Blog posts of '2015' 'January'

Making Urine Test Strips Last Longer


Not many people know that there is a simple way to keep your urine test strips intact, especially since they should be lasting on average for about 90 days if stored appropriately. So if you have recently purchased urine strips or are involved in a profession where urine analysis is a large part of your practice, here are a few tips for improving the longevity of your product.


All urine test strips are light-sensitive, so no matter what brand you purchase it is imperative that you keep them away from direct light sources. Exposure to light causes a color reaction in the test strips, which will obviously interfere with an attempt to garner an accurate reading when used.

When choosing a spot to store your urine strips keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid window sills
  • Avoid shelves and surfaces that are regularly in direct sunlight
  • Always close the cap of the container tightly to ensure it is sealed properly


Urine test strips are as sensitive to extreme temperatures as they are to sunlight, so always be careful to store them at moderate room temperature. Keeping the container away from souces of extreme heat or cold will help to prolong the life of the strips. So that means:

  • Avoid window sills (sound familiar? Windows often have poor insulation leading to extreme temperatures)
  • Avoid storing your container of strips by a heater or air conditioner
  • Never refrigerate or store strips in a cold basement or storage room
  • Be conscious not to leave strips in a car (mostly for midwives or those whose frequent client homes with their supplies)

Remember, proper product care not only saves you time but it also saves you money. So taking a few extra precautionary steps will definitely be beneficial in the long run!

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'Why Do We Use Fetoscopes?', 'How to Choose the Right Doppler', and 'How to Properly Clean and Sterilize Your Instruments'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products

The Voice of Midwifery - Anne Frye

Like any profession, one of the most useful tools in midwifery is to have a comprehensive reference guide at your disposal. During childbirth there is always the possibility of something transpiring that does not fit the 'norm' of delivery, requiring a strong foundation of knowledge for immediate application. At Cascade we carry a truly extensive selection of educational resources on midwifery, but the literature we have on practical skills application by Anne Frye is by far among the best.

Anne Frye has an extensive background in midwifery that spans over 35 years. At the time of her studies, she became increasingly aware of the lack in midwifery resource materials for practical application. She started writing while still in clinical training and after graduation she began teaching midwifery skills workshops at Informed Homebirth, Inc., with a literary career already unfolding.

Frye's books are extensive and extremely thorough. From Holistic Midwifery Volume I and Volume II to numerous editions of her works Healing Passage and Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year, Frye presents information in a clear, concise and thorough manner that makes it easy to follow and reference. It will be hard not to refer to her books as midwifery encyclopedias as their breadth and appearance are clear indicators that they reach areas of study that few others achieve.


Holistic Midwifery Volume I: Care During Pregnancy, is a comprehensive textbook for midwives in homebirth practice that discusses care from conception through to the onset of labor. It captures the essence of the midwifery model of care by weaving together midwifery knowledge, philosophy and clinical practice.

Holistic Midwifery Volume II: Care During Labor & Birth, contains a number of revisions that focus on clinical care. Particular emphasis is placed on the latest material on neonatal resuscitation, assisting breech births and dealing with shoulder dystocia, fetal-to-newborn cardiopulmonary transition and more.

Healing Passage: A Midwife's Guide to the Care and Repair of the Tissues Involved in Birth, 6th Edition, is a complete guide to the care of the pelvic tissues and explores theories about perineal responses to fetal descent and how to prepare for and support a tear-free birth. This book can be used as a step-by-step manual for learning to suture, with chapters on equipment, how to use common surgical tools, tying knots and creating stitches.

Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year, 7th Edition, helps practitioners understand diagnostic tests and provides a holistic perspective on test results. It is an invaluable resource for parents and childbirth professionals from midwives to doulas, educators and nurses.

For midwives and student-midwives, Anne Frye's resource books will prove to be a constant go-to, no matter what stage of study or practice you are in. They are also excellent guides for understanding the different surgical instruments and equipment commonly used in midwifery, as well as the application of each in various situations.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products



Midwifery Educational Books, Cascade HealthCare Products:

Official Information and Resource Site for Anne Frye and Labrys Press:

The Different Ways to Clamp Umbilical Cords

There is much debate circulating around the appropriate amount of time to wait before clamping a newborn's umbilical cord. A pivotal 2013 study came out in favor of waiting for longer than the standard 60 seconds for clamping, to allow for increased stores of iron in infants. Read more about it in this New York Times article, Study Finds Benefits in Delaying Severing of Umbilical Cord.

There is also a lot of discussion around the most appropriate way to clamp cords, and as many midwives know, a lot of it will come down to personal preference of the practitioner. Whether using traditional, disposable plastic cord clamps, or environmentally-friendly, biodegradable cotton cord tape, we want to make sure you have the best knowledge on what you're using and how best to use it!

