Don't Retract Pack

Top 20 of 2020

It's been quite the year of challenges! Through it all we've persevered and looked for ways we could make life better for someone, somewhere; a new momma today, a baby tomorrow, children along the way. It is our hope that you or someone you know has been empowered or uplifted or encouraged or helped this year through the work of Peaceful Parenting. It has been tough to not see you in person this year at the many expos and events we typically host, but we look forward to an even sweeter reunion when we can attend across the nation once again. 'Till then, we have gathered the Top 20 Most Read items at DrMomma during 2020. Check out those you missed, share your favorites, and pass on the love we pray comes through in our gentle parenting advocacy and education. 💖 

With this post we'd also love to showcase some of your beautiful families. If you'd like to share a photo for our 2020 Peaceful Parenting collage, drop it to this post on Facebook, into the Peaceful Parenting Community with a note that it's for the 2020 collage, or email ContactDrMomma@gmail.com

 

Top 20 of 2020

20. Take Mom's Picturehttp://www.drmomma.org/2019/07/take-moms-picture.html

19. Mama, You are Home to Mehttp://www.drmomma.org/2018/11/mama-you-are-home-to-me.html

18. Cry It Out - What is the 'It'? http://www.drmomma.org/2020/01/cry-it-out-what-is-it.html

17. The Placenta Does Not Age or Fail Post-Dateshttp://www.drmomma.org/2018/03/the-placenta-does-not-age-or-fail-post.html

16. Children Should Sleep Near Parents Until Age 5http://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/co-sleeping-children-should-sleep-with.html

15. What Should a 4 Year Old Know? http://www.drmomma.org/2011/11/what-should-4-year-old-know.html

14. Neonatal Infant Circumcision [A Video for Healthcare Professionals]http://www.drmomma.org/2011/01/neonatal-circumcision-video-for.html

13. Plastibell Infant Circumcisionhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/plastibell-infant-circumcision.html

12. Your Body Within One Hour of Drinking Sodahttp://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/your-body-within-1-hour-of-drinking.html

11. Fetal Lungs Protein Release Triggers Labor to Beginhttp://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/fetal-lungs-protein-release-triggers.html

10. MRI Studies: The Brain Permanently Altered by Infant Circumcisionhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/mri-studies-brain-permanently-altered.html

9. Newborn Nursing: Frequent, Lengthy, Normalhttp://www.drmomma.org/2019/10/newborn-nursing-frequent-lengthy-and.html

8. "Babywise" Linked to Dehydration, Failure to Thrive - http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/babywise-linked-to-babies-dehydration.html 

7. Intact or Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penishttp://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

6. Why African Babies Don't Cryhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html

5. Breastfeeding in Mongoliahttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/breastfeeding-in-land-of-genghis-khan.html

4. Fetal Ejection Reflexhttp://www.drmomma.org/2016/07/fetal-ejection-reflex.html

3. Turn Your Crib into a CoSleeperhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/turn-your-crib-into-cosleeper.html

2. Lactation Cookies: Increasing Milk Supplyhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html

#1 Most Read item at DrMomma in 2020: 

Sleeping Babies Need Mom Beside Themhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/sleeping-babies-need-mom-beside-them.html




Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Bill of the United States


Until March 30, 1997, baby girls in the United States could be legally circumcised. With the enactment of the Federal Female Genital Mutilation Bill, cutting a child's genitals who is known to be born female is prohibited by law, barring real and existing medical necessity to perform cutting or surgery on her genitals. The same protection under law is not currently granted to baby boys or intersex children.


Learn more about the history of female circumcision in the United States:
http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/09/history-of-female-circumcision-in.html


18 U.S.C. United States Code
Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES CHAPTER 7 - ASSAULT
Sec. 116 - Female genital mutilation
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§116. Female genital mutilation

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if the operation is—
(1) necessary to the health of the person on whom it is performed, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner; or
(2) performed on a person in labor or who has just given birth and is performed for medical purposes connected with that labor or birth by a person licensed in the place it is performed as a medical practitioner, midwife, or person in training to become such a practitioner or midwife.

(c) In applying subsection (b)(1), no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that person, or any other person, that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.

(Added Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, §645(b)(1), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–709.)

Effective Date 

Section 645(c) of div. C of Pub. L. 104–208 provided that: “The amendments made by subsection (b) [enacting this section] shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1996].”

Congressional Findings

Section 645(a) of div. C of Pub. L. 104–208 provided that: “The Congress finds that—

“(1) the practice of female genital mutilation is carried out by members of certain cultural and religious groups within the United States;

“(2) the practice of female genital mutilation often results in the occurrence of physical and psychological health effects that harm the women involved;

“(3) such mutilation infringes upon the guarantees of rights secured by Federal and State law, both statutory and constitutional;

“(4) the unique circumstances surrounding the practice of female genital mutilation place it beyond the ability of any single State or local jurisdiction to control;

“(5) the practice of female genital mutilation can be prohibited without abridging the exercise of any rights guaranteed under the first amendment to the Constitution or under any other law; and

“(6) Congress has the affirmative power under section 8 of article I, the necessary and proper clause, section 5 of the fourteenth Amendment, as well as under the treaty clause, to the Constitution to enact such legislation.”


