarean: I would like the process explained to me as it is carried out. My husband would like to be with me, at my head.
Have you thought about donating the cord blood? Some people like a step by step account of what is going on, others do not. Where do you fall? Most of us plan to have a vaginal birth, but there are still instances where a Cesarean Section is medically necessary. Don't skip that section in the pregnancy books because you don't plan on having a C-Section. Being informed about all possibilities is powerful.

After Delivery
  • We would like to have immediate skin-to-skin contact with and breastfeed the baby after birth, unless emergency prevents it. 
  • If possible, we would like the baby to remain in the room with us after the delivery; if this is not possible, the father will go with the baby. 
Postpartum care
  •  I would like a private room, if available, and for my husband to stay with me. 
  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby. 
  • I would like a visit from one of the hospital's Lactation Consultants or a trained breastfeeding specialist to help with breastfeeding. 
  • We appreciate support about breastfeeding, baby care, postpartum mama care
Private rooms, breastfeeding support, keeping baby and mama together (rooming in) immediately after and following birth are all part of our common practices at Tucson Medical Center.

Baby's name:
Mother's name:
Father's name
Feeding preferences: Breast milk
General preferences/information
  • I plan to breastfeed my baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth. 
  • Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my baby (including glucose water or plain water).
TMC is recognized by the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants for our breastfeeding program. The preferences listed above would be considered the norm at TMC's Mother/Baby Unit.

Complications or unforeseen problems
  • If there are serious health problems with the baby, we would like to feed and care for her as much as possible, along with the specialized care from the doctors and nurses. 
  • If the baby does not survive, we have preferences we will discuss with you at that point. Please do not proceed without consulting us.
No one wants to think about these things, but what if?

Creating a birth plan helps you explore parts of childbirth you haven't thought about and articulate your preferences. Check out our earlier blog post, What is a Birth Plan? and the TMC website page about birth plans too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Of Bandages and Cough Syrup - Protecting Children in the Home

I'm thinking about sawing off the legs of the dining room chairs, or perhaps getting rid of them completely. This new look for our dining room might cause a few raised eyebrows. I could pass it off as a traditional Japanese dining room. Right?

Why am I considering such drastic measures? There is a new sound in our house that requires attention- the sound of a dining room chair being dragged by my preschooler to one location or another. The chair is utilized to get into all sorts of hiding places previously out of reach. The particular occasion that has me reaching for a saw was finding my daughter digging for those character adhesive bandages (Band-Aids etc.) in one part of the first-aid kit. This first-aid kit is almost entirely bandages, gauze and the such with a little antibiotic cream for good measure, but the box with cough syrups and tablets was just one shelf higher and with a good tug it could be all over the floor. I think she knows better than to get into it, but why risk it? There is a better option than sawing off the chair legs - childproof our medicines. 

1. Get rid of the old, outdated medications
A quick peruse through our medication box revealed a ridiculous amount of expired medications including cherry cough syrup that might inspire concerted efforts to access by a small child. Accidental poisonings can be fatal. No need to keep what isn't needed or isn't current. Bag the expired, outdated and no longer used medications and take them to be disposed off properly. Here in Pima County we can drop the medications off at the City of Tucson Household Hazardous Waste Program or you can go down to The Medicine Shoppe who has a permanent drop off.  It is tempting to flush them down the toilet, but that then adds those medications to our water supply. There are protocols that are drug specific for medicine disposal if you aren't able to get to one of these drop off points. Check the Food and Drug Administration for information about disposal of medicines and for more information about the environmental impact on our water check here

2. Check all current medication containers
Are the caps screwed on right? Are they in childproof containers? Late at night, early in the morning, or when you're not feeling great sometimes getting the cap back properly on the container didn't happen. Check all the containers and make sure they're firmly shut. 

3. Safe Storage
Don't leave medication bottles out and about, safely store your medications out of reach of children.  Medications on the side of the sink are within easy reach. In our house we now have a specific shelf for all current daily medications that is now far beyond the reach of a child with a chair, in a cabinet with a latch. Everything that isn't used on a daily basis is in a box with clasps, high on a shelf, behind a cabinet that also now has a childproof latch on.  Yes, it takes a little longer to get to the medication, but my child is worth an extra thirty seconds or so and so is your child. Remember, it doesn't have to be the bathroom, in fact the humidity and condensation of bathroom makes it a poor place to store medications. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Week at a Glance: June 12th- June 18th

Each week we look ahead to see what events are happening at TMC or that Team TMC is participating in:

Sunday, June 12th, 4pm-6:30pm Healthy Pregnancy Class - FREE!
For first time parents-guidance on the healthiest pregnancy possible. Learn about nutrition, exercise and fetal development, physical and emotional changes. Explore how to have a more comfortable and safe pregnancy. This class is perfect for those in their first trimester. Registration is required

Wednesday, June 15th, 6:30pm-9pm Breastfeeding Basics $25
This class is taught by Tucson Medical Center RN's who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Expectant mothers receive advice regarding effective techniques for successful and continuous breastfeeding, basic breastfeeding positions, helping baby latch on, how to tell if feedings are going well, and balancing work and breastfeeding. This class is taken prior to the birth of the baby. Registration is required. 

