back in business

 Ok, so we were never really out of business, but as you likely have noticed, our blog has been uncooperative for the past few months. After much frustration (I am very techniologically challenged, to put it lightly!) I decided to scrap our cute background for now, and go with something more simple, that will at least be readable! So I apologize to you all, and thanks to those of you who wrote me to let me know the blog wasn’t working!
 We are very excited to say we’ve had a number of women contact us over the last 2 months looking for doulas! It’s so awesome to see that our hard work is paying off, and people are starting to hear about doulas in the area! We have 2 births coming up in Feb, 4 days apart, so it will be interesting to see who comes first, and how close together they are! Our last 2 girls were 5 weeks apart and ended up going into labor on the same night! It could very well happen again!
We are so thankful to all of you who take the time to check out our blog! Keep spreading the word!

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A woman centered C-section? its about time!

 This video is awesome!  One thing I hear over and over is how disappointed so many women are when they require an emergency cesearean. I can’t speak from experience, as I was blessed to deliver both my babies naturally, and have not yet had the opportunity to be a doula to a mother having a c-section, but I have watched countless videos of cesearean deliveries, and if you have, you will know what im talking about when I say they certrainly dont seem to be the most welcoming way to introduce your baby to the world. (That being said, I understand, and am VERY thankful that doctors are able to save many babies/mothers by doing c-sections) I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this video. It’s awesome to see that doctors are now trying to make the experience more mother/baby centered. Some of it (such as the wires put away from mommas chest so she can breastfeed right away) seem so obvious, but is rarely done.  Skin to skin is SO important for baby and momma in the time immediately following birth, and im so excited that its finally catching on for cesareans as well!  take a look at the video, its a bit long, but so worth the time! I really hope this catches on in all the hospitals!

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Fears affect on birth

 I found this video and blog today while I was researching some of the effects that fear has on labor and birth. Its not uncommon to have fears about your upcoming birth, but did you know just how much it can effect it?  I was terrified during most of the labor, and especially the birth of my first son. I have never felt fear like that before, and I really do believe that my fear is one huge reason the birth went the way it did, and I needing so many interventions. When I was nearing the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I was determined to be in control and let my body do what it was designed for. My two birth experiences were at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. I put all that fear I had from my first birth experience aside and trusted myself that this time would be different, and it was!  Anyways, I will spare you from my ramblings for now and let you watch this video and read this blog. It’s a bit long, but please take time to read it! Its well worth it!  (Copied from the website “Joy In Birthing”)
“We need to always remember that mothers who are afraid tend to secrete the hormones that delay or inhibit birth. This is true of all mammals and is part of nature’s design. Those who are not terrified are more likely to secrete in abundance the hormones that make labor and birth easier and less painful-sometimes even pleasurable.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The most common fear we all experience is fear of the unknown, and of course if this is your first time labor and delivery your fear falls into that category. You have heard that labor is painful, and that it will hurt a lot. You have seen it on TV, friends have told you, and there is an exorbitant amount of confirmation out there that you are in for the most painful experience of your life.  People even stop you in the streets to share their experience with you, warning you: “get your epidural as soon as possible,” they say, “I had a cesarean could not stand the thought of going through with it.” they proudly exclaim. And that is not only what you expect but what you fear, and focus on.  Managing the hurtful labor becomes all encompassing, you take classes on how to breathe during labor, you learn about the drugs that are available if you cannot manage it, you take classes to learn how to deal with the waves, focusing on being brave and taking it, or screaming for an epidural in the parking lot. But fear is not only a future projection of what you can expect during labor, some of your fears have nothing to do with labor per se, you might mask them that way, but the fears that often stand in the way of a painless childbirth are fears that come from your past. Those fears are the ones you need to deal with in order to manifest a painless childbirth. For instance: the fear to go against the norm, to be different, to stand on your own and have that rare but possible experience of a painless childbirth.
Scientific studies indicate that certain hormonal changes take place in the presence of fear, stress, and anxiety.  “The adrenaline released while in fear or stress has been referred to as the antithesis of oxytocin, the naturally produced hormone that stimulates uterine contractions. Another category of hormones called catecholamines (which include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) is indicated by other studies as one of the causative factors in fetal distress and problematic labor. Catecholamines circulate when the pregnant mother is anxious or afraid, and they pass through the placenta to the baby, affecting his environment.”
When we are afraid,we tend go into an automatic fight-or-flight reaction:we tense every muscle of our body in order to prepare for a defensive action.  Consequently, fear can be a deciding factor affecting our overall experiences.
  • In labor: fear creates tension and tension creates pain.
  • In postpartum: fear creates confusion, anxiety, the feeling of helplessness and of being lost and alone.
  • In life: fear is the very obstacle to our self-confidence and, ultimately, to our success.
  • Often our deepest fears are reenacted in our dreams, and many of us have very vivid dreams during our pregnancy. Be grateful when that happens as your dreams help you discover was is deeply embedded in your unconscious and give you a chance to face it.  Babies can and will accrue memories while in the womb and will feel and embrace the mother and father’s emotions.  If fear and low self-esteem are what you feel most of the time, so will your child. Another way to explore our fears is through hypnotherapy.  During a hypnotherapy session I help my clients bring to the surface a memory from the past that seems to still influencing their present. Once they are in the midst of the memory, not only intellectually but with their entire sensory engaged, we slowly modify the memory, by adding a rescuing element, a positive image that shatters the past and reconstructs a new memory of the event. In a sense the mother-to-be learns how to embrace her fears by changing her memory to one of success and safety. Embracing your is fears is ideal because trying to erased them will only make them fight harder to survive. Even if you had a difficult first birth your fear can be still strong, especially if the first birth was difficult, and that fear needs healing through reenactment. Imagine a small child frightened and shaky, screaming under the covers at the monster she believes lives in the closet. Mom runs to the room, “What’s the matter? Don’t be silly! There are no monsters in the closet.” This answer won’t appease the child.  In fact, when dismissed and ridiculed the fear will hide deep within the child’s unconscious. The child resolves to not share her fears with Mom to avoid being belittled and ridiculed.  Ideally the scene could go as follows:

    Mom walks in and hugs the child as she saying, “So, my little one, tell me more about the monster under the bed.” The little girl might respond, “It’s big and scary! Make him go away, Mommy!”  Then Mom responds by taking her daughter’s words seriously, “Do you want me to go and look in the closet and tell him to leave you alone?” “Can you do that?” says the little girl, still frightened. “Sure. In fact, I’m going to leave my angel with you, and together with your angel they’ll watch over you.”  Then Mom shines a light into the closet and speaks these words: “I know you are there monster, and I want you to know that you are frightening my girl. From now on, my angel and her angel will stand guard over her so you may not come back here and frighten her.” Simply denying ours or our children’s fears and negative feelings will only make them stronger. Through the lesson learned in the second chakra associated with our right to feel, we have learned that we need to acknowledge our feelings, even those that seem unjustified or fantastic, like the fear of the monster in the room.

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capture those moments!

     Birth is incredible! Whether you see it once, or a hundred times, it never becomes boring!  As a mom of 2 boys, I love to look through my pictures of my sons’ births and remember those days. The photos still bring tears to my eyes!  One thing that I have recently been checking out is birth photography.  My sister is a photographer and she recently did her first birth photography session for our nephew. The photos are incredible!   Women are so beautiful during labor, so strong, and a birth photographer can capture those moments that you wouldnt normally think to take a picture of.   Take a minute to google birth photography. It might be something you end up wanting!  You can also check out Kristina’s page and take a look at her photos. Click here for her link

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cool maternity photos!

 Im a sucker for maternity photos!… actually, i’m kind of a sucker for anything having to do with pregnancy and birth.  I love looking around the web and finding unique ways of capturing the beauty of a pregnant woman.  The other night, I found a website that had some of the neatest maternity photos i’ve ever seen! They are all underwater!   Here is a link to the site, take a look!

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On the outside

 I have exciting news to share! I became an aunt, again, to another beautiful nephew yesterday afternoon! My dear sister in law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy after roughly 11 1/2 hrs of labor! (A huge improvement from her 1st  labor, which lasted a whopping 57 hrs!).  She had planned on having her baby at home, just as she did with her first, but when she called her midwife, she was told to go to the hospital because there were also 3 other women giving birth under their care. I was not her doula, but had planned on being at the birth, along with my sister, who does birth photography, and my grandmother. The hospital she was sent to had very strict guidelines about how many people were allowed to be in her room, so my grandma and sister kept trading places, and I was stuck out in the waiting room way down the hall!  Sitting there for 5 hours not knowing how things were going just about killed me!  It made me think about how hard it must have been for fathers back in the day, who werent allowed to be in the room while they’re wives’ birthed alone. I was just the sister in law, and it drove me nuts! I cant imagine being a man and not being able to be a part of my childs’ birth!  I am so happy with how birth has changed over the years! How great is it that men are now able to be fully involved, and are even sometimes able to be the ones to deliver their baby!
 There is nothing better than to see a woman being supported and taking charge of her birth!
 -Carrie-

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