Related Reading:

Male and Female Circumcision
http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/04/male-and-female-circumcision.html

Similar Attitudes and Misconceptions
http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/06/fgmmgm-similar-attitudes-misconceptions.html

History of Female Circumcision in the United States
http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/09/history-of-female-circumcision-in.html

UK Fails to Halt Female Circumcision
http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/12/uk-fails-to-halt-female-genital.html

FGM on the Rise in the United States
http://www.newsweek.com/fgm-rates-have-doubled-us-2004-304773

FGM in United States Fact Sheet
http://www.equalitynow.org/FGM_in_US_FAQ

Women and Girls at Risk in the United States
http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2015/us-fgmc.aspx

America's Underground Female Genital Cutting Crisis
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/11/america-s-underground-female-genital-mutilation-crisis.html

Female Genital Cutting is a U.S. Problem Too
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/07/21/424984178/female-genital-mutilation-is-a-u-s-problem-too

Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole community for learning

Peaceful Parenting Community
FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting



♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥





Sleep Training: A Review of Research



The following is a list of resources (articles/websites/books) for research-based information on infant sleep, night time parenting, baby crying, need for nourishment and comfort at night, and physiological body and brain responses to 'controlled crying,' 'cry it out,' or 'sleep training' methods. Also see psychological conditioning studies on the brain, immune system, development and learned helplessness (which occurs among babies whose care-givers utilize these methods).

"Crying-it-out does not lead to 'sleeping through the night' - it results in learned helplessness."
-Danelle Frisbie

Articles:
(in alphabetical order)

Adventures in Ezzoland


Ask the Experts: Sleep Training

Babies Aren't Soldiers

Babies Breathe Better During Sleep When Rocked

Baby Dreams [poem] 

Baby Sleep: A Review of Research [with links to articles]

Babies: Not Designed to Sleep Alone

Becoming Wise to Babywise [The Ezzo Method, "Growing Kids God's Way"]

Biological Imperatives: Why Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone

Breastfeeding in Bed: Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom Introduce Baby Flynn

Breastfeeding, Nightwaking: Protection from SIDS

The Case for Cue Feeding

The Con of Controlled Crying

Confessions of a Failed Babywiser

Confessions of an Accidental Cosleeper

CoSleeping Success! 

Crying It Out Causes Brain Damage

The Dangers of Cry It Out (2012)

The Dangers of Leaving Baby to Cry It Out (CIO) (2009)

Dangers of Your Baby 'Crying It Out'

Diverse Contexts of Human Infancy

Dr. William Sears on Growing Kids God's Way/Babywise

Dr. Sears on Babywearing (improves infant sleep, reduces crying and colic)

Excessive Crying Harmful to Babies

Healthy Infant Sleep

Hush Little Baby... [artwork]

I Will Carry You [poem]

Kangaroo Mother Care Saves 2lb Baby (the importance of touch and being held for babies; being close to mom even while asleep)

Milk Drunk (sleeping by baby makes night time parenting much easier!)

Night Time Parenting: A Practical Approach for the Reduction of Attachment Disorders and the Promotion of Emotionally Secure Children

Night Waking Protects Against SIDS

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

On Becoming Elderwise: Caring for Grandma God's Way

Our Bed [poem]

Peacefully Parented Babies Grow to Be Smarter, Kinder Kids  

Peaceful Parenting: Following Your Instincts

Pediatric Nurse and Former Ezzo Parent

Primal Love and Mothering

Reason 742 to Share Sleep

Rooting While at Rest [poem]

The Science of Sharing Sleep 

Seven Benefits of CoSleeping

Shaking a Crying Baby Causes Brain Damage

She's Not 'High Needs' - She's Vivacious! 



Websites:


Ezzo Information Website

Jay Gordon (Sleep: Changing Patterns in the Family Bed)

Parents Against Babywise (Facebook Page)


To connect with other parents and get in on Sleep Forums:
SafeBedSharing.Org

William Sears (31 Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep)


Books:

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

The Baby Sleep Book

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering

The Baby Bond

The Science of Parenting

Our Babies, Ourselves

Why Love Matters

Nighttime Parenting

The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Natural Family Living

The Baby Book

The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost

Baby Matters (first edition of The Baby Bond)

The Fussy Baby Book

The Premature Baby Book

Attachment Parenting: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding & Nurturing Your Baby

Primal Health: Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First Birthday

The Attachment Connection: Parenting A Secure & Confident Child

Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby & Young Child

Mothering Magazine 

GOOD Baby Sleep Books Collection 





There is No App to Replace Your Lap




There’s no app to replace your lap. 💞💞 Snuggle close.

Artwork from a page in the beautiful Cami Kangaroo series by Stacy C. Bauer: https://amzn.to/2ZGO1gW

The Placenta Does Not Age or Fail Post-Dates


"A review of the available evidence indicates that the placenta does not undergo a true aging change during pregnancy. There is, in fact, no logical reason for believing that the placenta, which is a fetal organ, should age while the other fetal organs do not: the situation in which an individual organ ages within an organism that is not aged is one which does not occur in any biological system. The persisting belief in placental aging has been based on a confusion between morphological maturation and differentiation and aging, a failure to appreciate the functional resources of the organ, and an uncritical acceptance of the overly facile concept of 'placental insufficiency' as a cause of increased perinatal mortality."