Thursday, June 16th, 10-11:30am Breastfeeding Support Group - FREE!
An informal group of mothers and babies meet to provide support for breastfeeding. This is hosted weekly by one of TMC's lactation consultants. In the Fireplace Room of the Patio Building. Enter TMC on Beverly and Grant. The Patio Building is immediately on your right. Parking is available in the lot in front of the Emergency Department. 

Saturday, June 18th & Sunday June 19th 1-5pm Weekender Preparation for Childbirth $60
A weekend class designed for busy expectant parents. The same curriculum as the traditional three week series, this weekend class presents the material in an accelerated format. The class provides information encouraging you to be an active participant in your child's birth as well as helpful coping skills and comfort measures. A tour of TMC's Labor & Delivery area is included in this course. Registration is required. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

C is for Classes

Every year, the Safe Kids Tucson coalition partners with local elementary schools to teach over 700 second-grade students about the ABC's of water safety with the Water Safety is for YOU! curriculum. At the end of the semester, those 700 students convened at the City of Tucson's Edith Ball Aquatic Center to celebrate, explore and to review water safety with the partners of the Safe Kids Tucson coalition.
This year the YMCA of Southern Arizona approached TMC for Children, the lead organization in Safe Kids Tucson,  with a proposal: Would TMC for Children sponsor a series of swim classes for second graders?

What a brilliant idea!

This year TMC for Children is sponsoring swim classes provided by the YMCA of Southern Arizona to Tucson second-graders for a registration fee of just $10.

On Monday I visited Kennedy Park Swimming Pool for the first day of class just to see how things were going, and they were going swimmingly.
Students went from sitting nervously on the edge of the pool,
to putting their faces in the water,
kicking up a storm,
to moving out into the water.
The students were beaming by the end of it.

Why second graders? Second graders are at the point where they are physiologically capable of developing strong muscle tone, they're still physically active, they can follow instructions, and they're fearless enough that pools can be a real hazard. The goal for these lessons is that by the end students can at least make their way to the edge of the pool successfully and so get out of trouble. Hopefully, they'll be swimming across the pool!

You can find out more about the Second-Grade Swim Class here. There is still space in the July session.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week at a Glance: June 5th - June 11th

Each week we look ahead to see what events are happening at TMC or that Team TMC is participating in:

Sunday, June 5th, 9am - 5:30pm One Day Blast! Fee $60
A special one day preparation for childbirth class designed specially for busy parents. This fast-paced class prepares expectant parents for labor and delivery, sharing coping and comfort techniques. A tour of Tucson Medical Center's Labor and Delivery Unit is included. Registration is here.

Sunday, June 5th, 4pm -6:30pm Maternity Services Tour FREE
This tour is designed to help you get comfortable with the environment where you will give birth. You have opportunity to ask questions and relieve prenatal jitters as you tour the Labor and Delivery and the Mother/Baby Unit. Adults need to bring photo identification. Families are welcome. Location: Southeast Entrance Information Desk

Monday, June 6th Second-Grade Swim Classes with TMC for Children and the YMCA of Southern Arizona Kick Off!
The first day of the learn to swim classes sponsored by TMC for Children. This collaboration between TMC for Children and the YMCA of Southern Arizona and follows the Water Safety is for You program offered in schools by Safe Kids Tucson. If you have a first or second grader who can't  swim, check out the schedule and registration here

Tuesday, June 7th, 6:00pm- 9:00pm Preparation for Childbirth Fee: $60
New and improved! A three classes spread across a three-week period that cover everything! This series is designed to provide expectant parents with an overview of what to expect during childbirth, and options regarding labor, birth and postpartum. You'll gain the knowledge you need to be an active participant in your baby's birth and allow practice of the skills that can help make this experience the wonderful memory it is meant to be. Included in the course is a tour of Tucson Medical Center's Labor & Delivery area. Attendance during the seventh month of pregnancy is recommended. Please bring two pillows and a blanket to class. This class represents the first in a three part series. The next two classes will be on the subsequent Tuesdays. 