Plastic Cord Clamps - Traditionally used by hospitals and midwives, these clamps look similar to a hair clip that lock when closed. The clamps are sterile and because they are disposable, there is no concern for cross-contamination. Another great side-note about these clamps is that they are latex-free! Because plastic cord clamps lock once closed, you will need to have a Plastic Cord Clamp Clipper (disposable) or a Metal Cord Clamp Clipper (floor-grade instruments that are reusable if autoclaved or cold sterilized) to cut the clamp off.

Umbilical Cord Tape - The downside to plastic cord clamps is that they aren't biodegradable, which makes them the least likely choice of environmentally-conscious midwives and childbirth practitioners. Plastic cord clamps are also rather awkward when hanging from the end of a small umbilical cord, which may be a source of irritation to newborns. A great alternative is umbilical cord tape because it is 100% cotton - making it biodegradable - and it is lightweight for increased infant comfort. You can choose from sterile or non-sterile tape.

We know that the timing of umbilical cord clamping is highly important, and scurrying around for the right tools is not the ideal when the seconds start to tick. Which is why we decided to create our an umbilical cord kit specially designed for midwives, to have all the tools you need at your fingertips in an easy to identify bag. Here's why we created the Cascade Cord Clamping Kit the way that we did.

Contents of Cascade Cord Clamping Kit

1. Rochester Pean Forceps, 6.25" straight - These forceps help you clamp the umbilical cord in preparation for severing it.

2. Rochester Pean Forceps, 6.25" curved - These are perfect to have on hand in the event that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck. You will need curved forceps to carefully follow the curve of the newborn's neck in order to clamp the cord without causing any harm to the baby.

3. American Umbilical Cord Scissors - Specially designed scissors for severing the umbilical cord.

4. A Plastic Cord Clamp - The traditional way of clamping the cord once it is severed. These clamps are sterile and latex-free and they permanently lock once closed.

5. Cord Tape - For those who want a more environmentally-friendly and lightweight alternative to the plastic cord clamp, cord tape is an effective way of tying the umbilical cord after it has been severed. This strip of cord tape is sterile, 1/4" wide and made from 100% cotton for a gentler, natural touch.

6. Teal Nylon Organizer Bag - Since this isn't the only midwifery kit we offer, we made sure to color code it for easy identification! Our Cascade Cord Clamping Kit comes in a durable teal nylon organizer, so that you can grab the right tools when in a rush.

We also have a wide selection of products for umbilical cord care from Cord Care Powder to Triple Dye Umbilical Antiseptic in our Umbilical Cord Care section. Just click here to see it!

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'Why Do We Use Fetoscopes?', 'How to Choose the Right Doppler', and 'How to Properly Clean and Sterilize Your Instruments'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products



'Study Finds Benefits in Delaying Severing of Umbilical Cord', New York Times, July 10, 2013

'Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping of term infants on maternal and neonatal outcomes', The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Susan J McDonald, Philippa Middleton, Therese Dowswell, Peter S Morris, July 11, 2013

Making Our Website User-Friendly

We at Cascade HealthCare Products are working hard on our website to make it as user-friendly for you as possible! You will notice as you take the time to click through our various categories, that we have an extremely large array of products that you possibly never knew we stocked. Here are a few pointers on how to find the products you need quickly without hassle!

1. Search Box

Use the search box in the top left corner of the webpage to type in any keyword of the product you are looking for. If you don't know the exact product name, you can always click the green Search button. Once you do that, you will see that you can select the Advanced Search option, which will allow you to click the following options:

  • Automatically search sub categories
  • Search in product descriptions

If you select both of the above options, the system will search all descriptions and categories on the website for your keyword, not just the product titles!

2. Related Products

At the bottom of each product you will see a few Related Products listed. We are still tweaking these on products as we re-format each section, and it is a really useful way to see other relevant products to your search!

3. Hyperlinked Words

Anytime you see a product or category in a description that is purple and underlined, you can click it to be immediately directed to the featured product or category! For instance, if you click on the words Current Specials in this sentence, you will be taken to our Current Specials (which are pretty enticing, so you may want to try this test out!).

4. Talk to Us

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Cascade, is having the ability to offer you more than a list of products. If you can't find a product or if you have any questions regarding our product selection, best practices with specific products, or which product is best for your specific needs, don't hesitate to call us at (800) 443-9942 or email Cheryl Meyers at Cheryl has been working with midwives and health professionals for over 30 years, so she is sure to have an answer for just about any product question you may have!

*Hints on staying on top of our featured sales!

  • Like us on Facebook - we post new products every day, always keep you updated on sales, and share the lastest news and research concerning midwifery!
  • Sign up for our Newsletter - just enter your email address at the bottom of the main menu on our homepage. We only send a Newsletter once a month, no less! Our Newsletter will feature important information on product details, shipping rates, current specials, featured articles and more.
  • Check our Featured Items section - we highlight a new product every week.

Happy 2015 everyone, we are really looking forward to working together with you this year!

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products