Related:

Happy Pills! One way to encapsulate on your own: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/08/happy-pills-placenta-encapsulation.html 

Ode to My Placenta: http://www.DrMomma.org/2017/09/ode-to-my-placenta.html

The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother: https://amzn.to/2QtlEQg

The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality: https://amzn.to/2Pys7nU

Chocolate Placenta Truffles: http://www.DrMomma.org/2012/04/chocolate-placenta-truffles.html 

Placenta - the Forgotten Chakra: https://amzn.to/2PxY0g0

Lotus Birth: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/08/lotus-birth.html

Fish Can't See Water: The Need To Humanize Birth: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/08/fish-cant-see-water-need-to-humanize.html

The Lie of the Estimated Due Date (EDD): http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/06/lie-of-estimated-due-date-edd-why-your.html

Why Pregnancy Due Dates are Inaccurate: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/09/why-pregnancy-due-dates-are-inaccurate.html

Fetal Lungs Protein Release Triggers Labor to Begin: http://www.DrMomma.org/2008/01/fetal-lungs-protein-release-triggers.html

Trusting Birth: 43 Weeks of Faith: http://www.DrMomma.org/2013/09/trusting-birth-43-weeks-of-faith.html

Placenta keychain (fun gift for the birth advocate in your life): https://amzn.to/2PxBF2n

Plush placenta (education, awareness raising, fun): https://amzn.to/2LaegmY

_______

Fox, Harold. Aging of the placenta. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition 1997;77:F171-F175. Full text: http://fn.bmj.com/content/77/3/F171

It is widely believed that during the relatively short duration of a normal pregnancy the placenta progressively ages and is, at term, on the verge of a decline into morphological and physiological senescence.1-3 This belief is based on the apparent convergence of clinical, structural, and functional data, all of which have been taken, rather uncritically, as supporting this concept of the placenta as an aging organ with, all too often, no distinction being made between time related changes and true aging changes. I will review some of these concepts and consider whether the placenta truly undergoes an aging process. For the purposes of this review an aging change is considered to be one which is intrinsic, detrimental, and progressive and which results in an irreversible loss of functional capacity, an impaired ability to maintain homeostasis, and decreased ability to repair damage.

Morphological changes

The placenta is unusual in so far as its basic histological structure undergoes a considerable change throughout its lifespan. For some time it has been customary to describe the appearances of the placental villi in terms of their changing appearance as pregnancy progresses, comparing, for instance, typical first trimester villi with those in third trimester placentas. It has often been implied that this changing appearance is an aging process, but it is now recognized that this temporal variability in villous appearances reflects the continual development and branching of the villous tree (fig 1) In recent years the relation between the growth of the villous tree and the villous histological appearances has been formally codified5-8with identification of five types of villi (fig 2).


Figure 1 Diagrammatic representation of a peripheral villous tree, showing a large central stem villus: the lateral branches from this are the mature intermediate villi from which the terminal villi protrude.


Figure 2  Representation of the peripheral branches of a mature villous tree together with typical cross sections of the five villous types. The figures are reproduced from Haines & Taylor. Textbook of Obstetrical and Gynaecological Pathology. 4th Edn. 1995, by kind permission of Churchill Livingstone and Professor P Kaufmann.

1 Mesenchymal villi 

These represent a transient stage in placental development and they can differentiate into either mature or immature intermediate villi. They comprise the first generation of newly formed villi and are derived from trophoblastic sprouts by mesenchymal invasion and vascularisation. They are found mainly in the early stages of pregnancy but a few may still be found at term They have complete trophoblastic mantles with many cytotrophoblastic cells and regularly dispersed nuclei in the syncytiotrophoblast: their loose, immature-type stroma is abundant and contains a few Hobauer cells, together with poorly developed fetal capillaries.

2 Immature intermediate villi 

These are peripheral extensions of the stem villi and are the predominant form seen in immature placentas. These villi have a well preserved trophoblastic mantle in which cytotrophoblastic cells are numerous; the syncytial nuclei are evenly dispersed and there are no syncytial knots or vasculo-syncytial membranes. They have an abundant loose stroma that contains many Hofbauer cells: capillaries, arterioles, and venules are present.

3 Stem villi 

These comprise the primary stems which connect the villous tree to the chorionic plate, up to four generations of short thick branches and further generations of dichotomous branches. Their principal role is to serve as a scaffolding for the peripheral villous tree, and up to one third of the total volume of the villous tissue of the mature placenta is made up of this villous type, the proportion of such villi being highest in the central subchorial portion of the villous tree. Histologically, the stem villi have a compact stroma and contain either arteries and veins or arterioles and venules; superficially located capillaries may also be present.

4  Mature intermediate villi 

These are the peripheral ramifications of the villous stems from which most terminal villi directly arise. They are large (60–150 Ξm in diameter) and contain capillaries admixed with small arterioles and venules, the vessels being set in a very loose stroma which occupies more than half of the villous volume. The syncytiotrophoblast has a uniform structure, no knots or vasculo-syncytial membranes being present. Up to a quarter of the villi in a mature placenta are of this type.

5 Terminal villi 

These are the final ramifications of the villous tree and are grape-like outgrowths from mature intermediate villi. They contain capillaries, many of which are sinusoidally dilated to occupy most of the cross sectional diameter of the villus. The syncytiotrophoblast is thin and the syncytial nuclei are irregularly dispersed. Syncytial knots may be present and vasculo-syncytial membranes are commonly seen. These terminal villi begin to appear at about the 27th week of gestation and account for 30–40 per cent of the villous volume, 50 per cent of the villous surface area, and 60 per cent of villi seen in cross section at term.