Wednesday, June 8th, 6:30pm-9:00pm  Extended Breathing & Relaxation Technique Fee: $25
A one-night class for couples who have completed Preparation for Childbirth. This class explores extensive coping, breathing and relaxation techniques for labor, including breathing patterns, massage, visualization, labor aids and coaching skills. Registration is required. 

Thursday, June 9th 10:30am -12:00pm "Boost Your Booty" offers free boosters for the grandkids
Grandparents are invited to give their grandchildren a boost with FREE BOOSTER SEATS provided through the TMC Foundation and Kohl's Cares for Kids. Location: TMC Senior Services facility on the EL Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N.Wilmot. Drop in and get basic booster seat education and pick up the free booster. Call 324-1960 to get details and confirm attendance. 

 Thursday, June 9th, 10am-11:30am Breastfeeding Support Group FREE
Are you a breastfeeding mom with questions? Are you looking for support?
Join an informal gathering of mothers and babies. No registration necessary and completely free. The Breastfeeding Support Group is hosted weekly by a certified lactation consultant.
Location: Fireplace Room in the Patio Bldg. Enter the TMC campus on Beverly off of Grant Road. The Patio Bldg is immediately to the right. Parking is available in the lot in front of the Emergency Department. For more information (520) 324-5730

Saturday, June 11th, 9:30am -11:00am Big Brother/Big Sister Classes Fee: $15/childA special 90-minute class for children aged 3-11 years old expecting a baby sister or brother. Hands-on play introduces siblings to their new role as big brother or big sister. The class also includes safety, holding and diapering and helps introduce a new baby into family. When conditions permit, a tour of the area where Mommy will be having the baby is also included. Please bring a stuffed animal or doll for diapering. Registration is here

During the month of June there are several ongoing events:May 1 – June 30th Golden Corral Fundraiser Local Golden Corrals raised $3,231 in 2010 for the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital TMC
June 1st -July 31st Children's Miracle Network Change Bandit 
Help CHANGE a child’s life! Become a Change Bandit and wrangle up donations to benefit TMC, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Sign up to receive your very own fundraising

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is a Birth Plan?

What on earth is a birth plan? I mean how can you plan exactly how your child's birth will happen? The answer is you can't. Life, nature and the birthing process are not perfectly linear processes, no one can predict what will happen. But a birth plan is not about creating a rigid description of what the birth will be like, rather it is about exploring birthing options and sharing your preferences for different scenarios with your doctor, midwife, your partner and/or support. 

Giving birth should be an incredible experience. Thinking and planning for the event can help your experience be that incredible experience.

So, what is in a birth plan? On our website we discuss three major areas typically included in a birth plan.

1. What are your wishes during a normal labor and delivery?
  • Know how you want to handle pain relief.  This is important for most women and is certainly something you have a lot of control over. It's also something you'll want to discuss carefully with your health care provider. Know your options. There are medications, ex. an epidural and there are alternative forms of pain relief, including massage, relaxation, breathing, and hot tubs. Know your options and make your wishes known to your health provider. Some women change their minds about pain relief during labor only to discover that they're too far along in their labor to use certain methods, such as an epidural. Discuss with your health care provider different methods and when they're appropriate
  • Think about who you'd like to have with you before, during, and immediately after the birth. In a routine birth, this may be your partner, your other children, a friend, or other family member. You can also make it clear at what points you want no one to be there but your partner.
  • Consider your position during delivery. You can try a variety of positions during labor, including the classic semi-recline or other choices including lying on your side, squatting, standing, or simply using whatever stance feels right at the time.
2. How are you hoping for your baby to be treated immediately after and for the first few days after birth?
  • Do you want the baby's cord to be cut by your partner?
  • Does your partner want to hold the baby when the baby emerges?
  • Will you breastfeed?
  • Do you want to limit visitors while in the hospital?
3. What do you want to happen in the case of unexpected events?
  • No one wants to think about something going wrong, but if it does, it's better to have thought about your options in advance. Some women need cesarean sections (C-sections), your birth plan should probably cover your wishes in the event that your labor takes an unexpected turn.
  • You might also want to think about other possible complications, such as premature birth.
Schedule a time to go over your birth plan with your doctor or nurse-midwife. Find out and discuss where you agree or disagree. Review your birth plan as you near your due date. 

We'll be sharing a couple of actual birth plans in the next few posts. What would you add to this list? Did you have a birth plan?