The pattern of development of the villous tree is therefore as follows: During the early weeks of pregnancy all the villi are of the mesenchymal type. Between the 7th and 8th weeks mesenchymal villi begin to transform into immature intermediate villi and these subsequently transform into stem villi. Development of additional immature intermediate villi from mesenchymal villi gradually ceases at the end of the second trimester, but these immature intermediate villi continue to mature into stem villi and only a few persist to term as growth zones in the centres of the lobules. At the beginning of the third trimester mesenchymal villi stop transforming into immature intermediate villi and start transforming into mature intermediate villi. The latter serve as a framework for the terminal villi which begin to appear shortly afterwards and predominate at term.

This progressive elaboration of the villous tree results in a predominance of terminal villi in the mature placenta. Such villi have been conventionally classed as “third trimester villi” and a comparison of their structure with the predominant type of villi in the first trimester— immature intermediate villi—has led many to suggest that as pregnancy progresses the villous trophoblast becomes irregularly thinned and the cytotrophoblast regresses, changes interpreted as being of an aging nature. The villous cytotrophoblast, which is a stem cell for the trophoblast, does not in reality regress, because the absolute number of these cells in the placenta is not decreased at term and in fact continues to increase throughout pregnancy. The apparent sparsity of these cells is due to their wider dispersion within a greatly increased total placental mass.9 10 The focal thinning of the villous syncytiotrophoblast apparent in many terminal villi has often been cited as evidence of syncytial senescence. These thinned areas are, in reality, the “vasculo-syncytial membranes”11 which, although formed in part by mechanical stretching of the trophoblast by ballooning capillary loops,12 never the less differ enzymatically and ultrastructurally from the non-membranous areas of the syncytium and are areas of the syncytiotrophoblast specifically differentiated for the facilitation of gas transfer.13 These membranes are therefore a manifestation of topographic functional differentiation within the trophoblast.

The interlinked, but separate, processes of maturation of the villous tree and functional differentiation of the trophoblast result in a predominant villous form that is optimally adapted for materno-fetal transfer diffusion mechanisms: the morphological changes substantially increase trophoblastic surface area14 and a significantly reduce the harmonic mean of the diffusion distance between maternal and fetal blood,15 with a resulting increase in the conductance of oxygen diffusion.16

It is not mere pedantry to distinguish between maturation, which results in increased functional efficiency, and aging, which results in decreased functional efficiency. In this respect it is worth noting that a proportion of placentas from women with severe pre-eclampsia look unusually mature for the length of the period of gestation: this is usually classed as “premature aging” but it would be more accurate to regard the changes as being due to accelerated maturation, this being a compensatory mechanism to increase the transfer capacity of the placenta in the face of an adverse maternal environment.

It has to be admitted that the control mechanisms of placental maturation are unknown. There are many agents thought to be of importance in the control of placental growth, including cytokines, growth factors, oncogenes, prostaglandins and leucotrienes,17-20 but it far from clear as to whether control of growth can be equated with control of maturation. However, villous development, certainly in the later stages of pregnancy, does seem to be driven principally by proliferation of endothelial cells and capillary growth.21 Vascular endothelial growth factors are present in placental tissue22 and the suggestion that hypoxia may stimulate angiogenesis,23 and thus have a significant role in placental development, would corroborate the accelerated placental maturation seen in some cases of maternal pre-eclampsia.

Placental growth 

It has long been maintained that placental growth and DNA synthesis cease at about the 36th week of gestation and that any subsequent increase in placental size is due to an increase in cell size rather than to an increase in the number of cells.24Simple histological examination of the term placenta will, however, serve to refute this view, because immature intermediate villi are often present in the centres of lobules and these clearly represent a persistent growth zone. Furthermore, total placental DNA content continues to increase in an almost linear manner until and beyond the 42nd week of gestation.25 This finding agrees with autoradiographic and flow cytometric studies that have shown continuing DNA synthesis in the term organ,26-28 and with morphometric investigations that have shown persistent villous growth, continuing expansion of the villous surface area, and progressive branching of the villous tree up to and beyond term.14 29

Placental growth certainly slows, but clearly does not cease, during the last few weeks of gestation, although this decline in growth rate is neither invariable nor irreversible, because the placenta can continue to increase in size if faced with an unfavourable maternal environment, such as pregnancy at high altitude, or severe maternal anaemia, while the potential for a recrudescence of growth is shown by the proliferative response to ischaemic syncytial damage. Those who contend that a decreased placental growth rate during late pregnancy is evidence of senescence often seem be comparing the placenta with an organ such as the gut, in which continuing viability depends on a constantly replicating stem cell layer producing short-lived postmitotic cells. A more apt comparison would be with an organ such as the liver, which is formed principally of long-lived postmitotic cells and which, once an optimal size has been attained to meet the metabolic demands placed on it, shows little evidence of cell proliferation while retaining a latent capacity for growth activity. There seems no good reason why the placenta, once it has reached a size sufficient to adequately meet its transfer function, should continue to grow, and the term placenta, with its considerable functional reserve capacity, has more than met this aim.

Functional activity 

There have been few vertical studies of placental function throughout pregnancy, but there is no evidence that any of the major indices of placental function decline—namely, proliferative, transfer, and secretory capacities.30 As already remarked, the diffusion conductance of the organ is increased, largely as a result of morphological changes, but there is considerable evidence that specific placental carrier mediated transfer systems are also augmented.20 The placental production of hormones continues unabated until term: the synthesis of human chorionic gonadotrophin declines towards the end of the first trimester but this is clearly due to a gene switch which results in progressively increasing secretion of human placental lactogen.

The placenta also retains its full proliferative capacity until term as shown by its ability to repair and replace, as a result of proliferation in the villous cytotrophoblastic cells, of a villous syncytiotrophoblast that has been ischaemically damaged in women with severe pre-eclampsia.13

Clinical factors 

The single most important factor leading to a belief in placental senescence has been the apparently increased fetal morbidity and mortality associated with prolonged pregnancy, this traditionally being attributed to “placental insufficiency” consequent on senescence of the organ.1 31 In the past it was thought that about 11% of pregnancies extended to or beyond the 42nd week of gestation32 33 : the introduction of a routine ultrasound examination in early pregnancy reduced the incidence of prolonged pregnancies to about 6%34 and it has even been claimed that with very accurate dating studies the incidence of truly prolonged gestations does not exceed 1%.35 This casts some doubt on the validity of a great deal of the historical information about the risks and ill effects of prolonged pregnancy, but it is never the less widely accepted that perinatal mortality increases after the 42nd week of gestation.36

Any increase in perinatal mortality after the 42nd week of gestation is due, in part, to the high incidence of fetal macrosomia: 10% of infants from prolonged pregnancies weigh over 4000 g and 1% over 4500 g and these fetuses are at particular risk of complications such as shoulder dystocia. The presence of this large number of macrosomic fetuses is a clear indication that, in this subset at least, the placenta continues to function well beyond the 40th week of gestation and remains capable of sustaining untrammelled fetal growth.

The classic clinical syndrome of the “postmature” infant1 31 is not commonly seen today but seems to be clearly related to the development of oligohydramnios. There is no doubt that amniotic fluid volume tends to decrease in a proportion of prolonged pregnancies39 and that oligohydramnios is associated with a high incidence of fetal heart rate decelerations.36 This has been attributed by some to cord compression,40 41 but one study, while confirming that cord compression is common in prolonged pregnancies, was unable to correlate such compression with fetal acidosis.42 It is often assumed, and indeed commonly stated, that the decline in amniotic fluid volume in these cases is an indication of “placental insufficiency” but, in reality, there is no evidence that in late pregnancy the placenta plays any part in the production of amniotic fluid or in the control of amniotic fluid volume. 43

The two most potent causes of increased morbidity in prolonged pregnancy are therefore clearly unrelated to any change in placental functional capacity. Examination of placentas from prolonged pregnancies shows no evidence of any increased incidence of gross placental abnormalities, such as infarcts, calcification, or massive perivillous fibrin deposition. The most characteristic histological abnormality, found in a proportion of cases but certainly not in all, is decreased fetal perfusion of the placental villi.13 The fetal villous vessels are normal in placentas from prolonged pregnancies44 and Doppler flow velocimetry studies have, in general but not unanimously, indicated that there is no increased fetal vascular resistance in such placentas.45-47 The decreased fetal perfusion is therefore probably a consequence of oligohydramnios, because umbilical vein flow studies have shown that fetal blood flow to the placenta is often reduced in cases of oligohydramnios.48

It has to be admitted that the pathophysiology of prolonged pregnancy has not been fully elucidated. It seems, however, quite clear that any ill effects which may befall the fetus in prolonged gestations can not be attributed to placental insufficiency or senescence.

Conclusions 

A review of the available evidence indicates that the placenta does not undergo a true aging change during pregnancy. There is, in fact, no logical reason for believing that the placenta, which is a fetal organ, should age while the other fetal organs do not: the situation in which an individual organ ages within an organism that is not aged is one which does not occur in any biological system. The persisting belief in placental aging has been based on a confusion between morphological maturation and differentiation and aging, a failure to appreciate the functional resources of the organ, and an uncritical acceptance of the overly facile concept of “placental insufficiency” as a cause of increased perinatal mortality.

References 

Vorherr H (1975) Placental insufficiency in relation to to postterm pregnancy and fetal postmaturity: evaluation of fetoplacental function: management of the postterm gravida. Am J Obstet Gynecol 123:67–103.

Vincent RA, Huang PC, Parmley TH (1976) Proliferative capacity of cell cultures derived from the human placenta. In Vitro 32:649–653.

Rosso P (1976) Plaenta as an ageing organ. Curr Concept Nutr 4:23–41.

Kaufmann P (1982) Development and differentiation of the human placental villous tree. Bibl Anat 22:29–39.

Kaufmann P, Sen DK, Schweikhart G (1979) Classification of human placental villi. I. Histology and scanning electron microscopy. Cell Tissue Res 200:409–423.

Sen DK, Kaufmann P, Schweikhart (1979) Classification of human placental villi.II. Morphometry. Cell Tissue Res 200:425–434.

Castelluchi M, Scheper M, Scheffen I, Calona A, Kaufmann P (1990) The development of the human placental villous tree. Anat Embryol 181:117–128.

Kosanke G, Castelluchi M, Kaufmann P, Minirov VA (1993) Branching patterns of human placental villous tree: perpectives of topological analysis. Placenta 14:591–604.

Simpson RA, Mayhew TM, Barnes PR (1992) From 13 weeks to term, the trophoblast of human placenta grows by the continuous recruitment of new proliferative units: a study of nuclear number using the dissector. Placenta 13:501–512.

Mayhew TM, Simpson RA (1994) Quantitative evidence for the spatial dispersal of trophoblast nuclei in human placental villi during gestation. Placenta 15:837–844.

Getzowa S, Sadowsky A (1950) On the structure of the human placenta with full term and immature foetus, Living or dead. J Obstet Gynaecol Brit Emp 57:388–396.

Burton GJ, Tham SW (1992) The formation of vasculosyncytial membranes in the human placenta. J Devel Physiol 18:43–47.

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Benefits of Babywearing Beyond Babyhood

By Danelle Day © 2018



When we think 'babywearing' the picture that often comes to mind is the snuggly, squishy goodness of a band new baby cuddled gently near the heart of a parent. Babywearing makes a world of difference in the lives of new parents, and has monumental benefits for infants beginning at birth (everything from increasing calm alertness, improving sleep and digestion, enhancing neurological and physical development, to regulating body temperature, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and more). Humans belong to the classification of 'carry mammals.' Part of being a carry mammal means that babies are born with several reflexes (the grasp reflex, spread-squat reflex, and the Moro reflex) to hold tight to a parent and be carried in baby's natural habitat - the adult chest. This close, physical contact for much of the day supports a baby's brain development that occurs most rapidly in the first 36 months of life, and keeps undeveloped systems (breathing, heart rate, temperature, etc.) regulated close to a parent's chest. Babies truly are born to be worn. Babywearing in these initial years is ubiquitous across the globe. But one babywearing topic we don't discuss as frequently includes the benefits and joys of wearing beyond the early baby days.

Over a decade ago, my first son was rapidly outgrowing carriers available, at the same time that Kinderpacks were just starting to take shape one state over. He was an extremely sensitive child who loved to explore the world around us, but always needed to be close to a parent to feel secure. We enjoyed having him up at eye level where we could easily talk quietly with him, and where he was engaged with conversations around us as an active participant, rather than a passive babe stuck in a stroller at our knees. He was able to see, hear, touch, experience all that we were, and safely. Wearing him met his needs perfectly. However, as he soared "off the charts" in height and weight for his age, babywearing became increasingly impossible. The Preschool Kinderpack had yet to be born, and we regretfully had to give up babywearing entirely too early, with no affordable option for a child his size.

Several years later I befriended a family planning to adopt a special needs child. They were avid hikers, and through their treks back and forth to be with this child, I saw their love for her grow, and knew they would need a way to fully include her in their outdoor adventures. I went on a search to see if things had changed in the babywearing world, and fell immediately in love with the Toddler and Preschool Kinderpacks. Because Kinderpacks were difficult to "score" at the time, I set out to raise funds to purchase one second hand from another individual, and it ended up being worth every penny. This sweet child, somewhat timid and fearful, came to live in her new home and find peace in the closeness and bonding that occurs being cozy in a pack next a protective, loving adult. Her mom told me that she would ask for "up" each morning while they did farm chores, and she was able to venture out to see her new world, safe and secure on her dad's back. If ONE simple Kinderpack could have this much positive impact on the life of a child, how much more good could I do sharing them further? It was a question that begged an active, involved response.

Since that time I've had another baby who rapidly grew "off the charts" like his brother, and we have been blessed to try out Kinderpacks here and there that we fundraise to purchase before passing them onto new families in need. We've used them for everything from long day trips to the zoo, hikes in the mountains and along the beach, singing together with this sweet little voice in my ear, taking an older sibling to the dentist, scurrying through airport terminals when I must travel alone with two kids, and having him ride along for work projects when there's otherwise no good spot for a preschooler year old to hang out. As a homeschooling, active duty military family of 17 years, I'm frequently in a situation of balancing solo-parenting with striving to maintain "normal" life at home. Childwearing calms tired little ones, allows for bigger adventures and longer days with older kids, keeps everyone safe, decreases anxieties when Dad is deployed once again, increases the reconnection when he is home, and makes the errands, appointments, and work requirements of life in general more kid-friendly on a day to day basis. I cannot count the ways that our lives are better now because of easy access to preschool carriers.


At this age, little ones are just beginning to move away from their babyhood years (the first ~36 months) into early childhood. Babywearing during this time offers mental, emotional, and physical support for a child to progress through this transition in his/her own perfect timing. Developmental research has shown time and again that when stress is decreased for a child, when a little one feels safe, secure, and close to a loving adult, they are able to observe more, learn more readily, and develop optimally, growing in their individual self-confidence and self-sureness in the world around them at their own perfect pace.

A research nerd myself, I am enamored with data on secure attachment, neurological development, and how babywearing throughout baby, toddler, and the preschool years fits in with this. However, I've found it equally compelling to listen to families who have walked these paths before, and share their qualitative experiences. I've had the honor of meeting with with countless families from all demographics through the non-profit educational work of Peaceful Parenting, and know for certain that preschool babywearing makes a BIG difference in the lives of so many, regardless of their family background. Below are some of the experiences parents have shared with me that are worth considering for the happiness and health of our children.


For Sibling Relationships

"Babywearing has been such a blessing in my life. My older son has anxiety, and when he was preschool aged, he had a difficult time in stores or other crowded places. Babywearing truly saved us all a lot of stress during those times. He was able to be close to me or his father while also participating calmly in our family shopping trips. I'm positive that babywearing helped him develop into the confident little boy he is today. All the times I have tandem wore my kiddos has also had a big impact on them as siblings. It really seems to help with bonding, and avoid jealousy between them." -Michelle

Eszter and her little one

For Travel

"My husband and I are so grateful to have been able to wear our son for all of his 3.5 years. If he's being worn, he's safe, he's close, and he can see what we see and participate! We recently adopted a large 'puppy' who needs and adores walks. Babywearing makes these walks (especially while parenting solo) a breeze! Not to mention the many times scooting through the airport - everywhere I've been, you don't need to remove your child through security, you can go as fast as you need, and your hands are free (once again, especially during solo parenting). Babywearing is just so much more convenient than a stroller!" -Krista

Krista's little one

For Close Connection

"Babywearing an older child has helped to not only strengthen the bond that I have with my little one, but has also strengthened his trust that I will always be there for him when he is independently exploring the world. It is amazing to see how this experience has helped to develop my child's adventurous spirit -- always ready to take on what wonders the world has to offer, but knowing there is a safe spot back on my back when it's needed." -Anu

"Wearing beyond babyhood has helped me because even preschoolers get tired and need a boost sometimes. But I think more importantly, young children still have a need to be close to parents to help them feel secure and help them deal with sometimes overwhelming emotions." -Megan

"I wore all 3 of my big kids into childhood. I think it only increased our bond and their security. Even now, if my youngest is sad, he'll get our carrier and either just snuggle it or put it on himself. It makes him feel connection, even if I'm not wearing him in it, it seems to represent security to him." -Jami

For Military Families

"I was at sea the majority of our son's early years, and preschool babywearing has allowed for this father-son bond now when we go to the aquarium, the zoo, on hikes, or even visit base, that I cannot see happening otherwise." -Adam

Post-Surgical Healing Time

"Preschool babywearing was very helpful for my second son after surgery when he was 5. We also utilize the carrier often because our current 5 year old has anxiety outside and in groups." -Natalie

John and his little one

To Explore More!

"I love being able to go explore and experience things but have a comfortable and easy way for my daughter to be carried when her legs are tired. It also keeps her safe in the fact that she has severe food allergies that she is very contact reactive to. So when we are in a tricky scenario it's nice to have a safe option for her." -Kindra

"Wearing our 3.5 year old let's us go on bigger adventures!" -Janna

Janna and her little one

For Parents and Children with Unique Needs

"Childwearing has massively helped us. I'm deaf, and I can see my child talking to me from my carrier with mirrors. It helps to calm us both down if there has been any kind of stressful or sad situation and it keeps our connections going!" -Rosie (who writes more on this topic at Carrying Matters UK)

"My 5 year old cannot walk due to CP. We love backpacking! With preschool babywearing, we can make quick trips without hauling out her wheelchair, and we can still enjoy family hikes and outdoor adventures. We also bring the pack along for long walks when our 3 year old gets tired." -Lillie

Rosie and her little one

For Father/Child Bonding

"I'm a dad. I love my boys. I carried my now 14 year old. He carries my now 2 year old. My 2 year old mimics and carries a doll. I would say that it has bonded all of us and helped my boys be empathic and nurturing to their siblings. I feel like we must be doing something right with how much they care for each other." -Ryan

For Sensitive Children 

"My son is sensitive and often uncomfortable in new or social situations. Our Kinderpack is his home away from home. When he is in the carrier we are one and he is at ease. With preschool wearing we are able to experience the world together." -Christina

"My huge 3 year old has PANS and 'uppies' help so much with sensory issues and just getting out on tough days." -Sydney

"Our child is high needs, especially in public, and babywearing helps to prevent meltdowns since he is still learning executive skills and emotional stability." -Faith

To Decrease Over-Stimulation

"Our son was so anxious around people that being worn gave him the safety he needed to be social on his terms. It also kept him safe and close once he became sure of himself..." -Brandi

"I have a five year old who is almost turning six. He only weighs 36 pounds and I wear him in a preschool carrier. It has helped in times where we are in crowds and he’s overstimulated, or places where I’d like to walk further and longer than he can. Mostly it’s a space for him to retreat to when tired or overwhelmed. Nothing like those hugs from my back while I walk around!" -Sarah

To Get Errands Done (Safely/Quickly)

"I can do my shopping while my 3 year old naps. I've also done construction, farm animal care, hiking, and fixed my car without having to keep an eye on him thanks to babywearing." -Moira

"I love wearing my preschooler! My kid-wearing has become less and less frequent over the last two years, but when I do wear her it feels so cuddly and special. I still love it so much even though she is getting bigger. I'm so thankful for my Preschool Kinderpack that allows us to continue wearing whenever she wants a ride or needs to be close to me." -Jennifer

"My 3.5 yr old likes being worn when he first wakes up. It’s also saved us many times in stores!" -Bekah

Involving Littles in Conversation

"I wore my oldest until age 4 (had to stop due to a car accident/neck injury). I think it made us super close. She was always content, and her language skills developed super early, I believe from always being at face level and in the conversation with me and other adults." -Jada


For the Solo Parenting Mom or Dad

"As a single mom - you do what you gotta do!" -Kelly, while simultaneously preschool babywearing and carrying her youngest

For a Better View of the World Around Us

"Sometimes people give me a funny look for preschool wearing, but I see those same people carrying their preschoolers around in their arms, on their backs and on their shoulders. I’d rather save my arms. Also love that babywearing lifts him up higher, so he’s not stuck in a crowd at hip level. People are made to see and respond to faces. That’s not exactly where a preschooler’s line of sight is in a crowd, and it’s overwhelming for them. I was in Disney last week with him and got down at his level in a crowd and really noticed it—it’s a sea of back pockets and zippers, not people. A good carrier lifts them and lets them see and recognize faces and be part of the crowd, or hide their face against their grown up to reduce stimulus. I know our last days of wearing is coming soon. It’s very infrequent now, and he’s almost six—though still very small for his age. Leaving child wearing behind will be bittersweet." -Sarah

"Our almost 3 year old could never see the exhibits at the zoo from her stroller because of all the adults, so I put her on my back. We also wore her to a local Celtic Fest because of the crowd size." -Kim

To Keep Kids Safe

"My son loves to be independent and is a runner. Babywearing is a way for me to keep track of him and snuggle him at the same time. He often fights sleep in a stroller, but easily falls asleep on me. It’s great for helping him calm down when he’s frustrated or emotional. It helps when he’s tired of walking but still wants to see everything." -Nelisha

Preschool babywearing keeps little hands safe! "So they aren't touching/picking up everything they see. When my littles can see it all from a high view, and they're attached to me, they can't touch unless I move over to help them. It helps to deter tantrums from me having to remove them [from an unsafe situation] or hold them back." -Rosie

"Little legs get tired, but their sense of adventure doesn't! We love to take our daughters hiking or to explore places off the beaten map or places where strollers just are a hassle. They wanna see it all, but their legs get tuckered. Also it is easier for us to keep them safe near cliffs, ledges, or events with large crowds, and they don't feel restrained, but engaged and included." -Molly

"Preschool babywearing because this way I don’t lose my 4 year old in a public place!" -Blair

During Loss and Sadness 

"My kids lost their mom to cancer when our youngest was 4. I cannot imagine the added turmoil we would have faced without the Kinderpack you gave us. She had an incredibly tough time with everything, and this was the one thing I could keep the same for her, and to know I wouldn't leave her too, which was another fear. Thank you." -C.J.


For Easier Vacations with Kids

"Childwearing is especially helpful on vacations when walking a lot with tired little ones who want to be carried, or are overtired and need to sleep." -Brittany

"Preschool babywearing enables us to go on hikes all the time. It really allows us to go on actual hikes without it being a death march for her." -Arielle

Jennifer and her little one

For Multiple Options 

"Today I wore my 4.5 year old, while his 1 year old sister and 5 year old brother were pushed in the double stroller during homeschool days at the zoo -- switching it up keeps everyone happy (he was also SUPER MUDDY and shoeless!!)" -Megan

Jennifer said that having a carrier for an older child was her 'best toddler purchase ever.' "She is 4.5 years old (still nursing) and rode in the carrier while we were in New York on a trip. I was 4 months pregnant at the same time." -Jennifer

Megan and her little one

For Health Concerns

"Our 3.5 year old had juvenile interval fevers, so carrying was a great way of still continuing with school runs, etc., when she was feeling ill." -Emma

"I love being able to go explore and experience things, but have a comfortable and easy way for her to be carried when her legs are tired. It also keeps her safe in the fact that she has severe food allergies that she is very contact reactive to. So when we are in a tricky scenario it's nice to have a safe option for her." -Kindra

"My wife had an injury when our first was little and being in a wheelchair allowed her to see things from a different vantage point. We both realized through that experience that we wanted our kids up at our eye level, to be really included in the conversations and to see the world up at a height with everyone else -- not sitting in a stroller staring at knees and street posts and rarely being fully engaged with talking adults. Childwearing changes the world experience for a little kid in big ways!" -John

For Emergencies 

"Our area was demolished with Hurricane Harvey but the flooding in our neighborhood, specifically, was not expected. What does this have to do with babywearing? My husband, myself, and my neighbor all left the area with rescue crews while we were wearing our preschoolers and toddler. It is something you never think about unless it happens to you, but being able to wear a child instead of trying to carry them in an emergency situation is monumentally beneficial. Since that time I think often about refugee families and I wish each one could have a carrier for their children when fleeing dangerous situations as well." -Heather

Katy and her little one

For Gentle Transition into Childhood

"Just today I was wearing my almost 4 year old because he wanted to snuggle me like his little brother does..." -Katy

"My 8-yr-old would still babywear if he could! At church when we're in song service, he'll ask me to carry him (it helps that he's a petite kid), press his cheek against mine, and we will sing together." -Melissa

No matter where your babywearing adventures take you, a sincere thank you for wearing your baby, your toddler, or your preschooler, and changing the world in positive ways - one little life at a time. ♥



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